Understanding spam

Learn about email block lists, spam filters, spam traps, and other hard obstacles to email delivery

Updated over a week ago

NationBuilder's compliance with CAN-SPAM

NationBuilder complies with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003's sending guidelines. All of our official email templates include a visible and operable unsubscribe link and the sender's physical address. NationBuilder honors opt-out requests immediately, and emails are sent from properly configured email servers.

We encourage our customers to review our recommended best practices and read more about overall communications before getting started with email blasting.

Steps you can take if your ISP or spam filter is blocking your nation's email

If you believe email from your nation is being blocked by your ISP (internet service provider) or mail server, we suggest you start by reaching out to your ISP directly. This is when you have noticed that email blasts are going to the junk folder or are not being delivered to your supporters’ inboxes at all.

A letter to your ISP not only relays your dissatisfaction, but also requests a lift to the block. Below is a sample letter you can send to your ISP. In order for your ISP to remove the block, you must include a list of the IPs. Please contact the NationBuilder support team at [email protected] for the list. The support team can also help should your ISP/Domain require follow-up information, such as mail logs.

Below is a sample letter you can send to whoever handles your email servers.

To: ISP Customer Support

Subject: Remove NationBuilder Block

Hello. My name is XXXX and I have been a customer of your services since XXXX. I understand that you have a blacklist in place to protect customers like myself from unsolicited email; however, this blacklist has made it impossible for me to receive newsletters, announcements, and promotions that I have subscribed to receive. I value these communications and would like to receive them using this email address.

The sender of these emails uses an email marketing service called NationBuilder. NationBuilder is not an open relay and has extremely strict anti-spam policies in place. Because you block emails from NationBuilder I am unable to receive these communications.

I ask that you add NationBuilder to your white list. For further information about NationBuilder you may contact their support team: [email protected] or 213.394.4623.

Please contact me when this problem has been resolved.


📌 Note: If you have a custom IP address, please contact us for that information.

Information on spamtraps

Spam is unsolicited bulk email, often times arriving in your inbox in the form of pharmaceutical advertisements, or free offers. Spammers typically source their emails from less-than-reputable sources like scraping websites and purchasing/selling lists.

A spamtrap, also referred to as a "honeypot," is a zombie email address that looks real but is only used to collect spam. Spamtraps can be new emails or old dormant accounts that have been converted for this purpose (recycled spam traps). All email landing in a spamtrap is assumed to be unsolicited.

With over 100 billion spam emails sent daily, spamtraps are a good thing. They are one of the ways to help identify and slow down malicious accounts from reaching new addresses.

Once an email lands in the trap, the sending IP can be blacklisted and that information is relayed to different ISPs and email service providers. This works particularly well for traps that are connected to a network, since they can help block email from specific IP addresses for all of their subscribers.

Spamtraps should not be a problem for any organization if their email list is sourced from real opt-ins and they follow best practices in email hygiene.

Role-based emails unsupported in blasts

Role-based email accounts (like admin@, help@, sales@) are addresses that represent different functions at organizations, and typically go to a group of recipients - not a particular person.

There are a few problems when sending to emails that are role-based. Mainly:

  • Not all people who receive email at these addresses may have opted-in, and it is nearly impossible to prove that they have.

  • These addresses are more commonly harvested by bots off of website forms and pages, and sold by spammers.

  • Major email blacklist providers use role accounts like these as spamtraps in attempts to catch spammers. They claim that any email sent to those addresses is spam by default. 

To observe industry best practices, NationBuilder has a list of blocked role-based email addresses.

Please note: You can still import these and email 1-1, but will not be able to send email blasts to them.

Role Addresses Currently Blocked

  • abuse@

  • accounting@

  • admin@

  • admissions@

  • all@

  • careers@

  • contact-us@

  • contact@

  • custserv@

  • devops@

  • everyone@

  • ftp@

  • help@

  • hostmaster@

  • it@

  • jobs@

  • list@

  • mail@

  • marketing@

  • media@

  • no-reply@

  • noc@

  • postmaster@

  • remove@

  • request@

  • reservations@

  • root@

  • sales@

  • security@

  • spam@

  • subscribe@

  • support@

  • systems@

  • techops@

  • usenet@

  • users@

  • uucp@

  • webmaster@

  • www@

Also to the following lists:

  • *@googlegroups.com

  • *@yahoogroups.com

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