Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What does SocketLabs do to increase my deliverability and get more of my email into the inbox?

Our software and systems have been engineered over the past 10 years with special ISP-specific traffic shaping algorithms that know how to contour delivery uniquely to each ISP such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, and other corporate domains. Our systems analyze and process responses from these ISPs in real time and adjust delivery accordingly. Special functionality enables our systems to detect invalid addresses and addresses associated with complaint reports and can automatically suppress delivery of outbound messages to those addresses. Our support for all the latest in authentication protocols such as SPF, SenderID, DomainKeys, and DKIM enables us to prove who we are and command the authority to send the email. Through partnerships with other industry players we are able to gain further respect and trust with the ISPs through accreditation and whitelisting programs. We do a whole lot more than this, but these are just some of the highlights.

Why should I trust SocketLabs to deliver my email?

The SocketLabs team has over 15 years of experience building effective email delivery systems and servicing prominent customers such as Microsoft, Walmart, Citicorp, AOL, Dell, Lockheed-Martin, AT&T, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Samsung, Visa International, MTV, and American Airlines. Every day our team of email gurus help companies to deliver hundreds of millions of messages to the inbox.

What is the difference between SocketLabs Cloud-Based and On-Premise solutions and how do I choose?

SocketLabs offers email delivery solutions as either on-premise or cloud-based. Our cloud-based solution is called SocketLabs On-Demand. The SocketLabs On-Demand servers are hosted and fully managed by our email delivery experts to ensure top deliverability and performance. Our On-premise solutions include Hurricane MTA Server and Hurricane Assembly Server and may be a better choice if you have the capability and desire to manage the server yourself, have experience with bulk email delivery, and have a significant volume of outbound email (usually at least more than 2 million per month).

On-Premise Questions

What makes Hurricane MTA Server different from the competition?

First, there is actually very little competition. There are only a few other SMTP servers of this class on the market. Most SMTP servers are not very robust and do not perform well at all. If you are comparing us to one of the few other “high-end” SMTP servers/MTAs on the market, here is how we differ:

  • Designed for Windows (not a *nix port)
  • Real time .Net event-driven API enables you to handle real-time outbound email events just as easily as handling a pageload or onclick event.
  • Competitive pricing at various levels to suit any organization in this market
  • Frequent updates to performance, intelligence and functionality
  • Unique reputation protection features such as feedback loop processing and automatic suppression lists
  • A very happy customer base
Can the traffic shaping/throttling rules built into Hurricane MTA Server be updated?

Yes. We update these rules periodically and with just a click, you can update your installation with the latest rule set from our evolving database. An active support subscription is required.

Can the Hurricane Platform be clustered or configured for fail-over?

Yes, many options are available to address these issues depending on your specific needs. Just contact us to discuss these options.

Can I get a web demo or trial copy to evaluate in-house?

Yes, we offer free 30 day trials of the Hurricane Platform so you can fully evaluate its effectiveness in-house. We can also arrange a web-based demo of the platform coupled with a free consultation on your email delivery needs. Just contact us to arrange either or both options.

What is the difference between “Hurricane MTA Server” and “Hurricane Assembly Server”? Are both required?

Hurricane MTA Server is a robust and intelligent Mail Transfer Agent SMTP server (MTA). Hurricane Assembly Server is a message assembly server that can build email messages based on an HTML template and recipient data source. Both products can work independently of one other and function entirely on their own. When the two products are used together, however, they form a very powerful platform for outbound email generation and delivery.

How much experience does it take to manage an on-premise solution?

In order to effectively manage an on-premise solution you will need to have a thorough understanding of email delivery, including how to set up SPF, SenderID, DomainKeys, DKIM, and DNS records. Our on-premise solutions have a great deal of intelligence built in, such as our Smart Delivery Rules that shape traffic on a per domain basis, bounce handling, feedback loop analysis, and automatic suppression lists which can protect your reputation by preventing redelivery of outbound messages to failed or complaining addresses.

On-Demand Questions

What makes SocketLabs On-Demand different from other SMTP relay or email delivery services?
  • Our team has almost 15 years of experience at high volume B2B and B2C email deliverability.
  • Our service and support – we have computers and HUMANS that constantly monitor your account and resolve problems.
  • No long term commitment required – everything is month-to-month. We offer a full, no hassle money back guarantee.
  • Technology. Your mail is sent through our proprietary, patent pending Hurricane Platform, an enterprise class system designed for high volume, high deliverability email applications.
  • Our servers are housed at Rackspace.com Tier 1 data centers; no cutting costs here.
  • The SocketLabs On-Demand API enables you (and your applications) to programmatically get real time delivery information at the campaign/batch or message level.
  • Our pricing is very competitive because we own and control all the email delivery technology we use and have a very high customer retention rate.
  • A very happy customer base
What is your pricing for SocketLabs On-Demand? Is there a contract or term commitment?

Pricing for SocketLabs On-Demand starts at just $39 per month. You can find the complete price list here. Our plans are month-to-month; there is no commitment beyond the current month.

Do you offer a free trial or a money-back-guarantee?

Yes, we offer both. If you would like to try SocketLabs On-Demand risk free, you can sign up for a free account. You also have the option to sign up for a paid account, and if you are not satisfied with the service simply let us know before 30 days or your first 5,000 messages and we will refund your money.

With such competitive pricing, how can your service be that good?

Unlike other email service providers who need to pay to license their software, we created and OWN all the software we use. Your email is sent through our powerful, patent-pending Hurricane Platform. Because we control the code we can support and enhance it with ease. We can make the systems work in harmony with us, reducing friction. Also, our customer retention rate is incredibly high. Our business is growing and the increased volume enables us to offer more for less.

Can I use SocketLabs On-Demand to send unsolicited email or email to lists I purchased or rented?

No. You may not send unsolicited email through our service. You may only send email to recipients that specifically granted you and your organization permission to email them. If you purchased, rented or otherwise obtained all or part of your email list from a third party, you may not send to that list through SocketLabs On-Demand. If you are not sure whether your list qualifies, please contact us.

Do you offer email marketing software that will allow me to upload my list and create email campaigns online?

SocketLabs On-Demand provides both a Newsletter and Autoresponder tool so that you can both manage lists and campaigns and send drip campaigns automatically. You can use our Marketing API to automatically add email addresses to your list from webforms.

Is there any reporting included with SocketLabs On-Demand? How do I get access to statistics on the email I am sending?

Yes, our web based Control Panel gives you access to real time reporting for your account and the ability to download statistics data to your own computer.

What is required on my end to make my email application compatible with a SocketLabs On-Demand account?

Since we use SMTP as the protocol and all email applications support SMTP, they are all compatible (and easy to integrate with) our service. When we provision your account we will send you an SMTP host name, user name, and password. Simply enter this information into your email software and it will automatically start routing its mail through your new SocketLabs On-Demand account. You do not need to make any DNS changes or set up SPF, Domain Keys, DKIM, or anything else – we do all the setup on our end!

What happens if I go over the number of email messages allowed with my selected SocketLabs On-Demand plan?

When you exceed your allowance you will start receiving periodic emails from us to let you know. We allow you to exceed your allowance by 100% and will bill you for any overage at the end of the billing period. For example: if your plan allows 10,000 messages monthly, we will allow you to send up to 20,000 messages in a month and bill you for the additional messages at the end of the period. Our overage rate per message is exactly the same as the per message price included in your plan. For example: if your plan includes 25,000 messages for $79/month, your overage rate would be $0.00316 per message (79 / 25,000 = 0.00316). You can, of course, change your plan at any time from your Control Panel.

Are there any restrictions on the size of the email messages I send or the bandwidth I use?

The largest message size we will accept is 30MB. Each of our plans are based on a generous average message size of up to 128KB. Most email messages without attachments are below 30KB. Your included bandwidth equals the number of messages on your plan multiplied by 128K. So if your plan includes 25,000 messages per month, your included bandwidth would be 2.98GB (25,000*128,000)(1 Gigabyte = 1073741824 bytes). Any overages will be billed at the rate of $10 per GB.

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