Do you need to fix email delivery issues on your WordPress site? SMTP.com has been working to improve email deliverability for decades, establishing an extensive record as a reliable service.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to improve email deliverability with the SMTP.com mailer in WP Mail SMTP.
- What Is SMTP.com?
- Setting Up Your SMTP.com Account
- Adding the SPF Record to Your Site’s DNS Settings
- Setting Up WP Mail SMTP
- Sending a Test Email
What Is SMTP.com?
SMTP.com has been a market leader in email delivery and the preferred choice for more than 100,000 businesses for over 22 years. It’s known for its ease of integration, quality support, and powerful API.
In order to complete the SMTP.com mailer setup in WP Mail SMTP, you’ll need:
- A domain-specific email address (i.e., [email protected])
- A credit card (required to complete account registration)
- Access to your site’s DNS records
- Cost: Free up to 50,000 emails within 30 days. After this, you will need a paid account. Check out SMTP.com’s pricing page for full plan options. Higher plans may include much higher sending limits.
- From Email Requirements: You’ll need a domain-specific From Email (e.g., [email protected]) for reliable email delivery.
- Bottom Line: SMTP.com is a recommended mailer because it’s a reliable industry leader in email delivery. Where many similar services require an extensive setup process, SMTP.com has remained rather straightforward.
Note: WP Mail SMTP and SMTP.com are two different products from different companies. SMTP.com is a mailer that you can connect with WP Mail SMTP. If you have a WP Mail SMTP license and you’d like to use the SMTP.com mailer, you will need to purchase an SMTP.com plan separately.
Note: for more information about supported mailers, check out our complete guide to WP Mail SMTP Mailers.
Once you have these details on hand, you can jump into the tutorial below.
Setting Up Your SMTP.com Account
First up, you’ll need an account with SMTP.com. This account will connect to your WordPress site so that your emails can deliver reliably.
Note: If you’re creating a new account with SMTP.com, you’ll need to complete a few additional steps after registering. These steps help to prevent spammers from signing up for your mailing list, which is important to keeping SMTP.com’s service reliable.
First, be sure to check your email inbox and follow the activation link sent to you. This will also require you to agree to SMTP.com’s usage policy.
Next, SMTP.com’s team will review and approve your account, which may take up to 24 hours. This approval process will likely require you to provide additional details or clarification, so please keep an eye on your inbox for any updates.
Once your SMTP.com account is up and running, you’ll be ready to start the mailer setup process. Keep the browser tab or window with your account page open, as you’ll use it in the next step.
Adding the SPF Record to Your Site’s DNS Settings
Authentication is an important step in successful email delivery. This helps to show email providers that your emails are being sent from a legitimate source.
SMTP.com uses an SPF record to help authenticate your emails, so you’ll need to add this record to your site’s DNS settings.
Note: For more details on modifying your site’s DNS settings, see our tutorial on adding DNS records for WP Mail SMTP setup.
You can also check out SMTP.com’s knowledge base for details on the DNS records it provides.
To get started, you’ll need to scroll to the top menu of your SMTP.com account dashboard. Here, click on Account » My Settings.
In the GENERAL tab, you should see the following SPF record:
v=spf1 include:_spf.smtp.com ~all
You’ll need to add this record to the DNS settings for your site.
In your site’s DNS settings you may also see a TTL (Time To Live) field for the record. If you’re provided with a way to change this, we recommend setting the TTL to 1 day (or 86400 seconds, depending on the units your DNS uses).
After you’ve successfully added the SPF record, you can check whether SMTP.com has been able to validate it yet. To do so, click on the DELIVERABILITY tab in your SMTP.com account settings.
Towards the bottom of this page, there will be a section titled, “SMTP.com SPF Record Domain Check.” In the Domain field, enter your site’s URL. Then, click the VALIDATE button.
The result will appear in a red box near the top of the page. If SMTP.com was able to verify your SPF record successfully, then it will display a “Pass” status in this alert.
In some cases, DNS changes can take up to 48 hours to be recognized, so you may need to check back on this later. No matter what your domain’s SPF status is right now, though, you can move on to the next step.
Setting Up WP Mail SMTP
Now that your SMTP.com account is ready, you can switch over to setting up WP Mail SMTP. When you’re ready, go ahead and log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
If you haven’t already, be sure to also install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
Once WP Mail SMTP is installed, click on WP Mail SMTP » Settings in the menu on the left side of your admin area. We’ll discuss each of this page’s settings in detail below.
The From Email is the email address that all of your site’s emails will appear to be sent from. In order for SMTP.com services to be able to work properly, this email address must be at your domain (i.e., [email protected]).
We strongly recommend also checking the box labeled Force From Email. This option will save you the trouble of editing the From Email settings throughout your site, and help to ensure your mailer can process your site’s emails.
The From Name will, by default, be set to your site’s name. However, you can change this to any text you’d like.
You can also select the Force From Name option to apply this setting to emails site-wide.
In the Mailer section, you’ll need to select the SMTP.com option.
Next up, you’ll need to fill in the API Key and Sender Name from your SMTP.com account.
To quickly locate the API Key for your SMTP.com account, click on the Get API Key link in the SMTP.com section of the settings.
This link should take you to the API page in your SMTP.com account. Here, carefully copy the full value in the Key column.
Then return to your WP Mail SMTP settings and paste the value you copied into the API Key field.
Once you’ve added your API Key, move down to the Sender Name field. To quickly find the value needed for this field, click on the Get Sender Name link.
This link should open the Senders page of your SMTP.com account. Here, you’ll need to copy the value under the Name column.
After copying the Name value, switch back over to your WP Mail SMTP settings and paste it into the Sender Name field.
Once you’ve finished filling out all your WP Mail SMTP settings, be sure to click the Save Settings button.
Sending a Test Email
Note: Before moving forward with this step, please check your SMTP.com Deliverability Settings to confirm that your site’s SPF Status is set to Pass.
Once your settings are all ready to go, you can send a test email to make sure your connection is working as expected. To do so, go to WP Mail SMTP » Tools and click on the Email Test tab.
In the Send To field, you can enter any email address whose inbox you have access to. We recommend leaving the HTML setting ON unless you know you’ll only be sending plain text emails.
Once you’ve got your settings configured, go ahead and click the Send Email button to send your test email.
Once the email has been sent, you should see a success message.
Next, check the inbox for the email address you entered. You should soon receive the email for this test.
Last, you’ll need to confirm that this test email was properly sent through your SMTP.com account. To do so, check your SMTP.com Deliverability Settings page.
If the email was successfully sent through your SMTP.com account, you should see a Pass status for your domain.
Note: If you do not see a Pass status, then please review the earlier steps in this tutorial to confirm that you filled out all of your SMTP.com and WP Mail SMTP settings correctly.
That’s it! You’ve just completed the setup for SMTP.com with WP Mail SMTP, and your site’s emails should be delivered reliably.
Next, would you like to keep a log of all the emails your site sends out? Be sure to check out the details in our email logging guide.