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Email hints and tricks
3/20/2002
The following message was delivered to the CFO digest on 3/20/2002:

From: Keith
Subject: digest mailing issues

Flyers,

Just FYI, and for future reference, here is a peek inside a few issues around the sending of digests and internet email in general, and how it affects your subscription. I'll also put this on the web page for future reference.

It might be nice for you to have this information *before* your email address goes away for some reason.

First of all, thanks to all of you who do your own address changes, we see you doing them (at the rate of around 12 per day) and we thank you for doing it self-serve!

A number of issues can keep the digest from being delivered to any given address. If you don't get one for several days, you may want to consider these possibilities:
  • Your mailbox may be full. This is true for at least 20 recipients every day. We usually don't take any action on these delivery failure notifications.

  • The path to your email address may be down. At least 15 digests a day are not delivered due to name server timeouts, retries or other such issues. We ignore these diagnostic messages. They usually fix themselves in a day or two, and usually the system retries until the path is up, so you probably won't lose the digest. If you do, the archives are there for you.

  • Your domain may have gone away. Users on home.com recently had this happen: today mediaone.net got shut down, and we got 6 mail bounces from members on that system.

    If you are notified of such a change, please change your address in the CFO system. Otherwise we have to manually delete you, and we don't know what to change it to. In some cases we may make an educated guess. That's a lot of work, but fun when we guess right!

  • Some spam system may have decided that we are spam. Usually this is some other guy in the same server name tree, but we've had a few of these lately. We work those directly with the spam sniffers and our host provider.

  • Your ISP may have decided that we are spam. We hate spam too, so we don't get too upset with these guys. But sometimes they use rather crude methods to sort out spam, and we can get snipped. You can talk with your ISP about this, they are usually responsive. We try to recognize spam filter or security rejections and take some action on each of them.

  • Your mail system (usually your ISP) may have forgotten about you. At the rate of about 6/day, an address bounces as 'user not found'. Usually it's fine the next day, but after we get a few of these in a row we will (manually) delete you. Please resubscribe when they find you again.
    The system will send an email if you are unsubscribed for this or any other reason. If you see such an email and don't want to be unsubscribed, it's likely that you've been bouncing and didn't know it. It happens to the best of us! Please just re-subscribe, we won't mind at all.

    Please note that you can do just about everything that we can do regarding your subscription, as we often say, it's self serve.

    If you don't get digests for a while, first send email to yourself (just to see if you can.) If your email is ok, feel free to re-subscribe to the digest. It won't let you add the same address twice, and you'll get an immediate report on whether you're currently in the list.

    If you resubscribe and learn you were not in the list anymore, most likely you were bouncing, were removed and the unsubscribe notification also bounced. If that was you, thanks for checking back!

    The system has it's tricks, but it's working pretty well. We have plans for improvement in the future, and we spend a lot of time keeping it going, but so far so good.

    Keith Peterson
    CFO Webmaster




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