This is one of the most important things that shop owners completely overlook. They do a huge amount of work to create forms on their site or set up WooCommerce shop automation, properly format the notifications sent from the shop, etc. And then they forget that the successful delivery rate of mail sent from WooCommerce, is extremely important for an online shop.

Problem with WooCommerce email delivery

The problem arises when you let your hosting account and WordPress site take care of delivering emails sent from your shop. This doesn't just apply to WordPress or WooCommerce, but any other CMS.

By default, WordPress uses PHP to send emails, which in itself is not bad, but the rejection rate of such cultivated communication is unfortunately significantly higher. Believe me you can't afford this as an owner of an online shop that is supposed to bring you revenue.

Let's take another example. You set up a shop based on WooCommerce or any other system (see How to set up an online shop) and you do nothing more. Is it working? It works!

You have the best possible hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce. Have you forgotten something? Probably yes. It's highly likely that you haven't done any investigation into the IP address your website uses. What about it? You may find that this address is a problematic IP for some of the email systems used by the recipients of your messages. Put simply, some of them will simply never be reached by the messages your shop sends, and worse still, you may not realise it.

You must stop using your web server as a mail server

The question is how to do it? The answer is SMTP plugins. I made a video not so long ago about a very interesting solution called Fluent SMTP, but of course it is not the only tool that can improve the deliverability of your messages.

Some hosting services, including ours, have the mail() function disabled in PHP, which preemptively forces you to use an SMTP plugin. This not only increases the level of security associated with IP address reputation, but also increases the aforementioned deliverability. Were you aware of this? 🙂

It doesn't matter whether you run a WooCommerce shop or simply a website based on the system WordPress, a high mail delivery success rate is crucial, and the SMTP plugin is the answer.

Do you send via your own mail server?

If you look through the publications on the subject, most experts write that in the case of online shops it is worth using external operators offering services the sending of transactional e-mails. This type of service further increases the rate of correct delivery of emails to shop recipients/customers, which reaches almost 100%.

If you've ever configured an SMTP plugin, it doesn't matter if it was Fluent SMTP, WP Mail SMTP or any other plugin, you've probably noticed that when configuring your mailings you had a choice of different operators, such as SendGrid, Mailgun and others. You may have wondered why they are added, after all, all you need to do is configure the mailing using your own mail server. You may have also thought that these options are for those who use hosting without access to mail. However, the truth is slightly different.

These operators are used by users who are aware of the problems associated with delivering mail from a shop via PHP or even their own mail server.

It may surprise you, but I also use external service providers to send transactional emails and so do many large and small brands around the world.

In my case it was one of the best tools called Postmarkwhich is used by brands such as IKEA, Unicef, LiveChat, Salesforce and many others. I have been using it for several years and so far I have not been disappointed.

Configuration of mailings using Postmark as an example

Once you've activated the service, which you can do on the Postmark project page, you have two ways to configure sending emails from WordPress.

Via the SMTP plug-in

That is, Fluent SMTP, WP Mail SMTP and the like. All you need is the SMTP data you need to configure message sending. You create a server in the Postmark panel, then go to the Settings tab, where you will find the information you need as in the example below. Just copy and paste into the appropriate fields of your SMTP plugin.

Postmark and SMTP server data

Via the Postmark plug-in

Postmark gives you the option to install their native plugin, which takes email sending from within WordPress. Go to the configuration instructions tab in your server settings, click on the WordPress tab and there you will find both the plugin itself available for download as well as a step-by-step description of how to configure it.

Postmark and WordPress plugin

And that's it 🙂

Summary

In this short article I'm basically just making sure you understand what external transactional email services are for, don't confuse it with mailing because that's not what it's for and if you start using it that way the service can be blocked.

If you want to make sure that your emails are delivered to your shop customers, you should stop using your web server as a mail server.

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