November 18th, 2011

Email Delivery Failures Reports: Real-time and Automated

Generally, when you send an email message and it fails to be delivered, you get a “bounce back” to inform you of this.  This delivery failure notification system is inherent in the way email works and does a good job, in general.  However, it has some serious limitations:

  • The failure notice is spam filtered or otherwise lost, you will never know the message wasn’t delivered.
  • Email spoofing is prevalent and that can cause you to receive all kinds of “backscatter” failure notices about messages that you never sent.  As a result, you may be blocking or deleting failure messages or may merely not notice a real failure notice amidst the back scatter garbage.
  • The failure messages are long and in varied formats.  It may be difficult for the average person to determine the actual reason for the failure.
  • If you have many failure messages (e.g. because you are sending out a newsletter) it is hard to convert a bunch of failure messages into a list of failed recipients together with the reasons for the failures.
  • It is not simple for a manager to get reports of send failures by his/her staff … which may be very important so that business opportunities are not lost.

Real-time Email Delivery Reports

  • Which ones were delivered successfully and what are the tracking codes?
  • Which ones are still “In Queue” trying to be sent, and why?
  • Which ones failed, and why?
These reports make tracking down what happened to an email especially straightforward.

Automatic Emailed Delivery Failure Reports

Using the real-time information about which email messages to what recipients have failed, LuxSci now offers Email Delivery Failure alerts.  These are periodically emailed digests listing all of the failed recipients since the last alert.

These digests:
  • Can be for messages sent from WebMail, SMTP (e.g. an email program), and/or web sites
  • Can be sent at your desired frequency — from hourly to weekly
  • Can be sent to up to 10 email addresses of your choice.
The digest email messages contain:
  • A nicely formatted table listing the sender, date sent, failed recipient, and message subject, and the failure reason
  • A CSV (Excel) attachment containing all of the same data (and more) that can be used for facilitate automated processing of this information
These reports can be configured:
  • Account-wide (to get a report of any failure by any account user) — on the “Accounts > Advanced Administration > Email > Failed Email Alerts” page.
  • Domain-wide (to get a report of any failure by any user in a domain) — on the “Accounts > Domain Administration > Outbound Email Tools > Failed Email Alerts” page.
  • Per-user (to get reports for a specific user) — on the “Email Tools > Outbound Email > Failed Email Alerts” page.

Many uses!

Emailed delivery failure reports are extremely valuable:

  • Easily prune mailing lists of failing recipients
  • Ensure that you or a manager is notified of delivery failures, so that the problem can be rectified and the message sent.  You would not want sales leads to be lost because an email address was mistyped and noone noticed!
  • Stop email back scatter by completely blocking all delivery failure messages and rely on a single emailed digest of the failures to inform you clearly and concisely of any actual failures.

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