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    Mail server - acceptance rate of my emails


    I am not sure if this the right forum for this - let me know what's the right one if it isn't please.

    We are using sendmail on CentOs 5 to distribute our e-mail.

    We are sending them out with a program called ActiveCampaign. This program reports that pretty much all mails have been sent out. The sendmail queue shows about 2% of the mails still in the queue 24 hours after having started to send. So still 98% of the mails do go out. That's not really a problem.

    However, from the low response rate it seemed that much less mails actually get sent. So we contacted the companies SenderScore and ReturnPath to get their view. They told us that we have more than 10% wrong user names in our list, but also that we have a very low acceptance rate, i.e. the rate of how many e-mails actually land in the inbox of the desired recipient (35 - 50% apparently), partially due to "an infrastructure problem". They also said there seems to be a long delay on mails arriving - they had us do a test with 1000 addresses and it took apparently half an hour until the last mail arrived at their end.

    As info, in general, we are sending more than 80,000 emails per week (we are not spamming, these are all existing customers).

    And they want $20,000 to give us the details so we can solve the problem. Apparently I need to sign a contract where I am going to have to pay $20,000 a year so they will monitor our email traffic.

    I should add that we are using DKIM and have added the various things required by gmail and Yahoo for e-mail to be accepted. And single test mails to any of these various mail servers do seem to arrive without problems within seconds.
    And all the basic setup things such as reverse DNS, properly resolving host names of our own server are all okay. And we are not blacklisted on any blacklist per blacklist check websites I have reviewed.

    My question is - can I solve this problem another way? $20,000 is out of proportion and unviable for us. It is impossible that everyone needs to monitor his e-mail at a cost of $20,000 a year. So how are other people solving this problem?

    What can be the cause for something like that?

    Is there a way for us to track and trace problems to find the cause (without the $20,000)?

    Any programs / tools / utilities one can use?
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    - Kinda sounds like you're flooding the various mail servers. If you try to send too many at once you'll get throttled down and sendmail won't be able to send some. Thus they remain in the queue - probably to be picked up by a cronjob later.

    - Does the acceptance rate account for mail filters? As in, does it not land in the inbox because it was sent to a junk mail folder instead?

    - Have you taken a long, hard look at the mail logs?
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    Mail server - acceptance rate of mails


    Requinix, thanks.

    As mentioned, what is left in the queue is comparatively little, and is not a problem.

    Mail filters - we got the acceptance rate from that company and it looks like if a mail goes into a junk folder they will count it as not accepted. Not entirely sure though as they don't want to give me more data on this right now.
    I know that Yahoo sends mail automatically into junk mail if you don't use DKIM, for example, but that we do use.

    Mail logs - I am not so familiar on how to read the ins and outs of the sendmail log.
    I did check the logs. I find the note "Message accepted for delivery" for approximately the same number of mails as I intended to send. This should tell me that they have gone out (apart from the few in the queue).
    I find the message "stat=Sent" much more often though - double approx than the number of mails. Would that indicate something weird going on?
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    I hope the Bandwidth usage limitation is not stopping your emails.
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