SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol used for sending emails from one email account on one mail server to another email account on another mail server. The other protocol also used for the purpose is IMAP, which is the abbreviation for ‘Internet Message Access Protocol’. The recipient’s system then accesses the sent emails by using IMAP or POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3).
What Is A Mail Server?
An email server is a hosting space that the email provider temporarily offers for holding the email of the sender until the recipient’s email address receives it. If the recipient account does not receive the email, the mail server returns it to the sender’s account. In this case, we say that the email has bounced back.
Understanding Free And Paid SMTP Servers
Free SMTP Server:
There are free email providers such as Google and Microsoft that provide free SMTP services. Generally, these providers offer either free SMTP server for outbound emails and free POP3 server for inbound emails or free IMAP server for both outbound and incoming emails. Some providers like Google even offer all three servers. It is up to you to decide which ones you set up in your account for sending and receiving emails.
Whatever be your choice, the free SMTP service that each of these providers gives is only suitable for sending a limited number of emails. For business purposes, you often need to send emails in bulk to market your products or services. So if you need to do a great deal of email marketing, it is advisable to buy an exclusive, private SMTP server.
Paid SMTP Server:
Numerous digital service providers can provide you with paid SMTP services. There is a vast competition among the service providers, and they all try to offer several value-added features to provide better services than others. For instance, when you buy SMTP, instant activation feature can help you set up your service in a matter of minutes. You can select your private SMTP server based on various offers, prices, and features that suit you.
The SMTP server price primarily depends upon the maximum number of emails that you can send from your account on that server. Apart from that, the price also differs depending upon other additional services it provides such as short messaging service (SMS), A/B testing, templates for creating Facebook ads, landing page templates, email templates, chat facility, option to schedule the outbound emails for a future time, multiple-user facility, account management, email support, live support, dedicated IP, DNS setup guide, etc.
Some SMTP service providers run free plans to lure clients. Some offer their services at meager prices. But almost all the providers offer more than one package at differing rates and with different sets of features. And the price range and features of various service providers vary over broad spectrums that it is better to do your research before you decide to buy SMTP server for your operations.
How Does An SMTP Server Operate?
As the content of the email is typed, and the send button is clicked, SMTP server is set to motion. The data typed in is transmitted to the SMTP server in the form of small data packets by an SMTP Outbound connector. It then checks the validity of the recipient email address. If it finds the recipient’s email address to be valid and the sender’s email address is not blocked, it transfers the email to the recipient’s email address. Otherwise, it will be sent back to the sender’s email address.
Once you buy SMTP server for email marketing, you need to set it up in a way suitable for your operations. There are several parameters that you can customize as per your requirements. The following are some of them:
- You can specify your allowed and blocked lists of IP addresses, website domains, and email addresses so that the emails related to those lists can be allowed or denied entry to your email address, as the case may be.
- You can mention the maximum number of emails that can be sent from your email address at a point in time.
- The timeout period can also be specified, after which the SMTP server will recall the emails failing to reach the recipient’s email address.
- You can set how frequently the outbound email directory will be checked before a new launch of emails is done by the SMTP server.
- You can set the size limit for the outgoing emails.
- The SMTP server can be set to use a particular IP address at the time of sending the emails.
- You may send emails using TLS (Transport Layer Security). However, if the recipient mail server does not support it, they will only be sent as regular emails.
- The SMTP server learns about the SMTP Inbound activities on port 25 by default. But it can be changed if the proxy server or gateway needs it.
For serious business development, you cannot deny the need for a paid SMTP server. There are numerous SMTP service providers out there with a wide range of services. Whatever be the kind of requirements you have, you can easily find a service that suits it all. By choosing the right option based on the parameters required and the budgetary constraints of your organization, you can harness the full potential of SMTP service for your email marketing needs. When you opt to buy SMTP server for email marketing, you pave the way to more efficient lead generation, time management, and a host of other conveniences for your business functions.