Email Processing FAQs

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.

All of our servers have TLS 1.2 encryption enabled. However, since not all receiving MTAs use TLS 1.2 to accept mail, our servers can switch to unencrypted when necessary. Otherwise, messages would fail authentication and not deliver to receiving servers that don't use TLS 1.2.

To use DMARC, your organization must configure SPF and use a custom DKIM signature. We recommend you update all email servers that use your domain — such as the ones your organization uses locally — before you publish a DMARC policy. Given the complexity of this authentication method, and the significant impact improper configuration could have, we recommend you consult with your own email specialist before you implement it.

If you receive a bounce message which indicates a message failed DMARC evaluation because neither DKIM or SPF aligned with the policy provided by the From domain, then you need to update the policy to include Blackbaud’s information.

If there's a problem with an intended email address, the mailbox provider sends Blackbaud a code combination of numbers and text to indicate a soft or hard failure. We organize these codes into failure reason categories to help you understand and correct the problem. Soft failure categores include failure codes which aren't permanent, such as mailbox full, inactive account, or network error. For more information, see Soft and Hard Failures.

If there's a problem with an intended email address, the mailbox provider sends Blackbaud a code combination of numbers and text to indicate a soft or hard failure. We organize these codes into failure reason categories to help you understand and correct the problem. Hard failure categories include failure codes which are permanent, such as unknown user, address error, or closed account. For more information, see Soft and Hard Failures.

If there's a problem with an intended email address, the mailbox provider sends Blackbaud a code combination of numbers and text to indicate a soft or hard failure. We organize these codes into failure reason categories to help you understand the problem and how to correct it. For more information, see Soft and Hard Failures.

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.

To request that we remove an email address from the suppression list, the recipient must send a message from the affected address to unblockme@blackbaud.com and specifically request removal. In accordance with the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, we retain a copy of the request for our records. Future SPAM complaints from the recipient will return the address to the suppression list.

No. 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.

  • To request that we remove an email address from the suppression list, the recipient must send a message from the affected address to unblockme@blackbaud.com and specifically request removal. In accordance with the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, we retain a copy of the request for our records. Future SPAM complaints from the recipient will return the address to the suppression list.

If our system receives a soft failure reason from a mailbox provider which could result in a successful delivery at a later time, the servers automatically attempt to resend the message up to five times over four hour time period. Examples of soft failures the system will resend include “mailbox full,” “too busy,” and “network error.” For more information, see Soft and Hard Failures.

If our system receives a soft failure reason from a mailbox provider which could result in a successful delivery at a later time, the servers automatically attempt to resend the message up to five times over four hour time period. Examples of soft failures the system will resend include “mailbox full,” “too busy,” and “network error.” For more information, see Soft and Hard Failures.

To help determine whether a mailing was effective, our system saves all content and merge fields you include and tracks the recipient list to collect statistics about sends, bounces, and complaints. This data appears in reports within applications such as Luminate Online and Blackbaud NetCommunity.

Note: For information about how to view this data, refer to your Blackbaud application's user documentation.

Our system currently stores all email data on our secure servers.

Note: Canadian organizations subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) may be required to inform recipients that their personal data, such as from merge fields, is stored in the United States rather than in Canada.

Each MTA server can send millions email messages per hour. We process email across multiple MTAs to allow our system to scale to meet sender email needs, even during periods of peak demand.

Since IP address information is public, you can use a number of websites to view Blackbaud's sender reputation. The IP addresses we use to send bulk email include these ranges.

For Altru, Blackbaud Internet Solutions, Blackbaud NetCommunity, and Online Express:

  • 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)

For Luminate Online:

  • 66.45.103.0/25

  • 69.48.252.128/25

  • 64.244.120.32/27

  • 64.244.122.192/27

  • 64.244.127.128/27

  • 64.244.127.160/27

  • 216.235.195.0/24

Note: There is no industry standard for measuring IP reputation, so results across different sources can differ dramatically.