Three reasons your communication emails aren’t getting through

Email blockers
There are three main reasons your NHS communication emails are being blocked. This blog unravels these three barriers.

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What proportion of your NHS email communications actually arrive?

Statistics show that 20% of all emails get blocked.

The three reasons your NHS communication emails will be blocked

Reason one: a block on spoofed emails

NHS communication emails have extra hurdles to jump through due to a change in the NHS Digital policy.

In 2021 NHS Digital tightened their policies in response to the WannaCry ransomware attack. This meant you were no longer able to use a third-party email supplier to send your emails (well, not until NewZapp Trusted Delivery was developed!).

When I say you couldn’t use a third-party email provider – you could still use them, but the chances are, your emails would go unread. That’s because the emails are either blocked entirely or go directly to the spam folder.

This happens because all third-party email providers, such as GovDelivery and Mailchimp, use spoofing to send the email. In essence the email provider impersonates you – the from address looks like it comes from you but actually it comes from the supplier of the email software. It’s these spoofed emails that the new NHS Digital policy blocks.

Reason two: an external security warning

communication emails

You may have experienced this yourself when receiving emails. If an email is sent from a domain name that isn’t the one your recipients use, the email will be marked with a security warning. The security warning is triggered by the admin settings of the email account. In the case of the NHS the spam filter that applies these warnings is turned up high making these security warnings far more likely.

These warning are there to encourage the recipient to consider the validity of the email and discourage the recipient from clicking on any links. So, while the email will still be received, it’s highly likely that engagement will be diminished.

It’s worth noting; if you are sending an internal communication, as long as your staff use the same domain name as the sender of the email, i.e. nhs.uk, this shouldn’t happen. Likewise, if you use a solution such as NewZapp Trusted Delivery, it won’t happen. It is only when sending directly from one domain name to a different domain name.

Reason three: blocked by spam filters

Today’s spam filters are extremely intelligent. They have multiple algorithms that chug away and once a certain amount of “spam-worthy” incidents have been chalked up, your communication emails risk being deposited into the spam folder.

These could be overuse of spam words, poor HTML code, broken links, poor engagement or individually set rules.

What’s particularly important to remember is that these spam filters are only looking for spam, they aren’t looking for evidence that the emails aren’t spam. This is a critical point. Carry out enough spam activities and the spam filters will kick into action regardless of whether your email is innocent.

If you are purely sending internal communications many of the spam filters won’t be a concern. That said, it is still worth understanding each of the filters. Many of the ways to avoid being caught by these filters are best practices which will help increase engagement with your communications, regardless of the spam folder.

How to avoid these blockers

Tune into our upcoming webinar: ‘How to stop your NHS communication emails being blocked’ on Thursday 14th July at 11:30 to learn more about these blockers and how you can prevent your comms emails from being blocked.

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Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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