Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) Explained

All email marketing tools make use of an MTA.

An MTA is part of the email infrastructure.  A mail server is sometimes called an email relay, mail router or mail server, but it is defined most often as MTA. A Mail Transfer Agent (or Message Transfer Agent).

What is an MTA?

A Mail Transfer Agent is software that sends email messages from one sender to the recipient.

An MTA is responsible for the core tasks involved with delivering of email, including queuing, throttling, scheduling, connection management, data transfer, processing of deferrals, bounce generation and tracking of delivery status.

An MTA solution also includes features for handling inbound email, such as replies and remotely bounced messages.

The MTA works in the background, through back end server applications. The typical user interacts with the email marketing tool, not directly with the MTA interface. A correctly configured MTA can have a great impact on the deliverability and performance of the email marketing tool.

Use of an MTA in email marketing

A mail transfer agent might also be known as mail relay or internet message handling service. The terms mail server, mail exchanger or MX host may also refer to a computer performing the MTA function.

More articles about Mail transfer agents (MTA):

Jordie van Rijn

About Jordie van Rijn


Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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