As we are moving our entire infrastructure to Amazon Web Services there will be some changes to how emails are sent out.
In our old environment emails were sent from one of two dedicated web servers. The IPs were consistent and emails were sent using sendmail from the same web server. All of that is different with the new environment.
We are now using Docker containers and an auto-scaling environment so things are a bit different.
Emails are usually sent out from BranchCMS for the following events:
- A form is submitted and a notification is going out to one of your team members.
- A form is submitted and an autoresponder is going to the customer who submitted the form.
- You need to reset your administrative password.
- Emails sent out from the Campaigns app.
Most of the time it's a form submission notification that you would be getting an email for.
Changes to where emails are sent from
One major concept with Docker is the idea that a Docker image should be focused on one thing and that you should use multiple services/Docker containers for your full-stack. In our case, our Docker images for our "web servers" are focused solely on processing and serving responses from BranchCMS. Instead of building additional Docker images to run a mail server we decided to instead utilize experts in the email space to deliver any emails sent from BranchCMS. We are now using SendGrid to deliver all of our emails. This is a good thing as it will improve the deliverability of emails and allow us access to more tools to monitor deliverability.
We are also using a dedicated email address that all emails are sent from. If you set a "From" address or a "Reply-To" address for your form notifications and autoresponders than that address is used as the "Reply-To" address. The email address that all emails are sent from is:
You may want to whitelist that email address to make sure that notifications get to you.
Note, that on our end it's not an email address that we'll ever check so don't reply back to it.
Your end-users and customers will most likely not notice the change.
When an email is sent from our system the following information is set for the form:
- The "From" email address is set to email@example.com
- The "From" name is set to the value you set for the From name.
- The "Reply-To" email address is set to the "From" email address unless you also set a Reply-to email address, then it will use the Reply-to email address.
- The "Reply-To" name is set to the "From" name unless you also set a Reply-to name, then it will use the Reply-to name.
No more whitelisting IP addresses
If your team has been whitelisting IP addresses to ensure email delivery, unfortunately, that is no longer possible. Because we are using a third-party service to send emails the IP addresses will often change. Because there are a lot of different websites using BranchCMS we probably won't ever get a dedicated IP address with SendGrid. We want to ensure deliverability and if there are a few bad players out there, we don't want that affecting how other emails are sent.
Even if we weren't using a third-party email service, due to the auto-scaling nature of our environment the IPs would constantly be changing. On any given day we can go from a few webservers to over a dozen, and back down again.
If you really need to whitelist something, you can whitelist "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Send from your own email accounts
If you really don't like your emails sending from email@example.com then you do have options. You can use the SMTP integration to send emails from your own SMTP servers. In the administration go to Settings -> Integrations -> Email Delivery to set that up.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact our support team.