How to Validate an Email Message for Sending

  • Updated

When you are creating an email message, it must meet minimum validation requirements before you can send it. This ensures that your email message is both deliverable and compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. Act-On's Message Composer has a built-in validation feature that will display whether each requirement is met.


Validate the Message

In the Message Composer, go to the Review tab. The composer automatically checks the message when loading the page.

Validation requirements include:

Example: This message is not ready to send.

mceclip3.png mceclip0.png Requirement is not met and must be resolved.
mceclip1.png Requirement is met and the message can be sent.
mceclip2.png Recommended but not required.


How to Resolve Missing Requirements


Navigate to the Address tab and select a From Address in the Sender drop-down:


Additional Sender errors:

"Personalized From can only be the sender for lists with Contact Owner Email and Name."

You must edit the list and identify the Contact Owner Name and Contact Owner Email fields.
More information: Personalized From Addresses.

"Salesforce Owner can only be the sender for Salesforce lists."

First, make sure your Contact list is imported from Salesforce. Then, check to make sure you are properly set up using the guide here: Send personalized emails on behalf of your team via Salesforce ownership.

Subject Line

Navigate to the Address tab and enter your email's Subject Line


Here are some of our recommended best practices: Tips for Email Subject Lines.


Your message must have recipients. Navigate to the Address tab and choose a list/segment and/or specific contacts from the options. Make sure to review suppressions here as well.


The list must also have an Email Address field mapped. More information: Identifying List Columns.


The message body must have content. Additional checks include:

Dynamic Content

A blank Else condition can cause the message to show no content to some contacts.
More information: Creating Dynamic Content in Email Messages

RSS Blocks

An RSS Block is required when using RSS-to-Email.
More information: RSS to Email

Signature Validation

If the signature in the email is not account-wide, other users may not be able to see it. This warning will show when an email message uses a personal signature. These are intended for personal use only (eg 1-to-1 emails such as with Act-On Anywhere). To address the warning, you can update the message to use an Account signature if needed.
More information: Using Email Signatures

Sender Name & Address in both HTML and Plain Text (CAN-SPAM)

There are two common errors with address validation, each with a different solution.

Address is Undefined

This indicates the account setup is incomplete and the default account address has not been configured yet.

  1. Go to your username at the top right corner and click the drop-down and choose Profile.
  2. Navigate to Addresses.
  3. Update the Default Account address by clicking on the plus sign to the right.
  4. Save this information.
  5. Navigate back to your message and toggle to the Design tab and then back to Review to re-validate.

Cannot Identify Address

Your company's address is set up on the account but not present in the message.

  1. Review your message footer and ensure it contains the address personalization:
  2. Next, update the plain text version of your message footer to include this as well.
    More instructions here: Editing the Text Version of an Email Message.

  3. Navigate back to Review to re-validate.

More information: Error message: Cannot identify your address in your message.


Opt-Out Links in both HTML and Plain Text (CAN-SPAM)

Act-On's Opt-Out link is required in all outbound messages unless you are using Transactional Email. If you choose to suppress the Footer in an email message, you need to ensure CAN-SPAM Act compliance by including your company name, a physical mailing address, and a clearly marked opt-out link somewhere within the body of your message. The Act-On system will not send an email message if it detects non-compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. 

You may see this error if:

  • Your Custom Footer is missing the Opt-Out link
  • The Plain Text version of your message does not include the Opt-Out link
  • Your email has no Footer and the Opt-Out link is not present elsewhere in the message
  • You have recently changed your Custom Marketing Domain (this can change your Opt-Out link)
  • You are attempting to use an Opt-Out link copied from a Sent Message (Opt-Out links are variable and change for each message and recipient, so this is not recommended!)

To correct this:

  1. Update your Email Footer following these instructions: How to Add an Opt-Out Link
  2. Next, update the Plain Text version of your Email Footer to include this as well. More instructions here: Editing the Plain Text Version of an Email Message
  3. To insert your opt-out link outside of the footer, edit a Rich Text block and choose the Insert Personalization Field icon on the toolbar

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