ssh -f firstname.lastname@example.org -L 2000:personal-server.com:25 -N
The -f tells ssh to go into the background just before it executes the command. This is followed by the username and server you are logging into. The -L 2000:personal-server.com:25 is in the form of -L local-port:host:remote-port. Finally the -N instructs OpenSSH to not execute a command on the remote system.
This essentially forwards the local port 2000 to port 25 on personal-server.com over, with nice benefit of being encrypted. I then simply point my E-mail client to use localhost:2000 as the SMTP server and we’re off to the races.