The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a communication service used to send a series of emails via a third-party server. It is mainly used for sending bulk emails and helps your business operate smoothly by preventing errors caused within outgoing emails. However, it is important to remember that an SMTP relay service is not capable of receiving incoming emails. In simple terms, an SMTP server is like a delivery hub where all your emails pass through before reaching the recipient. For example, when you are selling a product online, the product is sent to a warehouse before getting delivered to the buyers. In this case, the warehouse is the SMTP server.
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Free vs. Premium SMTP Servers
SMTP servers are communication tools that can help you increase delivery rates while spam-proofing your emails. Lots of SMTP services are available in the market today, both free and paid. However, one question everyone has when dealing with SMTP servers is – ‘What is the difference between free and SMTP servers? A free SMTP server is usually a small local shop that offers limited services to a specific area, like the residents of a particular subdivision in the city. On the other hand, a premium SMTP server is a large online retailer that can deliver mails throughout the country, or in some cases, even throughout the world. Another significant difference between free and premium SMTP servers is the price tag they come with. If you are sending dozens or even hundreds of emails per day, you can significantly cut your marketing costs when using a free SMTP server, but if you are running a full-blown email campaign with more than thousands of emails per day, you will need a dedicated premium server to get the job done smoothly.
Best SMTP Servers (Free & Paid)
Mentioned below are some of the best free and paid SMTP servers, along with their key features. You may compare all the features and pick the one that works best for you.
Pepipost is one of the best SMTP service providers available in the market, offering over 5x faster email delivery service. It allows you to track and view the activity of your email campaign sent to a specific email address for 90 days. Moreover, it supports both SSL and TSL, which will ensure that your connection and email content are entirely secure when sent. Pepipost does have a free plan that enables you to send 30,000 emails for the first 30 days and 100 emails per day after that. Apart from that, they also offer premium plans starting from $25 per month and up to $445 per month, based on how many emails you wish to send in a month.
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- Easy to use: Pepipost is extremely easy to use and scalable, even for beginners. You can send emails to your customers with just a few clicks.
- Secure application: Pepipost contains an in-built functionality of SPF and DKIM, which reduces the risk of spoofing.
- Deep insights: With Pepipost, you can get in-depth insights like tracking whether your email got sent or bounced, whether the user opened or clicked on the links, how many users unsubscribed or marked your email as spam, and much more.
You can download Pepipost here.
Moosend is another brilliant SMTP service provider that offers a great network to send emails at a seamless speed. It can also integrate with your website or any other application you are already using. Furthermore, it includes features like a marketing automation tool, CRM tools, list segmentation, landing pages, subscription forms, and much more. Moosend offers a free plan where you can send unlimited emails to a maximum of 1000 subscribers. The premium monthly plans for Moosend start at $10 per month and go up to $390 per month based on how many subscribers you wish to send mails to.
- Easy to use: Moosend is extremely easy to configure and can be done by anyone without any technical knowledge.
- Email tracking: It provides an analytic report to track the performance of your email campaign, such as how many emails got sent, how many got delivered, how many receivers have opened the mail, and more.
- Drag and drop editor: Mosend also offers an initiative drag and drop editor to create professional emails that are 100% responsive and can be sent to your subscribers for free.
You can download Moosend here.
SendGrid is a cloud-based SMTP service provider used by many for bulk emailing. It offers excellent email deliverability features, such as email authentication, reputation monitoring, and dedicated IP addresses that help in improving your email delivery rates. SendGrid also has a free plan where you can send 40,000 emails for 30 days, after which you will be able to send 100 emails per day for free. Moreover, they have three premium plans called Essentials, Pro, and Premier. The Essential plan contains two options – $14.95 per month and $29.95 per month for 50,000 and 100,000 email campaigns, respectively. The Pro plan includes four options – $89.95 per month, $2449.95 per month, $449 per month, and $749 per month. For the Pro plan, they offer custom pricing, which you can receive by contacting them.
- Advanced statistics: SendGrid gives a brilliant insight into each email campaign performance where you can see who opened your emails, clicked on the links, how many emails bounced, who unsubscribed, and so on.
- Additional Web API: SendGrid also contains a Web API, which adds the functionality for handling email templates, IPs, user unsubscribes, and much more.
- Email Design: With SendGrid, you also receive flexible design and HTML editing options to create a professional and responsive email campaign in just a few minutes.
You can download SendGrid here.
4. Amazon SES
Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is probably the most used and affordable SMTP service provider available in the email marketing world. It is a cloud-based server designed for all sizes of businesses. In addition, Amazon SES has a free plan where you can send up to 62000 emails per month for free. Post that, they charge $0.10 for every 1000 emails you receive or send.
- Integration: It can be integrated with various other AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon S3, and more.
- Incoming emails: Amazon SES offers the flexibility to receive emails, where you can control which emails you wish to accept and what you want to do with that email. Furthermore, you can also receive an5d reject emails based on a domain name, IP address, and email address.
- Monitoring: Like any other SMTP service, you can monitor the performance of your email campaign with Amazon SES. Here, you can receive a report on the clicks, opens, complaints, funnel bounces, and more, all in a single dashboard.
You can download Amazon SES here.
To sum up
SMTP servers have been used for email marketing by businesses for many years. However, not many understand how to take full advantage of the SMTP server and which SMTP server to choose for their business. While both free and paid SMTP servers are equally helpful, it is crucial to understand the difference between the two and choose a server based on your personal requirements. With servers like Pepipost, Moosend, SendGrid, and Amazon SES, you can kickstart your email marketing campaign with ease and at affordable prices. We hope this article has been helpful.