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Setting Up Outlook SMTP Settings (2020 Guide)

Outlook SMTP settings

Looking to set up the Outlook SMTP settings for your email account?

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about configuring Outlook SMTP settings.

I’ll walk you through the process of setting up your SMTP settings and the disadvantages of using a Microsoft Outlook SMTP server. I’ll even highlight a better alternative to Microsoft Outlook to streamline your email sending activities!

Here’s what this article contains:

Do you just want the SMTP settings without any of the other helpful information?

Here you go:

Outlook SMTP Settings

Server Address: smtp-mail.outlook.com

User name: The full email address used for your Outlook account (e.g., example@outlook.com)

Password: Your Outlook account Password

SMTP Port Number: 587 (With “TLS” for an encrypted connection)

Alternative Server Port Number: 25 (Without TLS/SSL — no encrypted connection provided)

Note: Ensure your internet service provider hasn’t blocked the port number.

For the rest of us, let’s get started!

How to set up SMTP in Microsoft Outlook

Let’s jump in and see how you can set up your SMTP settings in Outlook.

There are three ways to set up email settings in your Outlook account:

  • Using direct send.
  • Using the SMTP authentication method (this is what we’ll talk about).
  • Using a dedicated relay to send your emails through the Outlook SMTP relay.

Note: If you want to know what SMTP is first, click here to jump down to that section. After you’ve understood what it is, you can come back here to learn how to set it up.

Why should you use the SMTP client method?

Why should you choose the SMTP client submission method over the other two?

Because it’s the best method to use!

Here’s why you shouldn’t use the direct send or dedicated relay methods: 

  • Direct Send only allows communication within your organization. So you can’t use it to communicate with people outside your business.
  • If your company uses a line-of-business (LOB) tool, you need to have a static IP address to authenticate the Outlook app with the relay server method.

And here’s why you should use the SMTP client submission method: 

Unlike Direct Send, the SMTP authentication (SMTP AUTH) submission method allows you to send emails to anyone with a full email address inside or outside your organization. Additionally, with SMTP authentication, you don’t need to worry about having a static IP address for your LOB app.

Here’s how to set up your Outlook SMTP settings:

Log in to the Outlook mail app and use the toolbar at the top and navigate to Settings > Mail > POP and IMAP. 

Next, go to More Settings > Outgoing Server tab and check the My Outgoing Server (SMTP) Requires Authentication option.

Then, click on the Advanced tab and change the Outgoing server (SMTP) port to set up the SMTP mail server.

Outlook SMTP Settings

Server name: smtp-mail.outlook.com

User name: The full email address used for your Outlook.com account

Password: Your Outlook login Password

Port Number: 587 (With “TLS” for an encrypted connection)

Alternative Port Number: 25 (Without TLS/SSL)

Note: Ensure your internet service provider hasn’t blocked the port.

How to set up IMAP & POP server settings in Outlook

You can set up your SMTP settings to send outgoing emails, but that isn’t enough to fetch incoming emails. To do that, you need to set up an incoming mail server using POP or IMAP.

Here’s what you have to do to set up the incoming server settings with either IMAP or POP in Microsoft Outlook.

Go to Settings > Mail > POP and IMAP.

Then, set up the incoming mail server using either POP or IMAP — whichever you prefer. Insert the following values in the server information fields.

IMAP Settings

IMAP server name: outlook.office365.com

Server Port: 993

IMAP encryption method: TLS

POP Settings

POP server name: outlook.office365.com

Server Port: 995

POP Encryption method: TLS

Note: Outlook.com doesn’t require Secure Password Authentication (SPA). SPA is a proprietary Microsoft protocol used to authenticate Microsoft email clients with servers. But don’t worry, since you’re using Outlook, it won’t be an issue for you!

What is SMTP?

Now that you know how to set up a mail server using SMTP, POP, and IMAP, let’s get into what these email protocols are and how they help you.

What’s a protocol?

A protocol is a method of exchanging information from one email account to several other email accounts or computers.

A Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used to send emails from one email server to another. SMTP is used by most email account servers to exchange email messages.

SMTP uses a process called “store and forward” that helps you move emails from one mail server to another.

It works with a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) — also known as an SMTP relay — to send your outgoing mail to the right inbox. Using an SMTP relay guarantees that your mail is delivered to the recipients’ inbox.

It’s a lot like the postal service using their postal networks to deliver your mail to the right person.

How does SMTP handle email?

SMTP utilizes codes and commands to simplify sending emails across servers. SMTP relay servers transfer outgoing mail across several computer systems before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.

This is similar to a letter going through multiple post offices and agents before getting delivered.

However, SMTP can’t send attachments.

It can only transmit text.

You can overcome this through Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME, which encodes all non-text data in an email to text before sending it through SMTP.

What are IMAP and POP?

Remember, SMTP is only used to send outgoing mail.

To configure your incoming emails, you’ll need to set up an incoming mail server — this involves setting up a POP or IMAP account.

Here’s how these protocols work:

A. POP3

Post Office Protocol (POP) is a protocol widely used to receive incoming mail. There have been several versions of POP, the latest being the POP3 server. This protocol downloads email onto a local device whenever you want to check email. This way, granting POP access to your email client lets you check your mail even when you’re offline!

B. IMAP

The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is the most commonly used protocol for receiving incoming mail.

Unlike a POP3 server, where you have to download an email to your local storage, IMAP saves all emails on its servers, so whenever you need to check email, your mail client contacts the server and lets you check your email.

This makes IMAP quicker and more efficient than using a POP3 server.

POP and IMAP vs. SMTP

Are all these protocols confusing you?

Don’t worry!

It’s all very simple.

POP and IMAP are protocols that help you receive incoming emails, while SMTP is a protocol that allows you to send outgoing emails.

Why Outlook isn’t the best email client + a great alternative

While you can set up your SMTP settings to use Outlook as your email provider, it’s not the best mail client out there.

Here’s why Gmail is a much better mail client than Outlook:

1. Gmail offers more functionality and a cleaner interface

Gmail is renowned for its user-friendly interface.

While Outlook tries to offer a similar interface, it’s far from the streamlined look of Gmail and even lacks some useful features.

While Gmail provides a secure connection for your emails, it also has tons of AI-powered features like smart compose — something you won’t find in Outlook.

2. Gmail offers a ton of powerful extensions

Microsoft Outlook works best when paired with the other Office365 applications. This means that if you need extra features from Outlook, you’ll have to turn to one of the Office 365 apps. And while some of those are helpful, it’s still a very limited selection!

However, Gmail features a ton of functional extensions to increase your email productivity.

One such extension is GMass, and GMass is the perfect tool for anyone who’s looking to send bulk email from their Gmail account.

What is GMass?

GMass homepage

GMass is a powerful cold email app that’s used by tech giants like Twitter, Google, Uber, and LinkedIn. GMass works right inside Gmail, which means you don’t have to familiarize yourself with separate tabs or windows.

But GMass isn’t just for massive companies!

Solopreneurs, SMEs, churches, and individuals can use GMass to send emails to a target audience.

You can use GMass to:

  • Send mass emails from your inbox.
  • Customize mass emails to include each recipient’s name and other details.
  • Accurately track email interactions.
  • Schedule mass emails and follow-ups.
  • Easily set up custom tracking domains.

What else?

Anyone can get started with GMass. Just download the Chrome extension, and you can jump right in!

Useful GMass features:

Here’s why GMass paired with Gmail is a great alternative to Microsoft Outlook to send your email:

A. Powerful Email Personalization

If you’re looking for high rates of engagement, you have to customize the emails you send out. Recipients won’t engage with emails that feel generic, so they have to be personalized.

Thankfully, GMass can customize your email automatically.

GMass can automatically customize all of your emails with features like automatic first name entry, personalized images, and more.

B. Campaign Reports and Metrics

Whenever you send an email campaign via GMass, you get access to a Campaign Report. These campaign reports can be used to measure the performance of your email campaigns.

These reports show you stats like number of recipients, number of unique clicks, number of replies, and many more metrics!

C. Easily schedule email campaigns

The timing of your emails is critical to achieving high engagement rates. The mail needs to reach recipients’ inboxes just when they’re about to check their mailbox.

GMass can help you schedule your emails in advance to boost your engagement rates. Just type your email and schedule it, then let GMass handle the rest!

D. Automate your follow-up emails

Many recipients might not see your initial email, or they might even ignore it. So you’ll have to send follow-up emails to get their attention.

GMass can help you automate these follow-ups by choosing when to send them, how many follow-ups to send, what to include in the follow-up email, and the time gaps between each follow-up.

How to configure your SMTP settings in GMass

You can always use Gmail’s SMTP servers for your emails, but why do that when you can set up your own SMTP outgoing mail server on GMass?

This will even let you send unlimited mass emails to recipients!

Here’s how you can set it up:

1. Choosing how to set up the SMTP server

You can set up SMTP settings in GMass using three different methods:

A. Use the GMass SMTP server

If the emails you send are either:

  • Non-commercial or,
  • Completely organically developed

You can easily set up SMTP through GMass’s own SendGrid account. You can contact the GMass team to request this service.

B. Set up your own SMTP account

If you feel like you need your own SMTP account, or if your emails don’t fit the criteria above — don’t worry!

You can easily set up your own SMTP account with third-party providers like SendGrid. Then, just tweak the account setting to your liking and set it up with GMass.

Read my recent reviews of popular SMTP services:

Mailgun
Mailjet
SendGrid
Sendinblue
SMTP2GO
SocketLabs

C. Set up a private SMTP outgoing mail server

If you have the technical knowledge, you can set up custom SMTP server settings for your business.

However, setting up your own server can be time-consuming and requires advanced technical knowledge.

If you’re an expert-level developer, you’ll want to read my technical review of popular SMTP services.

2. Setting up your SMTP account

Here’s how GMass connects to SMTP servers:

Step 1

GMass connects to your server without TLS/SSL. You can decide on the port number — most SMTP service providers will allow you to connect to port number 25 or 2525.

Note: Ensure your internet service provider hasn’t blocked the port number.

Step 2

Ensure the “track email opens and clicks” option is turned off. This is required because GMass does all the email tracking for you. 

Ensure that the outgoing mail server (SMTP) doesn’t alter the emails in any way, but just lets them pass through.

Step 3

Look for any email send quota restrictions in your SMTP account — if there are any, ensure that you remove them or that they don’t limit your email campaigns.

Step 4

In this step, you’ll have to check which RETURN-PATH address your server is using. This address is also called a MAIL-FROM address or an Envelope Form.

Depending on your SMTP provider, you’ll have to verify your domain name — because the same domain name is used in the MAIL-FROM address and the “from” address.

This may require you to alter your DMARC, DKIM, and SPF records.

Step 5

Make sure you turn on Bounce notifications. Don’t forget to set your bounce notifications to go to the “From” address. 

This helps GMass to process the email bounces and show them to you when required.

3. Setting up GMass to send emails through the SMTP server

This is the last step in configuring GMass with an external server.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1

Reload Gmail to make sure you have the latest GMass version. Install the Chrome extension if you don’t have GMass already. Then, click on the compose window.

Step 2

Insert smtp@gmass.co as the “To” field.

Step 3

Insert the word “set” as the subject and wait for this form to load in the message area.

GMass interface showing SMTP form

Step 4

Enter the relevant details after the colons. If your SMTP server requires no authentication, set the User name to “noauth” and leave the password field blank.

Step 5

Click the GMass button.

After you complete these steps, GMass will try to send a test message to your inbox. If the email is successful, the SMTP email message server will be set for your Gmail account.

Then, you’re ready to send out emails on GMass through your external SMTP server!

GMass Pricing

Are you worried you’ll have to spend a ton on GMass?

Don’t be!

GMass is one of the most affordable email outreach tools out there:

  • Free plan: includes all features + supports free email tracking for up to 50 emails/day.
  • Individual:
    • Minimal: $8.95/month – provides all functions except auto-follow-up emails + provides unlimited email tracking.
    • Standard: $12.95/month –  removes the GMass footer from emails and offers all “Minimal” features.
    • Premium: $19.95/month – offers all “Standard” functions + automatic follow-up emails.
  • Team:
    • Premium: starts at $89/month for small teams of five members – supports all perks and features.

Conclusion

Configuring your Outlook SMTP settings doesn’t have to be complicated.

Just follow the instructions I have outlined above, and you’ll have your Outlook mail server settings up and running in no time!

But remember, Outlook isn’t the ideal email client.

It lacks some functionality, supports limited extensions, and boxes you into the Microsoft 365 Suite.

Why use a limited email app like Microsoft Outlook when you can easily handle your email through Gmail and GMass instead?

It’s simple, affordable and offers more functionality than any other email tool. So why not give GMass a try today and take your email reach to the next level?

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