How many times have you sent an email and received a cryptic bounce back message that makes little sense?
Have people mentioned that they have been unable to email you and you’ve had to resort to alternative an means of communication?
The reasons for email problems are numerous but in our experience the number one problem… Mistyped email addresses!
Once the above has been discounted we turn to more technical issues that can cause sending problems.
To help prevent spam there are worldwide spam lists that email servers use to check the validity of an email sender.
There are a number of reasons why a domain may end up on one of these lists. These include:
- An email account has had unauthorised access and has been used to send out spam
- Another email account hosted on the same server as you has been flagged and an IP range (that includes your mail server) has been blocked
You can check to see if a sender’s domain has been blacklisted by using MXToolBox
Another reason why an email may be rejected is that no SPF record has been setup for the domain.
An SPF record identifies which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. The purpose of this is to prevent spammers from sending a message with a forged From address at your domain.
Occasionally, implementing SPF records are overlooked when setting up a domain name but it should be the first place to check.
If you have access to a domain control panel you can usually set a SPF record here. If, however you have a managed domain name you will need to contact your domain name provider.
Having a Reverse Domain Name System setup is very important when it comes to email deliverability.
When a server accepts an incoming message is first takes note of the originating IP and the domain from where the email claims to be from.
Before allowing the message through the receiving server performs a rDNS lookup using the IP address to ensure that the domain name tallies with what it expects. If it does, your message makes it through, if not, it doesn’t.
If the sending server does not have rDNS correctly configured then there is a good chance that the receiving server will not allow the message through.
Outdated mail server software can also present problems from reduced functionality to weaker security.
Ensure that your email provider is running an up-to-date email system.
While on the face of it email deliverability may seem like a simple process, there are many areas that if not configured correctly can cause problems. It’s important when choosing an email provider that you pick not only a company that can provide the technical expertise but also a reliable point of contact. The cheapest provider is not always the best!
At Convergence we own and fully manage our email servers.
We are a local, independent company and our team is able to provide assistance from help setting up your email on various devices to investigating bounce back messages and failed deliveries.