Having trouble sending to Gmail? (resolved)

If you’ve had trouble sending to Gmail addresses today or yesterday (December 14 or 15), where an address that you know is valid bounces back with “The email account that you tried to reach does not exist”, the problem isn’t you, or us. Gmail had a problem that caused this for all senders, seen on their status pages yesterday and today, with the latter confirming “Affected users received a bounce notification with the error “The email account that you tried to reach does not exist” after sending an email to addresses ending in @gmail.com”.

They also confirmed it on Twitter:

They say the problem is resolved now, so if it happened to you, it should work if you try sending again.

Tip: Searching the Gmail spam folder

Customers who forward their mail to Gmail occasionally tell us that they can’t find a message they know someone sent them, even when they’ve searched Gmail for it.

These messages are often eventually found in the “Spam” or “Trash” folders of Gmail. What’s surprising is that by default, Gmail search doesn’t look in these folders at all, so people are (quite reasonably) sure it’s not there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ensuring sent mail doesn’t bounce with the Gravity Forms plugin

If you use the Gravity Forms WordPress plugin, be sure you don’t set it to send mail “from” the e-mail address of the person filling out the form. If you do, you’ll have trouble due to recent “DMARC” anti-forgery changes some companies (including AOL and Yahoo) have made.

To avoid problems, make sure that Gravity Forms (and other such forms) send mail “from” the Web site domain name the form uses. For instance, if your Web site is at www.example.com, you could send mail from “notifications@example.com”. Here’s a helpful page that explains how to properly set up the Gravity Forms address with DMARC in mind.

By the way, this is just a specific case of the general rule of “don’t send mail from addresses you don’t own”. The simple way to think of it is that you’re not (say) AOL or Yahoo, so your Web site shouldn’t send mail claiming it’s from aol.com or yahoo.com addresses. AOL and Yahoo don’t want other people doing that. Always send mail only from your own domain name.

Gmail problems September 23, 2013 (resolved)

We’ve received reports from some of our customers about errors or delays sending mail to or from Gmail on September 23, 2013.

This was caused by a general problem at Gmail that they’ve since resolved, and wasn’t related to our servers.