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Why are our users not receiving confirmation emails when they submit a Soapbox App form?

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Your users are donating through your Donations forms, registering for your events through your Events forms, shopping away on your Shop forms... but it seems that some - or all! - of them are not receiving the confirmation emails you've set up in the Messaging tab of your form.

 

Chances are, the confirmation emails that are going out may be getting mistaken as spam... and either filtered away from their inbox, or not even delivered to them at all!

 

The first step is to ask them, if possible, to check their junk and spam folders.  It's possible that their email client - be it Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail (Hotmail? We don't judge!), etc, may have mistaken your confirmation email as spam and whisked it off to the spam folder.


If so, they can simply "whitelist" the "From" email address, and that should resolve the issue for them.

If it appears however that they emails are *not* landing in the spam folder, then it's possible the email server itself is identifying your email as spam and refusing to deliver it.

Why would this happen?  It usually comes down to something called an "SPF record."

But lets back up a bit and talk about IP addresses first.  An IP address is (loosely speaking) the "home address" of a computer on the internet.

Your domain name is associated with a specific IP address based on the computer on which it's hosted (again, we are speaking loosely here, and in layman's terms - to you tech-heads out there may need to forgive us!)

As long as an email is coming from you with your domain in the email address, via your domain's web server, then the IP address of the email's source matches up with the IP address of your domain - and all is well.  The email will zoop right through delivery and land in the recipient's inbox.

The Soapbox servers, however, have their own IP addresses that are - of course - different than the one your domain name is associated with.

So when a confirmation email has a "from" email address using your domain, but it comes from the Soapbox server... well, suddenly the IP addresses don't line up.  Your domain name has one IP address, the server has a different IP address, and the email servers says, "HOLD UP!  This might be spam, I'm not going to deliver it!"

That may very well be what's happening for you.

So, what do you do about it?  There are two options...

1) Use a no-reply email with the picnet.net domain as the "from" address. For example: no-reply-yourorg@picnet.net

This will ensure that the IP of the domain (picnet.net) lines up with the IP addresses of our servers, which should allow your confirmation emails to sail right through to delivery.

2) Create an SPF record in your domain's DNS settings.  The DNS settings of your domain serve as something if a traffic-directing "switchboard" for your domain (again, techies, we're speaking loosely here...) and creates some rules and exceptions for how your domain name is allowed to interact with the world.

One of those rules is called an "SPF record."  This is just a single line of text code that says, "If email using this domain comes from the following IP address, it's cool.  We meant for that to happen, and it's NOT spam."

Then when email servers see an email with your domain in the From field, from a Soapbox IP address, it knows that this is okay, and will deliver the email.

If you'd like to add an SPF record to your DNS settings, just open a ticket with our support team and we'll be happy to give you the IP addresses, and a sample SPF record that your IT team can use to get you moving forward.

And that's it!  You know know more about IP addresses, DNS settings and SPF records than you thought you would when you woke up this morning... and have some options to get your confirmation emails flowing again!

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