What is a Smart Host?

In today’s highly technical email industry, it has become increasingly difficult for even personal email senders to get their mail successfully to the inbox.  Complications with things like your IP address, send volume, or email infrastructure can have damaging effects on your day-to-day business. Whatever the problem, email service providers can help solve these setbacks through smart host services.  What is a smart host and how can it help you? Let’s dive a little deeper!

At a very high level, an SMTP Smart Host is a server that sits between an email sender’s server and an email recipient’s server.  In the IT world, “smart host” is generally used as a term referring to a system that can be connected to a personal mailbox server (i.e. Microsoft Exchange) to get personal email messages delivered. Typically, an email will go from the sender’s server and find its way to the recipient server through a standard open SMTP mail relay.  However, if the sender is facing severe deliverability issues that are impacting daily business, they can use a smart host server to get their email sending again, with great deliverability.

Think of a smart host server as a bypass for a blocked email delivery stream.  When a company runs into harmful blockages caused from any number of internal or external factors, they can reroute their mail through a smart host server to effectively get their mail to the recipient.  Let’s discuss just a few common reasons why an email administrator might need the help of a smart host service:

1.Not sending enough email

A smaller company may not send enough email to generate a consistent IP reputation.  Without an established reputation it can be hard to send your mail successfully without being blocked by spam filters.  In this case, the mail can be rerouted through an authenticated smart host server with an established reputation to successfully deliver it with limited interruption.

2.Exchange server runs on bad IP addresses

No matter how good your intentions are as an email sender, it’s very possible that your IP address may have a tainted reputation that can hurt your deliverability.  Maybe your IP address was previously used by a spammer, or someone who shares your IP is sending poor quality mail – no matter the cause, a tainted IP address will hurt your deliverability.  Similar to the point above, rerouting through an authenticated smart host server with a positive reputation will get your mail to the recipients inbox.

3.Leak in on-premise spam filter

Companies using an on-premise spam filter can occasionally deal with a slip in the filter that misses outgoing spam.  If the compromised user goes undetected, the spam volume can quickly outweigh the good mail, leading to a severe cut in deliverability.  Should this happen, the smart host server can provide a quick route around the damaged system and deliver the necessary email.

While these are just a few case-specific problems that could demand the help of a smart host service, there are a number of benefits that come from using a smart host server no matter what your unique situation is. Let’s explore.

5 Ways A SocketLabs Smart Host Server Can Help You

Using a smart host service through SocketLabs will provide you with a number of benefits right out of the box, including:

Improved System Performance

Because the smart host server operates between your sending and receiving server, it manages all connections to receiving mail servers.  This means that the only delivery point your server needs to connect to is the SMTP smart host itself. This lessens the load of your server that would have been trying to connect to many different servers, which will improve the overall performance of your system.

Built-in Email Authentication

Our smart host server provides senders with built-in authentication so that only authorized senders are relaying through it.  This increases the security of the server and therefore your email deliverability – more mail in the inbox! If a sender has multiple mail streams, i.e. transactional and person to person, they can combine these streams through our server to allow for unified authentication and whitelisting across their mail streams.

Reporting

Our email platform provides you with extensive reporting and statistics on your email delivery that will help you monitor the effectiveness of your email and keep close track of performance through configurable charts and graphs. These reports include statistics on delivered messages, failed messages, opens, clicks, and more.

World Class Customer Support

Using a hosting service through SocketLabs means you are automatically backed by our product support experts who are readily available to help you fix any issues that might inhibit your email delivery.  We have recently received a 96% customer support satisfaction rating.

Email Hygiene

Every time an email fails to send, that faulty address is automatically added to your suppression list and will no longer receive your mail.  This will help you maintain a healthy email list and keep complaints and bounces low, improving your deliverability.

Often, an email sender will use our smart host service as a temporary fix to their email delivery system only to end up keeping our service.  Our completely comprehensive email platform gives our customers everything they need to maximize their email effectiveness – and it shows!

If you would like to know more about the smart host services provided by SocketLabs, visit our smart host server page or jump right in and create a free account with SocketLabs to start sending with an SMTP smart host.