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Bulk Email Speed

You want to send an email to your contacts and you want to buy a bulk email software, but you wonder how fast can you send bulk email? Software vendors claim their programs to be exceptionally fast. But will they hold up?

There is no short answer to the question. Sending email involves at least three distinct components:

Bulk email software which transmits your messages to SMTP servers.

SMTP server software which receives the messages.

Network connection between them which determines how fast and reliable is the data transfer.

Each of these components contributes to the overall speed of the sending. Any of the components has the potential to slow the things down to the point where sending bulk email is absolutely impossible.

Bulk Email Software

Given fast connection and ideal fast no-delay SMTP server, bulk email software can transmit messages extremely fast. In our bulk email speed test we found out that AY Mail 2 Corporate Edition is capable of transferring 40 million non-personalized messages or 2.75 million personalized messages per hour. That is amazing. That means that 10,000 personalized messages will be sent in under 15 seconds. You don't need anything faster than that.

Unfortunately, in the real world, Internet connections are not so fast, and SMTP servers are not ideal. You're unlikely to get even close to that speed.

The important point is that bulk email software rarely is a bottleneck that determines the speed of the whole process. If you want to estimate the speed, you need to look at the SMTP server and the connection.

SMTP Server

When the server receives messages from bulk email program, all it needs to do is to save it, so that it could forward it to the destination when time comes. This doesn't take very long and it shouldn't slow down the process.

Unfortunately, email transport is heavily abused by irresponsible advertisers, so mail servers not just accept messages, they verify the validity of each recipient - is the recipient's domain valid, is server allowed to rely to the recipient? All these checks take time.

Moreover, some SMTP servers include delays intentionally. Small delays will not hurt single emails, but they will make impossible to move a large mailing through such server.

If you send a message to 10,000 recipients, even a small 0.01 sec delay will add up to 1 min 40 sec, thus slowing the speed of transmission 6 times! A typical 0.1 sec delay will take 17 minutes. 1 sec delays will make the mailing slow - you'll have to wait nearly 3 hours until the message is send.

One of the ways to fight the delays is multi-threading. While the server is busy checking on a recipient, why not to establish a separate connection to move other messages? Unfortunately, most servers will not accept multiple connections while others will not work well in this mode.

One way to avoid server delays is direct send. Each message is sent to its own server. In this mode, you can benefit from multithreading.

Connection speed

The connection speed is critical. According to our bulk email speed test, it takes 15 seconds to transfer 10,000 personalized messages within a computer, but it takes 5 times longer to do that over local network, and it takes over 8 hours with a modem. Server delays mean nothing compared to such a waste of time.

Slow modem connection may make it impractical to send personalized messages. Waiting 8 or 9 ours while your 10,000 messages are being transferred sounds like a torture. Sending non-personalized mail messages will take just slightly over an hour.

AY Mail's turbo mode is capable of speeding up non-personalized sending a lot. 10,000 messages can be transferred in less than 2 minutes using slow modem line! At this transfer speed, server delays may become more important than the connection.


The computer where you run your bulk email software does not have to be fast. The speed of the computer matters only if the connection speed is very high. In our bulk email speed test conducted over Ethernet, 2GHz computer gave only 21% gain in transmission speed compared to slower 550MHz processor.

After mail is sent

Transferring email to the server does not mean delivering it to the destination recipients. With large mailings, it may take hours for the server to send everything out.

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