"We spend thousands of dollars a month on e-mail delivery services to make sure all of our members receive our alerts. And very soon, thanks to AOL and Yahoo, we might not be able to afford sending them," said the RightMarch.com alert. (http://capwiz.com/sicminc/issues/alert/?alertid=8503681&type=CU)
By Thursday, RightMarch.com members had sent more than 28,000 e-mail messages opposing the Goodmail service, said RightMarch.com President William Greene.
Critics like Greene and the EFF are ignoring the consumer benefits that CertifiedEmail provides by assuring recipients that their e-mail messages are legitimate, said Goodmail Chief Executive Officer Richard Gingras. "It's a very important service that e-mail needs today," he said. Yahoo and AOL have made similar claims in the past.
Gingras said that while some nonprofit organizations like the American Red Cross have seen CertifiedEmail as an important tool in preventing fraud, no one will be forced to use it. "This is an optional service," he said. "Certified e-mail is not something that every volume sender needs to use."
Nonetheless, Goodmail plans to introduce a new pricing plan for nonprofits who wish to use the service, Gingras said.
Gingras would not say what this new service will cost, but organizations like RightMarch.com are concerned about any new e-mail costs.
RightMarch.com sends between 2 million and 3 million e-mail messages per week and one-third of its members use Yahoo or AOL e-mail addresses, said RightMarch.com's Greene.
Concern that it would suddenly have to pay for all of those messages prompted the organization to join the EFF coalition, Greene said. "We're just a grassroots-based organization; we don't have any big funders," he said. "This is a huge issue for us."
Green admitted that it was unusual to see both his group and MoveOn.org united on an issue. "It's one of those dogs and cats living together kind of things," he said.
MoveOn.org is also a coalition member, according to MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser.
Cohn from EFF could not reveal how many members had joined the effort to date, but she said that next week's announcement would feature a diverse group. "It's going to be not only right and left, but up, down, every way you go," she said.
(Juan Perez in Miami contributed to this story)