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High Volume Email Hosting

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hi everyone,

I've been working on a site that will need to send a rather large volume of email to subscribers. It is a forum that will send all approved comments for the day to subscribed users in digest format -- I AM NOT SPAMMING PEOPLE, THEY WILL HAVE TO SIGN UP. We are anticipating as many as 30,000 subsribers in the next couple years.

So, my question is: does anyone know of a good host to send out this volume of email that meets the following requirements:

1) It is fairly reasonably priced -- we don't have a very large amount of money
2) It is not a known SPAM server -- I don't want to give those people money, and I don't want to be blocked by other servers
3) They will not shut down my account for sending a high volume of email. Many hosts I have talked to said that they would probably not allow me to send that amount of email, even if people were asking for it.

My plan is to write a PHP script that will start sending mails out around midnight, and send an email to 100-200 people every 5-10 minutes.

Thanks for your help!
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Question by:nicholassolutions
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by:humeniuk
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There are a lot of great PHP newsletter scripts on HotScripts that can handle the kind of volume you are looking for (and more).  Some are free, other are not - see www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/Mailing_List_Managers/.  One high-end example is oemPro from octeth technologies, which can handle mailing lists with 500 - 2.5 million subscribers - see www.octeth.com/products/oempro/index.php.

I hope this helps.
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by:nicholassolutions
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Thanks for the links. I've actually already written and implemented most of the code I'll need -- I just need to find a host that will allow me to do what I need to ;)
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by:humeniuk
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Ahh . . . sorry.  It looks like my reading skills aren't very good today.

Pretty much any good host will have some provision about not sending spam from their servers, but I've never heard of there being restrictions for legit newsletters or email, provided you don't exceed the transfer limits for your account.  However, you are wise to clear this with a hosting company first as you don't want them to assume you're spamming based on a large volume of outgoing email.  I could suggest a few good hosting companies, but have no way of knowing if they would react differently or the same as the hosts you've already spoken to.  Likewise, there are several high-volume email services, but that's not what you're looking for.
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by:humeniuk
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FYI - I've requested info from a couple of the hosting companies I've used (and liked) to see what their policies are.
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by:nicholassolutions
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Thanks a lot -- let me know if you hear anything promising back from them.
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by:coreybryant
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You might e-mail russell (@) caknowledge (dot) com - he works with some hosting companies that might be able to help you out.

-Corey
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by:humeniuk
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One of the hosting companies I contacted has asked how often the emails will be sent, ie. is that 30,000 emails once a week?  Once a month?
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by:nicholassolutions
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Actually, it would be more like 30,000 a DAY -- each day, all subscribers would get a simple text email containing the comments added to the forum for that day.
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by:periwinkle
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You might look into a place like sparklist.com - they are very good at this high of volume.  Low end hosting servers will not suffice, otherwise, you'll be sending out the next day's comments while the previous day's is still sending!
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by:periwinkle
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To clarify, what I'm suggesting is that you send out *one* email a day to a mailing list provider.  Perhaps even yahoogroups.com will work!
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by:humeniuk
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Good point from periwinkle.  It's not the solution you were looking for, but given the distaste hosting companies have for this, you may find it's a more cost-effective solution.
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by:humeniuk
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I was starting to wonder if hosting companies might be more agreeable if you were to go with a dedicated server or virtual private server.  One of the companies I spoke with (www.hostony.com) ended up suggesting that.  They felt it would be too much workload for a shared hosting plan and would interfere with other sites on the server . . . and they're probably right.  Given your concern about price, a VPS might be more expensive than you're looking for, ie. $50 - $100 per month.

Also, have you tried the contact that coreybryant suggested?
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by:nicholassolutions
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I actually talked with a lot of companies with dedicated plans, and all of them told me they would not be able to host a site with that much volume (most have a cap on how much email is sent out per hour).

I'm actually about to email coreybryant's contact right now.

Thanks to all of you for your help. Let me know if you have any specific suggestions for hosts (dedicated or otherwise). Either way, I'll close this question soon and split points among you.

Thanks again,
Matt
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humeniuk earned 300 total points
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Hostony (linked above) said they could do it with a VPS plan.  Another company to try is www.byzhosting.com/products/vps/index.php.  There are number of cheap options listed here: www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Hosting/Q_21102711.html, but they are more limited in terms of bandwidth, so they may not be able to help you.

The best place for dedicated servers (not vps) is www.rackspace.com - they're expensive, but worth it.  
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by:periwinkle
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I have to agree about RackSpace.com - I've had extremely good experiences with them.   They will limit only by bandwidth, not by amount of email sent out by time periods.
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by:nicholassolutions
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thanks to everyone, I am about to give out pts ;)
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by:humeniuk
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Thanks for the A.  Good luck - I hope it works out well.
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by:periwinkle
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nicholas -

Thanks - good luck with your site!
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