How to Fix WordPress Contact Form Not Sending Email With SMTP

Are you looking to improve email deliverability for your WordPress forms? WP Mail SMTP provides you with several options (called “mailers”) to choose from to help your emails deliver successfully.

In this guide, we’ll share a quick overview of each mailer in WP Mail SMTP so that you can more easily decide which is the best fit for your site.


Fixing Email Delivery Issues With SMTP Mailers

SMTP mailers play an important role in email delivery: authentication. However, the way that each mailer accomplishes this can look slightly different, depending on the provider you choose.

When an email is received by an email provider (like Google, Outlook, etc.), the provider will verify that things seem legitimate. One of the biggest factors in this process is whether or not the email is authenticated. An email is authenticated if the email’s origin is the same website that it says it’s been sent from.

This information is visible in the emails that are sent to our inboxes, and email providers are always closely monitoring these details. As spam becomes more common (and smarter), email providers are tightening restrictions around which emails make it to your inbox. If an email fails these checks, then it can wind up getting marked as spam — or may be blocked from delivery.

By setting up a mailer through WP Mail SMTP, the authentication needed to pass providers’ tests will be added to each of your outgoing emails. The way that WP Mail SMTP does this will vary based on which mailer you configure, but the end result is the same: your emails arrive in your users’ inboxes every time.

Selecting and configuring a mailer will also help in cases where server configuration issues are preventing deliverability (some hosts’ servers aren’t configured to use WordPress’ built-in mailing function). Since these mailers will replace the default WordPress mailing function, they allow your site to get around any issues like this.

We’ve detailed each mailer option available with WP Mail SMTP, as well as each mailer’s requirements, below.

SMTP.com (Recommended)

SMTP com

SMTP.com is an industry leader in email delivery services and has been trusted by more than 100,000 businesses worldwide. Setup and integration is straightforward and easy, and they offer in-depth reporting, a high standard of placing emails in subscriber inboxes, and direct phone support on all plans.

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 50,000 emails). However, after your trial period ends, they do require a paid account (you can check out SMTP.com’s pricing page for all plan options.
  • From Email Requirements: You’ll need a domain-specific From Email (i.e. pattie@example.com) to ensure reliable delivery.
  • Bottom Line: SMTP.com is a recommended mailer because they lead the industry for email delivery. While many similar mailers require an in-depth setup process, SMTP.com has kept things as simple as possible.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Pepipost (Recommended)

Pepipost

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Pepipost mailer.

Pepipost’s sole mission is delivering your emails successfully. You don’t need to give them any credit card information to sign up, and you always have the option of their free plan if you’d like. (However, if you need to send a greater amount of emails than they allow on their free plan, they do offer competitively priced paid plans.)

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 30,000 emails). After your first month, the free plan’s limit allows for 100 emails to be sent per day. If you need to send more, Pepipost’s paid plans offer different email limit tiers (please check out Pepipost’s site for details).
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we strongly recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Pepipost is a recommended mailer because of their commitment to delivering emails successfully. It’s super simple to get started (no credit card required), and they use reliable methods to ensure your emails get delivered.

For more details on how to configure Pepipost, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Mailgun

mailgun

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Mailgun mailer. A credit card is also required in order to create a Mailgun account.

Mailgun is a widely used and well-known solution for email delivery issues. They use a secure API, and offer a 3 month free trial. After that, a (super competitively priced) paid plan is necessary — they offer options as low as $0.80 USD/ 1,000 emails.

  • Cost: Free for 3 months (up to 5,000 emails/month). After that, pricing starts at $0.80 USD per 1,000 emails sent.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we definitely recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Mailgun is one of the most reliable mailers around, and has very competitive pricing. However, it does require DNS access to get set up.

For more details on how to set up Mailgun, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

SendGrid

sendgrid

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the SendGrid mailer.

SendGrid is a great option that is widely used to dependably send emails. Similar to Mailgun, SendGrid uses a secure API and has a free option for its users. However, unlike Mailgun, you don’t need a credit card to sign up for a free account.

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 40,000 emails). After that, the free plan allows you to send up to 100 emails each day.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: SendGrid is a super dependable option, and its free plan is a great option for smaller businesses. However, it does require DNS access to properly complete setup.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Sendinblue

Sendinblue

Sendinblue provides super reliable delivery of your emails and a robust free option for its users. Similar to SendGrid, Sendinblue uses a secure API, and doesn’t require a credit card to setup (unless you’d like one of their paid plans). As a bonus, if you already use Sendinblue for email marketing, you can also use your same account for this mailer.

  • Cost: Free (up to 300 emails/day). Sendinblue also offers a wide array of paid plans with higher limits per month (please check out Sendinblue’s site for more details).
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we strongly recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Sendinblue is super easy to get started, offers free account options without the need for a credit card), and, most importantly, offers super reliable service.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Gmail

google

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Gmail mailer.

The Gmail mailer leverages Google’s own API to add a layer of security while improving your email deliverability. This mailer will automatically work with your existing Gmail or G Suite account, and is completely free. However, it’s important to note that Google’s API has a lot more intense restrictions than other mailers we’ve outlined. For instance, it has stricter server requirements that need to be met on your site. If these requirements aren’t met, you’d then need to get in touch with your site’s hosting provider to get those fixed.

  • Cost: Free. However, Google won’t allow large quantities of emails to be sent through their API (you can find more details at Google’s email limit page).
  • From Email Requirements: Will only work with a Gmail or G Suite email account. Additionally, only a single From Email can be used per site.
  • Bottom Line: Gmail’s API offers you free service, so you’ll never need to worry about getting charged. However, if you do hit the limit for their API, your emails will simply not be sent. Users also tend to run into more issues with Google’s API than with other API-based mailer options, which can make delivery much less reliable.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Outlook

microsoft

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Outlook mailer. You’ll also need a credit card in order to set up an account through Microsoft.

Similar to Google, the Outlook mailer operates with Microsoft’s own Graph API, adding a layer of security while improving your site’s email deliverability. Outlook does require you to enter a credit card to complete your account setup through Microsoft, but your account is completely free to use beyond that.

  • Cost: Free.
  • From Email Requirements: A Microsoft-based email address (e.g., example@outlook.com, example@live.com, or an Office 365 email address)
  • Bottom Line: Microsoft’s API is a super secure (and free) option to resolve email delivery issues. However, the set up process is fairly complicated, and this API can cause minor delays (a few minutes at most, usually) in email deliveries.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Amazon SES

aws

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Amazon SES mailer. You’ll also need a credit card in order to complete your account setup with Amazon.

Amazon’s SES mailer in WP Mail SMTP uses Amazon’s API to successfully deliver emails sent out from your site. This service can be used free for one year, and after that pricing is based on your usage. You will need a credit card to complete your setup with Amazon, and this mailer requires you to have SSL certification on your site.

  • Cost: Free for your first year, then usage-based pricing applies.
  • From Email Requirements: Any domain-specific email address (ie example@yourdomain.com)
  • Bottom Line: Amazon SES is a secure and free to get started option (though you’ll need a credit card). However, the setup is fairly complex: at one stage, you’ll need approval from Amazon’s team. Due to this, we only recommend this mailer for more technically advanced users.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Other SMTP

smtp

The Other SMTP option is the only mailer that doesn’t use any sort of API. In place of an API, it uses a classic SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Since this setup process is less lengthy than other mailers, this can make things easier for you short-term.

However, the Other SMTP option usually isn’t as convenient in the long-term. For instance, if you reset your email’s password at any time, you’d then need to edit this password setting in WP Mail SMTP. This mailer is also much more likely to have configuration issues with your server (which would need to be fixed by your webhost).

  • Cost: Free.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any email address, but you’ll need to use the same address site-wide.
  • Bottom Line: This option is not as secure or reliable compared to other options, and shouldn’t be the first choice for any site. However, for sites where this option is needed, the setup is often pretty simple (as long as the site doesn’t show any server-related problems).

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Default (Not recommended)

The Default (PHP) option does not use SMTP and will not improve email delivery on your site. This is the same configuration as if you hadn’t installed any SMTP on your site at all.

If you notice this option is the active selection in your WP Mail SMTP settings, please set up one of the mailer options above, as we do not recommend using this option.

That’s it! We hope this helped familiarize you with the SMTP mailer options available with WP Mail SMTP.

Next, would you like to automatically grow your mailing list anytime your forms are submitted? Be sure to check out our ActiveCampaign tutorial.