Remember that once the emails are sent by CU*BASE, it becomes a function of various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver the emails to members.  Because of the way our system can send a batch of email messages to a large group of members at the same time, there may be some ISPs that interpret these email messages as “spam” (junk email) messages, especially if you have a large number of members who use the same ISP.  If you hear from members that your emails are being marked as spam, here’s what you should do:
 
  1. Make sure that your credit union's own email address is correct in CU*BASE (Tool #569 “VMS Online Banking Configuration”).  If the “from” address is invalid on a batch of email messages, an ISP may interpret the message as spam.
  2. Ask the member for the name and a contact number for their ISP.  Also request a copy of the email message that the member received with “spam” notification on it.  Explain to the member that the ISP probably has standard scanning software that assumes the email was spam because it was sent as part of a batch of email messages from your credit union.  (Note:  In order to prevent members from seeing another member’s email address, all addresses on emails sent by CU*BASE will use the “BCC” (blind carbon copy) address field.  This can sometimes be interpreted as spam by ISPs but is in fact the best way to protect member privacy and prevent viruses from being propagated between email boxes.)
  3. Contact the ISP and request that these email messages be excluded from spam detection software.  If appropriate, the member can even contact the ISP directly.  Otherwise, contact CU*Answers for assistance in working with the ISP and providing any information they need to exclude these messages. DO NOT have members contact CU*Answers under any circumstances.

Members should also make sure your credit union's email address is on their "safe senders" list with their email provider, and that emails from you aren't being automatically funneled into their junk mailbox for some reason.

Preventing Spam Alerts from Your Own Email Provider
When creating an email message, you will be defining the “from” email address.  Any replies to the message, or any notifications of “invalid address,” will be sent to this email box.  This must be a valid email address, and this account should have adequate capacity to handle the potential traffic generated by the message.  (For example, if you plan to send an email to 1,000 members, the email box should be able to handle up to 1,000 replies!) 

IMPORTANT:  Be sure your email provider is aware of the volume of emails you may receive, and does not misinterpret your email traffic as spam.  It is recommended that you establish a relationship with a provider who understands your credit union and its email marketing needs.  Some providers, such as AOL, have restrictions in place to prevent people from signing up for an email box and then using it to send junk messages to a large number of email addresses.  Be sure your email provider does not misunderstand your intentions. 

Remember that the cleaner and more up-to-date your email address list is, the less likely you are to receive a large number of returned emails. Remind your members to keep you in the loop when they change their email address!