Which SMTP provider do you use to send transactional emails?

motowebmaster

Well-known member
I used to use AWS SES, but Amazon deleted my SES email profile without explanation and then kept telling me that they would quickly re-approve.

Switched to Postmark, which is more expensive, but things have been easier.
 

Wildcat Media

Well-known member
I had no issue getting SES rolling on a smaller forum. Usage is so low for now that I haven't even been billed yet.

But if we decide to move our large forum over to another host, I likely will set up SES. The only thing I can't do right now is determine how much email our XF is generating on a daily basis. I want to know what the cost might be before jumping in and ending up with a huge bill.
 

Sim

Well-known member
I've used SparkPost for the past 5 years and have been very happy with the level of service and deliverability they offer.

They are quite strict when it comes to quality - so you really do need to ensure you have clean sending lists and that you process bounces to avoid sending mail to bounced emails - that's one of the quickest ways to destroy your sending reputation.

SparkPost isn't exactly cheap - but I was surprised recently when I compared prices to Postmark - when you include the (mandatory IMO) cost of a dedicated IP address, SparkPost is significantly cheaper than Postmark!
 

motowebmaster

Well-known member
I've used SparkPost for the past 5 years and have been very happy with the level of service and deliverability they offer.

They are quite strict when it comes to quality - so you really do need to ensure you have clean sending lists and that you process bounces to avoid sending mail to bounced emails - that's one of the quickest ways to destroy your sending reputation.

SparkPost isn't exactly cheap - but I was surprised recently when I compared prices to Postmark - when you include the (mandatory IMO) cost of a dedicated IP address, SparkPost is significantly cheaper than Postmark!

Maybe I need to check them out.
 

Mouth

Well-known member
Anyone having issues with hotmail rejecting emails from Amazon SES because hotmail has placed SES on blocklist?

Code:
Reporting-MTA: dns; b232-61.smtp-out.ap-southeast-2.amazonses.com

Action: failed
Final-Recipient: rfc822; <redacted>@hotmail.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.7.1 Unfortunately, messages from [69.169.232.61] weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network is on our block list (S3150). You can also refer your provider to http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors. [BN1NAM02FT024.eop-nam02.prod.protection.outlook.com]
Status: 5.7.1
 

Sim

Well-known member
Anyone having issues with hotmail rejecting emails from Amazon SES because hotmail has placed SES on blocklist?

Code:
Reporting-MTA: dns; b232-61.smtp-out.ap-southeast-2.amazonses.com

Action: failed
Final-Recipient: rfc822; <redacted>@hotmail.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.7.1 Unfortunately, messages from [69.169.232.61] weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network is on our block list (S3150). You can also refer your provider to http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors. [BN1NAM02FT024.eop-nam02.prod.protection.outlook.com]
Status: 5.7.1

Is that a shared IP address?

You really want a dedicated IP address to avoid these types of issues.
 
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motowebmaster

Well-known member
Anyone having issues with hotmail rejecting emails from Amazon SES because hotmail has placed SES on blocklist?

Code:
Reporting-MTA: dns; b232-61.smtp-out.ap-southeast-2.amazonses.com

Action: failed
Final-Recipient: rfc822; <redacted>@hotmail.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.7.1 Unfortunately, messages from [69.169.232.61] weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network is on our block list (S3150). You can also refer your provider to http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors. [BN1NAM02FT024.eop-nam02.prod.protection.outlook.com]
Status: 5.7.1

I did when I was on SES, even had a problem on my own firewall when it auto-incorporated a blocklist rule and blocked me from sending outbound email to SES.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I've used SparkPost for the past 5 years and have been very happy with the level of service and deliverability they offer.

You really want a dedicated IP address to avoid these types of issues.
Yes the dedicated IP should solve those IP block issues, but can be too expensive for smaller forums. Without dedicated IP I found Postmark to be better than Sparkpost. I have tried about five and postmark is working best.

Hard bounces get automatically suppressed after the first one until you manually approve if you want.
 

MySiteGuy

Well-known member
SES rejected me. I event sent them a link to this thread.

That's not what they are looking for. They want DETAILS about how you intend to handle bounces & unsubscribes, the type of emails sent, how people sign up (they want double opt-in and Xenforo is if you have email verification turned on), how you handle complaints, etc.
 

eva2000

Well-known member
Will only ever use Amazon SES - for one thing, it removes the real server IP in mail headers. So if you use Cloudflare proxy, you won't leak your real server IP for security reasons.

Just an update, I revisited some other SMTP transactional email providers for Elasticemail and Pepipost/Netcorecloud and they both also seem to remove the real server IP though more expensive than Amazon SES. But if Amazon SES declines you, at least there are alternatives :)

I knew Elasticemail did in the past but good to see Pepipost do as well. Just for fun, I've been playing with Postfix and multiple SMTP transactional email provider relays so I can use all 3 on the same server - Amazon SES, Elasticemail and Pepipost depending on what the send from email used is :cool:
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
but can be too expensive for smaller forums.

Been using SES for years, never had this issue before. Not going to pay $30 per mth for a dedicated.
Yes, this is my point. Without dedicated IP you do rely on a good provided to keep their shared IPs as clean as possible, but it's not perfect. For example

  • With SES I went through a short period of them not being deliverable to btinternet and hotmail. (I think this was due to btinternet being over strict, but can't remember the exact details)
  • With Sparkpost again, there were some undeliverable due to a IP getting blacklisted. They did sort that explaining that "these things happen with shared IP" and the solution is I should upgrade the subscription.
  • With Postmark the above has also happened but once only and they sorted the IP pretty quickly.
 

dknife

Well-known member
Hotmail and Yahoo are fairly strict, the only big providers I really have an issue with sometimes on AWS SES.
 
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