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I am looking for an option where a signed in volunteer can send an email to a contact using his primary email address - when I select "send an email" from the actions drop down I do see the default as the signed in user's primary email address, however, if I use that to send an email there doesn't seem to be any email sent even though an activity is registered and i get a notification of a successful email being sent

On the other hand I have added an email to the "From Email addresses" section under civimail (this coincides with the registered domain as well) - if I select this email address and send an email it successfully goes through

any help would be appreciated

Thanks

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Are your volunteers are using an email from an external provider as their main address?

If it's the case, say john.doe@yahoo.com or john.doe@gmail.com, it's "normal" that the emails are automatically filtered and flagged as spam: It's a feature for pretty much any big mail provider to whitelist what servers are authorised to send emails on their behalf (SPF) in order to limit spam and prevent "rogue" servers to try to impersonate one of their user.

Obviously, your civicrm server isn't one of the authorised servers, so it ends up directly into the spam, or even simply discarded.

The way emails are sent with civimail is different (no matter what you put as the from sender, it's the email that you defined as bounce that is used to really send the email) so it might be why you experience something different there

Try to use as the sender for "regular" emails an email from a domain you control (your own), the email should be sent properly

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