Can you tell us a little bit about your experience and the work you do?
FreeAgent offers accounting software for small businesses. We launched in 2007, born from the frustration that managing company finances was just too damn hard for most small businesses and freelancers. Since then we’ve doggedly stuck to our mantra of demystifying accounting and redefining the relationship people have with their finances. We’re based in Edinburgh, Scotland with the majority of our customers in the UK.
I’m a Senior developer working in the Core Services team at FreeAgent. We’re a small group of experienced developers who work on projects that impact all parts of our application. We focus on updating legacy code and improving site reliability; including transactional email deliverability.
How are you using Postmark with FreeAgent today?
Since email is a vital part of our product, FreeAgent has chosen to integrate with two SMTP providers, one acting as a backup for redundancy purposes. We initially introduced Postmark with a small volume but now send over 50% of our transactional email with you; both directly to customers and on our customers’ behalf (with custom FROM addresses).
Since we send email on our customers’ behalf (allowing them to use their own custom domains in the FROM header), we rely on Postmark’s API to manage Sender Signatures. Without this, customers would have to leave our app to find out which DNS entries to add for domain verification.
We also rely on Postmark’s high quality (shared IP) sender reputation. This allowed us to ramp up our outbound volume quickly while we migrated from another provider.
We currently use Postmark for outbound only, but we plan to work with inbound in the future; allowing customers to email attachments to be validated and added as uploaded documents in their FreeAgent account.
If you could add one feature to Postmark, what would it be?
To handle Postmark bounced/delivered webhooks, we requested (and Postmark added!) the ability to set custom metadata for each email sent. We add additional information in these metadata headers to identify which FreeAgent resource the webhook belongs to. This has allowed us to notify our customers when the email was delivered, or if there were any issues.
Companies use FreeAgent to send invoices, subscription billing and estimate emails; having proof of their delivered status gives them peace of mind.
Ed. note— if you’re not using custom metadata yet, check it out!
If you could give fellow developers one piece of advice about how to implement and manage their transactional email, what would it be?
Unless you have a solid sender reputation built up over years, I believe joining a quality shared IP pool (which Postmark provides) is the best approach to ensure high deliverability. Of course, you still need to pay attention to your email content and monitor and handle any spam complaints or blocks.
Migrating customers who use custom FROM addresses to another provider is not straightforward. To ensure DKIM/SPF checks remain valid, you’ll need a plan to encourage users to add and verify new DNS records for their domains.