Blackbaud Communication Services Overview of Delivery and FAQs

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1 Blackbaud Communication Services Blackbaud Communication Services Overview of Delivery and FAQs Delivery through your Blackbaud Solutions Blackbaud Communication Services can send large numbers of messages simultaneously and conforms to standards for high-volume senders. Blackbaud Communication Services provides an industry-leading delivery system that monitors and manages industry best practices so you can focus on your mission and content strategies. How Delivery Works Regardless of the type of message, a local or hosted application server sends information and content via Web services to Blackbaud's servers. To process the messages, Blackbaud's servers validate the formats, remove addresses that meet suppression criteria, and merge the remaining recipients' information and other merge fields with the content. The servers then send the processed messages Contents How Delivery Works... 1 Blackbaud Services Frequently Asked Questions Processing FAQs... 3 Suppression FAQs Delivery FAQs... 4 to Blackbaud's Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) servers, which physically transfer the files to Internet service providers (ISPs) through multiple shared Internet protocol (IP) addresses. The MTA servers can send up to 2.5 million messages per hour and throttle the number of concurrent connections they make with ISPs. To protect recipients from unsolicited known as SPAM, ISPs use several tools and algorithms to track and block senders who do not follow industry best practices. To ensure messages successfully reach their intended recipients, Blackbaud uses several methods to support delivery. limits. Blackbaud Communication Services does not limit the number of messages allowed in a mailing sent through a Blackbaud program. However, in select instances such as when a sender consistently demonstrates poor list quality or a lack of compliance with CAN-SPAM laws and industry best practices Blackbaud may enforce a sending limit on the sender to protect all senders' reputations and ensure first-in-class delivery. To expedite delivery, we recommend that no job exceed 150,000 messages. Whitelists. Whitelists are lists of approved senders that ISPs maintain to recognize legitimate senders when messages are sent in large quantities. To increase the likelihood that messages reach their recipients, Blackbaud Communication Services maintains a whitelist status with all major ISPs so its senders can bypass some (but not all) SPAM filters. Whitelisting allows your organization to send large quantities of with a reduced risk that the ISP will block mailings that exceed the allowable thresholds.

2 Authentication. To help ISPs verify the legitimacy of a sender, Blackbaud Communication Services provides Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication for all . SPF authentication allows ISPs to use the Domain Name System (DNS) to check which servers are authorized to send on behalf of a domain. With Blackbaud Communication Services, you can create a bulk domain and include an SPF record with Blackbaud's IP addresses. Upon request, Blackbaud Communication Services also provides DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication. DKIM authentication digitally signs an message with a private key that an ISP can match with a public key that Blackbaud lists in the DNS. When Blackbaud Communication Services sends to an ISP that check's Blackbaud's domain key record during the delivery process, the ISP accepts the message because Blackbaud is a legitimate sender. Suppression. A positive sender reputation helps Blackbaud Communication Services support high delivery rates. To maintain favorable reputations with ISPs, Blackbaud uses numerous suppression methods. Blackbaud automatically reviews recipient lists and suppresses addresses for the following reasons: DKIM authentication requires that you use a permanent address in the 'From address' field in your Blackbaud program. To change a registered address, you must first consult with Blackbaud. The address is on the blacklist. The blacklist is an internal suppression list of addresses that prevents delivery to accounts that are deemed invalid. When delivery fails, Blackbaud Communication Services categorizes and tracks the bounce code responses it receives from ISPs. If delivery fails because the ISP indicates that the account or domain is invalid, Blackbaud adds the address to the blacklist. The recipient reported a message as SPAM through an ISP with a feedback loop program. A feedback loop program is an agreement between Blackbaud and an ISP, in which the ISP agrees to inform Blackbaud when a recipient marks a message as unsolicited. Blackbaud Communication Services then automatically suppresses the address from future mailings from the sender. If the same address appears in another organization's database, Blackbaud Blackbaud participates in feedback loop programs to help your organization comply with CAN-SPAM laws. Communication Services does not suppress the address from that organization's mailings. Currently, Blackbaud subscribes to feedback loop programs with AOL, Comcast, Cox.net, Excite/Blue Tie, FastMail, Hotmail, MailTrust, RoadRunner, Sunacor, Tucows, United Online, USA.net, and Yahoo!. The recipient used an opt-out link in a message to request removal from future . Depending on the type of removal request, the Blackbaud program automatically flags the address and suppresses it from future newsletter or account mailings. An opt-out option in all mailings is standard practice and allows your organization to comply with CAN-SPAM laws. Throttling. Throttling restricts the number of concurrent connections Blackbaud Communication Services makes with ISPs when it sends bulk . Blackbaud throttles the number of messages it sends to ISPs based on each ISP's specifications. Blackbaud continually monitors ISP throttling limits and changes them as necessary. This process is important for deliverability, as some ISPs return messages as undeliverable for multiple reasons, such as if they receive too many messages from one sending address at a time. Throttling, in addition to factors such as the size of lists and the combined volume of being sent, may affect the time it takes for MTAs to send .

3 Blackbaud Communication Services Frequently Asked Questions An Overview of Delivery through Blackbaud Solutions Processing FAQs Does Blackbaud Communication Services collect data from sends, opens, bounces, clicks, complaints, or forwards? To enable analysis of an mailing's effectiveness, Blackbaud Communication Services saves all content and merge fields included in the message and tracks its recipient list to collect vital statistics about sends, opens, bounces, clicks, and complaints. Data from the content's merge fields, including the recipient's name, is stored as serialized XML. For information about how to view this data, refer to your Blackbaud product's user documentation. Currently, Blackbaud Communication Services stores data collected from messages indefinitely. Where does Blackbaud Communication Services store the data it collects? Blackbaud Communication Services currently stores all data collected, including recipient and merge field data, on our secure servers located in Boston, MA. Canadian organizations subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) may be required to inform recipients that their personal data, such as from merge fields, is stored in the United States rather than in Canada. Does Blackbaud Communication Services include a pre-delivery SPAM checker or rendering preview? Currently, Blackbaud Communication Services does not offer visual preview or SPAM check features. To review the likelihood of content being flagged as SPAM based on industry standards, or to preview how content renders, we recommend you use a third-party SPAM checking service such as Litmus, Return Path, or Pivotal Viracity. How fast can Blackbaud Communication Services send ? Currently, the MTA servers can send 2.5 million messages per hour. By processing on multiple servers, we can constantly exceed our self-imposed service level agreements (SLAs) of processing 98% of transactional mailings within 30 seconds and 99% of bulk messages in less than 1 second. Actual delivery times depend on a number of factors outside of Blackbaud's control. We do not currently have an SLA for delivery.

4 Where can I see Blackbaud's sender reputation? Blackbaud Communication Services uses a number of delivery methods to manage the reputation of its senders. To proactively prevent delivery problems, Blackbaud continually monitors and sends test mail to a seedlist that tracks general inbox deliverability. Blackbaud also constantly tracks its sender score and provides 24/7 monitoring, 365 days a year. When delivery issues are identified, we work to resolve them as quickly as possible. For information about Blackbaud's reputation, visit and enter the following IPs: / /24 How are hard and soft bounces handled? Currently, Blackbaud Communication Services tracks hard failure bounce code responses from ISPs that indicate the delivery failure is permanent, such as due to a closed or invalid account. When delivery fails for these reasons, we add the address to Blackbaud's blacklist to prevent future delivery to it. Although your program may allow you to mark an invalid address as valid, we recommend you not do this without supporting evidence such as confirmation from the recipient. Blackbaud Services suppresses addresses when ISPs report them as no longer valid. Additional delivery attempts to these addresses could cause ISPs to block a wider number of messages. Suppression FAQs How can a sender remove a recipient's address from the suppression list? Although we understand that recipients may sometimes inadvertently mark messages as SPAM, Blackbaud and ISPs cannot indicate whether these actions are intentional. If Blackbaud fails to suppress addresses after it receives notifications from ISPs through a feedback loop program, our reputation suffers and we may experience problems with delivery. To remove an address from the suppression list, the recipient must a request to from the affected address. We then retain a copy of the request for our records to help resolve potential deliverability issues with the ISP if the recipient marks another message from the sender as SPAM. Delivery FAQs Does Blackbaud Communication Services resolve delivery issues such as blocks against a domain? When the cause of a deliverability problem relates to Blackbaud Communication Services' configuration, Blackbaud works to quickly resolve the issue. However, most deliverability problems are caused by the sender's behavior. If these problems occur, Blackbaud works with the sender to improve their sending practices.

5 Blackbaud Communication Services sends most from shared IP addresses, and the actions of one sender can negatively impact deliverability for others. For example, if an organization sends a mailing that generates a large number of SPAM complaints from America Online (AOL) recipients and raises the overall complaint rate above AOL's acceptable threshold, AOL is more likely to remove Blackbaud's shared IP addresses from its whitelist. When a sender is removed from a whitelist, the ISP imposes more stringent guidelines, such as lower throttle limits, and it may take several days to establish whitelist status again. How can senders ensure they receive they send to themselves from Blackbaud's servers? To ensure your anti-spam systems do not filter out you send to yourself from Blackbaud's servers, we recommend you whitelist the following ranges of IP addresses: / /24 How does Blackbaud Communication Services handle external blacklisting? External blacklists are services that network operators use, often in conjunction with SPAM firewalls such as Barracuda, to protect networks from unsolicited bulk . The services are third-party organizations such as Spamhaus.org that a network can pass through before it arrives at the network to filter out known spammers. Blackbaud currently monitors over 100 external blacklists. To prevent blacklisting of its shared IP addresses, Blackbaud: Ensures DNS records are correct, specifically the mail exchanger (MX) and SPF records. Throttles delivery based on the specifications of each ISP. Suppresses address when they are invalid, recipients report messages as SPAM, or recipients use opt-out links to request removal from future . Promptly investigates issues raised by ISPs through our Service Delivery Operations (SDO) team, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Uses different sets of IP addresses for transactional and bulk . Can separate new and problematic senders to different IP addresses to protect the overall sender reputation. Secures servers to prevent SPAM from being relayed through them. Proactively sends sample to determine general inbox delivery and resolves issues identified by this seedlisting before they arise. Although Blackbaud uses these measures to prevent external blacklisting, the senders' practices ultimately determine the reputation of the shared IP addresses. If an IP address appears on a blacklist, Blackbaud takes the corrective actions for removal that are specific to the blacklist.

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