What is SocketLabs?
What is SocketLabs and how does it work?
SocketLabs is a smooth and dependable email service, which is trusted by developers and IT professionals for sending industry-leading deliverability. This email delivery system supports SMTP Relay, Analytics, API, Inbound Parsing, and others. This software and system have been engineered with unique ISP-specific traffic shaping algorithms that exactly contours email deliveries uniquely to corporate domains. SocketLabs offers an all-round email delivery solution, both cloud-based and on-premise based. The on-demand servers are hosted and fully managed by the delivery experts to ensure top deliverability and excellent performance. The cloud-based SMTP service is the simplest way to start sending marketing and transactional emails without having to build email servers. With the SMTP Relay services, users can enjoy reliable bulk SMTP Relay for email delivery. Moreover, users can easily integrate the software with any application, and it will run on SMTP servers. Besides this, users get to use this powerful and convenient Email API, which makes it extremely easy for them to work on different apps. This email API can be used to send, track, and parse email for the app. It supports API documentation and ‘live’ developer support. One can efficiently work out with bulk email delivery requirements on SocketLabs.
5 Key Features of SocketLabs
SocketLabs has a ton of features to help SocketLabs customers enhance their email marketing campaigns.
Here’s a detailed look at the best ones:
1. SMTP Server
An SMTP server allows you to manage your bulk marketing and transactional emails with ease.
What are transactional emails?
They’re automatic emails triggered by a specific action or event. For example, if a customer purchases an item, that action would trigger a corresponding transactional email — a payment confirmation sent to the customer.
However, building and maintaining your own SMTP mail server to do this is complex, time-consuming, and expensive.
SocketLabs makes this process easier by providing a powerful, secure SMTP mail server and MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) for your business. This can replace an in-house SMTP server (like Gmail’s) or even the SMTP service hosted by your ISP (internet service provider).
How do you use the SocketLabs server?
All you need to do is sign up for their service to receive your SMTP credentials. Then, enter these into your email client (Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo Mail, etc.) to connect to the SocketLabs SMTP email server.
SocketLabs’ SMTP service features:
- Excellent deliverability rates to ensure your emails reach the recipient’s inbox and aren’t marked as spam emails
- Unlimited email sending to bypass sending limits associated with Gmail and Outlook
- Easy integration with your in-house email applications
- DKIM record, SPF, and DMARC authentication for all your email messages
What Is DKIM?
DKIM refers to Domain Keys Identified Mail. This process encrypts outgoing mail and gives each email a digital signature to verify that it was sent by the owner of the domain. To keep your email message secure, only the receiver’s mail server can decrypt the incoming email.
What Is SPF?
SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is a security mechanism to validate IP addresses and web applications that send emails from a particular domain.
The SPF record associated with a domain contains a database of applications and IP addresses authorized to send emails using the specific domain name.
This way, only emails from authorized IP addresses and applications are accepted by the recipient’s mail server, while the rest are rejected or flagged.
What Is DMARC?
DMARC stands for “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance.” It’s an authentication protocol used alongside DKIM and SPF to provide an additional layer of security to your email and sender domain.
These authentication measures ensure that your outgoing mail remains secure on its way to the recipient’s inbox and can’t be intercepted or altered.
2. Built-In Template Library and Email Designer
To ensure maximum open rates and conversions, you need to design your emails the right way. But if you aren’t experienced with email marketing or design, this can be a tricky process!
Luckily, SocketLabs email offers a range of starter email templates that give you a solid framework to build your emails. These email templates make it simple to plug in your content and create professional emails in no time.
For more experienced users, Socket Labs also features a drag-and-drop email designer. This tool helps you build attractive emails from scratch with ease.
The drag-and-drop email designer allows you to:
- Design professional emails that resonate with your brand image.
- Use fluid and responsive layouts that can be read on any device.
- Easily insert design elements, from text and images to buttons and dividers.
SocketLabs even allows you to personalize these email templates using custom and merge fields. These fields are then filled with mail merge data from your contact list for every single recipient.
This way, you can send personalized, mass emails without manually entering all the personal information yourself.
3. Campaign Management
SocketLabs customers can manage all their email campaigns from the SocketLabs SMTP service itself.
It allows you to set up, automate, and customize drip campaigns with features such as:
- The name of the email within the software
- The subject and content of your email message
- The scheduled time to send each message in your drip campaign
What kind of emails can you send with drip campaigns?
Drip campaigns can be used to automate a series of emails, like:
- Welcome emails or onboarding messages
- Email newsletters for specific audiences or customer bases
- Automatic follow-ups
- Sales messages and campaigns
By setting up your drip campaigns via SocketLabs, you can automate the entire process — you don’t need to worry about manually sending each email or remembering to follow-up at the right time to maximize email deliverability and open rates.
4. Statistics and Reporting
To optimize your email performance, you need to analyze your marketing campaign against critical metrics.
The SocketLabs email delivery service gives you detailed reports and analytics for all your emails, covering key stats such as:
- The number of outbound emails sent and accepted
- The number of failed emails and the bounce rate
- The number of emails reported as spam
- The open rate and click rate for each marketing campaign
These analytics help you identify how you can improve your email marketing, such as eliminating elements of a message that cause some emails to go straight to a recipient’s spam folder.
Tip: To improve your email delivery further, the SocketLabs team also offers webinars and guides such as “The Science of Hitting the Inbox for High-Volume Senders.”
5. Integration and SocketLabs API
The SocketLabs network (www.socketlabs.com) supports easy integration with a variety of SaaS and software tools to improve your email marketing functionality.
SocketLabs supported integration includes:
- Marketing automation: Launchmetrics, SAP Marketing Cloud
- SMS and digital communication tools: OpenMessage, SuperPhone
- Email verification software: KickBox, VerSafe
- Customer experience platforms: Qualtrics, Team Support
- Ecommerce tools: CashStar, SAP Commerce Cloud
- WordPress plugin
Apart from these direct integrations, SocketLabs also provides email API access for developers (application programming interface) to set up custom integrations. While most email marketers won’t need these features, it could help an advanced developer who knows what they’re doing.
SocketLabs provides developers with custom integrations such as:
- Injection API: Send messages via HTTP POST requests instead of the standard SMTP message injection. This allows you to perform inline mail merges in Basic Send within a single HTTP POST request.
- Notification API or Webhook: Set up real-time notifications for various SMTP events like delivered emails or failed messages in any language, platform, or location.
- Inbound Parsing API: Deconstruct inbound email messages from text and HTML file data into a file attachment or custom header. SocketLabs provides a detailed summary and report of all parsing activity for your account.
- Reporting API: Create custom queries for various email metrics such as email opens, clicks, or failed emails.
3 Drawbacks to Using SocketLabs
While SocketLabs is a handy marketing automation platform, it isn’t perfect.
Here’s a closer look at some areas where this tool falls behind:
1. No Contact Management Features
Socket Labs doesn’t support an extensive contact management feature.
What does this mean?
A typical SMTP service or software vendor, like Sendinblue, Mailgun, or SendGrid, allows you to manage your contacts from within your bulk email platform.
For a closer look at these SMTP services, check out these detailed reviews of Sendinblue, Mailgun, and SendGrid.
However, with SocketLabs, you must use another tool with contact management functionalities to keep track of multiple recipients and contact lists. This can be inconvenient for large mailing lists and can get expensive as you’re paying for multiple tools.
2. Can’t Verify Email Addresses
SocketLabs doesn’t provide any email verification services to help you optimize your contact lists and filter out invalid recipients.
How does email verification help you?
Email verification allows you to remove false, misspelled, and invalid recipients from your customer or contact lists. This helps you improve your deliverability rate and ensures that your email messages are sent to the correct inbox. In turn, this reduces the chance of your messages being marked as spam emails.
As SocketLabs can’t help you verify your email lists within the platform, you’ll need to invest in a separate email verification tool to remove invalid recipients from your mailing list.
3. Lacks SMS Marketing or Transactional SMS Message Support
Along with email, SMS is one of the most effective modes of communication for your marketing or transactional message needs.
This is why your typical marketing automation or email service provider also supports SMS marketing and transactional SMS message support. It allows you to connect your email and SMS marketing for a more effective campaign.
However, SocketLabs doesn’t support native SMS features — you’ll need to use one of the supported integrations or use other third-party tools to handle your transactional SMS messages.
SocketLabs offers four pricing plans to suit a variety of business needs. Here’s a closer look:
- Free plan — Up to 40,000 emails in the first month, then 2,000 emails/month + email templates + analytics + email API.
- Basic plan: $39.95/month — Includes all “Free plan” features + up to 40,000 emails/month + 90 days of performance history + 1 secure whitelisted authentication IP address.
- Professional plan: Includes all “Basic plan” features + 5 secure whitelisted authentication IP address + 1 dedicated IP address + deliverability consulting + priority customer support.
- $79.95/month — Up to 100,000 emails/month.
- $125/month — Up to 200,000 emails/month.
- $225/month — Up to 400,000 emails/month.
- Enterprise plan: Custom pricing — Includes all “Professional plan” features + over 500,000 emails/month + 2 dedicated IP addresses + suppression list IP + encrypted engagement tracking.