What versions are allowed to send email to respondents?

Learn what versions you can use to send email to respondents and what the requirements and considerations are.
Reference Guide
Survey invitation emails can easily be sent out to respondents using our Email Outbox feature. However due to new (February 2024) and extensive spam rules imposed by email vendors (Google, Yahoo, etc) sending of email can now only be undertaken on versions that support your own email account.

The versions are Enterprise Solo and above, including all CATI, 360 and Market Research editions.

New Google and Yahoo sender requirements for 2024

Starting in February 2024, domain authentication will be more strictly enforced by Google and Yahoo. This is a good news story for the email industry and should mean better deliverability of legitimate mail.

Email sent through the Web Survey Creator platform utilizes the features required by these vendors. That includes authentication using DKIM, SPF, and DMARC.

We also enforce the ability to unsubscribe and promote and require obtaining permission and respecting unsubscribes.

However, our platform processes millions of emails every year from the huge range of clients using the platform. The new rules mean that if a single client were to breach the rules, and send even a few thousand emails defined as spam to one of these vendors, we may see our ability to deliver email to vendors like Google or Yahoo is severely restricted or banned.

That ban would affect all clients on our platform. That would be a catastrophic event and one which we cannot allow if we continued to allow unvetted access to email sending across all levels.

While we continually monitor for spam events, and they are remarkedly few, we cannot protect against a customer with a poor email list who sends a threshold quantity of spam triggering email. It would be a case of "the horse having bolted" and we would not be able to "shut the barn door".

It is for that reason that we are removing the ability to send email from versions lower than Enterprise. That means Free, Student and Professional can no longer send email to respondents directly from the platform. In addition, our Enterprise and above customers will be encouraged to utilize their own email servers to send email.

If you try and undertake the scheduling of email, you may be provided with a message noting that you are currently prevented from sending email. Please feel free to contact Support via our support system in order to discuss your current setup.

Setting up your own email sending

This can be setup within Web Survey Creator and will mean your email can come from your own address too, rather than a @websurveycreator.com email address.

Of course you will be able to still export all your respondents and this will include their unique survey and decline links. You can then utilize your own email system, a bulk email sender or other email platform to mail merge and send these emails.

Remember that commercial providers (e.g. Campaign Monitor, Twilio, Mailchimp) will all have guidelines in place that may require you to authenticate your email or validate your sender domain ("whitelabelling"). These changes are all designed to stop spam and increase deliverability.

For users on Enterprise Solo and above, including all CATI, 360 and Market Research editions, you can setup a link to your own SMTP based email server. This will allow you to use your own server or one of the bulk email senders that allow "whitelabelling" of domain sending.

Go to My Account and then choose Edit Organisation
Edit SMTP Settings
From here you can enter all the details to connect to your own SMTP server. Whether using a commercial provider or your own in house email server, you will need to provide the following details: -
  • Server Name
  • Port
  • User Name
  • Password
  • Authentication Method
. In addition, you'll need to supply the From Address, From Name, and Bounce Address for sending of email.
Edit SMTP Settings
You can use the Send Test Email button to test that the email connection works. Once completed choose Save Organisation Details.

Your new details will now be shown in the My Account screen.
Edit SMTP Settings
When you try and use the Email Outbox feature to send a new email, the sender details will now be set to those established in My Account. Further, when you send an email the SMTP settings will be used to send the email.
Edit SMTP Settings