Create Smart Mailing Lists With ccLoop

Even though email is as old as the Internet itself, people still haven’t come to terms with it. People complained about over flowing inboxes last decade, they are complaining in this decade and in all probability they will be complaining about it in the next decade too. And still, there hasn’t been a viable alternative that could replace email.

The unbelievable simplicity of sending and receiving an email is what makes the technology stand the test of time. Startups often try to make email fun and less cumbersome. One such wonderful app is ccLoop and after the break, let us get to know how it can help you put email to better use.

Overview

ccLoop helps you create loops (mailing lists) to communicate with your contacts. A loop is a smart mailing list that is easy to create, search, and share. Thanks to loops, you can not only communicate but also can collaborate with people from both inside and outside your company.

Overview

Overview

The beauty of ccLoop is that it works out of the box, without the need for a separate client or email address. And since it’s email, the web apps works from any Internet connected device.

ccLoop is in private beta and you will have to submit your email address to get hold of an invite. I got mine after a couple of weeks after submitting the request in their homepage. Once you get the invite, the sign up process is plain and simple.

Getting Started

Grand Tour

Grand Tour

If you aren’t planning to check out their grand tour, skip the overlay and head straight to the dashboard. Getting started is easy and the first step is creating a loop. Use the Add New Loop link at the top to kickstart the process.

Types of Loop

Types of Loop

You will see three types of loops you can create – Team, Organization and Anyone. In the case of a team loop, only people you invite can join to communicate. With the Organization setting, anyone with the company provided email address (for example @appstorm.net) can join in and this option is selected by default. The third one is the most interesting and it allows anyone with a valid email address to join the loop. This loop is available publicly and hence exercise caution before opting for it.

Messaging Permissions

Messaging Permissions

In the second step, choose who can send messages back and forth in the loop. You can allow all members to message freely or just be the bossman yourselves restricting others to read only status.

Loop Settings

Loop Settings

The third and final step is where you name the loop and invite people to join in. A welcome message is already waiting for you, but you can add a few words of wisdom if you want to.

Managing a Loop

Each loop has its own dashboard enabling you to manage all the mailing lists without any confusion. Besides the invite mail, you will also be given an URL to mail out to people at a later point or post in your blog.

Web Interface

Web Interface

The developers have painstakingly designed an interface that doesn’t look like a typical email inbox. All new messages show up in neatly arranged squares and click on each one of them to read the conversation. As soon as communication is sent out or received, you can find it here in the web interface.

Recent events like people joining or leaving the loop etc., can be tracked from the bottom left corner of the page. ccLoop doesn’t just handle plaintext emails. If you plan to share documents (like PDF, Word files etc.), attach them to the message and mail it to the loop. All documents attached can be accessed from the Documents section of the web interface at anytime. Media files and links in the message have their dedicated sections as well.

It’s not necessary for either the administrator and the members of a loop to have access to the web interface. Should you choose, interested parties can access and reply to all messages from the email inboxes. Or select the daily digest for a summary email of all loop messages. There is just more than one way to stay on top of things over here.

Searching Loops

Search Results

Search Results

Emails and search are inseparable. ccLoop comes with a competent search algorithm that combs all the latest version of messages to display the results. Each result is clearly tagged with the loop it’s from and who sent it originally.

And to those who are extremely concerned about the security of their communication, during the entire duration of the review, I noted that all the pages were SSL encrypted. It’s good that they encrypt the pages right from login to search results.

Final Thoughts

I have a strong belief that startups that focus on tackling email overload and the underlying bottlenecks of it stand a great of chance of success. Mailing lists aren’t new and there are a bunch of web apps that offer similar services. ccLoop acts as an effective collaboration and a hybrid communication channel for members in a loop.

Imagine how easy it would be share a PowerPoint presentation and brainstorm over it without flooding the inboxes! That’s where the strength of the app lies. The only sticking point at the moment is how much will ccLoop charge it users when it eventually opens to the public.

Share Your Thoughts!

How important are mailing lists to your business? Will you be ditching your current mailing list app for ccLoop when it launches or is just too simple?


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