Maybe you don’t want to do a newsletter, but just want to send brief notices out to 100 (or a couple thousand) of people you know. Or more interesting … enable that group to chat amongst themselves. Well, there is way.
Before the World Wide Web as we know it today, internet users subscribed to mailing lists to get news and converse with like minded folks. You may have heard of LISTSERV or MAJORDOMO lists back in the day. Well, this tech is still in use today, and for some organizations it is an inexpensive and effective way to manage a big list of email addresses. For example, I use this method to manage our homeowner association email list.
The way it works is simple: select members of the list (HOA board members) have permission to send email to the entire list of 120 email addresses (homeowners). They do so by sending their email message to a single special email address. This triggers a mass mailing to the entire list. I manage list membership from a basic admin web page provided by the mailing list software in the sky called MailMan.
Why bother with this, why not just blast bulk email from my email account? Well … sometimes your internet provider simply won’t allow that … and if your important email account gets BLACKLISTED for appearing to be a spammer that could be a real headache for you. Before using this approach, our HOA members would cut and paste outdated email addresses from any old sent mail they had — and invariably annoy people who no longer live in the neighborhood, bounce off old email address, or fail to reach the new people.
Another group that uses MailMan is my client the Oakland County Quilt Guild. The guild needed a way to manage a dynamic membership email list, and give every member the ability to send messages to the entire list. This approach gives every member of the group a voice, and a way to securely send messages to everyone. It’s been working well for years. The software has many automated features and options. Even though it is “old tech” it remains an elegant solution.
If you have a community of people you would like to engage with email, let me know and I can tell you more about setting up a MailMan mailing list.
Next week I will cover how you can use your basic gmail as one account to receive and send mail for other email accounts you may have, and execute a personalized “mail merge to gmail” using google sheets and an inexpensive gmail “plugin” program.