Introduction to SMTP
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is one of the Internet standards put out by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which is a collection of groups responsible for creating and publishing standardized processes for use on the Internet. In short, Internet standards are created in order to facilitate the usage of the Internet by providing common means and methods of communication. SMTP is an excellent example of Internet standards in action, because it is one of the most popular email protocols on the planet and thus one of the components that enable users to send email.
How SMTP is Used to Send and Receive Email
Users send email to a remote server, which then redirects the email to its intended destination. In general, the server receives and then redirects the email through the Internet, though this is not true in all cases. For example, if the user is sending an email through the server to another user, all connected to the same network, the server does not need to go through the Internet and can simply pass on the email through that same network. However, most of the time the email is sent to the remote server using SMTP and then is made available to users who wish to access their inboxes through the Internet. Some client programs also use SMTP to access the inboxes of their users, but most use other protocols such as Post Office Protocol (POP) or the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).
How SMTP Helps to Deliver Email
Email deliverability is important for businesses because it ensures that their communications reach the intended recipients and have a chance at accomplishing what they were written to do. SMTP helps to increase email deliverability by ensuring that computers can send and receive email using the same set of rules and standards. Without SMTP, using email becomes much more complicated because there are going to be more competing email protocols, which is problematic because not all client programs are going to be able to support all email protocols. However, since SMTP is around and almost universal in its application, that entire point of concern is eliminated. Businesses are free to send out email without worrying about whether the intended recipients can even read the messages sent to them because SMTP will ensure that they can do.
Of course, whether the email being sent out will reach their intended destinations is another problem altogether. Given the proliferation of spam, most email servers have spam filters set up to catch and deter frivolous or even outright malicious messages. As a result, businesses that send out messages containing elements that trigger spam filters see their messages labeled spam and then blocked, sending their email deliverability metrics plummeting. Businesses can increase email deliverability by avoiding words commonly seen in spam, using standard fonts and font colors, and filling in blanks such as the subject line with appropriate information. SMTP-based email servers can often help businesses by providing them with the tools needed to track email delivery.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Wayne Hemrick is aware of all information regarding simple mail transfer protocal servers and the features that go along with the server. Wayne searches for SMTP email delivery for more info.