John Wirtz SF
Email Distribution Groups – General observations
The main purpose of such a group is to enable us to be able to reach all our subscribers (also customers) from a single email address with messages delivered directly to their email client inboxes.
Despite popular opinion, Facebook has never been an effective replacement for email groups.
We are ex users of “egroups” and “Yahoo Groups”
So, why do we favour the use of email groups?
Running a small business with limited resources, the group is ideal to send targeted messages to our subscribers, straight to their email client inboxes.
Once the site is set up – the manual is a great help – the group needs little maintenance.
The most onerous task is subscriber management.
Like most small businesses, we have a developed customer database.
In an ideal world, I’d like to manage customer group subscriptions to the group from our own database – I am very wary of duplication – and have a dedicated table synced to a MYSQL type table on Groups.io either directly or to the subscriber’s database. Failing that, links between these data sets could exist internally to the group.io between the database section and the subscriber’s database table. The table facility in the database section already exists.
The current problem is that the main subscriber’s listing doesn’t carry enough fields against which to filter and search records.
Desirable additional fields would be:
- Title (mandatory field, drop down (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, etc)
- Firstname (mandatory field)
- Lastname (mandatory field)
These fields would make searches and filtering a lot easier and by consequence would greatly ease the subscribers maintenance process.
Our own policy is to not allow anonymous membership as it is always those who are likely to mis behave thinking they are immune form recognition. At present we are forced to use the “display Name” field to record that information and it cannot be made mandatory. Searches are not instant as we have first and lastname in a single field.
I realise it is possible to download a “csv” file but even this requires two steps from the groups site. Once downloaded, one has to split columns and carry out other manipulation before the data is ready for use.
As a general comment, I am always a little surprised that after many years of experience of open communications across the internet, social media and forum platforms allow anonymous membership.
Concluding, I would like to see improvements in the subscriptions data table – additional fields - and syncing of internal and external data tables.
I would add that it’s refreshing to know that one can reach out to those who are empowered to make changes and improve the site.