In order toinvestigate email delivery delays, we would need to analyze the full messageheader from the delayed email.
Email basically has two parts:
1. The body - which the user reads
2. Email Headers - which include information about the email itself. This partcontains details about the email like who sent it, when it was sent, and whogets a copy of it.
Forinstructions on how to get the Full Headers from an email, you can refer to:
AnswerId: 22567 View Message Headers on Common Email Clients
Understanding the "Received: " headers:
Sent emails pass over several servers before finally reaching the recipient(s).You will see a "Received: " line for each server the email wentthrough indicating which server the email was received and the name of theprevious server. The "Received: " headers are read from bottom totop; that is, the topmost header was the last to be added. Look for the"Date" header to determine when the email was sent. Then review the"Receive: .... by (name of server)" to determine where the delay isencountered.
Here is anextract from a real email. Recipient's address is masked with ****. Name ofserver where email was delayed has been masked with ^^^^
Received:from cmx3.campaignbounces.netsuite.com (cmx3.campaignbounces.netsuite.com.[184.108.40.206]) by ^^^^^ with ESMTP idaj7si27115605pbd.185.2012.10.25.13.42.19; Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:42:19 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF:pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org 220.127.116.11 as permitted sender) client-ip=18.104.22.168;Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com 22.214.171.124 as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.org
Received:from localhost ([127.0.0.1]) by cmx3.campaignbounces.netsuite.com (-); Thu, 25Oct 2012 10:30:08 -0700 X-VirtualServer: Campaign2, cmx3.campaignbounces.netsuite.com,10.1.80.187 X-SMHeaderMap: mid="X-MailingID" X-Destination-ID: ******* X-SMFBL:cGV0ZXJyaWVzQGdtYWlsLmNvbQ==
In this example the message left our servers(cmx3.campaignbounces.netsuite.com) on Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:30. The top-most"Received" header shows the recipient's server (^^^^^). The ^^^^server finally accepts the email on Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:42:19 after a delay ofmore than 3 hours.
Another way of analyzing the email header is bynavigating to http://mxtoolbox.com/EmailHeaders.aspx.Just paste the full headers on the box and the click on Analyze Header. Thisshould show you a graphical representation of the received lines.
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