Email Notification Deliverability Issues

Understanding Email from WordPress

Email notifications from your website forms being sent from WordPress often have deliverability issues. That means, the person who is supposed to get the notification doesn’t get it, even in their spam or junk folder. If you are having the problem of being unable to send emails from WordPress, you’re not alone.

Now before you go setting up a support ticket with your form plugin developer, we need to explore this a bit.

One only needs to read the many disclaimer articles written by form plugin developers such as Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms and Contact Form 7 to learn that email deliverability from WordPress is “NOT THE PLUGIN’S FAULT!” That’s the gist of the articles anyway.

Here are the top reasons your form notifications aren’t being delivered (in this case Contact Form 7).

1) You mistyped the email address or put the email address in the wrong field! 

It happens more often than you think. Double check this and ALWAYS copy and paste the email address!

2) Your Emails Are Seen As ‘Spoof’ Emails:
Spoof emails are similar to spam. Except emails that are suspected of spoofing rarely even make it to an inbox. This usually happens because of things within Contact Form 7’s configuration settings which are usually left on the default.

Unfortunately, Contact Form 7 sends you a notification when a form is completed by using the email of the person who completed it as the “from” sender. This is often flagged as spoofing because this email is coming from your website and masks the actual sender of the email (the domain of your WordPress website).

For this reason, Contact Form 7 email notifications are commonly lost and never end up in your inbox.

3. Your Hosting Company Doesn’t Use the PHP Mail Function

Another reason you’re likely running into the why is Contact Form 7 not sending emails is because of the PHP mail function and your hosting provider.

If your web host doesn’t support the PHP mail function, (which is very common these days) that could be the reason Contact Form 7 isn’t sending email. The PHP mail function is used by WordPress to send emails from your site, including emails generated by contact form plugins.

It can be frustrating having these email deliverability issues during a 1 Day Website. Just like with many things on websites, your client thinks it should just work, and they can’t understand why sending a website form could be complex.

What are the Solutions to Getting Emails from WordPress to an Inbox?

There are a few options when it comes to getting those form notifications from WordPress. These are a few things we have done listed from the easiest option to the best option.

Send the emails to a non-domain address.

If the client has a plain Gmail or Yahoo address as the recipient of the notifications, you will likely not see any issues with deliverability. This is why if you put your own email address in when testing a form where your client’s email would go, you might think the forms work great, only to find out later when you put the client’s email in there, the notifications don’t come through.

Pros: The best part of this solution is that it’s simple!

Cons: If the client does have a domain email address but you are sending the email notifications to their personal email, that can cause big-time headaches for the client.

Sign up for a third party email service.

SendGrid and MailGun are just a few of the options out there that handle outgoing emails from your WordPress site.

Pros: Super reliable. Additional features such as email analytics can be a powerful tool for your client.

Cons: Expensive!

Set up an SMTP Server and Plugin

This is the most common solution to email deliverability from your WordPress forms. It’s not exactly easy to set up but also not that difficult. Heads up! You’ll need your client’s email address and password.

Pros: Depending on the setup, this could be a free option that works great.

Cons: Must be set up properly to avoid email password security issues.

Whatever the solution is, getting email notifications from the website forms is one of the most important aspects of any website! Take this job seriously and test thoroughly and often!

Watch a video icon

Watch This Video (6 min):

In this video, you will learn how to use SMTP Server on your web hosting account to send WordPress Email. You’ll see how to create an email account in Bluehost and host to set up the WP Mail SMTP plugin by WPForms.


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