Adding a layer of verification to your emails by using an authenticated New/Mode email address or by setting up SPF and DKIM on your domain is a great way to ensure that emails sent through your action make it to their destination.
This article covers:
- Emails to Targets (SPF + DKIM):
- Thank You Emails to Supporters (SPF)
Emails to Targets
When campaign supporters use a civic tech platform like New/Mode to contact their government officials, their email messages are addressed as coming from their individual email addresses but actually come from ours.
In the majority of cases, this type of civic advocacy communication works well and is received as intended, but in a few rare occasions this kind of civic input has been filtered out or blocked by government IT departments. Read on for a couple of ways to get around that.
Using a verified New/Mode email address
If you believe that emails sent through one of your actions may get blocked by government decision makers use the setup below to send your emails to targets sent through a DMARC-verified New/Mode email address.
1. On your action's Edit tab, open the Send Configuration page:
2. Uncheck the box beside "Use supporter email address as From address".
3. In the 'From Address' field that is now shown, enter CivicInput@newmode.org
4. (Optional) To have any replies from targets sent to the supporter, check the box for "Include supporter email address as a "reply-to" header". (Emails will list supporter details even if this option isn't enabled).
5. Click on the 'Save & Next' button to complete the process.
6. (Optional) You may also want to add this footer to the end of your messages if you'd like to give more context to government IT departments and help them understand that these emails are legitimate constituent communications:
This email was sent by the above supporter of this campaign via New/Mode, a platform that empowers people to contact decision makers. In accordance with web protocol RFC 3834 we have set the FROM field of this email to our generic no-reply address, however you can find the campaign supporter’s email address above. We’ve also used their email address in the REPLY-TO field.To learn more about web protocol RFC 3834 visit: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3834
Verifying your domain and using one of your own email addresses
If you'd prefer to use an email address at your domain as the 'From Address' in step 3 above, we can help you authenticate your domain within our email service. All you need is access to edit your domain's DNS records and a few key pieces of information.
2. Let us know once you've done that and send us the following details:
- the domain you want to use (the one where you set up SPF)
- the name of your DNS host (usually the same host for your website)
- the email address of a person at your organization who has access to your domain’s DNS records (likely the same person who set up SPF).
3. We'll begin the domain authentication (DKIM) process within our email service and send you one more email with instructions for editing your domain's DNS records.
4. Let us know when you've made the new changes to your DNS records.
5. About 24 hours after we receive your confirmation we'll complete the DKIM process for your domain, and we'll let you know that you can now use an email address at your newly verified domain as the 'From Address' for your campaign emails to targets.
Thank You Emails to Supporters
When we send thank you emails to your supporters on your behalf, thank you emails are addressed as coming from your domain but actually come from ours. This makes them more likely to be marked as spam, so you can set up an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record on your domain's DNS to make it clear to the recipient that these emails are authorized.
What you'll need:
- Access to your organization's domain's DNS so you can create a new SPF record or modify an existing one.
- The IP address New/Mode uses to send thank you emails on behalf of your organization. (Send us a support ticket to get this!)
Setting up an SPF record
Depending on the DNS records already in place for your domain, you may need to create a new record or you may be able to update an existing record.
- Creating a new SPF record
Your domain provider probably has detailed instructions on creating an SPF record if you don't have one already, so those are an excellent place to start. For reference, a basic SPF record is a text document that looks like this:
v=spf1 a mx ip4:[your_org's_IP_address_for_thank_you_emails] ~all
Adding to an existing SPF record
If you already have an SPF record, you'll only need to add the New/Mode IP address for your organization to the list of IPs included in it:
Last updated: April 18, 2023