Starting an ESP, which is the best email delivery platform out there?

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by massMailer, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am thinking of starting an ESP and looking to choose the best platform there is, so far I've narrowed it down to the following ones and I believe are highly respected and are used by the best. But I would like to know if they are good enough to handle atleast 100k monthly users pushing billions of emails in total.

    • VoloMP
    • DeliverablityAgent
    • Custom??
    Here DA is almost 10x more costly than Volo and I have no idea how much a custom solution will cost and will it be even better than these platforms that have been in the game for ages.

    Thank you!
     
  2. elusivemarketing

    elusivemarketing VIP

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    starting a full fledged ESP is very expensive I had no idea what I got myself into until I was already committed. also way more work than I originally thought it would be.. but it is a fun ride for sure so I wish you luck on it tho.
     
  3. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Thanks bro :)

    Although I hope all the work is worth it? hah :p

    BTW we're on fb and skype would you mind if I ask a few questions if I have any?
     
  4. elusivemarketing

    elusivemarketing VIP

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    yea thats fine.
     
  5. DAgent

    DAgent Moderator

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    Hi massMailer,

    There are several things to consider to run your ESP as you may know by now. I'll go through a few of them and I hope it helps you getting closer.

    First off, you need to define your target customer segment. This is very important since expectations must be set for them from this point forward.

    What will your customers be mailing? Third party offers to purchased email lists? Ok, then deliverability will depend on their mailing practices. They will have to manage their IP space individually. This means that you will basically provide them with a dedicated IP space and they will deal with the feedback they get from their mailings, as well as whitelisting requests, etc. But you would be in this case, basically a software vendor (and not really an ESP).

    Are they business owners trying to mail their customers? Now you have the ability to become an ESP, since this is the most acceptable email practice that is eligible by many ISPs for you to connect and deliver email on behalf of your customers to their email servers. Here's a few things you need to have in mind:

    - You need an email deliverability manager (ISP relationships manager and email deliverability supervisor). Have an active member of the email community contacting the right people to let them know about you BEFORE they start getting emails from your email servers. It's very important for the recipients servers to know beforehand what type of relationship your customers have with their recipients before they hit their mailboxes from a "new" source. This is a very thorough process that needs to take place while you're building your email infrastructure.

    - The IPs provider. This is your most important partner in your business as an ESP. It must be a company that you can build a relationship with, and it's aware of what you are doing, and how you enforce compliance to your clients for protecting everyone's best interests. Once your company name is out there, and you become a respectable member of the email world, you can get IPs from multiple sources without issues.

    - A well defined Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP). VERY IMPORTANT. It must be clear on your sales website, what kind of mailing activities you will either allow or deny. Postmasters from recipient servers WILL have a look at your AUP while requesting whitelist / ESP status for your IPs.

    - A good screening process for new users. Once you get your IPs in good shape, you need to be careful with new clients, since you will get a lot of new users testing your limits. Whitelisted IPs are something very appealing for every mailer on the planet, and very fragile as well. Think about the deliverability of your ESP as the equivalent of a chain where every user you have is a link. The best way to approach this, is to work on the list your new users upload before they start sending. Some of our customers only allow their users, small segments of the campaign to be sent and based on the feedback they either allow or deny the campaign to continue.

    We've had several clients running their ESPs into different sub-segments within the big two that I've just mentioned, and it's basically a mix between both mailing practices. It usually ends up becoming two different ESPs, but we've also seen some success in between things.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions, and I'll try to clear them out and best of luck on your future company!

    -D
     
  6. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Hey DAgent,

    First off thanks a ton for writing all that out.

    Yes I have already thought most of the things you said. My target is business owners, bloggers, startups etc and not affiliate marketers, although I do have an idea of creating entirely different company for catering that market(this is not my main point of focus right now).

    I understand IP's are the most important factor when it comes to mailing and I've actually thought and took a bit further that maybe after a while I can get IP's directly from RIPE or its brokers directly cutting the middlemen(hosts), I am not sure how easy/hard is that but thats definitely in my mind.

    I will also be getting one of the best lawyers when it comes to terms and conditions and ESP operation, AUP etc.

    Totally get your last part about new users abusing the system and it can cost my ip's and deliverability for other customers. I am thinking of copying what Elasticmail does(and I believe many other ESP's do as well), like you said allow the new users to send a small part of the campaign and depending on how that segment went the campaign could be continued or stopped.

    I have some tiny little ideas that I think no one is doing in ESP business(at least yet) and I am very much interested in knowing deep about mailing infra, system, how everything actually works backend so if you know any source about learning something like that it would be awesome :)


    Sorry for my english, its my 3rd language but bottom line is I am very excited and 110% serious about this and want to make every small detail as right as possible.

    My aim is to get 100k monthly users in 3 years, I do have marketing knowledge and expanding a business exponentially by creative ideas and marketing is my strength. This is what I am actually good at, so as a email marketer who is an internet marketer with 3-4 years of mailing experience and total 7 years of marketing experience is what making me think that it might actually be a good idea and worth my time. :)

    Thanks!
     
  7. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Also, I am even willing to fly to any email software's office just to get to understand and know better face-to-face.(I believe this is the best way to learn about any platform in depth.)
     
  8. JoeVoloMP

    JoeVoloMP VIP

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    Always good content from DA, respect!

    Thought I'd mention Volo let's you watch the delivery attempts take place basically realtime. Namely, as connections get established and there's (attempted) traffic on them, as soon as a connection is terminated it shows in the log and you can see how well it did and what's the problem if there is one.

    The fields in the log are (see att, a snap from a demo box where everything is routed to /dev/null):
    1. msgid
    2. target ISP
    3. target domain
    4. src ip
    5. target mx ip
    6. number of emails delivered over this one conn
    7. number of errors received
    8. action Volo took in the end
    9. last thing the target said
    Now, to zero in on the segment of the delivery you can filter the output using any combination of msgid, ISP, domain and the ips. And you only need to type in bits of those (like "goo" as opposed to "google.com" in the ISP field), 192.168.2 and so on..

    On the same page (a Volo 5.0 addition called Executive Dashboard) there are also realtime speed charts per target ISP, speed per ip range, breakdown for the past 15 mins and the ability to alter the throttles then and there. Of course, you can throttle all of your ips at once, individual ip ranges, or subsets of ranges, down to single ips.

    So, if you host a bunch of accounts on your Volo box, whether some of them share ips or not, it's easy to see what client X is doing (by the msgid), and act if needed. Might be wrong, but it sounds useful in an ESP situation.


    We offer a week long free trial, you can hook up VPS ips and smtp relays and play with that, see if this works for you. And of course, I am always there to present Volo features, pick up feedback and screenshare on Skype, my handle: joevolomp
     

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  9. DAgent

    DAgent Moderator

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    massMailer,

    A couple thoughts.

    You don't necesarily need to get IPs directly from RIPE. You wont get direct benefits from doing this, since once down the road, while getting servers from any host, you'll get at least 5 IPs and that's pretty much all you need to push quite a decent volume (as much volume as the hardware will allow you). And you definitely want IP space on several different providers for too many reasons.

    Also, It's even more recommended for you as an email marketer / internet marketer to write (or partially copy) your own AUP, since the people reading that wont be lawyers. Focus on writting something that either a postmaster or a marketer will read and understand at a glance.

    <SUPER PLUG>
    Then what you need is a software company behind your ESP, to make sure you get done what you have in mind.
    </SP>

    We've had clients running as ESPs with a bit over 40k users without issues for a bizopp company. I can explain you more in detail what kind of infrastructure was behind the courtains. Our current ESP clients usually run for specific niches (tourism, arbitrage products, job sites, etc), but they are all below the 10k users base. Feel free to reach out to us.

    Happy to help
     
  10. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Ah I see, I thought I would be needing like thousands and thousands of ip's(later on as the user base increases) mostly cause I thought of assigning "new" users seperate IP's and keep seperate IP's for established users sending good content. Also if any ip goes bad then there will only be few users that would be affected which were assigned to that ip rather than large no of users if used only less no of IP's.


    Understood about the AUP part. I was just trying to see from CAN-SPAM and other mailing laws point of view :p

    Do you do offer customization as well?

    About VoloMP what I've heard is it is fully customizable, so I would love to have something that has tiny little customizations that can make small optimization or get me increased deliverability.


    Great
    Definitely interested in knowing more, will mail you soon

    :)


    Thank you.
     
  11. DAgent

    DAgent Moderator

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    We at DeliverabilityAgent offer a full, turn key, customized ESP business. This includes everything, from the sales page, recurring billing (Auth.net / other payment gateways integration), full support ticket system for your users, etc... Your license fees include 24/7 second level support, including new servers setup, etc.
     
  12. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Sounds really great.

    What about customizations? Extra charge for any features I might need in the future?
     
  13. damian

    damian Active Member

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    I'm trying something similar with mailwizz just because its so cheap and fast to get up running. I've already connected some ESPs via its API but no personal smtp servers yet.

    Im trying not too over complicate things and just decided to get it up and running and learn by trial and error. Right now im in the process of creating groups, assigning certain ip groups with certain groups and learning some of mailwizz advance functions.

    Pretty fun since im treating it as a hobby but my main thing is still being a bulk mailer (a compliant one!) :D so not sure how much info and help i can give.
     
  14. DAgent

    DAgent Moderator

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    No, we understand customizations are part of every new and unique business, and it's factored into our license fees.
     
  15. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Thanks a lot DAgent..

    I would love to hear more from VoloMP or from other users if anyone has tried both of them?
     
  16. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Hi Joe,

    Thanks a lot for the post, sorry I forgot to reply to this earlier.

    All these are great features, I talked with support some days back and he explained something about using proxy behind real IP's. I really want to know more about that but unfortunately I am not able to understand it. That feature sounds really great and would love to hear more about it.

    Also, how do you handle customization requests? Do you charge extra?
     
  17. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Hey,

    Did your pricing drop?

    Because I think it was 15k/m and now I see its 5k/m

    5k/m seems good.
     
  18. SuperGenii

    SuperGenii www.DataMCP.com

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    I want to wish you good luck massMailer. Ultimately, the software you end up using should be the least of your concerns...

    I believe DA is better suited for your type of usage. If you were just looking for a bulk mailing platform, I might suggest Volo over DA. But for your ESP back end, DA is probably better equipped.

    SG
     
  19. massMailer

    massMailer Member

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    Thanks a lot man :)
     
  20. JoeVoloMP

    JoeVoloMP VIP

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    Hey Mass! So, with a Volo you can use:
    1. Local ips (ip ranges routed to and configured on the very box where the Volo sw is running)
    2. Remote ips (ips and ip ranges routed to some remote super cheap box running centos 6, so we can install our proxy software on it and then those remote ips are "seen" by Volo as if they were local)
    3. SMTP relays (like Amazon SES or any other)
    Those are the three options, with option #2 letting you plug in those $5/month vps servers and using them, for instance.


    As for customization, the whitelabel feature comes free of charge, which means your clients never see the word Volo anywhere, but your name and your logo everywhere. If you mean small changes and features, we usually make those happen real quick, if at all possible. Free of charge of course, I don't remember ever charging for a feature, in the past 12.5 years.

    Considering Volo offers a free trial, personally, I would use that to get my feet weet and see for myself how it goes, nothing beats first hand experience.
     

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