Every email marketing campaign needs a reliable SMTP server. If you’re looking for one, here’s how to find a good one, and common mistakes to avoid!
1. What is an SMTP server?
An SMTP server is a type of email server that your email program connects to when you’re setting up a new account. It’s what delivers your emails to the recipient’s inbox. An SMTP server is not something you have to pay for or install on your computer. While online email service providers control the flow of emails sent between your user and server, and SMTP is fundamentally a server. All you have to do is set up a rule to receive emails when certain conditions are met. Here’s how to find a good one and avoid common mistakes.
An SMTP is a software application that transfers email messages. How it works is there’s typically a receiving and sending mailbox. Everything in between is the realm of the server.
Typical SMTP servers are attached to domain names.
There is a variety of these, as the following image shows.
There are three main classes of SMTP servers: Relay, pop3, and FTP.
An SMTP arrives in one of two ways.
A relay SMTP server is usually an external server running SSL. If you want to send emails via this protocol, you’ll need to enable the feature on your email program and establish a connection to it. This connection takes time (depending on how fast the internet is).
An external SMTP server is also called a PIM, or Post-import Mapping, SMTP. It returns your cables with your messages as they’re exported from your email program.
While SMTP servers generally have lower latency, it’s not uncommon to get hundreds of milliseconds when sending via the FTPS protocol, which is used internally by Gmail.
This trick works with any server-side SMTP, but the flywheel effect is exaggerated for relay servers, which are often the most labor-intensive to set up.
Because servers send and receive emails many times during the course of a day, every possible scenario will need to be accounted for. Below, you’ll find links to common SMTP scenario links to help boost your confidence when configuring an SMTP in Gmail.
2. How to find a good SMTP server
Once you’ve got a domain name, you need to find a good, reliable SMTP server. The SMTP server is what allows you to send emails from your domain name. There’s a lot of spam on the internet, so you want to be careful about what server you use. You can find a list of good SMTP servers here. Once you find a good SMTP server, you’ll need to ensure it’s set up to work with your domain. Your spammers will try to brute-force their way into your SMTP server to send you more spam, but there are a few things to keep in mind to keep it safe.
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is essentially an email server that allows sending and receiving emails. It’s a fairly outdated protocol, however, and all modern email programs (like Outlook) are configured for sending and receiving Smtp from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook Express. As a result, any legitimate SMTP server or service must be set up with a small number of easy-to-configure options. Read more about SMTP here
A lot of SMTP servers are boxy and use ugly code or lots of unreadable text to make it hard to use. You want professional-looking emails that aren’t easily hackable and disable brute-force password guessing to make your life easier. For these server specs, I recommend using SendGSM.
You don’t want your server running behind any open ports. Aftermarket web or SSL SSL VPNs and Tor can connect to your SMTP server (requiring additional security), but you don’t want this open on your main server. Firefox and Alexa can support SSL port forwardings, but you’ll need to open your ports in your router’s security settings to make them automatic. Open ports will prevent anything from sneaking in between you and your server.
3. Common mistakes to avoid when selecting an SMTP server
1. The first mistake most people make when selecting an SMTP server is choosing one that’s free. These free servers aren’t very reliable and can be very slow.
2. The second mistake is picking one without knowing what it is. These servers have very little ability to do what’s asked of them, and their prices can be quite high.
3. The final mistake is looking for just one service. There are hundreds of SMTP services, including free ones. Understanding what SMTP is, who to contact, why we need it, and how we can find one that provides reliable, fast SMTP service is important.
An SMTP server is a computer, attached to the internet, that receives and forwards email. There are several types of SMTP servers:
Our hosting provider provides us with Mailchimps, which are free SMTP servers. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be using Mailchimp from our hosting provider.
SMTP provides a secure way for sending emails. When your emails reach your SMTP server, the first thing it does is check each email for the correct email address but also for proper syntax or grammatical errors. The SMTP server then forwards the email to the right email address and checks its status. Several things are checked:
Check the “Can’t read email” error and add an error response to your email. For example:
Acknowledge that the email is being sent and included a delivery physical address, email timestamp, and referral link.
Check the “Can’t send email” error and add an error response to your email.
Acknowledge that the email is being sent and include a delivery physical address, email timestamp, and referral link.
Maintain this simple list of checks and monitor your SMTP connection. Check your delivery status on a daily or weekly basis to make sure it’s still 100% functional. We use send bits for this purpose.
SMTP is a service provided by your hosting company. Your hosting provider will likely provide you with a free SMTP server.
4. Top 5 SMTP servers for email marketing campaigns
If you want to send out your newsletter from your website, you need to use an SMTP server. An SMTP server is a special server that allows you to send emails from your own domain. If you are using a free email provider such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo then you need to have an external SMTP server to send out emails. For more information on configuring your email provider to use an external SMTP Keep Reading this article
If you’re going to do email marketing, or if you’ve already started, then you know that there are a number of different approaches. Some people will use their own server, some will use a third-party service like Mailchimp. Either way, you’ll need an SMTP server to send your emails through. Here are five popular options and why you might want to consider them.
Use Mailgun to send email newsletters, automated messages, and transactional emails. Mailgun is an email delivery platform that helps you deliver email messages to your customers. You can use Mailgun to send emails to your own subscribers or to deliver transactional emails on behalf of other companies. To send your first email on Mailgun, you’ll need to create an account. Once you’re logged in, you can start to edit your own AARRR profile by adding any received mail as you would at any email provider. After adding recipients and other information about your subscribers, you’ll be placed in an email pool. Email messages from people within your pool will be delivered on your behalf on a regular schedule. The downside is that it takes just seconds rather than hours to receive an email. Still, you have to consider that, since Mailgun relies on the time it takes for you to get an email from your server on your computer, it will take longer if you’re moving a lot of pieces quickly. In our testing, selecting a generous budget of $50 per month and sending 20,000 emails, we had Mailgun send a total of 3,700 emails. Still, some people will prefer using a send on behalf service. By using send on your behalf, your own personal list will be delivered on a regular schedule.
For our $50 email budget, we would send our own subscribers AJAX emails in batches every two hours. If you don’t know what AJAX is, it’s a technology that allows for dynamic content that can be sent at a user’s preferences to these emails. Try sending a short, introductory email to see how it works. If the introductory email does well, you can move on to advanced emails. Once the first emails have been sent, they’ll automatically receive an AARRR check. Your personal subscriber’s list will be delivered using the get_subscribe_id() function. This means that this function will return a unique value when it is called. Once the function has been called, an app-specific, internal URL will be created.
Sendgrid is one of the largest email providers. They have a free tier which is great for developers and small business owners. It is easy to use and very reliable. If you are sending a lot of emails, then something like Amazon SES might be more suitable for you. The downside is that Sendgrid has a lot of landing page automation which can get a bit overwhelming, so it’s important to design your landing pages around Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Some customers have said that they do realize that Sendgrid has some drawbacks, and that’s why they aren’t exclusively focused on creating email marketing software for small businesses. It would be helpful to know the Features of Sendgrid and which three you might want to focus on to decide.
It’s also important to note that this provider only works with domain names, which means you will need to use something like yourcompany.com or company.com to send email through. Not every customer is a developer, but if you are at least somewhat familiar with creating landing pages and asking people to follow you on social media, then you should be able to start using Sendgrid fairly quickly. Lightly is a great email marketing option that is completely free. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, then you would basically pay for only the sending and receiving of emails and nothing else.
This is going to make the cost of sending and receiving emails much more affordable. ✨Sendlr is the cheapest provider and is designed for businesses. The one marketing benefit Lightly has over Sendgrid is that Sendlr allows marketing automation and the sending of discounted emails. So, if you’re starting with Sendlr but deciding to go with a different option later, then it might be worth giving the remote sending feature a try.
Mandrill is a transactional email service that runs on the same infrastructure that powers MailChimp, one of the most popular email solutions for small businesses. Like MailChimp, Mandrill has an easy drag-and-drop email builder so you can create beautiful emails without having to write code. It’s also got a nice touch to get you to create and save your outgoing messages into your “To:” and “From:” accounts. You can also set Trusted Subscribers and automatically forward an email on behalf of any off-the-books recipients.
Because Mandrill uses the same API as Mailchimp, you can do the same thing you would on Mailchimp out of Mandrill. Google Assistant, for example, can send emails automatically for you using Mandrill. All of this is provided free of charge, even the hosting for your own server. The running costs are calculated based on 1,000 send/recipient/time sessions a month and are an additional charge after that. They are fairly affordable, starting at just $3 for 10,000 sends. There is, however, an annual subscription that bumps the free plan up to $9.95, which gives you access to more capabilities, like automation and custom domains. As with Mailchimp, you’ll need to visit their website to set it up and a basic “Getting Started” guide.
Arnold is another popular email service provider. You’ll find Arnolds on most lists of top-rated providers, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them. It’s easy to sign up, and once you do so, it’s as easy as uploading your Mailchimp modules and sending two commands in the console. Once you have the correct information for both the sender and the receive email templates in place, it’s as easy as uploading the actual HTML emails you’d like to send from your CMS as well. There aren’t any extra costs for initial or ongoing usage, although you will need to pick up an additional SSL certificate for SPF and DKIM signing (and all of the other optional certificates). This isn’t a big spend but could be useful if you’re also running a content-based blog.
Sparkpost is a real-time email delivery service that helps our clients send emails in a very timely manner. Compared to other similar services, Sparkpost is very cost-effective, has high deliverability, and has a very user-friendly interface. Archiver.net is a site-wide email archiver service. Email Archiver gets around the “problem” of inbox fragmentation by automatically copying into others’ inboxes when you subscribe to mine or forward emails. It has many more features than what Sparkpost offers. Electronic Arts (EA) was originally an online service provider that provided software and online entertainment segmented by genres, including Flight Simulators, Sports Games, and Sim Games. They closed their online division and moved nearly all their games and products online in the mid-2000s. Because of this, Electronic Arts desperately needed an email system. The decision was made to develop an email system for their site as well as external marketing methods, and so Aerosoles.com was launched. EmailOctopart is a commercial email service provider located in the UK.
EmailOctopart bowls up message threads to create interactive emails and resells access to those emails to some advertisers. Not only is the service very user-friendly, but the service has a great freeendar feature. Elite Messaging is a service for multi-user correspondence or multi-party chat (like Skype). The service has a ton of built-in features, such as customizable email templates, a user-friendly web interface, and greater user control over access. The only downside to Elite Messaging is the monthly cost. Wejustmail is a dedicated email notification system for businesses that do not offer professional email services. Wejustmail takes the email notification loss and provides a great alternative. Thunderbird is a cross-platform mail client with an intuitive and customizable web interface. Thunderbird doesn’t have any built-in features, though. It depends on paid extensions to deliver email. Gone are the days of having to rely on Microsoft Outlook.
Exim is a free email server. It offers a full range of SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and HTTP mail services. Once installed and configured, Exim can be used as your MTA by local mail clients (e.g. Mutt, Sylpheed, Claws, etc.) or as a forwarder for Postfix or Sendmail. Exim also has easy hooks into your favorite IMAP or SMTP clients (e.g. MExim, Enigmail, etc.). Unfortunately for those of you using JITbit, email delivery using Ecoweb seems to be (slowly) catching up with JMail. In June 2020, Jitbit announced a new rival to Ecoweb: Exim Encryption. This appears to be a completely different application. EximEncryption can send and receive an encrypted email as standard. Admittedly, it’s a little more complex to install than Ecoweb, but for “the small guys” that don’t have a big email list, this is a fast and easy alternative. It’s also worth noting that Jitbit supports encrypted email only on the standard ports for your local disk.
On their website, it says that Ecoweb supports encrypted email on all ports. In my tests, it appears that this is true, but that does change depending on your local network. For example, my Exchange server (184.108.40.206) has an encrypted SMTP port of 587 (for sending emails). Every server and database I connect to through Jitbit does not, even if they are on the same local network. EximEncryption only supports TLS 1.2, which is still good anyway. SSL and managing certificates is frequently overlooked, in particular for large, enterprise companies. However, using an SSL certificate costs about $10/year, which is an easy enough financial investment for many businesses to make. Legacy, non-SSL certificates will only work until your next renewal. Enigmail is a paid email service. While I haven’t tried it personally, the Enigmail website is very user-friendly and seems quite promising. It’s an OpenPGP-certificated/MIMSS compliant SMTP server that you can use on your email server or as a forwarder for Send mail.
If you’re planning on running an email marketing campaign, then you’ll need an SMTP server. This blog will help you find the best one for your needs!