Email that fails to reach its destination either disappears silently or generates an error message. Silent failures can go undetected unless you fail to receive an expected response, verify receipt with the recipient and ask for technical help with your delivery problem. Error messages can give cryptic descriptions of the real reasons for email failures. In Microsoft Outlook, the message "You do not have permission to send to this recipient" may not point directly to the cause of your problem.

Improperly Typed Email Address

When you mistype the email address of the person to whom you're sending a message, one of two things happens. Your message goes through because -- coincidentally -- a user with that email address exists on that domain. For example, you meant to type "Jane@example.com" but accidentally typed "Janet@example.com" instead, and a Janet holds an email address on the example.com domain. More typically, however, your email message bounces with a non-delivery report, or NDR, because the address you typed doesn't exist. The NDR may read "You do not have permission to send to this recipient," which tells the truth but explains it poorly.

"From" Field Error

If you work for a supervisor who allows you to send email messages on her behalf but you log in to Outlook under your own identity, you may have difficulty sending email for your supervisor because the "From" field on an outgoing message doesn't match the identity under which you enter the mail system. Leave the "From" field blank, and the mail system sends the message under your identity. If that's not how you want your outgoing mail to read when you send messages for someone else, ask your mail system administrator to set up your privileges and access so you no longer encounter an error message.

Email Sending Rights

Large email systems at schools and corporations grant different sending rights to individuals at different levels of responsibility. Your email account may entitle you to send messages only to other users within your mail domain, or you may have broad privileges that allow you to email anyone at any domain. If you try to send messages to addresses that exceed the range of your permissions, you receive an NDR. Verify your account setup with the technical contact for your system to assure that you have the full email rights your account should offer.

Other Considerations

Emailing large groups becomes easier when you use a distribution list, which offers the added advantage of cloaking the names and addresses of individual recipients. As distribution lists grow, however, they can reach a length at which you have trouble verifying the spelling of every entry. If your list exceeds 1,000 members and includes a recipient with a non-ASCII or control character in the distinguished name that points to that individual, your email delivery may fail with an NDR. A distinguished name consists of a comma-delimited string of attributes that identifies a member of an email network. Non-ASCII characters include accented vowels and consonants, and control characters include parentheses, backslashes and asterisks. Ask your email administrator for assistance with the distinguished names of other individuals in your organization.