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Home > Outlook & Email Tips > Send Email Limit for SMTP Mail Servers
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Send Email Limit for SMTP Mail Servers - The Basics

The goal of this article is to show you the email send limits, reasons & workarounds for most popular Internet, email or web hosting providers, like Verizon, Comcast, AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, GoDaddy, Earthlink or many others.

dots How do you know when your provider is blocking your outgoing emails?

Usually, when you reached the email send limit of your provider, you will get one of the following errors:

  • Your provider will not let you login to the outgoing SMTP server (your SMTP username & password are rejected);
  • When trying to send an email, you will receive an error message saying that you reached your daily SMTP limit, for example:
    • "Requested action aborted; number of recipients or message quota reached";
    • "Error with sending recipients - rejected due to spam";
    • "SMTP relay limit reached";
    • "Please try to increase the timeout setting for this account".
  • When trying to send an email, the outgoing mail server will respond with an error saying that your IP address is blocked for outgoing emails, for example:
    • "Too frequent connects from [YOUR IP ADDRESS], please try again later";
    • "SMTP access is restricted for [YOUR IP ADDRESS]";
    • "Message has not been sent server reply --[YOUR IP ADDRESS]".

    dots Why would you care about your SMTP send email limit?

    When you are about to send several emails at a time (for a business or personal event, as a newsletter or else), you MUST know your SMTP mail server restrictions, so your email account does not get temporarily or permanently blocked by your own email or Internet provider. Then, you can use an email marketing software, like Easy Mail Merge, to schedule your outgoing emails in order to match the send email limits of your provider.

    dots SMTP Servers - send email limit & rate limits

  • Email SMTP rate limit for Internet access providers (Comcast, Verizon, EarthLink, etc);
  • Mail server SMTP limit for web hosting providers (GoDaddy, RackSpace, HostWay, etc);
  • Send email SMTP limit for email address providers (Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL, etc);

    dots What solutions do I have to avoid SMTP limitations?

    The easiest and less expensive solution is to know your provider's SMTP limit for sending emails. This way, you can schedule your messages so you don't reach your send email limit.

    If you need to send out more emails than your provider's SMTP limit, then you can:

  • Install a SMTP agent on your own computer and send the emails from "localhost" (your own computer). However, please note that many Internet providers block port 25 (the one used for SMTP communications), so you might not be able to use such a solution. Also, even if you are allowed to send emails using your own SMTP agent, you will find out that many emails will be rejected by the mail servers of your recipients, because your local SMTP agent does not match the server records of the domain name from where you send the emails;
  • If you plan to send the emails from your own domain name/web site, then you can purchase a dedicated web server, where you can host your site. Some dedicated web server providers (like LunarPages) do not have any limitations on sending emails from hosted dedicated servers;
  • You can use a mass-emailing service, provided by an email marketing company. Such services can be VERY expensive, as all email sending risks (for example, to be labelled as a spammer) are taken by the mass email service provider.

    dots Why ISPs or web hosting providers have email-send limits?

    Email spamming can be very annoying to email users, but it is also expensive to Internet providers. Spam emails are consumming mail server resources and bandwidth - as a result, one solution for most Internet, email or web hosting providers is to fight spam by preventing their own customers for sending spam-like emails.

    A simple method to prevent customers from sending bulk emails is by enforcing limits to send emails (for example, you are not allowed to send more than 500 emails per day). However, this popular method has its downside, as it prevents trustworthy customers from sending many legitimate emails at a time (not spam).

    dots If I get passed my provider's SMTP limitations, does it automatically mean I am not spamming?

    If your outgoing emails get passed the send-email SMTP limits of your provider, it means only one thing: your emails are going to be delivered to the mail server of each of your recipients. Those mail servers and the intended recipients will decide if you are spamming or not. Even if your emails are not marked as spam, it still does not mean they are legitimate emails.

    Bottom line, no matter if your emails pass your provider's "send email limit" and they are not marked as spam by the mail servers of the intended recipients, make sure ALL your emails are compliant with your country law against spam - like CAN-SPAM Act (for USA) or the EC Directives (for the European Union). Some countries do not have specific laws against spam.

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