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Email Deliverability

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Making Sure You Get Our Email

TrackAbout sends emails to its users. The purpose of this article is to help you or your system administrator make sure our email gets delivered.

Mandrill (Mailchimp)

The TrackAbout web application sends email through a third party to ensure deliverability. We use Mandrill, which is a Mailchimp company.

Mandrill is a high quality email automation company. They work very hard to ensure they don't send bad mail or get themselves blacklisted for any reason -- they're in the business of sending mail that gets delivered.

Mandrill provides us with a very rich toolset that helps TrackAbout track mail deliverability, detect email bounces, and other mail quality issues.

Return-Path Field

Because TrackAbout sends mail through Mandrill, the contents of the Return Path field (usually hidden from user view) in an email may contain a @mandrillapp.com address. Mandrill creates a unique ID for every piece of mail sent, and sets a Return-Path email equal to a combination of this unique ID and @mandrillapp.com. This is part of how they track deliverability.

If your mail server is marking email from TrackAbout as spam, you could consider whitelisting @mandrillapp.com. However, it shouldn't be necessary to do this because of the SPF and DKIM elements we'll discuss next. Whitelisting mandrillapp.com will cause your mail server to trust all mail coming from all the other users of the Mandrill platform, and it's probably not what you want to do. There is probably a better way, but since every mail system is different, we can't tell you how to tune your particular system.

Sender Policy Framework

TrackAbout has implemented Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to ensure email deliverability. In short, this means we have configured a TXT entry in our DNS system so that email servers receiving mail from TrackAbout can check that the origin IP address is trusted.

Smart mail servers will check the SPF record in TrackAbout's DNS to ensure mail is coming from a trusted source.

To see our SPF record in DNS:

From Windows
c:> nslookup -q=TXT trackabout.com
From Linux/Unix
user $ dig trackabout.com TXT

DKIM Signing

TrackAbout signs every email with a cryptographic hash using the DomainKeys Identified Mail protocol. Our public key is kept in DNS.

Smart mail servers will validate incoming email by checking the DKIM signature, to ensure email is properly signed by someone who controls the DNS entry (trackabout.com) for the sender's email address (the address in the From field).

To see our Mandrill DKIM signing public key:

From Windows
c:> nslookup -q=TXT mandrill._domainkey.trackabout.com
From Linux/Unix
user $ dig mandrill._domainkey.trackabout.com TXT