Technical questions

I need help with technical integration. Can you help?

Yes, of course. Our technical support team will be happy to help with your integration. They are at your disposal 24/7. Just send us a line by following email address with information where you have stuck so we could help faster: support@sndmart.com

IP Addresses and Sending Volume

If you are sending a lot of email (greater than 50k per week), it is a good idea to have a dedicated IP in order to isolate your reputation. If you are sharing your IP, you are sharing your reputation with those other senders. In addition, ESPs rate limit your emails based on the IP. So if you are a high volume sender you should consider getting a pool of IPs. However, your reputation can also be hurt if you are not sending enough volume consistently from an IP so it’s a tricky balance.

If your email sending is volatile with large spikes of volume, ESPs may assume those large spikes are spam. Also, if you overall volume is too low, they won’t acknowledge your reputation. Generally, if you are sending less than 5,000 emails per day, a shared IP may be the right solution.

The other thing to consider is using separate IPs for your bulk and transactional mail if you are sending high volumes of email. There are a couple reasons for this:

Delivery of time-sensitive transactional emails may get queued behind a large batch of bulk/marketing emails.

Your transactional mail will be affected by the reputation created by your bulk/marketing mail.

Even if you have a clean IP address, you need to warm up the IP gradually. This means sending emails at a low rate initially and then gradually increasing that rate, taking into account ESP feedback. If you send a ton of emails right away, they will get filtered or dropped by the ESPs. In some cases, they won’t even tell you they are dropping them.

SmartSender offers both shared and dedicated IPs. We are constantly monitoring the traffic on these IPs. So even for shared IPs, you can be comfortable that your reputation is not being unduly influenced by others. We also offer pools of IPs for high volume senders. In addition, we have queuing algorithms that gradually warm up your IPs. Our sending rates automatically increase over time as your IP warms up. Finally, we separate our sending queues for each domain you set up at SmartSender, which mitigates the need for multiple IPs for different types of traffic.

DNS

Your email reputation is not only tied to your IP, but your domain name as well. You should keep this in mind as you set up your email infrastructure. For the same reasons as above, It is a good idea to have separate domains or subdomains for your marketing, transactional and corporate mail. We suggest that you use your top level domain for your corporate mail and using different domains or subdomains for your marketing and transactional mail.

While it is not required to use the same domain in the From field of the message as the actual domain sending the message, it is highly recommended. Hotmail is especially finicky about this requirement and has a higher propensity to filter your messages to junk if the two domains do not match.

You should also make sure that you are using a well regarded DNS provider and that you publish all of your contact information in the WHOIS record. If you are hiding your contact information through a proxy, ESPs may take that as a signal that you are spamming.

Also, make sure you include the appropriate records at your DNS provider for authentication. While it’s not required to point mx records to the same domain as you are sending from, it is recommended. There are email providers (albeit, a minority) that will check if mx records for the domain are valid before accepting email.

SmartSender gives you the ability to create multiple domains or subdomains very easily. You are free to create multiple domains and subdomains for each of your transactional, marketing and corporate email. Each domain has an isolated queue, so your transactional emails won’t get held up by your bulk mailings.

Authentication

It is very important that you are using the appropriate authentication methods with your email. If you are not authenticating your email properly, ESPs will assume you are spamming and will filter or just drop your email.

The common types of authentication are:

SmartSender uses all of these types of authentication. When you sign up for SmartSender, we provide the appropriate records for you to include at your DNS registrar. We also provide a verification button you can use to make sure that your records are set up correctly.

Unsubscribe Handling

It is important to give you recipients the ability to unsubscribe from emails. First, it is required by the CAN-Spam Act. Second, if you don’t give them this option, they are more likely to click on the spam complaint button, which will cause more harm than allowing them to unsubscribe. Finally, many ESPs look for unsubscribe links and are more likely to filter your email if they don’t have them.

SmartSender gives you the ability to include an unsubscribe link automatically in your email. In addition, we will automatically stop sending to email addresses that have unsubscribed. It is possible to remove addresses from the flagged list in your Control Panel or through the API.

Can I remove the List-Unsubscribe header from emails sent through SmartSender?

Yes. By default, SmartSender will only include the List-Unsubscribe header if you also include our automatic unsubscribe link in your email. If you manage your own unsubscribe process, you can provide your own List-Unsubscribe header in API call instead.

Bounce and ESP Feedback Handling

A big part of maintaining your email reputation is processing bounces properly. While most major ESPs give bounce replies “on the wire” during the SMTP session, there are some that send bounce messages via email. In order receive these emailed bounce messages, you must have the appropriate return path header included with your email so that recipients know where to reply with bounce information.

You must also process this bounce data and act accordingly. In addition, many ESPs will soft bounce your initial attempts at delivery. This is also called grey-listing or throttling. If you continue to send emails to bad addresses or you do not listen to ESPs feedback, you will get filtered and eventually your emails will just get dropped.

SmartSender automatically processes bounce information and reacts accordingly. A good portion of SmartSender‘s technology is devoted to the parsing of this feedback and adjusting your sending in accordance with this feedback so that you maintain a good reputation.

If we receive a hard bounce, we will stop sending to that address immediately and will not attempt future deliveries to that address. We will stop sending to an address after multiple soft bounces, according to the ESPs’ guidelines. It is possible to remove addresses from the flagged list in your control panel or through the API, in case it was a temporary issue.

Feedback Loops and Spam Complaints

Most of the major ESPs provide feedback loops through which they give you information about spam complaints. Here is a thorough list from Word to the Wise. It is important that you sign up for these feedback loops and pay attention to the feedback you are getting. If you ignore this feedback, ESPs will throttle you and eventually block you completely.

We register all of our IPs for these feedback loops. In addition, we process spam complaints automatically and will stop sending to email addresses after a recipient complains. It is possible to remove addresses from the flagged list in your Control Panel.

What is the difference between the ‘From Name’ and ‘From Email’

Each message you send out has both the from name and from email address. Simply put, the from email domain is what the receiving email server sees when initiating the session, and the from address is what your recipients will see. For better deliverability it is recommended to use the same from domain as the from email, but it is not required.

You can technically set the from field to be whatever you like. The sender must always be one of your SmartSender domains.

Does SmartSender Support Attachments?

Yes, you can include any type of file, subject to a maximum total message size of 25MB. Messages that include attachments will be queued and the attachments processed through a series of virus scanning engines to make sure that the attachments are safe for recipients.

Messages in SmartSender can’t exceed 25MB in total size (including content and attachments).

There is no specific limit for individual attachments, just the total size of the message. Because attachments are Base64-encoded, this generally means that they will be 1/3 larger when sending than they are on disk due to the encoding.