Fixing Email Bounces
Search: uses some pretty strict spam filters to try to make email reading pleasurable for its users. If your email gets "bounced" back to you, and you are positive that you have the right email address, then we need to figure out why you were banned.

Step 1: Look at bounce message

You likely received something like this:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

mail denied, based on relay

--- Below this line is a copy of the message.

.... your email is here ....

Step 2: Find the reason your message was bounced

This is the "mail denied, based on relay" part. This means that the email that you sent was blocked by the anti-spam filters because the mail host you use is known to send spam. That set of numbers at the end is vital. Write them down.

Step 3: Check out the mail relay

This may give you more information on why the server was denied and it will tell you what particular filter is giving you problems. Go to the RBL Check page and type in the set of numbers, including the decimal points. (For the above example, you will want to type in "" without the quotes.)

When you get the results, you will see something like this:

IP: Ok Ok Ok Ok Ok text "" Ok Ok Ok Ok

According to those results, the only one that is not "Ok" is Now you know which particular filter bounced your message.

Step 4: Tell me

The general anti-spam policy at is to let all good messages in and as few spam messages in. If your messages are being blocked, you now need to let me know and include the following.

  • Who you are emailing
  • The reason your mail was blocked (mail denied, based on relay
  • The spam filter that is blocking you (

When I get to your email, I will unblock your host and possibly stop using that particular filter so that your future emails will get through properly.

Washington Post's Style Invitational 2003 Winner:

Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
Tyler Akins <>
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