Home Forums Newsletter Plugin Support Return-path for bounces isn't working

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  • #7203
    tcolling
    Participant

    Hi – I’m using WordPress 3.4.2 and Newsletter 3.0.9.  I have your Bounce plugin installed also, but I don’t think that that matters for this problem.

    The problem: bounce messages aren’t going to the special email account I have created for them to go to.

    Here’s what I did:

    I created a special email account (bounces.ashsc at gmail.com)to use for delivery error messages such as bounce notices.
    I entered that special email account address in the “Return path” field in the Basic Settings panel in the Newsletter Configuration module.
    I subscribed a fake email address (pebbles at flintstone.com) to my newsletter and then I edited the subscriber record to mark it as confirmed.
    I marked that email address subscriber record and also my own with a special Preference I created called “bounce tester”.
    I created, saved and then sent a new email message to the two subscribers who had that “bounce tester” preference selected.

    Here’s what happened:

    The email message addressed to my own email address arrived as expected
    The email message addressed to the fake email address, as well as the bounce notification email related to it, did not go to the special email address that I created for such email delivery problems at bounces.ashsc at gmail.com.  Instead, it went to my own email inbox (which is the email address from which the newsletters are nominally sent.)

    So the problem is that the Return path setting for the special email address is being ignored.

    Here is the first part of the header for the email that was sent to the fake email address and then returned to my email inbox.  I have edited it slightly to remove the @ symbol, in an attempt to avoid spam scrapers:

    =====begin header excerpt=============================

    Return-Path: <tim at trustworthycare.com>

    Received: from http://www.trustworthycare.com (gator146.hostgator.com. [184.172.141.199])

    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id p17sm12246146anh.15.2013.02.16.09.34.23

    (version=TLSv1 cipher=RC4-SHA bits=128/128);

    Sat, 16 Feb 2013 09:34:23 -0800 (PST)

    Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2013 17:34:23 +0000

    Return-Path: bounces.ashsc at gmail.com

    To: pebbles at flintstone.com

    From: A Servants Heart Care Solutions <tim at trustworthycare.com>

    Reply-To: newsletters at trustworthycare.com

    Subject: bounce test 2

    Message-ID: <d3606e51696ac09cf40c7bde6c6875e5 at http://www.trustworthycare.com&gt;

    X-Priority: 3

    X-Mailer: PHPMailer 5.2.1 (http://code.google.com/a/apache-extras.org/p/phpmailer/)

    List-Unsubscribe: <http://www.trustworthycare.com/sitectrl/wp-content/plugins/newsletter/do/unsubscribe.php?nk=1385-568f8235da&gt;

    MIME-Version: 1.0

    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

    boundary=”b1_d3606e51696ac09cf40c7bde6c6875e5″

    =====end header excerpt=============================

    One thing that I noticed in the excerpt was that there are TWO entries marked as “Return path” (I bolded them in the above excerpt).  I am not an email expert and so I don’t know whether that is an error, and whether or not that could be causing this problem.

    Can you suggest something I can do to fix this problem?

    Thanks!

    – Tim

    #7214
    Stefano
    Keymaster

    The double return path is very strange. Are you using an SMTP configured on Newsletter main configuration panel?

    Stefano.

    #7219
    tcolling
    Participant

    Hi Stefano –

    Yes, I am using Gmail as my SMTP provider.

    #7225
    tcolling
    Participant

    Hi again Stefano –

    Here’s more info: I am trying to use the newsletter plugin on a second site called http://www.ageassistance.com.  This problem (the return-path not working) is also present on that site.  That site uses a completely different theme and a different version of WordPress (3.5.1).

    The main thing that is the same between them is that they both use Gmail as their SMTP provider.

    Here’s the first part of the header from the test bounce email from that new site:

    ===================
    Return-Path: <tim@ageassistance.com>
    Received: from http://www.ageassistance.com (gator488.hostgator.com. [67.18.19.210])
    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id h38sm74252841ani.7.2013.02.20.15.46.10
    (version=TLSv1 cipher=RC4-SHA bits=128/128);
    Wed, 20 Feb 2013 15:46:10 -0800 (PST)
    Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 23:46:09 +0000
    Return-Path: bounces.aa@gmail.com
    ==================

    As you can see, there are two return-path entries in this one one coming from the second site, just like there were for the email from the first site.

    Are you able to reproduce this error?

    Thanks,

    Tim

    #7231
    Stefano
    Keymaster

    Uhm, this is very strange. Or there is a bug on newsletter while working with SMTP or… I don’t know. I’ll run a test on my installation.

    Stefano.

    #7232
    Stefano
    Keymaster

    Have you other plugins installed to deal with return path or something relate to mail sending from wordpress?

    My tests with an SMTP seems to work perfectly… maybe it’s gmail to ass a second return path?

    Stefano.

    #7235
    tcolling
    Participant

    Hi Stefano –

    You said, “
    Have you other plugins installed to deal with return path or something relate to mail sending from wordpress?”

    No, sorry, I don’t have any like that. The only other plugin I use that sends mail is my broken link checker plugin, but I just tested with that plugin’s email notification turned off, and the test message that I sent from the Newsletter plugin still contains TWO return-path entries, as it did before.
    You said, “My tests with an SMTP seems to work perfectly… maybe it’s gmail to ass a second return path?”
    Hmmm… I don’t have another SMTP vendor to try this with.  I did try SendGrid but unfortunately the email that it sent was tagged as Spam by Gmail(!)
    Can you suggest an alternative SMTP vendor for me to try, that would be low cost and reliable?
    Thanks,
    Tim

    #7237
    Stefano
    Keymaster

    You can try MailJet, you can make a free account just to test an SMTP. Today I try with gmail as SMTP just to see if there are problem with them.

    Stefano.

    #7238
    tcolling
    Participant

    Ok, I’ll try mail jet.

    Meanwhile, after installing Newsletter 3.1.0 I did more testing tonight.   I’m now certain that gmail inserts the email address used to authenticate the sender as the first of the two return-path entries.

    – Tim

    #7239
    tcolling
    Participant

    One other point – bounced emails are sent to the first return-path entry, which is the one used to authenticate the SMTP login on gmail.

    With that in mind, maybe I can trick the tool into using the dedicated bounces account that I created on Gmail as a workaround for the problem I reported in a different message thread, about gmail ignoring the bounce account set up in the configuration panel.

    I think it worked for one of my websites, but not for the other.  I’ll keep experimenting.

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