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This Week: All Online - Email and Webinars

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This Week: All Online - Email and Webinars

Hi, everyone!

Let's talk about email.

We all use it, and group leaders use it more than most.  This week we'll go over a few basics of how to effectively use email as a group leader (as well as some faux pas you'll want to avoid). And, while I've got your rapt attention, we'll make sure you know about our upcoming webinar sessions!

(And the Texas Freethought Convention is coming up fast - if you want in on breakfast with Richard Dawkins, get registered now!)

Cheers!
Lyz
 
 

To, CC and BCC: Respecting Privacy and Sending Efficient Emails

The easiest way to send email to a bunch of people is, of course, to just copy and paste everyone's email address into the "To:" field of the email you're going to send. 

While it's certainly the easiest way to email everyone, it's not particularly elegant and comes with some serious drawbacks. First, you're  making the email addresses of your membership all easily available to anyone who wants to spam, oust or otherwise harass them. That's not cool.  Furthermore, I'm sure anyone with an iPhone or other mobile device (*ahem*) will tell you that scrolling through 400+ email addresses before reaching the message itself is no fun.

Fortunately, there are several easy - and free! - solutions to help you email your membership more efficiently.

  • phpList: If you have a website and a CS major in your group, you can install phpList as a free email management tool. phpList lets you send awesome looking emails (like this one!) to huge groups of people. Or, if you're willing to be a technology pioneer, phpList is now offering a Hosted service (no installation - or website - required!) Get it at http://www.phplist.com/
  • Google Groups: Google groups (Yahoo! has a similar service, but we prefer Google) can be highly customized to allow only the group admins to send messages to the group (an announcement-only list) or where everyone can send (ideal for discussion groups). If you can't get phpList set up, this is a really good second choice. No CS majors required! Set one up at www.googlegroups.com.
  • The BCC field: nearly every email client should have a "BCC" field available somewhere. Sending a "Blind Carbon Copy" means that each recipient is unable to see the other BCC recipients - so you're not sharing everyone's information with everyone else, and mobile devices don't have a pile of email addresses to scroll past. BCC fields are easy to find in Gmail, Yahoo!, Apple's Mail app, and most other email applications. If you are unable to use any of the other solutions, at least do this for a more elegant email than the massive list of names in the "To" field.

SSA Email Forwards: [email protected]

Is your group using one leader's email address as the public contact address for your group? Or are you just not using any email because you don't have an email address for your group?

The SSA can set up an email address that your group can use to help in situations like these. We can set up a simple [email protected] email address that forwards to one or more email addresses. This gives you something you can publicize, and an email address that stays with the group even when your leaders graduate. There's no inbox to maintain, and no password to remember - it just takes anything sent to that address and passes it along to your own inbox.

If you'd like to set up one of these addresses, or if your group has one but you're not sure it's set up right, contact me and we can help.  Learn more about them at www.secularstudents.org/forwards.

Webinar Updates!

Just a reminder that we have two great webinars coming up.  I'll be giving a session on Tuesday (9/27), 7:30pm EST on how you can "Delegate Like a Boss."  Delegation is not always easy but it's really important, and I'd like to help you learn this valuable skill.  (Plus, it's a fun talk and even has story time!)
 
We're also holding an encore performance of our introductory "What the SSA Can Do For Your Group" session at 7:30 EST on October 4th.  So if you missed the first one, join us for this repeat session so you can learn what we have to offer.
 
Learn more about all our webinars on our website, where you can see upcoming events, register (they're free, but you have to register to participate!), and download slides from past talks.


 

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