Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:36 pm

Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Postby nathangg » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:19 am

Does anyone have ideas for me? (See below). I thought creating email aliases for my stake would be a good idea (I still think it is!), but the actual use of it turned out to be overwhelming... I'm not trying to decide the best way to make things easy for leaders that want to send emails to targeted groups of people, but also keep administrative burdens low.

Here's my story:

I got tired of looking up people's email addresses when I needed to send an email to "all bishops" or "all bishoprics" or "ward mission leaders and elders quorum presidents" or "all HPGL secretaries".

So, I manually created email aliases, . All you had to do was send an email to "" or "" and it would send an email to those people.

This was fine, until I realized how often callings/responsibilities change...

So, I did what anyone with a little time and scripting knowledge would do, I automated it!

I signed up for mailgun (once) and I download a CSV file from MLS (weekly). I then wrote a program to analyze the CSV and make REST web calls to to update the email aliases.

"THIS IS AWESOME" I thought.

Until the email bounces started happening... I started sending the first few emails and AOL blocked emails coming from I asked their postmaster to unblock me and I got no response.

Then comcast blocked me, I submitted a support request to comcast and they unblocked the mailgun IP and emails started going to comcast again.

I opened a ticket with mailgun and they changed the sending IP in hopes that AOL would unblock my outbound emails.

Unfortunately, comcast didn't know of the new IP so comcast started blocking again and AOL still blocks the new IP address.

Meanwhile, other leaders in the stake have started using the aliases (they're WAY easy to use!) so I see in the logs how their messages go out to other people, but anyone on the list that has an AOL account doesn't get the messages.

Then today, gmail started blocking me.

"This is LUDICROUS!" I thought. I'm sending emails reminding people of meetings, asking for approvals, and coordinating stake conference... and everything gets marked as spam. I've verified domainkeys is working and set everything up how the instructions said to (mailgun's instructions).

Instead of spending time manually updating aliases, I've simply shifted my time to contacting domain postmasters and watching logs to make sure things are being delivered.

I'm thinking about dropping this whole thing... which is too bad because it was really awesome while it worked.

Perhaps I keep the automation, but when people email they get an automated reply with all the email addresses for that alias. I think that this is where I'll end up... simply because it gets me OUT of the business of ensuring mail delivery and instead puts the onus back on the email sender.

It is also easy to automate... I'll just have to keep taking a CSV export of MLS until I come up with something else :-) .

Has anyone had better luck with this sort of thing than me?


Community Administrator
Posts: 20525
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Postby russellhltn » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:50 am

I'd be curious about the header in the forwarded emal. A number of providers will block an email if the emails says it's from "A", but it's coming from a different server. As such, I'd think your forwarded emails would have to be "from" "" with a "reply to" being the original sender.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "" to the search criteria.

Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Postby nathangg » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:01 am

I thought about that... I've been using mailgun "routes" which has the problem that you state (email coming from "A" but the header says "").

However, I did some testing with mailgun mailing lists (which change the headers to say that the mail came from "" even though it originated from "A"). Unfortunately, I do see a few issues with this mechanism...I'm seeing rate limiting messages in the mailgun logs for these messages.

I did consider switching to the mailing list (I don't mind being rate limited), however, there is no way to ONLY reply to the original sender... instead replies are sent to everyone on the mailing list (something I don't want).

The other option I thought about doing was intercepting the incoming mail to , then changing it to be from, and then sending out copies to everyone with the "reply-to" changed to the original person.

This would give me the right email headers and the correct "reply-to", and still allow us to use aliases.

Maybe I'll try that before giving up on this completely...

Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Postby nathangg » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:29 pm

nathangg wrote:Maybe I'll try that before giving up on this completely...

I tried everything I could think of to get this to work... and I've decided that delivering emails has become an extremely complicated thing to do.

SPF, DMARC, DKIM, DomainKeys, signed emails... this turned into a huge headache and even after I did everything right, the IP address I was sending from is still blocked by and AOL.

So, I'm giving up with publicly accessible mailing lists.

I think I'll just write a script to dynamically create my own personal google groups using google's API: .

Thank you!

New Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:03 am
Location: Boise, ID, USA

Re: Creating easy to use aliases, e.g.

Postby mykbaker » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:30 pm

Any luck with google groups? I have hit these same issues myself on the mailing list side. I wish the Send a Message feature in the LCR was more robust and available to all ward presidency members.

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest