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How to share a message

Please click here for a step by step guide on how to forward/share an alert

Why have a separate Share system?

An Alert email is more than a simple email. In order to make it as simple as possible for the recipient to interact with the system, the Alert email includes an encrypted code which helps us to identify who they are; this gives the recipient instant facilities such as being able to access their account, reply, rate, forward, tweet or other things.

As an example, a recipient can hit the reply button and, without having to describe who they are, where they live or anything else, they can provide that important reply within seconds.  This process also enables them to access some basic general information about their account so they can configure what types of message they receive, update who they share information with and, if required, unsubscribe. 

This area is deliberately easy to get to and we make a judgement regarding what information is displayed here, balancing the risk against the advantages of the end user being able to easily control their own account.  Any changes made to this data are not actioned until they are confirmed by the account holder by clicking a link within an automated verification email.

 

Why should I not Forward emails in the conventional manner?

Many problems occur with forwarding messages in the conventional manner.
If a message recipient forwards an email from you to their own list of recipients using the conventional "Forward" button, this causes several issues (not just with Alert emails):
1) If any of those "second level" recipients then reply to the email, they will actually be replying to the first recipient (not you as the message sender).  If the first recipient does not check their emails regularly or is unavailable for a period of time then the reply may be held up, in some cases for weeks.  
2) The replying person has not necessarily given their permission to the first recipient to share their information with you and misunderstandings regarding the DPA can cause hours of wasted time and frustrating situations.
2) There is no way to accurately report on how far your message has been distributed or interacted with
3) If it is an Alert email, the encrypted key held in the original recipients message would share some information about the original recipient with anyone the message is forwarded to.
4) When people who are forwarded messages decide they don't want them any more, they invariably struggle to get off the forwarding list.  These forwarding lists are not safe or DPA compliant and the "second" or "third" level recipients complain to the Information Commissioner about the person they think is sending the message to them: YOU!
5) Forwarded emails often lose their layout and image code and look horrible when re-forwarded; this has an impact on your brand and quality.

Because of these and other reasons, we actively discourage recipients from forwarding messages IN THE CONVENTIONAL MANNER and have specifically developed a much safer way of forwarding messages.  Messages forwarded incorrectly will have the annoying dark grey background in the hope that when these recipients raise this as an issue, Alert administrators can explain the above reasons and direct them to the safe, secure forwarding process.

How to forward messages safely:

All Alert emails have standard buttons and links at the bottom of the message; one of these buttons is called "Share this message"  (note, on the new templates this button will be called "Forward").

Advantages:
1) If a "second level" recipient replies to a message, the reply comes directly to you in the usual manner.  The first recipient can be kept in the loop with replies if all parties agree and the potentially important reply is not delayed for unforeseen reasons
2) The replying person is informed when replying that they are sharing their details with you in a DPA compliant manner and you can see clearly who the reply has come from without confusing it with the person who forwarded the message.
2) All Alert messages that are "forwarded" using this method are counted and included in your message history report
3) The original recipient can forward your message securely, they can add their own header message and their encrypted id key is not shared with the forwarded message.
4) "Second recipients" can unsubscribe themselves instantly from the first recipients list, which avoids frustration and hours of investigation by you ("But i didn't send you that email, i cannot even find you on my system???")
5) The email maintains its layout and appearance and does not have a dark grey background.


Over 2,000 people have been added to the forwarding lists so far and when they are prompted this number increases dramatically.

Action,
Please encourage all of your registered members to use the "Share" system if they have people or groups that they regularly forward messages to.

Can recipients of my forwarded messages see each others email addresses?

When you forward the message using the Share system, each email is sent separately by the system. This way the messages are less likely to be stopped by email systems thinking they are SPAM. This also means that NO recipient email addresses are shared with any of the email recipients.

In other words, you do not need to BCC the individual users email addresses, the system does this for you automatically. Security and privacy are our primary concerns.

 

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