The EXM Delivery Cloud compared to the custom SMTP

Current version: 10.3

In the Email Experience Manager, you can choose between two delivery options:

  • EXM Delivery Cloud handles the complexity of email delivery for you and provides the correct infrastructure for reliable email delivery.

    Note

    For configuration support and email dispatch troubleshooting, refer to the standard Sitecore support channels. We also provide reactive support to all subscription holders focusing on any accounts that are incorrectly configured or for any campaigns with a high bounce-rate or spam-rate.

  • A custom SMTP is an unmanaged service that suits low-volume (< 10k per month), low-complexity, or internal deployments. It is ideal for SMTP-only setups like MailServer, Exchange Server, AWS Email, SendGrid, or custom Port 25 deployments.

Comparing EXM Delivery Cloud and Custom SMTP

An overview of the features supported by EXM Delivery Cloud and custom SMTP.

Feature

EXM Delivery Cloud

Custom SMTP

Notes

Dispatch

Send via SMTP

Send attachments <7mb

Send attachments >7mb

SSL and TLS protocols Ports 443 and 25

The Customer is responsible for securing the SMTP endpoint, implementing SSL, and testing.

Subscription management

Approved domains

Suppression list

Data collection

Collect bounces

The Customer is responsible for configuring the DSN (Delivery Status Notifications) processor. The DSN processor provides less than 80% in accuracy because it relies on SMTP-based responses. In addition, using the DSN processor adds minor processing overhead on the server resources.

Collect SPAM complaints

Visual overview in EXM

Opens, clicks, and viewed pages

Bounces

The Customer is responsible for configuring the DSN (Delivery Status Notifications) processor. The DSN processor provides less than 80% in accuracy because it relies on SMTP-based responses. In addition, using the DSN processor adds minor processing overhead on the server resources.

Complaints

Device type

Location

Other

Integration with xProfile

IP address management

The Customer is responsible for the sender reputation, greylisting and blacklisting, and any issues with the ISP.

Sender reputation

The Customer is responsible for the sender reputation, greylisting and blacklisting, and any issues with the ISP.

ISP relationship management

The Customer is responsible for the sender reputation, greylisting and blacklisting, and any issues with the ISP.

DKIM/SPF

Only one option for validating a sending domain is needed and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is the best method to use.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) only applies to the MAIL FROM / Return-Path domain. In EXM Delivery Cloud, a common domain is used for all your email messages. Sitecore has configured the SPF record, so no further action is necessary.

You can, however, implement SPF in your custom SMTP setup.

Note that if you use custom SMTP, Sitecore is not responsible for managing any technical email reputation features like SPF or DKIM.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance)

If you use custom SMTP, Sitecore is not responsible for managing any technical email reputation features like SPF or DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail).

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