Troubleshoot recipients who are not receiving emails

One question that we often receive in Finalsite Support is: "Why isn't this user getting emails?" In most cases, the reason is one of the following:

This article explains how to identify and investigate all five.

Find Recipient

To find out what's happening with a user's eNotices, start by looking up the user's eNotify history using "Find recipient" tool.

  • Go to eNotify > Find Recipient.
  • Enter all or part of the user's name or email address in the search field.
  • Select their name from the list to see their eNotify history.

This tool gives you vital information about the user's email, recent eNotices they received (or didn't), subscriptions, and unsubscribe history. For more detailed information about how to use the Find Recipient tool, refer to Find an eNotify recipient.

Bad email

How to find

On the recipient's profile, you may notice a flag for "Bad Email" next to their email address.

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This indicates that the email address has been added to the Bad Email list, and eNotices are not being delivered to them.

How it happened

When we send email, there are three possible results:

  • The message is accepted by the receiving server normally.
  • The receiving server returns a "hard" bounce, indicating that the address we're trying to send to is not available and will not become available in the near future.
  • The receiving server returns a "soft" bounce, indicating that the address we're trying to send to is not available, but it might become available soon.

If we get a hard bounce, the message is marked as "bounced" and the address is added to the Bad Email list.

If we get a soft bounce, we'll try again. We'll retry sending the message automatically over the course of the next few hours. If we still haven't gotten through after a certain amount of time, we stop retrying and mark this as a bounce.

For more information, see the Knowledge Base article "Hard bounces and soft bounces."

How to fix

If the recipient has been added to the Bad Email list in error, you can remove them from the list.

  • Go to eNotify > Mailing Lists > Bad Emails.
  • Search for the recipient using the magnifying glass icon next to the column label.
  • Select the checkbox next to the recipient's name and click the "Mark selected as good" button.

eNotify will resume delivering messages to the address -- unless there are more bounces. In the case of more soft or hard bounces, the email address will be returned to the Bad Emails list.

Global unsubscribe

How to find

On the recipient's eNotify profile, you may see the message "Person is globally unsubscribed and will not receive enotices."

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This indicates that the user has opted to unsubscribe from all eNotices.

How it happened

Users can globally unsubscribe in several ways.

  • The user clicked on the mandatory "Unsubscribe" link included in all eNotices. For more information about the Unsubscribe link and why it's required, refer to Complying with CAN-SPAM: Unsubscribe link.
  • The user marked the message as "spam" in their email client, whether by clicking the "report spam" button or just ignoring the messages for long enough, as in Gmail.
  • The user edited the subscription settings in their portal account not to receive any mailings.

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How to fix

If a user has globally unsubscribed, it's a bad practice to automatically resubscribe them. If, however, the user has contacted you and requested to receive eNotices again, you can do so.

  • Go to eNotify > Mailing Lists > Global Unsubscribes.
  • Search for the recipient using the magnifying glass icon next to the column label.
  • Select the checkbox next to the recipient's name and click the "Resubscribe selected" button.

Unsubscribe

How to find

Rather than globally unsubscribing, the user may have selected to unsubscribe from a specific mailing list. You can check the recipient's unsubscribe history on their eNotify profile page to see whether they opted out of the mailing list.

How it happened

Users can unsubscribe from a mailing list in two ways.

  • By clicking on the mandatory "Unsubscribe" link included in all eNotices. For more information about the Unsubscribe link and why it's required, refer to Complying with CAN-SPAM: Unsubscribe link.
  • By editing their subscription settings in their portal account and clicking on the red X next to the mailing list.

How to fix

It's a bad practice to automatically resubscribe someone who unsubscribed from a mailing, but if the user has asked you to do so, you have the option available.

  • Go to eNotify > Mailing Lists, find and click on the mailing list in question, then go to Unsubscribed.
  • Search for the recipient using the magnifying glass icon next to the column label.
  • Select the checkbox next to the recipient's name and click the "Resubscribe selected" button.

Data error

How to find

If the user hasn't unsubscribed or been added to the bad email list, the next thing to check is whether the recipient's data is all correct.

The first place to check is still eNotify recipient profile. Confirm that the email address is correct, and ensure that the proper mailing lists are included under "Subscriptions."

Also check the user's Constituent Manager profile. Make sure the proper address is set as primary. Double-check any details, such as grade and relationships, that may affect mailing list filters.

How it happened

The user's constituent profile may have an out-of-date address, or the wrong address set as primary.

Other fields in the constituent profile may be configured improperly. For example:

  • A student may be in a different grade/class.
  • The parent/child relationship may be reversed.
  • The email type may be set incorrectly.

The user may inadvertently have multiple constituent profiles.

If recipients were added to the mailing list manually, the user might not have been added to the list.

How to fix

When you find an error in the user's constituent profile, the obvious solution is to update the data accordingly. If you have an integration, be sure to update the data on the SIS (student information system), so that the updated information will be copied into Finalsite when the integration next runs.

If the user should be included on a mailing list but isn't, verify how recipients were added to the list. If the list is generated by dynamic filters, double-check that the filters are set up properly. You may find other users aren't receiving emails and don't even know it!

Recipient-side error

How to find

If you've come this far and nothing else has worked, you may be looking at an error that's occurring on the user's email server.

How it happened

Finalsite takes many steps to prevent eNotices from being filtered as spam, but sometimes it still happens.

How to fix

If you suspect the user's email client is blocking eNotices from delivery, you can send the user the following suggestions.

Conclusion

Once you've been through all these steps, please contact Support if you still haven't resolved the user's issue.

If you'd like to get more proactive about managing undelivered emails, you can sign up to receive notifications when it occurs.

Go to Modules & Settings > Site Administration > Site Modules > Email Domain Settings and enter your email address next to Bounce Notification Addresses and Spam Notification Addresses.

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