Bulk Email Server Setup
I'll show you exactly how my bulk email network looks like. My bulk email guide is based on my own server setup.
My setup is made with two different kinds of servers. The Main Server is the server where your Email Marketing Software (EMS) is installed. Since we are getting ready to set up a bulk email server with an option to scale it up if needed I recommend you pick a bit more powerful VPS for it. MTA server is a server where PowerMTA is installed. These servers are doing all the sending. This is just one layer of protection to keep your MTA servers away from your Main server. In case there is ever a problem your main server will never be taken down since it's not doing any sending at all. MTA server can be any budget VPS with at least 1GB RAM. I am using cheap $2 servers for sending.
Main server setup
I have 1 main server where I do all everything from creating email campaigns, schedule sendings to monitoring and configuring my sending servers.
My main server specifications
- Six core CPU (Intel® Xeon® E5-2620v3)
- 24 GB RAM (guaranteed)
- 600 GB SSD
- UNLIMITED traffic
- 1 IPv4 + IPv6/64
- CWP Pro
- PowerMTA Console
Sending/MTA server setup
I have 64 budget servers I use for sending. Each has 1 IP so I have 64 IPs to rotate. Of course number of sending servers can be lower or higher depending on your sending needs. You can start with let's say 10 and then add 1 per day/week/month. Once sending server is setup there is no need to access it as you can do everything needed from Email Marketing Software and/or PowerMTA Management Console.
Each of my sending servers has a unique domain that is also used for domain masking. This way all emails send from domain16.com will also have links pointing to domain16.com. Of course, you can use any other domain for masking if you want.
My sending servers specifications
- 1 CPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 20 GB HDD
- 1 IPv4 + IPv6/64
- VestaCP or iRedMail
Why is setup like this better?
I've been in this business for almost 15 years and saw every possible scenario. Since the lists, I sent to aren't actually mine it is normal that from time to time my sending servers are taken down due to spam complaints.
What is the worst case scenario?
You bought a server and set it up for bulk emailing. You imported your contacts, created some mailers, started sending and since it was a long day you went to sleep.
Next morning you wake up all pumped and eager to see how your email campaigns performed. But wait, are we in a horror movie or are you still sleeping. Your server is down and you can't access your Email Marketing Software. Finally, you opened your email and saw that there was 1 (ONE!) spam complaint and your VPS provider shut down your server.
What is even worse is that your emails actually got delivered and all those clicks you got were for nothing.
Let's take a look at what happens when you have
One server setup
You bought a super expensive VPS with 128GB RAM and 256 IPs. In case there is a problem you will lose everything and if you don't have a backup and let's be honest, most don't, you will be forced to start from scratch. Can you imagine all those hours of work lost? And guess what, all emails you already sent out and links in them will become useless. Maybe it's better to buy a gun, eh?
Another bad thing with setups like this is that usually, your IPs will come in a range. Why is this bad? When blacklistings will start rolling in they will simply blacklist your whole IP range and you are done. Bye, bye inbox!
Now let's take a look what will happen in the same scenario, but this time with my setup. You got so many spam complaints that your VPS provider decides it's time to take you offline. Since all complaints are regarding one MTA only that server will be taken offline. Your Main server and other MTAs (which should be hosted on other account/providers) will keep working and continue sending emails.
You will have to setup a new sending server but by using my guide this shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes once you get used to the process.
Do you see the difference?
With single server setup, we were talking about buying a gun. With my setup, this is just a few clicks and a new sending server will be up and ready to start sending.
Of course, it is more work, but believe me, it is worth it. After your whole bulk email system is taken offline you will never sleep again. For me, meh, doesn't really affect me, a few clicks and it's back.