SMTP Accounts and Servers Explained

SMTP accounts

The first thing you need to know about SMTP accounts and servers is that SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and it’s the secret behind every email that’s ever been sent over the internet. When you have a good SMTP server provider (also known as a web hosting company), you can get a cloud-based, scalable SMTP server that will give you permission to deliver emails directly.

If that sounds confusing, don’t worry. By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll be completely fluent in SMTP!

What is an SMTP server?

An SMTP server is an application whose main function is to send, receive, and relay emails between senders and receivers.

When you send an email, the process that takes the email from your account to your recipient’s inbox seems lightning-fast, but there’s actually a lot going on. SMTP servers make sure that emails reach their intended recipients according to protocol. (Specifically, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.)

Here’s a breakdown of the process:

First, you send the email from your account, addressed to the recipient. This message is then sent to an SMTP server, which acts kind of like a postman. The SMTP server checks all the data connected to the message (sender, recipient, priority, etc.) and passes it along to the recipient. If the recipient’s domain is connected to the server, the email is delivered immediately. If not, the SMTP sends it to a server that’s closer to the recipient. (This is called a “relay”.)

What is SMTP account?

It’s no wonder so many people frantically type “What is SMTP account” into their search engines. Many web hosts don’t really explain what is SMTP account, or how you use them once you have them.

An SMTP account lets you send emails from your own mail server instead of through a third-party service. That way, your emails have a much higher chance of being read by your intended recipients, instead of heading straight for their spam folders.

What is SMTP account’s purpose?

It’s true that these days, we have a lot of options for free email. Some of us even have multiple email accounts for work and personal use. But here’s why these platforms aren’t nearly as efficient as having your own SMTP account: Platforms like Hotmail, gmail, Yahoo and Outlook are all designed for 1:1 communication.

When you have to email on a mass scale, these platforms falter. They can’t handle large file sizes, and they certainly can’t handle sending thousands of emails without being flagged by your recipients’ spam folders.

This means that if you need to email lots of large files (like the kinds that need to be sent in large organizations daily), or if you want to do commercial email marketing, you’ll be out of luck if you try to use free email platforms, because they just weren’t built for that.

So, if you run an online business where emails are triggered based on your visitors’ activities (like signing up for newsletters, or leaving items in their shopping carts), you’ll need an SMTP server from a reliable web hosting provider.

If you want to learn some email marketing tricks to boost your business check out this post.

Now that you fully understand what is SMTP account (and why you need one!), here’s how you get one.

How do I get an SMTP account?

If you want your own SMTP account, you have two main options:

1. Set up your own server

Many people choose this option, because they like having control over their server. But for beginners, that’s not the best idea. Why? Well, setting up your own server means that you’ll also need to be in charge of maintaining your own server. This is a huge drain on your resources.

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You’ll either have to spend monthslearning how to use and maintain your server or you’ll have to spend tons of money hiring someone to maintain your server for you.

For beginners, it’s far better to choose option two:

2. Get an SMTP account from a reliable hosting provider

SMTP servers from web hosting providers are usually a better option for beginners, because they’re much more cost-effective. For a small monthly fee, you’ll be able to use one of our servers as your personal SMTP server or you can just register a domain with us, choose an email server, and enjoy all the best benefits of having an SMTP server!

Wrapping up

An SMTP server is crucial for anyone who needs to send massive emails or lots of simple automated ones. SMTP servers help make sure your emails get where you want them to go, instead of plopping straight into your recipients’ spam folders.

So, ask your hosting provider about getting an SMTP server, so you can start using email the way its creators intended!