Why aren't my customers receiving store notification emails?

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As of April 2014, both Yahoo and AOL were confirmed to have made DMARC policy changes resulting in failed authentication for third parties. Please see Yahoo's article andAOL's article for further details.

If your customers received their confirmation order but not order status updates, make sure that you have checked your desired settings first.

Store Profile email address Third party email service, such as Yahoo or AOL, cannot be used as your store's email address. If they are, your customers will not be able to receive store notifications, and you will receive bounceback emails.

To check this address, go to Setup & Tools › Set up your store › Profile. This email address acts as the "from" email -- the email address that order notifications are marked as coming from. In reality, the order notifications are coming from the Bigcommerce servers. So if Bigcommerce is not hosting the "from" email account, there is a disparity in where the email says it is from and where it is actually coming from. Certain email servers will reject email messages with this disparity.

For example, if your profile email address is mystore@yahoo.com, the following scenario will occur:

  1. A customer with the email customer@customer.com places an order.
  2. Bigcommerce's server will send an order confirmation email marked as "from" mystore@yahoo.com.
  3. The server at customer.com will notice a disconnect between the email's "from" address (yahoo.com) and the server it is coming from (bigcommerce.com). It will check with Yahoo to see if bigcommerce.com is authorized to send on a Yahoo.com email address' behalf. It is not due to Yahoo's DMARC policies.
  4. Customer.com rejects the message, without sending it to the junk mail folder.
  5. The customer never receives the order confirmation email.
How can we avoid this scenario? The best practice is for the Profile email to have your domain name, NOT a third party domain such as Yahoo or AOL. After that, it is a matter of making sure all of the authorizations are in place.

My nameservers are pointing to Bigcommerce, and my email is hosted by Bigcommerce

Great! You're all set.

My nameservers are pointing to Bigcommerce, but my email is hosted with someone else

No problem! Once you have put the MX records into Bigcommerce to send your email to your email host, make sure to add the host's SPF to the TXT record in Bigcommerce. This will be Bigcommerce's way of showing that it's been authorized to send under the name of your email host. Double-check with your email host what their SPF record is, but it will look similar to this:include:spf.secureserver.net

I'm pointing to Bigcommerce with a CNAME or A Record

You might need to get your email host involved with this one. Contact them to find out if you can use their SMTP details.

  • If so, you will add these details in Setup & Tools › Store Settings › Miscellaneous, under SMTP. (See this article for an example.)
  • If not, you will need to add Bigcommerce's SPF record wherever your nameservers are located. The Bigcommerce SPF record is include:_spf.bigcommerce.com.

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Drew N, Community Manager

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Posted 4 years ago

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