Community Knowledge Base

Inbound Messages

This report tells you the total number of inbound messages by all users on the server for whatever time period you specify. There is also a handy chart that displays the trend line for the time period for both inbound messages and inbound spam messages.

A system admin can change the dates of the report as well as the "Step", which means whether you want to see the report by hour (when viewing a domain's detail), day, week, month or quarter. (Based on the start and end dates -- so a quarterly report would need a full 3 months selected.) Admins can change the chart type by clicking the chart icon next to the Step, or even export the report as needed. Each column in the report is sortable, either ascending or descending, and the sort can change simply by clicking the column header.

System Admins can also switch the report from a "Trend" report, which shows the data for the server as a whole, or display information by Domain. This is called the report's "Mode". Changing the mode to display information by domain also allows a system admin to dig into that specific domain, by clicking on its name, to view the report just as a domain admin would view the report. This means the system admin can delve into individual user data simply by changing the Mode, again, to view the report by User.

The following report items are available:

  • Day - The date the messages were received.
  • Inbound Messages - The total number of messages received that are NOT spam or NOT from a Trusted Sender.
  • Inbound Spam Messages - The total number of messages received that were marked as spam.
  • Inbound from Trusted - When viewing a domain's report, this is the total number of messages received that were sent from a Trusted Sender.

It's also possible to export this data in CSV format for use in other applications, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Apple Numbers, etc. To do this, simply click the page icon in the upper right hand corner of the reports page. Once clicked, you'll be able to save the data and name the file to whatever you want.

A Note About Inbound and Outbound Message Counts

At the system-level, message Trend reports (i.e., inbound/outbound messages and message traffic reports) are hard to nail down as it comes down to how one defines what inbound and outbound messages are.

Is an inbound message any message that enters the server? Is it any message received by a local user? This, in and of itself, can be debated. Then you factor in things like should system messages count as inbound messages? What about messages sent to an alias? Is that counted as one message or is it X messages based on how many users are in that alias?

So, it's not an easy question to answer, but SmarterMail makes some assumptions when it comes to calculating trends. These assumptions are why there may be discrepancies in how inbound and outbound messages are calculated at the system level, especially with Trend reports, and why those reports don't match what you see when you look at domain-level reports.

Inbound Messages

The Inbound Message Trend report counts "inbound" messages in two ways:

  1. They're messages going to a local user, which includes messages generated by the spool, etc. If it's being delivered to a local user it's an inbound email. And,
  2. They're messages coming in through SMTP, which includes deliveries from external senders and deliveries from local domain users connected to SMTP via IMAP or POP.

Knowing this, you can see where messages can be counted more than once in Trend reports: if a local user sends an email to a local user it's counted ONCE for the SMTP In connection and ONCE for the delivery to the local mailbox.

Additionally, there's external messages that come INTO your server but don't actually reach a local user. Those would count in the Trend report as an inbound message for their SMTP In connectivity, even though they never actually landed in a user's mailbox. For example, when the server is acting as a domain forward gateway, when an automatic-forward exists that deletes after delivery, or when a domain is split onto two servers.

Outbound Messages

Outbound messages follow, essentially, the same logic. For Trend reports, SmarterMail counts any message delivered to a remote recipient once for each recipient of that message. This, then, can be multiple outbound messages for a single sent item as there may be more than one recipient for that message.

From a domain perspective, SmarterMail counts any message from a local sender on a local domain that's processed by the spool. That means that even if a message has multiple recipients, it's only counted once as there's only one message that's processed by the spool.

As an example, If a SmarterMail user sends a single email to 2 different Gmail recipients (2 addresses in the To: field), the Trend report counts that as 2 outbound messages, but the Domain report only counts it as 1, since a single message is being processed by the spool.