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Why Message Opt-Out Is Required

While email and text messages are often a great way to communicate, message recipients are understandably particular about the kinds of messages that are sent to them. As the sender of email and text messages, you must observe certain message etiquette. This is especially important when it comes to sending automatic and mass email or text messages, as you can through Volgistics.

While one would hope that people who make it into your volunteer database will always be receptive to all communication you choose to send them, this may not always be the case. For one reason or another, volunteers, potential volunteers, and others you communicate with through Volgistics might not want to continue receiving messages from you, or they may want to receive only certain kinds of messages.

Providing message recipients with an easy way to view or change their message preferences with your organization (often called an "opt out" capability) is an important part of being a responsible message sender. The failure to provide such features can quickly cause you trouble. For example, in an effort to reduce spam, a growing number of email providers (such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL) have filters that block email sent by certain "blacklisted" senders. Cell phone service providers (such as Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T) have similar methods in place to prevent spammed text messages.

If your organization is blacklisted (even inappropriately or unfairly), your messages may no longer reach many of your volunteers or Coordinators, no matter what the content of your messages is.

These blacklists are compiled and widely shared by email providers, cell phone companies, and independent "watchdog" groups for the benefit of all consumers. Any message recipient can report any message they choose to these groups as suspected spam (this is as easy as a mouse click in some email programs). When this happens, the watchdog group usually evaluates the message before the original sender is added to the blacklist. A message is less likely to be labeled spam (and the sender less likely to be blacklisted) if it includes a legitimate link to an opt-out feature recipients can use to remove themselves from future mailings.

Volgistics provides this kind of opt-out/opt-in feature automatically as shown in the Message Preference Overview help topic. When you send automatic or mass email to volunteers or Coordinators, Volgistics automatically includes a link to the volunteer's or Coordinator's message preference settings.