Share Members List

You can now allow members of your group to see a full list of all other members and their email addresses. Sometimes it’s useful for people to know who they’re communicating with via your group email address and this feature lets members of your group see exactly who’s receiving their messages. Members can only see a read-only list of the members, you have to be a group administrator add, update or remove members. However the list is fully searchable so it’s easy to look someone up if you need to.

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This feature is switched off by default so to enable it just go to your Settings page and switch the “Who can view members list:” option.

HTTPS Everywhere

We have supported HTTPS on Gaggle Mail for a long time; we have now made the change to force every connection to our site to use HTTPS.  This ensures our users get the secure and reliable service they have come to trust.

Any request made to a HTTP address on Gaggle Mail will be automatically redirected to a HTTPS equivalent.  This is done using a 301 permanent redirect and will be completely transparent to all visitors.

HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over the internet and if fast becoming the standard for many websites.

Original Sender and Reply To Links in Footer

We’ve recently made some enhancements to the email footer that is added to every email sent over Gaggle Mail.  The default footer now includes the email address of the original sender of the message and a link to reply specifically to the sender.

Screenshot at Aug 01 14-12-50

The default configuration for a Gaggle Mail email group is that replies go back to the group, this is ideal for encouraging group discussion and sharing information.  However sometimes it can be preferable to just reply to specific person who sent the message and having a reply to link in the footer makes this super easy.

The sender address and reply to link only appear for groups which are configured for replies to go to the group address since this isn’t required when the reply address is already set as the original sender.

You have always been able to customize the footer of messages sent over Gaggle Mail so if you’d prefer not to include the sender information then it’s really easy just to set your own footer.  You can also include the original sender and a reply to link in a custom footer using the replacement tags described here.

We’ve also changed footers to use HTML links where appropriate which gives them a cleaner look.

Custom Welcome Email

Whenever someone joins a Gaggle Mail group there’s an option to send a welcome email which describes how the group works and some features of it.  We have just added the ability to customise this welcome email for you group.

Custom welcome message setting

Since our standard welcome email is in English this is especially useful for members to your group are non-English speakers.  If can also be useful you you’d like to specify rules about how your group should be ran and expected content in messages posted to it.

You can read more about this feature here.

Announcement Only Email Lists

You can now configure your Gaggle Mail group email list to only allow administrators to send messages to it.  This is especially useful if you’ve using your email list to make announcements to a large set of members but don’t necessarily want member to be able to send messages to everyone.

To enable this just go to your list settings and for the ‘Who can send to this group’ option, select ‘Administrators only’.  The default for this option is still ‘Members and administrators’.

 

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How Does Group Email Work?

Group email has been around for about 30 years. The idea of sending an email to a single address and it being forwarded to all members of a predefined list is very powerful. Indeed email discussion lists were the forerunner to web based forums as a method of group discussion.

At the heart of any group email system is the group email address, this is the address that anyone from a group can send a message to and have it repeated to the entire group. Members of the group are called subscribers and generally have to opt-in to receive messages from the group. For high traffic lists members can decide if to receive messages as soon as they’re sent of have all messages for a day packaged up into a daily digest.

Restrictions can also be placed on who can send to a group. Most commonly anyone who subscribes to a list can send to that list but some groups can limit sending to just a set of administrators. Alternatively a group could be setup to allow anyone, member or not, to send to a group.

Some group email systems keep an archive of every message sent to the group, these archives often include indexing and search of past messages. Archives for a group email system can act as a source of record for discussions that went over the list.

The main concern of a good group email list system is to successfully deliver messages to the group subscribers. Delivery reports are a way for administrator of the group to check delivery of messages and investigate any delivery problems that may occur.

Group email lists are a simple but very useful tool for any community, group or club that want to communicate over email with little effort.

Gaggle Mail Updates

I just wanted to keep you updated on some of the improvements we’ve been making to Gaggle Mail over the last few weeks. Many of these changes have come directly from user feedback so if there is something you’d like to change or add then please do let us know

  • Prevent duplicate email addresses being added to a list. This is quite self explanatory but if you try to add an email address that already exists in a group the UI will alert you and disable the ADD button.
  • Better internationalisation. As the popularity of Gaggle Mail has grown we’ve seen many new groups created where their primary language is not English (or any Latin based language). This has highlight some bugs around rendering more exotic characters, in particular when they appear in custom footers. I glad to say these issues have all been ironed out.
  • More resilient email sending. Reliably sending emails is our business so it’s something we put a lot of effort into. To this end we’ve recently introduced a completely separate redundant sending infrastructure using different 3rd party providers.  So we are no longer reliant on one sending provider and can switch between the two in case of failure.
  • Allow administrators to edit their details. A minor change but certainly required, administrators can now go to the Account page and update the name associated with the administrator email address.
  • HTTPS support. All pages on Gaggle Mail are now available over secure HTTPS as well as HTTP.


So that’s it. Mainly small and technical changes but all helping us achieve our goal of being the best group email service around.

Sports Clubs Using Group Email

Running a sports club can be a thankless task, nobody wants to take on the endless administration tasks; arranging fixtures, collecting results, organizing tours, travel arrangements, league AGM’s and finding someone to wash the kit!

Keeping club members up to date with what’s going on can be a real pain too especially when you have members joining, members leaving and members changing their emails addresses.

This is why lots of sports club have found group email or listserv to be the perfect solution to these problems. With group email you can keep the email addresses of all your members in one central place, and then when you want to contact everyone you just have to send an email to a single address and everyone on your list will get the mail.

Setting up group email could not be simpler with Gaggle Mail, just choose your group address, create an account of that’s it.

Features like a message archive and delivery reports let you make sure messages are getting delivered and you can go back to check what was sent.

With one single email address which anyone in your group can use to contact everyone else in the group means your club can be more connected with no effect.

Group email is the perfect solution to any small group or club that has a group of members than need to talk to each other.

Unfortunately though you’ll still have to find someone to wash the kit!

7 Popular Uses for Group Email

We’re continually surprised at the wide range of uses people find for group email. Here’s a list of the 7 most popular sorts of groups we encounter on Gaggle Mail.

Residents associations. Appartment blocks, assisted living, service personnel or new developments, when people live together they want to communicate together and using a shared email list seems to be a very popular choice.

Sports clubs. I think we’ve seen just about every sport imaginable popup at one time or another on Gaggle Mail. Sharing news, sending out results or asking for volunteers the ubiquity of email means everyone it always on the ball.

Religious groups. Just like sport I think we’ve got most religions covered and some non-religions – Jediism anyone? It doesn’t matter what your technical level is, particiapting with a group email list is incredabilly easy for anyone.

Gaming groups.
Video gaming, D&D or just cards they’re all here. Some of the geekier groups will run a custom Listserv setup on a home brew Linix distro from their basement but for the rest of us, who just need something that works with a few clicks there’s Gaggle Mail.

Families. We already blogged about this a few weeks ago but young or old, rich or poor families find group email to be a very easy way to keep each other up to date.

Non Profits. Whether it’s the board of directors or someone looking for a volunteer to cover Saturday night at the soup kitchen loads of non-profits and charities use group email to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on.

Book clubs. They’re as popular as ever and as well as meeting up to talk about books they’ve read, book clubs love to use group email to write about what they’ve reading. A shared email address is very handy when planning that next meeting or checking up that everyone has done their homework!

There it is, our list of seven. There’s plenty more we could of mentioned but with the versitility of email it’s no wonder that thousands of people find a group shared email address as the simplest and easiest way to stay in touch.

An Alternative To Listserv

Listserv has been the gold standard in group email for over 30 years.  It’s an industry grade solution that gives you complete flexibility and when running on the right hardware, lots of capacity.

Listserv does however require a lot of technical knowledge to setup and maintain. There are hosted versions of Listserv which remove some of the headaches but that can be very expensive.

Gaggle Mail is a cost effective and easy to use alternative to Listserv.  With just a few clicks you can create a highly customisable group email list for up to 1000 members.  Track the delivery of every message sent to your group with clear delivery reports and get a fully searchable archive of all messages sent.

We support custom domains, daily digests and lots of other features for running a group email list that you and your members will love!

If you need to run huge group email lists for thousands of members then Listserv is what you want, if you need a quick and inexpensive solution that just works – give Gaggle Mail a look.

Prices start from as little as $10 per year and there’s a 30 day free trial (no credit card required).