How to Set Up the Sendinblue Mailer in WP Mail SMTP

Would you like to use Sendinblue to improve email deliverability on your WordPress site? Sendinblue is our top recommended mailer option within WP Mail SMTP, because it’s both super reliable and has a straightforward set up. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use the Sendinblue mailer in WP Mail SMTP.


What is Sendinblue?

Sendinblue is an all-around digital marketing solution. While our focus here will be on their tools to improve email delivery, they also offer a popular email marketing service (and both services can be set up from the same account).

Sendinblue offers both free and paid plans, depending on how many emails you need to send out. Their free plan can be used to send up to 300 emails per day, which is plenty for many small businesses and personal sites.

In order to use Sendinblue effectively, you will need to have an email address associated with a domain that you own (emails such as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc are not recommended for use with this mailer).

1. Activating Your Sendinblue Account

To get started, you’ll need to have a Sendinblue account. If you don’t have one yet, you can click here to create a Sendinblue account (no credit card required for signup).

Next, you’ll need to activate your account. You will not be able to complete this setup until your account has been activated. This process might take a while, and so it’s important to start here.

Note: The Sendinblue mailer will not be able to work on your site until you’ve completed their activation process.

In order to activate your account, you’ll need to reach out to Sendinblue’s support team.

In your message, you’ll need to include:

  1. A request to activate your account
  2. Your site’s URL
  3. Details on the types of emails your site will be sending
    • Marketing, transactional, or both (if you’re sending order confirmations/records of form entries, these are transactional)
    • Type of content in emails (subscription confirmations, order confirmations, invoices, etc)
  4. How many emails you expect your site to send per month

Note: If you don’t include enough detail in your message, Sendinblue’s team will ask for additional clarification. The best way to help your account’s activation move along quickly is to be thorough in this first email.

Now that you’ve sent Sendinblue your account activation request, you can continue with the setup process.

2. Authorizing Your Domain

To ensure that your emails deliver successfully, you’ll next need to authorize your domain. You can do this step even if your account hasn’t been activated yet.

To start domain verification, go ahead and sign into Sendinblue.

Once you’ve logged in, you can click this link to open your account’s Senders & IPs page.

From this page, you’ll need to click on the Domains tab. Then, click the blue + Add a New Domain button.

Add a new domain to Sendinblue

Next, you’ll need to enter a subdomain of your website’s domain name.

What does this mean, exactly? A subdomain replaces the “www” part of your website’s address; for example: “subdomain.yourwebsite.com.” Subdomains can be used to add separate sections or directories to your website (like how some sites have their blogs on a subdomain such as blog.example.com).

In this case, the subdomain will be used by Sendinblue to send emails and will not be visible on your site at all.

Note: It’s very important to use a subdomain (ie mail.example.com) for this step rather than your regular domain (ie example.com). This helps to protect your domain reputation, which is critical to successful email delivery.

Your subdomain will appear in email header details, so we recommend keeping it straightforward and simple. For example, mail.yourdomain.com.

Also, be sure to check the box labeled I would like to use this domain name to digitally sign my emails (SPF, DKIM, DMARC).

Add subdomain for mailing

After clicking Save, an overlay will appear with several DNS records listed. As a way of both protecting site owners and their visitors, you’ll need to authorize your domain by adding records to your site’s DNS. Over time, domain authorization has become increasingly critical for reliable email delivery.

To proceed, you’ll need to open a new browser tab or window. Then, you’ll need to log into the service where you purchased your site’s domain (which is most often your site’s hosting provider) and locate your site’s DNS settings.

Note: If you’re not sure where to find your site’s DNS settings or feel unsure about making changes, please contact your site’s hosting provider before making adjustments.

Or for more details on modifying a site’s DNS, you can check out WPBeginner’s tutorial on DNS settings.

Once your DNS settings are open, you should see an option to add a new record.

To make it possible for Sendinblue to authorize your domain, you’ll need to add three TXT records to your site’s DNS. Be sure to copy them carefully, as you’ll need the exact values from your Sendinblue account for the verification to work.

We’ll go through more details on how to add each DNS record below.

Note: Our examples below are for the mail subdomain (ie mail.example.com). If you used a different subdomain, then your Host/Name values will also need to be different.

TXT (DKIM) Record

DKIM record in Sendinblue

  • Host/Name: mail._domainkey.mail (remember to check that the word this is your own subdomain)
  • Record Type: TXT
  • TTL: 24 hours (or 1 day/86400 seconds, depending on which units your DNS uses)
  • Text/Data: Copy from Sendinblue (this will be unique for each domain)

Note: If your DNS is managed by GoDaddy, then be sure to set the TTL (Time To Live) to 1 hour. You’ll need to use this 1 hour TTL for all three of these records.

TXT (SPF) Record

SPF record in Sendinblue

  • Host/Name: mail (remember to check if this includes your subdomain)
  • Record Type: TXT
  • TTL: 24 hours (or 1 day/86400 seconds, depending on which units your DNS uses)
  • Text/Data: v=spf1 include:spf.sendinblue.com mx ~all

TXT Record (Sendinblue code)

TXT record for Sendinblue code

  • Host/Name: mail (remember to check if this includes your subdomain)
  • Record Type: TXT
  • TTL: 24 hours (or 1 day/86400 seconds, depending on which units your DNS uses)
  • Text/Data: Copy from Sendinblue (this will be unique for each domain)

Underneath these three records, you’ll also see a DMARC record. Due to common complications with DMARC, we do not recommend adding this unless you are a developer and experienced with DMARC configuration. Fortunately, it is completely fine to skip.

After you’ve added these records, it can take up to 24-48 hours for them to propagate so that Sendinblue can verify. However, in some cases these records can be verified much more quickly. You can go ahead and try clicking the Record Added. Please Verify It. button as a quick test.

When your records verify, Sendinblue will add a green Configured status to the upper right of the record.

Verified DNS record in Sendinblue

However, there’s no need to wait on this right now! You can move ahead to the next step while you wait for this verification to complete. Just be sure to keep this tab or window open, as we’ll need it a little later.

3. Setting Up WP Mail SMTP

In this next step, we’ll switch over to setting up WP Mail SMTP.

Before we get started on this section, be sure to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin.

Once WP Mail SMTP is installed, you’ll need to click on WP Mail SMTP in the left WordPress menu to open the plugin settings page. We’ll discuss each of these settings in detail below.

From Email

The From Email is the email address that all of your site’s emails will be sent from. This should be a domain-specific email address (ie you@yourdomain.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 (in all form emails, etc).

Adjust From Email in WP Mail SMTP settings

From Name

The From Name will, by default, be set to the site name. However, you can change this to any text you’d like.

You can also choose to Force From Name to apply this setting to emails site-wide.

Adjust From Name in WP Mail SMTP settings

Mailer

In the Mailer field, you’ll need to select the Sendinblue option.

Select the Sendinblue mailer in WP Mail SMTP

You can skip the Return Path checkbox, as this option is not used by Sendinblue.

The last step on this page is to scroll to the Sendinblue section and enter the API Key. To locate your API key, you’ll need to flip back to the tab or window where your Sendinblue account is open.

Once you’re back in your Sendinblue account, you’ll need to click on your name in the upper right corner. Within the menu that opens, click on the SMTP & API option.

Navigate to API page in Sendinblue

This will open a page that shows your API keys right at the top. You’ll need to specifically copy the key labeled v3.

Copy the v3 API key in Sendinblue

After copying the v3 key, return to the WP Mail SMTP settings and paste it into the API Key field.

Add the Sendinblue API key

4. Sending a Test Email

Note: Before proceeding with this step, you’ll need your Sendinblue account activated and your DNS records verified. If either of these things are not yet complete, then you’ll need to complete this setup later.

Now that your Sendinblue setup is complete, it’s important to send a test email to ensure that everything is working properly. To do this, make sure you’re on the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page and then open the Email Test tab.

Open the Email Test tab in WP Mail SMTP

On this tab, you can enter any email address that you have access to (the default will be the site’s admin email). Then, click the Send Email button.

After sending the email, you should see a success message.

Notice showing the WP Mail SMTP test email sent successfully

If you check the inbox for that email address, you should have received the email for this test.

Successful test email from WP Mail SMTP

That’s it! You have successfully set up your site to send WordPress emails with the Sendinblue mailer in WP Mail SMTP.

Frequently Asked Questions

I just tried to send a test email, and got this error: [permission_denied]: Unable to send email. Your SMTP account is not yet activated. What happened?

This error message means that your account still needs to be activated. In order to do that, you’ll need to contact Sendinblue’s team. Please scroll up to the first step in this tutorial for more details.