Using Group Email to replace Newsletter

Hi there,

I would like to use the Group Email function as a replacement for the common Newsletter. At this stage sending email from a group to the group members is just too plain and simple. So I would like to have group admins the ability to use the group email function and not having to use another method for their Newsletter (like mailchimp or Gmail). This way I can also encourage people to use Buddypress Groups for their interest/business/service.

Maybe there is a way to make the send email more appealing with HTML or WYSIWYG editor? Have it function more like a Newsletter that also allows you to invite non-members to join the group via emails?

Any advice on how to achieve this or maybe a feature update for the Group Email plugin?

Cheers,
Ronald

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Ronald,

    Thanks for your question here!

    Very good idea :slight_smile: I will add this as a feature request.

    In the meantime, you could try using a method like this: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/adding-rich-text-editing-to-your-plugin?replies=5#post-1191424

    To possibly implement a rich text editor yourself.

    Let us know if you have any further questions Ronald!

    Look forward to hearing back.

    All the best,
    Tyler

    • Tyler Postle

      Hey 247web,

      Thanks for adding your +1. I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but at the moment there aren't any new features in progress for this plugin due to much more popular requests for other products - just want to make sure you can make an informed decision instead of waiting around for features. We of course will continue to release maintenance updates as needed.

      It looks like this plugin here will provide HTML editing: https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress-group-email-subscription/

      So if you're needing that now then I'd suggest checking that one out in the meantime.

      Cheers,
      Tyler

      • jetmac

        Tyler Postle ,

        If WPMU has no plans to update this plugin in any meaningful way, and only intends to keep this plugin updated enough that it doesn't crash, then they should label it so.

        I recommend WPMU adopt a "Legacy Plugin" label for all of the plugins that are being "mothballed" - which is a majority of the 140+ that you currently offer. Just tell us, that way we won't continue to bother you with requests.

        If you only intend to innovate and forward develop the "super hero" plugins, then WPMU should be upfront (no pun intended) about it, declare it as policy, and let it be.

        But don't tease the paying members with +1 only to deny it. Group Email has been getting +1s all week on a random post, and members have been requesting similar features for years now. There are obviously users who want this plugin to be more functional, with a messaging system that rivals BuddyBoss Inbox and takes advantage of the new BP message protocols. If this is a dead issue, you should say so before we all start posting and +1ing.

        WPMU has a ton of concepts in their back catalog that would be amazing if brought up to modern standards. But if you have no intention of doing so, be plain and honest about it.

        Part of the frustration of long-time members like myself is that we expect you to do for us what we do for our customers. If you have no intention, then just say so. We'll focus on the few main/core WPMU plugins and stop bothering you about all of the "forgotten 140". We can look to other shops for solutions to these kinds of things, and WPMU can reduce it's support time to just bug fixing. We'll likely all be happier.

        But this coy little +1 game is getting old. If you have no intention of innovating these things, tell us up front with a legacy style label.

  • 247web

    jetmac - I could not have said it better - there are any number of pretty useless plugins on WPMU - most obviously out of date.

    If we all only had time to test every plugin - I think we might find that our annual subscriptions are not nearly so "valuable" as we think. I continually install WPMU plugins only to find they are outdated and seriously lacking if functionality - and then spend hours looking for others on the web (which are way, way more functional that WPMU). WPMU is so out of touch with the business industry as well - just look at their LaLa land themes - not an actual working business theme in sight.

    I have actually figured out that I am only using a small handful of their plugins - including the so-called "super hero" ones.

    When subscription time comes around again, this will be a no-brainer to leave WPMU - even though I have been with them for more than 5 years now and the support community is fabulous.

    • jetmac

      247web ,

      Yes, I finally just gave up and searched all yesterday for a decent replacement for BP Group Email and found a nice candidate in "Mass messaging", which offers a few more options than BPGE and integrates with the BP Mail protocols. It's not perfect, but it's not bad. And, you can add HTML (though no TinyMCE, so no images, attachments, etc). It's a free one. Still testing, but might be a viable replacement.

      I've been a member since 2009. While WPMU has great support here in the forums, they are often just applying band-aids. Many of the 140+ plugins on WPMU are all but abandoned. A vast majority are still stable, but they have decreasing functionality. BPGE is a great example. At the time of it's release, it was innovative. But now, it's just dated with a legacy infrastructure that doesn't maintain modern standards.

      Same with Support (no reply by email), BP Activity+ (no backbone, no media albums, poor previews, antiquated interface), Status (which could be awesome, but is now horribly dated and barely functional), Communities (now like a vacant dying shopping mall), Reports, Easy Blogging, Newsletter, Admin Ads, and on and on.

      They aren't current and don't meet a modern need. WPMU should label them so and put the code up on GitHub as a public repo. Perhaps then the larger WP community will take it up and build on them. Or, perhaps some of the in-house WPMU developers will champion them and turn them into their own niche side business.

      When I first joined WPMU, it was $79/mo. But, it was worth it, because everything was bold and fresh and new and working. Now... I'm glad they've reduced the subscription price. The only things that work well are Pro-Sites, MarketPress, and the "super-hero" plugins. I'll stay for those, they work well and definitely satisfy a need. But the rest... I don't know. I keep pushing because I hope for improvement, but I have very little faith. Every once in a while I am happily surprised (Hustle is nice), but, I just see that as finally modernizing Pop-Up Pro and Slide-In, not as being innovative.

      Once a year I post up my recommendations for updates to each of the plugins I use or wish I could use, that the larger WP community isn't satisfactorily taking on. But, each year someone says "If we get enough +1s" failing to realize WPMU users no longer have faith in that. This plugin is a prime example.

      WPMU needs to own up and stick a fork in these things...

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey jetmac and 247web,

    We do understand that it sucks we can't give all 140+ products the same level of attention and as for bringing out a more public "Legacy" label, that is likely - and something that I've voted for myself. It does take time to decide which ones we'll continue to focus on though. As you noted, PopUp and Slide-in made the cut in the form of Hustle.

    They aren't current and don't meet a modern need. WPMU should label them so and put the code up on GitHub as a public repo.

    We have already started doing this: https://premium.wpmudev.org/retiring-our-legacy-plugins/

    We'll be adding more to that list as the year continues.

    We've recently "modernized" SmartCrawl as well which was released yesterday and it now includes an SEO Audit service linked to our Hub :slight_smile:

    We really do appreciate everyone that has stuck with us during our transition period. It's starting to all come together, I wish we could have sorted out all the legacy plugin stuff by now, but there are still decisions to be made there which is why adding +1's can still have somewhat of an impact.

    Support doesn't solely make the decisions so of course we need to be careful what we say publicly here, but we do pass the feedback that we get onto those who do make the decisions.

    Hope you both have a great weekend!

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • 247web

    Hi Tyler Postle & jetmac
    Thanks for the response. I understand it takes time to "modernize" but can only wonder who is responsible for the approval / selection / analysis of new features in the plugins that do get upgrades? Whoever it is - they seem pretty much out of touch with the competition.

    Unfortunately when you have a client demanding functionality the "its been added to the features list and it depends on how many 1+ it gets ..." - that excuse is very lame. A client doesn't care - they know the availability of other plugins out there and will only pay (me) for providing working solutions & functionality. Welcome to the real world.

    So it hurts my bottom line when I have to purchase a different plugin because the Wpmu ones just dont hack it in the working world.

    BTW - cant find the SEO audit with smartcrawl that you mentioned - nothing on the site?

  • Tyler Postle

    247web, what new features that have recently been added to plugins did you not agree with?

    For the most part, new features being added are almost always based or at least partially based on member requests.

    BTW - cant find the SEO audit with smartcrawl that you mentioned - nothing on the site?

    You should be able to see it on both the Hub and inside the plugin, here are some screenshots:

    HUB

    Plugin

    Keep in mind, this is still a soft launch of the service. There will likely be changes made to it before we officially announce it :slight_smile:

    If you have any feedback on it you can add it here in a new ticket and we'll make sure it gets passed along: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/forum/feature-suggestions#question-modal

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