SMTP Relay Service

By: James Relay

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Saturday, 16-Jun-2012 07:27 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Avoiding An Open SMTP Relay Server

There are a great many issues that must be considered when one is looking to purchase the services of an email provider, and one of these is whether or not the deliverability of emails will be a problem. Quality providers will take all necessary security measures to ensure that email is successfully delivered. Because of the fact that many email destinations will automatically block any mail that has been passed through an open relay server it is important to insure that this is not allowed. Proper authentication helps protect the sending domain, as well as internet users in general, from an influx of spam. Sendgrid requires a username and password to insure proper deliverability in this regard.

Spammers can make quick use of any publicly accessible smtp relay server that they find has been configured as an open relay. Sendmail configuration files can be altered on Linux servers in order to prevent this. In fact, it is usually the default configuration nowadays. That was not always the case. In the early days of the internet it was thought that an open smtp relay server facilitated email getting to its proper destination. That is no longer the case, and as stated, it is undesirable.

An open relay allows a person to send email without the ip address being logged. This makes tracking and blacklisting spammers a more difficult and time-consuming task. It might even make this impossible in many cases. If the internet was full of good citizens then everyone could run a default open unix smtp relay as in days gone by, but we know that not to be the case by simply looking at the many ads for pharmaceuticals in our inboxes (or hopefully spam folder). Other measures such as DKIM and SPF records can also be implemented at the domain level in order to provide more authentication and security. Sendgrid supports this type of configuration.

Sendgrid has become an authority in the domain of email deliverability. All of the latest measures are taken to insure that this is not compromised. There are helpful staff members who can discuss further an individual's custom needs and give direction when problems arise. If one is going to trust a company with critical email infrastructure then Sendgrid should be the number one choice. Many happy customers rely on Sendgrid daily and there is a vibrant community to get feedback and support from when necessary.



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Saturday, 16-Jun-2012 07:26 Email | Share | | Bookmark
What is SMTP Relay Service, and Why Does it Matter?

SMTP relay service separates email delivery from other internet activities. The reason it matters is because email increasingly has become burdened by spam. Your internet company may have greater restrictions and filters in place. By having a separate service, it allows you to get more email delivered. If you intend to work with a high volume of email, then a relay service is more reliable. Using your local internet service provider (ISP) can even get your account suspended in some cases.

Before you consider any SMTP relay service, ask yourself three questions:

Does it Deliver?

It doesn't matter how good your email if it doesn't get delivered. Recent studies show that nearly a quarter of all email never gets delivered. That's why you should consider asking about the service before you purchase it. Ask the provider detailed questions. They should be able to demonstrate knowledge about how the service works. Knowing that your emails are getting delivered means you can concentrate on your marketing message.

How Do I Know it is Working?

It's important to know how your email campaigns are working for you. That's why you should insist that your service come with analytics. Analytics are merely the charts, graphs and other technical information that give you an idea of how your campaigns are working. You'll want to see details of the actual reports. Don't simply linger on the front dashboard. Delve deeper, and see that the information is meaningful, organized and makes sense to you.

What happens if something goes wrong?

The next issue is customer support. Ideally, you should be able to enjoy a smooth and reliable experience. In practice, however, things can go wrong. If something doesn't work right, then you should be able to turn to your company for help.

Because email delivery is an ever-evolving landscape, new trends or rules can change things instantly. You'll want a service that stays up to speed. Be sure to ask the service if your email will be sent via a shared IP. If so, then that means there will be others sending email on the same address as you. Question the company further to find out how they prevent those with less reputable businesses from joining. Shared IPs can be less expensive, but they need to be clean from spammers.

So there you have it. You now know why it's beneficial to use an SMTP relay service to handle your email. Make sure your emails are getting delivered, so you can better focus on your customers.



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Saturday, 16-Jun-2012 07:23 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Features Of An Exceptional SMTP Service

Not all simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) service providers are equal. Even though the protocol is standardized, many server implementations are distinctly different. Particular layers of security, accessibility for subscribers and optimization to work with other online servers are all factors that can make one provider more preferable than another. There is also a wide variation between companies because of the peripheral services and extra features that are provided with a subscription plan. There are a few basic things to look for when attempting to choose an SMTP service for a business, website or online application. Not all services that are available necessarily offer all of these features in a single plan.

A valuable feature to look for in any service that is offering SMTP access is real-time monitoring and analytical data. Through feedback loops and reputation monitoring mechanisms the eventual path of most emails can be tracked. This gives senders the ability to isolate domains that are problematic and to compare response rates to sales to see which segments have the highest conversion rates. The real-time figures can be combined with other statistics from a website or application in order to refine campaigns and provide metrics that can be acted upon immediately.

A very important area of any SMTP service is the amount of customer support that is provided. Different companies offer varying levels of support and response times. It is best to look for a provider that has more than one customer service channel so that a representative can be reached in the most convenient way possible. Telephone, instant messaging, email and live chat are all good options to look for because they can each be used to resolve problems with different levels of urgency. There should be at least one very direct way to contact a customer service representative so that critical issues can be quickly escalated to prevent any loss of revenue.

One of the areas where really effective SMTP service providers can make a difference is with proactive delivery features. These are features that can help to ensure that emails have the best chance of reaching a destination address without being rejected, identified as spam or bounced until delivery fails. These tools can include up-to-date authentication records, multiple Internet protocol (IP) addresses and spam filter testing. Additionally, throttling large batches of emails and reaching out to Internet service providers can help to remove problems that might cause new email senders difficulty.



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