Simple mail transfer protocol, more commonly abbreviated as SMTP, is a code of procedure for e-mail transmissions over the internet from server to server. Most e-mail systems generally send e-mail over the internet using SMTP. The term simple mail transfer protocol was first coined as early as 1982 in RFC 821: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Considering the time, thirty years ago, this RFC was a groundbreaking document and laid the foundation for e-mail as we know it today. SMTP has been most recently updated in 2008 with RFC 5321, which defined extended SMTP additions. This most up to date definition of SMTP, a document too long and technically complex to be summarized in a common-English article, specifies the protocol used for sending mass email over the internet.

SMTP is the protocol in which one server communicates with another when sending e-mail. If the outbound SMTP server, also known as a mail transfer agent or MTA, does not abide by simple mail transfer protocol, the receiving server may reject the incoming e-mail. When sending bulk email, each message is a separate SMTP relay. The messages can be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP, both different from SMTP. However, if SMTP is not met, the server will reject the e-mail and it will never reach the e-mail client and the user’s inbox.

SMTP is especially important when it comes to bulk e-mail. With unsolicited spam e-mails becoming more malicious and common place, a dangerous combination, spam filters have become more aggressive and less likely to let spam e-mails slip through the cracks. For the most part, this is great. As an e-mail user, you do not want unsolicited e-mails filling up your inbox, or worse, threatening your network’s security.

However, there are many important e-mails that may be labeled as bulk e-mail and never reach their intended inboxes. Many businesses see the value of e-mail marketing, claiming that it earns them the best return on investment of any of their marketing/advertising initiatives. With the popularity of companies like Constant Contact or iContact, e-mail marketing is a popular marketing initiative to small and large businesses alike. Even more important than e-mail marketing campaigns are e-mails sent to large numbers of existing clients or customers. These may be e-mails offering information about the service to which the user is subscribed or new product offerings and promotions about which the user is interested. Many times, these e-mails will be blocked as spam because of simple mail transfer protocol. If the IP address of the outgoing server is slightly questionable and the e-mail is being sent to a large list of people, the receiving server may reject the e-mail.

When it comes to sending bulk e-mail, reputation management is extremely important. Trusting your bulk e-mailing or e-mail marketing campaigns to a third party may be a smart decision, as they are experts in the fields of SMTP and IP reputation management. If you want to raise your inbox delivery rate, increase click through rates, and improve your reputation as a sender, you must be sure to abide by simple mail transfer protocol.

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm and is filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.