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Setup a Server to SMTP Relay emails as a thrid party

Posted on 2013-05-10
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Last Modified: 2013-10-17
Hello Experts,

We are a software development company and are just about to release our new web based job tracking system to the public.

I require an email server solution for registered users of our web based system to send emails as themselves to their clients via our system.  We will be hosting the software application on our web servers and sending/relaying emails to their clients as them and displaying their email address as a reply to; i need some assistance with setting this up.

I understand that the relaying of emails to recipients via servers that are not from the computer owned by the sender is classed as spamming; but i know of so many other web based software suppliers doing this at present, it cant be that difficult

Any help or advise is greatly appreciated

Regards

Andy
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Question by:webpolsol
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39157135
What you want is a third party smtp service.  

In order of cheapest to best whitelisting

http://aws.amazon.com/ses
http://mandrill.com
http://www.sendgrid.com
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by:bepsoccer1
ID: 39157137
Your application will need to properly set the headers for the from, reply-to, return-path, etc based on the desired outcome.  You could send mail that is from one address, but has a completely different reply-to address, which also has a third return-path address in case it is bounced or rejected.  One thing to watch out for is if you are going to send mail on behalf of a domain that you are not sending from, you should make sure the spf record in their DNS includes your email servers' ip address as valid senders of mail from that domain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39157139
>it cant be that difficult

Email is one of those things that seems like it should be easy but in fact is complex especially because of spam.   You will spend more money with sendgrid, but they  have the best white listing.
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Expert Comment

by:bepsoccer1
ID: 39157167
I promise you don't need to spend money to accomplish this.  Spend some time contacting larger ISPs such as yahoo and setup a customer relation with their postmaster which includes setting up abuse feedback from them.  Read up on things like Dkim and SPF records.  Monitor the content you are sending.  If you yourself would consider it SPAM if you received it, then it will probably eventually get you on blacklists.  Its not easy, but it can be accomplished without buying a third party MTA solution.  Diligence is the most important thing.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39157189
bepsoccer1 is right in his promis. If you have a windows server you can send "free" using cdo http://www.paulsadowski.com/wsh/cdo.htm and php http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_mail.asp

But "free" is not really free.  Your time means something.  Keeping up with white listing is not always easy and with isp's like aol/comcast which are among the hardest to get through, you will not have as much pull.  

It is just good practice to keep your regular business email separate from your transactional and marketing email.  

Which would you rather have, spend 5 to 10hrs a month for a "free" service or $80 per month and 0hrs per month on your email.   I have done both and manage only 100,000 monthly transactional emails and have not had issues with a client having one of their clients complain about not getting an email.  

I would spend the extra on the white label service and not risk your business email end up in a bad place.
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Author Closing Comment

by:webpolsol
ID: 39580770
sorry for the delay in response
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39581265
What did you end up with?
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