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Opened 23 months ago

Last modified 5 weeks ago

#3259 assigned defect

Gmail adds different emails from contact forms in the same thread

Reported by: casiepa Owned by: casiepa
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: WordCamp Site & Plugins Keywords: needs-patch


When creating a contact form on a wordcamp site and forwarding the form content to a gmail address, gmail is grouping different forms together in the same thread, making it difficult to work on the inbox. All emails have the same subject ( [aH6FlOBO] WordCamp Contact Request ) except for the unique ID in between the brackets.

Looking around for explanations, the best one I found was :

Gmail joins messages into conversations based entirely and only on the subject content.
It sometimes does not join messages together if there are time gaps between them.

It never joins messages together in a conversation if the subject line is different except when the subject begins with a phrase within square brackets!!
Gmail ignores the square bracketed part to assist in the handling of messages from Google groups.

So as the unique ID between the brackets is skipped, the subject is the same and multiple email are going together in the same thread in gmail.

Attachments (1)

3259.diff (671 bytes) - added by casiepa 23 months ago.
Remove brackets in the subject

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (14)

23 months ago

Remove brackets in the subject

#1 @casiepa
23 months ago

  • Keywords has-patch added

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta-wordcamp by casiepa. View the logs.

23 months ago

#3 @mrwweb
23 months ago

As I mentioned on Slack:

I selectively did this for a few of our forms with Seattle and it did seem to helwork. For instance, the speaker application subject was "[asdfasdf] WordCamp Speaker Application: {title}, {name}"

I didn't know the Gmail issue with brackets. That definitely sounds like it'll fix the technical problem.

From a pure email management perspective, I'd suggest we update the default subject lines to include at least the sender/submitter/applicant/purchaser name for easier reference and searching. That may require a different change to the default content, but I thought I'd mention it here in case it's appropriate to make both changes at once.

In the same vein, could the random string appear at the end of the subject so it doesn't distract from the part intended for humans?

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta-wordcamp by iandunn. View the logs.

23 months ago

#5 @iandunn
23 months ago

That's a good point to bring up, Mark. I think adding something like {name} and {title} would be more user-friendly than a random string.

We'd probably need to check if those fields exist in the form, though, and also that they weren't already added manually. If either of those fail, then maybe we fall back to a random string? It'd also be good to check for variations like {first_name}, etc.

I think it'd be nice to have the random string be something like (id:f3Jfmsad) rather than just the number, to make it a little more less confusing for users. The parenthesis help visually separate it and make it feel like a distinct part, and the id explains a little bit about why it's there. We'd need to make sure that Gmail (and other clients) don't ignore things in parenthesis either, though. If they do, we could maybe do it like -- id:f3Jfmsad instead.

#6 @casiepa
23 months ago

I already moved it to the end in my attached patch (space dash space and then the unique ID)

I will look into those extra fields to add as a quick win, great find!

#7 @casiepa
23 months ago

I tried the following and it worked perfectly:

[contact-form to='hello@…,myself@…' subject='VISA Application Form - {Last Name} {Given Name}'][contact-field label='Last Name' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Given Name' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Home Address' type='textarea' required='1'/][contact-field label='Passport Number' type='text' required='1'/]contact-form

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta-wordcamp by coreymckrill. View the logs.

22 months ago

#9 @coreymckrill
22 months ago

  • Owner set to casiepa
  • Status changed from new to assigned

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta-wordcamp by casiepa. View the logs.

21 months ago

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta-wordcamp by iandunn. View the logs.

11 months ago

#12 @iandunn
11 months ago

The patch needs some minor work based on Slack discussion linked above.

#13 @iandunn
5 weeks ago

  • Keywords needs-patch added; has-patch removed
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