Altru FAQs

Delivery and deliverability

Delivery refers to whether a mailbox provider accepts a message. Deliverability refers to how a mailbox provider determines where to place a message, such as in the recipient's inbox or SPAM folder.

The IP addresses we use to send bulk email include these ranges:

  • 205.139.104.0/22 (205.139.104.1 - 205.139.107.254)

  • 216.235.196.0/22 (216.235.196.1 - 216.235.199.254)

  • 216.235.200.0/21 (216.235.200.1 - 216.235.207.254)

If you signed up to receive email alerts for online purchases, but you aren’t receiving the messages, check your email folder. If you find it there, add the email address to your safe list so you receive it in the future. If not, follow these steps:

  1. From Administration > Email services, highlight the row for each of the following processes, and click Enable:

    • Email status poll

    • General purpose email poll

    • Transaction email poll

    Note: If you receive the error “Either the account is locked out or the password specified is invalid,” chat with Support.

  2. From Web > Default Acknowledgement Email and ensure an email address and name is defined in the from address and from name fields.

  3. From Web > Default Acknowledgement Email, ensure an email address and name is defined in the from address and from name fields.

  4. From Administration > Undelivered email, check whether the emails are listed with an error.

    • Errors such as “An error prevented the service from uploading the email job,” appear if you didn’t have the from address and from name fields completed.

    • Other errors may require further investigation. Chat with support for assistance.

  5. From Administration > Email services, verify emails are sent. If Altru sends them, but you still don’t receive them, work with the administrator of your network’s email system to whitelist the following ranges of IP addresses:

    • 205.139.104.0/22 (205.139.104.1 - 205.139.107.254)

    • 216.235.196.0/22 (216.235.196.1 - 216.235.199.254)

    • 216.235.200.0/21 (216.235.200.1 - 216.235.207.254)

Processing

As an email service provider (ESP), Blackbaud's sending system is robust and scales well for clients both large and small. Since our system can send large numbers of messages simultaneously, we conform to standards for high-volume senders to ensure email delivery.

To maintain favorable reputations with mailbox providers, our system reviews recipient lists and automatically suppresses email addresses for the following reasons:

  • Hard bounces — When email delivery fails, mailbox providers send bounce code responses. The system categorizes and tracks these bounce codes so that it can suppress email addresses when they fail, such as when a recipient's address is invalid or their account is closed.

  • SPAM complaints — Our email specialists help maintain Feedback Loop (FBL) agreements with mailbox providers that offer FBL programs. With an FBL agreement, a mailbox provider agrees to inform us when a recipient marks a message as unsolicited — such as when they select a "This is SPAM" button or link — so that our system can suppress their email address from future mailings from that sender.

  • Opt-out links — When a recipient uses an opt-out link in a message to request removal from future emails, our system suppresses their email address from future mailings specific to their request, such as only for a particular newsletter or all emails from an organization.

Since Blackbaud doesn't control your organization's domain, email sent from Altru isn't technically sent from your @domain.org domain, even though you may have entered it in the "send as" or "send from" email address field. Email messages are actually sent from Blackbaud's Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) servers. As a result, receiving mail servers may not recognize the domain.

To help mailbox providers — including the receiving mail server for your organization — verify that you are a legitimate sender, our email system supports multiple authentication methods for your domain. Since you own your domain, we rely on you to manage the authentication for it.

Also, to ensure your anti-SPAM systems don't filter out email you send to yourself from our servers, we recommend you work with the administrator of your network’s email system to whitelist the following ranges of IP addresses:

  • 205.139.104.0/22 (205.139.104.1 - 205.139.107.254)

  • 216.235.196.0/22 (216.235.196.1 - 216.235.199.254)

  • 216.235.200.0/21 (216.235.200.1 - 216.235.207.254)

Best practices

To ensure mailbox providers place your messages in recipient inboxes, and to improve engagement, we recommend you follow our recommended best practices.

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) protocol is an authentication method that enables receiving mail systems to verify the mail servers that are authorized to send email on behalf of a domain.

When a mailbox provider uses SPF authentication, they compare the server that appears in the message header — also known as the long or internet header — to the sending servers that are listed in the Domain Name System (DNS) record for the “envelope from” address.

To authorize our system to send emails on your behalf, access the DNS record for your domain through your domain name registrar — such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or Name.com — and add the following to your TXT record for your SPF information:

+include:outboundmail.blackbaud.net ~all

Note: If your TXT record includes older entries such as include:outboundmail.blackbaudhost.com, blackbaudemail.netcommunity1.com, or Blackbaud's IP ranges, remove them.

The DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) protocol is an authentication method that digitally signs part of an email message so that receiving mail systems can verify it wasn’t altered after it was originally sent.

To use it, a sender decides which elements of a message they want to include for the signature — such as the header and body or individual fields in the header — and then configures their system to encrypt those selections with a private key when they send email. When a mailbox provider receives a message with a DKIM signature, they use the public key the sender lists for their domain in the DNS to “unlock” the private key.

To request a custom DKIM signature, contact Support and provide your domain and site ID.

We encourage you to follow these deliverability recommendations.

Content filters like SpamAssassin score email content so mailbox providers can classify and filter unwanted messages. To avoid issues with them, create subject lines that don't use numbers or special characters, and avoid exaggerations such as ALL CAPS, overused exclamation points, and stars or dotted lines. Also, avoid terms such as "Free", "Apply now", "Extra cash", "Home-based", "Opportunity", "Limited time", "Money", and any words that may be considered pornographic. Since anti-SPAM filters also assess message content after they review subject lines, use these same guidelines when you create the body of your emails.

We also recommend you review all of our email best practices.

Note: For an exhaustive list of words to avoid, see HubSpot's The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words.