One of the most popular offerings we have right now is Bracket Email Encryption service. And for good reason, Bracket is popular because it allows you to send encrypted messages without the need for a username-password, download special software, install certificates on to your machine, or your recipient’s machine. It makes it very easy to use, which recipients both enjoy, and greatly benefit from.
Because of the ease of use, many people are changing how they interact with the encrypted email. But this raises a potential concern with how encrypted messages are sent to recipients.
In the past, because encrypted email was more cumbersome, it required a little prep in order to set up an encrypted session with a recipient. The notice email that went out to the email recipient to prepare them to enter into an encrypted session with you to either download some software, setup an account, or install a certificate. Lost you there didn’t we? These days, through Bracket, the notification email basically says “View Message”.
So what’s the problem?
Sending a short notice with a link, no matter how clearly the notice is written, can be a hazardous activity for mail deliver-ability. Email users have been plagued with phishing emails and viruses for years now. Spam filters are so tight, it is difficult for legitimate email to slip through to inboxes and even more difficult to convince pensive recipients to click links embedded in messages.
Because of the simple and easy way Bracket operates, often users don’t understand what they are looking at and report it as spam instead of clicking the link to read their encrypted email.
Some helpful etiquette
The solution to this problem is relatively simple, but it is human interaction – not a technical solution.
You shouldn’t miss the preparation stage when sending encrypted email to people. The first time you send an encrypted message to someone it is ideal to also send a separate email notifying the recipient that you are sending them encrypted messages. They should know that the link you are sending them is safe and will take them to a portal that provides them with their encrypted messages. (A sample email is included below).
Once your recipients are aware of what encrypted emails look like, then they can
- Whitelist/Safelist Bracket to make sure everything makes it into their mailbox
- Know that clicking the link is safe and will protect their information in their email.
While this seems like something that you assume most people understand, realize that email can be hostile territory and many users are very cautious about clicking links in emails, no matter how simple and friendly it appears, especially if the email was not solicited to begin with.
So while Bracket offers serious ease of use for the sender and recipient, it can sometimes become a victim of its own simplicity. Adding a simple step of sending a notice about Encrypted email can improve deliver-ability and make the whole experience much more pleasant.
Can you get away without this step? Of course! Most of our Bracket users do. But sending a quick notification and introduction might work around the occasional hiccup that occurs when using Bracket email. Once recipients know what a Bracket email looks like, then you don’t have to send notifications anymore. The first notification will go a long way toward ensuring that your message is opened by the end-user.
Here is a sample email message that you can steal:
Subject: FYI: I just sent you an encrypted message
Just a heads up that I am sending you an encrypted message through our email encryption service. The encrypted message will have a link to a secure portal where you can read the message without us sending sensitive information in an unencrypted format.
I’m sending the encrypted email right now so if you don’t see it in the next five minutes then check your spam filter. You can also whitelist/safelist the notification email address our encryption service uses. Whitelist/Safelist the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also sign in to view encrypted messages by logging into a secure portal here: https://bracket.email