E-mail is one of the fastest ways to communicate, but there are times when e-mail communications can be delayed or blocked altogether.
- E-mail reaches the recipient most of the time, but delivery is not guaranteed. Sometimes spam filtering software may block a message or direct it to the recipient's Junk Mail folder.
- If the message doesn't reach its destination the first time, the mail server sends it again.
- If the e-mail address is misspelled, it will not be delivered. This is done to prevent your message from winding up in the wrong mailbox.
- If the message is not delivered, you usually receive a message explaining the problem. You can correct the problem–typically an incorrect e-mail address–and resend it.
- If you are using a mobile device to send e-mail, messages may be delayed if your device can’t get a strong enough internet connection. In these cases, your e-mail program will periodically check for a reliable signal and send the message as soon as it can.
If you continue to experience problems, there may be an issue with the recipient’s mail server. In that case, you have a couple of options. You could wait and send your message in a few hours or even the next day. Or, if the person you are e-mailing has another e-mail address, you could try sending your message to that one. If neither of these steps work, it may be time to call.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a way to keep my message out of someone’s junk mail folder?
The best way to avoid someone’s junk mail folder is for them to add your e-mail address to their contacts list. Unfortunately, this will only keep you out of their mail program’s junk folder. If their domain server runs its own junk mail filter, it’s possible your message could still wind up being rejected or put in a junk folder.
How many times will my mail server try to resend a message before giving up?
This will depend on the response it is getting back from the destination mail server and your specific mail server’s policy. If the destination mail server says the e-mail address does not exist, your server won’t try again. If the address does exist, but is currently undeliverable, some servers will continue trying until the message is successfully delivered. Others will only try for a set number of times before sending you an undeliverable message. Make sure to read any messages sent by your mail server, as they will let you know whether or not it is going to try delivering your message again.
If the message isn’t delivered, do I need to retype the entire message from memory?
Definitely not! In some cases, when your mail server sends you an “Undeliverable Message” response, it will include the contents of your original e-mail. If it does, you can simply copy your communication from there and paste it into a new e-mail. Often times, it won’t include the original text, or it will be in a format that doesn’t work well for copying. Don’t worry. Whether you’re using your computer, your phone, or a web-based e-mail program, every message you send should be saved in a “Sent” folder. Open your Sent folder and locate your original message. You can use the Forward command to resend the message, or open it up, copy the text, and paste it into a brand new e-mail.