Mailing List Update
We have just finished setting up our new email system using MailChimp. Previously, you would subscribe to our internal Drupal mailing list, which was an internal function of the website. Since there is no CAPTCHA check for the built in mailing list module, anyone could subscribe, including automated attacks from spammers. This resulted in dozens of bogus email list members who would be poised to receive our email and attempt to harvest any email addresses it contained to further propagate spam attacks. NO MORE! (While we have collected some legitimate emails in this system, we never actually used that list to send out an email.
The Drupal email list subscription process has now been disabled and replaced with an infinitely more robust service from MailChimp. Email marketing is what they do, and they have all the bases covered. They have a paid service, which allows you to send a larger volume of email and not have the MailChimp logo in the email itself. It's an awesome service, so we don't mind bragging about it, and since I don't think we will be sending more than 12,000 emails per month (yikes!), the forever free service is probably gonna do the trick.
Now when you click a link to add yourself onto our mailing list, you are transferred to a MailChimp https hosted sign up, which we have styled to loosely resemble our website theme. From here you can provide your email address, your real name and select your email preference; HTML, plain text or mobile configuration. When you subscribe, a verification email is sent to you to make sure that you control the email address that you supplied. You must click a link in that email to validate your subscription. If you do not validate, you are not added, thus no more spammers! At least they will have to be real people with real email addresses. People like this, we can deal with.
MailChimp is set up to abide by international spam laws, so each email you receive from us will tell you how you got on the list and how to get off of it as well. Unsubscribe is an automated process too. If you unsubscribe, you are actually moved to a special list, that insures that we don't bother you anymore. You can change your mind, but if we try to manually re-add you, we would get a warning and the addition would be aborted. We need do nothing to manage the email list, other than to adjust your category to differentiate between CTHS members vs. non-members who sign up for the email.
Certain information will be of a two stage delivery to favor our loyal membership, with a delayed release to non-members. Usually this will involve inside information. Obviously, we want everyone to know about our programs and presentations, so these emails will roll out to everyone at once. The behind the scenes features of MailChimp are astounding. We can track open rates and even link clicks in a given email campaign. If we really wanted to go nuts, we could enable google analytics as well.
Emails are sent to you. There won't be 50 other email addresses and names in your email. This is a private service. The information that you provide using the MailChimp sign up process, is not transferred to or displayed on our website in any way, shape or form. If you create content on the website or comment on something, this is a different entity altogether and whatever information you provided as a user name will be displayed as the author of that content. We will not share or sell our email list with or to anyone per MailChimp terms of service. MailChimp is going to be a great addition for the CTHS website, our members and other interested parties that will use it. Enjoy!