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by Ray Carlson

Q. Our organization recently sent emails to a large number of local programs with an attachment explaining a special project. Several of the emails were returned. Why?

A. There are a number of reasons email can be bounced back to the sender as undeliverable. I will comment on some of the more common. First, hard bounces refer to email that is not delivered. Soft bounces refer to messages that are rejected because the receiver’s account is temporarily full or out-of-service. Some of the latter will eventually be delivered, but may also be delivered if you try again. Second, the most common problem is a minor typo. Double check the email addresses looking for commas instead of periods, left-out letters, and the like.

Third, you may have exceeded the number of emails that your service allows you to send out in a certain period of time. You can check that limit, but resending some at different times may eliminate that problem. Fourth, you included an attachment that does not include an ending that indicates the type of program that will open the file. Such attachments may be rejected by email providers as possible viruses or spam. Try printing the attachment as a PDF-type file. This will usually make it smaller and make it clearer to the receiving program that it is a valid file that the receiver can open. Last, some persons do not accept attachments. Try to incorporate the attachment in the message or multiple messages and send again.

Published: Courier 8/15/10 - Page 5C