With Microsoft Azure and SendGrid sending email campaigns for the organization will be a lot simpler. The SMTP relay configuration on applications for developers will be hassle free and much secure. We can go up to two SendGrid subscriptions on every azure account. Sendgrid gives a lot of adaptability towards utilizing either webapi on the application sending messages or to utilize the normal SMTP relay configuration.
This article outlines the steps carried over to create send grid accounts in Microsoft Azure.
Login to azure portal – Search for SendGrid and create SendGrid account.
We must select the pricing tier. Good thing is that we get F1 free with Azure subscription of 25000 emails per month which has custom API integration with advanced tracking mechanism.
Once created we must run through few initial configuration steps.
Now once the account is created, we would need to authenticate our domain so that the send grid can send emails on behalf of our registered domain.
We need to add the cname records on our DNS portal.
Once after entering the domain we have options to use automated security which will rotate the DKIM keys for our domain, custom return path and use custom DKIM selector.
Create the associated CNAME records for SMTP and DKIM on our public DNS.
Once after publishing the records our domain validation will be successful.
Upon successful verification navigate to the setup option and choose first option to configure Web API or SMTP relay. If we are going with the latter option we just need to generate the API key and use them on the php file or the api depending on the workload of the website which requires this service.
Now we have two options to set up using webapi or SMTP relay
Once completed the below integration we get the option to use API key and regular SMTP relay on the application
One of the best things is that we do have an option to create multiple API keys. This is ideal for developers to use their own API keys which will be tracked and used only by them.
We still do have multiple options to further reiterate the permission levels while creating the API keys. Once the API keys are created it will be displayed only once on the portal and can’t be seen again. This is for security concern and must be copied and shared with the application developer who would be using this API key to send emails.
Plentiful of options available on the email tracking with send grid like people who have opened, clicked,unsubscribed , emails bounced and all of the actions which are available below.
Below options are present in Suppression
There is design library and template section which is very useful and can be used to create email campaigns
We have decent options to create a well drafted marketing email. There is sufficient amount of modules that can be used for a perfect email campaign.
Before sending the email to all audiences we have option to send test with few recipients and below is the test email received from sendgrid.
There are few templates available in the design libraries which can be utilized for creating new marketing templates.
We have full and partial html and can choose the best html based on our experience.
Statistics overview gives much detailed information on the email campaign delivery and customer interests.
On the activity field we can see the detailed information on the recent mass campaign sent through sendgrid
On a attempt to send an email from an unverified sendgrid account we do get immediate bounce back
Spam Reports are triggered when a user who receives the email marks them as spam button or places the email in their spam folder within their email client gmail,yahoo or other service providers.
With Microsoft Azure and very few clicks we can enable organizations to have a fully capable email campaign and modern smtp relay solution.
This avoids the major efforts of creating a dedicated server on the on premise network , creating allow lists , configuring permissions, performing timely updates ,securing and maintaining them.We need to ensure that the sendgrid SPF,DKIM records are populated in the DNS portal to get aligned with the email authentication policy.
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