B2B domain hosting data: a sneak peek

Who hosts the most inbound B2B email or mailboxes? I don't have big data from a large email sending platform nowadays, so it's not something I could easily answer from subscriber list data. In a perfect world, I'd love to look at thousands of B2B client email lists and analyze them by domain breakdown -- and then roll up the domain breakdowns by MX record -- to find a clear picture of an average of B2B email hosting provider across that client data.

And I did that, once upon a time, where I used to work. When I crunched that data a few years ago, I found a lot of the usual suspects (Google, Microsoft), but I did not see a lot of depth with regard to actual mailbox provider services focused only on the business environment. That made it difficult to broaden the view of the B2B universe beyond the customers of that one email service provider platform. B2B subscriber list breakdown is going to vary a lot by industry and region.

Thus, it's time to rethink how I can pull together this data. Look for a different process, and different view, to get some data broader than just one sending platform provider or just some subset of a particular subscriber database(s).

What's another way we could break down who hosts lots of inbound B2B mail or B2B user mailboxes? I hatched a plan to review the MX record(s) for every current domain in a live snapshot of the whole dot com DNS zone, to look for commonalities, so that I can rank them, and provide you with a list of the top B2B mailbox hosters, based on the number of dot com domains associated with each provider. That's not quite the same as number of mailboxes or amount of mail a service processes, but it's still a way to provide some insight into who seems to have great reach into this market, and to get an inexact, but still interesting, view of who might be big and who might not be so big when it comes to B2B mailbox hosting.

It turns out that the dot com zone can be a bit heavy to lift; it takes a while to run DNS checks to find the MX record for 170,000,000 domains. I'm still working on that, but I wanted to have something to share with you all, instead, while I'm waiting for that and I'm still young(er) less older.

So, instead, I started with the top ten million domains as identified by a site that offers "propriety domain ranking data." I'm not exactly sure how they decided this ranking or how accurate it is, but it's a place to start. And now, while I work on a similar version of this data based on everything I can see in the dot com DNS zone, we can start with this.

And there you go, the top 25 B2B mailbox providers as identified by number of domains using a given service to host inbox email in a recent "top ten million domains" snapshot. Enjoy.

(Where's Comcast and Spectrum? They're number 26 and 27, respectively. And could I have missed some provider here and there? Yes, probably. There's a lot of errors or ambiguity in what people put in for their DNS records, and my best efforts to see through that all are likely imperfect. I do expect the results are likely to change as I get more data, and get better and classifying the data I do have.)

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