Product Development August 20, 2020

Emails not going through to initial users

Richard Antao @rmantao

We're getting ready to kickoff our Beta and our confirmation emails to our initial users are not going through. I am using SendGrid, which is claiming that the emails are getting delivered, however I have user's claiming they have not received any emails (spam folders checked).

Has anyone dealt with this problem before with a new email domain, and if so, how did you resolve it?

Also, in general, any tips for improving email deliverability?

  1. 2

    We are using AWS SES, you can setup a notification channel so you'll be informed about e-mail that are bounced, denied, or any other issues they might have. Does sendgrid have something like this? There are also companies like MailChannels that have a better setup for retrying failed e-mail delivery.

    1. 1

      That's very useful, I'll have to look into whether SendGrid has similar features

  2. 1

    You can see deliverability statistics on the SendGrid Activity panel.

    I'm using it without any issues. I tried SES before and honestly, it was pretty shit for us, e-mails were getting into the spam folder even with everything set right(DKIM etc). A quick google search and I found that I was not alone.

    So I migrated to SendGrid and my deliverability rate is at 99%.

    1. 1

      That's awesome!

      I've mostly been testing with my own personal emails and a few close friends before our launch but I wanna make sure the majority of our emails are reaching the intended user. I authenticated our domain yesterday and need to setup DKIM etc, so hopefully that helps.

      On the small test sample size so far, our delivery rate is ~96%, but again thats only with a handful of emails.

  3. 1

    Are there any trends in the email domains which aren't receiving the emails? Are they perhaps lost in corporate firewalls?

    From a technical perspective the best thing to do is verify your domain, with SPF/DKIM, and force all tracking links through your own domain.

    1. 1

      Seems rather random to me, even for close friends who I've tested multiple of the same emails with, they've said that sometimes the same-content emails have ended up in different folders, or not delivered at all.

      The faulty email-rate isn't high, but especially when starting off, I think every interaction with a user is crucial.

  4. 1

    Stopping emails from getting into spam is really hard.

    I am not sure about SendGrid specifically, but if you use your own domain name you should setup SPF and DKIM. I wrote a summary on how you can do that here: https://www.usertrack.net/blog/stop-others-use-your-domain-emails

    1. 1

      Thanks for the link!

  5. 1

    Setup SPF and DKIM on your domain, make sure its setup with every tool/service that sends email out as your domain.

    Check to see if your IP or domain is on any email black-lists: https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

    Try sending your verification email to here: https://www.mail-tester.com/

    See what score it gives you to improve on.

    1. 1

      These tools are great, thanks so much!

  6. 1

    Email deliverability is though !

    Your best bet is to develop an option to allow your users to force a resend of the email. (eg. "click here to send verification email again").

    It should not happen many times in a row if you're using a good sender (Sendgrid is ok).

    1. 1

      That will work in some cases; for example when a user registers an account where the email is saved in the database and is unique so the operation cannot be repeated, this wouldn't work.

      Good tip though, I'm going to see where in our email interactions this could be applied!

      1. 1

        For registration, that would work as well ?

        eg. : a user signs up, you send a verification email, the user doesn't receive it, when the user logs in they have access to a button to resend the verification email (and hopefully this time it goes through). And until their email is verified, you block part or all features, depending on your app.

        Or am I missing something ?

        1. 1

          ahh yes! You are correct, I misinterpreted your point.

  7. 1

    How annoying 😡!

    I would first triple-check that you receive the email. Then you can be 💯% certain that your code works.

    It is possible you're using a shared IP. This means that despite having your own domain, you are ultimately sharing a sender IP and sender reputation with other SendGrid customers.

    See SendGrid's documentation for more information -- basically SendGrid offer dedicated IP with their Pro plan starting at $89.95 a month 😬

    1. 1

      I've tested the code on a few different personal emails and things work fine, however there are a few users who are claiming they haven't received any email even after SendGrid reports delivery on my end, so I don't think it has to do with any bugs on my end!

      Thank you for the reference! I've been on the free plan for testing, but it might be time to upgrade now that we're going live.