In recent days, it has become apparent that we must continue to tighten and enforce email throttling controls on our servers.  We’ve had numerous reports of emails being delayed, primarily to Yahoo and AOL servers, due to mass email complaints (bulk email).

We currently have two different email servers for our clients, Smartermail and SpamTitan.  Smartermail is considered a Microsoft Exchange alternative, which has web based email, contacts, calendar, tasks, instant messaging, etc.  SpamTitan is a spam and virus/malware filter, cleaning email before delivering it to clients on-site Exchange server.

We’ve again, received increasing reports that clients utilizing our SpamTitan server are receiving email delivery delays from Yahoo and AOL servers.  This typically occurs when clients send mass/bulk email thru their Outlook, instead of bulk email services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact.  Recipients of these emails are reporting them as spam, and therefore our email reputation is degraded.  We have not yet received any reports of Smartermail clients receiving these delays, however, we already have limits within Smartermail.

Effectively immediately, SpamTitan has been configured with a 100 recipient per message limit, and a 500 email per hour throttle (Smartermail already has this limit).

If an email is sent which exceeds the 100 recipient limit, you’ll receive a delivery failure notification (the email will not be sent).  With the throttle, if more than 500 emails are sent per hour from your organization, they will still be delivered, but possibly delayed.

Yes, if you break your list up into 99 recipient groups, they’ll still go thru.  I respectfully request you don’t circumvent this policy.  It’s in place to help ensure that your email, and other clients using our email servers, are not delayed.  Any further reports of delays will be investigated and the circumvention found.

Office 365

While there are benefits of having complete control over our email, there are also downsides.  I encourage you to discuss this with me further.  My job is to provide you with all the information on various solutions, along with the costs, so you can make the best informed decision for your organization.

Our recommendation for most clients is to move to Office 365.  This is Microsoft’s Cloud Exchange Server (email server).  Additionally, Office 365 includes many useful apps for organizations, such as file storage, instant messaging, video conferencing, project management, and more.

This past December, we moved our internal email from Microsoft Exchange on our server (using SpamTitan), to Office 365.  While admittedly, we’re receiving a bit more spam then when we were on SpamTitan, we also did not elect the additional spam protections Office 365 offers ($2/mth/user).

MailChimp and Constant Contact

These are two very popular mass email/marketing systems.  Not only do they manage address lists, groups, etc., and have several templates to choose from, but these systems were designed for the delivery of bulk email.  Additionally, MailChimp is free for address lists of under 2,000 recipients.

We currently use both services, Constant Contact for email marketing, and MailChimp for automatic delivery of our news feed (however, we may be moving our email marketing over soon).

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Brian Shrift

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