Troubleshooting Emails

Overview

Occasionally, schools will hear from parents who did not receive an email they should have received. This can happen for a variety of reasons including spam filters on the recipient’s email account or incorrect email settings in Veracross. When this happens, here are things your school can check to determine where the problem lies.

Email Delivery

The first thing to check, if parents did not receive an email from the school, is whether or not Veracross sent the email to the parent. The method for checking email delivery statuses depends on whether the parent was sent an email from a group distribution list (e.g. all_parents@mail.veracross.com) or whether they were sent a notification or system email (e.g. online re-enrollment emails, welcome emails, assignment notifications, etc.)

NOTE: Do not use BCC when sending to a group distribution list. If group distribution emails are sent via BCC, it will fail. To be precise: BCC works if only ONE SINGLE distribution list is in the BCC field. If multiple distribution lists are in BCC, only one of the lists in the BCC field will be sent. The distribution list alias, and the other recipients, are always hidden from the recipient of a distribution list email because Veracross distribution lists send one email per recipient.

Checking Emails Sent to Group Distribution Lists

System Administrators can check the “Email Log” query on the System or Communication homepage and open the particular email that the parent should have received by clicking on the Subject line link.

The Individual Recipients tab of this email will also show the Status details so that schools can review the list of who received that particular email.

Schools should also review the the emails the person has received on the Communication tab.

If Veracross tried to send an email to the parent, the email would appear in this list with a Status next to each email that was sent.

Checking Email Delivery Statuses

Once you have the email delivery status for the email(s) in question, use the Email Delivery Statuses documentation to troubleshoot the individual statuses.

If a user is reporting they are not receiving email via Veracross email distribution list, here are some potential reasons:

  • The user has marked a message from Veracross as spam. To ensure the Veracross email reputation stays intact, our email provider does not deliver subsequent messages to that person.
  • Sometimes the very small email providers (and AOL) will block messages from Veracross due to our volume (ie. they think Veracross is spamming people). However, our outgoing IP address is clean on all major blacklists.
  • The user has the message bounce for any number of reasons. A soft bounce will be retried (e.g., mailbox full). A hard bounce will not be retried (e.g. bad email address), also to keep up our email reputation. Communications Admins can remove individual users from the Bounce List by selecting ‘Remove From List’ in the ‘Bounce List Status’ field on their Person_Communication detail screen.

Checking Emails Sent by the System or Notification Delivery

If the email that was sent was an automatic notification (e.g. assignment notification) or an email sent out via an Email Template in Veracross (e.g. parent welcome email), you’ll need to open the “System Email Log” query on the System or Communication homepage to see whether the email was sent.

From the Query Design tab, use the Recipient(s) field to search for the parent’s email address. Some system emails may have two email addresses in the Recipients field, so change the operator to “contains” to search all the email addresses that may have received the email.

If the email appears in the list with the recipient’s email address, Veracross attempted to send the email to the parent. However, we do not have specific delivery information available for system emails so the email may or may not have been delivered.

If the parent did not receive the email, there may be one of three problems:

1. The email may have been delivered to the parent, but is caught in a spam filter somewhere. Have the parent check their spam or junk folders for emails from Veracross and white list any emails from Veracross.

2. The email may not have gone through if their email address is not valid. Check with the parent and make sure you have an active email address on file for the parent in their Email 1 field.

3. The parent may have marked other emails from Veracross as spam or junk. Once a recipient marks an email as spam, Veracross will not email them again. If the parent wishes to receive emails from Veracross again, schools can go to the Find Person query on the Communication homepage. Click on the magnify glass in the Communications Detail column. This will open the Communication Detail record for the person. Schools should then check the Spam List Status. If the status says “On List (Not Receiving Emails)” schools will need to change the status to “Remove from List” and click Update Person- Communication. The system will then remove the person’s email address from the Spam Report list.

 If you have confirmed that there is no record in Veracross of the email being sent to the parent, please read the below common issues to troubleshoot further.

Whitelisting Veracross Email IP Addresses

Whitelisting the Veracross domain helps ensure that VC emails don't get marked as spam by the spam filter at a school. Most of the time, it possible to whitelist the veracross domain. In that case, a school will need to whitelist veracross.com.

  • mail1.veracross.com
  • mail2.veracross.com
  • mail3.veracross.com
  • mail4.veracross.com

If you can't whitelist the veracross domain, you may need to whitelist by IP address instead. If so, the following IP addresses should be whitelisted:

  • 166.78.70.65
  • 166.78.70.68
  • 23.253.183.37
  • 159.135.234.152

Email Error Log

the Email Error Log query on the System homepage.

If an email does not send properly, you can find information about why it didn't send properly using the Email Error Log query on the System homepage. This query is configured to display any emails that have been sent in the past two weeks where the status is set to be one of four error statuses, which are detailed below:

  • Error: Permission Denied is set when the email sending the distribution list email does not meet the security requirements to send to the distribution list.
  • Error: No Recipients Found is set when there are no valid recipients for the email.
  • Error: Too Large is set when there are too many recipients included, causing the process to time out.
  • Error: Invalid Distribution List is set when the email attempting to be sent does not actually use a valid distribution list address.

Email Address

A parent might not be receiving email from Veracross if their email address is misspelled, or the domain name of their address is incorrect (e.g. john.smith@gmail.com instead of johnsmith@hotmail.com). Double check that the parent has their email address typed correctly and that it is the same email address that they expect to be receiving school communication at.

Also, make sure the parent has their preferred email address in the Email 1 field. Veracross will never send communication to the Email 2 address. If a parent has an email in both fields, make sure the parent’s primary email address for communication is in the Email 1 field.

Communication Method

On the Other tab of the parent’s record, confirm that their preferred method of communication is set to “Email” or “Both”. If a parent has their Preferred Method field set to “Paper”, Veracross will not include them in the email distribution lists.

Permissions

The system group distribution lists in Veracross are automatically generated based on information we have for people in the database, including relationship information and permissions. If a parent is not correctly receiving communication for one of their children, first consider whether a Parent system group or the “Parents of” a Student group is being used. For “Parents of” Student groups, check the Related People tab of the student or parent in question and confirm that the parent has the “Custody” or “GC” flags checked for their student (GC should be checked for parents with no custody of the student). If the parent has an incorrect relationship to the student, this will need to be updated as well. Parent system groups do not account for custody or the “GC” flag.

Group Membership

Open the Group detail screen for the group(s) the email was sent to and confirm the parent or student appears in the list of members in the group. Email distribution lists are automatically managed by the system groups in Veracross. If a parent or student’s group membership changes in a day, it’s likely those parents will not be included in the group’s distribution list on that same day. For example, if a student switches sections of a class, it’s likely the parents will not get emails from the new class teacher until the group membership has been refreshed to include the new parents. Group membership is automatically refreshed nightly and can be forced to refresh during the day if changing group membership is a frequent occurrence on the day an email is sent.