SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is a communication protocol for the transmission of messages electronically. It was in the early 1970s when SMTP was developed for the very first time.
To put it in simple words, it is software that allows you to transfer electronic mail over the internet. With the “store and forward” process, SMTP moves the mail in and around the various networks. It is SMTP who is doing this work at each of the stages.
In a digital world where instant messaging and social media platforms are a dime a dozen, email continues to be a cornerstone for both personal and business communication. O
ne technology that plays a pivotal role in sending emails is the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Despite its widespread use, many people are unfamiliar with what an SMTP server is, its benefits, and the associated costs.
In this comprehensive article, we’ll demystify the SMTP server, exploring its advantages, the potential costs involved, and whether free options are available.
What is an SMTP Relay Server?
SMTP relay is used when we want to send bulk mail through a trusted third party. Usually, there is a limit in the number of messages that can be sent per day, but with an SMTP relay server, one can send large emails.
SMTP relay is run in the cloud rather than your own data center. An SMTP server is an application that’s basic intention is to send, receive, or relay outgoing mail between email senders and receivers.
Why Do You Need a Scalable and Free SMTP Relay Server?
SMTP is very important, and without an SMTP server, electronic mail won’t reach its destination. As soon as we press the “Send” option, the mail gets transformed into a string of code, and afterward, it is sent to an SMTP server.
The SMTP server will then process the code and pass on the message. Sending peer-to-peer emails is much easier, and it will be very hectic to sent bulk mails in the same manner as we send peer-to-peer mails.
And there is also an established daily limit on the number of messages that can be sent and received. So in such cases of sending bulk emails, we need some help so that messages are not to be considered spam. SMTP helps the user in this situation.
With the business getting expanded, the need for sending bulk mail also increases, and outsourcing SMTP relay server is a common practice so that duty is done smoothly. Most email services rely on SMTP to sent bulk messages.
Also, you can build rich and responsive marketing campaigns with marketing automation that increase subscriber engagement.
10 Best Free SMTP Server to Use in 2023
There are a number of servers used today in order to sent bulk mails. A list of 10 free SMTP servers are mentioned below, along with their features.
Pepipost is the world’s most reliable and dependable email delivery service. Bulk messages can be sent with the help of Pepipost by configuring SMTP in applications used. Pepipost is the only ESP that will not charge any fee for emails opened. It has around 50000 customers.
They provide their service around the clock, and anyone can depend on them at any time for any queries. And the attractive feature is they are very much affordable. The features offered by pep post are automated bounce alerts, open tracking, live status monitoring, Real-time notifications, real-time reporting, customized dashboard.
2. Pabbly Email Marketing
Pabbly Email marketing is another SMTP server that has a fair delivery and affordability, and reliability. Pabbly email marketing is easy to create, send, and analyze email marketing campaigns. With Pabbly email marketing, one is not only allowed to track their particular outcome but can even track the performance of every campaign.
This one also gives people the liberty to make their own emails and send them. The benefits of Pabbly email marketing are easy to get started, easy to measure, easy to share, low cost, reach a global audience. One can send messages automatically based on the earlier set timing.
Moosend is the leading email service provider. It is a European email marketing service provider based in London and Athens. They design and code custom email templates and landing pages for the marketing campaigns that guaranty quality. It is a very powerful email marketing platform with great features and a first-class user interface.
Moosend features include a range of customized email newsletter templates, with which the users are allowed to customize each element to match their brand, real-time analytics, drag and drop email editor, responsive newsletter templates, Email marketing automation, email list segmentation, easiness to manage Email campaign.
SendGrid is a top cloud-based email sending platform. It serves around 18 billion customers around the world. It is a combination of deliverability, scalability, and reliability when it comes to email management. SendGrid is capable of sending bulk emails at a time effectively. The application can send 4190 emails per second.
The other important features of SendGrid are an Email templating engine, reputation monitoring, ISP monitoring, spam filter testing, custom API integration, unsubscribe tracking, dedicated and multiple IP addresses.
SMTP2GO is an SMTP service provider taht send bulk transactions and marketing messages worldwide. It is a very much scalable and reliable email delivery service platform. It supports all methods of authentication and security used by the major email software.
It provides a fast service to send messages and viewing reports on message delivery. Its main features include bounce/spam tracking, live chat, feedback loops, blacklist monitoring, real-time analytics, weekly summaries, set-up assistant, spam track detection, ticket support.
SendinBlue is a company founded in 2007 with its headquarters in Paris and is a cloud-based email marketing software for communication. The scalability and reliability of SendinBlue is quite satisfactory and have around 90000 users all around.
It is a solution to relationship marketing. The menus are easy to navigate and have a very user-friendly interface. It offers a drag & drop, email editor. It has excellent deliverability and the other features include email and phone customer support round the clock, customized sign-up forms, marketing automation.
7. Amazon SES
Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable email service that enables sending bulk emails. Amazon SES lets you send marketing messages and transactional messages or high-quality content to the customers.
Amazon SES has high deliverability, and it is very cost-effective. Amazon SES uses configuration sets to make rules that are applied to the emails you send via this. The other key features of Amazon SES include content personalization, dedicated IP address, flexible email receiving, AWS integration. It is a very dependable platform to send huge emails without any issues.
8. Mandrill App
Mandrill App is an email sending platform. It is exclusively designed to handle transactional emails. It is a reliable and secured email sending application. Mandrill App delivers rapid, personalized transaction electronic messages. Mandrill has many uses, it is a mail transporter, but it uses its own server for sending mails.
Mailjet is the email solution for the team to create, send, and monitor marketing emails, transactional emails, and SMS. It is founded in the year 2010 with headquarters in Paris. It will help you create email templates that will suit your needs and brands.
With the advanced drag & drop editor on the market, they create email newsletters. They serve email and SMS needs with simple and powerful services. The features of Mailjet include an unlimited number of contacts, delivery optimization, one-to-one personalization, delivery, and analytics dashboard.
SendPulse helps the marketers and developers to transmit electronic mails with SMTP. This platform offers around-the-clock customer support service, quick delivery, brief reports about opens, and unsubscribes.
It is a cloud-based email sending platform. The major features of SendPulse include A/B testing, Email monitoring, list management, reporting/analytics, templates management.
Benefits of SMTP Server
An SMTP server offers a host of advantages, especially for businesses that require a reliable and effective email communication system.
SMTP servers are known for their robustness and reliability. They offer stable email services and reduce the chances of emails landing in the spam folder.
As your business grows, so do your communication needs. SMTP servers can easily scale to accommodate an increase in email volume, ensuring that your system doesn’t become a bottleneck.
SMTP servers are optimized for high-speed email delivery, making them an ideal choice for businesses that rely on timely communication.
A reliable SMTP service comes with built-in security measures like SSL/TLS encryption to protect sensitive information during transit.
5. Tracking and Analytics
Some premium SMTP services offer advanced tracking and analytics, including open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates, allowing businesses to gauge the effectiveness of their email campaigns.
How Much Does an SMTP Server Cost?
The cost of an SMTP server can vary significantly based on the service provider, features, and the volume of emails you intend to send. Here is a general breakdown:
- Basic Plans: Starting from $5 to $10 per month, these are suitable for small businesses and personal use.
- Mid-range Plans: Generally cost between $20 and $50 per month and offer additional features like advanced analytics and higher sending limits.
- Enterprise Plans: Can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, tailored for large businesses with massive email volumes and specialized needs.
Are SMTP Servers Free?
Yes, several providers offer free SMTP servers with basic functionalities. While these free services are perfect for personal use or small-scale email campaigns, they often come with limitations like a lower sending limit or lack of advanced features. Some popular free SMTP servers include:
- Google’s SMTP Server: Free but limits you to sending 500 emails per day.
- SendinBlue: Offers a free tier with a daily sending limit of 300 emails.
- Mailgun: Provides a “free trial” period during which you can send up to 5,000 emails per month, limited to the first three months.
SMTP servers are a fundamental component of any email communication system, offering a plethora of benefits like reliability, scalability, and speed. While the costs can vary, there are free options available for those with limited needs.
Investing in a robust SMTP server can significantly improve your email deliverability, thereby optimizing your communication strategy.
Therefore, whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, understanding and leveraging the power of SMTP servers can be a game-changer for your email communications.