Every month many people join our highly popular E Letter List, but there are oft-recurring problems and we ourselves cannot solve them from our end. Here they are:
Typically, after being on our E Letter List for a few months we suddenly cannot get through to some e mail addresses; The E Letter gets returned to us, often marked as 'undeliverable.' Then after about another 2-3 months, people often get back to us saying, "Why was I dropped from your E Letter List??" Of course, we drop nobody from our list and only an amazingly small number (literally no more than about 5 in 5 years), request to come off it. So what happened?
There are three or four most likely possibilities for this:
1. You changed your e mail address and forgot to inform us.
2. Your e mail box got full because you never empty it! (it is advisable to have a separate e mail address for your close friends and for your most important e mail contacts and only give this address to a very few; it is advisable to put us in this group - but then don't forget to check it! If it helps, our Monthly E Letter will always come through between 10th-15th of the month).
3. You put a strict 'spam guard' on your E box and forgot to configure it to allow us through (because our E Letters contain several active links they can look like spam or 'phishing' attempts). If it helps, as of late 2009/early 2010 (with no immediate plans to change) our E Letter will come through on this address: firstname.lastname@example.org (take the four crosses, two on either side, off that to get the correct address).
4. You have 'Windows Mail' problems; yes, we too get problems with this system. We now use Gmail as well (which we find excellent), and I can see us dropping Windows Mail completely before too long.
Okay, so what happens with 'Windows Mail'? Sometimes it will block our E Letters because they contain several active links (such e mails are sometimes regarded as 'phishing' or spam attempts). The URL in the letter will be correct but some extra letters/numbers will be automatically added to it to prevent your browser from opening it. However annoying, this is a security device. The day could be fast approaching where our E Letters contain no active links because of these problems and the recipient would have to 'copy and paste' the URL into their own browser manually. If 'Windows Mail' (or any other e mail system) has blocked us, go into your e mail system, attempt to click on 'Tools,' then 'Junk E-mail Options,' then 'Safe Senders.' If the sender's address is not on the list (our address in this case), add it, then click 'Apply.' Then click on 'Blocked Senders.' If our address is on the list, or even just the part after the @, click on it , then 'Remove,' then any approvals needed, then 'Apply.' Finally click on 'OK' (or similar word which your system uses). However, this DOESN'T always work if the sender puts your address on the 'Bcc' line ('blind carbon copy' line), and, yes, we do that for extra privacy.
If you want us to put your e mail address on an E Letter with no active links at all (you would have to manually put these into your browser), please inform us. If enough of you request this, we will introduce a second E Letter, one which has no active links, just the URL of the page. However, if your 'Windows Mail' (or any other system which you use) has mistakenly blocked us, it may well go on blocking us. You may need to check your 'junk e mail' box, as I occasionally need to for e mails from Christians whose e mail address got blocked because they once carried a few active links!
We are sorry about all of this but the problems lie in an area which we cannot control; it is because e mail security devices are reacting to all the crooks and frauds who use this medium. The security reactions make it tougher for all of us.
From 2011, we send out an E Letter which merely provides a link to a web page which contains all the links you will need. In other words, the actual E Letter does not contain numerous links - this has prevented various e mail systems attempting to block it.
Having stated all of the above, it remains the case that several hundred have received our monthly E Letter for several years without a single problem.
Robin A. Brace, December, 2009, updated March, 2011.