Hi all. I'm a marketing adviser who has been asked by a client to suss out forum software for his new website. I really like what I've seen re: xenForo so far but had a couple of questions about integrating the forum with his existing email marketing system as well as his e-commerce system. Will we have to get everyone who's on his email list to sign up separately to the forum as well, or can we integrate it so that if someone joins his email list they're automatically a member of the forum as well, and vice versa? It would also be great if we could track user activity across his e-commerce platform as well as the forum, so we can see who's buying what in the store and how that compares with who's doing what on the forum.
XenForo requires unique email addresses. Users can actually login using their email address for the username if they want. That should couple nicely with your mailing list. If the users register on the forum using the same email then you automatically have that association between their forum account and mailing list account. That would facilitate the integration nicely.
The interaction between the two databases would have to be programmed, such as updating forum and email accounts at the same time. And you would need a custom importer to copy the accounts to the forum initially. This is all very doable but it requires a programmer.