How Emma uses PowerMTA to increase email volumes efficiently

How Emma uses PowerMTA to increase email volumes efficiently

Emma powers the emails of more than 45,000 organizations worldwide, including Mario Batali, Bridgestone, and Sylvan Learning Center. Headquartered in Nashville, Emma offers best-in-class email marketing software and services that help organizations of all sizes get more from their marketing dollars. Emma’s features include email automation, audience segmentation, and mobile email marketing – plus integration with CRM solutions, eCommerce platforms, and social networks.



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  • Over the past 4 years, email service provider Emma has experienced 35% annual growth rate in email messaging volume from its new and existing clients.

  • Emma’s services include email automation, audience segmentation, mobile email marketing, and integration with CRM solutions, eCommerce platforms, and social networks.

  • Emma adopted the PowerMTA infrastructure to drive its digital messaging services to well over 45,000 customers in 51 countries.  Emma’s clients include Mario Batali, Bridgestone, and Sylvan Learning Center.

  • Emma’s digital messaging volume currently averages 1.5M hourly, 12M daily, and 375M monthly, expected to double in the relative near-term, consistent with industry forecasts.

Emma developed an innovative Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) that enables it to offer clients sophisticated messaging features – from data-driven insights, to email automation – rapidly and without service interruptions. The EDA architecture gives marketers real-time insights, allowing them to personalize each customer’s experience across multiple channels.

A major obstacle that drove Emma to consider PowerMTA was an expected forthcoming collision between mail volumes that had risen to almost 400M messages/ month, and its decade-old, home-grown PHP-based system.  The technology had reached it’s peak and did not have the ability to scale, being cumbersome to configure, and lacking innovative deployment features and sophisticated delivery controls.  Emma required a better solution to manage the growing volume, one that would include the capacity to add smarthooks at minimal cost.

Key features of the old system were either missing or difficult to use, such as customized retry back-offs, rate limiting, multiple DKIM signing, and the ability to react proactively to SMTP reply responses. As the company grew, it would be expensive, awkward, and risky to attempt to scale legacy technology – it was clearly time for a replacement.


After an evaluation and due diligence with other commercial grade MTAs, Emma now uses PowerMTA to manage its increasing mail volume efficiently, with a minimal investment. PowerMTA’s flexibility will allow Emma to scale its business exponentially, without bottlenecks or unreasonable expense.

Emma’s system administrators were drawn to PowerMTA’s flexible logging schematics, as well as its easy-to-configure VirtualMTA pools, ability to configure retry and total time in queue, and the ability to send large volumes of mail using modest hardware.

PowerMTA v4.5 was recently released. Developers focused on recipient engagement which is now a critical component in maximizing delivery to large inbox providers, and only PowerMTA’s Scheduled Delivery Control™ allows senders to truly take advantage of time based engagement metrics in order to maximize both delivery rates and overall campaign results.

A major factor in choosing PowerMTA over other offerings was cost:

“The pricing made sense, because PowerMTAs feature set met our needs without including a lot of extras that we wouldn’t be using. Competing products may incorporate lots of extra features, but if they’re not really useful to your product, it’s hard to justify the additional expense.”

– Marc Powell, Infrastructure Lead at Emma