TM Email Menu – Forwarders, Email Lists, and Automated Responses

The TM Email section of the administrator’s dashboard provides access to a variety of email forwarding and handling functions, including the ability to forward messages by officer role or distribute a message from any member to all other members. This screen show you whether those features are active on your website and provides links to the configuration screens for specific features.

TM Email screen

See also:

Email Forwarders

You can set up custom email forwarding addresses associated with your website. This is in addition to the club member and officer email lists, and the forwarder / autoresponder functions suggested for use with notifications from toastmasters.org.

For example, you might register myclub-mentors@toastmost.org to forward to several people on a mentorship committee. Enter one or more recipient addresses on this screen for each forwarder you define. You can also specify a list of email addresses to be used for any forwarding address that isn’t an exact match, perhaps because the sender made a typo in the email address.

In addition to forwarding to specific email addresses you enter into the form, the system can forward based on officer role. That way, when a new group of officers is sworn in, messages to the forwarding address for the president will go to the new president, not the old one. This depends on a website administrator updating the officers list on the Toastmasters screen under settings.

Forwarder configuration screen

Member and Officer Email Lists

Email distribution lists — write to one address, and your message is delivered to everyone on the list — are available for club members and officers.

For new users, the choice of whether to enable them is part of the club website setup wizard.

Once enabled, the distribution lets any club member to send a message to the rest of the club.

For example, this is a test I did for a fictional Webinarmasters club, relayed through webinarmasters@toastmost.org.

Sample email list message

Club officers are advised to limit use of the member email list to club business or social invitations. Members who abuse the list can have their access blocked. Messages from unrecognized addresses will also be blocked to prevent it from becoming a vehicle for spam.

A separate list allows officers to email all the other officers, using the officer list from the Toastmasters settings screen on the WordPress dashboard. In both cases, it’s possible to specify additional list recipients (for example, including an area director or past president on the officers email list).

Email list setup

Options on the Group Email Settings Page

For each email list, you must supply the list email address (which also functions as the user name) and a password.

The other fields associated with each list are:

  • Whitelist – additional email addresses allowed to send to the list. Example: a member who is a district officer and sometimes sends messages from district email address rather than the personal address on their member profile.
  • Blacklist – If a member abuses their access to the email list, you can block them from sending.messages.
  • Additional recipients – A manually entered list of recipients. For example, former members who still want to receive news from the club, or advisors to the officer team who you want included on the officers email list even though they are not officially officers.

In each case, the email addresses can be entered separated by commas or spaces or one per line.

Bounced Messages

If a sender’s email is not associated with an authorized sender account, it will bounce with a message like this:

If you want to allow sending to from this email address, you can add them to the whitelist.

A member who has a user account but whose sending to the list has been blocked by an administrator will receive this message.

Tradeoffs

You may occasionally see IMAGE OMITTED where an image was supposed to appear in the body of a message. In most cases, embedded images will be preserved.

Attachments such as PDFs will be listed as links at the end of the message. Recipients have the option of downloading them. For security reasons, unrecognized file types will not be forwarded.

Notification Tools for “Find a Club,” Basecamp, and Other Toastmasters.org Notifications

Several WordPress for Toastmasters email functions are specifically meant to assist with handling notification emails from Toastmasters.org. Although most notifications are sent to a single club email address, you can have Basecamp notifications forwarded to the VP Education and send an automatic response to those “New prospective member for your club” emails sent when someone fills out a form on the “Find a Club” page.

You can also set a list of email addresses all other notifications should be forwarded to.

Setup is through this screen under the TM Email menu.

General notifications and Find-a-Club autoresponse setup

The simplest way to set this up is to have the general email address you configure through this screen (for example, demo-info@toastmost.org) registered as your official club email address in Club Central on toastmasters.org.

Alternatively, you can configure forwarding from another email account your club uses (GMail instructions here).

Creating an Automatic Response Message

Choose “New” from the dropdown menu under “Automatic response content” and click Save Changes. This will create a simple message directing people to visit your club’s website to learn more.

You can then edit the message to add more details about your club, such as membership requirements and contact information for the VP of Membership.

Online Presenters example

The example above is from a test inquiry I sent to myself for one of my clubs, Online Presenters. A copy of the response sent to the prospective member is shared with the website administrator, with a subject line that starts “autoreply sent to” and the email address of the prospective member. If everything is working properly, you will see that message within few minutes of receiving the prospective member message from toastmasters.org.

General Forwarding

Enter a list of email addresses of people who should receive copies of notification emails sent to this general inbox.

BaseCamp Notification Forwarding

Optionally, you can have a different forwarding list for messages from BaseCamp@toastmasters.org, such as “Action needed: Member submitted a completion request.” Typically, the BaseCamp list would consist of the officers authorized to approve level completion requests.

If you have this set up, BaseCamp messages will ONLY be distributed to the people on this list (not to the general forwarding list).

If no BaseCamp list is specified, BaseCamp messages will be forwarded to the general list.

How to Email the Agenda, Invite Members to Fill Roles

Club and meeting leaders can use the email version of the meeting agenda to fill open roles, sending it out with a link that invites members to sign up online with a couple of clicks.

You do that by selecting the Email option under the Agenda menu, like this:

How to Email the Agenda.

This tool allows you to add  custom message that will be included at the top of the email.

You can also change the default subject line of the email, for example to emphasize one particular opportunity to volunteer. For example, if I just got word that a speaker who had signed up previously has just backed out of speaking at tomorrow’s meeting, I would want to let them know. So the default “Agenda for Monday May 14” becomes “Speaker opening + 2 other open roles for Monday May 14.”

This is meant to be an easy way to send the current agenda, plus your volunteer needs, out to the whole member list via email.