Specify external mail server/relay

icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15

Hi

Are you going to implement the ability for users to specify their own SMTP server? This is a huge negative for Wave as mail gets stuck in spam filters and this will only get worse and worse as more malicious mail circulates, and also clients don't like seeing mail come from some long random Wave email address, I've literally had calls from clients saying I've been hacked because of this.

I think of it as a foundational feature that should be included. Can you share if you feel the same way or if there are/aren't plans to incorporate this? I think this would be a huge factor in retaining your own clients/Wave users and perhaps capturing those who turn away due to something like this (which is a major in my opinion).

Thank you!

Comments

  • SamdSamd Administrator Posts: 560 admin

    Hey @icecorp, that is a really good suggestion (especially given the points your raise) and I will pass this along to our Product Team. I know they are looking at different possibilities for mailing, and a number of our customers have requested at the very least additional controls and customizations for mail.

    A possible workaround (for the time being) is to use Zapier, who we've recently partnered with, to integrate a third-party mailer service into Wave. You can take a look here! MailChimp and Gmail are the two largest supported mailer platforms.

  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15

    Thank you! Trying it out now via Zapier and Mailchimp.

  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15

    Hmm I can't quite see how to get Mailchimp to send the invoice to the sender instead of Wave, do you have a walkthru?

  • JordanDJordanD Administrator Posts: 269 admin

    @icecorp Thanks for flagging this for us. It looks like the current functionality for the Zapier integration between Wave and Mailchimp supports the sharing invoicing and customer details between the softwares but not sending invoices through another platform. You've definitely raised some very valid points and Sam has escalated this type of a feature request to our Product Team.

    In the meantime, for invoices that are caught in spam, other users have had success in ensuring that their clients have saved [email protected] as a contact. The only other workaround at this time would be to export the invoices from Wave and use an external software, or manual process to complete the sending out the invoices, which I understand at times is not ideal.

  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15

    Ahhhhhhhhh.......... ick!!!!!!!! I don't at all like that workaround, it adds loads more steps and time which is what we were trying to avoid by using Wave.

    Please have this feature added as soon as possible! Can you give me an ETA? This is a major for us (and I'm sure most others??).

    Thanks guys and girls!!!

  • ThomasDalyThomasDaly Member Posts: 11

    I too would welcome a 'bring your own SMTP server' feature to be added for sending out invoices. Another potential workaround is to add your own SMTP server details to your personal GMail account, then use the Wave 'send via GMail' function. Remember to choose the alternative sender account from the GMail pull-down menu if you have not set it as the default sender in Gmail.

    However it appears a problem with this approach is the PDF invoice is not attached to the email sent via GMail.

  • EmmanuelEmmanuel Member Posts: 6

    Hi @icecorp at this point, such feature is not on our roadmap for the foreseeable future, but will look to provide better customization of emails, better reliability of redelivery, and insights into when emails get stuck in SPAM filters.

  • RussionixRussionix Member Posts: 1

    Can you tell us what email servers are used by waveapps to send invoices? It appears you are using Google for waveapps.com. With this information, customers should be able to add waveapps mail servers to our SPF records. This would help with delivery. Has anyone tested adding google to their SPF record, and does it help?

  • John69John69 Member Posts: 8

    We have completely stopped relying on Wave's mail features. Almost nobody gets the emails Wave sends out from the system, be it invoices or reminders. Everything ends up in the customers' spam folder.
    This feature is much needed!

  • Ryan_WRyan_W Administrator Posts: 461 admin

    Hey @Russionix, we use Postmark for sending these emails, but I'm not sure about the actual servers being used. From my experience, asking your clients to whitelist [email protected] in their inbox usually does the trick.

  • OceansideOceanside Member Posts: 8

    Besides the email going into the spam folder I also had an issue where the email was incorrect that I sent the invoice too. I had nothing telling me that the email could not be delivered. I am now emailing the invoice to myself & then forwarding the email to my client. That way I make sure that it delivers to them in there in box & if there is an issue with the email I am notified that it could not be delivered..

  • AlexLAlexL Administrator Posts: 559 admin

    Hi @Oceanside . Thanks for letting us know about this issue you had as it provides context to the team when we look at how to build out our invoicing platform to make it more robust for our users.

  • DaveJDaveJ Member Posts: 1

    Yes, definitely interested in this for the reasons others have described. I've had customers tell me that invoices and occasionally other emails are getting classed as spam, but I can't create an SPF record while the invoices are mailed from your server.

  • lexicomnzlexicomnz Member Posts: 5

    Has this issue been resolved?
    I've just swapped all my accounts over from Xero and the very first invoice I sent in Wave went into my clients spam folder. As someone who provides IT services to those who aren't good with technology, asking my clients to add [email protected] to their contacts is out of the question.

  • JamieDJamieD Administrator Posts: 1,091 admin

    @lexicomnz We still don't have the capability of customizing where the invoicing email is sent from (it will still be [email protected] for the time being). Our Sales Service team is exploring a few different options in terms of improvement right now (Customer Statements being one of them). If this is a feature that gets added, we will be sure to let our users know.

  • MadbotMadbot Member Posts: 6
    I'm strongly considering moving away from Wave as more and more clients don't get emails. I don't have time to follow up on every email and then ask people to whitelist the email address, when have the time they have no clue how to

    What's the point of repeat invoices to clients if they go into the ether?

    The Zapier option isn't ideal as I don't always want to send an invoice if I'm printing it.

    I don't understand what the issue is in implementing an option to allow wave to send via a defined SMTP server, it's a stock standard option in almost all web-based applications.
  • lexicomnzlexicomnz Member Posts: 5

    To everyone else in this thread, I've discovered adding waveapps.com to my domains SPF record has improved my invoices being delivered by a lot.
    If anyone wants help with this, feel free to message me.

    UPDATE: As @ben_29 pointed out below, this is not going to help. Not sure why I saw deliverability improve after doing this, but it wasn't related to SPF. Sorry, my mistake.

    edited September 6, 2019
  • ChelseaKChelseaK Administrator Posts: 241 admin

    @leciomnz Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the community!

    @Madbot I understand how it would be frustrating to continually ask users to whitelist waveapps.com. As an alternative, you could export the invoice as a PDF (under Sales > Invoices > More Actions) and then send the invoice outside of Wave. Another option would be to 'Get share link' (also under 'More Actions') and send the invoice outside of Wave that way.

  • MadbotMadbot Member Posts: 6

    @ckeen_1244 for manual invoices thats fine, but it doesn't work for recurring

  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15
    > @ckeen_1244 said:
    > @leciomnz Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the community!
    >
    > @Madbot I understand how it would be frustrating to continually ask users to whitelist waveapps.com. As an alternative, you could export the invoice as a PDF (under Sales > Invoices > More Actions) and then send the invoice outside of Wave. Another option would be to 'Get share link' (also under 'More Actions') and send the invoice outside of Wave that way.

    Wouldn't a better option be to listen to the customers and implement a simple feature?

    Along with fixing not being able to upload bank statements manually without running a VPN through the US...

    Quite shocked at all of this and how long it's taken for still nothing to happen on either.
  • ben_29ben_29 Member Posts: 3

    @lexicomnz said:
    To everyone else in this thread, I've discovered adding waveapps.com to my domains SPF record has improved my invoices being delivered by a lot.
    If anyone wants help with this, feel free to message me.

    I'm curious about this, as at my end the invoices seem to get sent to clients by [email protected] (as mentioned in the thread above) rather than over my own domain - even though the "From" field gets labelled with my company name. Have you found a way to get the emails sent by your own domain rather than by [email protected]? That's the only reason I can see for needing to update the SPF records for our own domains?

    Just for handy reference in the thread, I'm pasting the SPF record for waveapps.com here, which is valid and includes the Google mail servers:

    v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:cmail1.com include:spf.mtasv.net include:4645450.spf02.hubspotemail.net ?all

  • lexicomnzlexicomnz Member Posts: 5

    @ben_29 said:

    @lexicomnz said:
    To everyone else in this thread, I've discovered adding waveapps.com to my domains SPF record has improved my invoices being delivered by a lot.
    If anyone wants help with this, feel free to message me.

    I'm curious about this, as at my end the invoices seem to get sent to clients by [email protected] (as mentioned in the thread above) rather than over my own domain - even though the "From" field gets labelled with my company name. Have you found a way to get the emails sent by your own domain rather than by [email protected]? That's the only reason I can see for needing to update the SPF records for our own domains?

    Just for handy reference in the thread, I'm pasting the SPF record for waveapps.com here, which is valid and includes the Google mail servers:

    v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:cmail1.com include:spf.mtasv.net include:4645450.spf02.hubspotemail.net ?all

    No, but by adding waveapps.com to my SPF record, I'm basically saying to anyone receiving mail that "waveapps.com is allowed to send mail on behalf of lexicom.co.nz" if that makes sense.

    So my SPF record is this: "v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:waveapps.com ~all"
    So Google is allowed to send mail for my domain, but waveapps.com is also allowed to send mail on my behalf.

    This has improved deliverability for me, but it's not perfect. I'll list my results below:
    Sent to G-Suite: 8 out of 10 delivered
    Sent to Office 365 (Exchange online) 2 out of 3 delivered
    Sent to Rackspace hosted email: 3 out of 4 delivered
    1 that got sent to a random ISP hosted email went missing as well.

    I'd like to follow this up by adding that I really do feel Waveapps is not only letting it's users down, but also itself. It's such a lovely piece of software let down in a massive way by a (seemingly) easily fixed problem.

    Imagine you're a sole trader who has no idea about these things, I feel if you couldn't rely on your invoices being delivered, you'd very quickly lose faith in the software you were using, or worse, go out of business.

    This is not an angry rant, as I'm fully aware that Wave is a free piece of software. However, I feel very let down, as I only discovered this major problem AFTER converting my entire accounting side of things to Wave.

    Dear Wave, I'd also gladly pay a monthly fee to use an email add-on, but please provide a solution soon :(

  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15
    Our requests are falling on deaf ears. Consider an alternative would be my recommendation now. Poor support.
  • lexicomnzlexicomnz Member Posts: 5

    To add to my previous comment, this is potentially a more widespread issue that Wave is not aware of as I'm sure the majority of it's user aren't aware of what's going on when their invoices aren't delivered. Here is a link to a reddit thread with someone having problems with emails sent from Waveapps.
    https://reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/6bf5uy/why_are_my_emails_going_into_spam_folder/

  • ben_29ben_29 Member Posts: 3

    @lexicomnz said:

    No, but by adding waveapps.com to my SPF record, I'm basically saying to anyone receiving mail that "waveapps.com is allowed to send mail on behalf of lexicom.co.nz" if that makes sense.

    I understand how SPF records work and also the principle of what you're saying here, but it doesn't seem consistent with what I'm actually observing at my end. Can we dig into the detail a little bit more here, just in the spirit of friendly discussion and clarity on the issue in this thread?

    At my end, my recurring invoices give me the option to set the "Send from" field as an email on my own domain, which would be consistent with what you're saying in principle (i.e. we need to allow the Wave mail servers to send email on behalf of our own domains by specifying an include in our SPF records) - however if I tick the option to email a copy of the invoice to myself too, as a way of testing, what I observe is that the email still actually gets sent from [email protected], and the "Send from" email I specified only shows up in the Reply-To field:

    Then when the email arrives at my end, it looks like this:

    So what I'm seeing here is that it's the waveapps.com domain itself which appears to be sending the email - it's not the Wave mail server attempting to send the email on behalf of my own domain, and therefore I don't see how adding Wave servers to our own domains' SPF records could actually make a difference, even though you've noticed an improvement in delivery. It seems to me that the deliverability of the emails would depend on the SPF, DKIM etc for waveapps.com itself, not our own domains.

    The other thing I'm curious about is that the "include:waveapps.com" syntax you experimented with seems slightly unusual to me (on the assumption of a scenario where Wave is actually sending email on behalf of our own domain rather than from [email protected] itself) - I'd expect it to be in a slightly different format, perhaps something like "include:spf.waveapps.com" - in a similar way to how the SPF syntax for Google is "include:_spf.google.com" rather than "include:google.com", and similarly for Office 365 it's "include:spf.protection.outlook.com" rather than "include:outlook.com".

    See what I mean? Just to reiterate, I don't mean this to come across in a confrontational way, I mean it in a friendly way and am just looking to understand if you and I are seeing different things happen.

    edited September 5, 2019
  • icecorpicecorp Member Posts: 15
    > @ben_29 said:
    > (Quote)
    > I understand how SPF records work and also the principle of what you're saying here, but it doesn't seem consistent with what I'm actually observing at my end. Can we dig into the detail a little bit more here, just in the spirit of friendly discussion and clarity on the issue in this thread?
    >
    > At my end, my recurring invoices give me the option to set the "Send from" field as an email on my own domain, which would be consistent with what you're saying in principle (i.e. we need to allow the Wave mail servers to send email on behalf of our own domains by specifying an include in our SPF records) - however if I tick the option to email a copy of the invoice to myself too, as a way of testing, what I observe is that the email still actually gets sent from [email protected], and the "Send from" email I specified only shows up in the Reply-To field:
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Then when the email arrives at my end, it looks like this:
    >
    >
    >
    > So what I'm seeing here is that it's the waveapps.com domain itself which appears to be sending the email - it's not the Wave mail server attempting to send the email on behalf of my own domain, and therefore I don't see how adding Wave servers to our own domains' SPF records could actually make a difference, even though you've noticed an improvement in delivery. It seems to me that the deliverability of the emails would depend on the SPF, DKIM etc for waveapps.com itself, not our own domains.
    >
    > The other thing I'm curious about is that the "include:waveapps.com" syntax you experimented with seems slightly unusual to me (on the assumption of a scenario where Wave is actually sending email on behalf of our own domain rather than from [email protected] itself) - I'd expect it to be in a slightly different format, perhaps something like "include:spf.waveapps.com" - in a similar way to how the SPF syntax for Google is "include:_spf.google.com" rather than "include:google.com", and similarly for Office 365 it's "include:spf.protection.outlook.com" rather than "include:outlook.com".
    >
    > See what I mean? Just to reiterate, I don't mean this to come across in a confrontational way, I mean it in a friendly way and am just looking to understand if you and I are seeing different things happen.

    I work with SPF records constantly in my job and you're 100% correct. Wave are trying to make out they will send emails as your own domain, they don't, like you said all they do is fill in the reply address to be your own.

    This is an extremely basic thing for them to implement, to be able to specify OUR OWN SMTP servers... But they obviously don't care enough to make it happen.

    Similar to bank statement imports uploads not working from a lot of countries.. if you use a VPN and run through the US it works fine. If I use no VPN it fails. Do they care? Have they helped? No.
  • lexicomnzlexicomnz Member Posts: 5

    @ben_29 said:
    At my end, my recurring invoices give me the option to set the "Send from" field as an email on my own domain, which would be consistent with what you're saying in principle (i.e. we need to allow the Wave mail servers to send email on behalf of our own domains by specifying an include in our SPF records) - however if I tick the option to email a copy of the invoice to myself too, as a way of testing, what I observe is that the email still actually gets sent from [email protected], and the "Send from" email I specified only shows up in the Reply-To field:

    I am an actual idiot, and you are completely correct, I can't believe I didn't pick that up. I completely forgot reply-to and sent-from are seperate and the receiver will be doing the SPF lookup on the sent-from address, in this case [email protected], not the reply-to address.

    In any case, we still need a proper solution to this problem.

    I'm thinking about something along the lines of:
    1. Send all invoices to internal email address
    2. Use a secondary field (perhaps the message field) to specify the real email address
    3. Use Zapier (or similar product) to monitor that internal email address
    4. Match on all emails coming from "[email protected]" with the string "Invoice .... " in the subject.
    5. Grab the contents of the message along with the real email address from the message field
    6. Use SMTP service of your choice (Sendgrid works well and is free for up to 100 emails a day, also has open and spam tracking, so you'll know if the email has been opened even if the invoice link hasn't been clicked) to send the invoice to the real email address.

    Thoughts on this?

    @ben_29 - I've messaged you with me email address, keen to work together to find a solution.

    edited September 6, 2019
  • HandymanHeadleeHandymanHeadlee Member Posts: 45

    I agree that solving this problem needs to be a very high priority. I know at heart Wave is meant to be a simple solution for those who want to focus on their business rather than tech/accounting/back end details, which makes it imperative for those people to be able to trust that Wave does what it says it will do. When users can't rely on invoices reaching their clients this does a disservice to those people in particular, and frustrates those with more technical and/or accounting knowledge who see a need to get under the hood but can't.

    I realize not every issue can be a priority, but this one should be. And I've mentioned in other threads that as a person with both accounting and tech experience I would gladly pay for a version of Wave that lets me access settings that are hidden from the average user (for good reason).

  • TraekTraek Member Posts: 5

    My two cents:

    1. I agree SPF records aren't a concern but I don't think they should even matter even in the future. Sending mail in behalf of another user on a separate domain should be done exactly how Wave is already doing it. SPF only comes in to play as @ben_29 describes, when they try to send our address as the FROM in the email header. The reason I think changing the FROM to your actual email address is a bad solution is that would require including an SPF record in your DNS, you solve the problem for a tiny portion of customers that have control over the entire domain they use for email. This breaks quickly for those that use consumer/free accounts on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. I assume Wave is interested in a solution that works for everyone, not just folks like me who has used Office 365 (previously) and G Suite (currently).
    2. There are several problems with the workaround @lexicomnz came up with. I mostly just take exception with the phrase "proper solution" ;) But the real concern is that this requires another field that is not already present. Shy of manually parsing the invoice itself (say matching on the Company Name and doing a lookup on the primary billing contact -- using Zapier connected to WaveApps and your supported CRM of choice -- this really isn't a viable solution. Frankly, at that point, you're really better off emailing it to yourself as you say and then just forward the email. That being said...
    3. I think the "proper" workaround is to simply contact your customers through your company email and note that they should add [email protected] as a contact as @JordanD recommended last year. It's simple and your invoices get handled automatically. From personal experience, I have only had one client that didn't get my invoices. I told them to add the appropriate contact and... problem solved!
    4. The "proper" solution of having SMTP credentials stored so the email contents are actually sent from our own email servers would require more than just casual integration work from the folks at Wave, including securely storing and transmitting the username/password/connection information (alternatively allowing G Suite and/or Office 365 users to authorize Waveapps to send as them -- that's already a thing and is much simpler but again only fixes this for a portion of their userbase, though this does work with even a lot of consumer email providers). It's doable but not without an increase on load on their backend (obviously not their email server) and an increased surface attack area from a network security perspective. I for one am totally for the SMTP solution and it is a common integration option for this kind of application. It will be interesting to see what Wave does with this or whether they choose instead to extend their API options (probably using Zapier).

    I guess we'll just wait and see. I would also like to take this moment to request the ability to accept votes for feature requests in a formal enhancement/feature tracking system so we can consolidate these requests a la UserVoice or FeatHub to name a couple I've used in the past. A forum-only approach makes duplication (and therefore voting) a lot harder for us users.

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