Why we don’t recommend forwarding emails for Swim and Tennis Clubs

5 reasons we don’t recommend forwarding emails for Swim and Tennis Clubs

#1. The spammers already found that address!

If that address has EVER been posted on your website, consider it “burned”. Like a deep cover spy, you’ve got to bring that email home and retire it. The Spam-Bots have sniffed it out and that’s why you’re just getting spam forwarded to your personal address.

#2. Phishing attempts and other scams

We’ve been to hundreds of Swim and Tennis club websites and we see the same addresses over and over again. They all begin the same… membership@, treasurer@, president@.   So even if you hide those now, they can easily be guessed out. Here’s a real example of a phishing scam that circulated in 2018…

Someone in your club (other than the treasurer) is sent an urgent sounding email that is concise, but sounds pressing… “Hey, can you email this vendor of ours who never got paid the $150 we owe them from last season. This  is over due”.  So suppose your Swim Team director gets this and just forwards it to your Treasurer because it’s obviously not their problem.

Except now your volunteer Treasurer, who has a real job and  real life, reads this forwarded email as something the Swim Team director is saying needs paying.

That’s all it took to scam two local clubs in Georgia. And this scam works even better if your club lists the names of your Board Members in certain positions. “Hey Julie, this vendor needs paying…”


How can we prevent this?  

We want to limit the amount of contact a phishing scammer has to your people. Right now they might have every address your club uses… membership@, facilities@, swimteam@, and so on. And all it takes is one of them falling for this scam. Phasing out all those useless forwarding emails is a start.

Any “cold” email to your club is going to go through our Public Contact form, where we add a reminder to the recipient about phishing scams and note it originated from the Public Contact form (i.e. Do not forward a payment request to your Treasurer unless you personally have verified it.)

Signed-in members are redirected to an alternate contact form, where they have more options to directly contact roles like your Treasurer.

Furthermore only members can see the names of who exactly is in Board Roles (if your club even chooses to reveal that).

 

#3. PoolDues makes hot-swapping in and out Board Members easier without a forwarding email in place.

Your club President (or anyone in the President role in the PoolDues backend) can assign roles to the Board Members in your club.  An account will be setup using that person’s real email address (so it’s an address they actually check often), then your President will toggle on the following options per Board role

– If they can access the Board Dashboard modules for that role

– Whether they should get copied on emails to that particular role

This separation allows someone to have the same backend power of the Clubhouse Manager, without necessarily having to get CC-ed on Clubhouse related email.

So instead of relying on an email forward (that would have to constantly be updated year after year), you could easily toggle on ANY Board Member on ANY email to a role. In each email, they would see who the inquiry was intended for, how urgent the email sounds, determine if it raises any red flags, and choose to just ignore it or reply back with the Board Role it was intended for.

Another good example, would be including your Social Director on Membership Inquiries. They could follow up with a new prospect days or weeks after your Membership Director responded, and write back “Hi, we’ve got a Fall fest coming up, your family should come”.

#4. PoolDues also maintains actionable and searchable Contact Logs

We get it. Your Board Members are volunteers.  They will go on vacations and not think to leave an auto-reply for club business. Real work is always going to come first on return, and club emails can get missed.

That’s ok! When someone contacts the club through either the Public Contact Form or Members Only Contact Form, we note that in the Board Member Dashboard for a member in the role that the inquiry was sent to.  And as multiple people can share Dashboard roles, you’ve got a great system for making sure every contact is responded to.

For example, if a new resident contacts your Membership Director in the Fall, they may want to leave that Contact Form log as a to-do item to reach back out to them in the Spring. Or your President may decide to email that resident back as well, and say “Hey I noticed you contacted us, I’m the President, we’d love to have you join.”

It’s a small gesture, but may go a long way (especially if your club has an expensive initiation fee).

You can also choose to mark these contact logs as completed. They will disappear from the Dashboard, but still be searchable. So for example, you could look for the term “lifeguard” in the Spring and find anyone that emailed regarding lifeguarding in the Fall/ Winter.

#5. Forwarding emails are an unnecessary “middle man” that can cause miscommunication

An email forward is just plain unnecessary, as the recipient at your club isn’t replying back from the address being forwarded.

For example, if membership@yourclub.com forwards to julie@gmail.com, Julie isn’t replying back from membership@yourclub.com. She’s replying back from julie@gmail.com anyway.

So what did the email forward do other than just relay the email? And as we’ve discussed above, we do NOT want to use email addresses that can be easily guessed at for phishing scams or that have ever been posted publicly for spam reasons.

How do we break this bad forwarding habit once and for all???  

If you’ve had your forwards in place for a while, we can create a catch-all that will send every email sent to your domain to one address. This could be a real address, which someone is monitoring, or we could just have it auto-respond back that the email is no longer in use.

We’ve already discussed the General Public and Members Only Contact Forms, but how do Board Members get in touch with each other without having to remember their personal email addresses?

Take a look at our Board Member-to-Board Member contact options…

So you can use your usual mail software (Mac Mail, Outlook, etc), and pick and choose who to email before initiating it. This will create a group email, which is most likely how you currently send email to the board. This has pros and cons, as you might end up getting off-topic quickly, and turning a simple email into a lengthy discussion thread.

Another option is sending the email as a No-Reply Notification. This option will send the email to each Board Member individually and discourage replies.

Here’s a real example sent by myself to my home-club’s Board. The subject was 2018 vs 2019 Guest Pass sales… 



These clubs have already made life easier for their volunteers...


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