Case Study: Emma, Inc

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Over the past 4 years, email service provider Emma has experienced 35% annual growth in email 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 email messaging services to 45,000-plus 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.

A major obstacle that drove Emma to consider PowerMTA was an expected forthcoming collision between mail volumes that had risen to 375M messages/ month, and its 10-year-old, home-grown PHP-based system. The technology had reached the end of its scalability, being cumbersome to configure, and lacking deployment features and sophisticated delivery controls. Emma urgently needed 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 retry back-offs, rate limiting, DKIM, and the ability to react proactively to SMTP reply responses. As the company grew, it would be expensive, awkward, and risky to scale the aging technology – it was clearly time for a replacement.


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.


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

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