What’s changing and what do I have to do?
This upgrade involves three key changes related to email receipt/deliverability:
- Emails will be sent with a new default “from” address.
- Emails will come from new servers.
- There’s a new way to authorize Watermark to send “from” a campus email domain.
As a result, this upgrade may impact your users’ ability to receive emails sent from Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT), and may require your IT team to update safelisting settings they’ve previously configured to ensure Course Evaluation & Survey emails reach your users (e.g., email or IP address safelisting).
- Your institution configures automated email communications for any course evaluations or general survey projects.
- Your institution uses the “direct-to-user” email tools to send one-off messages to individual users outside of survey projects.
- You override the default “from” address (e.g., spoof a campus email address) to send any emails from Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT).
Otherwise please simply make note of the following changes for your own administrative awareness.
Emails will be sent with a new default “from” address.
When we upgrade to the new email service provider, the default address used to send outgoing email communications from Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT) will change to email@example.com, from an “evaluationkit.com” address.
Please review your email safelist settings with your campus IT team. It will depend on your email vendor, but you may need to configure safelisting and/or SPF to ensure the highest level of email deliverability.
- If you’ve safelisted the “evaluationkit.com” domain, please add the “ek-au.com” domain to your safelist settings to ensure users can receive emails from both domains.
- If your organization leverages Sender Policy Framework (SPF), please also ensure that the following entry is included in your SPF record:
- If you’ve safelisted a specific list of IP addresses, we highly recommend that you add safelisting for the “firstname.lastname@example.org” domain.
Emails will come from new servers.
After the upgrade we’ll send all Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT) email communications from a new set of servers. Previously we recommended that you safelist specific IP addresses, but thanks to a suite of new AWS features we’ll be leveraging, we’ll be able to improve email deliverability without requiring you to safelist IP addresses.
If you previously added Watermark or EvaluationKIT IP addresses in your email safelist, we highly recommend that you:
- Add safelisting for the “ek-au.com” domain.
- Keep your current IP address safelist settings in place until you receive notice that this upgrade is complete.
Please note that we will not be providing IP addresses for safelisting in the future as they are subject to change quite frequently.
There’s a new way to authorize Watermark to send “from” a campus email domain.
As noted above, after this upgrade, all emails will default to send from email@example.com. If you’re accustomed to sending email communications “from” a campus email address instead of the system default, you’ll need to use a new set of self-service tools to configure and authorize Watermark to send from your preferred campus email domain(s)
This is a collaborative process involving some steps by the EvaluationKIT Administrator and some on the part of your campus IT team:
- Determine what university “from” address you want to use for your course evaluation and survey email communications.
- As the Course Evaluations & Surveys (EvaluationKIT) Administrator, configure the email domain for that address using the new "Email Domains" area in Account > Outgoing Email Settings.
By verifying a domain, you will be able to send email from any subdomain or email address of the verified domain without verifying each one individually. In other words, authorizing “institution.edu” means that you will also be authorized to send from emails that use “mail.institution.edu” or other subdomains.
Note: If your institution has multiple Course Evaluations & Surveys subaccounts and you need to send from a campus email domain for all/multiple of them, you will need to add that email domain in each subaccount, but you only need to complete steps 3-4 with your DNS administrator once.
- Once you configure that domain, the “Email Domain” area of the system will provide you with a table of values. Send that table of values - including Type, Name and Value - to your DNS
- Your DNS Administrator must add these values to the DNS zone that supports the email domain that you’re validating.
How to do this depends on which DNS provider you use, so we can’t provide many specifics on this part. But you may find the resource table under Step 3 of “To verify a domain identity configured with Easy DKIM (console)” in this AWS article helpful.
Once you receive confirmation from the DNS administrator that they’ve added that table of values, please go back to your entry in the “Email Domain” area of Course Evaluations & Surveys and click “Validate”.
Once the email domain successfully validates, the system is officially authorized to send “from” any email address that uses that email domain, and you can use your preferred “from” email address in any automated and direct-to-user emails from that point forward.
What about DKIM?
Good news! Our new email service uses DKIM for all emails we send. Outgoing email communications will be sent using DKIM and a default email address of firstname.lastname@example.org, and the new domain validation process discussed in this article uses Easy DKIM, which means that once a given domain is validated/authorized, any emails sent from that domain will automatically use DKIM.
Will this affect the “Email From Address” I’ve configured under Account > Outgoing Email Settings?
No, if you’ve configured a from email address under Account > Outgoing Email Settings to, this will remain in place and will not be affected.
Will there be downtime during the transition?
No, this transition does not involve any downtime for you or your users, and any emails scheduled to send during the transition will not be disrupted as long as you’ve completed the steps above that apply to your institution’s setup.