Email and Web Forwards
Every student group should have a web presence, including an email address designated for the group and a website or a Facebook group. Fortunately, you don't have to be a tech genius to have them - the SSA is here to help! We can provide an email address for your group and simple webpages to help give your group a presence on the web!
We create an email forward and web forward for every Group Starting Packet request - so if you've requested a packet from us recently, you already have these set up. If you are an existing SSA affiliate and would like to request an email or web forward for your group, go to www.secularstudents.org/getforwards.
The SSA is happy to provide your group with an email forward that you can use for a group contact email provided they have a personal email they can assign it to. The email forwards are usually formatted as "[email protected]." The email address is a forward, which means that anything sent to that address simply forwards to the personal email address(es) you provide us with. There is no inbox to maintain and no password to remember. Plus, we can set it up to forward to multiple individuals, so you could have it forward to all your officers, your president and communications officer, your public relations officer, or whoever in your group needs to receive it.
When the time comes that you need to change the addresses that your email address forwards to, just contact campus organizer (or look into the Gmail Account Advantage below). It takes us just a few moments to update your information.
SSA staff members will always receive a copy of all emails sent to these addresses. This allows us to monitor our addresses for misuse, disuse, or opportunities where we can help you. The only times we will act on any message is if it becomes clear to us that you are not responding (such as, "Hi, I emailed you three times and haven't heard back! Is anyone there??") or if we see an email that we can help you with - in which case we will email you directly. However, this means that you probably shouldn't use this email address for anything secure (like a Paypal account) or subscribe it to email lists or websites.
Testing Your Address? Because of the way these email addresses are set up, if you send a test message to the @secularstudents.org address from the address it forwards to (usually the address you used to request your Group Starting Packet), you probably won't get a copy of it. This does not mean that the address isn't working! We suggest that you test the address from a different email account - a free Gmail account, your school address, or having a friend try it out for you are all perfectly viable options. Moreover, when we see test emails coming through, we'll be sure to send a reply so you know that it's working on our end. If you don't get a copy of your message AND we haven't sent you a response (remember, we're only here on weekdays!), then feel free to contact us and ask us to look into it.
Gmail Account Advantages
If you have a Gmail account, the forwarding service we offer provides two additional advantages:
If you use Gmail, you can manage your group forward by personally adding and removing members to it on your own time. In order to activate this feature simply email campus organizer and give them your Gmail email. After they confirm your new manager role, you can start adding new members to your group forward. To manage the group, log into your Google account. Click the "Groups" tab at the very top next to the Calendar and Sites tabs. Click "My Groups" then select the name of your group forward. Finally select the "Manage" button to the very right of the screen. Here you can manipulate the roles of the emails of your group and also add new members. To add a new member, select "direct add member" from the "Member" drop down list. Simply enter the email address and click the add button. As you can see, you can even include an invite email with each new add. This feature is highly recommended because it is the most efficient way to update your group forward.
Send mail under "YourSchool(AT)secularstudents(DOT)org"
If forwards get sent to your Gmail account, you can set up your Gmail address to send "from" the @secularstudents.org address. To do this, log into your own Gmail account, click on the little gear in the upper right hand corner, and choose "Mail Settings" from that menu. From there, choose the "Accounts" tab, and click "Add another email address you own." In the pop-up box, enter your group's name (as you'd like it to appear on outgoing messages) in the Name field, and your [email protected] address in the Email address field. It will ask you to enter a verification code, which you should receive shortly via email at the email address the @secularstudents.org address currently forwards to. Just put the verification code in the box (or click on the link in the email) and you'll be set up to send messages from your @secularstudents.org account.
The SSA can create a simple webpage that your group can use as a web presence to put interested web browsers in touch with your group. This is ideal for groups that do not have a website, or for groups that primarily use a Facebook page but might not want to put a long, ugly Facebook group URL on all their group materials.
The format for our group websites is "http://www.secularstudents.org/YourSchool." There are two ways these pages can work: we can either set up a static page listing links for the various ways people can get in touch with your group, or we can set up a page that automatically redirects to another URL. If you're not sure which is better for your group, contact us!
To make changes on either of these pages, email our campus organizers.
Static Pages: These are simple webpages that can have your group logo, information about your group and links for contact information. This is useful if you want to list several ways to contact your group, such as a website, Facebook group, Twitter account, email address and/or Google Group.
Automatic Redirect Pages: Automatic redirect pages use a snippet of html code to automatically redirect the user to the new URL. These are particularly useful if you use a Facebook group or page for your group's online presence, but don't want to write out the long, ugly Facebook group URL on your promo materials.
To request an email or web forward for your group, go to www.secularstudents.org/getforwards.