SMTP, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is a set of rules, that mail servers use efficiently to send and receive emails on the internet. This is important for marketers because it impacts the emails you send and their deliverability

To help you navigate your email sending, we’ve put together a list of the most common SMTP server questions we receive.


What is an SMTP server?

An SMTP server is a mail server that manages outgoing mails from the source to the destination. This is done through a set of instructions and rules that transfers digital communications between different servers. In the final stage, it delivers the email or message to a Post Office Protocol(POP) or Internet Message Access Protocol(IMAP) server.

Is an SMTP server the same as a normal server?

Most likely, yes. Like most servers, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server processes data to send to another server, but it has the very specific purpose of processing data related to the sending, receiving, and relaying of email.

Why are SMTP servers important?

These servers are important because, without an SMTP server, your email wouldn’t make it to its destination. Once the send button is hit, your email is transformed into a string of code that is then sent to the SMTP server. Then this server processes these codes and passes on the message. If the simple mail transfer protocol server isn’t there to process the message, it will be lost in translation.

Additionally, the server verifies that the outgoing email is from an active account, acting as the first safeguard in protecting your inbox from illegitimate email. It also sends back the messages to the sender if it isn’t delivered. This informs the sender that they have the wrong email address or that their email is blocked by the receiving server.

How to measure the success of an SMTP server

The SMTP server manages all aspects of the communication, queueing, authentication, and transfer of messages.

Authentication is important because it could influence whether the destination will accept the messages and will it make them available to the recipient.

Many email service providers require domain authentication before delivering emails. That means by not setting up authentication, you could potentially see an increase in your bounce rates.

Bounce rates differ depending on the industry. If you’re experiencing higher bounce rates than your industry’s average, consider checking your SMTP server’s authentication capabilities.

Smtp servers also help to determine how long a message should remain in the queue before coming back as undeliverable.

The client provides the SMTP server with the sender and recipient address, including the body of the message. The sender and recipient address provides both the user and domain information to the SMTP server.

If the recipient’s domain is different from the sender, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server communicates with that domain. By using a DNS, the sender’s SMTP gathers the IP address for the intended domain’s server.

The source server then hands over the message to the destination SMTP server. The recipient’s SMTP will find the intended target and deliver the message to the POP or IMAP server. The recipient can now access the message from their email client, closing the loop.

IMAP and POP are the two most commonly used Internet mail protocols for retrieving emails. The POP protocol assumes that your email is being accessed only from one application, IMAP allows simultaneous access by multiple clients.


Smtp is the only way to send emails over the internet. For email marketers choosing the right service provider will ensure the success of their marketing campaigns. Choosing the right service provider will depend on a variety of factors.

The volumes of emails, cost per month, and other infrastructure. Selecting the right provider will help the organization to achieve its goals.


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