Reasons emails don’t get to members

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Trying to figure out why an email didn’t get to one (or a bunch!) of your members is usually confusing and frustrating. If you have ever asked one of the questions below… read on. While there are many reasons why email messages don’t make it to your members, there are several reasons that seem most common to our customers. The top three are listed below.

  • "Why do some members say they don’t receive email messages that I send through ChamberMaster/MemberZone?"
  • "Why do some messages "bounce" when I know the email address is valid?"
  • "Why can some members receive messages from me when I send through Outlook but not when I send out of ChamberMaster/MemberZone?"
  • "What can I do to make sure my members get the email messages I am sending through ChamberMaster/MemberZone?"

Your chamber’s Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Record may be incomplete or missing

Because of Spam, many ISP's (Internet Service Providers - i.e. Charter, RoadRunner, AOL, Yahoo, etc…) have begun performing a type of SPAM check called a reverse domain lookup (also called an "SPF lookup") to verify that the sending IP address of a mail server is authorized to send email from your domain. In plain language – the member’s email provider is asking, "Is this email message coming from an authorized sender?" If the answer is "no" they will either reject it or filter it to your member’s SPAM folder.

  • This is important for ChamberMaster & GrowthZone users because when you send email to your members from within the software we list your email address as the sender but route the message through our bulk email servers. These servers are specifically designed to help ensure the highest possible email delivery rate, but if a member’s email provider performs an SPF lookup and your chamber’s record does not list the ChamberMaster & GrowthZone email server as an approved sender, the message will most likely not get to the member.

Solution: Setup the SPF Record

The good news is that there is a fix for this – have the company who manages your Domain Name Server (usually your web hosting company) add ChamberMaster's email servers to your SPF Record(s). Free test to see if your SPF records are setup! You can easily check to see if your domain is already setup by following these 5-steps

  1. Click on this link - http://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx?command=spf
  2. Type the domain of your email address in the box (the part after the "@") and click "SPF Record Lookup"
  3. Compare the SPF record on file with the following example:
    If your SPF record is setup one of the records should look like this:
    SPF Included.png
  4. If your SPF record is missing or does not contain the spf.memberzone.com listing, contact your "web or IT person" and have them update the record to include the mail servers. They need to add to your existing SPF record include:spf.memberzone.com and make sure the strictness is set at Fail -all and NOT ~all
    • An example of a complete SPF record with the memberzone spf included would look like:
    v=spf1 mx include:spf.memberzone.com mx:yourdomain.com -all
    • If you're using office 365 for email an example SPF record would look like:
    v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:spf.memberzone.com -all
  5. Test that your email configuration is correct by sending a test email from each of your email sending domains to the address shown at https://www.mail-tester.com/ . After sending the test email to the noted address, return to the webpage and view your spam score. Check that the SPF record option has a green check mark.
    SPF CP.jpg
  6. Complete Steps 2-5 for each email domain that you send from in your software.
    • Tip! You can see email domains that you send from by viewing the email addresses of each of your staff under Setup>Association Employees/Reps.
    • Note: A standard, generic email domain such as gmail.com, Hotmail.com etc will not be an acceptable domain to send email from. Your email domain must be a domain that allows you to modify the SPF record. Email sent from these standard domains will fail if used to send emails from ChamberMaster / MemberZone.

Issues with the recipient’s mailbox

Your member’s email message box may be full, the email address may be incorrect, or it may not even exist any more.

Solution: Contact the recipient

Contact the specific recipient to verify the email address or let them know that their email doesn’t seem to be working properly – they may not be aware of it and you could be the "hero" who helped them not miss that important business deal because their inbox was full!

Your domain may be "blacklisted"

To fight spam, many ISPs limit the number of emails coming from one sender in a given time period. If you exceed this limit your domain may be "blacklisted" and you will have a difficult time getting messages through to anybody.

Solution: Contact the organization that has you blacklisted

Contact any ISP’s which have "blacklisted" your domain and request that they add you to their list of safe senders or "white list". To see if your domain is "Blacklisted", Use the tool at the link below to determine if the domain you use for email is blacklisted by any of the major email servers. You may see some of them to return a "timed out message" – This response is normal. http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

Final thought:

Unfortunately, even if you have everything setup properly, not every email you send will get through to every member. That’s why we recommend using all the tools at your disposal to get important information to your members – email messages, website updates & banner ads, RSS feeds, "snail mail", phone calls and personal visits are all part of an effective communication plan to make sure that your members know what is happening at the chamber. The good news is that many of those tools are already available to you as ChamberMaster/GrowthZone users!