The Ultimate Checklist to choosing your SMTP Relay Service

An SMTP Relay Service provides email delivery by essentially relaying your email from server to server until it reaches one that is closest to your destination. SMTP relay is a standard of protocols over SMTP that is used to deliver emails from the recipient server to the destination server.

An SMTP Relay Service is one that helps you bypass the implementation of the protocol and allows you to send emails from their infrastructure. These are essential services for businesses and there are a number of SMTP relay services available in the market that provide a number of features.

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is a technique used for sending emails for quite some time. Although it has been widely used, it still remains one of the best ways to send out emails.

Here are 5 things you need to consider before choosing an SMTP relay service

The Email Deliverability

There is a difference between email delivery and email deliverability, email deliverability refers to the event when the email sent from your email service provider’s server reaches your recipients’ server. On the other hand, email deliverability is when the email reaches your customer’s inbox. So an email can be delivered and yet be in the spam folder. Since the evolution of Gmail inboxed, ISPs have made very advanced algorithms that may sometimes misclassify your good emails as spam. And the reason could be something very simple like your SMTP relay service’s bad IP reputation. Make sure you look at your SMTP relay service’s email deliverability rates before making the choice of using their service.

The Ease of Integration/ Migration

Whether you are using an SMTP relay service for the first time or if you are migrating from using an existing service, you need to make sure you are able to integrate the service into your stack easily. Whether your SMTP service provider is providing you with migration guides or easy integrate APIs, make sure you’re aware of the complexity of integration before you choose your SMTP relay service. If a particular integration method is too complex and is executed incorrectly, it could affect your email deliverability big time.

The Features it gives you

Not all  SMTP relay services offer the same standard features. So, when choosing your SMTP service provider, you should also think about the features that you’re going to need.

Here’s a list of features to look for:

Domain authentication and link branding

Multiple sender addresses

Reverse DNS

Real-time analytics & reports

Open, click, & complaint tracking

Bounce rate, spam, & blocked message reporting

Custom DKIM Keys

ISP feedback loop data

Automated IP warm-up

Suppression management and automated bounce handling

GDPR compliance

The Pricing

Prices in the email industry range from expensive to free.

Some of the largest SMTP implementations on the market are open source SMTP, meaning that they are freely available.

Examples include Sendmail SMTP and Postfix SMTP. Both provide a completely free solution to set up an outgoing mail server.

However, keep in mind that the open-source options are usually very complex and hard to configure. You’ll need to pay a team of experts to set up your server, in which case it no longer is truly free. In such cases, using an SMTP relay service like Pepipost can help you as they offer a limited number of free emails, but as your email volume goes up, the prices do not grow exponentially and you can easily send a huge number of emails at affordable prices.

The Level of Support it Provides.

An SMTP relay service is an essential service to any business, especially if you are sending your transactional emails over their infrastructure, there can be issues at any time and you need someone from your SMTP relay service’s office to be able to help you out in a crisis. You should only consider a service that has a prompt and dedicated support team who are able to competently help you out in case you are facing any difficulties. Make sure your SMTP relay service gives you 24/7 chat, phone or email support.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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