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    • #10098

        One of the primary ways to send information directly to your association’s members or your district’s residents and property owners is via email. And while services built into a website or a cloud-based service like Gmail might work okay for a small number of addresses, an email marketing service like Mailchimp is often a better choice.

        Services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact allow you to send an email to lots of people and typically feature templates and customization options to create attractive, eye-catching, and most importantly, attention-grabbing newsletters and messages. recommends Mailchimp because it works well with WordPress and is fairly easy to use. Moreover, unlike Constant Contact and many of its other competitors, it has a free option that meets the needs of most lake organizations.

        Mailchimp currently offers for no cost:

        • 2,000 contacts in the database
        • 10,000 monthly email sends
        • Templates for all sorts of messages
        • Analytical tools so you can see who’s opening and interacting with your messages
        • More, if you want to explore the site’s more advanced offerings

        Organizations can use a service like this in a couple of different ways. One way is to use it to communicate with the group’s members (or in the case of a district, it’s residents/property owners). For a large district, managing contacts can be difficult, but with Mailchimp it’s fairly easy – load the info in once and then all you need do is create a message and send it. Using a service like Gmail for large numbers of contacts typically requires them to be sent out in batches because of the limitations of the service and can lead to being flagged as spam. Using a service like Mailchimp avoids that issue.

        Associations trying to recruit members or who would like to communicate with the public can use Mailchimp to collect new names through a sign up portal that can be embedded right into their website. This is a great way to get new contacts that might become future donors or volunteers, as well as a way to build a mailing list to communicate about your lake to a wider audience.

        Finally, email marketing services use the highest level of security to protect your data. It’s at least as safe as sending a message through your ISP’s system via Outlook. Probably more so.

        Does your organization use Mailchimp or a similar service? If so, what are the benefits (or downsides) you’ve encountered? What innovative ways have you used such services? Comment and let us know!

      • #10099
        Karen Reynolds

          Our lake association began using Mailchimp a couple of years ago, and we’ve found it to be very helpful. For example, we post a PDF of each newsletter to our website and then send a Mailchimp communication that highlights various articles in the newsletter, with links to posts (articles) on the website, and a link to the complete newsletter. Then we post a link to the Mailchimp communication on our Facebook page because we’ve learned that some members read our email communications, and some only check Facebook. In that way, we are leveraging the website, Mailchimp, and FB, essentially posting information once and linking to it across the various platforms. For certain critical issues (in our case our currently high water levels), we’ve also created links on the website to an archive of particular Mailchimp posts.

        • #10100

            Mailchimp is a beautiful interface with WordPress.  We have a “tail-in” reminder on each one of our webpages to “Don’t Forget to Sign-Up for Our Emails”.  The website user can then sign-up, we include them in our email address database and then send them a “Welcome Message” welcoming them to our email distribution list, all via Mailchimp.  All of our email blasts to our riparian’s also are generated via Mailchimp.  We are constantly exploring ways to exploit the various Mailchimp functions and services …

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