Outgoing/incoming email changes for our hosted customers

Email is hard™ We try our best here at Discourse to adhere to the latest best practices and make sure the site we host for you is successfully sending and receiving emails.

As part of our ongoing efforts, we are making changes to both outgoing and incoming email addresses.

Before the change:

Outgoing notification emails: hostedsitename@discoursemail.com
Incoming reply-to emails: hostedsitename+%{reply_key}@discoursemail.com

After the change:

Outgoing notification emails: notifications@hostedsitename.discoursemail.com
Incoming reply-to emails: incoming+%{reply_key}@hostedsitename.discoursemail.com

Why are we doing this?

  • potentially improves mail delivery
  • allows us to control which regions handle mail for a site
  • provide better signal to spam filters. all mail to a specific site will always come from a single domain.

What about old topics?

Sites will support incoming mail for both old and new style addresses during a transition period of up to a year.

How does this affect me?

The hope is very minimally! The incoming reply-to email change is already rolling out across our hosting clusters and should be a completely seamless transition.

The outgoing notification emails may be a little trickier. Some email platforms (particularly Google’s) have proven to be very aggressive about assuming something is spam. Unfortunately we aren’t able to look at the criteria they use, so we are left trying to guess what will make the filters happy.

This is all to say that you may need to communicate to your community that notification emails are changing and that users’ individual spam filters may need to be adjusted. For most users this is just a matter of marking a notification email as “not spam” if it arrived in their spam box. The email platform should learn from there.

As you may have noticed, we set the following banner topic on our Meta community to help warn users of the change:

Please note: the notification email address for meta is changing to notifications@meta.discoursemail.com ; you may need to update email filters

When are the changes happening?

We are planning to slowly roll out the changes:

  • All brand new sites: change is live now
  • Free hosting tier: 2022-02-28T00:00:00Z
  • Standard hosting tier: 2022-03-07T00:00:00Z
  • Business hosting tier: 2022-03-21T00:00:00Z
  • Enterprise hosting tier: Rollout starting 2022-04-25T00:00:00Z
19 Likes

Thanks for the heads-up on this. As our audience is fairly technical, we have many people who have much more complicated filters than just trusting their email provider’s spam / not-spam detection, so the more warning and information we can provide, the better. I’ll be watching for when there’s a firm date for the higher hosting tiers.

7 Likes

Just a quick update on this – we have rolled out the change to our Free and Standard hosting tiers.

Business tier is next and is currently scheduled for 2022-03-21T00:00:00Z

6 Likes

We haven’t had any complaints at this stage, so it appears that you did a good job.

6 Likes

I just configured a new forum with a custom domain and all the invitation emails went to the spam folder.
The recipients of the invitation were all google accounts so far.
Is there anything we can do to improve it?

2 Likes

If you’re a hosted customer (what this topic is about), you should email support. If you’re self-hosted, you should check out Troubleshooting email on a new Discourse install.

3 Likes

I noticed some of our emails started landing in the Gmail Spam presumably after this change was rolled out. Hopefully, Google’s systems will learn this sooner than later with enough signals from the users.

3 Likes