A while back we decided to get a professional email management tool. We were concerned that there was no single source of email addresses so members were not always getting every message. I often saw everyone’s email address at the top of the message. And when people replied to the email (with a question) it went to everyone. We decided this was unprofessional and was not protecting people’s privacy.
We chose MailChimp because they offered a free account and has a reputation of protecting consumers from spam. Many businesses won’t use them because they require the sender to include their home address and an Unsubscribe link (to make it easy to get off the list to avoid getting any more messages). These features are for your protection.
When we create an email it is called a campaign and can be scheduled to mail to everyone on the list. The tool provides many features to create, send, and monitor activity.
One thing that some MDS members were surprise to learn, is that we can see when they open one of these emails. This is shown in a dynamic report which let’s us monitor how well the campaign is going.
We can also see who did not open the email.
This is very important when someone complains that they didn’t get the message. We can check to see if the email is invalid, if the message was delivered, if it was opened (and when) and if any link was clicked on.
We have received a few such complaints and were able to show that they did open the email. No problem, we all get busy and forget but at least we know there is no technical problem. We also receive invalid emails from new members. This tool alerts us so that we don’t try to send any messages to them until we get it corrected.
Unsubscribe / Resubscribe
When someone clicks the link: Unsubscribe from list our list marks them as unsubscribed. They will not be included on any email campaigns and we cannot change them back! The only way they can be updated to start receiving messages again is to fill out this form (which is in the sidebar on our website as well).
Do we have to use it?
MailChimp is an ethical and effective tool. I would not consider managing emails for a club without it. But if people want to manage email in some other way and they get it approved by the board, then I am happy to hand it over to someone else.