If you’re using the GMass unlimited sending option by connecting an SMTP service to GMass, you may have chosen Sendgrid as your SMTP service provider. If so, here is how you we recommend that you configure your Sendgrid account.
- On April 6, 2020, SendGrid changed its requirements for new accounts. Accounts created after this date are required to verify individual sender addresses or a sender domain. More information on SendGrid’s website here: https://sendgrid.com/docs/for-developers/sending-email/sender-identity/. If you created your SendGrid account after April 6, then the easiest way to proceed is to verify the “from” address that you’ll send campaigns from in your Gmail account. That way you can avoid complex DNS entries and your emails will still be SPF and DKIM compliant. As soon as you log in to your SendGrid account, you’ll be directed to verify a sender, so proceed with that before the rest of this setup. If your SendGrid account was created before April 6, 2020, then you can skip ahead to step 2.
- GMass will connect without TLS/SSL to the SMTP server on the port of your choice. Sendgrid allows you to connect on ports 25 or 587. As of October 2020, you must authenticate into the Sendgrid SMTP relay with the username “apikey” (this is the same for everyone) and then your actual API key that you create from inside the SendGrid interface. Note that you cannot use the username/password that you use to log in to the SendGrid website. See below for an example. Remember: the SMTP username is always “apikey.” The SMTP server is smtp.sendgrid.net.
This is how you will set the Sendgrid server to be used in GMass.
- Ensure that open and click tracking are turned OFF. This is because GMass will add the tracking for you if you check the box for open and click tracking under Settings, and we don’t want the emails to be double tracked. Here is how the “Tracking” section of Sendgrid should look:
- Ensure that Bounce Notifications are on. Set them to go to the From Address. This will allow GMass to process your bounces, just like normal. Not all SMTP services have this capability. Sendgrid and JangoSMTP do. Mailgun and Mailjet do not. Therefore this is what your Mail Settings screen in Sendgrid should look like:
- We generally recommend users do NOT get a dedicated IP address with Sendgrid. We’ve spoken to high level staff at Sendgrid who have explained that dedicated IPs start off as cold IP addresses with no sending reputation. That means that initially, with a dedicated IP you’re likely to see more deliverability issues than if you use an IP address from Sendgrid’s shared pool. Here’s an article explaining the pitfalls of dedicated IPs. The only exception to this rule is if you plan to warm up your IPs over time by sending low-volume emails in the beginning and then ramping up.
- Similarly, we recommend that you do NOT whitelabel your domain either. Sendgrid highlights the deliverability advantages of a whitelisted domain, but because they force you to create a sub-domain of your domain, and don’t let you use your actual domain for the sending and signing of emails, your sub-domain will start off with no reputation and will likely cause delivery issues. Note: Some Sendgrid accounts require you to whitelabel your domain. Here’s how to get around that.
Since our beta launch a few weeks ago, several users who set up a domain whitelabel have had spam and deliverability issues, specifically where Gmail highlights the white-labeled sub-domain as the source of the spam problem.
- Lastly, do not set up an white-label email link either. This is equivalent to the branded tracking domain feature of GMass. Since we previously turned OFF Sendgrid’s open and click tracking in to avoid double-tracking, there’s no need to customize email links with Sendgrid.
Ajay is the founder of GMass and has been developing email sending software for 20 years.