Email marketing though sound easier, but it’s not the case any more. Unlike old times you cannot send bulk emails without every emails protocols in place. Here are some tools which will help you test your SMTP server to achieve industry standard protocols. These tools will show you reason for deviation from protocols, therefore you would be able to fix it in time. Here, I have listed 10 best email marketing tools and website which would prove useful.

1. Mail-Tester

Mail-tester website let you test your SMTP server to check all standard protocols like DKIM, SPF, reverse DNS, DMARC, etc., are in place. It will also test IP of SMTP server against 3rd party blacklisting. Additionally it gives score on scale of 10. You could rectify issues easily if your score is less than 10.

2. appmaildev

Appmaildev is website for testing SPF, DKIM, DMARC, DomainKey and RBL of your server. Just send email to id given by appmaildev and it will give the result.

3. MXtoolbox

MXtoolbox is mother of all the tool box for testing SMTP. It can test almost every aspect of your email server. Some of them are MX, DKIM, SPF, DNS, DMARC, Blacklist, Blocklist, etc. It can also analyze email headers which you very important information that actually help in better inbox delivery. Apart from that it can also extract emails from text content, all you need is just copy the text and paste.

4. Glock Apps

GlockApps is different from above two. It actually gives you about 70-80 email addresses of different ISP where you send emails. Then glockapps will analyze whether emails

  • has been delivered to inbox
  • has been delivered to spam
  • not delivered at all

Finally analysis report will provide insight into your email deliverability, authentication, reputation and DMARC compliance. This way you will able to make necessary amendments into your SMTP.

5. Sender Score

Sender Score is another fantastic tool to analyze your SMTP server. It gave you lots of insight about your email server. Also you will get the score out of 100. Note you might not get score if your server is comparatively new.

6. Talos Intelligence

Cisco Talos Intelligence is basically a internet threat analyzer. Along with many services it also analyze IP & Domain reputation which is of extreme importance for email marketer. The best part is Talos Intelligence doesn’t charge you for this information.

7. SMTP Tester

There are several SMTP tester available but the one I use frequently is SMTPer.

8. Wormly

Wormly is uptime monitoring website but also let you test SMTP.

9. SSL-Tools

SSL-Tools let you check encryption of your mail servers. It also test server vulnerability to Heartbleed.

10. DNSQUERIES

DNSQUERIES as the name suggest checks DNS and tells you if connection could be established with mail server, postmaster@yourdomain.com & abuse@yourdomain.com exists, server is accepting mail over postmaster@IP_address etc.. These information is valuable, though comfortably ignored by many people, play an important role in domain reputation and therefore inbox deliverability.

Conclusion

Though, there are several tools available to test efficacy of your mail server, but none of the solution is all in one. Therefore, you need to bookmark most of them.

I have added tools and website best to my knowledge, but I will add more as soon as I find one. Let me know in comments if you know any other fantastic tool.

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

5 awesome SMTP software for Windows

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.

Summary

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.

Installing PowerMTA could be daunting task for beginner, but nonetheless if you are in digital marketing especially email marketing you would be tempted to try PowerMTA once in a life. Therefore, we have come up with simplest way to install PowerMTA step by step.

Beginning

First of all PowerMTA can be installed standalone as well as along with some control panel like VestaCP, cPanel, Virtualmin/Webmin, CentOS Web Panel, Froxlor etc.

In this article, I will be talking about standalone installation.

Read

Install & Configure PowerMTA SMTP with cPanel on CentOS

Install & Setup PowerMTA SMTP with VestaCP on CentOS

Let’s begin.

Requirement

  1. VPS or cloud or dedicated server with at least 2GB of RAM (recommended minimum 8GB)
    Best and cheap VPS for email marketing
  2. A domain name
    Buy cheap domain name
    10 reasons why you should not buy new domain for email marketing
  3. PowerMTA rpm file and license

Environment Setup

Connecting to server

If you are windows then you will need a SSH client to connect to server. A simple and easy SSH client is putty.

Open the putty and paste the IP address of your server

Enter the username, it could be root or anything else provided by your hosting.

Now enter the password. In order to paste anything on putty, use right click of mouse.

Note that password won’t be displayed, therefore you don’t have to right click again and again, just click once.

VPS Setup

First of all we need to install CentOS 8 on VPS or cloud. I will be using Contabo for demonstration purpose, but you are free to choose any VPS as per your convenience.

Let’s update the CentOS

dnf update -y

After update finishes off, set up the hostname as follows

hostnamectl set-hostname node1.inguide.in

Don’t forget to replace inguide.in with your domain name. After that check if domain name is updated.

hostname

Domain Setup

Now we will set up domain. Login to your domain registrar and create A record. Also update the MX record to include IP address of your server.

ip4:192.168.12.10

Now upload the rpm package to your VPS. Use FileZilla or WinSCP.

Installation and Configuration

Now we have rpm package on the server. Let’s check the content of current directory to make sure uploaded file exist in it.

ls -l

Now, after verification it’s time to install PowerMTA

rpm -ivh PowerMTAr5.1.rpm

Don’t forget to PowerMTAr5.1.rpm with your rpm package name.

Next step is to copy the license file. Simply copy the license you have received and paste it in newly created text file.

After this step it’s time to configure pmta so download the config file here.

Next we are going to make changes in configuration file on PC itself. Open it in notepad or notepad++ (you can download notepad++ from internet)

Update the IP address and domain name. Also, update the SMTP details to make it unique.

Testing

Now after hard work it’s time to test the server. Go to https://smtper.net and fill the details as follows.

SMTP Hostnode1.inguide.com
SMTP port2525
Use autheticationYes
Loginadminxyz
PasswordadminPassWord
Email Fromadmin@inguide.in
Email totestuser@gmail.com

Let’s open Gmail to check whether email has been delivered or not.

Voila! We successfully installed and configured PowerMTA.

Let me know in comment if you have any question. I will be happy to answer.