What is a self hosted email marketing solution? If you use email marketing in your business a self hosted solution would the ability to bulk mail from your own server instead of using 3rd party services like GetResponse and Aweber. If your new to email marketing then this may not be the best solution for you to start with you may be better off using a 3rd party service to begin with.
Increased Control Of Data Security - You don't have to rely on 3rd party's to secure your data from spammers or risk having untrustworthy employees who have access to it.
Increased Control Over Technical Issues And Down Time - If there is a problem you have root access to the server to fix it without having to wait for 3rd party technical support to contact you back about your problem.
Reduction In Costs - If your mailing are large volume of data then you will find it significantly cheaper that using a 3rd party service (they have to make a profit)
Increased Control Over Mailing Platform And Customization - Need extra features added or switch to a platform that has the features you need for your email marking campaigns? Then you are able to implement these changes as you have full access to the server.
Can Mail Single Opted In Leads - Moving your data from one platform to another? No need to get every one to opted in again like with most 3rd party auto responder services force you too. You have more control over your data and can even mail co-registration leads.
Fully Customizable Double Opted In Confirmation Messages - Unlike most auto responder services its your confirmation message you can customize it as much as you like, you can even put the people that did not confirm onto a different auto responder and mail them with follow up messages.
Decreased Security - If you no nothing about computer security and don't have adequate technical support then it could leave you more vulnerable to SQL Injection and other data theft type attacks.
Server Downtime - If you don't have the technical skills to fix server issues and don't have adequate technical support to assist you then you could suffer longer than normal from any downtime that your server experiences.
Increased Costs - If you only mail very small volume like 1000 emails then you may find it cheaper not to have your own server and may be better off with a 3rd party solution.
Technical Knowledge - You need to be able to run and manage your own servers as well as install and upgrade software, if you don't know how to do this and cant learn it quickly then you may struggle managing the project.
Responsibility - with 3rd party services your are mostly outsourcing the responsibility in terms of CAN-SPAM compliance although if you try hard enough you could probably still violate it by for example providing an invalid postal address.
With your own solution you are responsible for making sure you are compliant and can be sued if you don't follow the guidelines most self hosted mailing software may inform you what you trying to do may be non compliment but wont force you to follow the guidelines like most 3rd party solutions will.
For example you can mail your leads without including an opted out link and can continue to mail people that have unsubscribed from your list. If you ignorant of the guidelines and the law then this could get you in trouble.
VPS - This stand for "Virtual Private Server" this gives you root access and the same degree of control as dedicate server and can have your own IP address space but your are still sharing the same server with other users so there is a limit to how far you can push it.
This is a good starting solution and can be suitable for people with mailing lists of 10,000 - 50,000 subscribers depending on the server specifications.
This could cost you anywhere between $30 - $200 a month dependant on country and specification
Dedicated - If your mailing larger volumes of leads or are doing time based mailing where you find that people are most responsive at a certain time on a certain day for your market then you may need to be able to process a huge amount data in a very short period of time.
You will need to get your self a dedicated server. The most I have head of a single server being able to process in a 24 hours period is about 7 Million emails. But you wont get this kind of performance from one of the low end specification servers you would start out with.
This could cost you anywhere from $100 - $2000 a month dependant on country and specification.
There are many types of software solutions available for this, some are free some are paid. The paid ones may be better in terms of giving you more features and better support. Just to name a few, this is not a complete list I have certainly come across better free solutions than the one listed just cant remember what they are called but this should get you started.
PoMMo Mass Mailer
Configuring Your Server Properly
=== Following Snippet Quoted From The interspire Website ===
Make sure your server is not running an open relay find out more about this form wikipedia
Open mail relay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Setup SPF for you domain so that other people have a harder time pretending to be you. This can also help with Hotmail deliverability (SenderID actually but in most cases it works out to the same thing)
Setup domainkeys to help with deliverability to Yahoo mail accounts
Some web mail systems (e.g. Hotmail) base (at least in part) junk filtering on the reputation of your ip address. If you have only just gotten an IP and are getting filtered to the junk then you may need to build up reputation as a legitimate mailer before you stop getting filtered to the junk mail folder
Ensure that you send from a domain which actually has MX records setup in DNS and that each mail server listed will accept mail for the domain you are sending from
Source: Email Deliverability Guide 101
=== End Of Snippet ===
Check Your Mail Queue
If you are running WHM on your VPS or Dedicated server it can be a good tip to check your mail queue after you do a send out, as the mailing software you use will just send to the mail queue and will report the emails as sent, but they may not have left your server yet. If this seems to be building up and being slow to send out then you may need to upgrade your server.
There are three main things that can get blacklisted when your sending mail and these are
IP Blacklisting - This is when your IP address that your server uses gets blacklisted
Domain Blacklisting - This is when the domain your linking to in your emails gets blacklisted
DNS Blacklisting - This is when the name server that points to your hosting gets blacklisted so if everything is going to junk mail and your IP and Domain seem fine this may be the thing that is causing it.
What to do if you get on a blacklist?
Simply contact them and ask them to remove you works most of the time. They may ask you to provide them with the "Time Stamp" and "IP address" of the subscriber that made the complaint. Which you should have if your mailing a legitimate list. If you don't collect this information then you could find it hard to get out of any escalating complaints against you and may end up in legal trouble
Seeding Your Mailing List
There are 2 things this can do for you, one is help identify any data theft attacks if the emails you seed your list with start receiving emails from anyone else but your self then you know someone has stolen your list some how. But more importantly is having email address with all the major email providers and ISP's so that you can check that your email is making it to the inbox not the junk box.
To get around the problem of blacklisting, and deliverability problems you can get white listed. Once you have done this correctly all emails you send will be trusted treated with less suspicion and delivered to your subscribers. You will need to maintain good relations with all ISP's. Different ISP's and Email Providers have different requirements and it can be a long and time consuming process but ultimately worth it.
Make sure you stay compliment some of the things you will need to do
- Collect IP Address and Time and Date Stamp for all subscribers for proof
- Include a valid return email address in all emails you send out
- Include a valid postal address in all your emails
- Don't falsify email headers this is very illegal
- Include unsubscribe link in all your emails
- process unsubscribe requests
This is not legal advice please seek a more compete set of requirements or if your concerned speak with a lawyer.