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Email issue

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
We have a situation where a php program sends a confirmation email when customers make appointments using php mail.

We set the "from" address in php mail to a specific email address that is a REAL email address. The host overrides it with one of their own. I believe I know how to override the host from doing that.

Some of the customers do NOT receive the confirmation email. I think doing what I have indicated will fix that, but I don't know how to test it. Seems I need a lot of diversity in testers.

Any suggestions?
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Question by:Richard Korts
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Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 39595783
Some hosts require you to use an email address that is part of your hosting package and if you don't, they substitute the address of the mail server.  The purpose of doing that is tracking in case it is spam.  Some hosts block the email altogether if it doesn't come from an email address on your hosting.

And I don't mean just using a 'name' on the hosting but a real email account.  That is so bounce notices have somewhere to go.

And some customers will not receive it if you use an email address that is supposed to come from a different mail server because that is a sign of spam.  SPF records are intended to overcome that problem by designating a 'foreign' mail server other than the one where your email account is located as an acceptable sender.
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Author Comment

by:Richard Korts
ID: 39595864
Dave, I'm not sure if this helps but there is an email account, "irrigationspecialists@xyz.com". There are a lot of other email accounts at xyz.com too.

xyz.com is the url where the php scripts are.

Will that work?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39595919
If 'xyz.com' is the web site and the email accounts are hosted by the web site, that should be enough.  If your MX records show a mailserver somewhere else for those accounts, then you will still have a problem.  You also need reverse DNS lookup to match.  You can check your email setting at http://mxtoolbox.com/ .
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LVL 110

Assisted Solution

by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 250 total points
ID: 39597316
We have plowed this field before, and while I would recommend that you use a message service like ConstantContact.com it appears that you don't want to do that.  So you will have to do all of the things that ConstantContact.com does to make sure the email goes through.  It's a huge amount of thankless work.  Here are some of the things you must do:

Install SPF records.
Ask your recipients to "whitelist" the email address.
Include human names in the email messages (one of the sure signatures of spam is "Dear Member:")
Make sure your web host is not adding anti-spam headers to your email messages.

I agree about the need for a diversity of testers.  You'll find that different mail clients will respond differently to the messages.  Nowadays, nobody bothers to bounce spam, they mostly just throw the messages away without notice.
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Author Comment

by:Richard Korts
ID: 39605725
Hi Ray,

I would LOVE to use ConstantContact if they have solved these problems.

My reluctance is based on the assumption that the "surgery" needed on the existing scripts & the develop perhaps others; I will look into it right now, I'm guessing based on your comments that they have an "API"?

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Richard Korts
ID: 39605782
Ray_Paseur

Hi Ray,

Can you give me a link to some ConstantContact docs for sending a SINGLE email? All I could find was JSON info about email campaigns.

Thanks,

Rkorts
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LVL 110

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39605840
You can send a single email.  Just put one email address in the campaign list.  I think if you show them this thread (you may have to cut and paste) they will be glad to help.
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