In today’s digital age, email has become an essential means of communication, both in personal and professional contexts. However, despite its convenience, it is only sometimes foolproof.

There may be instances when you send an email, but the recipient does not receive it. As a result, it can be frustrating, especially if the message is time-sensitive or critical.

This article will explore why the intended recipient might not receive an email and its causes. It also discusses how to fix email deliverability issues. [1]

10 Reasons Why Your Emails Are Not Being Received

1. Invalid E-mail Address

Your message will only be delivered if it’s sent to a wrongly typed or invalid email address. While it may seem obvious, it is often overlooked and occurs frequently.

Even if the email address is spelled correctly, it cannot be delivered if it does not exist. Usually, you will receive a non-delivery warning for it. The message will alert you of any essential information, such as the fact that the email address doesn’t exist or they can’t locate it.

Therefore, always ensure the email address is valid and accurately spelled to solve these problems. You should also call the recipient to verify the spelling accuracy and the email address’s legitimacy.

2. Recipients’ Mailbox Is Full

Since the majority of email providers now give their users enough storage, this issue is less frequent than it formerly was.

However, if you ever encounter this issue, you can call the person or send a brief email to advise them. The recipient must delete messages from the mailbox to free up space in their email account.

In addition, you can often follow up again a few days later because another person or colleague with the same issue may have contacted the recipient.

3. Email Is Marked As Spam

Effective email service providers have advanced SPAM filters that can distinguish between legal and fraudulent emails. However, they are only sometimes wholly trustworthy, and occasionally email providers intercept genuine emails.

So, ask your recipient to check their SPAM folder for your email. If you find messages, mark them as safe to prevent this from happening again. [2]

4. Recipient’s Mail Server Does Not Exist or Is Temporarily Unavailable

The email server may be down or incorrectly configured in this situation. The text may also include a typo that follows the at symbol (“@”).

For example, the recipient can reach out to the individual in another way by calling or using a different email address.

“Please contact us for assistance if you suspect it might be related to our mail servers!”

5. Spam Filter Issues

As a result of specific spam server regulations, mail servers occasionally reject emails from servers. However, this is typically an error in the spam filter. Rejecting all emails from a server or domain name makes little sense.

In January 2021, spam made up a whopping 45% of all email sent worldwide. Spam filters play a crucial role in keeping our inboxes safe from malware and phishing attacks while also ensuring that important communications we want to read aren’t masked by spam. [3]

Additionally, any lists of spam servers do not include our servers. Most of the time, the receiving server’s administrators must resolve the issue.

In most cases, asking the administrators of the user’s mail server is the most effective course of action. The recipient should also send the error message so the IT support staff can better understand the issue.

6. Malware Attack

What happens if you get a “Mail Delivery Failure” alert for interactions you never sent? It’s possible you were the victim of a malware attack. More specifically, a virus utilizes your account to send spam emails. This attack explains why you keep receiving bounces.

The main source of the problem might be a worm infection (use your antivirus program right away) or what is known as “spoofing.” This infection occurs when a spammer uses your address name to pose as you.

So, consider getting email authentication because preventing a malware attack is pretty tricky. [4]

7. Email Contains an Attachment

Emails with attachments can occasionally be blocked as well. Even though common file types like Word documents, PDFs, and Excel spreadsheets typically pass through, they sometimes encounter issues.

There is also a genuine risk of malware being smuggled in through macros, so they prohibit Word and Excel documents that include them.

Therefore, using a secure file transfer application is strongly suggested instead of zipping up huge attachments. Viruses like CryptoLocker and CryptoWall can be sent and unpacked via ZIP files.

8. SMTP Settings

Even if the message exists, provides plenty of storage and space, and follows all best practices for a newsletter campaign (i.e., opt-in list, beautifully designed layout, no spammy terms in the subject), an anti-spam filter may still block it from reaching the recipient’s mailbox.

The recipient may choose not to accept the message, depending on your SMTP server. The message may be denied if the transmitting IP’s reputation is especially poor and placed on a blacklist. Furthermore, you will need to be made aware of it.

Thus, relying on a standard accessible SMTP server can significantly lower your delivery rate because it uses generic, unmonitored IPs.

In contrast, using a professional server like turboSMTP will send your emails using only guaranteed IPs and with proper authentication. It also maximizes the capacity of each message to reach the right inbox.

9. Outlook Settings

One of Outlook’s best features is the ability to set up rigid rules for incoming and outgoing messages. However, if you’ve set any specific rules, it results in problems, such as Outlook being able to send emails but not receive them.

So, ensure there aren’t any Outlook rules that could be moving, blocking, or quarantining the email. Check your Clutter and junk folder to see if particular emails are being relocated there.

If they are, it’s frequently because Outlook doesn’t trust the SPAM phrases or attachments they include. Another reason is that Clutter is trying to “de-clutter” your inbox by “learning” what you want and don’t want. You might even request the sender to send merely a blank email so you can verify that it was delivered.

10. IP Address Issue

Incorrect IP addresses are also potential reasons recipients do not receive your emails. Here are some common IP address-related issues and how to fix them:

  • Blacklisting – Your IP address may be blacklisted by the recipient’s email service provider, meaning emails from your IP address will be blocked. You can check if your IP address is blacklisted using online tools such as MX Toolbox, Spamhaus, or Sender Score.

If your IP address is blacklisted, you can contact the blacklist provider to request removal or work with your e-mail provider to change your IP address.

  • Reverse DNS lookup – Email service providers may perform a reverse DNS lookup to verify the authenticity of the sending server. Your emails may also be blocked if your IP address has no reverse DNS record.

To check if your IP address has a reverse DNS record, use online tools such as MX Toolbox or WhatIsMyIPAddress. You can contact your mail provider to add one if your IP address has no reverse DNS record.

  • SPF and DKIM authentication – Mail providers use SPF and DKIM authentication to verify the authenticity of the sending server. If your IP address is not authenticated, they may mark your emails as spam or blocked.

Use online tools such as DKIM Validator or SPF Surveyor to verify your emails are appropriately authenticated. However, if your emails are not authenticated properly, you can work with your service provider to set up SPF and DKIM records.

5 Ways to Successfully Send Emails

emails sent but not received

(Source: Pexels)

1. Ensure Your Emails Aren’t Being Filtered Into Another Folder

One potential reason the intended recipient did not receive an email is that it could be filtered into another folder, such as the spam or junk folder. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your emails are not being filtered:

  • Ask the recipient to check their spam or junk folder. The recipient’s email provider automatically filters the email. So, ask the recipient to check their spam or junk folder to see if the email exists.
  • Whitelist your email address. Ask the recipient to whitelist your email address by adding it to their contacts or safe senders list. This ensures that future emails will not be filtered into the spam or junk folder.
  • Avoid using spam trigger words. Avoid using words like “free,” “discount,” or “limited-time offer” in the subject line or body of the email. These words or phrases may trigger spam filters and cause your email to be filtered.
  • Use a professional email service provider. A professional email service provider, such as Gmail or Outlook, ensures your e-mails are delivered to the recipient’s inbox and not filtered into the spam or junk folder.

2. Check the Outlook Service and Internet Connection

Your computer’s internet connection may likely be failing. So, check if it’s connected to a reliable connection and restart your computer. Outlook’s service could also be unavailable right now.

You can quickly check Outlook’s service status by going to their page and reviewing their current status. If it is highlighted in red, Outlook is not currently accessible.

3. Clear Google Storage Space

Try signing out and back in again. You can also force syncing with Google if you’re having difficulties viewing all of your Gmail messages on your smartphone.

Many of us are guilty of keeping unnecessary messages and files. Therefore, you run out of storage if your inbox is overflowing with outdated e-mails.

Clearing Google storage may not directly fix the issue of not receiving emails. Still, it could improve the overall performance of your Gmail account and reduce the likelihood of technical problems.

Here are some steps you can take to clear Google storage:

  • Delete old emails. Go through your Gmail inbox and delete any old or unnecessary emails taking up space. Gmail’s search function can find and delete them based on specific keywords, dates, or senders.
  • Clear out your trash and spam folders. Deleted e-mails are moved to the trash folder, where they continue to take up storage space. Go to the trash folder and permanently delete any emails you no longer need. Similarly, clear out your spam folder regularly to reduce storage usage.
  • Remove large attachments. Large email attachments can quickly consume your Google storage. Consider removing large attachments from your emails or saving them to a cloud storage service like Google Drive.
  • Empty the Google Drive trash. If you use Google Drive, regularly empty the trash folder to free up storage space.

4. General Troubleshooting

Here are some general troubleshooting steps that can fix the issue of an email not being received by the recipient:

  • Check your internet connection – ensure you have a stable internet connection and are not experiencing any network issues.
  • Check the sent folder – verify that the email was sent, and check your sent folder to confirm it was successfully sent.
  • Check the recipient’s email address – double-check the recipient’s email address to ensure that it was entered correctly and that there are no typos or errors.
  • Check the recipient’s inbox filters – ask the recipient to check their inbox filters and rules to ensure the email is not automatically sorted into a different folder, such as spam or promotions.
  • Check for bounced e-mails – a bounced email notification could indicate an issue with the recipient’s email address or inbox. Follow up with the recipient to confirm their email address and ensure they can receive emails.
  • Check email server status – verify that your email server is functioning correctly and has no service interruptions.
  • Check for email client issues – if you are using an email client or app, ensure that it is updated to the latest version and that there are no known issues or bugs.

5. Log Out and Back Into Your Account

You can sign out and back in again or force a sync with Google’s servers if you’re having difficulties viewing all of your Gmail messages on your device.

6. Unblock Outlook Account

Microsoft occasionally blocks an Outlook account due to questionable conduct or security concerns.

To fix this, log into your Outlook account online to see if it is still active. You only need to send an authentication code to your phone number and confirm it on Outlook to unblock it.

If you cannot unblock your account, contact Microsoft support for assistance. They may also be able to help you resolve the issue or provide further guidance.


Email Sent But Not Received By Recipient

(Source: Pexels)

The intended recipient may not receive an email for various reasons, such as filters, technical issues, or account blocks. However, there are several steps that you can take to fix this issue.

These steps include checking your internet connection, verifying the recipient’s email address, checking the sent folder, clearing storage space, avoiding spam trigger words, and contacting support if needed.

Following the above troubleshooting steps can increase the chances of receiving your emails from the intended recipient and avoid any further issues.

Contact our staff for assistance if you’re having trouble with email deliverability or doing it on your own. InboxAlly is the answer that ensures your e-mails arrive in your inbox consistently and quickly.