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Act-On Software

Generic and Role-based Email Addresses


Role-based email addresses, such as or, are automatically suppressed from email campaigns in Act-On. The Sent Message report calls these Prohibited System Addresses.

These types of addresses are notorious for generating spam complaints and affecting deliverability. Here's why:

  • These addresses are mailing lists, not individual contacts
    • Even if one contact opts into communications with this email address, others on the list have not
    • This often causes recipients to report messages as unsolicited spam
  • These addresses are often displayed on companies' websites
    • Spammers sometimes 'scrape' web pages to gather email addresses
    • IT departments are extra cautious with security settings for these addresses, causing low overall delivery rates

If you attempt to send email to these contacts, they will be suppressed by default. These addresses will appear in the Suppressed section of the Sent Message Report with the "Prohibited System Addresses" error. You can remedy this with one of the following methods:

Remove These Contacts

The best resolution is usually to perform a list cleanse to remove these contacts from your marketing lists (along with others that might be harmful to your email deliverability).

Allow These Contacts

If these are known contacts, you can add them manually to the Allowed Contacts with generic email aliases list. Contacts placed in this list will bypass our default suppression on role-based addresses. This list can be found at the bottom of the Bounces & Opt-Outs page, which can be accessed from the Contacts menu at the top of your Act-On account.

Have These Contacts Opt in

  • Direct your contacts to any Act-On form you have created. Submitting an Act-On form will place your contacts in the Allowed Contacts with generic email aliases list.
  • Send an opt-in campaign to your contacts through Act-On. Any contacts who click the opt-in link in this campaign will be added to the Allowed Contacts with generic email aliases list. To set this up:
    • From the Bounces & Opt-Outs page, hover over the Allowed Contacts with generic email aliases list and click on Opt-In Campaign from the menu that appears.
    • In the opt-in campaign message wizard, select the list or segment that contains the role-based addresses you wish to use. Act-On will automatically filter out just the role-based addresses from this list.
  • For your own reference, you may choose to create a segment of your list ahead of time, containing just your role-based addresses, to see how many are in your list. 
    • Once you select your list, the opt-in campaign message will appear for editing.
    • This message contains a section controlled by Act-On that may not be edited, and which includes the required opt-in link. There is an additional rich text block that may be edited by you, and in which you can share the benefits of your communications to your contact. Other elements of the message, such as the subject line, greeting, footer, and overall stationery, may also be edited by you.

In your message, you may want to suggest that they provide an individual email address to be used in place of the role-based address, to better ensure that they receive your contact. You could suggest that they simply reply directly to your email, or place a link to an Act-On form they could submit to supply their updated address.

  • Once you have made the desired changes to the message, click Send. You may choose to send immediately or schedule for a future time. 
  • Once this message has been sent, it will appear in your Sent Messages listing.

If you wish to have full control of your message, you may choose instead to send an opt-in message from your own mail server. Create an Act-On form and include a link to it in this campaign -- if your contacts choose to fill out the form, they will be added to the Allowed Contacts list and can be sent email through the Act-On platform.

Note: If any contact is in your actual Opt-Out list, either having opted out of your opt-in campaign, synced from your CRM opt-outs list, or manually entered by you, they will be suppressed from receiving any Act-On campaigns.
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