Hostedemail spam and rejects

We've made a recent switch from a third-party service to an in-house solution to address the demand for better spam protection. With the observed benefit of meeting a better spam-free email environment, this change also affords us quicker turnarounds for new features, stability, closer alignment with our acceptable use policy, and better outbound IP protection from external blacklists. 

The development team is also hard at work implementing a new feature to the spam solution that will intelligently adjust spam policies based on everyday user interaction with our Hostedemail product.

Email troubleshooting

Cannot receive or marking emails as spam

  1. Ensure that the domain's MX records are properly configured and pointing to Enom using a DNS lookup tool.
  2. Ensure that the email receiving address is not blocking the sending address.
    1. Check the user's block list and webmail filter settings.
    2. You will want to verify that the recipient is blocking neither the sending IP, IP range, domain, or user.
    3. Obtain the sending IPs from the received message headers at the end of the 'Received-SPF' line.
  3. Check whether the sender's DMARC, DKIM, and SPF policies match what's found in the receiving users' mail headers.
    1. Identify the sending IP, see whether you can identify the IP within the SPF TXT record of the sending domain. Use the SPF record checker tool to validate the correct IP.
    2. Check the headers to identify whether the DKIM validation passed using the 'X-HE-DKIM-Result' line of the header data.
    3. Check the sending domain's DMARC policy. If the DKIM or SPF validation failed, then the policy can give insight into why the sender's message was marked as spam or rejected altogether.

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Manually marking an email as spam

Marking an email as spam reports various elements of the email like the sender, email headers, email contents, etc. to the email server. The spam filter will incorporate these elements and filter out future emails that are similar.

Reporting legitimate marketing emails as spam will be ineffective since they are considered a trusted sender. Unsubscribing from their mailing list will prevent future marketing emails.

Note: Marking an email as not spam will teach the spam filter which kinds of emails are considered safe.

  1. Mark the email as Spam.
  2. Press Accept to confirm the selected email as spam.
    Important: If you confirm to share your data with our Spam partner, the pop-up will go away and you will not be prompted to make a selection going forward. Should you choose to decline, when you mark an email as Spam, the pop-up will appear each time.

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Cannot send emails

Start by distinguishing the possible error reasons, an SMTP-reject or a bounce-reject.

Type of reject Reason
SMTP-reject The email client (Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc.) or webmail client produces a pop-up stating the message cannot be sent. This means that we are not allowing the message to be sent.
Bounce-reject The user sends the email and later discovers a message in their inbox stating the message was not delivered. This means that recipient Y's email server rejected the message.



  1. Ask your user to save a draft of the message and review it yourself.
    • Would the contents and size of the recipient list of this message be largely considered spam by a foreign recipient(s)?
    • Does this message meet the terms of our acceptable use policy?
  2. If the user is disabled/suspended from sending emails, submit a ticket so we can further investigate.


Ask the user for a copy of their auto-generated undelivered mail bounce message. The recipient email server, at its discretion, may or may not provide a reason why the message was rejected. If a reason is provided, attempt to self-serve and correct the reason for rejection as there are many common reasons possible.

  • The recipient does not exist.
  • The recipient's mailbox is full.
  • The sender did not pass SPF, DKIM, DMARC policy check.
  • Sender's IP is blacklisted.

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Additional troubleshooting

If you still need assistance determining the reason for message delivery failure, contact us and provide the necessary information needed to troubleshoot further.

  • The recipient's email address.
  • The sender's email address.
  • The date, timestamp, and timezone of the failure.
  • The error message and any associated bounceback email headers.

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