When E-mail Stops E-mailing

It is seemingly inevitable with computers that when things can go wrong, they will go wrong.  It is also seemingly inevitable that this will happen at the worst possible moment.  You’ve been trying to get that important quote sent out to your customer or you’ve won an all-expenses paid trip to Mars and you haven’t received the driving directions the travel agency is saying they sent you. 

Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, it is possible that your E-mail has stopped working, but how can you tell what is wrong?  Let’s look at some possible causes when using GoldMine as your E-mail client.  The latest versions of GoldMine support something called IMAP, but the majority of us still use GoldMine as a POP E-mail client so we’ll focus on this.

Typical POP E-mail clients support two protocols – POP and SMTP.  The POP protocol is used for retrieving E-mail and SMTP is used for sending E-mail.  If GoldMine has stopped retrieving E-mail, the first thing you need to check is whether or not you can connect to the POP server that holds your E-mail account.  One way to do this is to click the “Online” folder in GoldMine’s E-mail center and watch the middle bar between the E-mail list window and the preview window.  If GoldMine cannot connect to your POP server, you will see an error message in this bar.  If it does connect you will see it requesting message sizes and, if you have E-mails waiting to be picked up, you will see it counting and see E-mails in the listing window.  If it returns back to idle without displaying any E-mails you do not have messages waiting to be retrieved.

If you see an error message, the cause is generally one of three things or a combination.  One of the three is that GoldMine cannot connect to your E-mail server because the authentication information you have entered in your E-Mail options is incorrect.  Second, you could be using the wrong POP server name and, lastly, you could be using an incorrect port.  The default POP port is 110, but some providers will require the use of an alternate.  In all cases you need to verify with your E-mail administrator or Internet Service Provider that you are using the correct POP server name, the correct username/password for your E-mail account and the correct port.  (Perhaps they changed settings on the server but you have not updated your GoldMine Internet preferences.)

Sending E-mail uses the SMTP protocol.  GoldMine will almost always pop up an error message if there is a problem sending an E-mail, rather than you having to look some place special to monitor the process.  Many of the things that hamper the retrieval of E-mail can apply to the sending of E-mail.  Things to check would be the correct SMTP server name and the correct username/password if your E-mail administrator or Internet Service Provider requires you to authenticate to send E-mail.  Many now do.  SMTP also uses a specific port (25 by default).  You may need to change to a different SMTP port depending on your provider’s requirements.

The last common SMTP problem is not using an encrypted connection (SSL) when it is required by your provider.  Some providers and E-mail administrators are now requiring the use of SSL connections.  The latest versions of GoldMine support SSL connections and this should be used if your provider supports it. Older versions of GoldMine do not support SSL, however there is a program called STUNNEL which can be used to enable an SSL connection.