Why WordPress website enquiries and notifications often end up in spam folders or don’t even make it as far as a spam folder

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

If you’ve got a WordPress website, you’ll know the importance of receiving timely email notifications, especially enquiries from contact forms, password reset requests or an order notifications from an online shop. You might have also experienced the frustration of intermittent issues: sometimes you get the emails, and sometimes you don’t.

You might find that website enquiries reach a free Gmail account but never even reach your domain-based email; this is often the case when you use a professional email system like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace with many security features to protect you.

With its user-friendly interface, WordPress makes setting up contact forms and notifications a breeze. The real work is getting the notifications to reliably and consistently deliver to your inbox. This requires knowledge about how WordPress sends emails from a website, how mail servers check incoming emails, and some security protocols that must be implemented.

Part of the problem can be a misconfigured setting within your form setup. A common mistake is using the same email address for both the ‘to’ and ‘from’ addresses, as this is a practice that will trigger spam filters as it looks like ‘email spoofing’. Often, the enquiry or notification doesn’t even make it to your spam folder; instead, it’s outright rejected by your mail server as it’s too suspicious. This is a good thing in the big picture of internet security as we now face increasing risks from our inboxes with spam, scams, and phishing emails, which are all too common, so we want our email systems to protect us. But we also want our enquiries and notifications to make it to inbox, so here’s some background information on the issues and what can be done.

The ‘default’ WordPress Mailing System

If you use the default set-up for WordPress mailing, it uses PHP to send out an email, and while this can work and because it’s built-in, it can be convenient, there are some issues with it – mostly a lack of reliability and due to the hosting setups, legitimate emails can be flagged as spam or not be delivered. 

A Reliable & Professional Solution: Embracing Third-Party Emailer Systems

To ensure the consistent delivery of WordPress notifications and form emails, it’s advisable to turn to third-party emailer systems. These services are designed to efficiently and securely handle email delivery from a website, providing a reliable channel for enquiries and notifications.

One very popular choice amongst WordPress developers is Postmark. There is also SendGrid, Brevo Mailgun, and using your own SMTP service through Office 365 or similar. Using one of these services vastly improves email deliverability (and speed) and has valuable benefits.

1. Email Backup: Safeguarding Your Communications

With a third-party emailer system, all emails sent from your website are logged and stored for a set period, offering a backup in case of issues. Whether it’s a customer enquiry or an order confirmation, having a record of these emails can be a lifesaver.

2. Opens and Deliveries: Real-Time Tracking of Your Messages

Another significant advantage is tracking when your emails are delivered and opened. This feature is especially crucial for e-commerce websites, providing insights into when customers engage with your order notifications.

3. Speed of Delivery

With 3rd party services, the delivery of WordPress enquiries and notifications can be only a few minutes – and that’s especially important if you are trying to reset a login and waiting for a password reset email to arrive.

4. Better Security with Domain Verification

These third-party systems will require domain verification – adding technical records to your domain name to verify that the service is authorised to send email from your domain name.

In conclusion, while WordPress simplifies website enquiry setup with either page builder contact forms or via plugins like Gravity Forms, this simplicity can be deceptive, as a lot can go wrong along the way. By embracing a third-party emailer system, you vastly improve deliverability and gain features like email backups and real-time tracking. For e-commerce success, where each transaction counts, investing in a robust email delivery system is a vital step that can yield significant results in the online business landscape.

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