There are several reasons why a contact in your database won't receive your emails, this article explains how to troubleshoot this.

Overview of possible scenarios

The first step in troubleshooting is to find out if the email was sent in the first place. Then work your way down the path as shown in the flow chart below. Below the flow chart you'll find detailed instructions for each step.

Video: How to troubleshoot when emails are not received by your contacts (11min)

How to check if an email was sent to a contact

If the contact is not listed under the "Skipped" section of the email campaign report and they were part of the target list for your e-blast then your message was sent to them.

You can confirm by checking if the contact is show in the list of "Sent" emails: From the email campaign reports page, click the number shown by the "Sent" metric to view contacts the message was sent to (see step 1 below). Then search for the email address within this list of sent contacts (see steps 2 and 3 below). If you see the email in your search then the message was sent to them.

Did the email bounce?

Once you ascertain the a message was sent to a contact, check if it bounced. A bounce means that the recipient's mail server rejected the email before it even had a chance to reach the inbox. The two most common reasons for this is server level spam filtering or because of an invalid email address.

Follow the same steps as described in the "How to check if an email was sent to a contact" section but instead of checking for "Sends" you'll be checking for bounces.

You can also access the sending history for each contact from the contact details page to view the status of each message that was sent to them:

Email sent, didn't bounce but not in inbox

In this case the email didn't bounce, which means it was accepted by the recipient's mail server and reports don't show a bounce. At this point there is no way for Envoke - or any other provider - to tell if the email went to the inbox or to the junk mail folder.

Email can be blocked by a spam filter for several reasons.

Spam filters consider dozens of factors and assign a "spam score" to each email. If this spam score is higher than a predetermined maximum, the email is moved to the junk folder.

Envoke's sending IP addresses are continually monitored to ensure they are in good standing. We employ feedback loops, automated bounce management and monitor anomalies in email activity.

Despite this ongoing delivery management emails going to spam or junk folders are unavoidable. A surprising number of legitimate emails sent to opt-in lists end up in spam folders. Major Email Service Providers (ESPs) estimate this number is as high as 20%. This is not an Envoke-specific metric - it applies to emails sent from any provider.

Spam filters are different for each server, which means the same email may pass through one spam filter and be flagged by another. They are also "trained" by individuals so spam filtering within the same provider varies by users.

Once the recipient's mail server accepts a message for delivery (there is no failure / bounce recorded) we have no visibility into what decisions that server is making into how to handle it and why.

Here are our suggestions to maximize inbox placement:

  • Only send emails to contacts who requested to be emailed and only send content they are subscribed to receive.
  • Don't use all images. In fact the text to image ratio in your emails should be high: much more text content than images.
  • Including personalization in your email such as merging contacts' first name in the subject line helps in some cases as spam filters are able to verify that you know something about the person you're emailing (this is often not the case with purchased email lists).
  • Ask your contacts to add your "from" email address to their safe senders list or address book.
  • Ask your contacts to check their custom spam filtering rules that may block your email.

A fraud detection error is shown or the email is blocked internally

If you see a fraud detection or spoofing error notice in your email (usually near the top) chances are it's due to an internal spam filter. Most often this notice is only shown for internal emails and your contacts won't have this issue. 

It is related to sending messages from to another email via a third party software such as Envoke. 

Here are steps you can take to mitigate this issue:

Email not sent

It's possible that a contact is part of the e-blast's target list but the email wasn't sent to them. This is either because they have an invalid email or there is no consent to send emails to them.

Contact is marked as invalid due to previous bounces

Contacts with historical failures are automatically excluded from e-blasts. This is a best practice to ensure your list is clean and you're not paying for contacts that you can't send emails to.

Contacts who were part of a target list of an e-blast but were not sent an email due to previous bounces are listed under the "skipped" section of the email campaign report as "Invalid emails".

Read more about how Envoke manages bounces.

Does the contact have a consent status that allows sending emails to them? Contacts need to have express or implied consent so you can send them emails. Unsubscribed contacts or contacts whose consent had expired will not receive emails.

You can view a contact's consent status on the contact details page. Find the contact and click their email address to access the details page.

Tip: If you are testing the unsubscribe link remember to re-subscribe your contact record after you finished testing otherwise your contact record will remain unsubscribed and cannot receive emails.

Has the message been sent already?

Make sure sending is completed by confirming that the status of your campaign is shown as "Sent" on the messages list page.

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