Top Free SMTP Servers for Reliable Email Delivery | 2024

March 27, 2024
|
13 Minutes
Modified on:
March 26, 2024
|
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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 In the digital era, growing businesses encounter increasing competition daily, so marketers are exploring all possibilities to increase awareness. The best and least expensive approach to following up or obtaining leads is via email marketing. 

An SMTP server is integral to email communication. Whether sending transactional emails, newsletters, marketing campaigns, or even a simple welcome, it can easily handle a huge volume of sending. However, an effective framework is required to operate it properly. 

Fortunately, most email service providers (ESPs) offer free SMTP servers, an excellent place to start. As your company expands, you can upgrade to premium plans to increase your infrastructure. After carefully examining numerous valuable options, we have selected the best free SMTP servers for reliable email delivery.  

What is an SMTP Server?

SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is a communication protocol through which marketers or anyone can send and receive emails online. Similarly, an SMTP server is a computer or software that manages the delivery of outgoing emails. Without an SMTP server, you cannot send emails to recipients. The server also checks to see if the outgoing message comes from an active email account.

For example, Gmail's SMTP server is smtp.gmail.com. When configuring your email client or server to send emails using Gmail, you would use this SMTP server address and your account credentials.

SMTP protocols ensure that emails are returned to the sender if they are not delivered. Details in returned messages let the sender know if their email address is incorrect or if the recipient's server has blocked emails from their ID. Thus, having an SMTP server is an excellent choice for any business owner who wants to target new audiences and keep in touch with their existing customer base. 

How does an SMTP Server Send Emails?

Here's how an SMTP server works: 

  1. The Sender's email server or client connects with the recipient's SMTP server and provides all the essential information, like the recipient's email address. 
  2. The SMTP server processes all the information and verifies the recipient's email address. 
  3. If the recipient's email address is valid, it processes the email in the queue for delivery. 
  4. Then, the recipient's email server delivers the message to the recipient's email inbox or designated folder. 

Where can one find SMTP servers? 

Email service providers provide SMTP servers, but you can also set them up yourself. Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and other email service providers mention their SMTP server information in the documentation or support pages. 

If you are wondering how to select the right SMTP server tool and SMTP server provider, then here are some factors that you can consider: 

1. Deliverability Potential

The success of any business’s marketing campaign depends on the email deliverability rate. The entire marketing strategy is adversely affected if a business can’t deliver its emails to the destination (spam folder or inbox). In such a case, none of your target audience might be able to read the emails. Moreover, if your emails get filtered out, blocked, or directly transferred into junk boxes, your business may lose revenue and potential customers. Monitoring the deliverability rate of a free SMTP server helps you guarantee the effectiveness of your campaigns.

2. Security

When it comes to choosing SMTP services, security is paramount. The reason is that email is a preferred target for hackers and malicious attackers. By using malicious emails, they access a user's personal information, steal the user’s data, or introduce malware into the user's computer. Hence, businesses must ensure their chosen SMTP provider is secure against potential threats.  

3. Quick Setup and Ease of Use

Make sure to find an SMTP server that supports an easy setup mechanism. The ease of setup and use saves you time and effort on technical troubleshooting. You can review the testimonials and reviews of various SMTP servers and pick the one that ensures reliable email delivery with ease of setup and use.

4. Customer Reviews

When searching for an ideal SMTP server provider, look for customer testimonials and reviews. At the same time, it's common for businesses to feature positive reviews on their websites. If you want a more objective evaluation, head straight to websites like Trustpilot. While only some companies are included, you should be able to locate some trustworthy reviews that will help you precisely evaluate the service's advantages and disadvantages.

5. Customer Support and Documentation 

You must consider whether the organization offers various resources to resolve potential problems. Furthermore, you must check how well-performing their customer service department is regarding support. You need to make sure that they are easily accessible.

6. Pricing 

The best SMTP service providers offer a risk-free trial. After that, check their pricing tiers, which change based on the type of support they provide, the number of emails they allow each month, white labeling, and onboarding assistance.

Benefits of Using an SMTP service

Here is the list of benefits you get if you buy SMTP service:

1. Improve Your Email Deliverability.

Sending emails that will only land in the recipient's spam folder is useless and a waste of marketing money. SMTP relay servers guarantee that emails reach customers' inboxes on time and frequently. More than 98% of SMTP service providers guarantee deliverability. Thus, you are less concerned about whether the recipients of your emails receive them and concentrate more on encouraging suitable responses from your target market.

2. Track and Maintain Reports on the Email Campaign Performance. 

Measuring your email's success is essential to an effective email marketing plan. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including bounce rate, open rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, and so forth, are factors that every business considers to gauge the performance of any email campaign.

An SMTP server measures these metrics. It follows your emails from when you send them until the recipients receive them. Using the data from these KPIs, you can adjust your marketing strategies.

3. Send Bulk Emails Swiftly.

The most effective way to reach many customers is through bulk emailing. However, sending these emails can quickly become expensive. Using an email relay server is one way to ensure that bulk emailing doesn't break the bank. If you send bulk emails each month, consider using this cost-effective approach.

Best Free SMTP Servers for Reliable Email Delivery

Now let's delve into our list of the top free SMTP servers to help you get started:  

1. Neo

Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that uses email to advertise your company, build customer relationships, and increase the efficacy of marketing and advertising campaigns. Neo is your one-stop solution for maximizing the benefits of email marketing and increasing lead generation, brand recognition, and conversion rates. 

Neo's SMTP server is a collection of high-tech tools designed to simplify the process of developing and overseeing innovative email marketing campaigns. It streamlines, simplifies, and improves email marketing. It also sends bulk emails in just a few minutes. These emails include welcome emails, newsletter emails, lead nurturing emails, confirmation emails, promotional emails, and survey emails. 

Neo is one of the best SMTP service providers that helps marketers manage their email marketing efforts. It is a system that lets you create emails and manage contacts, along with an email delivery engine that simplifies email delivery. Neo ensures the intended recipients receive all your emails and offers a reliable and consistent email service.

2. SMTP2GO

SMTP2GO boasts easy-to-use tools that help you set up and manage your emails. Its multi-datacenter infrastructure ensures trustworthy email delivery. The free plan provides users 1000 emails every month, so you don’t have to incur upfront expenses and can start using it easily.

SMTP2GO employs rigorous rules for email lists that include more than 100 email addresses to avoid spam. Hence, large-scale businesses are ensured with exceptional security when sending bulk emails.

If you want to deliver emails regularly, SMTP2GO is a suitable choice. Beginners can benefit the most from its service. This free SMTP server supports cutting-edge email testing options, so users can test emails before sending them. Moreover, its API is structured to allow users to integrate the SMTP server into their stack. With minimal effort, developers can deploy this server into their systems. No rate limits apply to any API calls.

3. Gmail 

Gmail's SMTP server allows you to send 500 emails daily. To deliver 2,000 emails per day, you need to upgrade your Gmail account through a Google Workspace subscription. Gmail boasts an easy interface and hassle-free navigation. Its extraordinary features include search, spam filtering, and inbox management. You can use the SMTP for Gmail feature to send emails using your Gmail address or domain through various email clients. 

Google is renowned for its highly advanced security implementations; your Gmail service is no exception. Their SMTP service is available over two secure ports (465 and 578). Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protects port 465, whereas Transport Layer Security (TLS) secures port 578.

4. Brevo

You can buy SMTP service from Brevo if you need to send 300 free emails daily. Generally, Brevo is a prevalent choice for transactional emails, email marketing, and marketing automation. It ensures a 99.8% email deliverability rate. Moreover, it boasts a flexible API that facilitates the creation of dynamic and custom email messages.

You can use Brevo’s reports to gauge the performance of your email. Specifically, you can analyze your email’s click, open, and deliverability rates. Its ability to easily integrate with well-known apps makes it a preferred choice for individuals and businesses.

5. Amazon SES

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is admired for its cloud computing structure. It also provides Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), which enables developers and marketers to deliver marketing emails, notifications, and transactional emails easily. AWS is well-known for its cost efficiency and high email deliverability rate.

Plugins can effortlessly integrate it into a WordPress site. After hosting your website on AWS, you can use its free plan to deliver 62,000 monthly emails.

6. SendLayer

SendLayer is an affordable and easy-to-use free SMTP provider. Its API and SMTP relay ensure reliable transaction emails, shipping updates, confirmation emails, and more delivery. In addition to ensuring trustworthy email deliverability, SendLayer guarantees easy tracking of messages you send. This is because it provides comprehensive email logs. This feature helps you determine whether your emails were sent successfully or not.

It helps you analyze metrics such as click-through rates, open rates, and unsubscribes. To ensure reliability, SendLayer supports features such as subdomains, spam filtering, and integrated email list management.

7. Postmark

Postmark is a transactional email service provider for SMTP. When it comes to delivering transactional emails, Postmark is a recommended choice. Its free SMTP relay facility allows the delivery of 100 emails daily. Its developer-friendly SMTP documentation simplifies the process of integrating Postmark into your application. 

Besides, its SMTP service endpoints are located globally in AWS Regions, ensuring low latency and availability. It even offers advanced email analytics, which provides insights into metrics like click rate, open rate, bounce rate, etc.

8. Mailgun

If you want to send bulk and transactional emails, you can buy SMTP service from Mailgun. Its free plan allows you to send 5,000 emails free for the initial month. Businesses, individuals, and developers can easily integrate Mailgun into their WordPress websites. 

Its scalable SMTP service is suitable for small businesses and e-commerce stores. You can choose between a shared or dedicated IP address. Some of its exceptional features include email analytics and tracking, suppression management, and a drag-and-drop template builder.

9. SendGrid

If you are looking for a cloud-based SMTP service that offers free email delivery without compromising reliability, consider SendGrid. Its free plan allows you to deliver 100 emails regularly. 

You can choose from its more than 120 integrations to integrate the service into your software. You get access to all-inclusive open-source libraries available in seven programming languages. Hence, you can easily integrate SendGrid into your current infrastructure.

One of its standout features is email validation. It cleans your email list to ensure you only deliver to valid email addresses. Therefore, your emails will not bounce, and you are guaranteed a high email deliverability rate. Other outstanding features include easy API access, real-time analytics, and a drag-and-drop email builder.

10. NetCore

Using NetCore SMTP service, you can deliver 100 emails daily for free. In your first month, you can send up to 30,000 emails. The service's WordPress plugin allows you to integrate it into any service or app you use.

AI-based email delivery, custom email tracking, and sub-account Management are some of NetCore SMTP's features that ensure a reliable, secure, and scalable email delivery process.

Using AI-based email delivery, Netcore detects and corrects errors (if any) in your emails before sending. Consequently, it enhances your email deliverability rate. This feature saves you time and avoids buying expensive spam and bounce reports.

With Netcore's Sub Account Management, you can track the email deliverability rate of multiple accounts. This feature is valuable if a team of employees requires access to various account elements. 

Conclusion

A reliable SMTP server is essential to ensuring your emails are sent promptly and securely. Emailing is a basic part of both personal and professional communication. A great place to start for your project is with a free trial plan. You must level up if you want to develop and succeed. Consider the long-term benefits that each of the SMTP service providers can offer. 

From the Gmail SMTP server to the Neo SMTP solutions, each server provides unique features and services tailored to specific email communication needs. After deciding which option best suits your needs, you can send more secure and reliable emails.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are the SMTP server and SMTP relay server the same?

No, they are different. Usually, individual users use an SMTP server to deliver emails from personal accounts to the inbox of the targeted recipient. On the other hand, organizations use an SMTP relay server to send a huge volume of emails. The relevant examples include order confirmation emails, monthly newsletters, and transactional emails.

2. Can I connect an SMTP service to WordPress?

WP Mail SMTP, a WordPress SMTP plugin, allows you to send WordPress emails conveniently through an SMTP service provider.

3. Under what scenarios should I use a fake SMTP server?

You can use a fake SMTP server instead of a genuine SMTP server for testing. This lets you analyze an app's email-sending potential and ensures that users are not spammed. Rather than wasting resources and time making dummy email addresses, you can use a fake SMTP server to deliver emails into the virtual inbox.

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