Is there a better alternative to Google Groups?

Yes, there is! And it’s far more than a glorified email list.

 

Let’s face it: lots of companies end up using Google Groups because… it’s the easy choice.

If you’re already using multiple tools like Gmail, Google Meet, and Google Calendar, then yes, it makes sense to keep all your business tools under the one tech umbrella.

But what if the platform you’re using doesn’t help you achieve what it’s meant to — namely, helping people build engaged, thriving online communities?

Because despite a refreshed user interface and some new (unspecified) features planned for Google Groups in 2021, there’s still a lot of doubt as to if the platform will empower its users better than it used to.

A laptop and mobile phone showing the Mobilize user interface

What's up with Google Groups?

Aside from being shelved once already due to declining use, using Google Groups to help drive community engagement has been… difficult.

Here’s some things users have been struggling with:

It can take a long time to get the hang of using it.                 
Google Groups claimed to be intuitive, users didn’t feel this was in line with their actual experiences. With multiple criss-crossing email threads and chains. Confusing search features. And no way of knowing who was responding to a message or thread in real-time all contributed to users feeling confused or lost among all the “noise.”

You might still need to use 3rd party tools to foster good communication between members.                                          
Despite the supposed new integration with Gmail, previous users of Google Groups found themselves frustrated by the lack of communication tools inside the platform.

Or it was email threads or… it wasn’t. There were no private chat options, you couldn’t send SMS text messages, no CRM integration, polls, and no event management capabilities. As the refreshed Google Groups is still in hush-hush beta testing mode, it’s impossible to know what new integrations they’ve included, until they actually roll it out in full.

You had to be logged in to use it.                                                  
Yes, one of the trickier aspects of Google Groups was that you had to be logged in to your Google Drive, Google Workspace, or Gmail account to access it. 

You couldn’t just open a browser window and pick up where you left off with your last conversation, you had to log in every time you wanted to use it. And for modern audiences that demand zero-friction online experiences, this was sometimes frustrating.

But the biggest issue with Google Groups was…

You don’t own any of your data.                                                
Meaning that all conversations, email threads, and more, internal and external, were ipso-facto owned by Google.

Trust and safety are crucial elements of inclusive, engaged online communities. Members need to feel safe in order to participate and share their deepest thoughts and struggles. And the thought of someone else, unrelated to your company, listening in over their shoulder on their discussions doesn’t help members feel at home.

Is there a better alternative to Google Groups?

Meet Mobilize

A private, community management platform that helps you build strong, happy, and engaged communities.

Say goodbye to endless email threads, and poor searching and data aggregation capabilities, Mobilize combines all (and we mean, all) the most crucial tools and features to help you foster strong online communities.

And best of all, it’s super easy to use. Both for you, and for your community members—check out the proof in our reviews.

Here’s a quick breakdown of its core features and how it can empower your organization — and your online community groups — to achieve more.

It’s easy to use.                                                             
Rather than being a separate tool acquired by a tech giant, Mobilize was built from the ground up with a human-first, community-first approach.

Meaning that the user interface is light, easily legible, and super easy to navigate. In fact, it looks and feels like a fresh, fun social media platform (minus the noise and the ads!)

Create a powerful member directory
Mobilize gives group leaders the power to learn more about their community by allowing group leaders to customize the data they collect. Allow members to create subgroups within your community. Less friction during new member onboarding results in higher product adoption. Which means: more active, and more highly engaged members, just like you want.

It really is all-in-one.                                               
Mobilize helps you manage your community (or even multiple micro communities) all inside the one platform. Inside Mobilize you can:

  • Send email blasts to entire groups, or to specific, targeted groups using smart filters
  • Send SMS campaigns
  • Conduct polls and collect and aggregate data
  • Manage event invitations and notifications
  • Create shared forums and groups for specific topics
  • Send private chat messages for genuine 1:1 conversations

The data from these interactions can be shared across your third-party tools—like your CRM, B.I. Platforms and other systems of engagement—to help improve how you engage your audience across your entire ecosystem.

Members and non-members can access Mobilize from anywhere.              Both members and non-members can engage with a Mobilize community. For example, if your discussions included non-members, they can simply reply in email discussions without having to join or log in as a member. A great feature to help encourage new members to join your community.

Also, unlike Google Groups,  Mobilize is in a cloud-based web app, there’s no need to log in or log out when switching from desktop to tablet to smartphone.

With a couple of taps, you (and your members) can switch devices and continue on with the same conversations and discussions as if nothing ever happened. The easier it is for your members to engage, the more they’ll engage. Plain and simple.

You get robust analytics, customizable member databases, and extensible capabilities.                                                              
But Mobilize isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Because under the hood, you get robust analytics, a highly detailed and organized member database, and extensible capabilities to help you gather rich quantitative — as well as qualitative — member data.

Enrich your member profiles with personalized attributes, like goals and specific needs, and use that data to personalize their experience and achieve what they want. Share that data downstream in other systems of engagement—to make your whole ecosystem (and your organization) smarter.

For analytics, you get everything from engagement rates and content performance, to 1:1 conversations and many more key performance indicators— you can easily keep track of how your communities are aligned with your business goals, no matter how many sub-groups you have.

Your communities (and your data) stay private.                                                With Mobilize your data belongs to you, and no one else. Only your company has access to your members’ rich data. Which means for your members, there’s never any feeling like someone they don’t know is watching their every move, or tracing every conversation. Making it easier to comply with your own data privacy policies and build trust with your audience.

Your members are a part of your community because they like and trust you. They are coming together around a shared goal and purpose.

And by giving them a private space to communicate in freely — that feels as friendly and safe as online social networking should be — they’ll be less distracted, and can actually focus on engaging genuinely. With big trust issues in social media and other free tools, this is a big value driver for individuals who share their personal information with you.

The Mobilize interface on a mobile phone, the member directory, the post type, the resources that users share, and the Mobilize community management interface
desktop, tablet, and mobile devices showing the mobilize responsive interface
mobile phones with Mobilize polls and other post types displayed
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Replace Google Groups with Intuitive Community Management

When your members are happy, your community thrives. Escape the uncertainty of Google Groups  with an exclusive, well-designed place your members can call home.

 

See how Mobilize can help you with member retention, growth, and engagement.

  • Streamline your communications in a central hub
  • Send form info to your database instantly
  • Create subgroups to target precise audiences
  • Engage in private discussions
  • No app download or login required – no friction
  • Track analytics for every communication