All You Need to Know About an SMTP Server

281 billion emails are sent daily; this means a lot goes on behind the scenes in the digital world. But do you know what powers this type of communication?

You might not think it’s important to know, but the fact is, learning about SMTP gateways can be beneficial to you. When it comes to email marketing, choosing the right SMTP service provider is crucial.

To choose the right provider for you, you have to first understand what an SMTP server is.

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What does SMTP stand for?

First things first: SMTP is the acronym for “Simple Message Transfer Protocol.” Your email client uses an SMTP to send emails to other people. Think of the SMTP as a digital mail truck.

MORE: SMTP gateway service

So what is an SMTP server?

If the SMTP is a digital mail truck, then the SMTP server is the mailman. It works as a normal server does and powers the SMTP. Just as a mailman sorts and delivers mail, an SMTP server sorts and delivers email. Do note that it only does this for outgoing emails, not incoming ones.

MORE: How to use Gmail SMTP

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How email is sent

Here are the steps involved in sending email from one inbox to another:

  1. When you hit send, your email client connects and sends the email’s information to your organization’s SMTP server.
  2. The email goes straight to the recipient’s POP3 or IMAP server if you both have the same domain names.
  3. If your domain names are different, an SMTP relay service is needed. Your SMTP server will find the recipient’s IP address through their Domain Name Server, or DNS.
  4. Once your SMTP server finds the IP address, it can connect to the recipient’s SMTP server.
  5. Their SMTP server determines if your email is safe to accept. If your IP address and domain aren’t blacklisted, your email will make it to their POP3 or IMAP server.

MORE: Office 365 SMTP settings

Third-party SMTP server provider advantages

If your company uses email heavily, consider using a third-party SMTP relay server provider. The main advantage of using one is you’ll have a significantly better deliverability rate. WIth certain providers, you’ll also get anti-spoofing and anti-phishing protection. This can safeguard your sending reputation and keep your emails out of spam folders.

MORE: How to get SMTP gateway free

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