Have you ever wondered how your email reaches the recipient in a fraction of a second? We must understand how an email works to avoid bouncing back or achieving the spam folder in this day and age.
Here are the 5 ways an email reaches its destination, namely the recipient’s inbox.
- Sending an email begins with composing and sending it using your mail client. Mail clients are desktop applications that allow you to send and receive emails. You can access your email even when the internet is not connected by storing it on the server. Web browsers such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail or applications on your computer like Outlook, Thunderbird, or Mail are a few examples.
- Your router will then receive it. Routers provide direction to queries sent from server to server and then sent back to the recipient. SMTP servers send emails to recipients using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) protocol. Messages must pass through barriers before reaching the recipient’s mail server. For the most part, servers present the barrier as they are gateways into entire systems, and if any malicious mail enters the server, it will affect the entire system. Mail servers are protected by:
- A firewall that protects it from viruses.
- Spam filter – checks if the message contains malicious content or the sender is a known spammer.
- To reach the recipient’s router, the mail must pass through other barriers after reaching the mail server. These include:
- Reputation check – whether you have been sending spam emails or not by looking at your history or patterns of email.
- Authentication check – determines if the person you claim to be or the identity proof you provided is genuine, as well as determining if the sender exhibited problematic behavior.
- The message reaches the recipient’s router once the above barriers are cleared. To reach the mailbox, the mail must undergo yet another check.
- A spam filter checks for texts that have been marked as spam by the mailbox settings, regardless of whether the sender has been flagged as spam or not.
- According to today’s email standards, if the email clears even this spam filter, it will be sent to 3 different places.
- A user’s Mail Client if they use it.
- On a mobile device or tab.
- as well as their WebMail
These three items have been discussed separately because this email system works with a protocol known as the Post Office Protocol or POP3. It is the older protocol. Most systems use the newer version, “IMAP4,” with many added features. Our actions can be synchronized across devices, which POP3 could not do. In other words, the email reading and deleting actions in webmail will also affect the app, which was not the case with POP3.
An email will be sent successfully to the recipient using the above methods. But, a message won’t reach the recipient’s inbox for several reasons listed below.
- An email server will reject the mail if it doesn’t pass through any of these barriers. The mail bounces! The bounced mail will be referred to by a different name depending on which barrier it failed:
- Soft bounce- occurs when there is excess space in the recipient’s mailbox, when the mail server is down, or when the email is too large.
- Hard bounce happens when the recipient’s email address is invalid, a domain name does not exist, or when the mail encounters a firewall or filter.
- Your IP address or email address could be blocklisted if it routinely bounces emails. Bulk mailings are therefore impractical.
- Messages that are too lengthy or have too many links will end up in the spam folder.
- Mailing in bulk is one of the primary reasons users mark emails as spam.
- Most email marketers send emails to unknown people without their permission, which causes a mail to land in the spam folder. It is referred to as cold calling.
Mailers often make these mistakes, so they need to be addressed.
In terms of online conversation, email has become an essential part of our lives. Therefore, to increase your presence, it is essential to consider the problems associated with mailing. Studies indicate that email marketing will grow in the next few years based on the stats provided in different studies. Therefore, we should first understand the 5 ways emails reach their target by understanding how they are delivered.