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Dealing with spam

This page explains how spam occurs and what to do if an account using your app is blocked.

🥸 Receiving spam from a Nylas app? Learn how to report it here.

Blocked when sending

To preserve their email sending reputation, some email providers will review all outbound emails through their spam filter before sending. Spam filters work by comparing emails to an extensive list of matching behaviors and giving each behavior a score. If the cumulative score of an outbound email exceeds a set threshold, the email is blocked. Some spam filters look for automated senders like Nylas and add a score for using them because spammers often use similar automated services. This can cause some emails that have a concerning spam score to go over the blocking threshold when sent through Nylas. Contact your email administrator if you have any questions about their spam filters.

We return that the email was blocked for spam in the API response, but we don't have any visibility into exactly what caused the block.

IP block

Many Exchange servers have 2 SMTP servers. One is for automated sending from applications like Nylas, and the other is a smaller service that sends emails from the Outlook email client directly.

Since the SMTP server handles the larger sends, it is more likely to get flagged as spam. This is due to the volume spike and bulk sends compared to the individual emails when sending from the Outlook client.

Emails sent through Nylas have to through the larger server and are more likely to get caught in any spam blocks on the server's IP address. If you see a bounce message indicating your IP address has been blocked, bring it to the attention of your email administrator. They can look into solutions such as getting a new IP address for the SMTP server. You should also review your outbound emails and ensure you are following best practices to avoid being blocked.

Flagged as junk mail

Bulking refers to email servers' practice of accepting emails sent to their users but routing them to a BULK, SPAM, or JUNK email folder or label. There are various reasons that email providers do this, but Nylas has no visibility or control over that process. Often this happens when a recipient's email server starts to receive large amounts of email from an IP address that never sent it email before. Or when recipients of earlier sends have flagged the emails as junk.

It's important to ramp up sending to new contacts and ask your recipients to mark the email as not spam. You should also respect any unsubscribe requests and remove recipients who are not engaging with your mail.

To avoid any of the scenarios listed, you can read our guide on Improving Email Deliverability.

How to check if an email is marked as spam

Email records that are configured incorrectly can cause a message to be marked as spam. Since Nylas is not an email provider, sending a message through us does not cause a message to be marked as spam.

The recipient's email server will add headers to the email that say if the email records are correctly configured. If you see information such as:

  • spf=pass
  • dkim=pass
  • dmarc=pass

That means the email sender is authorized. If any of them say fail, check with the senders email administrator to check that the records are configured correctly.

Blocked accounts

Sometimes we receive reports from email providers about accounts that are flagged for spam activities. As a preventive measure and to comply with CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and other anti-spam policies we are required to block these accounts from making any API calls and report them to their respective organization.

How abuse reports work

When an email is marked as spam or junk mail, an abuse report is created. The report is automatically sent to the recipient's ISP (Internet Service Provider), and a warning is sent to the sender's ESP (Email Service Provider). As the emails are sent using Nylas, our support staff receives these abuse reports.

The warning usually hides the identity of the person or entity that created the complaint. The warning includes:

  • A copy of the email sent.
  • A brief message that a complaint has been issued.
  • The action that must be taken to address the issue or the Nylas server will be blocked.

How Nylas addresses spam

To protect your reputation and our own we carefully monitor abuse reports when we receive them. If we detect that the email content isn’t complying with the CAN-SPAM, GDPR, CASL, or CCPA policies we immediately block the respective accounts from making any API calls and report them to their respective organization.

There are two things that happen when we block an account belonging to your organization:

  • If your user is blocked by us for spam reports you would have received an email titled Notice: User Account Suspended from Nylas support. This email will specify the Nylas account ID and the email address of the account that has been blocked.
  • When an account is blocked by us all the API calls will result in 403 errors. The user will not be able to send any more emails or make any API calls until we unblock that account.

How to unblock accounts

To get the account unblocked, we need an email confirmation from the organization that this user has been educated about CAN-SPAM and other policies and they will not be engaging in spam activities again.

Here are some of the guidelines that can help your users in not getting flagged for spam:

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