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Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

decomplexity
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Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Since 23rd October my regular small (typically 180 recipient) bulk emails have been bounced as having "too many recipients".
It appears this is a side-effect of the outbound Cloudmark implementation. Whitelisting by sender IP address on the outbounds Cloudmarks may be a workaround if permitted, but for anyone wanting to send all but the 'smallest' multiple-recipient emails from other than their broadband address  -  in fact anything needing either SMTP server authentication or Squirrelmail CAPTCHA  (e.g. anyone on the hoof) -  it presumably won't. It will also be an issue for anyone with a non-static IP address (I guess they could pay the £5 to be made static).
Zen from May 17. PN Business account from 2004 - 2017
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Sorry about this, you're right that there are recipient limits but I personally thought that the aggressive ones were 'off-net' i.e. not from IP's in our ranges, I'll look to follow that up...
We had off-net limits with IronPort that weren't dissimilar to these, so I don't think the point about Webmail/CAPTCHA is valid (it's only presented when you're connecting from what's considered to be a non-UK IP). You raise a valid point about dynamic IP's though which we may have to provide some exception mechanism for.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Quote from: Bob
Sorry about this, you're right that there are recipient limits but I personally thought that the aggressive ones were 'off-net' i.e. not from IP's in our ranges, I'll look to follow that up...

OK, there is a recipient limit of 150 per email. To be honest it's much more efficient to break down large mail sends into smaller 'chunks'. AFAIK most popular mass mailing software allows you to defer sending every 'x' emails/minutes etc. and custom scripts can be modified fairly easily to do the same. Another alternative would be to use a mailing list or something similar.
We've upped the limit to 250 for the time being so others aren't as prone to this problem. It's something people are going to need to consider though if they're planning on bulk emailing using our relays.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Bob, Please could you give instructions on how to configure SMF forum software to send newsletters in chunks of a maximum of 150 recipients.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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decomplexity
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Thanks for the heads-up Bob.
I guess the initial problem was the sudden unannounced cessation of service for small businesses and similar (e.g. mine - as a PN business account holder) who regularly send out emails to customers and subscribers. The large number of small distribution lists already set up tend to be split by customer type, subscription type and so on (because such emails would be custom-written for each type) and not by an artificial split such as 'names prefixed A-M in this list and N-Z in that list' or some greater subdivision. The latter leads to 'distribution list hell' because the lists for each type would need to be further subdivided.  
Pre-Cloudmark, anyone wanting to send out to several thousand  recipients would soon realise they should be doing things differently (such as use a commercial SMTP service with or without list management - at say £6 per 2000 recipients per month and much cheaper in larger volumes), because they would have been severely tarpitted. But sending to small lists of say 500 (max) and typically 100 - 200 is something I guess small businesses would hope to get as part of the business subscription.
And I'm willing to stand corrected, but I would guess that it is exactly these 'small' accounts that use ordinary email clients (e.g. Outlook); the serious-bulk senders who use PHP scripts (although I guess these are still on Ironport and not Cloudmark) or special list managment clients are, I guess, the ones whose traffic need 'managing' by PlusNet. 
The sensible lifting the limit to 250 will get a lot of people - including two of my colleagues who have been tearing their hair out -  out of  a hole - so thank you.
The reason for either hard limiting or tarpitting or both is understood: no-one wants PN to be 'spam blacklisted'!    

Zen from May 17. PN Business account from 2004 - 2017
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Quote from: jelv
Bob, Please could you give instructions on how to configure SMF forum software to send newsletters in chunks of a maximum of 150 recipients.

In a word - no, because I don't personally have much use for an SMF install and neither have I ever had to do this. If you're talking about an SMF install on our own CGI servers though, then those messages won't go near the outbound Cloudmark boxes as they're still pointed to the IronPorts.
I've just quickly installed SMF, sent a newsletter to an external address and these are the headers from the received email:
Received: from m1b.mxes.net ([unix socket])
by m1b.mxes.net (Cyrus v2.3.12) with LMTPA;
Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:34:19 -0400
X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.3
Return-Path: <postmaster@username.plus.com>
Received: from 216.86.168.177
by m1b.mxes.net (bayesd) with LMTP id 1319747659-82145-45
for <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@ms1.mxes.net>; Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:34:19 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from local_scanner.mxes.net (mxout-02.mxes.net [216.86.168.177])
by mxout-02.mxes.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id E74E1C9565
for <me@privacy.net>; Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:34:18 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net (relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net [212.159.7.36]) <-------------- Outbound IronPort
(using TLSv1 with cipher RC4-SHA (128/128 bits))
(No client certificate requested)
by mxin.mxes.net (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 8C9B1C9A63
for <me@privacy.net>; Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:34:15 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from unknown (HELO localhost) ([212.159.7.202])
  by relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net with ESMTP; 27 Oct 2011 21:34:14 +0100  <-------------- Outbound IronPort
Received: from bobpullen by localhost with local (Exim 4.69)
(envelope-from <postmaster@username.plus.com>)
id 1RJWeU-0005qd-1E
for me@privacy.net; Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:34:14 +0100
To: me@privacy.net
Subject: Test SMF Newsletter
From: "Plusnet CGI SMF Install" <bpullen@plus.net>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:34:14 -0000
X-Mailer: SMF
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="SMF-1b7fedea61a1af35b5a8f623395c0435"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Message-Id: <E1RJWeU-0005qd-1E@localhost>
X-Virus-Scanned: ClamAV
X-Spam-Sys-BayesResult: No, 0.215270
X-Spam-Report:  Content analysis details:
  -10.0 BAYESSCORE 0.073017     
  -1.5 SYSTEM_BAYES  0.215270
X-Originating-IP: 212.159.7.36
X-Envelope-To: <me@privacy.net>
X-Spam-Check: Enabled,6.0,13.0,1,1,42,1,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,[SPAM],
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-11.5 threshold=6.0,13.0
X-Spam-BayesResult: No, 0.073017
X-Spam-Score: -11.5
X-Spam-Scoring: 0,0

Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you're saying?

Bob Pullen
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

I'm saying that in three or four months time I expect to be sending a newsletter from SMF to around 1400 members - will it work? (I don't care if it takes some time to send)
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

At the moment I don't see why not Jelv, although I'll endeavour to find out what the long term plans are...

Bob Pullen
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

So there are no plans to make the ccgi servers send via Cloudmark, they are remaining on Ironports for the foreseeable future? I'd rather assumed that you would be replacing all the Ironports.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

I'll need to have a word with a few people before I'm sure of the answer to that one Jelv, regardless I need to look at why various messages from the platform are falling foul of Cloudmark's spam filtering.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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decomplexity
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Re: Outbound mail bounced with "too many recipients"

Bob mentioned earlier in this thread that "We've upped the limit to 250 for the time being".
This doesn't seem to have taken universal effect yet as Cloudmark appears unhappy: a colleague was bending my ear at 06.50 today about a simple ten-line 182 recipient email which had been bounced from her account a few minutes earlier.
Bob: is there a date/time for implementation pls or is there some other Cloudmark gotcha which is (whoops) clouding the issue?
And is by chance the same Cloudmark installation also being used for BT Internet customers? It's a long shot, but the reason for the question is that a friend who uses BT tells me that he experienced exactly the same problem yesterday for the first time?
Zen from May 17. PN Business account from 2004 - 2017