You can check upon the progress of emails sent by clicking Email delivery on the Home page
A list is displayed of the last 50 messages sent by you (or by all users in the case of a Site Administrator).
Earlier messages can be seen by clicking in the block of blue numbers or the list can be filtered between specific dates and times. Site Administrators may also search for emails sent to a specific email address.
Click to check the status of an individual message. A list of all recipients will be displayed showing the message status for each of them
Despatched by Beacon
The message has been sent to our email agent.
The message has been received by our email agent but not yet forwarded on.
An invalid status occurs when our mail agent believes the email address is formatted in a manner that does not meet Internet email format standards. Examples include addresses that include certain special characters and/or spaces.
It can also mean the email does not exist on the recipient's mail server, although most mail servers will respond with Bounced.
Our email agent is unable to establish communication with the recipient's email provider in order to forward the message on. The sending of Deferred messages is automatically retried at intervals over a day or more until repeated failures cause the message to be rejected.
The message has been rejected by our email agent. This is either because the email address was in an invalid format, or because a previous email to this address was Bounced or Reported as Spam. Such an email address is blocked (blacklisted) by our email agent and can only be unblocked by your Site Administrator.
The message has been accepted by the recipient's email provider, though it may have gone to the recipient’s spam folder rather than their inbox. Note that some email providers may silently bin the email without delivering it to a spam folder if the software guesses it is probably spam. Hotmail is particularly fierce in this regard.
Our email agent distinguishes two sorts of delivery error. One it calls ‘Bounced’ and the other ‘Blocked’. Bounced means that the message has been rejected by the recipient's email provider, usually because the address is incorrect, disabled or no longer valid. The error message returned is displayed in red and should be examined. Invalid email addresses should be removed from Beacon.
Also called "Soft Bounce" by many people. For example MailChimp says:
Soft bounces typically indicate a temporary delivery issue to an address and are handled differently than hard bounces. While there are many reasons an email address may soft bounce, below are some common reasons this could happen:
- Mailbox is full (over quota).
- Recipient email server is down or offline (an example is orange.net which is no longer an active mail system)
- Email message is too large.
Our email agent thinks that a ‘Block’ may be only temporary and does not add the recipient's address to the blacklist, so the email unblocker does not work these emails. Beacon doesn't email the sender and the Site Administrator about blocked emails but does flag them up in the email delivery log.
Opened and Clicked
Since March 2021 these statuses are no longer supported. This tracking of emails is not considered GDPR best practice and reliability varies depending on the recipients email settings and their ISP.
On historical logs Opened means the recipient read the email and viewed images. Clicked means a url link in the email was opened.
Blacklisted Email Addresses
Some delivery failures result in the email address being blacklisted – both the sender and the System Administrator will be notified by email when this happens. No further Beacon emails can be sent to the recipient until the address is verified as being correct and ‘unblocked’ by the System Administrator as described in section 6.1.4.
The Beacon email agent
Beacon uses a commercial email agent called SendGrid to dispatch messages and to provide details about progress.
Beacon has a dedicated IP address so that messages are not rejected because of misuse of the system by another party. However, all U3As using Beacon share this dedicated IP address, and a transgression by a user of one U3A could still affect everyone else.
Therefore all U3As must ensure that the system is used responsibly and in particular ensure that messages that could be construed as spam are not sent. Click for tips about 6.1.5 Email tips, duplicates and sender issues sending.
Recognising emails sent by Beacon
All messages sent by Beacon have a 'From' address of firstname.lastname@example.org and recipients will see them as having come from (for example) John Smith via MyTown U3A.
Replying to emails sent by Beacon
Ordinarily, recipients can reply directly to the sender (such as by pressing a 'Reply' button) as the 'Reply-To' header in the email is set to the user's own address. However, a few mail programs may not do this.
Monitoring delivery progress
As well as monitoring the delivery log as described above, where messages have bounced, been dropped or are the subject of spam reports, an email will be sent to the sender and to the Site Administrator naming the offending email address and describing why the address has been blacklisted.
All message failure reports should be treated seriously. Rejected email addresses should be verified, (most of them are simple spelling errors) and corrected or removed from Beacon as soon as possible if not proven to be valid.
Rejected addresses are added to a Blacklist and any further attempt to send to these addresses will be rejected (with a 'dropped' error). Your Site Administrator is able to remove an email address from the blacklist once it has been demonstrated to be a genuine address.
You can check upon the progress of emails sent, to see if they have been delivered but as noted above this does not imply they have been opened and read, or indeed been passed to the recipient by their email provider.
Particularly when sending a message to many members, a check should be made that they have not bounced due to invalid email addresses that do not comply with the SMTP format of userid@domain and top level domain. Common causes are:
- Userid - no userid, userid too long, userid uses unsupported special characters or the rules for the use of special characters have been broken.
- No '@' separating userid and domain.
- Domain - No Domain, no top level domain or missing separator '.' between domain and top level domain.
Sometimes the email agent that is used by Beacon (SendGrid) is not able to deliver an email. There are five ways that this may be shown:
|Bounced as undeliverable|
|SpamReport:||Reported by the recipient or their mail software as spam|
Not been able to be delivered by our mail agent
|Dropped:||Dropped by our mail agent|
Silently dropped by the recipient's mail server as likely to be spam
The first four are reported back to Beacon and shown in red on the email delivery reports.
The fifth is undetectable and will be reported as delivered. Only the first two cause the Beacon mail agent to "blacklist" the recipient email address, and whilst blacklisted, further emails to that address will be dropped by SendGrid.
In all four detectable undeliverable cases, Beacon will send an email message back to the sender and to the Site Administrator, explaining the type of error, and including the reporting system error code. The email will typically say:
The message to [member name] [email address] from U3A Beacon [site name] on date "yyyy-mm-dd" at time "hh:mm:ss" with subject "xxxxx" has been dropped by our mail agent.
The error report is:
'Spam Reporting Address'
A dropped error often indicates that the address is blacklisted due to a bounce or spam report rejection of an earlier email to this address. Your Beacon Site Administrator will have been notified of such rejections and is responsible for dealing with them.
Receiving emails and email providers
This information may help your members using popular email providers receive Beacon emails reliably.
Beacon emails are sometimes flagged as Spam by your email provider and may go into your Spam or Junk folder. This can usually be dealt with by right clicking and picking from the available options like Not spam or Never block sender. This will add the sender’s email address to a Safe Senders List and stop future emails from that sender going into Spam or Junk folders.
Members should also check that the sender’s email address is not on a Banned Senders list.
The method of changing Junk/Spam settings varies depending on who the email provider is and whether it is accessed via a website or via an email application such as Microsoft Outlook. Details for some of the more commonly used email providers and applications are shown below.
There are no junk mail settings on iPads, iPhones and Macs apps, or at least those supplied by Apple by default. Users need to log in via their email provider’s website and adjust the settings there.
The situation is similar for Android smartphones and tablets.
Outlook.com (including Hotmail)
Log in to Outlook.com and have a look in your Junk mail folder. If there are any U3A emails in there right-click the email and choose Not junk. The email will be moved to your inbox.
Click on the gear wheel icon (top right) to open the Settings menu and click Options. Under Junk email, click Blocked senders. If there are any U3A addresses in the list, select them and then click the dustbin icon to remove them from the Blocked Senders list.
Click Safe Senders (under Junk email). Type email@example.com in the box and click on the plus sign to add that email address to the Safe Senders list.
If an email arrives in the Spam folder, click More (or right click) followed by Not spam. This will move the email to the Inbox.
To check what is on your Banned Addresses list, click the gear (cog) icon, followed by Settings and then Banned addresses.
If an email arrives in in the Junk folder, right click and select Junk, followed by Not Junk.
This will move the email to the inbox and advise you that
“Outlook will not block future emails from firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Alternatively, you can click the Junk icon in the top menu or right click the email and select either Never block sender or Never block sender’s domain.
To add the U3A email address to your safe senders list, click the Junk icon in the top menu, followed by Junk email options. Click the Add button on the Safe senders tab and enter noreply@ u3abeacon.org.uk in the box.
Definitions of Blocked and Bounced updated.
Updated ref. Opened and Clicked no longer supported
Merged with KB articles "Email Delivery explained", "Undeliverable emails" and "Tip for receiving emails"
Added status Invalid (email syntax)