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Direct Send - Bypass your SMTP Server

Standard method of sending email is through the outgoing SMTP server. Some of the bulk email software programs, such as AY Mail, offer alternative method - bypassing the SMTP server and sending directly to the destination (see our article about sending email).

Here we summarize pros and cons of these methods.

Direct Send

Traditional Method

Cannot be used when your Internet Service Provider blocks port 25 connections, or MX record lookup is unavailable. This is a typical situation for corporate users located behind a corporate firewall.

Note. Some of the ISP may redirect all the connections to their own SMTP server regardless of what SMTP server you're trying to contact. You may think you're sending direct, but in fact you're using their server.

Requires SMTP server. Cannot be used if the SMTP server has severe limitations or causes severe delays.

Not very reliable. When you send bulk email, the mail program has to connect to many different servers. Some of these servers may be down, connections may break. The bulk email software cannot deal with these problems in a reliable way.

You may need to re-send to the temporarily failed recipients several times over to make sure that all the addresses are covered.

Reliable. Once the mail is transmitted to the SMTP server, the server takes care of the sending. If some of the servers are inaccessible, or when connections break, the server may just queue the message for the future. Being constantly connected to the Internet, server can keep trying for several days until email is sent.

You cannot send non-personalized messages, which may make sending to very large lists prohibitively slow.

You can send non-personalized messages, which results in very fast sending. See bulk email speed test.

Because you are dealing with multiple servers, you can use multithreading, that is multiple parallel connections. If you have a fast Internet connection, this may speed things up.

It may not be practical to use multithreaded connections to the same server.

Your recipients receive your messages as you send.

The SMTP has to send out the messages after you transmit them. The server may delay mail delivery if it feels busy.

If the address is undeliverable, your bulk email software will know immediately. Therefore, direct send reduces the number of bounces you receive.

You will receive bounces for all the undeliverable mail.

Some of the destination servers would block your mail because they know that your computer is not a regular SMTP server.

See our article about bulk email filters.

Your mail will be sent out from a regular SMTP server, so it is unlikely to be blocked at the destination.

In most cases, we recommend traditional method. It is up to you to decide which method is better in your situation.

You may find advantageous to use a combined method - You first send your mail using direct sending. Then you classify all the failures into temporary (for example because the destination server is down) or permanent (for example non-existent mail account), and then re-send to the temporarily failed recipients through your SMTP server. AY Mail does the classification automatically as it sends.

This will reduce the number of bounces, but still will give you reliability of a regular SMTP server.

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