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  1. #1

    Host for (relatively) small mailing list

    Hi.

    I run an opt-in mailing list (one-way mailing) with around 500 subscribers. I tend to mail out a maximum of 4 listings a day, meaning 2000 pieces of mail a day, or 10000 a week (I don't do weekends!)

    My current host's email provision has turned out to be unreliable, and I need a suggestion on the best way to continue a service like mine. I've only just learned that most hosting companies enforce limits on the amount of email that can be sent within an hour, and it seems that a shared hosting plan won't cover my requirements. Have to say though, I'm balking at the costs of most of the VPS plans I'm seeing - I run the list for love, not money.

    Anyone got any ideas/thoughts?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    International
    Posts
    489
    Hi,

    What sort of issues have you seen with the email provision? Are all of the email addresses fully working or do you end up with lots in the queue because of faulty addresses etc?

    It's true that web hosting companies may enforce a limit but if the email is delivering no problem I would think most are flexible. The problems come when large mailing lists are sent and emails are stuck in the queue undelivered for X reason.

    E.g. out of your 2000 per day if 5% don't deliver correctly, this compounds each day probably upto 7 days and then that means there are lots of emails in the queue to retry each day - ontop of everyone else hosted!

    Another option (if you're happy with your host) may be to pipe email through a different (or numerous) hosting providors - It would depend on the mailing list software you use? Thus spreading the load.
    Matthew - Burton Hosting
    low cost shared, reseller, VPS & dedicated solutions for over five years - we've got what you need.
    http://www.burtonhosting.com
    http://www.getmesupport.com - server monitoring service for all!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    1,272
    You should use Constant Contact or a similar service.

    A host that allows 2,000 emails /day to be sent from one account, opt-in or not, will eventually get its IP's blacklisted. Its a catch-22. The hosts that allow you to send out your emails will be unreliable, and the truly reliable hosts (whose emails DO get delivered) won't knowingly allow you to send out thousands of emails per day.

    Good luck.
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

  4. #4
    @ Matthew - some mail hasn't been delivered. There are also times when mail is particularly slow - which I'm beginning to learn is not so unexpected doing something like this on a shared server... But I'm also moving hosts for other reasons - more outages than I'd have preferred, there are times when my sites are pretty slow, and my current package is rather expensive - $280 a year for a shared server, 250MB of webspace and 20MB bandwidth per domain per day. I know - the specs are horrible compared to some of the other packages I've researched over the past few days!

    I'm poised to sign up with Liquid Web. A sales rep said there are no specific hourly limits, and the research I've done so far suggests that they're a decent host. How do I check out the issue of blacklisted IPs, though?

    @Everity: Constant Contact seems like a useful service, although it'll cost me as much as a fully featured hosting package! I'm checking it out. One of my requirements is that, as someone that travels, I need to be able to manage the list on the go - it's sometimes easier for me to access email than it is for me to access the web (web via mobile devices, or using my phone as a modem for my laptop...) and ezmlm (the software I'm currently using) allows me to administer the list via email...

    Does anyone else have any further suggestions for ways I could host my list? I'm willing (or more appropriately, able) to pay up to $300 a year, but I need to factor a standard hosting package for my sites into that budget...

    Regarding piping email through different hosts to share the load - how difficult/fiddly would that be to set up?

    Have to admit, I never realised email could be such an issue. This past few days has been an education - and I've learned a lot from this forum particularly. Thanks...

  5. #5
    Update:

    (Posting my findings for anyone else that's curious about these kinds of issues...)

    Phplist allows for throttling, allowing you to stay within the limits your host sets - using the 'mail queue batch size' and 'batch period' settings. Doesn't seem to support my requirement of management via email, however - being a php/mysql script...

    Note: although Liquid Web have said they don't enforce mail limits, I want to be a good citizen - hence the continuing search for a robust solution. Also, I'm bearing in mind that the list will hopefully grow. Is 2000 pieces of mail a day really that much?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    1,272
    These days, 2000 emails can be a problem unless the recipients are expecting to receive them. Your host's IP's can be blacklisted for as little as 3 complaints in a 24 hour period. The trouble is that, even with opt-in lists, your recipients may not remember opting in, or they may not recognize your company, and mistakenly report your emails as being spam.
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

  7. #7
    My suggestion is to take a look at all of the hosting offers here in the forums. Once you find services and pricing that you like, contact that provider and get further information.

    Good luck, and Happy Holidays!

    Chris
    Heath Hosting – offering Shared Hosting services with that extra personal service and support
    IN HOST Reseller Hosting – offering reseller hosting services only Service will be available January 2007
    cPanel - WHM(Reseller only) – Fantastico – Unlimited Domains –OVERSELLING ALLOWED on reseller plans
    RVSkins – 15 Day Money Back Gurantee – 24x7 Support Ticket System –Servers located in Dallas Texas

  8. #8
    Thanks for trying to be helpful, Chris. It's appreciated - although I'd spent a lot of time scanning the forums before I posted this, and was looking for specific feedback from anyone that had experience of hosting packages that facilitated high-volume mailing list management (although I didn't think my requirements were all that "high volume" at the time).

    An update: I've decided to go with Liquid Web, as I'd suggested in an earlier post. They offer a fair package for a reasonable price, with no strictly enforced limits on mailing. With part of the money I'd save on my existing hosting, I'm also going to sign up for a premium zinester account, which seems to be a great way to host my mailing list independent of my host package. I'm thinking that I can also feed an archive of mailings into my site using an rss aggregator (zinester offers an online archive of mailings, but I wouldn't have control over the layout/format). So I think that's pretty much me sorted.

    Of course, if anyone's had any experience of zinester, good or bad, please post here. Alternatively, I'll probably post some performance reports when I've spent a while with them, if anyone's interested.

    Happy holidays.

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