As a business owner, it is only natural to save money whenever you can, but some savings are shortsighted. Free SMTP servers are a prime example. Free SMTP servers are often associated with well-known email providers like Yahoo! And Google, and while they are fine for personal messages, they are not suitable for business use.
If you are thinking about using a free SMTP server to send your professional mailings, you need to think carefully about the things that could happen. Free (or standard) SMTP servers have a number of issues and some serious limitations, and that makes them the wrong choice for marketers who want to get the most out of their email marketing activities.
Here are five things that could happen to you if you ignore this advice and use a free SMTP server for your next mailing:
- Some of Your Messages May Not Reach the Recipients
When you a free SMTP server, you are bound by their terms of service, including strict limitations on the number of messages you can send on an hourly or daily basis. That could mean that only a small percentage of your carefully crafted email messages will reach their intended targets. If your last mailing had a low response rate, the limitations of your chosen free SMTP server could be to blame.
- Your Emails Could Be Delayed
Emails you send through a free SMTP server may not go out immediately. Instead, they may be held in the queue until the server can handle the volume. That could throw off the timing of your messages and cost your company money. Timing is a critical part of email marketing success. Relying on a free SMTP server means that critical timing is at the mercy of an unreliable sender.
- The SMTP Server Could Ban or Temporarily Block You
Free SMTP servers like the ones operated by Yahoo! and Google are intended for personal use by subscribers, not for businesses sending email marketing messages. If your mailings exceed a predetermined threshold, the owner of the server could temporarily block your account, or even ban you altogether.
- Your Messages Might Not Be Delivered (…and you don’t know that)
When you use a free SMTP server, you run the risk of not having your emails delivered at all. At the same time, everything could look fine from your end, since the reporting mechanisms on these services are less than optimal. You might think that all of your messages have been delivered successfully, but the members of your list might never see them. You could face additional delivery issues, since the randomly generated IP addresses associated with free SMTP servers could have been blacklisted. That could get you banned as a spammer and cause big problems for your entire operation.
- Your Messages Could End Up in the Dreaded Spam Folder
Even if your messages do make it through the free SMTP server, they may not end up where you think they will. When you use a free SMTP server, you run a very real risk that most of your messages will end up not in the user’s inbox but in the dreaded spam folder instead. Since few users carefully check their spam folders, most of the messages you send will remain unread and all your hard work will have been for nothing.
In this day and age, email marketers no longer need to rely on free SMTP servers to get their messages sent. There are plenty of good email delivery services that charge reasonable prices and do a wonderful job in terms of deliverability (e.g. our business partner turboSMTP). You owe it to yourself to check out these alternatives before you send another business message across a free SMTP server.
P.S. Need to configure SMTP settings in SendBlaster? Check out these detailed instructions about how to set up a SMTP server to send emails with SendBlaster
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