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Why NOT to send bulk emails through your own ISP

By Rob Drummond on Fri 28 October 2011 in Email Marketing

If you’re like most businesses, email is already a key part of your marketing strategy. However, if you send a lot of emails you may be sitting on a ticking time-bomb…

Sending emails from your own ISP (Internet Service Provider).

If you mailmerge your emails through Outlook, then you are sending emails from your own IP address. This can cause big problems for you down the road.

Each email you send through Outlook contains an ‘email header’ which contains information such as the subject, sender and recipients. The header also contains a series of ‘received’ lines, that document the path your email took. Every computer that handles your email between you and your recipient adds a line, describing the server from which it received the message, when it received it and so on.

The first ‘received’ header line will therefore be made by the outgoing email server to which your email program (Outlook, Thunderbird etc) connects. That line will contain your own IP address, granted to you by your internet service provider.

Effectively, when you send emails using your own ISP you leave an audit trail pointing back to your own IP address! Any spam complaints (legitimate or not) ultimately point back to you. Spam blocking services have become more sophisticated at looking not only at the servers passing them the message, but also looking back at the audit trail to see if any of the machines in it should not be trusted.

If your IP gets blacklisted, your recipients will not receive your emails – even personal ones.

Still think sending bulk emails out through Outlook is a good idea?

For sending out large numbers of emails, the answer is to use a hosted Email Marketing program which sends your emails using a different IP address.

Our recommended provider Communigator (who power ProspectSoft Email Marketing) use a pool of rotating IP addresses to send your emails, meaning that if an IP address receives too many complaints it is taken out of use.

The end result is that as many of your email recipients receive your email as possible!

Of course this only gets you in the game; you then need to create emails that your recipients open, read and want to receive. I’ll be covering that next time.

In the mean-time, until 23rd December we are offering three months of no monthly payments on email marketing. If you are still sending emails through your own ISP, there has never been a better time to upgrade to a hosted solution.

ProspectSoft Email Marketing comes with a range of additional benefits, for example:

  • Reporting which contacts opened and clicked on your emails (and sharing this information with your sales team)
  • Targeting contacts for your emails who have purchased particular products
  • Targeting high value but lapsed customers
  • Integration to Google Analytics (what happens once they get to your website?

Learn more at

Next week’s post will look at getting your emails opened and read.