It seems useful to restate the policies I’ve developed and apply to using the MSSA email list. Here’s a rundown.
Frequency. I try to not send anything to the MSSA e-list more frequently than about once or twice per week, as may be warranted. I don’t like being worn out by entities which send "Urgent" emails daily or even several times a day. I assume you don’t like that either. The frequency of MSSA emails WILL increase when the Montana Legislature is in session when critical stuff happens frequently.
Pitch for money. Some entities close every email with a desperate, fear-mongering pitch for money. I don’t like getting those and I won’t send them. Of course MSSA needs money. Yes, you should be an MSSA member. If you’re not, go to the MSSA Website and download a membership application and send it in.
MSSA-centric. I will usually only send you stuff relevant to the RKBA and Montana. If you want to be kept informed about what the NRA, GOA, SAF or political parties are doing, get on their email lists.
Bounces. I have low tolerances for an email inbox cluttered with email bounce notices. If I get a bounce notice that your email address is undeliverable, I immediately weed that email address from the MSSA e-list. If you change your email address and wish to be kept on the MSSA e-list at your new email address, send me an email with BOTH your old and new email address and I will update the list to keep you on MSSA’s e-list at your new email address.
Attached files. I fiercely resist using attached files to include additional material. Attached files can be a malware problem. If I need to convey additional material that won’t fit in the body of an email, I’ll send you a link to where the material is posted Online (often something I’ve posted at ProGunLeaders.org, a domain I use to post stuff that I can do with my minimal Website programming skills). If I should need to send an attached file, I’ll announce that in the body of the email, what the file is, and what type of file it is.
Sharing list with others. NO! No "business partners," no "associates," none. MSSA does NOT share its list or your email address with ANYONE! We respect your privacy. That’s made it more difficult for MSSA to do bulk email because I will not lodge the MSSA e-list with some third-party bulk emailer in the "cloud." Who knows what spammer that offsite list might get sold to by the emailer or a rogue employee. The MSSA email list is physically and electronically secured on my computer, and only there.
Other content. Only rarely I will send you an email with content generated by someone else, such as another MSSA officer. Otherwise, the material will come from me and I will sign it.
Tracking links. NO! You’ve seen the links some emails ask you to click on that include a very long string of apparently random alphanumeric characters. Often these tracking strings are not apparent, but will show at the bottom of your email screen when you mouse over the link. Those are "tracking links," intended to track your Online activity and map out your personal network of acquaintances (everyone you send the link to who clicks on it). Those originating and justifying tracking links say they’re just trying to deliver more relevant and personalized content to you. Bull! They’re building a dossier on you. Regardless of actual purpose, I won’t send you tracking links, OR forward material to you that contains obvious tracking links. (End of rant about privacy-invading tracking links).
Graphic content. That’s pictures. I want you to be able to look at the text/words I send, and move on to something else as needed, but not wait for large graphic files to download if you may have a slow Internet connection (hey, it IS Montana), or limited or expensive bandwidth. My general rule is to NOT include any graphics in the emails I send, just text and non-tracking links to other material as needed.
Action needed. One of the reasons I work to keep MSSA emails lean and clean in terms of outgoing content is because I fervently hope that you will perform when I sometimes request some specific action from you, especially when the Montana Legislature is in session.
No copyright. Everything I send to the MSSA e-list I consider to be in the public domain. You are welcome, even encouraged, to share that content with others, usually by forwarding my email to others in your network of friends and associates.
Getting on the MSSA e-list. I make everyone ask, both to be certain nobody on the MSSA e-list ever accuses me of spamming them, and to make sure I’m getting a valid email address. So, if you know anyone who wants to be on the MSSA e-list, just have them send me an email asking to be on the list. It’s that simple. But the email must come from the requester. I won’t add anyone to the e-list because someone else sends me their email address and asks me to include that third person.
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana