10 software to make your own SMTP server for email marketing


Building your own SMTP server for email marketing is no easy task. There are so many ways and each of them cost differently and server different purpose. In this guide I will tell you 10 ways in which you can build SMTP server.

Read: 10 best email marketing tools and website

Open Source Software

1. Zimbra

Zimbra open source edition is very well known and popular software that you can use to build your SMTP server. It is being used by very big companies and institution like NTPC. It’s is also heavy software therefore you will need big VPS or cloud. Apart from that installing Zimbra could be quite tricky for beginners. But I have written guide for you following which you would be able to install it easily.

2. Mail-in-a-box

Mail-in-a-box is quite popular open source software which can be installed on Ubuntu only. This software is lightweight and the best part of the software is that it can be installed with just one command. It also has very large and active community. So you can definitely rely on them in case of any issue. MIAB also supports NextCloud drive and contact, which makes managing contacts easier.

mail in a box

3. iRedMail

iRedMail is also simple and light weight software which supports various Linux OS. Therefore, you can select your favorite OS on VPS and you are good to go.

Installing iRedMail is also simple, with just few commands you can install.

4. MailCow

MailCow is another popular open source software you can use to build your SMTP server. It has large number of contributors on GitHub actively participating in development.

5. Docker Mailserver

Docker Mailserver is open source software is completely developed in docker and supported by hundreds of contributor on GitHub. It is easy to install and any issues is likely to get resolved quickly given that it has huge active community.

6. Mailu

Mailu is free and full-featured mail server software, which runs on the top of docker. It uses roundcube for web access. Therefore you will get nice UI. Also,

it is loaded with admin features like global admins, announcements, per-domain delegation and quotas making easier to manage users.

7. Modoboa

Modoboa with its simplest traditional UI, is simple and easy to install. It also claims to take only 10 minutes for installation, but that definitely depend on your hardware. With standard features like webmail, calendars management, address books management etc. it is open source and free of cost.

Premium Software

1. PowerMTA

The PowerMTA by sparkpost is one the most popular software for mailing server set up. It is being used by very very big email service provider company like MailChimp and SparkPost itself. PowerMTA comes with loaded feature like virtual MTA, cold IP rate limiting, specific ISP based rate, IP rotation etc.


2. GreenArrow

GreenArrow boasts themselves as PowerMTA alternative, but it still has long to go before it could reach PowerMTA popularity. Nonetheless, GreenArrow is amazing piece of software.


There are number of free and premium software/script available for setting up SMTP server. Open source software might not have premium features like IP rotation, rate limiting, ISP based rate, etc., but they are sufficient for email marketers. However if you are planning for sending bulk emails from very first day then obvious choice would be premium software. Let me know if I have missed any popular open source software or premium one in comments.

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