SMTP is an abbreviation for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the most popular protocol for sending emails over the web. This protocol determines how emails are sent, forwarded, and received.
When you click the send button in your email client, the message goes from your mailbox to the recipient’s one. SMTP servers facilitate this flow, so think of them as the virtual bridge ferrying emails over the internet.
Many SMTP service providers are out there, and it can be challenging to select a good one. This article will explain the most important factors you need to consider in order to make a smart choice. But before we proceed, let’s dive a bit deeper into this technology and how it works.
What Is an SMTP Server?
It is a software for sending emails. It verifies that an email comes from a legitimate sender and routes it to the correct server so the final recipient can receive it. Likewise, this protocol lets your server receive messages from other parties.
You can set up your own SMTP server for home or business use, but SMTP functionality is also available as a service.
Types of SMTP Services
There are two main types of SMTP services, aimed at transactional and marketing communication respectively.
Transactional mailing is for one-to-one communication, with the message personalized for the recipient. Examples include welcome emails, purchase confirmations, invoices, customer support emails, etc. This type of email is usually triggered automatically by customer behavior.
Marketing email is for one-to-many communication. Such messages are usually sent in bulk. Attaining high deliverability rates tends to be harder for marketing emails, which calls for additional measures on this front.
The main difference between these two lies in their configuration. Transactional services must excel at delivery speed, while marketing ones may require advanced analytics and more raw power to be able to send out messages in very large volumes.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Provider
While almost any service on the market will gladly offer both transactional and marketing functionality, it is advisable to stick with the ones that suit your needs better. The essential factors to consider while choosing the best SMTP service include:
1. Customer Opinions
Customer reviews tell you a lot about the platform you are considering. A provider may advertise one thing and actually be another, but customer reviews break the information barrier. Check what other people are saying about the service. Are the platform’s features really as good as it claims to be?
2. Deliverability Rates
Deliverability rate refers to the percentage of your messages that reach the intended recipients. Any provider with a low score will have a high percentage of messages getting bounced or sent to the spam folder. Ensure your platform has a good deliverability rate (95% and above) so you won’t have issues reaching customers.
3. Ease of Use
You need a platform that’s easy to use, especially for non-technical users. Your service should have an intuitive interface that makes it easy to understand and navigate. You should be able to integrate complex features easily. Ask if there’s a free trial plan to test this factor before making your final decision.
If you plan on sending sensitive content, you’ll need a platform that’s as secure as possible. It should have advanced security features to prevent hackers from stealing your data. Check to see if the platform has any history of negligent security practices.
You should pick a service that you can afford in the long term to avoid any issues as your demands grow. The good thing is that most SMTP providers have transparent pricing, so it’s easy to estimate how much you’ll pay.
We have outlined the most important factors to consider if you want to choose the best SMTP service for your needs. Follow our tips, and you’ll likely make a good choice.