WHAT IS SMTP FOR WORDPRESS ?
Today we want to address the problem of email deliverability. How is it possible to get your emails actually delivered ?
And what combination of services make sure that your emails are unstoppable ?
Let’s see how to this works.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an industry standard for sending emails. Proper SMTP configuration helps increase email deliverability by using authentication.
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.
PHP is a server side scripting language. PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor, that earlier stood for Personal Home Pages. PHP scripts can only be interpreted on a server that has PHP installed.
WHY USE A WORDPRESS SMTP E-MAILS SYSTEM ?
Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP. In addition, SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server.
In other words you want WordPress speaking the same language for the emails servers if you want them to communicate with each other.
Additionally, in order to reduce spam, your email provider often checks whether your email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from. For example, if your email server is yahoo.com but your email claims to be sent from your website’s domain, chances are your form notification will be blocked before it even reaches the spam folder.
WORDPRESS MAIL SMTP PLUGIN
Which plugin should be used to configure SMTP?
WP Mail SMTP by WPForms: The Most Popular WordPress SMTP and PHP Mailer Plugin.
WP Mail SMTP is a WordPress plugin. In order to use WP Mail SMTP, you must have a self-hosted WordPress site.
You can send emails using your own (or third party) SMTP email server, Google, Mailgun, SendGrid, Amazon SES, Office 365, or Outlook.com – so you will need to have one of those accounts to complete setup of the plugin.
WHAT IS AMAZON SES ?
Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cloud-based email sending service designed to help digital marketers and application developers send marketing, notification, and transactional emails. It is a reliable, cost-effective service for businesses of all sizes that use email to keep in contact with their customers.
WHY USE AMAZON SES IN COMBINATION WITH WORDPRESS SMTP ?
There are many reasons as to why use Amazon SES, here are the main reasons listed below:
The deliverability of your email—that is, the likelihood that the email you send will arrive in your recipients’ inboxes—is based on the reputation of the IP addresses that the email is sent from. Reputation is determined largely by historical trends; if an address has a history of sending low-quality content, it will have a poor reputation. Amazon SES maintains a strong reputation among mailbox providers by actively filtering spam and malicious content.
Generic, one-size-fits-all emails tend to have lower engagement rates than those that are personalized. With Amazon SES, you can create email templates that contain replacement tags for content personalization.
When you send an email, you specify a template and the values of the replacement tags for each recipient. Amazon SES automatically removes the replacement tags from your messages and replaces them with the unique values you specified. Your customers receive highly-personalized messages that they are more likely to engage with.
When an internet service provider (ISP) receives an email, they check to see if it is authenticated before attempting to deliver it to the recipient. Authentication demonstrates to the ISP that you own the email address you are sending from. Amazon SES supports all industry-standard authentication mechanisms
Dedicated IP Addresses
By default, Amazon SES sends email from IP addresses that are shared with other Amazon SES customers. Shared addresses are a great option for many users: they are included in the base Amazon SES pricing, and their reputations are carefully monitored to ensure high deliverability.
Amazon SES customers who send large volumes of email can lease dedicated IP addresses reserved for their exclusive use. When you send email using dedicated IP addresses, the sender reputation of these addresses is based solely on your email sending practices.
Amazon SES provides several methods of monitoring your email sending activity, helping you fine-tune your email sending strategy. Amazon SES can capture information about the entire email response funnel, including the numbers of sends, deliveries, opens, clicks, bounces, complaints, and rejections
Sender Reputation Management
Amazon SES includes a reputation dashboard that you can use to track issues that could impact the delivery of your emails. This dashboard tracks the overall bounce and complaint rates for your account, and can inform you when other deliverability-impacting events occur, such as spam trap hits, references to blacklisted domains in your emails, and reports from reputable anti-spam organizations.
HOW TO GET THE WP MAIL SMTP BY WPForms PLUGIN ?
First of all you need minimally the PRO version to be able to use the SMTP Plugin with Amazon SES.
With the PRO version you can set up Amazon SES and many other services.
After purchasing a license, the next step is to install our plugin so you can start improving email deliverability.
Now you have an account with WP Mail SMTP and you can download the plugin:
Next, click on the Download WP Mail SMTP link to save a zipped file of WP Mail SMTP plugin to your computer.
Once you have the zip file, navigate to the site where you want to install WP Mail SMTP. Inside the admin dashboard, you’ll need to go to Plugins » Add New.
On the next screen, click the Upload Plugin button.
You will see the option to upload the plugin. Click on the Choose File button and select your WP Mail SMTP zip file.
After your file is uploaded, click on the Install Now button.
WordPress will install the plugin for you. Once the plugin is installed, you’ll need to click the Activate Plugin button.
That’s it! You’ve now successfully installed WP Mail SMTP on your WordPress site.
Next, you’ll need to add your license keys, and get going following the instructions.
HOW TO GET AMAZON SES ( SIMPLE EMAIL SERVICES ) ?
Click on the orange bar ” Get started with Amazon SES ” and follow the instructions.
Keep in mind that in order to use Amazon SES, you must have an SSL certificate installed on your WordPress site. It’s also a good idea to have a domain-specific email address (ie firstname.lastname@example.org) to use as the From Email when setting up WP Mail SMTP on your WordPress site.
More specifics step by step here: How to Set Up WordPress SMTP Using Amazon SES
Once you have set up Amazon SES account and WP Mail SMTP by WP form, you are ready to connect the 2 services:
Set Up WP Mail SMTP + Amazon SES
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings.
At the top of the Settings page, you’ll see a From Email option. For the From Email, you can use any valid email address. However, for best results we recommend using a domain-specific email address (ie email@example.com).
You can also choose to check the box labeled Force From Email. If you’d like the From Email to be the same site-wide, this option will save you the trouble of editing the email settings throughout your site.
Below the From Email, you can set the From Name. This is the name associated with emails sent out and will be set to your site’s name by default. You can adjust this to any value you’d like and check the Force From Name option if you’d like to apply this setting site-wide.
Next, scroll to the Mailer field and select the Amazon SES option.
We also recommend checking the optional Return Path checkbox to Set the return-path to match the From Email. With this enabled, you’ll be emailed if any messages bounce as a result of issues with the recipient’s email.
Once you’ve chosen the Amazon SES mailer, you should see a new section appear titled Amazon SES. Here, you’ll need to add the access keys you created in your AWS account earlier. Go ahead and copy in your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key.
Once you’ve entered both of your keys, you can check the Region field. A region will already be pre-selected for you based on where your site’s hosting server is located, so make sure that this is correct and matches what you picked in Amazon SES.
Now that you’ve added all of your WP Mail SMTP settings, click Save Settings.
After you’ve saved, an additional setting will appear: Verified Emails. This is where you will add any emails that you might like to use as the From Email on your site.
To add a new verified From Email, click Add an Email Address.
Now, an overlay will appear where you can add one email address at a time.
Next, click the Send Verification Email button. You’ll see a notice asking you to check that email’s inbox for a verification email.
You’ll get an email from Amazon Web Services with a verification link. Click this link within 24 hours in order to verify this email address.
After you’ve successfully verified the email address, you can return to your site’s WP Mail SMTP settings and refresh the page. All verified emails are displayed here.
Hope this helped.