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I'm considering using an SMTP service to send mail for my web app.

Google Apps is great and free, but limits to 500 outgoing per day. I've heard about AuthSMTP but it looks pricey. Any suggestions?

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I recommend that you implement an SMTP server yourself. There are lots of options for whatever web serving platform you are using. Then, the app will write some data to a file or call the SMTP server, and the destination email server will be contacted directly.

Here are some discussions of outgoing SMTP on StackOverflow. Among these you should be able to get something going pretty easily.

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So easy to do I can't imagine why you wouldn't. +1 –  John Gardeniers Oct 27 '09 at 8:06
    
I actually had my own setup but was having issues with deliverability (see serverfault.com/questions/69778/…). So I was thinking about trying an outsourced solution to see if deliverability improved. However, I think I found what was causing my emails to hit spam folders: I was sending only HTML emails (without an accompanying text part) and the HTML was sloppy. I changed it to just plain text and deliverability looks to be improving. Still a little too early to tell. Fingers crossed, thanks for the response though! –  Brian Armstrong Oct 28 '09 at 15:23
    
The only reason I can think of why it would be marked as spam could be that its getting sent from a dynamic (ie residential) IP. I get emails from my server (static IP) all day and Gmail never marks them as spam. My two cents. –  Nathan Adams Nov 4 '09 at 4:41
    
The tests that SpamAssassin runs are quite revealing as to what tests spam filters usually run - spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_2_x.html –  talonx Dec 3 '09 at 3:57
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I can't think of any SMTP providers off the top of my head, but I agree with tomjedrz only if you have a static IP. If you have a dynamic IP from your ISP your mail will bounce no matter what.

This also begs the question as to what you need more than 500 emails/day for? If you are running a mailing list, then I suggest Google Groups (http://groups.google.com).

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The web app is growing in popularity (universitytutor.com) so this is from users contacting each other, signup emails, etc. Also I noticed when using Google Apps that there was a noticeable delay in sending each email. This slowed down responsiveness on some pages. The connection to Google apps also died about once in ever 500 requests. So it was unreliable for high volumes. –  Brian Armstrong Oct 28 '09 at 15:19
    
Then your hoster should provide you with an SMTP server to use then if you have someone hosting your site. –  Nathan Adams Oct 29 '09 at 4:42
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You can upgrade to a premier account for 50$ per year if I remember right, and this will allow you to send 2000 e-mails per day using Google Apps.

You can also figure out a way to split your application to send mail from different accounts on google, such as mailinglist1@example.com mailinglist2@example.com, but you will need to create each account.

If the above is not suitable you'll need to set up your own mail server.

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A much less expensive (but still very good) alternative to AuthSMTP is Elastic Email. (http://elasticemail.com) Same basic service, much better pricing.

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