Bulk Email Server Guide: Tips before you start sending
Let's face it the whole setup process required a lot of work and I am sure you want to stay informed with whats going so you can fix little problems before they turn into big ones.
The first thing you will want to do after your whole system is up and running is make sure you have a copy of main servers backups on your local computer. If you didn't copy them yet open Bitvise and connect to your main server. Use SFTP and navigate to /backups and copy all files to your computer. If you didn't enable rsync to another server make sure you copy all backups to your computer at least once per month.
Enable SSH key
To protect your main server from hackers you might want to use SSH keys instead of password when you are logged in. SSH keys the same way DKIM keys work with emails. You copy private key to your computer and public key to your server. If keys don't match you don't get access.
To enable SSH keys go to "Server Settings > SSH Key Generator" and follow instructions there.
Check your open ports
During setup, you might have open some ports or completely disabled firewall on your main server. Make sure your firewall is turned on and only ports you really need are opened.
Monitor your blacklists
If you are using Mumara it is already monitoring your IPs and domains, but even so, I suggest you add all your domains and IPs to and be informed by email when the status of IPs or domains changes. This way you can react and request a delisting before it impacts your delivery rates. Click here, create a free account and add your IPs and domains.
Create catch-all emails
Create a catch-all email for all your sending domains and forward them to [email protected]
Check system emails regularly
Make sure you add all your system emails (postmaster and abuse) to a client like Outlook or ThunderBird. Some users will send emails with removal requests.
Check Spammyness of your Emails regularly
You probably checked the score of your email on Mail tester during setup but in case you didn't check it now and also check it at least once per month. The best thing is to send all your campaigns to Mail Tester even if you check the spam score inside your EMS software.
Register for FBL
Register all your domains with all major providers that have Feedback Loops program. You can find a list of available FBLs here. Don't forget to add your FBL email addresses to Mumara or other Email Marketing Software.
Add domains to Postmaster Tools
Since Google/Gmail does not have a Feedback Loops for others then ESPs, be sure to add all your sending domains to Googles Postmaster Tools. You will be able to monitor IP and domain reputation, Spam complaints and so on. Click here to start.[/sociallocker]
Don't use new domains for sending
I don't know why, but most people even those that are in bulk sending for years don't know this. You should never use a newly registered domain for bulk email sending. New domains are added to Day old Bread list (DNSRBL). They say that it's removed from this list after 5 days but from my tests, it's best if you wait 20 days before you start sending from a fresh domain. Mail Tester will show this as URIBL_RHS_DOB.
Mask your IPs
If you are using CloudFlare you can use IP masking feature and hide (to some degree) IPs of your servers. Just click the cloud icon to the right of each DNS record so it will turn orange and bum. If you ping your domain CloudFlare will reply from its IP. Make sure you do NOT mask the subdomain you are using for bulk email sending. If you do your rDNS and SPF will become invalid. I usually mask IP for my root domain and subdomain I am using for domain masking.
CLEAN YOUR LISTS!
If you bought your lists or scraped them off the Internet make sure you clean them before you start sending. It's not enough to process bounces and send to the rest. Bought and scraped lists are full of risky email addresses called Spam Traps. This are old emails that aren't used by their owner and email provider (for example Gmail) is monitoring them for new emails that arrive. If a new marketing email arrives in the email address that was turned into a Spam Trap the provider can be sure that the message is really spam, as the owner abandoned this address years ago.
Clean your first 15100 email addresses for free, Register here.
WARM UP YOUR IPS!!!
You put in a lot of time in setting up your new Bulk Email System. Now don't be crazy and start sending without limits. It's really hard to recover your Sender Score if it drops below 50 so follow my Warm Up Guide and start slow.
Also be sure to read this when you are ready to start to send BIG!
Enjoy and stay in INBOX,
Onyx aka PowerMTA NiNjA
This tutorial is a part of complete Do It Yourself Bulk Email Server Guide. If you are interested in starting with email marketing or want to improve your delivery, open and click rates I recommend that you follow it from the beginning. Almost 15 years in this business and many, many tests show that this is the best long-run solution for every mass email sender with double opt-in, scraped or bought list.