Why many emails never get to the intended recipient’s inbox

Monday July 12 2021
Email pic

All email servers have inbuilt systems for monitoring whose email address is often rejected by email recipients by blocking the sender. PHOTO | FILE

By Sam Wambugu

About half of the world’s population, or 4 billion people, use emails to communicate and transact business — many of them daily. Much of the world’s official communication is through email.

However, many emails do not get to the intended destination; they are swept in the junk email folder, blocked by the email system, or go to unintended recipient’s inbox.

Let us first get one thing right. A long time ago, when the email concept started, it mattered whether you typed email address in upper or lower case. These days, that’s not a concern. You can mix capitals and lower cases or use lower or upper cases as you wish. The email software will read addresses perfectly and deliver the message to the addressee.

Several reasons will prevent an email from getting to its intended recipient. If the email space allocated to the recipient’s inbox is filled up, then the email will not reach the inbox — it has not space to land. So, to keep receiving emails, delete spam and unwanted emails regularly to free up space for new emails.

Note that when you send pictures and video clips, the space for storing email gets full quickly. It is imperative to regularly delete large files or remove them from the inbox and keep them somewhere else.

Of course, there are some no-brainer reasons why an email will bounce back. If you misspell the address, the email will bounce back or go to the wrong recipient. That is why it is a good practice to re-read a new email address to ascertain its spelling accuracy.


Legitimate emails

Also, your email could end up in the recipient’s spam folder —the email pocket where suspicious emails are quarantined. Many email applications are configured to look for specific characteristics in incoming emails and flag suspicious ones. Gmail and Yahoo have developed sophisticated anti-spam technologies that corral and quarantine spammers.

All email servers have inbuilt systems for monitoring whose email address is often rejected by email recipients by blocking the sender. If email recipients often block a certain unwanted email address, the email system, say Gmail, also starts to block it too or automatically move emails from that address into the junk folder.

But there are times when legitimate emails are also flagged and tossed into the spam folder. Emails with only images and no text, or emails that carry video clips or files with extension .exe are likely to be flagged as spam or blocked.

Other candidates for often marked spam include emails with words like “dear friend,” “risk-free,” “special offer,” “meet singles,” and “online biz opportunity”.

Emails typed in all CAPITALS, or with many exclamation marks or infused with many emojis, are often marked as spam. Some systems also sequester emails with bad spelling and poor grammar or with links to shady websites.