Written: April 4, 2017

bounced email reply

What to do when your email message gets bounced back

I use LinkedIn every day and recently I connected with a new person living in Europe. We sent some messages back and forth using LinkedIn, then he sent me a direct email. When I replied to his email message then it quickly got bounced back. Have you ever sent an email message to a person that you know, however you quickly received a bounced back message telling you that you message wasn’t delivered? What should you do to remedy this situation?

Here’s the bounced email reply that I received today:

bounced email reply

Bounced Email Reply

Reading this email I discovered why my email didn’t get delivered:

We all hate to receive spam email messages, so our web hosting companies that provide email services have banded together to identify the spammers, and they do this by subscribing to lists of suspected or known spammers. A blacklist has the IP addresses where spam emails are coming from, so in this case the IP address of 74.208.4.197 has been known to send out spam emails.

My web hosting company is 1and1.com, and they offered something called a shared hosting plan to keep their costs low. What that means is that when I sign up for a shared web hosting plan that there are maybe 100 or more other customers using the same email server and web server that I am using. So even if I am not personally sending out spam, there is certainly another customer of 1and1.com that is also using our shared server and they are the ones sending out the spam.

Well, these blacklist companies cannot discern between email senders, so instead they just note the entire IP address, which in this case is now blocking email from 100 or more shared hosting customers, like me. My recourse is to phone up the technical support folks at 1and1.com and alert them to this blacklist issue, then they contact each of the blacklist companies and assure them that the real spammer has been identified and stopped, so please update your blacklist and remove the IP address of 74.208.4.197

This is a process and can take hours or days to get resolved, so my options to work around this issue for my one email address going to this one recipient are to:

The Internet is a complex place and sometimes our email messages will be bounced back, so take hope, call up your web hosting vendor and explain what has happened and get them to go and advocate on your behalf and get your IP address off of the blacklists.

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