Relic Solution: Email Alerts and the New Relic Suppression List

Alerting is one of the critical parts of your performance management process, so we here at New Relic want to make sure that you see ALL of your alerts. There are several different reasons you might not be receiving your alerts via email (see our other post: Level Up: Alert Incident Preferences are the Key to Consistent Alert Notifications), but one of the most common issues we see in the support team are email addresses that end up being suppressed due to mis-configurations, spam filters and bounce-backs. Let’s take a look at why this happens, and what you can do to keep your email off that list.

What is an email suppression list?

We use an email service that manages all of our alert email sends. When our provider receives an error from a particular address during a send, that email is added to a suppression list - addresses which will not receive future email. This is done primarily to maintain good standing in line with email delivery best practices which keeps our domain off of email blacklists.

Staying off the suppression list

There are a few steps you can take to keep your emails off of suppression lists and ensure delivery of your alert emails. Here are a few common issues we see and what you can do to avoid them:

  • Don’t create New Relic accounts until you have provisioned a real email account for your new hires. Many of the bounce backs we receive are because the user has been added to New Relic before the email box has been provisioned. This causes the email to be added to our suppression list before the user has a chance to receive the confirmation email.
  • Distribution lists can be problematic. When one email on a distribution list fails, it causes the entire distribution list to be added to the suppression list. Not utilizing email distribution lists, or ensuring there is more than one communication channel defined is critical. Making sure that users who leave a company are removed from the distribution list BEFORE the email account also prevents the DL from being added to the suppression list.
  • Many messages end up caught in you or your company’s spam filter. The best way to ensure that your system recognizes email sent by us as legitimate messages is to add and * to your whitelist or “Safe Senders” list as a trusted email source.
  • Consider other delivery options. In general, emails are not the most reliable way to receive alert notifications simply because email communications can be interrupted for a wide variety of reasons. For your most important alerts, we suggest setting up alternate means of communication as your primary notification channel and using email as a backup.

Learn more

There are many different communication options for you alerts. You can learn more about configuring your preferences in our documentation: Notification channels: Controlling where to send alerts.