Author Topic: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?  (Read 739 times)

Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« on: December 03, 2020, 07:51:44 pm »
Mrs Ham is one of a group of about 40 local stitchers, they have their own domain (Squarespace host) and mail is pointed to a Gmail account.

Mrs Ham dutifully sends group mails out bcc, and a surprising number of people don't receive it at all, not even in spam (allegedly)

Seems very odd, anyone think what is going on, and suggest s resolution?

Kim

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Re: Mall hosts bouncing bcc?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2020, 08:13:11 pm »
If it's bouncing, the bounce message ought to give you some clue...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Mall hosts bouncing bcc?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2020, 08:39:51 pm »
We have had occasions when some providers (Two letters, first letter sounds like a wasp) will absorb emails without either passing them on or sending a bounce message. But that's from our own domain, not Gmail.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Mall hosts bouncing bcc?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2020, 08:54:17 pm »
Mrs Ham is one of a group of about 40 local stitchers, they have their own domain (Squarespace host) and mail is pointed to a Gmail account.

Mrs Ham dutifully sends group mails out bcc, and a surprising number of people don't receive it at all, not even in spam (allegedly)

Seems very odd, anyone think what is going on, and suggest s resolution?

Is Gmail sending the email?
It's difficult to second guess what is going on. But with more than 25 recipients, probably want to look towards a bulk mailing service to send the email. Or rig something up to send individual emails via a correctly set up SMTP server (SPF, DKIM, DMARC). Getting email delivered with BCC recipients (no TO recipients), from a domain sending a low volume of email is probably going to look like spam to most the main cloudy email providers.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Kim

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Re: Mall hosts bouncing bcc?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2020, 09:19:50 pm »
FWIW, the BHPC has switched to using https://www.sendinblue.com/ for mass mailings.  It's free for lists of <2000 addresses, if you don't mind them appending their logo to the bottom of the email.  Seems to work (by which I mean we haven't really had an opportunity for anyone to moan about not knowing about something yet).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Mall hosts dropping bcc?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2020, 10:07:59 pm »
I shouldn't have said "bouncing", they just disappear, otherwise I'd know what to do. Was hoping to avoid using another service, maintaining a contact group is easy, anything else suggests support will be needed

Re: Mall hosts dropping bcc?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2020, 03:48:05 pm »
I shouldn't have said "bouncing", they just disappear, otherwise I'd know what to do. Was hoping to avoid using another service, maintaining a contact group is easy, anything else suggests support will be needed

self service it?
set it up so people can [un]subscribe themselves?
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2020, 03:59:49 pm »
If it's going to gmail or yahoo, often people don't realise they have "focused" inbox turned on, ie their filtering software decides whats important, and if it notices you haven't opened mail from that sender for a while, it stops putting that mail in your primary inbox folder. Have they done a search by sender, often that brings things up

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2020, 08:06:53 pm »
Does the mail go out from GMail, or from some other account? Do the people who do not receive messages have anything in common, e.g. using Hotmail or some other single provider? And do at least some copies definitely arrive?

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2020, 09:03:51 pm »
It is sent via gmail, one recipient (who claims not to have received mail) did receive a single recipient bcc, which does not really compute. In limited instances we have done spam search as well. Frankly my money is on user error, but I'm interested if anyone has seen similar.


Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2020, 09:40:48 pm »
It can be really hard to diagnose these things. At once place I worked, I know that 90% of inbound mail was spam. That gave some impression of what mail providers are dealing with. And as I have pointed out to others, the Inter-net is exactly what it says. It's not a single system, but an interconnection of different systems. Each system administrator can accept traffic or not. Given the spam situation, things that look like spam can easily get rejected. Mass mailings are one of those. 40 isn't very "mass", but it's some. That, the content and the format could be enough to trigger issues.

You could try varying one or two things. Send from a different system. In GMail, click the ellipsis at bottom right when composing, and change to plain-text mode. Send smaller numbers, perhaps in batches of 10, if possible avoiding too many going to the same recipient mail provider. None of these are changing things that you "should not" do. The idea is just to change some things that can be seen as indicators of spam. It's often a scoring system, so the cumulative effect of sending large batches of messages, with lots of links in them, in HTML (fancy) format, containing certain wordings, can all affect the chances of delivery.

Kim

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Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2020, 10:02:48 pm »
Also, if you're not squeaky-clean in terms of SPF, DKIM and DMARC these days then you're pretty much asking for the big providers to consign your email to the bit-bucket.  Especially if what you're sending looks like spam.  Or is an error message from an automated system[1].


[1] Which, sadly, look like spam.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2020, 10:07:13 pm »
Hmm, I'm SPF and DKIM but no idea what DMARC is.
I have homework to do.
Oh, the delights of running your own mail server.


vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2020, 10:12:34 pm »
Oh, the delights of running your own mail server.

Just don't
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2020, 10:18:36 pm »
But here GMail is the outgoing server, so those things should be covered. I've just been checking, and I don't think you can send out from non-Gmail addresses, although you can of course set Reply-to.

Kim

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Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2020, 10:22:37 pm »
But here GMail is the outgoing server, so those things should be covered. I've just been checking, and I don't think you can send out from non-Gmail addresses, although you can of course set Reply-to.

Didn't realise that; assumed from the OP that it coming from the stitchers' domain.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2020, 08:21:30 am »
As per drossall, it is from gmail with the "reply to" set to the quilters' domain. Content is a message with variously a pdf and/or a zoom link.

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2020, 08:57:49 am »
If you leave out the reply to, does it get to everyone? If not which domains isn’t it getting to? Problem may of course be their end.

Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2020, 09:47:10 am »
I have never known Reply-to to cause a problem. It's changing your From address that can cause mail to be rejected as falsified. Only some mail systems let you do it in the first place. It was arguably permissible under the underlying rules (RFCs) for the Internet, but it was so heavily used by spammers that almost all serious mail systems will at least consider rejecting a message that is "From" a Hotmail address, but arriving from GMail's mail servers* (or any other combination of two mail systems that you care to name). Some of the checks mentioned by Kim look for that kind of thing.

By contrast, the whole point of Reply-to is to be different from the actual sending account. Otherwise, why set it?

That said, there's no harm in trying removing Reply-to. It's important to understand what's going on here:
  • Some shared rules and standards for how email is exchanged between independent systems (such as GMail. Hotmail or your employer's email systems), augmented with shared/co-operative spam trap systems such as DMarc, SPF and DKIM
  • Individual system administrators exercising their right to decide what to accept into their independent systems - because, if they don't, they'll accept floods of spam that will make the system unusable

But that right and duty of system administrators to make their own decisions, and the impossibility of getting those decisions 100% right, is what produces the glorious unpredictability of the same message being delivered to one friend on one system, and not to another on a different one. The alternative, though, is an email service that's about as useful as our phone service at the moment; we've been working at home through lockdown, and we dread the phone going off because it will be, yet again, Amazon wanting us to cancel a mysterious £1000 order on our account (we've got an account each, and they never say which one, oddly).

* I picked those two at random. As we said upthread, GMail don't let you set a different From address anyway. But you get the idea.

Kim

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Re: Mall hosts [s]bouncing[/s] dropping bcc?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2020, 11:55:24 am »
It's no coincidence that the people who don't get the email in these scenarios are nearly always those least equipped to help diagnose it.  Non-technical users tend to gravitate to the big webmail providers who think they own the internet, ISPs with poor customer service, or they do an xkcd://1279 and act like it's your problem.

*sigh*
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...