Ads in emails sent from TroopTrack?

We sent out a couple emails from TroopTrack last night and I’m seeing an add at the top of the email. Is this something new? This isn’t too cool.
Here’s what the ad looks like. The link goes to https://pea.trooptrack.com/c/

I received the same ad on a recent email. I don’t love it at all, especially being on the very top. If ads need to be on emails, I would have them located on the bottom or, maybe vertically along the side as long as the formatting doesn’t squeeze out the unit’s message / content.

@chetyoder, @JustinWeaver,
See the Customer Support e-mail from @dave and it includes information about ads.

I do agree it would be nice to have the ad below the content of the message.

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I don’t understand why there are emails at all given we pay a subscription fee to use this software. I could understand the need for ads if this were a free system.

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The reasoning is given in the article from Dave. Subscriptions alone are not providing enough funding currently given the downturn of Units and the competition from the National organizations systems. Also the subscription price has not increased in many, many years. We have been using TT since 2016 and have never had a price increase, however costs have certainly gone up, they have been able to keep the price the same because they were growing and had new subscriptions adding in revenue, now they have lost subscriptions so revenue is down.

Thanks for forwarding the customer support note @AaronStorey. I had not noticed the reference to an ad trial run at the bottom. I understand the revenue issue, but would be more in favor of increasing subscription costs than mixing ads with an existing subscription fee.

While I can have some trust in TT to provide appropriate ads, I have next to zero trust in a third party provider of ads to provide appropriate ads in the emails sent to our local troop community, many of whom are scouts. We simply cannot have targeted ads in the emails sent to our scouts. It’s a youth protection issue when we as troop administrators have no control over the ads sent to our youth.

That is good feedback for @dave. I have the opposite view of the idea of increasing the subscription vs providing some curated ads. I do agree that there should be some safeguard of what ads are being shared and the mechanism of that safeguard should be shared so we as leaders can feel confident our scouts will not get inappropriate ads in their e-mail.

The emails that went out with ads were just a test. I have many of the same concerns expressed here and wanted to see what sort of feedback I would get from a quick test. We are turning the ads off today so we can create a concrete plan for moving forward. I am definitely leaning toward an ad solution that is heavily curated on our end.

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@Dave thank you for your feedback on the reason behind the ads. I can appreciate the issue of the downward trajectory of subscribers. I would probably prefer a subscription increase than targeted ads, assuming I know how much the subscription increase would be.

Targeted ads curated by TT can be acceptable, but in my opinion only for adult TT members. Targeting or displaying ads to youth TT members is unacceptable and creates a youth protection issue. We simply cannot have a third party ad provider injecting ads into emails sent to our youth members. This applies to curated ads as well.

If you eventually do inject ads for adult TT members, please keep mobile readers in mind. Inline ads are probably better than side-by-side ads as that causes the user to scroll horizontally in addition to scrolling vertically.

Thanks for listening.