Technical Issues Associated With Mass Mailing

Technical Issues Associated With Mass Mailing Usually Arise When Mailing List Grows beyond 1000 Subscribers

If your mailing list is small (not more than 1000 subscribers), and you are not in a rush to send everything immediately, you should not experience any technical issues while delivering your email newsletters.

But, if your mailing list becomes larger, you may start getting delivery failures caused by your email provider and recipient’s spam filters.

To answer the question: “Why?”, I’ll give you an analogy…

In our society, if you have a “shitty job” and live from pay-check to pay-check, the government usually does not take any interest in you. They leave you alone, your tax rate is low, and nobody even checks your tax returns.

However if you start making hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, you suddenly appear on their radar. Now they know they can milk you, and you end up paying higher taxes, various fines, fees and whatever they call it. They now use any excuse to “legally” take your money away.

If you can afford to own a car, it means you can afford parking and traffic tickets as well as insurance and other ridiculous fees. Sounds funny, but it is actually true.

The same thing happens when you do mass mailing. If you send hundreds of messages per month, email providers do not even notice you. But once your volume increases to tens of thousands of messages per month, you appear on their radar.

Their infrastructure is not made of rubber. It has its limits, and this is the reason why they have to watch people like you closely.

You must know that…

All Free Email Providers Impose Hourly And Daily Limits On The Number Of Messages That Can Be Sent Through Their Outgoing Accounts

Free something is usually close to nothing. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN and other free email providers do not allow you to send more than a certain number of messages per hour and day.

For instance, Gmail lets you send somewhere between 500 and 1000 messages a day maximum. This limit depends on the speed you send your messages at. The faster you send the lower your daily limit is.

The greediest email providers are Yahoo, MSN and Hotmail. They let you send not more than 100 messages per day.

If you really need to send a lot of messages per day while “staying low”, you cannot limit yourself by using just one best free email account. You have to simultaneously use a bunch of various email accounts created with different email providers.

It works this way… You go ahead and sign up for every free email service known to humans, and then add all created email accounts to the list of outgoing accounts in your mass mailer. The more accounts you add, the more messages you can send as a result.

Creating dozens of email accounts within the same provider, let’s say Gmail, will not help you, since they also limit the number of messages sent from a single computer. Perhaps a couple of email accounts within Gmail would work, but not more.

This solution requires some effort and research work form you to be implemented correctly. But on the other hand, you will get a completely FREE high-volume composite email account suitable for sending thousands of messages to large mailing lists (between 1000 and 5000 subscribers).

I did it in the past, it worked like a charm, and you can do it also.

Account Combination

However, if you mailing list grows over 5000 subscribers, this solution may no longer work. Of course, if you are not in a rush, you can spread your mail-out over several days, but at some point, it is almost inevitable that you will hit the wall of limitations again.

In this case…

Consider Opening a Paid High Volume Bulk Email Account

There are plenty of paid SMTP email accounts on the market such as Smtp.Com where you pay for the number of messages sent (in geeky language called relays). Companies who provide high-volume email services usually offer packages where a certain number of relays per month is included. Let’s say 5000 relays a month for $50 a month.

If you use a high-volume email account, you are not limited in any way within your pool of relays. You can send as many messages per hour or per day as you like. It’s now their job to deliver all your messages to the destination.

Besides, these email hosting companies maintain their mail servers in the top shape. They deal with spam complaints, remove their IP addresses from blacklists and do other dirty job you would not want to do.

Bulk Email Account

In many cases the plans offered by email hosting companies are sufficient and in fact much cheaper than any other options. Beware of the “unlimited” plans though.

Any “unlimited” plan usually comes with a “fair usage policy” disclosing that the plan is actually severely limited by let’s say 1000 messages per month, which can be way less than you expect for the money you pay.

Imagine yourself buying a big fish tank of a particular size. The salesman offers you a nice tank but fails to show it and disclose its size.

He tells you: “It’s a really good tank! Buy it!”
You ask him: “How large is this tank?”
He answers: “It’s really big and nice!”
You ask him again: “What are the sizes of the tank?”
He tells you: “Unlimited! You’re gonna like it!”

Would you buy this fish tank from him?

Probably not.

High-volume email accounts will work for you very well and will not be too expensive to give up if you stay within 200,000 messages per month. However if your demand grows beyond this point, you may consider to…

Get Your Own Dedicated Mail Server As a Super High Volume Solution

Sounds expensive and scary? Perhaps yes, it sounds like a big deal.

I would even say that this combination of words scares the hell out of people so much that they seem to completely ignore this wonderful option.

They imagine a complex and very expensive machine with dozens of blue lights flashing, and how a lot of highly skilled monkeys run around it always fixing something day and night.

They also think that they will have to study a lot “easy-to-read-and-follow” 300 page user manuals to be able to configure the server by themselves.

But, in fact…

Dedicated server is just a tiny “motherboard” occupying a tiny rack slot in a datacenter.

1U Server

The process of getting and using it is not more complex than getting and using a paid email account.

You never configure and maintain the server yourself unless you explicitly want to, because those skilled datacenter monkeys do all the hard work for you.

Is it expensive? No, not at all! In many cases it is even cheaper than a paid high-volume email account.

You can get a decent machine in a good datacenter for just $100 – $200 a month with virtually unlimited number or relays an hour, day and month. They only limit you in usage (the amount of data you download and upload).

Since most of providers give you at least 1 terabyte of usage, it’s pretty much unlimited.

But this does not stop here. In addition to mail server, for this monthly fee, you get a free web server also! You can host your email and all your websites on the same single machine without a hitch, which is really cool!

The process of getting a dedicated server looks as follows:

  1. You sign up for an account with a web hosting company.
  2. The company sets up your dedicated web server for you.
  3. You receive server name, port number, user ID and password.
  4. You enter this received information in your mass mailer.
  5. You send your email newsletters.

When you sign up with a hosting company, look for “dedicated server” hosting plans. Almost all good web hosting companies who are not just resellers offer dedicated servers. They ask for reasonable price and provide plenty of usage for the plans they offer.

After you purchase a plan, the hosting company will send you an email message where you will find all necessary details on how to use your web and mail services.

In addition to server, you can buy a good support plan that will allow you to deal with issues by speaking plain English. Technical support stuff can help you to get started, and will assist you every time you experience a problem.

Support plans are not expensive and usually range from $30 to $100 a month depending on the quality you want to get.

Dedicated Mail Server

Now it’s time to warn you a bit…

Do Not Send Your Newsletters Too Fast Even If You Use a High Volume Email Account Or A Dedicated Server

A lot of people now use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and MSN for their email needs. You can check your mailing list and and make sure that more than half of your subscribers have email addresses ended with @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com and @msn.com.

If you start delivering hundreds of messages per minute to let’s say Gmail, your email account or server will be blocked temporarily for an hour or day and Gmail users will not receive your newsletters.

High Speed Problems

By blocking fast senders they protect their mail servers from overloading and crashing. It means you should use common sense when you set up sending speed in your mass mailer.

It is much better to spread sending over the course of one day than to send 20 thousand messages in a single blast.

Also, very important…

Make Sure Your Message Does Not Look SPAM Like

If you are trying to desperately sell something in your newsletters by using heavy advertisement content and common sleazy words such as “buy it now”, “only $9.99″, and so on, there is a high likelihood that such a “newsletter” will end up in junk folders of your subscribers.

If your newsletter is composed of a single image or PDF file only, it will also be surrendered as “image only spam” or “PDF spam”. Do not try to cheat the system, it is not going to work.

No Spam

Concentrate on creating useful newsletters with light context advertising. Do not overdo the last part. If you use common sense, you will be fine. If you need images, mix them with text.

Also…

Do not attach large files to your newsletters

Large attachments will slow sending down significantly, and may cause your newsletters to be rejected by mail servers.

It is more practical to upload large files to your website, and use hyperlinks in newsletters so that subscribers could click on them to download these files if they want to.

Slow Sending

Most of people do not understand why their messages are being sent slowly. They blame email providers, developers of mass mailers and other folks involved in the process, but fail to do a simple math to reveal the real problem.

I don’t know why, but it seems that almost everyone thinks that if he has a 12 megabit per second Internet connection, then his upstream speed must also be 12 megabit per second. They forget the fact that Cable and DSL connections are asymmetric, meaning that the upstream speed is only one tenth of the downstream speed.

Usually, the upstream speed is somewhere around 1 megabit per second or 80 kilobytes per second considering the modem overhead. If you embed a 100 kbyte image into your message, you will be sending not faster than 1 message a second no matter how fast your Internet connection is.

I’ve seen people attaching several 300 kbyte images and 1 megabyte word documents to their messages, and complaining:

“Your friggin software does not friggin work!”

LOL :)

I think, I covered the technical part sufficiently.

And this is also the end of my “Email Marketing Sneaky Ninja Tricks” e-business survival book.

I would like to thank you for reading it, and I wish you a good luck with your new email marketing strategy!

I promised to give you a FREE 30-day trial version of iMacMailer email marketing software so you could test my tricks on your website while you learn. Here it is (sorry for such a big button :)).