Here’s why some emails never make it to your inbox
Jun 17, 2023, 6:30 AM
Q: Why can’t I get an important email message containing a link that I need but other messages from the same company come through just fine?
A: Few things in the tech world are as frustrating as waiting for an important email message that never comes.
One of the common scenarios is when you’re attempting to reset a password and the reset message never shows up.
There are a number of possibilities for this aggravating situation, some of which you can control and others you can’t.
The most likely cause for the unreceived message is a spam filter somewhere along the line, not just the one you control through your email interface.
The first place you’d want to look is in your Spam or Junk folders; if it is there, you’ll want to tell your email program that it isn’t Spam.
Each program has a different approach, so you’ll need to search the support forums for the specific steps for your email program.
For instance, Gmail has a ‘Not Spam’ button when you click on a message in the Spam folder, while Yahoo will ‘whitelist’ any address that is saved in your contacts list and provides a ‘This is not spam’ option when you drill down to a message and tap the three dots (which is the ‘More’ option) in the Spam folder.
If you don’t see the specific message in the Spam folder but you do see other messages from the same company there, be sure to mark the other messages as ‘Not Spam’.
If there is nothing from the company at all, then a filter at the mail server level could be grabbing the message before it ever has a chance to hit your Inbox.
If you’ve set up special filters of your own, it’s possible the message is sitting in another folder or got sent directly to your trash, so do a keyword search for the company across all folders and trash.
Spam filters analyze many things within the content of the message itself along with some technical items to generate a spam score.
Certain words they use, misspellings or if they used many images with very little text can increase the spam score.
If the score is high enough or there is a technical error from the sender’s system, it can be filtered by your email provider’s filters and you’ll never see it.
If the link they used is incorrect or is associated with a ‘blacklisted’ domain or their mail servers aren’t configured properly, it’s going to generate a high spam score.
Each email platform incorporates its own set of rules for generating a spam score, so it’s possible that using a completely different email address from a different provider could allow you to get the message.
For instance, if your primary address is with Yahoo, try creating a new account on Gmail and have the sender resend it to the new address.
If the message still won’t go through, the problem is likely on the sender’s side and can only be remedied by them.
If you’re only interested in getting the link they are trying to send, see if they will send it to you via a text message or using a messaging app associated with your social media accounts.