Email non-delivery

The internet email system dates back several decades and was never designed for the way it’s now used.  From todays’ perspective, it is deeply flawed but with 2-3 billion users and over 300 billion emails a day, it’s too widely used to change much or be replaced easily. One of the issues is that there’s a risk that some messages don’t always reach the intended recipient.

Busy readers

  • The most common issue is poorly implemented junk mail filters.
  • Having eliminated filters, deeper investigation is best passed to an internet technician.
  • If you use an email service provided by your web host, broadband provider or any free service change ESP (Email Service Provider) to one with the best practises, for a typical cost of £50p.a. per mailbox. Examples include Proton Mail, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, all offer a free version but the paid version is better.  This can be managed with little or no disruption to your normal email communications.
  • Implement an email tracking service.  Useful to track successful delivery and confirm that a message has been read. (Some email users and services will block the tracking code it’s but useful for those who don’t).
  • Implement two factor authentication (2FA), it makes your email account much more secure.  Try

The main problems

There are two issues:
Mail you send not reaching the intended recipient and
Mail intended for you not reaching you.

The main underlying issue is over zealous spam filtering.

8 out of every 10 emails sent is spam, the fact that you see far less junk is a credit to the spam filters – although it might not always feel that way!

Some individuals and organisations try to eliminate spam completely.  It’s just not possible. The best ESPs only discard email that is unquestionably spam sending the rest to a spam folder for you to check.  Even so there remains a small risk that the spam filters discard too much.

When someone proudly says they receive no spam it’s a sure sign that they are “protected” by some over aggressive spam filters which will be discarding some “good” emails too.

In 2004 Bill Gates said “In two years spam will be a thing of the past”. Whether he was referring to a brand of delicious pork luncheon meat or junk mail, he was wrong. There have been attempts to implement technical fixes (such as DKIM & SPF).  Some have helped but none have fixed the problem, partly because the fixes need to be applied to millions of domain names and/or hundreds of thousands of mail-servers and require that the administrators are competent to implement the changes.

With billions of users it’s just not possible to make the major changes to the email that would be required to resolve this mess.  The best you can do is to use one of the premium ESPs, ideally with a paid account.

While spam filtering is a common reason for email delivery problems, it’s not the only reason. It’s time consuming (expensive!) investigate individual situations but we can share a document which explains, at considerable length, what can be done to investigate a problem but don’t expect a simple task or a quick fix. 

What about LaserTechnik email services?  We can offer hosted email accounts and the service does include commercial spam filtering but we advise clients to use one of the premium ESPs, even if just their free accounts.  You can still have email addresses that use your domain name, for example our main email is, we use email forwarding to route that to a free Gmail account. Gmail is very resilient and secure (as are the other premium ESPs).  Dedicated ESPs are able to devote far more effort to retaining their “top 10” position as they compete with each other to deliver the best service.

It looks more professional to have an email address at your own domain but it adds an extra step to the chain of communication and there’s nothing wrong with [], on the other hand []@[unfamiliar.ESP] may not help your credibility.

Another solution allows you to keep using something like office@[] by paying an annual fee (typically around £50 per addressee) to use the mailservers of a premium ESP. There is technical task involved in setting up the initial configuration and multiple addresses: office@, sales@,  Rob@ etc will each cost £50 p.a.