CRM Software for Economic Development Organizations
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Why are my Neoserra emailes going out with an email address that looks like "sender+counselor.center.edu@mail.outreachsystems.com"?

The quick and easy answer to this question is: Because your IT department has not implemented a full DMARC setup (including SPF and DKIM) for your mail server AND you have the "When sending email, have Neoserra authenticate on sender?s behalf?" checkbox turned on your Administration|Configuration|General Settings page.

But what does that mean? Well, this is where the long and complicated answer comes in! Unfortunately, we live in a world with a lot of spam mail messages and more and more mail server are looking for ways to spot a spam message and block it from delivery. And while the sender email address may look "funny" to the naked eye, the changes made by Neoserra to the sender email address will dramatically improve the changes of delivery to your end recipient.

When you send a blast email message from Neoserra to five or more recipients, you are essentially sending a message from your "normal" email address (i.e. counselor@center.edu), but in reality the message is coming from the OutreachSystems mail server - not the center.edu server. A receiving email system normally will look at this situation and verify with your email domain (i.e. center.edu) to see if this is allowed. All mail servers basically have a validation system for incoming email. This validation system checks that the domain of the From email address matches the domain the message is actually being sent through. If your IT department has set up custom DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication for your domain and included Neoserra in your Sender Policy Frameworks (SPF) record then this should be allowed and the message will be sent using your normal email address.

However, if your IT department has not yet set up custom Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication then Neoserra is smart enough to change the sending email address from counselor@center.edu to sender+counselor.center.edu@mail.outreachsystems.com. Because the displayed sender and the actual sender are now the same, it looks less suspicious to the receiving email system. If that system still asks for authentication, then the OutreachSystems email server is the one saying it's okay, thus making sure that the message gets delivered.

While Neoserra has updated the sender email address, the "Reply-to" address is not changed. In other words, the Reply-to email will still be your normal email address, and if a client replies to your message then it will go to your normal counselor@center.edu email address.

What are your options if you don't like the "look" of the sender email address? There are really three options:

Best Option The best option is for your IT department to implement the full DMARC policy (DKIM + SPF) as described in this FAQ. This will allow you to send email as you and it will reduce the likelihood that your messages will be classified as spam. If you choose this option then you should turn OFF the "When sending email, have Neoserra authenticate on sender's behalf?" checkbox on your Administration|Configuration|General Settings page.
Second Best Option The second best option is to change your sender email address to something that can be validated by the recipient mail server, and thus pass the "spam test.". This means that the sender email address is changed to an @mail.outreachsystems.com email address as discussed in this FAQ. You can do this by turning ON the "When sending email, have Neoserra authenticate on sender's behalf?" checkbox on your Administration|Configuration|General Settings page.
Last Option (Not recommended) The least desirable option is to do nothing. Your email messages will likely fail to reach their intended recipients and your email address reputation will suffer. You can turn OFF the "When sending email, have Neoserra authenticate on sender's behalf?" checkbox on your Administration|Configuration|General Settings page which will mean that your sender address will not be changed but this also means that your email address cannot be validated.

Bottom line is that if you are willing to risk getting your messages classified as spam by your clients' mail servers then you can uncheck the "When sending email, have Neoserra authenticate on sender?s behalf?" checkbox on the Administration|Configuration|General Settings page and that will tell Neoserra not to change the sender email address.

Note: Prior to 9/20/21 the sender email address would look like: bounce+counselor.center.edu@bounce.outreachsystems.com instead of sender+counselor.center.edu@mail.outreachsystems.com. OutreachSystems changed the sender address to remove the "bounce" reference which was potentially confusing.



Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.