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Overview

What is Gated?

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Gated is a simple, secure and free way to filter email that enables users to focus on their most valuable messages. Gated uses an ​Allow List model to protect your inbox from people you don't know. Gated also uses an innovative Challenge Email that lets unknown senders reach you by making a donation or confirming they know you personally.

Senders

Why did I get this Challenge Email?

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Gated sends a Challenge Email to any sender that doesn't meet the criteria to be delivered directly to the Gated user's inbox. The email address you sent from is not yet on the Allow List of the Gated user you were trying to reach.

Did my email get delivered?

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If your email wasn't on a Gated user's Allow List, it was still delivered to the user's email account but has been routed to a special folder for lower-priority email. If you want to ensure your email is seen by the user, you will need to take further action.

How do I get my email delivered to the user's inbox?

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You can ensure your email is delivered to a Gated user's inbox by clicking the "DONATE TO REACH MY INBOX" button in the Challenge Email you received and then making a donation to support the user's chosen cause and Gated's free service. This donation is intended as a marginal cost to confirm that your message is of value to the Gated user.

Why do you require a monetary donation?

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Captchas and other traditional methods verify identity, but only require time.  We believe that a small marginal cost is the most effective way to incentivize individuals and organizations to evolve email strategies, from automated to personalized.  Our goal isn’t to stop email cold, but rather to encourage senders to invest in personalized, valuable communication.

Will my donation ensure a reply from the user?

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Gated filters email to protect each user's time, but we do not control their actions.  There is no guarantee of a reply. However, we do guarantee that your email will be delivered to a user's inbox and seen.  Because Gated filters 50-70% of inbound email, our users can focus more on each message. We typically see reply rates above 50% for emails via donations. So make your message personal and make it count!

Does the selected organization receive the entire donation?

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Gated sends donations when the balance across all users for a specific organization reaches $100 increments.  Rather than charge users to protect their inboxes, we fund the cost of Gated’s service with a portion of unknown senders’ donations.  The computing power to scan tens of thousands of emails daily, the development team to add new features and the customer service team all cost money.  We aim to break-even on the core service.  For small donations (i.e. $1) Gated sends ~50% of the donation to charities and as donations scale the share to charities increases to 80%.

Will I see another challenge the next time I send to this user?

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A Gated user can add you to the Allow List at any time, simply by replying to your email. If the user does not reply or add you to their list manually, you may receive another Challenge Email.

If I know the user personally, do I need to donate?

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We understand that people who know Gated users personally (or are sending expected new messages) sometimes send from unknown email addresses.  For this reason, each Challenge Email includes a link “If you know me personally but are sending from a new email, click here.” If you click that link, your email will be delivered immediately.  

If I don’t know the user personally but say I do, what happens?

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Please only use the “If you know me personally...” option if you a) have an established relationship with the user or b) the user has asked you to send them an email.  If a user reports abuse of this option, your email (and for repeated violations your domain) will be suspended from receiving "Challenge Emails" from all Gated users

Email Users

How does Gated work?

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Gated works seamlessly with Google Suite and Gmail - support for other platforms is coming soon. The Gated system routes email from unapproved senders out of your inbox to a folder (@gated) in your email that you can see at any time. Senders will only reach a user's inbox if they are a known sender on the user's Allow List or if they make a donation to the user's cause of choice.

What is the @gated folder?

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The @gated folder is added to each of your email clients when you sign up for Gated. This folder is where Gated automatically sends emails from unknown senders. The @gated folder is an email server folder like an Inbox, Drafts, or Sent folder. This means it is available and accessible from any client, device, or web mail interface at any time.

How does Gated determine which emails reach my inbox?

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Gated only routes emails to your inbox that a) have come from individual addresses or domains added to the Allow List or b) come from unapproved senders who make donations to your chosen cause.  See below for more detail on each of these cases.

How do I add an email address to the Allow List?

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When you join, Gated builds your Allow List automatically by reviewing the email addresses with whom you have recently communicated. After that emails are automatically allowed as you send and you can update directly in Gated's app.

How do I add a domain to the Allow List?

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There are times when you may want to add an entire domain to the Allow List (e.g. you want to make sure anyone at a given company can email you). You can add domains via Gated's app.

How does Gated handle unapproved senders?

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Gated uses the concept of marginal cost (similar to the price of a postage stamp on a letter) in order to ensure that the emails in your inbox are worth your time.  Unapproved senders will have their emails routed to the @gated folder (see above) and will receive a Challenge Email, informing them that they aren’t able to reach your inbox without a donation.

Can I set the price of my donation?

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Yes. Each Gated user may set their own minimum donation amount, because the marginal cost to reach an inbox may vary by user.  We also allow senders to voluntarily donate more than the minimum donation, if they choose.

Can I select my own cause?

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Yes. We believe it is important for each gated user to pick a cause important to them. You can select any 501(c)(3) and if it isn't in Gated, our team can quickly add it.

Can I stop the system from sending a Challenge Email to a specific sender?

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Yes.  In addition to adding a sender to your Allow List (which will route their email to your inbox and eliminate any Challenge Emails) you may also mute a sender by contacting [email protected]  Muting will not route the sender to your inbox but it will suppress (mute) the Challenge Emails.  This is useful for:

1) Senders you don’t want to allow to reach your inbox, at any time.
2) Senders who may be getting too many Challenge Emails.

What if someone I know sends to me from a new email address?

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People you have emailed before, are in your address book, or have been added to the Allow List can reach your inbox directly.  People who know you but are sending from a new email address will get a Challenge Email. However, in the Challenge Email, there is a one-click solution for people you know personally to click and have their email delivered immediately.

How does Gated handle product notifications (e.g. from social media platforms, Google Docs, Calendar, etc.)?

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We allow you to customize the notifications that reach your inbox by adding domains to the Allow List.  At signup, you can quickly select from a suggested list of domains to add to the Allow List or start with all notifications going to the @gated folder and add ones to your inbox later.

Getting Started

Will Gated work with my email setup?

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Currently, Gated only works with Google mail (Gmail or GSuite), however we are scaling to add other email providers shortly. Gated is designed to work with your existing email tools, workflow, and email provider. Gated is also built to work anywhere you check your email - on your PC or Mac, desktop or mobile.

Is Gated really free for the user?

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Yes.  We are committed to providing free email filtering for our users.  When donations are collected from senders, a portion of those funds are used to support Gated’s operations so that the service can remain free for our users.

Can you use Gated with more than one email address?

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Yes. Gated may be used with as many email accounts as you wish - although, currently, only Google mail is supported. Your Gated filter may be used across multiple accounts. This means that people you know on a personal level will be able to reach you on your work email and vice versa.

How do I cancel/unsubscribe?

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You can cancel at anytime by emailing us at [email protected]. We will delete your account and data. Filtering will be immediately stopped. No other changes will take place to your email account. You may choose to keep or delete the @gated folder after cancelling your account.

How do I get started?

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We are currently in beta with a small group of passionate Gated users. To get Gated for yourself, visit our signup page.

Security

Does Gated read my email?

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No. Gated protects your inbox without reading or recording your email. While Gated processes each email, we only record the sender’s email address, not the subject or body of the email. When we send a Challenge Email on your behalf to a sender, we will pass the subject through our servers but this is not recorded or viewable by our team in any way. See our Privacy Policy for more details.

Is Gated secure?

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Security and privacy are our top priority.

1. Your email never leaves your server. Gated never takes possession of your emails and only analyzes email subject headers to determine what's important.
2. Your data is completely private. Gated never looks at the content of your email.  To give you complete confidence that we can't read your email, we've taken the additional step of creating a proxy server that filters the data from Google's API to exclude information about email subject and body.
3. We don’t need your password.  All you have to do is grant access to permissions in Google.

What permissions does Gated need?

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Gated only requires the 'Modify Google Mail' permission, which allows us to update the labels of your emails. Gated's use and transfer to any other app of information received from Google APIs adheres to Google API Services User Data Policy, including the Limited Use requirements.

Does Gated have a Vulnerability Disclosure Program?

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Gated is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our customers. Toward this end, Gated has formalized our policy for accepting vulnerability reports for our products. We hope to foster an open partnership with the security community, and we recognize that the work the community does is important in continuing to ensure safety and security for all of our customers.

What if Gated goes offline?

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If Gated happens to go offline, all of your email will still be delivered to you. The only difference is your email will be delivered into your Inbox and not sorted into the @gated folder during the time Gated is offline.
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