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What is the recommendations for SMTP services for massive mailing?

Let me clarify, most of the free SMTP services (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc...) has limits about the amount of messages you can send in a day.

Gmail, for instance, only allows you to send up to ~500 messages per day.

So, there must exists an alternative for those services that has higher limits of messages sent per day. Do you know some?. It can be free or paid services.

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Free or subscription ? –  Dave Cheney Apr 30 '09 at 11:57
    
Of course, free is better. But it isn't a constraint. –  Daniel Silveira Apr 30 '09 at 11:58

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

There is actually an entire industry for this, sometimes called the Email Service Provider (ESP) industry; it is also sometimes called Email Marketing.

If you search for "email marketing provider" you will see many of the big names in the segment.

For example, Lyris, Silverpop, ExactTarget, ConstantContact, MailChimp...

There are also different scales, some players will allow you to handle large volumes (e.g. campaigns of 100K messages at a time) and others that target small businesses (like MailChimp), where they are easy to get up and running quickly.

I believe if you spend some time on the websites of the providers above, you will learn something about the features available in the space.

We use one of the larger providers to send about .75MM messages annually. I also know that MailChimp has a free service for limited volumes to get started.

Good Luck, and let us know what you find and how you like it.

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We currently use iContact and Blue Hornet..they are great services. –  Thomas Denton May 13 '09 at 13:16
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We are using MailChimp currently and I would highly recommend them. Their customer service, the few times that I've had questions, has been answered within 15-30 minutes via email. Their prices are reasonable AND they will kick your ass if you spam people (which also means that there are tools for proving opt-in). We've been with them for about a year and a half and it's been outstanding –  GregD Nov 24 '09 at 16:32

iContact is a very economical email marketing option.

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I can't for the life of me find any pricing information readily disclosed on their website. Leads me to conclude "if you have to ask you can't afford it." Fail. –  Pat James Feb 23 '10 at 20:24

We use Constant Contact. They handle the bulk mailing, and provide a solid subscribe/unsubscribe service.

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Check that your IP address is not listed on any SMTP spam black lists. Also, be sure your upload bandwidth is large enough to handle the traffic.

You'll have to consider the format of the emails: if you have HTML content, you should think about if images are loaded from a website or if you want to send the images as a part of the message. It changes when and where your traffice peaks will occur.

Also, think about how to set your retry intervals for non deliverable emails.

Another important thing is how to handle NDR (non delivery receipts). If you have some mechanism for automatically update your mail addresses according to NDR information, you could avoid sending a lot of messages which will never reach the destination.

This doesn't just apply to SMTPs for mass delivery, but for every SMTP instance: check that it isn't an open relay. It will be soon used by spammers and you'll get on black lists.

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Actually, this isn't the answer I was expecting. Please, see my clarification in the question section. Thanks anyway. –  Daniel Silveira Apr 30 '09 at 11:57
    
Ups, sorry. Some time I ago I searched for that topic too. But most of the hoster are afraid of becoming "spam senders", so it is difficult even to find paid SMTP servers which allow more than 500 messages per day. –  splattne Apr 30 '09 at 12:09

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