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Resolving “Message not delivered” bounces from Gmail because your “Send mail as” settings are misconfigured

If you’re getting Message not delivered bounces from Gmail indicating that your “Send mail as” settings are misconfigured, here is why it’s happening and how to resolve it.

First, this is what this particular type of Gmail bounce message looks like:

A bounce because your SMTP server is rejecting your From Address.

Here’s another example, indicating that you’ve exceeded your sending limits. Don’t get confused though…this has nothing to do with your Gmail sending limits:

A bounce because your SMTP server is over limit.

Why are you getting these bounces?

In both of these examples, there’s actually no issue with Gmail or GMass. The issue is with the SMTP server that you set when configuring your additional From Address.

When you want to send an email in Gmail from an address other than your Gmail address, you can do that. You just set up an email address that you own as an additional From Address in your Gmail account, and that email address doesn’t have to be a Gmail account, although it can be. You do that by following the instructions provided by Google to add an additional From Address. Part of the setup requires you to provide an SMTP server for that new From Address. That means you were forced to input an SMTP server, its username, and its password in order to send “from” that additional address that you own.

These bounces that you’re receiving are being generated by that SMTP server that you chose — not by Gmail’s server and not by GMass.

In the second example, the SMTP Server bounces the message because of a limit issue. This has nothing to do with Gmail’s sending limits. This is a limit imposed by your SMTP server that you set when you configured the additional From Address.

How do you fix these bounces?

Whether you send a normal email with the Gmail Send button or a mail merge campaign with the GMass button, if you set your alternate From Address, the emails will be sent via that SMTP server that you used to set up that alternate From Address, not Gmail’s servers. You are essentially bypassing Gmail’s sending servers when you send “from” your non-Gmail address.

So when you get a bounce like this, you can resolve this by either:

  1. Resolving the issue with the company in charge of that SMTP server.
  2. Sending from your Gmail address rather than the additional From Address.
  3. Usinger a commercial SMTP server like Sendgrid instead of your current SMTP server.

I’m confused…SMTP Server huh?!

You might be confused because GMass allows you to set an SMTP server to send unlimited emails with your Gmail account. This is not the same SMTP server that Gmail requires you to specify when you configure an additional From Address.

The SMTP server you set with GMass is used to send emails when:

  1. You use the GMass button instead of the Gmail Send button…AND…
  2. You specifically designate the SMTP server to send the emails rather than Gmail’s servers in your GMass Settings:

The SMTP server you set with Gmail as part of From Address configuration is used when:

  1. You choose that particular From Address from the dropdown menu in the Compose window…AND…
  2. You use either the Gmail Send button or the GMass button, and if you used the GMass button, you elected to “Send with” Gmail. It might be confusing because even when selecting “Send with” Gmail in this case, your emails are not sent through Gmail’s servers. They’re going through the SMTP server you set as part of your From Address configuration.

More information

We’ve written an extensive explanation of the differences between sending from your Gmail email address versus an additional From Address that you set up in your account. There are deliverability implications to factor, the biggest being that when you send from an additional From Address, your emails aren’t going through Google’s high deliverability email servers.

  1. After using Sendgrid it seems like all emails land on SPAM. You guys suggest me to use Sendgrid. i like to remove my self from it. i like to use gmass or gmail to send email can you guys help? all of my clients are telling me my emails land on spam only!!!! and i checked with you spam program and all go to SPAM as well. HELPPPP i discontinued with Send Grid how can i email my clients>? without getting spam? how many emails a day can i send to my clients to not get spam? Please stop sending me to your support website. SOMEONE JUST HELP ME!!!

    Why don’t i have option to choose gmail or SMTP

  2. How do you get contracts off of a “bounce list”?
    Not how they got there to begin with.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  3. no I do not need help anytime I ask for help they want to charge me I do not understand why my messages are underliveable they never have been before?????????

  4. My emails to post.com are not being delivered only by gmail either. My wife can send test messages to me at post.com from her gmail account and they do arrive, but only in the junk.

  5. Such a great article about gmail message. This article is very informative for everyone. Thanks for Sharing.

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    Does running a well-established website such as yours take
    a lot of work? I am brand new to running a blog however I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and views online.
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