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SMTP error, email not sent


#1

Hi guys,

We’ve been using Helpspot from years and we are very happy with your product.

But from time to time, we are experiencing that when sending emails we get the message “SMTP error, email not sent”. Especially when doing bulk replies this has a habbit of occurring.
But it does also happen with singular emails. In that case we get the message “EMAIL ERROR: email to customer FAILED. The email system returned this error: The following From address failed: support@transfercar.net

We use an external smtp provider called SMTP.com. They are considered one of the most trusted providers for SMTP gateways, and they can handle very high loads. We also use them for other types of email sending, not related to Helpspot. In toal we send out a a total of around 100,000 emails per month. We do not experience an issue with them outside of Helpspot.

I have also set up a Global BCC account that sends a copy of every email to a Google apps mail account. This email account does not receive any of the emails that Helptspot displays an SMTP error with either.

I have searched through your forum and I can see that you say this is a mail provider issue. But given the quality of the provider and that other emails sent through them go through without an issue, I wonder if this can somehow be a bug with Helpspot?

Any help on this would be highly appreciated!


#2

Great to hear things are going well overall!

It is usually a temporary issue with the smtp server. The difference with HelpSpot compared with a tool you may be using to send bulk email is that currently HelpSpot does not queue and resend the email. With mass mailer systems they will often check for failure and if there is simply require the message and try it again usually resulting in it going through as the outage was only temporary often not a true outage but the smtp server just denying an email or two due to load, etc.

Adding some type of queuing to outbound email is something we are considering for a future release. Once that’s in place you’ll likely see this issue go away.


#3

Thanks for your reply Ian.
This is probably a correct assumption. Do you have any idea when a queuing of outbound emails might be available? Currently this is adding approx 10% work to our support staff.


#4

If you’re seeing it that often I’d suggest a different smtp server. That is not normal. Since it’s designed for bulk email they may have a higher level of temporary rejections than a normal email setup. You could use gmail or another mail service or if you’re on Linux us the built in php mail.

Queuing will be down the road, not in the near future.