Troubleshooting Undelivered Emails

You may occasionally have clients tell you that they haven't received a form, or an appointment confirmation that they were supposed to receive. We have put together this guide to help you troubleshoot these situations and prevent them from happening often.

Troubleshooting Steps

From our experience, following the steps in this order is the best way to diagnose and fix a deliverability issue.

1. Double-check the email address

The most important step that many people miss is to make sure you have the correct email address for the client. If you notice that you have entered the incorrect email address, head to the client profile, update their email address and resend the form or appointment confirmation.

2. Check the status of the email in the Events tab

Most emails sent via IntakeQ are accessible to you in the event logs, and checking the status of an email will determine what steps to take next.

To check the status of an email, navigate to the client profile and open the Events tab. This tab shows the most important events related to a client. Look for the event associated with the email you are troubleshooting (Form Sent, Appointment Reminder Sent, Form Reminder Sent, etc.), and then click on the Email link on the same row.

Next you will see the email dialog. At the top, it will show you the email Status.

Dealing with the Delivered Status
If the status field says "Delivered", it means that the client's email server has accepted the message, and, in theory, agreed to deliver it to the client. In most cases, this is what happens, and performing steps 3 and 4 below should resolve the issue.

If after performing steps 3 and 4 it's determined that the email has really not been delivered, steps 5 and 6 should be taken.

Dealing with the Bounced Status
If the system shows the Bounced status, it means that the user didn't received the email.

This can happen for many reasons, but assuming your email does not have spammy content and that you have a relationship with the recipient, this is most likely a false positive. In order to address this issue, skip to step 5, 6 and then 7.

3. Ask client to check their spam folder

Most emails should not go to the spam folder, but when a client claims to not have received your email, always make sure that they checked their spam folder.

In case the client finds your emails in their spam folder, ask them to mark it as not spam or move them to their inbox. This action typically teaches the spam filter that your emails are legitimate.

4. Ask client to perform a search

Some email providers will categorize emails into folders (e.g. Gmail with its tabs), and sometimes even clients can create custom rules to tag emails containing certain keywords. For this reason, it's a good idea to ask the client to use the search feature in their email to make sure that the email didn't end up in an unexpected folder.

5. Ask client to add your email address to their contact list

Most ISPs claim that they don't drop emails silently, but we have seen strong evidence to the contrary. One way for your clients to "tell" their ISP that your emails are legitimate, is for them to add your sending address to their address book or contact list.

If you are sending forms from your own domain (using our sender feature), that's the email address that the client should add to their contact list. If you are not using the sender feature, the client should add to their contact list.

6. Ask client to contact their ISP

It's not uncommon for ISPs to make mistakes. Even when an email is coming from a domain and an IP with excellent reputation, and its content is not spammy, some ISPs will block it due to misconfigured rules, software updates, etc. The best way to have it resolved is for your client to contact their ISP and ask them why your emails are not coming through.

7. Optimize your emails for deliverability

To increase the odds of your emails getting into your clients' inboxes, there are certain etiquette rules that you should follow. We have written a full article about improving your deliverability rate: Optimize Your Email Deliverability

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