Let's face it: System administrators and the hosting companies they work for love to build and run services for their clients. But in a world dominated by large-scale competitors like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, providers should re-evaluate what services they operate in-house, focusing on the things that make them unique.
Why Outsource Email Security and Delivery?
Securing and delivering email is at stake. Customers expect the free mailbox that you provide with their hosting account to be spam-free as well. Similarly, they expect the receipt they send from their WordPress plugin to be delivered. To the inbox.
What would you do if cybercriminals suddenly exploited 200 WordPress accounts and started sending two million spams per hour through a swath of your IP space? What if Spamhaus lists your entire network or puts your company on the ROKSO list? What if AOL blocks you and you cannot reach their support line to resolve the issue? What if you can't get your email taken away, no matter what you do?
A hosted SMTP relay service solves all of these problems and more.
Email is the most widely used application on the Internet. And the use of email in the web hosting environment continues to increase. Whether it's WordPress sending password resets, or individuals using their webmail accounts, customers absolutely expect email to reach its destination reliably.
An SMTP relay service ensures that sent emails reach their recipients' mailboxes.
This white paper explains the challenges of sending outbound email and maintaining the infrastructure to do so. It also explains the benefits of having a trusted partner manage this process for you, and why those benefits extend beyond reliable email delivery to include increased security, trust, and reputation.
Spam is the only constant on the Internet
E-mail recipients are constantly searching for sources of spam. IP Block Lists give you an easy and effective tool to block unwanted content from sites that do not keep their own users safe from hacking. Even if you feel that your operational security is strong, your vigilance cannot prevent your network from being hijacked to send spam. A single compromised user account can cause a server to be blocked by a major email recipient, or even the entire Internet. Your email traffic is at risk because spam is a persistent threat.
A single compromised user account can cause a server to be blocked by a large email receiver - or even the entire Internet.
If Spamhaus blocked your entire network (or a large part of it), the result would be a complete cessation of email delivery for all your customers. Think about the social media reaction that could follow such an event and how it would impact your company's reputation.
Do you have a strategy for what happens if your servers are down? What would email delivery issues cost you in terms of customer satisfaction and support?
With a hosted SMTP relay service, the constant problem of outgoing spam is handled by you. The monthly fee is lower compared to the advantage of offloading the IP and RBL listing management to a specialized email delivery partner.
How SMTP Relay Services Work
Our SMTP relay service scans all email leaving their servers, detects spam, and blocks it. Legitimate mail is delivered through thousands of carefully managed IP addresses that you don't have to worry about because they are run
by anti-spam experts. Best practices for outbound email security are applied to ensure compliance with the most stringent requirements of email recipients and block list operators.
The solution also processes feedback and error messages from email recipients in real time to identify the accounts within your network that are sending spam. Spam traps are located and avoided. And everything happens automatically.
Analysis of receiver feedback is part of the solution. Recipients provide valuable clues as to what they think about the email you're sending, so listening to what they have to say is critical. Here's how we break it down on MailChannels:
- The first step is to use real-time response analytics to assess reputation, content, or behavior issues. It's difficult to monitor block lists in real time (trust us, we've tried). Often times the most timely response is from the recipients as they attempt to deliver the email. Some recipients maintain private block lists based on their users' comments; you cannot monitor these types of block lists.
- Another type of feedback comes from spam traps. These are email addresses that have been deprecated and are now used to build automated block lists. They are triggered simply by trying to deliver a message to that email address.
- Receiver feedback is also provided in the form of FBL (Feedback Loop) reports. FBL reports are structured e-mail messages sent by administrators of a recipient network, typically in response to recipient complaints.
We have classified the responses of millions of recipients and trillions of messages to be able to determine with a high degree of precision if a specific delivery attempt is encountering IP reputation problems, activating a content filter or falling into a spam trap.
Additionally, we promote feedback directly from email recipients by sending messages with links to provide a channel for receiving complaints about abuse. Some email clients actually render these links in the user interface to allow recipients to "Unsubscribe" or "Report Abuse."
We track all this information in real time and use it to optimize delivery, assign reputation, and alert customers to abuse on their networks.
What would your team do with 10 extra hours a week?
The Difference in Email Channels
At MailChannels, we know how to apply best practices for great email delivery, automatically. Our experts are world leaders in machine learning technology and approaches to identifying spammers based on their behavior, which is the way to prevent spam email from tainting the reputation of our IP addresses.
98% of the IP addresses managed by MailChannels are classified as Good or Neutral by Cisco SenderBase.
We also provide tools to help our customers improve their own security. We will notify you when a user, script or server is infected by spammers and we will provide you with a webhook API so that you can turn off the spammer from your side automatically. Spam isn't the only reason cybercriminals can exploit your servers and users, but knowing when they do so is a quick and easy way to improve your security.
Tracking and resolving email delivery issues can be a time-consuming and frustrating process for hosting customers and support staff.
Typical mail server software forces you to search text-based log files and interpret obscure response codes from recipients. It is difficult or impossible to do statistics on outgoing mail to find out who sends the most and which users may have problems.
MailChannels addresses all of these issues and more, with visibility tools that extend from your support desk to your end users:
- Lightning-fast log searching that lets you locate any email delivery attempts outside of your network. We index every conceivable data point around each message delivery, allowing you to search by subject line keywords, addressee address components, and across date ranges - just to name a few of the available parameters.
- The real - time reports will allow you to see what IP addresses, users and applications have generated the most email, email spam and rejected its network. The Top Senders Report feature allows you to quickly assess which customers are generating the most volume, or the most problematic email traffic.
Tip for developing trends in which network operators and hosting providers can become certified to implement a compliant outbound infrastructure.
When you outsource the delivery of your email to MailChannels, we care about the IP addresses and RBL listings for you. It becomes our problem because that is our job.
This is how we do it:
MailChannels uses a huge infrastructure that delivers email to hundreds of clients with extremely high reliability. We run replicated services in at least three geographically separate data centers and use load balancing at each tier to ensure continuous uptime. Our uptime and SMTP connection latency are fully transparent and visible to you at any time by visiting status.mailchannels.net.
We provide email support 24 × 7 with an average response time of 20 minutes for all kinds of tickets. Get answers to delivery questions by email any time of the day or night in minutes. If you need even more security, you can purchase premium support with strong support uptime and response guarantees.
Outgoing email is our business. MailChannels is the global leader in providing multi-tenant outbound email services, and all of our R&D effort is focused on improving every day. No other provider can match our spammer detection and reliable email delivery capabilities for multi-tenant email.
The biggest benefit to you is the peace of mind you have, knowing that your IP reputation is protected and that your customers are satisfied with your level of service.
Filtering out of the mail channels improve confidence in its reliability as a hosting provider. When spam is the only constant on the Internet, having an outbound infrastructure that meets global anti-spam standards is a business asset.