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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    85

    Sending mass emails

    Hi,

    I have a gaming network and forum which has been running for over two years already. I've got a pretty large email database (around 200k++) which I would like to use to send emails to my users about updates on the website.

    I currently have servers with softlayer, liquidweb, limestonenetworks and burstnet and I'd like to know which is the best way to send out that many email addresses without getting marked as spam or overloading my server.

    I have a few questions about this:

    Is there a limit on the amount of emails I can send every day using any of the companies mentioned above?

    What script would you recommend me to use to manage the mailing list, so emails are sent in cycles ( hours, maybe days ) ?


    Is it better to use one of my dedicated servers to send out the emails or use an SMTP hosting provider ?

    I am really looking to do this in the safest way possible, I'd like to keep my users informed about the site news and give them the options of unsubscribing to the mailing list, and of course not getting my mails to SPAM/JUNK folders.

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    132
    1. Be CAN-SPAM compliant. All your providers are US based and presumably hardware is US based, so you have to abide by US laws. This includes having opt out links and a physical address.

    2. Each provider has their own limitations and this question would be better answered by contacting the support department before you get started. You could send out in hourly bursts. For instance, cPanel offers this.

    A cPanel VPS running 1024mb minimum RAM may not be a bad solution for this.

    If you want to avoid getting put in SPAM / JUNK folders, look into DKIM and SPF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    85
    Well, I could actually lower the amount of emails to send to around 30 to 50 thousand since I could just discard the inactive accounts.

    You mentioned sending the emails can be done by using cPanel, problem is that I don't use such panel, instead I use Webmin for my dedicated servers.

    Also, any php script that you could recommend me to setup this mailing list ?

    thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    132
    MailChimp gives you 120,000 free emails a month with their free service.

    If the receipt of the emails is very important to you, why not offload it to MailChimp to let them handle the issues because I assume they have the setup to send all the emails you want, in the amounts you require and they're reliable. I've used them for about 100 users and it works great.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lautaro View Post
    give them the options of unsubscribing to the mailing list
    Yes, but did you ask them with an option to subscribe to the newsletters in the first place? If you sent emails to people who never subscribed you run the risk of blacklisting your IPs. If you use a third party you pass the responsibility to them subject to their TOS I would think it won't be any different unless they allow spam. If your clients never subscribed best course don't send them any emails. If they have accounts with your site, next time they login you can ask for a consent before sending anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    45
    It depends on your technical expertise and the amount of time you are willing to put into it. Hosting your own mail servers and sending out thousands of emails per day isn't the easiest task (at least if you want every email you send to be delivered correctly). There are a lot of things you have to take into account.

    I'd go with an SMTP provider like SendGrid or Amazon SES.

    However you might argue that since this is just a free gaming website, a few bounced emails isn't the end of the world.
    Cost effective and reliable website & server monitoring
    OnUptime - www.onuptime.com

  7. #7
    You can use own VPS or cloud server mainly for Mass Mailing. You should to purchase IP for Bulk mailing and always send bulk mail from different IPs. Never use words like Download, Adult in mail also never use high weight Images attachment in mail it can marked as Spam to your mails...

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally Posted by pdqso View Post
    1. Be CAN-SPAM compliant. All your providers are US based and presumably hardware is US based, so you have to abide by US laws. This includes having opt out links and a physical address.
    CAN-SPAM is a bad joke that won't go away. If you are only CAN-SPAM compliant, you are just a short ways away from getting blacklisted and getting your host to terminate your account.

    Look at some of these webpages for a better policy to follow.
    http://www.spamhaus.org/consumer/definition/
    http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/Marketing%20FAQs
    http://www.spamhaus.org/whitepapers/permissionpass/

    I am not saying that being CAN-SPAM compliant is a bad thing, but there is a glaring loophole in the definition. I can't tell you how many times BurstNET has terminated "CAN-SPAM Compliant" clients that got themselves blacklisted for spamming.

    Quote Originally Posted by pdqso View Post
    If you want to avoid getting put in SPAM / JUNK folders, look into DKIM and SPF
    +1

    I know Yahoo! is absolutely nuts about this, but most other providers are a bit more forgiving. In either case, you really want to make sure these are all setup and configured properly.
    Adam Hahn
    Software Engineer / System Administrator / Database Engineer

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