Email’s email, right? Wrong. While any company can theoretically send out email for you, not all of them do it well. Email technology has reached the point today where you should never have to worry about it. It just works.
So, what are the features you should look for in an outbound email delivery service? Here are five you should insist on.
Without question the most important (and challenging) is deliverability. Afterall, if your emails don’t make it into the inboxes, what good are they?
The challenge is that the web is very wary of spam. And making sure your emails don’t look like spam is something that must be managed, especially as the number of emails you send gets large.
How is deliverability managed? With SPF and DKIM. With blacklist monitoring. With spam trap detection. With outbound spam filtering and with feedback loops. The more of these your outbound mail provider offers, the more deliverable will be your email.
The number of emails you’re going to send will almost assuredly change over time. Most likely it will go up. It may even go down. What you want is an outbound SMTP provider that can handle both.
You want a service provider that can jump from a thousand emails a month to a million and back down again if need be, with no impact on deliverability. You want a provider with servers worldwide and with network redundancy. Most importantly, you only want to pay for what you send.
If you’re going to be sending a bunch of emails, it sure would be nice to know what happened to them. Did they get delivered? Did they get rejected? An important part of deliverability is actually knowing what happened to the emails.
You want outbound email delivery with real-time reporting.
The reports should include full delivery logs, the number of message retries, usage summaries and real-time analytics.
Almost everything in outbound SMTP today is automated. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times you’ll need to speak with a human being.
You want your outbound email service provider to offer amazing customer service. It should be available 24/7 with both a toll free phone number and live chat. And of course it should offer all the handholding you need to get your service up and running.
Finally, you’re going to want to find an email delivery service with competitive rates. Afterall, if you’re sending out a lot of email, a penny per email here or there can really add up. More importantly, you’re going to want to find a service provider with a free tier for say 1,000 messages or less. Why? For list testing.
Normally, before you send out email to a large list, you test it for effectiveness. You should do this will all emails you send. Tweak the subject line. Tweak the wording. Tweak the delivery time. But, you shouldn’t have to pay for these “tests.” You should look for an outbound provider with a free tier and low cost, high volume rates.
Sending a large volume of outbound email can be simple or it can be challenging. Which one it is depends mostly on the outbound provider you choose. When you’re ready to make a good decision for your outbound SMTP, choose the provider with the easy name to remember.