New subscriber Jerry Argo wrote with a question about an email problem. Jerry had more than one email problem though. I don’t answer questions from non-subscribers — and Jerry had mis-typed his email address in the question he sent via my web site’s Contact Form.
Although I don’t normally do this, I checked his name and a partial email address against the subscriber list, and found he really was subscribed..
I receive a failure to deliver notice to an email address that I have not entered in the To: The address listed is not in my email address book.
Only happens when I send email to a group using a Folder title which has a small group that I want to communicate with rather than select each address one at a time.
I wrote back to Jerry for more information to help me suggest a solution. First, mentioned that I didn’t find him subscribed, and almost didn’t check further. You mis-spelled your email address – left out the second “r”.
One basic question was "which email program is he using?"
He had said that he was not putting the problem email address in the To field and that it’s not in his email address book. However, there was another unknown…
I didn’t understand what he meant when he said "I send email to a group using a Folder title," so I needed to know what he meant Folder title.
He could have been saying that he’s sending emails to a group email address that he maintains in his email program.
Or, he could be sending to something like a Yahoo! Group email address, where Yahoo sends the emails to the individuals.
Jerry wrote back to explain:
Thanks for your diligence in determining my address mistakes. I registered with your site just this morning and sent my inquiry immediately after confirming via your confirmation requirement.
Software is Outlook.
I generally always use the Bcc when sending email to more than one person and they have been selected one by one from my email address book. Within my book is a Group email address which has several email address’ that I use adding them to the email.
The failure to deliver then lists an email address that has not been selected nor is it in my master email listing. This happens within seconds after the Send button is selected.
Hope this is a better description of the problem.
Since he didn’t answer one of the questions clearly, I wanted to know if he’s absolutely sure the strange email address is not in the Distribution List (Outlook’s term) in Outlook.
I asked Jerry if, since he’s using the Bcc for sending, is he putting any email address in the To or CC fields? Many mailservers will bounce emails that don’t have an email address in the To field.
What is the email address that bounces? Is it one that you know, but just isn’t appropriate here? Or is it entirely unknown?
In this particular case it is totally unknown. Previous instances that have happened many times it has been another address which is totally unknown.
When I put my sender address in Bcc that is the only place I place address’..
Unfortunately, Jerry still didn’t clearly answer say what was happening. As I read his response, I could interpret it to say that there are two email addresses, both that he doesn’t know, but that those two are always the one that shows up in the error message. Or, I could interpret it to say that the email addresses are different each time. I think that’s the more likely answer, since he doesn’t know the addresses.
I suggested that the next time he sends an email to that Distribution List, he should put his own address in the To field. That tends to make mailservers happier.
Think of it this way: an email without a To address, that is, a Bcc copy without a To address, is often viewed by the mailservers as spam. The mailserver for one of his intended recipients could be bouncing the email back to him, and the "address" they’re showing as invalid may simply be the one that was stored in the variable from the last email it handled.
Since it’s a different one each time, and you don’t know it at all, I suspect that’s the issue.
Thanks again for your help. Will give your suggestions a try.