The Many to Many Email Discussion Group

Is there a future for the Many-to-Many Email Discussion List with the constant expansion and improvement of other social media options?

Well… of course.

Just for clarification, when I say a Many-to-Many Email Discussion List, it simply means that it’s an email group which has ONE email address but delivers email to anyone who has signed up for the list – and that ANYONE on the list can send to the group. The group can be of almost any size.

I belong to several, and the ones I belong to have proven to be content-rich sources that I find valuable, usually in receiving information but from time to time in sharing information with the email community as well.

But what about Facebook? What About LinkedIn Discussion Groups?

Sure, those can be valuable for an organization to provide. But the Email Discussion List does offer some advantages over the web-based discussion options – and always have:

  • Allows the group member to retain messages of extreme value as long as they want on their own device.
  • Allows the group member to access the message offline once downloaded as email.
  • Allows the group member to provide attachments and other media that may not be allowed on web social media.
  • Allows for digests to be sent for perusing.
  • Allows for immediate delivery to the Internet capability most people use most often: email.

In fact, you see social media trying to implement these advantages as well. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all email participants with information as well as allow for it to be posted online, and you have to turn off these features in your setup if you don’t want this to happen. Why do they email?

Because they need to.

Because social media does not bypass email. Email IS the original social media, and email discussion groups are one of the best use of it. Ask associations that have association member discussion email groups, different than what they use for association email marketing, but specifically for their members to discuss issues of importance to them AND the association. Do members benefits?

Yes they do.

The nice thing about social media the past several years is that it is serving as some competition for the software needed to create and maintain email discussion groups, and because of that, the cost has been driven down a bit. I suspect this will continue to happen. There are several reasonably-priced options now in addition to the high-end priced products you may be aware of. In my next post I’ll consider some of those discussion group options. More next week…