Your Parent Group Should Have an Email Address. Here’s Why.

email_icon1Over the last three years we have worked with thousands of Parent Teacher Groups across the country. Part of our sign up process for a Free Website asks for the email address for the Parent Group. We were shocked at first about how many parent teacher groups did not have a group email address. Many parents used their personal email addresses for communication and others even used their work email addresses for communication. Using a personal or work email address may work in the exact moment they are signing up, but in the long term this is not a very good strategy.

There are a ton of benefits to creating an email address specifically for your parent group. Here are the top 5 reasons your PTA or PTO should have its’ own email address.

First of all, email is free. We always suggest Gmail to our groups that need an email address. Gmail is extremely reliable, multiple users can be logged in at the same time to the same account and you don’t need any special software or settings to get it up and running quickly. If you need to sign up for a gmail account you can do so in about 45 seconds. Gmail also integrates beautifully (and quickly) with all the major smart phone brands so you can check email on the go.

Secondly, if you have a specific email address for your parent group, transitions with the board and communications chairpeople are super simple. Pass on the log in credentials and you’re set. It’s that easy. No need to start forwarding PTA or PTO emails to the new people in charge, no need to re-create the wheel every few years when your parent board shifts positions and members.

Third, email has become a very important communication tool on a long term basis and having a consistent email address keeps communication flowing to the right people at the right time. For example, Digital PTO sends out an annual invoice to our paid members. When a group uses a personal email address and that individual is no longer a member of the parent board, the board is at the mercy of that parent to take the time to forward their annual invoice to the correct people in charge. If the individual has since cancelled their account, changed jobs, or left the PTA / PTO with a chip on their shoulder (it sadly happens), the Parent Group may never even see their invoice and after 30 days their site is reverted back to a free plan and no one knows why. If the group has its’ own account, important emails are never missed.

Fourth, it makes it much easier for parents to contact your group when they know the email address. Understandably, some board members may not want to make their email address public (including myself!) so a group email address solves that problem. Make it something that is easy to remember like ParentGroupName@gmail.com. With a group specific email address you can pass out your email left and right and feel confident knowing that your personal information is still private and safe. Plus, Gmail specifically has incredible spam filters, so you can make your email address public without worry of getting bombarded by spam messages.

Fifth, all of the major email newsletter providers (Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc) require a “from” email address. If you want to use one of the major email marketing tools (which we would recommend!) you’ll need to specify a reply / from address. It’s always best to use your Parent Groups email address in this situation. Again, for so many reasons..

I could go on and on about the reasons that a specific email address for your Parent Teacher Group is important, but those 5 reasons sum it up pretty well.

I would like to mention another things as well. Many groups want to have email that comes from their domain address. For example, president@yourptagroup.com – while this may look pretty, it’s actually not the best option. Reason being that as time goes on, it is VERY possible that you may need to switch domain registrars or even hosting providers and moving all of the custom email addresses can be very time consuming and difficult. Additionally, if you are using forms on your website (like the Digital PTO forms for example), many domain registrars (who host the custom email addresses) won’t send email from a website to the same email domain. In other words, many hosting providers (godaddy, network solutions, etc) will not send a form submission from the XYZpta.com website to information@XYZpta.com. Again, it’s way easier and more effective to use a third party email, like gmail.

In conclusion, if you do not have an email address for your PTA or PTO group, click HERE and get started now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

As always, if you have any comments, questions or thoughts, please let us know, we love to hear from you!

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