According to a report from Return Path, one in six emails never reaches the recipient, either being delivered to spam or completely blocked.
That's the norm! The science behind email deliverability is complex and sometimes unpredictable. Each and every email provider has different systems and algorithms in place to protect their users from unwanted spam and harmful bugs. This experience differs for each email user depending on their preferences and historical behaviors with their email platform. Some filters are extra-conservative, while others are more lenient on what emails get through.
Why would a server block my email?
The reasoning behind undelivered emails is sometimes not so transparent. Some spam-filters are reputation-based, meaning that your overall reputation as a sender plays into whether your emails will be accepted as a server. This feeds off how many times you've been marked as spam, sent emails that have hard-bounced, been unsubscribed to, and a plethora of other "mystical" factors.
Lately, spam-filters are becoming engagement-based, meaning they're looking at the recipient behavior to determine which emails are appropriate for the user. If a user has historically marked some of your emails as spam or simply not opened or engaged with them in any way, you may have a harder time getting through their server.
Some servers and filters take it even further. Occasionally, if multiple employees of a company get the same email at the same time (an e-newsletter, perhaps), the server will think you're a spammer and block you.
Of course, the more people who open and engage with your emails, the more likely you are to be sent through to certain servers, so always be sure to create and send great content!
Does this apply to marketing emails or transactional Novi emails?
Both! It all depends on what you have set as your "from" email address in Novi and/or your email communication platform and how the recipient's server perceives that email.
What is the "From" email address when a user submits a Contact Request on my website?
When a user is on your website and they submit a contact request (e.g. they click the email icon on a member directory profile), if Novi attempts to send the email "from" the user's email address, some email providers will flag it. Therefore, Novi sends all contact requests "from" the association's email address (which is determined in your Novi settings). If the recipient chooses to reply to the email, it will be sent to the sender's email, not to the association.
If a member is not receiving emails:
You may hear from a member that they received an email in spam or not at all. That's okay! Don't panic. Most importantly, if none of your emails are being sent, please contact the Novi AMS team for troubleshooting assistance. Alternatively, there is almost undoubtedly an issue on the recipient server side if most of your emails are being sent, but certain a member(s) is not receiving them. If this is the case, this article on member email deliverability will explain potential reasons and how you can help them.