Things To Check If A Recipient Does Not Receive Your Email

Did a friend or colleague tell you that he or she did not receive an email that you sent? If so, here are the initial steps that you should take to identify the reason for this. The problem could be on your end or on his or her end so let’s start by trying to figure this out.

Typically, if the problem is on your end then you’ll get an email notifying you that the email was not delivered. These emails are typically not very easy to interpret, but hold onto this email since it often includes helpful clues. These emails often indicate if the delivery problem is temporary or permanent. If it’s permanent then show this email to your IT person so he or she can interpret for you. Perhaps it is as simple as you made a typo in the recipient’s email address. Or, perhaps your mail server has been blacklisted. If the problem is temporary then wait a few more hours to see if your email can ultimately be delivered. If your email isn’t bounced back to you, then the problem is most likely on the recipient’s end.

You may not be able to solve the problem, if it’s on the recipient’s end, but here are some suggestions that you can make to the recipient.

  1. Ask the recipient to check his or her junk folder to see if your email was marked as spam and thus not placed in his or her Inbox.
  2. Ask the recipient to add your email address to his or her whitelist.
  3. Ask the recipient to contact his or her IT person. The IT person can further investigate spam filters and/or firewalls to see if the email was identified as spam and thus never delivered.

Here are some work-arounds that you could try until the root cause of the email delivery issue is identified and the problem resolved.

  • Re-send your original email, but remove any attachments and remove your signature, if you have one.
  • Send a new test email. Keep it very short and don’t include any attachments or your signature. See if any emails from you can be delivered to the recipient.
  • Ask one of your co-workers to try to send an email to the recipient. Here we are trying to determine if the recipient can get any emails from your company’s domain name.
  • Send an email to the recipient from one of your other email accounts. For example, try your or account.

Conducting these tests and following these recommendations will lead to a solution in most instances. Over the years, I have encountered some more complex email delivery issues that have required the collaboration of technical staff from the companies that manage both the sending and receiving mail servers, but complex issues like this are the exception to the rule.

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