What Is SMTP Relay – How You Can Leverage SMTP Relay Services
The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, otherwise called SMTP, is employed by mail servers to deliver outgoing emails. By contrast, the POP and IMAP protocols are used to receive emails from a mail server.
What Is SMTP Relay?
An SMTP relay or Message Transfer Agent (MTA) transfers emails from one mail server to another.
Here’s how it works –
- When an email is sent, the initial message sends the details of the route with a destination address to the SMTP relay.
- The relay uses the Domain Name Service (DNS) and domain address from the email to determine the destination ID.
- The relay then transmits the mail to a message transfer agent.
- The email data traverses through multiple message transfer agents before arriving in the receiver’s mailbox.
What Is an SMTP Relay Service?
As explained earlier, SMTP relays transfer emails from one mail server to another, but this is a technically complicated process. An SMTP relay service is a managed service that helps organizations send their outgoing bulk and transactional emails by routing emails through a trusted third party. Almost all email services make use of such services for sending their emails.
Some things SMTP relay service providers do are –
- Scan For Malware – Emails are scanned for spam commercials and phishing content.
- Reputation Verification – The DNS and internal reputation systems verify domain reputation.
- Spam Trap Checks – Spam trap emails should not be on a sending list to avoid problems.
- Ensures Proper Configuration – Improper configuration of an SMTP relay can lead to it becoming an open mail relay. Such relays are abused by spammers to send emails.
Why Should Organizations Use Mail Relay SMTP Services?
There are several reasons organizations should use mail relay SMTP services.
- Simpler – Managing email is complicated for time-sensitive transactional emails or mass marketing.
- Deliverability Issues – ISPs set maximum limits on the number of emails that can be sent.
- Avoid Blacklists – Regulator blacklists can become a problem if sending messages in bulk without using SMTP services.
- Easily Manage Batch and Automated Emails – Using SMTP via a third party removes all deliverability issues associated with such emails.
Integration Of SMTP Relay Software With Hardware
SMTP servers require SMTP relay software to be installed and configured for the proper delivery of emails. Such software helps improve efficiency and lets email travel in an optimal, well-defined route interconnected by a network of servers.
Free SMTP Relays vs. Paid Ones
Smaller businesses can leverage free SMTP relays like the SMTP relay Gmail or SMTP relay O365 provides. The SMTP relay free services, however, come at a trade-off to scalability. Google, for example, lets you send only 3000 emails a month. Scammers might also be sharing such servers and thus harm deliverability. Therefore, for growing businesses, getting a premium SMTP service would be the ideal choice, where they can choose and set up features and customizations per their business needs.
SMTP can guarantee the delivery of bulk and transactional emails. Moreover, SMTP technologies are easier to implement, and enterprises can save a lot of capital due to the low-cost hardware and software solutions provided by SMTP relay services.
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