46:5 Website emails resurrected
In this series, Lee looks at a range of WordPress tools that can add value to both the development process and client interactions. For each episode, Lee will define a problem, discuss his agency’s solution, and share a use case.
Lee Matthew Jackson
Entries from forms don’t arrive in the inbox of your customer, transactional emails get lost. How can we ensure WordPress-generated email doesn’t get spammed or lost in a “black hole”?
We use WP Mail SMTP Pro and the SendInBlue mail service
- Client websites that have a lead generation/contact form.
- Sites that require transactional emails.
- WP Mail SMTP – wpmailsmtp.com
WordPress Tools to try before you die. Sorry about that. Time for the next tool.
Welcome to another episode of WordPress tips to try before you die. My name is Mr. Lee Matthew Jackson and I will be your ghostly host as we look through the cemetery of lost and dead email, wondering how it ended up. 6ft under. What an amazing intro. I just met that up as I went along.
But before we carry on, folks, if you’ve just chanced upon this episode, then you are joining us as part of a series where we focus on a problem, we present a solution and we share some use cases. These are all centred around WordPress and we’ve added a little bit of spectacular magic because we are celebrating the season of Halloween 2022. So if you want to find all of the other episodes in this series, then go ahead and check out the show notes for the link and enjoy, if you dare, maniacal laugh, et cetera, et cetera. So today, folks, like I said, we present the problem, we share our solution and then we share the use cases. But right at the very end, you have the opportunity to share what your solutions to the problems that we presented would be.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into today’s problem, and that is transactional emails and contact form emails not arriving. Let me quickly set a scene. Many years ago, we had a client who was so angry with us about six or seven years ago now, and they gave me a call and they were like, Lee, we’ve realised that we’ve missed about 18 different potential leads from our website. Now my heart absolutely sunk.
And what transpired was that people were filling in the contact form on the website, but the emails weren’t being delivered. The client was not receiving the emails, but they found the entries in the back end of the website and they were furious. I actually feel a little bit anxious sharing that story again, because it just brings back all of those emotions. What we realised was their spam firewall was essentially seeing these emails that were being delivered via PHP, essentially via WordPress, and was just spamming them, just popping them in the spam. So they were all there, but they were all in the spam and then getting autodeleted after 30 days.
So our client was missing some really important information. Throw on top of that, other websites that we’ve had in the past where transactional emails are really important, like password resets, et cetera, and then also not being received because they’re going into spam is a huge frustration. So, in hindsight, I completely deserved that rollicking from the client. And in fact, we already were using a solution to ensure that email was being put through a third party SMTP service. So the fact that we hadn’t done it with that client was just it was totally on me.
I was an idiot. I apologised profusely. We got it resolved. So let me share with you the solution. Our solution is to use WP Mail SMTP Pro.
That is quite a mouthful, I say that again. WP Mail SMTP Pro. It is a paid for plugin. I believe there is a free version which will allow you to route email through one of your SMTP services. But we tend to go for the Pro because it’s got a whole load of extra add ons that we make use of.
The plug in essentially does what it says on the tin. It will reroute your email through some form of third party provider to ensure deliverability. So rather than emails hitting spam or going into a black hole, they will get there. It’s obviously not always guaranteed some emails are going to go into spam. We can’t control what people’s settings are, but we can at least increase and improve those chances built in.
You can essentially connect whatever service you are using. So if you’re just using a third party SMTP platform, just go ahead and fill in those details. If, however, you’re using a service such as Mailgun or Amazon SES or Sendinblue, then it has a integration for all of those as well. You can even use OAuth to route email through Gmail, or even route your email through your Microsoft Outlook 365. We personally use Send in Blue because it’s just ridiculously easy for us to use.
So we just get that set up. Jobs are good and we have full transparency as well because there are email reports, we can see what was opened, we get our weekly email summaries, we’re also alerted of any failures and we have a big fat email log. So we can go ahead and check everything not only inside of WP Mail SMTP Pro, but because we’ve connected with Sendinblue, we can go ahead and check Sendinblue’s data as well. So if a client ever has any sort of issue, they can connect with us and we’ve got data coming out of our ears so that we can work out what might have gone wrong. So let’s close with those use cases.
And frankly I would say any website that has a contact form or any website where it is essential that you receive those transactional emails. Now, if the website is your website, you can simply create some form of filter in your inbox to ensure that emails coming from your website do not go to spam. So you don’t really need a plug in like this. But when it comes to your clients to transactional emails and especially to those contact forms, you really want to be using some form of SMTP service and a plugin like WP Mail SMTP Pro to ensure that email deliverability. Now then, what would your solution be to the problem that we suggested?
Check out the link in the show notes to visit the website hit us up in the comments area. Also did you know? You can tell me in person if you wish. Because on the 10th and the 11th of November we are meeting here in the UK in person at Agency Transformation Live. This is a conference and mastermind for WordPress agencies.
Day one will be full of awesome speakers and day two will be an in person mastermind with your peers to help you develop a plan of those next small achievable actions that you can apply to your business to help you get to that next level. So check out agencytransformation.live for more information. I would absolutely love to see you there. If we don’t see you in the comments or at an Agency Transformation Live, then why don’t we see you in the next episode.