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Setting up SMTP Server

Posted on 2010-11-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi All,

we're trying to setup an SMTP server to send out newsletters.

We have set this up on a Server 2003 VM and have successfully sent email from this server.
We are using the Windows Virtual SMTP server in IIS and have set the domain and the FQDN in the advanced delivery options to be: send.ourdomain.co.nz
As I mentioned, this worked although while we were testing it some of the mail wasn't going through to our clients domains (ie sending it to administrator@ourclient.co.nz)
We believe this is spam related but are unsure.

send.ourdomain.co.nz is not listed in an MX record for ourdomain.co.nz, nor is it an a record.

This server is communicating to the outside world via an ISA 2006 server which is working fine.
When we are test sending an email we are sending it from Outlook Express on the SMTP server, and the application which will be using the SMTP is also working on the SMTP server so communication to the SMTP server is not an issue.

Are there any tools we can use that will tell us whether we have set up our SMTP server correctly?
Or can anyone give us a checklist so we can check it against our setup?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:lemonville
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Kent W earned 500 total points
ID: 34194217
Many mail servesr will not accept mail from a domain with no MX records.  I would first off, set up your
send.ourdomain.co.nz
with an MX record of itself.  That will satisfy many MX lookups.

As far a check list, the following should be considered -

make sure rDNS is set for the IP you display as when connecting from the SMTP server.  It's a good idea to match forward and reverse DNS, but not necessary.
If you are using SPF records for your base domain, make darn sure that servers has authority to send for your domain, either by domain, MX, or IP.  I prefer IP if possible.
Make sure the IP it connects as is clean, and not blacklisted.
If you are on cable / dsl, or a previously used IP block with a bad rep, you may have to set up a feedback loop with the "big boys".  Especially since this is sending a news letter, which will be interpreted as a bulk mail sender.
Your list should be as clean as possible, to many invalid users at any domain, or just connecting x amount of times in x minutes, will get you gray or blacklisted.  Especially with Yahoo, Aol.
Deal with any abuse complaints immediately, and any blacklists you appear on, go through the removal process, understand why it was blocked, and make sure to try and permanently resolve the issue.  Many lists will stop de-listing if you are a habitual offender.

The rest really depends on your specific sending patterns, but that should give you a good idea of how to set things up correctly from the beginning.
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