If your portal's automated email messages cause too many hard bounces, LearnUpon disables your outbound mail, until you can resolve the problem email addresses.
This email good practice applies to all customers.
About LearnUpon email
LearnUpon delivers several automated emails to users on your behalf, like:
- portal invitations
- enrollment notifications
- password resets
- eCommerce purchase confirmations
By default, LearnUpon email comes from email@example.com. Customers using our custom email feature can configure portals to send email from their own sending domain. However, even with this feature, LearnUpon servers generate the email messages, so your messages count towards LearnUpon's deliverability and spam rating.
See Send email from your own domain to set up custom email sending address.
Portal email disabled
To deliver automated email successfully and reliably, LearnUpon uses Amazon's Simple Exchange Service (SES).
Amazon SES use a bounce rate, combined with other metrics, to determine the credibility of an email and email sender. If too many bounces originate from one sender (for Amazon, LearnUpon counts as one sender), LearnUpon can appear as a spam sender. This risk could affect all LearnUpon customers.
To protect all LearnUpon customers, LearnUpon follows a strict policy regarding bounces originating from one portal. If a significant number of bounces come from a single portal, LearnUpon automatically disables outbound email from that portal, to protect all of our customers.
If your portal email is disabled, your top level portal administrators receive:
- An automated banner notification at the top of the portal where email is disabled
- An email from the LearnUpon Support team, notifying you about your disabled portal email, with advice for next steps
When possible, LearnUpon sends you a notification when your portal is approaching the threshold, before exceeding the limit. However, LearnUpon can't always send these notifications.
For example: most automated emails go out in large batches, like in group course enrollments, or batch uploads. A large batch of emails, with bounces, could reach the warning level, and then exceed the bounce limit in a single delivery. LearnUpon would not have time to warn you about it.
Understanding bounces for a portal
For the types of emails LearnUpon sends from portals (intentional enrollment emails, for example, rather than marketing email) the most significant contributor to our credibility rating is bounce percentage.
There are two broad types of bounces:
Soft bounces are temporary deliverability problems. Reasons may include:
- Recipient's mailbox is full
- The email message is too large
- The recipient email server rejected the content of the email
- The recipient email server sent a general bounce message, such as an out of office reply
Hard bounces indicate that the recipient server cannot deliver email to this address or domain permanently. Reasons may include:
- The recipient email server sends a bounce message indicating this address does not exist
- The recipient's email address is on the Amazon SES suppression list, because it has a recent history of producing hard bounces
- The recipient email server sends a hard bounce, but did not indicate a reason
Amazon only counts hard bounces into their reliability rating, meaning only hard bounces contribute to your portal's bounce rate.
LearnUpon Support find that hard bounces come from:
- using fake (made-up) email addresses during setup and testing for your portal
- having "stale" accounts with old email addresses, for users who are no longer using your portal
- batch uploads of unverified email addresses
Understanding individual email bounces
LearnUpon disables a user's account after a single hard bounce. This automated response both prevents a pileup of additional hard bounces, and protects LearnUpon's bounce rating with Amazon. LearnUpon doesn't send alerts to customers about disabling individual accounts.
If a user reports they are not receiving messages, check to see if their login is disabled, which would pause notifications. You can enable their account again as needed.
See Disable a user account, or delete an account for instructions to access their user profile.
If their account is enabled, contact Support to ask if the user's email address generated a hard bounce.
Support needs to confirm the email is valid and capable of receiving messages, before enabling email delivery again.
For customers with a custom sending domain: subscribe to Amazon bounce notifications. Amazon sends a notification every time a bounce originates from your portal. Read more about notifications from Amazon.
If LearnUpon disables your portal's email, you need to address the following questions with LearnUpon Support, before the support team can restore your email service:
- What led to this significant number of bounces from your portal? LearnUpon Support can provide you with a list of the most recent email bounces to help your investigation, at your request.
- What will you do with the existing data within your portal to make sure hard bounces don't happen, right after re-enabling your portal email?
- What steps will you put in place to prevent hard bounces from happening again in future?
Once you identify your next steps, LearnUpon can start to restore your email deliverability.
To ensure your automated email service, you need to aim for 0 bounces originating from your portal. Some suggestions to avoid causing bounces:
- When testing, use legitimate email addresses that can receive emails rather than fake email addresses. Instead of fake emails, many customers use email aliases, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com for testing. You need to confirm if your email server allows for alias email addresses
- When adding large groups of users from the same domain, confirm with the domain's IT team that the domain can receive email from external sources. Some industry IT policies are strict and need to add LearnUpon to their safe senders list (trustlist, sometimes called whitelist) before accepting email
- Add a process for disabling or deleting users in LearnUpon when they no longer need access to your portal, for whatever reasons. When you disable a learner in your portal, LearnUpon no longer sends email to that account
- Validate lists of emails coming from external sources, using a 3rd party service.
- For customers with a custom sending domain: subscribe to Amazon bounce notifications. Amazon sends a notification every time a bounce originates from your portal. Read more about notifications from Amazon
Note: If you currently use a custom sending domain and do not receive bounce notifications, contact the Support team, who can resend you a subscription link.