Updated email settings gives you more control

Today we’ve added a bit more spice to email settings to allow you to control how emails are sent from Xero. This includes both the name that will be displayed in your customer’s inbox – person or organization – and the email address that all replies will be sent to.

The reply-to address can either be the address of the person logged into Xero (useful for smaller organizations). Or it can be any specific email address such as accounts@yourbusiness.com – for when there are multiple people sending and you want to centralize replies.

Check out how it works in this short video.

Note that before the release, we used a technique called email impersonation. This meant that it looked like emails were actually coming from the logged in user’s email address even though they were being sent from Xero’s mail servers. This sometimes causes email to be blocked by spam filters as this is a common hacker’s trick. To avoid this, all emails are now being sent from an unmonitored Xero email address but you get to control the display name that your customers will see in their inbox. You control the reply-to address, so your clients will most likely be none the wiser and you can rest easy that all your emails will make it through.

Some other things that got released today include:

  • Taxable Payments Annual Report (Australia) – we blogged about this earlier this month and even have a quick overview video. Great news for all those Australians in the building and construction industry who are now required to report contract payments to the ATO.

  • eWAY, a new payment service – we’ve added support for eWAY, a brand new payment service

  • Inventory item codes in invoice imports – great news for those of you converting from other systems (or who “encouraged” us to shake the proverbial on this Community request feature). You can now include an inventory item code in your invoice import for and Xero will automatically create the inventory items for you as part of the import process.

For full details check out our release notes.

 

70 Comments

Andy Tristram
September 9, 2013 at 3:40 am

We’re also actively looking around for alternatives now – for many of the same reasons as Claire over lack of transparency, communication etc.
We would rather go back to the old system of email, at least we could control which email invoices were sent from by logging in as accounts@. This change has turned our internal issue into a customer facing issue.

@Andrew – you seem to contradict yourself by saying that you have solved deliverability issues, yet you are still getting thousands of NDRs. NDRs suggest deliverability issues!
You don’t need to fork development to provide a good all-round solution. Use the email authorisation process you already have to work with any custom domain, but pre-authorise the @post.xero.com address for each company and treat is as just another custom domain – the fact it’s a Xero domain is irrelevant.

When you said the Xero email address wasn’t visible without drilling down did you really not test this in the current (2013) version of Outlook?

The Linked-in example is totally different – we don’t use Linked-in to communicate with customers. It works for Linked-in because it’s supposed to be a closed system that protects privacy and all recipients on Linked-in are members of their service.

Why have you marked feature request 65521 as complete? You may have solved a problem for some users and introduced new ones for others, but the problem that has been ‘solved’ ie. deliverability, is not the one that this feature request is asking for.

Saying that you are discussing it isn’t good enough – from our point of view there is nothing to discuss, you have removed critical functionality without warning and 3 months down the line we still feel you don’t care. You could at least offer some good reasons for sticking with the current solution. The list shouldn’t include “Many customers don’t care about their branding so it’s ok” or “No-one gets NDRs so they are happy because they think invoices are being delivered”

It’s been nearly three months and still no decision. Please make one!
If it’s that you aren’t willing to admit that you’ve made an error of judgement and are not going to revert to custom domains then please say so, then we can move forward with other solutions. That may be a custom add-on that we can use as a work-around, or we may change completely to a customer-focused provider.

We used to love Xero and it’s got some great features, but you are really doing yourselves damage here and we’re all getting really fed up.

Andrew Tokeley
September 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

@Andy – thanks for the feedback. Our position at this point is that we are not planning on changing the current implementation. This doesn’t imply we aren’t taking your concerns seriously, or that it won’t be enhanced at a future date, however we believe the solution we have implemented is appropriate.

As I said in my last comment, one of the areas we need to improve on is communicating these sorts of changes more clearly, ahead of time. We will be publishing a more full account of why we made this change shortly – hopefully this will provide some context. Sorry for the delay in this – I am pushing and it’s important to do.

We are, of course, monitoring the new thread that spawned from the original one (https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/2007592) – this will form part of any decision to enhance this functionality to allow more control over sent emails.

Daniel Harris
September 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Dear Andrew, I just have to step in here and point out that while you believe the solution you have implemented is appropriate, we as customers, do not think the solution is appropriate, isn’t that rather concerning? Frankly your ‘solution’ is a kludge, but whats worrying is the lack of acceptance that there is a real problem caused by the kludge and similarly a lack of urgent action to fix it.

Ruairi
September 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Hi Everyone,
I make the Outlook Integration Tools for Xero. In light of the issues people are having, I’ve added support for sending invoices direct from MS Outlook.
Come check out the 14 day trial at http://www.quickwindevelopment.com/xero/outlook-integration-tools/

If you have any suggestions or feedback, I’d love to hear it. So get in contact and let me know how you want my software to work for you.

Andy Tristram
September 9, 2013 at 4:31 am

@Andrew
It looks like you are using Office365 for Xero email.
Do you realise that Microsoft are “spoofing” your email the very same way that Xero used to “spoof” ours?

Would you be a little bit upset if Microsoft said that some other customers email was going to spam and changed all your Xero addresses to Hotmail addresses without telling you?
This is exactly what you have done to us.

Also you haven’t even set up SPF records for post.xero.com.

Chris Keeble
September 9, 2013 at 3:31 am

@Andrew (Tristram) Thank you Andrew – I’m glad someone else is highlighting the lack of SPF records. Xero appear to be well out of their depth and Ben Tate (UK Customer Experience Manager) doesn’t appear to care about the experience of Xero customers at all. :(

Claire Broadley
November 11, 2013 at 10:31 am

Wow. I have never known a company respond to customer complaints by producing a 12 page PDF. Customer service normally means listening to feedback. This would be funny if it hadn’t caused me a shedload of grief and admin over the last three months.

Sam Bastil
January 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

@Claire – You’re making a fair bit of noise about leaving yet you’re still using Xero’s services. If this was that much of a big deal to you, you’d be gone already. So unless you’re going to provide feedback and comments that are actually useful, please stop acting so butt hurt and pipe down.

Andrew, thank you for organising the technical documentation to be published – it has helped me to understand Xero’s reasoning. While I certainly agree that this is not ideal for some of us, I can sympathise in trying to find a solution that works for everyone. Though I will be voting up on the Community Requested change to allow SMTP again and/or another solution that does similar.

We also use WorkflowMax – are you able to tell me if this change will also be made to WFM?

Andrew Tokeley
January 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

@Sam – thanks for the feedback. Just talked to the WFM guys and they have no plans at this stage to move away from impersonation. Not saying it won’t happen, but it’s not something they’re focused on right now.

John
February 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm

@Andrew, sorry if I have missed this, but how do I prove that I have sent an important email, where the receiver says that they have not seen it.

Cheers
John

Andrew Tokeley
February 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm

@John – hard to know with absolute certainty but, if you sent the invoice online you may be able to see that it’s been read in the history and notes section of the invoice. You will also see a note that it’s been sent.

Michael
February 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

I would like to know if possible to have a copy BCC of all emails sent by Xero to my own or customised email address.
Alternatively, is it possible to setup Xero to email via alternative mail servers, this way it will show in my email server’s sent items as proof and audit trail.

Andrew Tokeley
February 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

@Michael – yep, these would be nice enhancements but am afraid it’s not yet possible to BCC or configure emails to be sent from your own mail server.

Aaron Gregory
March 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Is there a way to add HTML to customize the look at little bit? Wanting to add some social media icons (that are clickable in PDFs)

Andrew Tokeley
March 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm

@Aaron – no, afraid not. We don’t currently send invoice emails using HTML format, they are sent as plain text.

Tania Paul
November 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Hi, I have just discovered that when I send invoices to clients who access them via the android email app – when those clients hit reply, it tries to go to the Xero address. It does not reply to my set “reply” email address. It works on other apps and in Outlook. Has anyone discovered the same thing and is there a fix please?

Andrew Tokeley
November 11, 2014 at 8:52 am

@Tania – that’s no good. I tried with someone here on their Android (running Lollipop) and it worked fine. Are they using the built in email client on their phone? Most email clients let you see what the reply-to email is – if this is set correctly but is getting ignore still, it’s an issue with the phone. Otherwise, let support@xero.com know and we’ll take a closer look.

Tania Paul
November 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

@Andrew – thanks. I have asked the client to let me know what version Android they are running and further details of the email app. It is a Samsung 5, they are using the built in email app. I did look yesterday and it shows on the reply as if it is coming to me -shows my business name – but then sends to the xero one anyway. I have put a query into Support and will be sending them further details today. Thanks for your time.

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