Mailing Lists

This is probably one of the most important aspects of the website. Once we have the members and others in the database, doing something with it. Regular communication is critical to keeping everyone on task, involved and motivated.

It’s easy to then to send an e-mail to everyone.

But in most cases, you will not want to send an e-mail to everyone. If this database contains all the members from the District, you may only want to send to one club. Or to the people in a group of 5 clubs. Or just the presidents of each club. Or a committee. Or the media in a certain area. Or just to the people that you are interested in for no other reason than you have friendships with them.

The Mailing Lists suddenly can get complicated.

First, the trick is to have a few known groups that automatically get identified and be able to use those.
Second, allow for some people to create custom groups for sharing with everyone
Third, allow for each member to create their own, private mailing lists that others cannot see.

The e-mails should allow for attachments such as newsletters, pictures, documents, etc. If a newsletter is sent out, for example, it should have everything in the e-mail without the need to click on a link and view the page on the web. But links could and should be used when it makes sense.

All lists stored in database

Other than when a user is selecting just one name to e-mail to, the chosen list should be stored to the database. This will make it easier to review and send to. It allows the user time to add to the list, review the list, delete from the list and finally send to the list.

Database details

Click to get to the email database table setup. This is for geeks only...

Store Position instead of name

It's easy to select a list of all presidents of all clubs and create a mailing list. The problem is if the list is used over and over again, from one year to the next. The list of presidents in 2012-2013 is different than the list in 2013-2014. This is real world as errors have happened in the previous system based on exactly this. When storing a selection, the system should allow a year to be entered and then use that year to select. If the year is not entered, then it should assume the current year based on the current date. Note that if a user creates and uses a list based on a previous year, then the system should warn the user about the date selection. It is reasonable to use these dates. For example, you may want to send to a list of President Elects in 2012-2013. On July 1, 2013, this list would send to the next years list of president elects, so you either need to change the search criteria or use the previous year.

Store individual name (e-mail) when needed

It's entirely reasonable to select individual names to be on a list as it may be a group of friends or golfing buddies and not just a committee or club.

List can be stored and used for One Time Purpose

Each list should be stored in the database, even if it's just for a one time purpose. This will make it easy to work with and will allow several hours to create the list, create the e-mail and send it out. Once it's gone out, it should be marked as archived to not show up in the normal list of lists. If required, the user can search for their own archive of lists.

List can be stored for User to be used many times

One users can create a list that will remain available to be used over and over again.

List can be shared with People on the list

If sending to a group of people that may want to reply to the group, then the list could be shared with each person on that list. The list name and description should be verbose so that people will know why the list was dropped into their list and who created it in the first place. Optionally, people on the list should be able to edit the list for the whole group and if this happens, an e-mail notification should/could be sent to the owner of the list or everyone on the list.

External E-mail addresses outside of the Rotary World

If people outside of the Rotary database need to be included, there should be a provision for that.

List can be shared in Club

Option to make the list shareable with others in the same Rotary Club, even if they are not on the list. Media contacts is an obvious example.

List can be shared in Committee

A committee can share a list amongst themselves, even if they are not on the list. Sending to a group of sponsors, media, etc. are examples.

List can be shared for everyone

This should be used sparingly, but a list could be created than is shared with all Rotarians for use. The DG Team might be an example where the Rotarian wants to send out info to all the DG Team about an issue or concern.