WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (2023)

Having trouble with how WordPress sends email? Maybe your site's basic transactional emails aren't being sent for notifications, or maybe you want a way to get WordPress to send emails for marketing or newsletter purposes?

By default, WordPress sends emails using the wp_mail function, which is based on PHP email. While this methodSo'ne ArtWorks out of the box, isn't really reliable, and often ends up with your emails ending up in the spam folder...or not sending at all.

Additionally, WordPress doesn't have a built-in tool for sending your own emails other than built-in emails for password resets and such, so you're limited in the types of emails you can send.

In this post, we cover all the important points related to sending WordPress emails so that you can troubleshoot any email issues on your website and get the functionality you want. Here's everything we'll cover:

  • How to check if WordPress is sending emails.
  • How to fix problems with WordPress not sending emails.
  • How to send marketing emails or newsletters from the WordPress dashboard.
  • How to make WordPress send custom email notifications for different actions.

If you already know what you are looking for, you can click on one of the links above to go directly to a specific section. If not, read on to learn more about testing and configuring WordPress' email sending feature.

How to check if WordPress is sending emails

If you are having trouble with your WordPress site's transactional emails, the first step is to test whether your site is sending emails or not.at the moment. This will alert you to potential problems (which we'll also show you how to fix in the next step).

In case you're unfamiliar with the term "transactional emails," these are automated email notifications for things like password resets and form notifications.

To check and fix problems sending WordPress emails, you can useo Free Check & Log Email plug-in.

After installing and activating the free WordPress.org plugin, go to newCheck email and registerMenu no Painel WordPress.

Enter your e-mail addressSend a test emailbox and then click theSend test emailTaste (You can leave the default Default Headers check box selected):

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (1)

Now check your email inbox to see if the email arrived. If you don't see it in your main inbox, please check your spam folder as well.

(Video) WordPress SMTP Plugin for Sending Emails Step by Step by WP Mail

There are three common results here:

  1. WordPress delivered the email with no errors and it appeared in your normal inbox. This is good as it means WordPress is actually sending emails.
  2. WordPress delivered the email, but it ended up in spam. This means that email sending is enabled on your server, but authentication issues are causing email providers to flag the email as spam.
  3. The email didn't show up anywhere. This means WordPress won't send any emails at all (which could mean your host has PHP emails disabled).

If you are dealing with result #2 or #3, the next section will show you how to get WordPress to send emails through a dedicated push service that will fix both issues at the same time.

How to configure WordPress to send emails via SMTP

As I mentioned in the introduction, by default WordPress uses the wp_mail function (based on PHP Mail) to send your emails.

Although this method requires no configuration, there are two problems with it:

  1. Some hosts disable PHP mail out of the box, meaning your emails won't get sent.
  2. More importantly, wp_mail lacks any authentication/verification, which means many email service providers mark emails sent via this method as spam.WhyEmail spam is a big problem, email providers need to be aggressive about it, and one of the best ways is to block emails without proper authentication.

The best way to solve both of these problems is to configure WordPress to use a dedicated SMTP sending service. By using this service, you can get WordPress to send emails more reliably and also add authentication to power your emails.reach users' inboxes instead of their spam folders.

Some of the most popular services here are:

  1. SendGrid.
  2. Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).
  3. Mailgun.
  4. Gmail(Yes - you can use your Gmail account to send emails more reliably).

Or some WordPress hosts also offer their own SMTP servers, which can be a reliable option for simple use cases. However, for the absolute best reliability of important emails, stick with a dedicated email delivery service.

To configure your WordPress site to use one of these dedicated delivery services, you can useuh plugin SMTP do WordPress. There are many popular free SMTP WordPress plugins out there, but two good options to start with are:

  1. Postar-SMTP
  2. WP-Mail-SMTP

To configure this you need to do the following:

  1. Install the plugin of your choice.
  2. Choose your preferred shipping service in the plugin settings.
  3. Add API keys or SMTP server details for your push service in plugin settings.
  4. Send a test email to check if everything works.
WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (2)

If you need help here, we've written detailed tutorials for some of the most popular email sending services:

  • Tutorial for SendGrid for WordPress
  • WordPress Mailgun-Tutorial

If you're on a budget, useSendGridIt's a good option as it's free for up to 100 emails per day, which is enough for most "regular" WordPress sites.

(Video) How To Setup WordPress SMTP For Sending Emails - Must Watch For All Website Owners

Once you have your sending service set up, you can send another test email and this time everything should go as planned.

How to use WordPress for marketing emails or newsletters

By default, your WordPress site only has the option to uploadTransaktions-E-Mails. Again, these are the emails for things like password resets, new account verification, update notifications, etc.

However, with the right tool, you can also add the ability to send out marketing emails and/or newsletters—all without ever leaving your WordPress dashboard.

To add this ability you can useor free MailPoet plugin.

MailPoet allows you to create email subscription forms and manage your subscriber lists. You can then send one-off or automated emails that you create with a simple drag-and-drop editor. And again – the unique thing here is that you can do all of this from the WordPress dashboard.

To ensure that your emails reliably arrive in your subscribers' inboxes, MailPoet also creates its own email delivery service that replaces wp_mail. With this forwarding service, MailPoet takes care of the delivery and authentication of your emails, which means you can benefit from better deliverability. It also means you don't need a separate email delivery service, so you can skip the previous section if you choose MailPoet.

Getting started with MailPoet

To get started, you can sign up for aFree MailPoet Starter Plan, which includes access to the MailPoet sending service.

Follow the provided installation and setup instructions (or usethis guide).

Once everything is set up, you're good to goMailPoet → Forms → + New Formto create your first email signup form. This is a form that allows your visitors to join your mailing list/newsletter:

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (3)

You can choose from different form types such as B. Popups or content forms. You can then customize your form using the native WordPress block editor.

Once subscribers join your email list through the form, you can email them by going toMailPoet → E-Mails. You can create newsletters, welcome emails or notifications about the latest posts.

(Video) How to Send Email in WordPress using the Gmail SMTP Server

If you have a WooCommerce store, you can tooCreate e-commerce focused emails, ifAbandoned cart reminders.

When choosing an email type, you'll be presented with several pre-made templates ranging from simple text-based emails to more stylized designs:

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (4)

Once you've chosen your starting point, you can use a drag-and-drop visual builder to customize your email content, including inserting dynamic information (such as the subscriber's first name):

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (5)

Once you're happy with how it looks, you can choose to send your email to all your subscribers or just a specific list.

Bonus: Let MailPoet send your transactional emails too

In a previous section, we showed you how to use a WordPress SMTP plugin to configure WordPress to send your transactional emails through a dedicated sending service.

However, if you use MailPoet, you can skip using a separate SMTP plugin because MailPoet alsocontains a built-in functionThis allows you to configure MailPoet to use your push service for your marketing emailseYour transactional emails.

To enable this feature, go toMailPoet → Settings → Advanced.

Then find themPlease send all website emails with…adjust and set equalThe current sending method – MailPoet Sending Service:

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (6)

Once you save your changes, MailPoet will use its built-in push service to deliver all transactional emails from your website.

How to customize and add new WordPress notification emails

If you need help keeping up to date with what's happening on your site, another useful way to work with email is to configure WordPress to send you email notifications for important actions on your site sends.

This is especially useful if you work in a team as you can set up notifications for actions such as B. when a new blog post is published by one of your authors.

(Video) How to improve WordPress email delivery with SMTP - Must watch for all WordPress websites

To configure this you can use theBest notifications for WP plugin. With this plugin you can do two things:

  1. You can edit or disable any default notification emails that WordPress already sends.
  2. You can create your own notification emails with a WYSIWYG editor.

After installing and activating the plugin, you can go to the new onenotificationsArea in your WordPress dashboard to control your website notification emails. To add a new notification, click the buttonAdd newTaste.

NOnotification forBox lets you choose from a long list of actions to trigger an email notification. This includes aTONNEdifferent things – some examples:

  • new post published
  • updated post
  • User role changed
  • New category created

You can also choose which user roles to send the email to. For example, you can only send it to administrators.

You can then enter the email text in the WYSIWYG editor. You can also use thefind access codesButton to insert dynamic information into the email:

WordPress Email Sending Guide: Everything You Need to Know (7)

After saving and enabling the notification, WordPress will start sending emails when the notification trigger is reached.

Monitoring -Make sure you also use MailPoet or an SMTP plugin (as detailed above) to ensure your email notifications land in your inbox.

Get WordPress today to send email with confidence!

The default way WordPress sends emails is limited and only works for a small set of transactional emails. Additionally, in many situations, you can't be sure that your WordPress site is even sending emails... and even if it is, those emails could end up as spam.

To check if WordPress is sending email, start witho Free Check & Log Email plug-in.

If you're having trouble, the best way to improve your website's email reliability is to use a WordPress SMTP plugin and a dedicated email sending service.

Or, if you want to go beyond transactional email, you can usePlugin free MailPoetto send marketing emails and newsletters without leaving your WordPress dashboard. MailPoet also includes its own built-in email sending service to ensure reliability, along with a feature to enable the service for transactional emails as well (eliminating the need to use a WordPress SMTP plugin).

(Video) How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue (Beginners Guide)

Finally, if you want WordPress to send even more transactional emails, you can useBest notifications for WP pluginto create your own custom notification emails - just make sure to pair it with a push service via MailPoet or a WordPress SMTP plugin.

Do you still have questions about working with WordPress when sending emails? Let us know in the comments!


What is the difference between PHP mail and SMTP in WordPress? ›

The difference between WP Mail SMTP and PHP mail function is the fact that PHP mail() uses a local mail server, while the plugin is used to configure PHP mail to utilize an SMTP server.

How do I configure WordPress to send emails using SMTP? ›

Configure SMTP for outbound emails
  1. Log in to the WordPress administration panel.
  2. Navigate to “Plugins” and click the “Activate” option for the “WP-Mail-SMTP” plugin.
  3. Go to the “Settings -> WP Mail SMTP” panel and the “Settings” tab to configure the SMTP settings of your email provider.
Jan 16, 2023

How do I send an email guide? ›

How to send an email
  1. Choose a program for sending emails. ...
  2. Type out emails in the recipient box. ...
  3. Use "Cc" or "Bcc" to include others. ...
  4. Write a subject for your email. ...
  5. Compose the body of your message. ...
  6. Include any necessary attachments. ...
  7. Send the email and check for replies.
Apr 8, 2022

How does a WordPress site send emails? ›

By default, WordPress uses the PHP Mail function to send its emails. However, it is better to use SMTP as it handles sending messages better and you can also use it to send emails from a third party mailing service.

What is the disadvantage of PHPMailer? ›

PHP mail Cons

Sending mail via PHP mail means the messages dispatched will not benefit from the SPF and DKIM setup on your domain; therefore, the messages will likely be treated as spam by the receiving MTA (mail server).

What is the best email service for WordPress? ›

7+ Best Transactional Email Providers for WordPress Sites [Free +...
  1. SendLayer (Recommended)
  2. SMTP.com (Recommended)
  3. Sendinblue (Recommended)
  4. HubSpot.
  5. Mailgun.
  6. SendGrid.
  7. Amazon SES.
  8. Bonus: Zoho Mail.
Jun 8, 2022

Should I use WP mail SMTP? ›

WP Mail SMTP is the most popular SMTP solution for WordPress, currently used by over 2 million websites. It's maintained by the same team as WPForms. There is also a free WP Mail SMTP lite version which is also fully functional and can be used with any WordPress hosting company or third-party SMTP service provider.

Is WP SMTP free? ›

Used on over two million sites, WP Mail SMTP is the most popular free SMTP plugin for WordPress. That popularity is largely due to its ease of use and fast setup. To make it easy to configure your settings, WP Mail SMTP has a setup wizard that walks you through every step of linking your SMTP provider with WordPress.

How SMTP works step by step? ›

The functioning of an SMTP server can be broken down into two steps. The first step includes verification of the computer configuration through which an email is sent and granting permission for the process. In the second step, it sends out the message and follows the successful delivery of the email.

What is an email style guide? ›

An email style guide outlines standards for the visual appearance of your emails, and the messaging used in them. These guardrails are meant to align the brand look, feel, and tone of your email marketing program with all the other communications and marketing materials your company puts out into the world.

How do you say please guide me in email? ›

The following formal alternatives make your request as straightforward as possible.
  1. May I get your advice on the matter? ...
  2. I would appreciate your input. ...
  3. The situation warrants your attention and instruction. ...
  4. I am awaiting further instructions. ...
  5. Kindly provide guidance. ...
  6. Please keep me informed.

What does CC mean in email? ›

Cc stands for carbon copy which means that whose address appears after the Cc: header would receive a copy of the message.

What is the difference between SMTP and PHP mail? ›

Speed – Emails sent via SMTP are generally sent quicker than one sent via PHP. Security – Emails sent have to be verified with a username and password. Deliverability – As the emails are authenticated, this makes receiving email servers rate the message as less spammy / more authentic, compared to a PHP mail address.

What is the difference between SMTP and PHP? ›

SMTP is a protocol for sending emails, many programs can use it, from your local email client (thunderbird, outlook) to appliances like printers. PHP mailer is a PHP library that can do SMTP (among other protocols and sending methods), with it you can build a client that can send messages using SMTP.

Does PHP mail need SMTP? ›

PHP mailer uses Simple Mail Transmission Protocol (SMTP) to send mail. On a hosted server, the SMTP settings would have already been set. The SMTP mail settings can be configured from “php. ini” file in the PHP installation folder.

What is the difference between PHPMailer and mail function? ›

First of all, PHPMailer provides an object-oriented interface, whereas mail() is not object oriented. PHP developers generally hate to create $headers strings while sending emails using the mail() function because they require a lot of escaping. PHPMailer makes this a breeze.


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