Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

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#1 absynthe   User is offline

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Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:46 AM

The company I work for sends out a few thousand emails a day and needless to say some get flagged. They're wanting me to build an SMPT email server thinking it will help with some of the restrictions that hit us due to some spam hits. Personally I don't think it's going to help. The one question I hope to get answered that they keep asking me is if we have our own smtp server and it eventually becomes red flagged or blacklisted, what are our options? Do we have to buy another domain etc?

I'm a programmer and not very savvy on these types of issues. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

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#2 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:57 AM

We do offer a legitimate service in the Education sector but send emails to businesses around schools and colleges, asking for support in exchange for advertisement etc. We've been in business for over twenty years but have recently expanded online and are trying to build a bigger customer base.
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#3 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:07 AM

Truth talk.. I'll ask the upfront question.. are you, legitimately, not sending spam?

For realsies. That really does alter the conversation.

Posted Image

How are you sending out emails now? It sounds like not from a company domain or email address? Using gmail?
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#4 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:15 AM

Hey Modi! I used to frequent this site by the username Absynthe. I used to hang here all the time. I know Chris used to own the place, not sure now. It's good to see some older users still here. I'm glad this place still exists.

We're not sending out spam. We legitimately offer printing services but are just trying to pick up new customers. We're seasonal in sending the emails out (3 times a year).

The lady doing the mass mailings is using a rented SMPT service. They have restrictions on spam hits that's slowing her down. We're trying to build the company and organically go to the chamber of commerce in the towns, search for businesses and their emails and add them to the list.
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#5 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:16 AM

These days, I'm not sure it makes sense to self-host your outgoing email unless you're pretty mega-scale. There is good competition in that field and it's almost certainly cheaper and easier to let George do it. Send it to MailChimp or whoever and spend your time on more interesting problems is my advice.

Also, welcome back.
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#6 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:26 AM

Thanks Jon! It's good to be back. I agree but they want me to build this stupid server for some reason. I think they should just let someone else handle it. They're insisting. It's not going to help in my opinion. I think nothing is going to help, people just naturally click spam if they see an email they're receiving a few times a year if they're not interested.
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#7 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:37 AM

I don't have much experience with the actual box itself, but there's a lot of voodoo that goes on for spam marking. Having a valid 'from' address, being a residential ip address vs business, unsubscribe option, many folk clicking 'spam', ISP blocking, etc.

Having something from the company IP address may help, but I don't think it would be sufficient for 100% coverage. Bulk emailing services would be a better route.
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#8 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:43 AM

Modi, agreed with all that voodoo. I'm hoping to gather up enough info with some forum questions to re approach and re advise. They're pretty set on it though, thinking it's a cure all. It's just going to be more work for me with no benefit for them in my opinion.

She's getting alot of bounce backs as well and recommended using a email validation service to check her lists. She says these don't work because the IP of the validation service may have a bad reputation and the bounce back results will be skewed. I'm not sure she's right on this.
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#9 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:47 AM

That's fairly obstinate.

Verification services, at least reputable ones, are in the business of being above board and clean for their IPs when checking all the oddities in an email. Heck - just basic checking would help.. well formatted emails, have the @ sign, are not disposable email address domains, not role based emails ([email protected] or [email protected]), checks black listed sites to make sure spammers didn't get on the list, etc.
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#10 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:53 AM

I agree, it's like hitting a brick wall. I'm hoping to turn her opinion with some of you guys recommendations. I'd say half her problems are with her lists. She's got a 75,000 count list that she probably hasn't done any work to. I'd say that's the core problem.
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#11 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:05 PM

I run my own mailserver using Qmail, & I absolutely hate it. One users' account gets compromised, & it shakes up everything. AT&T won't even talk to me, have to sign up with a dozen services just to monitor stuff, for it all to go down the drain because of one account. Email security is backwards.

If you want to both accept & send mail with the sever, you need to setup a bastion host, & all sorts of other rigamarole.

Do yourself a favor, use gmail. If you need to solicit at rates higher than they allow, use a service for that like mailchimp or a listserve that uses mailman.

View Postabsynthe, on 19 March 2019 - 01:53 PM, said:

She's got a 75,000 count list that she probably hasn't done any work to.

You'll put far less time into cleaning that list, than you will removing your mailserver from blacklists.
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#12 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:12 PM

Hey No2! Good to see you! Thanks my friend! I think it's going to be universally hated. I'm glad to hear from someone that runs their own server. One question, if we have our own smtp server and it eventually becomes red flagged or blacklisted, what are our options? Buy a new domain and start again? I'm confused with all of it. Seems complicated as hell.
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#13 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:15 PM

I would strongly recommend cleaning up the list, but more than that, ensure that there is a highly visible unsubscribe button which really works. By that I mean both that it actually removes them and that it communicates to them that the company has heard their wish and complied. In addition, it should add them to an "unsubscribed" list. Scenario I'm thinking of is: Ursula User hits the unsubscribe button. Later on, your marketing team buys an email list that includes Ursula, and sends an email blast. Now you're definitely spam in Ursula's eyes. If you check your outgoing blasts against an unsubscribed list, you can avoid this.

It's possible that a reputable outgoing bulk mailer will facilitate this for you, which would be another argument for not reinventing this wheel, but even so you'd like to ensure that you can keep track of unsubscribed users, so that even if you switch providers you can ensure that you can keep the "unsubscribe" promise.

We're talking about user trust here - if the user can't trust you to comply with their unsubscribe request, why would they trust you for anything else?
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#14 absynthe   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:15 PM

Hey No2! My comment to you isn't showing so I'm rewriting. It's so good to see you! I'm glad to hear you run one and have direct knowledge of how much of a pain it's going to be. I agree.

One question they want me to answer is if we have our own smtp server and it eventually becomes red flagged or blacklisted, what are our options? Do we buy another domain and start again?
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#15 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: Does anyone have any experience with SMPT servers?

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:19 PM

View Postabsynthe, on 19 March 2019 - 02:15 PM, said:

Hey No2! It's so good to see you!

Welcome back.

View Postabsynthe, on 19 March 2019 - 02:15 PM, said:

One question they want me to answer is if we have our own smtp server and it eventually becomes red flagged or blacklisted, what are our options? Do we buy another domain and start again?

If you're preparing for this, then you're basically acknowledging you're conducing in poor internet behavior. If you're already ready to buy backup domains, then that screams spam/scam solicitation.

& no, buying another domain won't solve anything, because it's your smtp servers ip address that is poisoned.
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