Going Freemium: Our platform, your serversYou can now use JangoMail's interface, features, and functionality, with your own email servers. Specifically, you can now designate one or more "Smart Hosts" for your JangoMail account and have all marketing and transactional email sent by the Smart Hosts instead of JangoMail's own email servers. A smart host is an email server on your own network or one that you control. The best part is you can send 100,000 emails/month for free when using your own email servers to deliver your email.
How can this possibly work?
By setting your account to use a Smart Host, you are telling JangoMail to route email messages through the Smart Host rather than directly to the recipients. The Smart Host will actually deliver each email message to the recipient.
For example, let's say you manage www.browniekitchen.com. Your corporate email servers are smtp.browniekitchen.com and smtp2.browniekitchen.com, and you want your email campaigns sent from your servers instead of ours. You would designate these to be the Smart Hosts for your JangoMail account. You then use your JangoMail account to send 100 email messages, to varying domains, like yahoo.com, gmail.com, and aol.com. JangoMail will send all 100 emails to smtp.browniekitchen.com and smtp2.browniekitchen.com, and these servers will then deliver the email messages to Yahoo's, GMail's and AOL's servers.
So the Smart Host is just a middleman server between JangoMail and the final recipient?
Yes. It allows the emails to originate from your IP and your domain name and your organization rather than ours. It allows you complete control over your own email deliverability, and allows you to monitor SMTP logs, traffic, blocks, and throttling on your email server. Learn more about Smart Hosts with the Wikipedia article on Smart Hosts.
What's the point of this feature?
This feature is meant for those customers that want to use us for everything, except email deliverability, and enjoy a significant cost savings for doing so. It's for those that like our feature set, our interface, our API, and everything else about JangoMail, but don't need us for actual email delivery, because their own email servers can handle that part.
We spend a lot of time ensuring that our own email servers are clean, fast, of high reputation, and secure. Deliverability issues can also be difficult to research. By allowing you to have the emails sent from your own email servers, it gives you the full power to research such issues because you now have the information necessary to do so.
Setting up this feature is not for the average JangoMail user. It's meant for network administrators, sysadmins, and developers who want to take advantage of a significant cost savings by offloading email delivery onto their own network. When using a Smart Host, you must ensure that the Smart Host is configured properly to deliver high volume email. Most corporate email servers are not able to deliver high volume email because a.) Their upstream ISP does not allow the network to be used for mass email delivery and b.) The IP address of the organization's email server does not have the deliverability reputation necessary to deliver large amounts of emails to consumer email domains, like gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, and live.com. This reputation can be developed over time, however, using a process called IP Warmup.
How do I configure my Smart Host to send emails from JangoMail?
Go to Settings --> Smart Hosts. You must ensure that your Smart Host server is able to relay emails that originate from our IP addresses. By default, all emails being routed to Smart Hosts will be sent from one of three IP addresses:
sh1.jsmtp.net - 126.96.36.199
sh2.jsmtp.net - 188.8.131.52
sh3.jsmtp.net - 184.108.40.206
This list of servers is also shown in this section. You should enter all of the IP addresses into the "Authenticated IPs" or "Allow Relays From these IPs" settings in your smart host's SMTP settings.
Optionally, if your Smart Host server is able to authenticate by domain name, you can allow any servers that are named *.jsmtp.net to relay through your server. That way, should the JangoMail IP addresses change, you won't need to change your smart host configuration.
If you don't do this, when JangoMail attempts to send emails to your smart host, JangoMail will get a "Relay access denied" or "Unable to relay email" type SMTP error, and the email will not deliver.
You can test your email server's configuration with the Test button under Settings --> Smart Hosts. The test feature will attempt to relay an email message through your email server from all three JangoMail servers. If the test passes, you're ready to send through your Smart Hosts. If the test fails, that means you haven't configured your Smart Host properly to allow SMTP relays from the three JangoMail IP addresses.
In the above example for the Brownie Kitchen account, emails sent to yahoo.com will be sent by smtp2.brownikitchen.com and all other emails will be sent by smtp.browniekitchen.com. Domain-specific rules take precedence over an ALL DOMAINS rule.
Can I use a third party server as my JangoMail Smart Host?
Yes, you can! There are many third-party SMTP services, any of which you can use as a smart host with JangoMail, provided that SMTP service allows transmission of mass email broadcasts, and that they allow relay authentication by IP address. Remember that wherever your smart host is located, it must allow relays from our three IP addresses:
sh1.jsmtp.net - 220.127.116.11
sh2.jsmtp.net - 18.104.22.168
sh3.jsmtp.net - 22.214.171.124
In the future, we'll be adding support for SMTP-AUTH authentication also, such that the three servers above can authenticate into your smart host with a username and password.
Won't SPF/SenderID fail if I set a smart host?
You must carefully take into account SPF/SenderID settings when using a smart host. You need to ensure the following:
- You should NOT use the default firstname.lastname@example.org as the MAIL-FROM address for either broadcast emails or transactional emails. This is because the SPF record for jangomail.com cannot be modified to accommodate your smart host. Instead, you should ensure the MAIL-FROM address contains a domain that you control. You can control this based on how you use JangoMail:
a. Broadcast emails via web interface: Uncheck the Use System MAIL-FROM Address on the Send Email page.
b. Broadcast emails via API: Set UseSystemMailFrom in the Options parameter to False.
c. Transactional email via API: Set UseSystemMailFrom in the Options parameter to False.
d. Transactional email via SMTP Relay: Uncheck the Use System MAIL-FROM Address box under Settings --> SMTP Relay.
- Ensure that the SPF for the domain used in your MAIL-FROM address includes the IP address of your smart host.
Most feedback loops (FBLs) work based on the sending IP address. Yahoo! is the exception, as it's based on the DomainKeys signature. Since by using Smart Hosts, the sending IP address will be that of your own email server, you must set up FBLs for your own IP. For ease of management, you may have the abuse reports sent to email@example.com, a special email address we've set up to process Abuse Reports for customers using Smart Hosts.
How do I my ensure DomainKeys/DKIM settings work?
DomainKeys/DKIM headers are preserved in transit, so regardless of how many email servers your messages bounce between before arriving to their final recipient, your DomainKeys/DKIM headers will remain intact.
What are the disadvantages of using Smart Hosts?
When you have your emails sent through your own smart hosts, you are in charge of all email delivery issues. Our support staff will only be able to provide very limited help for email delivery issues since the email is being sent from your server, not ours. Therefore, it's only recommended you use this feature if you're able to monitor your delivery as well. All tracking functionality, like open tracking, and click tracking, and web site activity tracking, will still work, and you'll still see all of that data in Reporting.
Will I lose any functionality if I send through a Smart Host?
No. Every single JangoMail feature, like autoresponders, triggers, transactional email, the API, database connectivity, all Reporting, DomainKeys/DKIM signing, and everything else will still work. The only difference when you setup smart hosts is that the emails are sent from your servers, not ours.
What if I try sending through my own servers, but I find the email deliverability too difficult to manage?
No problem, you're welcome to come back to the "regular" JangoMail service and have the emails sent through our high deliverability servers. All you have to do is delete the smart hosts entries from your Settings --> Smart Hosts page.
What are the cost savings for sending through my own servers?
You may send up to 100,000 emails/month for free through JangoMail if using Smart Hosts.
Exactly what do I need to do to set up Smart Hosts for my account?
- Configure your Smart Host. Modify your email server's settings to allow SMTP relays from the three above-mentioned IP addresses.
- Add the Smart Hosts into your JangoMail account. Go to Settings -> Smart Hosts, and add the Smart Host. Then Test it to ensure that your email server is setup correctly.
- Set up SPF/SenderID. See the SPF/Sender ID section above. Additionally, ensure that the IP address of your Smart Host is listed in the SPF record of your organization's domain.
- Set up Feedback Loops, so that complaint reporting is reflected in your account. Set up feedback loops with AOL, Comcast, Juno/NetZero, Yahoo! and anyone else that allows them, and have the Abuse Reports sent to firstname.lastname@example.org so that our system can process them.