It’s not always easy to confirm that messages have been successfully delivered to student inboxes when using commercial email providers. For example, in a recent NSSE administration a campus contact notified NSSE with concern over low response rates. There was no evidence of technical issues; however, after several days of investigation by campus IT staff it was discovered that all emails sent to student Umail accounts (Google) had been redirected to the spam filter. IT staff made an easy adjustment and subsequent messages delivered successfully. If your campus uses such a service, NSSE recommends that you identify the person(s) on your campus that can monitor successful email delivery and ask that they check for delivery the day after a message is sent. Once NSSE sends a message we cannot see if a message delivers to the inbox or a junk mail folder; however, messages that are returned (‘bounced’) are tracked and displayed on the Interface for your review.
NSSE adheres to the recommended best practices as suggested by these companies, and registers our status with them as a legitimate organization so that our messages are not treated as spam. NSSE uses DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) to digitally identify our messages as coming from our authorized senders. In addition we utilize a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record which lists our authorized senders. Both of these are done to reduce the possibility of phishing attacks and spam from others using NSSE addresses and both increase deliverability of email.
During administration, we monitor response, message opening, and bounce rates for potential problems, and contact these companies if one is detected.
NSSE participates in the Junk Email Reporting Program and Sender ID services offered by Microsoft (listed at http://mail.live.com/mail/services.aspx). We are not eligible for participation in the Return Path Sender Score Certified Email service, however, because NSSE does not meet the criteria required by Microsoft. MS recommends the following procedures for helping NSSE emails be delivered at campuses using MS live: The mail administrator can go into PowerShell and create a transport rule to give our servers, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, a spam confidence level of 3 or less.