Why self-hosted SMTP server?

Whether you are a marketing company with the need for a mass mailing solution or a small webshop in need of sending transactional emails, you need to have an SMTP server where you can connect your application for sending emails. Due to the nature of complexity around setting up an SMTP system, hosted SMTP providers such as mandril, amazon SES, sendgrid etc. have emerged, with numerous alternatives. However, they all suffer from a common problem, they get abused by spammers. To combat that, they have very trippy antispam rules for their customers, and shuts down customer accounts whenever any suspicion arises. This is generally good, but it does not fit with all SMTP users. Sometimes you may need to send a mass email campaign over a very short time for legitimate purposes, and the SMTP providers wont let you do it, especially if your list is not up-to-date. On top it, you usually share the IP space with other customers of these ESPs, whose bad behaviour may ruin your own reputation.

Options

There are both open source and propietary smtp servers that you can use to setup your own marketing server. If you don't require very granular control over the rate limits and delivery schedule of your emails, an open source email server is more than capable of serving your needs. Our choice of open source and free MTA is postfix. It is actively developed with real-world use cases in mind, and can serve a small-to-mid size sender very well.

    Postfix

Postfix requires a linux server, one or more clean IPs, and a capable postfix administrator. It started as an IBM project, and the quality and stability shows, in a good way. It has built-in IP rate limiting, and with support of milters, DKIM signing. Postfix can use opendkim for dkim signing, and supports dual DKIM signing, which is a necessity in a multi-tenant setup these days. Setting up IP rotation in postfix is tricky, but it can be done if the user wants it.

    Powermta

Powermta is the defacto choice of many senders. It is very well architected, and comes with some goodies that open source systems lack. Powermta has built-in IP rotation, domain rate throttling, user authentication, feedback loop processing, bounce processing etc. Some say it's price is steep, I would say, you get what you pay for.

Benefits

Setting up your own SMTP server can seem daunting if you are not familiar with all the intricate details of email deliverability. SPF, rDNS, FcRDNS, DKIM, Domainkey, DMARC, Feedback Loop Processing - if these acronyms look daunting to you, you are not alone. Add to that checking IPs regularly against blacklists, keeping the configuration secure to not become an open relay for spammers, proper bounce management system to avoid sending the invalid and inactive email addresses. The pain of setting up and managing an SMTP system is not light. This is where VimManiac can help you. With our years of experience in email deliverability combined with the experience of setting up more than two hundred SMTP systems, we have become the goto 'email guys' for all our clients, and aspire to be yours too. All servers setup by us are armed with these:

  • Unlimited email sending volume, limited only by your IP reputation
  • IP reputation warmup
  • outgoing IP rotation
  • SPF announcement
  • DKIM signing and announcement
  • DMARC compliance
  • Feedback Loop Processing signup with major ISPs
  • No monthly cost

If you need help regarding options for your SMTP service, Please contact us.

SMTP server cluster

If your sending volume is significantly higher, we can setup nodes of servers that acts as a cluster with redundancy, so that even if one of them is down, the others will be available for sending, without any action on your part. You can rent servers from different hosting companies or cloud providers and we will bring all of them under one single gateway. You only point your application to one single IP, not fiddle around with multiple IPs.