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Outbound error: 550 5.7.1 Cannot forward message

In certain circumstances, you may receive this error when trying to send outbound messages through our service:

550 5.7.1 Cannot forward message. To forward mail "From" an external domain, the Return-Path (or recipient) must belong to (or a related domain aliases)

This can happen for the following reasons:

Sending "From" a domain that isn't subscribed to SpamHero

To reduce risk of abuse, outbound email messages can only be sent "From" domains that are subscribed to the SpamHero service (domain aliases are included). There is an exception to this rule for messages that are sent to recipient domains that are subscribed to the SpamHero service (e.g. mail that doesn't leave our network).

Forwarding messages on behalf of external domains

Our Outbound SMTP service supports forwarding messages on behalf of external domains when any of the following conditions are met:

  • The Return-Path domain is subscribed to SpamHero (or aliased to one that is)
  • The message is sent from a Mailer-Daemon or Postmaster address. In this case, the Return-Path is either blank or starts with postmaster@
  • All message recipients are subscribed to the SpamHero service.

When forwarding mail, your server may need to be configured to adjust the Return-path of the original messages. This can be accomplished using the Sender Rewriting Scheme (SRS) feature on most mail servers.

Implementing Sender Rewriting Scheme (SRS)

The original purpose of SRS is to prevent forwarded emails from breaking SPF, however, it also allows forwarded emails to be relayed through our outbound service.

Last updated November 15, 2022