You’ve recently moved your email to an email hosting provider. The incoming spam is finally under control and your users have all transitioned to the new server without issue. Then you get the call from your new email provider. A recent message you tried to send to 350 recipients was blocked.
Like it or not, some of your outbound email may be considered bulk. It’s a necessary measure to keep email flowing between servers. In short, sending bulk mail and regular email on the same IP addresses is a bad idea as it can slow down the deliverability of your regular email correspondence.
So how do you deal with sending bulk mail? It depends on a few factors: 1) Volume, 2) Frequency, and 3) Message Type. Volume is simply the number of messages you send typically on a monthly level. What is the frequency for your bulk emailings? Daily, weekly, monthly?
Lastly, what kind of messages are you sending? Are you relaying newsletters or automatic email notifications? Are your messages solicited or unsolicited? Do your messages include opt-in and opt-out functionality and do they adhere to the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act?
Closely related to message type is the issue of messsage generation. Are your messages generated automatically by an application server? On the other hand, are your mailings portable and can they be facilitated through an email marketing provider like Constant Contact?
Email marketing companies provide turnkey bulk email management services. Pricing is generally based on either the number of recipients who actually receive your messages or the total number of messages relayed monthly. Depending on the size of your address list, a turnkey solution may provide a practical, cost-effective solution for sending out newsletter type lists.
However, if you’re substantially invested in your own custom email application and database, you may be better off looking at a bulk email hosting service. As opposed to a turnkey provider, a bulk email host will provide hosting for mailboxes specifically designed to send/receive bulk messages and let you use your existing system to maintain your lists and messages.
For small distributions, entry level pricing for reliable bulk email hosting may be substantially higher than that of the turnkey providers. However, having both the flexibility to work with your existing system and the scalability to significantly grow your list outweighs the premium pricing for many clients.