Luminate Online Email System Overview of Deliverability

What are some important things to know about Luminate Online Email Marketing?
In order to maximize the effectiveness of email messages being sent through Luminate Online, it is critical clients adhere to email best practices outlined in the Blackbaud Acceptable Use Policy for Application Services (AUP)These best practices and processes enable Blackbaud to maintain a mailing reputation that exceeds expectations for our clients and elevate the Blackbaud brand as representing non-profits that focus on permission-based emails, as opposed to unsolicited email.

Understanding the Luminate Online Mailing Environment

Luminate Online leverages a multi-tenant configuration that allows clients sending email to benefit from shared mailing environments. Due to the high volume managed through these shared mailing environments, Blackbaud is able to promote higher deliverability on behalf of all clients. Blackbaud leverages an automated proprietary algorithmic system to dynamically shift clients across mailing environments that match the level of user engagement shown by their constituents and the level of complaints returned by recipients. This system is designed to match how Email Service Providers (ESPs) evaluate incoming messages and helps Blackbaud maximize email delivery performance on behalf of all Luminate Online clients.
The end goal for Blackbaud is to ensure all clients are emailing to confirmed opt-in records only.  In an environment where everyone adheres to Blackbaud AUP guidelines and sends only to permission-based emails, delivery rates and most importantly engagement rates increase dramatically.
In the event any client using Luminate Online is identified as negatively impacting system mailing reputations, Blackbaud will take action to isolate that sender In the Luminate Online mail system and notify the client that action is needed.  No exception requests to manually adjust a designated mailing environment will be accommodated. 
Blackbaud determines negative impact as an email deliverability block or reported issue notification resulting from higher than acceptable:
  • Spam Trap Notifications
  • User Complaint Notifications
  • Bounce Rates
These articles will explain the different causes of delivery barriers and how to work with Blackbaud to resolve them for your site:

Spam Traps: An Explanation and How to Resolve a Block Caused by a Spam Trap

Understanding Indirect Email Impacts
Actions which have an indirect impact to email delivery include:
  • Multiple Email Service Provider (ESP) Channels, e.g. poor mailing practices through an external ESP can impact the brand reputation for a client and carry over deliverability issues to their mailing campaigns with Blackbaud, meaning you are sending email through another product from the same domain (the “from” address on the email).
  • User Engagement, e.g. the more open or click-through activity occurs from an email campaign, the more confident Internet Service Providers (ISP) can feel towards the validity of the sender and their email messages.  In particular, Gmail highlights this metric with more weight than others ISPs. (Article tells how to email with best practices and avoid spam traps).

Understanding the Blackbaud Role in Email Delivery
Many clients mistake Blackbaud as an Email Service Provider (ESP).  An ESP is a company whose product is focused on sending and receiving any type of message and has a tolerance for unsolicited messages.  These companies deal with clients that purchase user data from multiple sources, which often represent users who have never agreed and signed up to be mailed to.   If you look in your Spam folders, most of those messages were sent from an ESP which you more than likely didn’t sign up to receive messages. 
Blackbaud’s email platform is a conduit for clients to be able to reach their subscribed members and communicate with those who have expressed and showed interest in each of their respective causes; and equally important, have requested to be included in the clients’ mail circulations.    
Blackbaud must ensure and enforce that clients understand this distinction in order to have a successful email delivery initiative and that clients demonstrate ownership of:
  • Email Data that currently resides in the system
  • Email Data that will be imported into the system 
Blackbaud is also responsible for identifying clients and/or messages that may be impacting the delivery for our broader client base, and taking necessary actions to preserve the mail reputation of the environment until those identified clients have made the appropriate actions to rectify the identified concern.  



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