The Top 5 Smart Host Mistakes An SMTP Provider Can Help With


There are many great reasons to leverage a free SMTP smart host service to ensure your person-to-person email gets delivered. Unfortunately, some companies opt to try and setup their smart host themselves, rather than partnering with an email smart host provider.  Below are the top five smart host mistakes companies tend to make that can cause lasting email deliverability issues.

Using A Smart Host While You Still Have Problems

Many companies come to us because the IP address of their mail server has been blacklisted. This is usually because a computer on their network was infected with a bot that started sending spam.  The blacklisting then starts causing email delivery problems. Even if you find a temporary fix, the problem here is the bot/spam issue still exists and it is only a matter of time before you run into problems again. By adding in  an SMTP smart host, your company can eliminate this problem altogether.  

However, It is vital that companies take care of any infected computers before deploying a smart host to get around delivery issues.  MostSMTP smart host services detect botnet spam and will often end up suspending your server anyway, so it makes sense to eliminate the virus before employing the smart host.

Not Cleaning Up Blacklistings

Blacklistings can occur on IP addresses, as well as, domains.  An SMTP smart host will get you around any damage to your mail servers IP address but it won’t solve any issues with your domain being blacklisted.  It is important to check your company’s email domain against popular blacklists and take appropriate action is you find you are on one. Here is a free tool at you can use to check if your domain appears on a blacklist.

Preventing Backscatter Spam

Backscatter spam happens when a mail server incorrectly handles Non-Delivery Reports (NDR) created when a spam email message is delivered to the server.  For instance if your mail server is configured to process mail for and a spam email message is sent to [email protected] the mail server determines that this is not a valid user and sends back an NDR to the originating From address.  

The problem is if you are using an SMTP smart host like SocketLabs, which spam scans every message before delivery, those backscatter messages are going to look like spam and possibly trigger an account suspension.  For more information on how to deal with Backscatter Spam read the article “Preventing Backscatter SPAM When Using SocketLabs as a Smart Host”.

Switching Off Your SMTP Smart Host

Some customers see an SMTP smart host as a temporary solution to a blacklisting problem.  Once their mail servers IP address reputation is restored and blacklistings are removed they don’t see the need to continue to use a smart host service.  The issue with that thinking is that if the problem happened once it will most likely happen again. Itis better to have a professional smart host service provider help handle rather then trying to tackle it in-house..  If person-to-person email is critical to your business, then partnering with a smart host provider can give you that added insurance you need to know your emails are getting successfully delivered.  

Smart host servers also track email messages so you can verify whether or not they’ve gotten delivered.  SMTP smart hosts can help identify if there are botnet viruses on your network and alert you to the problem before too much damage is done.  The added cost of a smart host service is nominal compared to the cost of lost business due to down or undelivered email.

Sending Email Blasts

Often we’ve seen companies email smart host problems stem from sending out email blasts to large lists. Two things can happen here: 

1) the company email server is unable to quickly process and deliver these messages which slows down all other outgoing email 

2) the company email server is not setup to intelligently deliver bulk email and ends up getting the IP address blacklisted.  

In both instances, the important person-to-person email is delayed or blocked because of this activity.  By using smart host services you can not only have your person-to-person email relayed from your mail server but, you can send email blasts directly to your SocketLabs smart host — which is well suited for delivering bulk messages.  You can also avoid delays even further by adding a second server specifically for email blasts,that way your personal messages are never affected.

Partnering with a SMTP smart host provider is the smart choice for email delivery in today’s world.  Email has become too important to leave deliverability up to chance.  SocketLabs offers a Free account as a simple way of getting started with our service.  Sign-up today!

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