While you sit, growling at your monitor wondering just why that message sent to your client was returned “undeliverable” with a long error posted underneath- take a deep breath and read on. We have a handy checklist of what to do when you receive such a message.
E-mail almost never vanishes into thin air. If a problem occurs with delivery, the sender virtually always gets a response, or “bounce”, which consists of
- a normal header (usually from “Mailer-Daemon” or “Mail Delivery Subsystem”)
- a section of information specifying what went wrong, and
- an optional section consisting of the original mail item
Why do we receive error bounce messages?
Errors can occur at multiple places in mail delivery. A sender may sometimes receive a bounce message from the sender’s mail server, and other times from a recipient’s mail server. Bounce back messages from the recipient’s mail server are required when a mail server accepted a message that was undeliverable; when a server accepts a message for delivery, it is also accepting the responsibility to deliver a DSN (Delivery Status Notification) in the event the delivery fails.
With the rise in forged spam and e-mail viruses, users now frequently receive erroneous bounce messages sent in response to messages they never actually sent. Modern servers try hard to ascertain that a message can be delivered before they accept it. Sometimes they type in the wrong receiver’s username and they get an e-mail from that, too. (source)
Try these before calling your technician.
Some emails will bounce back due to simple issues you can fix on your own.
- Check the spelling of the email address you are sending to. I know, you swear their name is spelled that way, but check twice just to be sure.
- Are you connected to the internet? Without internet connection, your emails are headed on a road to nowhere. Check to see if you can browse the web.
- Did you leave out the subject in the message? Some mail administrators reject messages with no subject.
- Ask the recipient to check their own spam filters. You may be blocked.
- When in doubt, forward the bounce message & error to your support technician. This can be vital for solving the issue.