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How can I increase the chances invitation emails are received?

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We've started enrolling teachers in our course about 2 months ago and receive emails from about 75% of our participants saying they haven't received the invitation. Before we enroll them, we send a welcome email informing them to add to their address book, and we also share this request with the district adminstrator. What we are finding though, is that many of the district servers are not letting the invitation email through regardless. Our participants are almost exclusively teachers using their school email accounts, and I can't imagine continuing to have this issue as we enroll more teachers and add more courses.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to make the process of inviting teachers and ensuring they get the Canvas invitation more reliable?

Thank you for your suggestions!

1 Solution

Yes, Robbie I was able to find an answer. Your team was nice enough to send me a list of IP Addresses we can provide districts to add to a list of allowed contacts. I don't think that reply was given in the discussion though.

Thank you!



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Community Coach
Community Coach

This is an interesting question that doesn't come up for us because we enroll everyone using the backend (SIS) that doesn't require users to accept an invitation - 

I'm going to share this with the‌ and‌ groups in the Community to see if they have any suggestions. 

Community Champion

Hi Sarah --

We create native-Canvas user accounts for students in some of our executive/extended education courses, and one of our initial concerns was that the invitation emails are sent from an Instructure address and just with Canvas branding. Even when new students do receive these emails, they often get overlooked because they're coming from an unexpected address. 

So, we worked out a way that we can create these user accounts via the API in such a way that Canvas doesn't sent an invitation email; instead, the API call returns to us a user-specific account-setup URL, and we can use that to generate our own welcome email to the user.  This lets us send the messages from an institutional address and with our own branding, making it less likely that the messages will be caught in spam filters or that they'll be overlooked by the recipients. 

If automating the creation of user accounts via the API sounds like something you want to do, let me know and I'll post the specific API call details!


Hi Colin, Thank you for your suggestion!

Thank you for your suggestion! That sounds like a great solution. I have to admit though, that I have almost no experience with programming, nor do we have a programmer or developer on staff. Is this something with some time and effort it's feasible that I could do? Or something we could contract someone for a one-time project to do? Thank you for your help!



Hi Sarah, 

The Canvas API is pretty straightforward to use, so if you're comfortable taking on a little scripting and have some interest in learning, I bet you could do it! Depending on the language you'd be using, there are some good resources here on the Canvas Community site. My experience is with using Python, but others here use Ruby, PowerShell, and Java, to name a few. 

This could be a project for a contractor, too, though I think it's important to plan for the inevitable patches/fixes/upgrades that may be needed in the future.  At least having a backup plan for what to do in case the script stopped working would be a good idea. 

I feel like this is a vague answer, but I hope it's helpful!


Oooo, sweet trick, Colin!

Here are the details on what we did, in case anyone's interested:

1. Use data like this when making the create-user API call -- note that you don't need to set the user's password at this point:


2. In the data returned by that API call, you'll get a unique confirmation URL, something like this:


3. Then make the enroll-user API call with data like:


You can then take that confirmation URL from step 2 and generate a customized email message to the user; when they click on the URL they'll be prompted to set up their password. 

Hope this is helpful -- let me know if you have any questions about it!


Community Coach
Community Coach

 @zelenak615 ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



Yes, Robbie I was able to find an answer. Your team was nice enough to send me a list of IP Addresses we can provide districts to add to a list of allowed contacts. I don't think that reply was given in the discussion though.

Thank you!



Robbie, we are using the Free for Teachers account. Would you be able to send the IP addresses that were referenced in one of the responses? Our participants are from various high schools and some schools are really having difficulty getting the student invitations. Thank you! 

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