Email – even in an age of instant messaging, video chatting, and high-speed communication marvels, email is still one of the most reliable forms of digital communication.
Everyone from individuals to businesses rely on emails for communication. Sometimes they can be used simply to connect and chat. But in other cases, they’re a full-scale tool used by marketers and business owners to communicate with everyone from employees to prospective customers.
Email has grown in popularity over time, even in the face of increasingly advanced communication options. Since email isn’t going away any time soon or falling out of favor in any area, coders and network engineers worldwide have taken an interest in streamlining email functionality.
This trend has been in place for a while, as is evident with SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This internet standard is used when emails are delivered from a dedicated email client or from one email server to a different server.
The protocol is great for speeding up email communications and automating a large degree of the process – which, if handled without this protocol, can be extremely complicated and cumbersome. Here’s a guide on how to use SMTP protocol for auto emailing, as well as some background on each and how an understanding of both can be very useful.
What is the SMTP Protocol? How is it Used?
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a TCP/IP protocol used for simplifying the process of sending and receiving emails. Most can gather this from the name – but how exactly does this protocol come into play, and how is it useful in practice?
It is worth mentioning how long it has been around. Founded in 1982 and first defined by RFC 821, it was last updated nearly a decade ago and its modern protocol (additions by RFC 5321) is the protocol most widely used today.
To start, it’s functionality is somewhat limited. This doesn’t mean it isn’t useful, simply that it is most useful when activated in conjunction with other protocols that supplement its function. SMTP is used to queue messages on the receiving side. It’s often used alongside POP3, which lets users save messages, or IMAP, which lets users download them.
Popular programs like Microsoft Exchange, Outlook Express, Sendmail, and many others are used to configure SMTP protocols and make it easy to get things set up. This automates the protocol selection and ensures all necessary permissions are set up before you need to send out any emails or receive them through a selected server.
SMTP is great for setting up automatic emailing. But why exactly is this useful? Since most people put a lot of care into what their emails say, how can auto email options be considered superior to manual ones?
Why is Auto Emailing Such a Popular Option?
Since emailing is still a popular form of digital communication, there is good reason to focus on various different types of email options. Most people have signed up for the occasional newsletter or signed up for auto-billing through their email – but beyond this, where is auto emailing useful?
Let’s examine three separate instances where a person may find that setting their emails up automatically could be useful.
Businesses have a lot of information to share with their employees. Everything from simple updates about changes during the day to reminders of important obligations such as training come via email. Having one person being paid to sit around and send out all these emails manually can be a waste of time and money. Setting it up for automatic sending is a much more economical option.
Email marketing is one of the most popular options out there for generating leads, building awareness, and growing a strong brand. Many companies send out hundreds, even thousands of emails every day. This can be nearly impossible to do in a reasonable amount of time unless you’re using SMTP for automatic emailing.
Sometimes stock support emails are automatically generated for the purpose of issuing a first reply to a customer’s inquiry. While custom emails are often better for resolving an issue, automatically sent stock emails are great for providing a quick initial response and letting the customer know their issue is being looked into. Sometimes a quick response can be the difference between a calm customer and an angry one.
It’s easy to see how useful automatic emailing is. But how can you go about setting up your auto emailing using SMTP?
A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up the Protocol
Have you ever wondered how to set up your email for SMTP? It’s a simple process, and can be done in a few easy steps.
To start, you’ll need to check whether your server supports this protocol. The best way to do this is to go to the official site or contact the provider yourself. Each provider has their own conditions and setup, meaning it is important to make sure they support this protocol before you try setting it up. Luckily, most servers today support the SMTP protocol.
If you don’t have an email address that is compatible with SMTP, you can register one for free with Gmail or Hotmail. The next step is to make sure your chosen email client has the right settings for the SMTP protocol.
If you don’t have a program that sets the primary fields for you automatically, this is another matter you’ll need to consult your service provider about. They should be able to provide the server name, port number, security data, and authentication information. Once you have this, you can set up your email client for auto service.
SMTP is used to push mail to its destination, in contrast to some protocols which can pull emails from one server and put them on another. This distinction is important for separating the two types of protocols, and for helping server providers maintain secure control over the management of both incoming and outgoing messages.
What Benefits Does This Setup Offer?
The main benefits of setting up automatic email service is the convenience it offers and everything that added convenience encompasses. Less delay in email sending, more free time to engage in other tasks, and a robust security framework are all perks worth mentioning.
Setting up automatic emailing with SMTP protocol can help an individual or business make sure their emails send quicker. Quickness is valued, and not just because it can help save money in the traditional sense. By freeing up personnel from the tedious task of sending out emails manually, an organization frees up said personnel to focus on other more complex tasks.
Finally, automatic email services are often built with dedicated security protocols included. These services usually understand the liability associated with data theft from unsecure platforms. Therefore, even though a person may feel uneasy about automating their email efforts, it can actually be better for security purposes.
Can This Setup Be Useful on Any System?
As mentioned, most servers are set up to work with the SMTP protocol. This is because the protocol has become so common, most email server providers understand they need to adopt the most modern technology in their field.
Some email addresses from older providers may not work correctly with today’s clients. Likewise, some older clients may also experience problems getting certain protocols to work on their system. While patches do exist, there is no guarantee these patches will be able to make outdated tech work like its modern competitors.
While there are some servers out there that use their own protocols and setup for sending out emails automatically, the SMTP protocol remains one of the most popular options used today for giving recipients the ability to store or download emails sent via automated means.
Most modern servers and email clients should have no problem using the SMTP protocol and the protocols commonly used with it to create secure, reliable conditions for quick management of automated emails.
Make Your Email Efforts Better with the SMTP Protocol
Now that you know how to use automated emailing with SMTP, the only question is – is it worth it? Should automatic emailing become the primary source of communication for those who prefer email to things like instant messaging and social media?
Whether communicating with the end-to-end model or the store and retrieve model (for intra-organizational and inner-organizational communications, respectively), the SMTP protocol makes it easier for people to create reliable conditions for sending and receiving emails automatically.
This may not be used 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, sitting out and writing personal emails to a single recipient or small group of recipients can be best. But for anyone who looks to send out mass emails or automate emails for things like newsletters, it is wise to get accustomed to the SMTP protocol.
This simple type of auto email measure can make things much easier whether you’re working on your own or you’re working within the confines of a major organization.