Server Requirements for Mass Mailing

Running your own email server may sound like a science fiction, and it may seem that it’s impossible to handle such thing. There’s not much info on how to set up a mass mailing system and make sure that everything works as it should, but the task isn’t that hard, especially if you know server requirements.

Figuring out the requirements

You can set up the mass mailing server with the help of VPS or a dedicated server. When it comes to dedicated server requirements, a lot depends on how many emails you’re planning to send and what kind of soft you want to use. For instance, if you’re going to set up a mass mailing client targeted to 100,000 or even 200,000 emails at once, you might consider using provider specializing in mass mailing instead of setting up your own dedicated server. Not planning to send more than 50,000 emails? Then a simple corei3 with 2 GB RAM and 1 GB port will be enough.

Depending on the type of soft you're going to use, a single-core dedicated server with 1 GB RAM should do the trick, but only if mailing is the only task for it. The only problem is that you won’t be able to send more than a couple of thousand emails per hour. Otherwise, spam blocking services may mark your IP as “suspicious,” and clients won’t receive their emails.

SMTP server

Efficient email marketing is often impossible without a high-quality SMTP server for mass emailing. As a rule, its task consists of two main functions. The first one is checking the correctness of the settings and giving permission to the computer trying to send an email. The second one is sending outgoing messages to the specified address and confirming the successful sending.

SMTP servers are usually provided by hosters and mail services. The corporate mailboxes created on the SMTP server are authenticated, resulting in emails not getting into the ‘SPAM’ folder.

SMTP server testing

Before you start mass mailing, you need to test your SMTP server. We don’t see the reason why you would want to skip this step, so it’s just a reminder. There are two ways for testing SMTP server: you can do this manually via Telnet or use online tools. Send test messages to make sure your server is configured correctly.

How to keep the mass mailing system working

Don’t expect that a properly configured server will always be running like clockwork and coping with its task. Some minor maintenance checks are important to keep it going, as the work of filters can change, as well as methods of dealing with SPAM. Here are a few steps you need to repeat from time to time.

1) Keep an eye on the reputation of your server. Check your mail system using online services.

2) Monitor the effectiveness of mailings. Check your newsletters with the help of specialized tools. Based on the data you receive from these tools, you may need to disable certain addresses from the mailing list and follow all system recommendations.

3) Check how many users added your domain/IP address to the blacklists. This can be done using various websites.

4) Follow the updates. Re-read your provider’s requirements for mass mailings, as new items may appear in them.

5) Analyze the log. Look for unsuccessful attempts to send messages in logs. Most of them fall into two categories: soft bounce and hard bounce. The first means that the error occurred on the receiving side: maybe the client's account was blocked, or something else happened. This is a temporary problem, and attempts to send messages to this addressee can be repeated later. Hard bounce signals a permanent problem, usually a missing addressee. You need to closely monitor hard bounce errors and respond by removing non-existent recipients from the mailing list.

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