The SoftLayer email delivery service is a highly scalable, cloud-based, email relay solution. In partnership with SendGrid, an email as a service provider, SoftLayer customers are able to create and deliver marketing or transactional emails via the customer portal or SendGrid APIs.
The SoftLayer email delivery service isn’t a full corporate email solution. It’s intended as a simplified method for delivering digital marketing (e.g., newsletters and coupons) and transactional content (e.g., order confirmation, shipping notice, and password reset) to customers.
Traditionally, email is first sent through an outbound mail server that’s configured and maintained in-house, which is often costly and difficult to maintain.
With the SoftLayer email delivery service, the process is simplified; the only requirement is a connection to the Internet.
The following table lists the service levels available to SoftLayer customers. The Free and Basic tiers are suitable for smaller applications with lower volume requirements. The Advanced and Enterprise levels are more suitable for larger applications and customers that require enhanced monitoring and other advanced features. Note that marketing emails are only available in the Advanced and Enterprise tiers.
Use the following steps to sign up for the SoftLayer email delivery service.
- Log on to the customer portal.
- Click Services, Email Delivery.
- Click the Order Email Delivery Service link at the top of the page.
- Choose your desired package, and fill out the required information. Remember for marketing emails, you must select either the Advanced or Enterprise packages.
Configuring a Marketing Email
Most of your interaction will be through the vendor portal provided by SendGrid. The following steps outline how to compose and deliver a marketing email to a list of subscribers.
- From the SoftLayer customer portal, navigate to Services, Email Delivery Service and click Actions, Access Vendor Portal for your desired account.
- Once in the SendGrid portal, click the Marketing Email link.
- You’ll be taken to the Marketing Email Dashboard. Click the Create a Sender Address button.
- Fill in the required information and click Save.
- Navigate back to the Marketing Email Dashboard, and click the Create Recipient List button.
- Enter a name for the list in the List Name field. Be sure that it’s something meaningful, such as Residential Customers.
- You can either Upload a list of contact emails or Add recipients manually. When adding the recipients manually, you’ll be asked verify the addresses that you enter. Click the Save button when done entering addresses.
- Navigate back to the Marketing Email Dashboard and click the Create Marketing Email button.
- Enter the title of the email in the Marketing Email Title field. Under Pick a Sender Address, select either a list or select recipients for the email. Choose your content type and how to send the email. Split Test my Marketing Email, under Choose how to send your Marketing Email, is an advanced feature that lets you send different recipients different versions of the same email—sending the different versions helps determine which version is most effective.
- Select the list of recipients to whom the email is to be sent and click Save.
- Next, select the template for the email. Options include Basic, Design, and My Saved Templates.
- Enter your email content. Make sure to provide a message subject.
- Review your email, and select when you would like it sent—Send Now, based on a Schedule, or Save As Draft. Click Finish when you’re done, or Save & Exit for a draft.
- You will then be brought back to the Marketing Email Dashboard where you can monitor the results of your email campaign.
Setting Up a Transactional Email
The following example shows how to integrate your app with SendGrid to send new users a welcome email. This example makes use of the SendGrid template engine, although it’s not required.
- From the SendGrid portal, click the Template Engine button.
- Click the Create Template button, enter the Template Name, and click Save.
- Design and modify your email and click Save when finished.
- Your new template should now be Active and ready to be used by the API.
- Click the Apps link in the top navigation bar.
- Click the Template Engine link on the right side of the screen.
- Take note of the ID of the template you just created.
- Use the
curlutility to test your email via the SendGrid Web API.
- Execute the following to send a test email using your new template.
curl -d 'to=
For more information on how the SoftLayer email delivery service can help you get back to your core business, check out this blog post.
Worldwide Channel Solutions Architect for SoftLayer, an IBM Company