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Describes the reason for an email delivery failure message from listserv.

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You send email to a listserv list and receive return email containing "Email not delivered", "Email Delivery Failure", or a similar message.


Most likely, your list posting was delivered to the list, with the exception of one subscriber. You should notify the list owner this is happening, and they can attempt to diagnose the problem.


This error message describes what is commonly called a "bounce". If it says the mail cannot be delivered to, then you may have made a typing mistake. However, this usually occurs when email cannot be delivered to one or more list member(s), but is successfully delivered to most list members. This error message should go to the list owner, but some defective email agents return it to the original sender. To identify this kind of error, look for phrases in the return message saying that it was not delivered to a particular email address. Some common reasons include "no such user" and "mailbox full". Sometimes it will be a transient error, and the email agent will attempt to continue delivery for a specified period of time.


If the email address is incorrect or if it no longer exits, the list owner needs to correct or delete it from the list. Because these errors sometimes come and go, the owner may wish to see if it happens again. If you are the original sender and you receive a "bounce", there is little you can do except to notify the list owner. In either case, the posting was successfully delivered to others on the list.


List owners are responsible for all questions from list members

  • List members should contact their list owner(s) for help at <>. For example, if the listname is "clocks", send email to <>. If you need help contacting the owner, please contact the ITS Service Center by email at or by phone at 315-443-2677.
  • List owners may receive help by sending email to or contacting the ITS Service Center at 315-443-2677.