5 Things You Didn’t Know About SMTP Relays

Professional email marketers often make use of SMTP relay services like Amazon Web Services SES, SendGrid, or Dyn (recently acquired by Oracle). While it is well known that these services are great for lowering email marketing costs for high-volume senders, there are some things you may not know about Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Relay Service companies and the services they offer (as well as the ones they don’t).

1. There are Limits

Often, email marketers signup for SMTP Relays to avoid the limits enforced by their ISPs. While SMTP Relays do service much higher send volumes, there are limits.

The limits work to maintain trust between SMTP Relays and the ISPs that receive the messages. Usually, when you consistently and gradually send more emails, your SMTP Relay may increase the limits imposed on your account. It is all about proving trustworthiness.

Some limits may include:

  • Sending quota – the max number of emails you can send in a day
  • Send rate – the number of emails you can send in a second

If your needs exceed the limits set by the SMTP Relay and you do not have the time for the gradual scaling required, you may benefit from using multiple SMTP Relays for your campaigns.

2. Not All SMTP Improve Deliverability the Same

One of the biggest benefits of setting up SMTP relays is that you can send out large batches of emails from one email address with a lower risk of being flagged as spam.

SMTP Relay Services work because they have proven over a large volume (of all of their customers) that they are not spammers. They send consistently – 24/7 – and maintain reputations of the highest standard, because it is their core business.

However, email marketers can do their own testing to figure which SMTP Relay has the highest deliverability to which of their list segments. For example, if you segment your list by receipient country, you may find some SMTP relays offer higher deliverability to mail.ru addresses in Russia.

Consider testing your SMTP Relays for deliverability to different ISPs and segmenting your list to optimize your findings (i.e., using one SMTP for mail.ru and another for China’s qq.com)

3. You Can Control Email Marketing Campaigns

When your emails are being rerouted through an SMTP relay provider, marketers often believe they forfeit the ability to set up campaigns and get reports on camping results. While it it true that many providers don't have the front-end features that allow you to track results and review insights, you can use Ongage’s front-end with your SMTP Relay.

You can easily configure your SMTP relay providers’ back-end so everything is integrated seamlessly. Ongage is connected to over 50 email delivery vendors with a complete API for plug-and-play connection so you’ll still have full control over your campaigns.

4. You Can Send Larger Batches of Emails with More Predictable Results

How many times have you coordinated a larger email send and been disappointed to see only part of the list was picked up by the email service provider or sent on time? If you need some consistency and predictability with your campaigns, using an SMTP relay service can help to streamline large-batch sends. Consider working with service providers that provide scalable solutions so you can send even more messages with the same success rates as your business grows.

5. It’s Not Just for Techies

SMTP Relays, “out of the box” require advanced technical skills. Compared to fully-featured email service providers like MailChimp or Constant Contact, which are easier to set up, an SMTP Relay is not indicated for use by marketers. And yet . . . even if you do not have an IT department at your disposal, you can still use SMTP Relays and benefit from the low-cost alternative to improve deliverability.

A front-end solution like Ongage makes even the most “techie” providers usable for marketers.

SMTP Relays for You

We believe that marketers deserve access to the tools that can help them improve their results. SMTP Relays are great resources because they can lower your overall email marketing costs. In the past, there were limitation that went along with that – not having all data in one place and not having front-end features topped the list. Today, you can have the best of both worlds by using Ongage to access your SMTP Relays.