Don't be a Spoofer. How CiviCRM protects your sending reputation

Email is a vital tool to engage and maintain long-term relationships with your constituents.

CiviCRM helps protect your sending reputation in several ways:

  • An unsubscribe or opt-out token is required to send any mass email
    If you hide the unsubscribe option, your contacts are more likely to hit the spam button. *The opt-out button is common practice but does not actively encourage people to remove themselves from the send list.
  • A domain name token is also required to send any mass email
    By this we mean  "{domain.name}," "{domain.address}," etc. Spam filters can use that token to recognize that a piece of email is not spam and should be delivered to the recipients inbox.
  • Image only emails will result in send mail errors (i.e. they will not be sent)
    Spammers use images to hide content that wouldn't make through spam filters as text, so many email clients will not even display the image that you send. If the image is blocked, the entire email will appear to be blank and the recipient is more likely to ignore it, unsubscribe, or mark the message as spam.
  • Bounced emails are placed "On Hold" in CiviCRM
    The more bounces you receive when you send an email, the more your sender reputation will be negatively impacted. The reason for this is that most email service providers assume that responsible email senders remove bad addresses from their lists regularly. When configured with a compatible email sending service, CiviCRM places bounced email addresses on hold. In order to avoid impacting sender reputations, if contacts with "On Hold" email addresses are included as recipients in a mass mailing, Civi will not send emails to those contacts.
  • Use only valid "FROM" email addresses
    An email address is considered valid if it meats both of the following criteria:
    • It is listed under Administer > Communications > FROM Email Addresses in the correct format
    • The domain of the email address must be a verified sending domain - typically this will be the same as your web domain (e.g. for the domain of www.example.org, the "FROM" email address must end in @example.org)

More ways to avoid your email (or, worse yet, your domain) being flagged as spam:

  • Enable Double Opt-In
    Widely considered a best practice, the mailing list confirmation workflow requires people to check their inboxes and confirm their subscription, ensuring that no one has been signed up against their will. You can trust that everyone on your list wants to be there (or did at some point), and these contacts are more likely to continue opening and engaging with your emails, ultimately becoming and remaining loyal constituents.
  • Segment your contacts
    If you consistently send contacts only the information they are interested in receiving, the more likely they are to read the emails you send and remain engaged with your organization. If the same contacts fit different segments and are targeted as recipients for multiple emails, schedule each email to be sent in as wide an interval as possible - if you flood peoples' inboxes, they'll take measures to keep you out.