How Does an SMTP Relay Work?

Email can be difficult to master. Web servers might face a variety of problems, ranging from poor email delivery to IP blocklisting. An SMTP relay provider, on the other hand, can often solve many of these issues. We’ll start from the beginning: what is an SMTP relay service, and how can it benefit your business?

 

What does the acronym SMTP stand for?

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the standard way that email is transferred on the internet.

What is an SMTP relay service, and how does it work?

A baton is passed from runner to runner in a traditional foot relay race until the baton reaches the finish line. The message is the baton in SMTP. An SMTP relay is a mail server or “MTA” (Message Transfer Agent) that is instructed to pass your message on to another mail server that can deliver it to its intended destination – the finish line.

An SMTP relay service is just an SMTP relay that is hosted “in the cloud” rather than on your own server. The service accepts a message from your server, queues it for delivery to its eventual destination, and then either deliver the message successfully or generates a “NDR” (Non-Delivery Report) or “bounce” that is sent back to the original sender with details on why it was not delivered.

What is an SMTP relay service and how does it work?

When you send an email, your computer or mobile device’s email program connects to an SMTP relay and transmits the message along with the information the relay needs to determine the next stage in the message’s journey. The relay determines where the email should be routed based on the domain name in the email address and the Domain Name Service (DNS). The email can then be sent straight to the recipient’s email service’s “MDA” (Message Delivery Agent). Or, more often, it will pass via multiple Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) that act as SMTP servers before reaching the inbox of the intended recipient.

Your firm, an email service like Gmail, or a corporation like MailChannels may own and manage SMTP relays.

What is the necessity for an SMTP relay service in my company?

If you send email from a server on the internet on behalf of multiple users, you’ve probably already run into delivery issues, such as your server’s IP being listed on an IP blocklist. If your email delivery has been flawless, it’s just a matter of time before you run into a problem: email delivery is a difficult business. You might not even be aware that you’re having email delivery problems since the worst potential email delivery problem—email that goes unnoticed into the garbage folder—is rarely recognized until it’s too late.

Using an SMTP relay provider to transmit your email relieves you of the strain of dealing with a slew of email delivery concerns, ranging from IP blocklisting to reputation issues that lead messages to land up in the garbage folder without being delivered.

 

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