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Any solution to mail shots failing due to invalid email address?

Thread began 10/15/2013 11:49 am by iainmacdonald331081 | Last modified 10/21/2013 2:38 pm by Jason Byrnes | 1864 views | 17 replies |

iainmacdonald331081

Any solution to mail shots failing due to invalid email address?

As per the title really.

I have set up UE mail shots from a database for a client.

So he is able to do a few different searches, and send an email to all the returned results.

Unfortunately because his database is now pretty big, he quite often seems to run into the problem where it fails or times out if there is a blank or invalid email address.

I'm pretty sure I've asked about this before, but can I just check again that is is an issue on the email server, and there isn't really a solution (or at least an easy solution) to this problems other than ensuring all the email addresses are valid?

I can understand his frustration with it, it I think I've done as much as I can with it now (set up the limits by time, set it up to process the sending in a new window so he can get back to where he was on the site while it's doing its thing.)

But he is asking if I know anyone with more database experience to fix this. Which I wouldn't have a problem with if it was something which does have a solution.

Any advice welcome! Thanks.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

the only solution, really, is to delete the bad email addresses.

The mailing script timing out due to a bad email address is a problem on the SMTP Server side. Many servers will fail gracefully on a bad email address being sent, and allow the script to continue. On the small number of servers where the bad email address causes the entire script to fail, the only solution is to remove the bad email addresses.

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iainmacdonald331081

Thanks Jason. I think half the trouble is we didn't include validation on the email address field from the start because the site owner didn't have addresses for everyone.

I also asked the hosting company about it, and they suggested it might be possible to check for blank entries and skip over them before they get to the server - is that possible at all?

Or might it be an idea to move hosting somewhere else that might not fail on bad or blank addresses?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

you could filter blank addresses in the recordset that returns the emails by adding a where clause:

SELECT * FROM tableName WHERE emailColumn <> '' AND emailColumn IS NOT NULL


but that wont fix the problem of bad email addresses.

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iainmacdonald331081

Thanks Jason - that would help, and is actually a nice simple solution for the blank ones.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

you're welcome.

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iainmacdonald331081

Hi Jason - just a quick follow up on this. It turns out that the current hosting does continue after blank or invalid emails, so we had a bit of a bum steer about that from them. They have now just advised us that there is a script timeout, so we need to break the mail shot out into batches. I assume this then resets the script timeout when each batch starts.

Looking at the UE page here:

http://www.webassist.com/dreamweaver-extensions/php-email

Under the section on how to avoid getting blocked by hosting providers, it mentions sending batch emails. From the screen shot it's not obvious how to do that though - is that possible? Is it just the figure in the Wait box for example? Ie that figure is the gap between batches, rather than between emails?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

The wait setting is the time between each email being sent.

"Send a maximum Of" is the maximum number of email to send in the time period specified in the Emails every Seconds setting.

it is best to set the wait time to match the maximum emails every number of seconds

so for example

Maximum Emails: 10 every 20 seconds

you would want to set the wait to 2 seconds.

UE Will try to over ride any server timeout settings so that the script wont time out, if the script is timing, then the server is not allowing UE to over ride the server setting, this will need to be corrected on the server.

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iainmacdonald331081

That's how I originally read it. I'm away for a few days so can't check, but from memory I know it's set to send 4 per minute to keep us well under the 500 per hour limit. And I think I have the wait times et to 15 seconds.

On the UE page where it says UA "will help you send batch emails without getting blocked." does that just mean sending a batch generally (as opposed to single emails)? Whereas the hosting company seems to be saying that ideally, if there were, say, 200 emails to get sent, they would ideally be split into batches of say, 50 or 100, to avoid falling foul of a the script timing out.

So it sounds like not only do we have to keep within their 500 emails per hour limit, but all the emails need to be sent within a particular total time. The workaround sounds like being breaking up the total emails into smaller batches.

Does that make sense?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

you are confusing script timeouts with mail limits

they are not the same thing.

The script timeout is the time that the server will allow a script to run before timing out.

UE will try to over ride any server imposed timeout, to allow the script to run as long as need to send the emails based on the total number or emails, and the number of email that can be sent in a time frame.


The settings in UE can be used to keep the number of emails being sent at a time with in the servers limits.

But it sounds like the server does not allow for the script timeout settings to be modified to allow the script to run and complete sending all the emails.

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