15 Feb 08 Email Backlog Gone, Plus Yahoo Issue

There was a backup of mail due to the outage earlier this week, causing some delays in delivery. One source is Yahoo. We have a large number of list subscribers using Yahoo accounts. One or more of those subscribers has, instead of choosing the unsubscribe option from list generated email, reported us to Yahoo as spammers. Yahoo is now temporarily rejecting our mail. The traffic was further increased by the messages Yahoo sends to inform us of the rejection.

We have contacted Yahoo to explain that these emails were sent to subscribers of lists (such as AL Direct, which went out on Wednesday). We’ve received a reply, part of which is quoted below. According to Yahoo, the situation should be self-correcting: our email server retries sending messages. We are also investigating Yahoo’s best practices for bulk email, to attempt to lessen our resemblance to spam.

We’ll know more later today, now that the server has finished processing the backlog.

Tim Smith

From Yahoo:

“If you are seeing a 421 error code in your SMTP logs indicating that the messages you are trying to send are ‘temporarily deferred due to user complaints,’ this means that we have observed unusual traffic patterns from your IP address and have been getting considerable complaints from our users regarding emails from your server.

This is not a permanent error; your system may automatically re-try at a later time.”

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