If you have an online store or membership site, you are supposed to send countless emails every day. But the WordPress PHP mail function cannot support this bulk email transaction. This default system isn’t dedicatedly programmed to do this.
Besides, many hosting providers disable this function due to security reasons. This is why you need an SMTP service. It can improve your email deliverability overnight. Else, most of your emails will end up in the spam section of your audiences.
This article is going to cover the 7 best WordPress SMTP plugins in the following write-up. Before that, we will present you with some elementary knowledge about the services of SMTP plugins.
What is SMTP?
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It helps you send bulk emails to a number of audiences at once. Most newbie users fail to understand how this protocol works. This protocol requires two things at a time: an SMTP plugin and an SMTP server.
Once you install an SMTP plugin, it takes full control of your WP_mail function. Then, it connects your website to an SMTP server (also known as an SMTP gateway). When you plan to send bulk emails, first your plugin will pass all the emails to your connected server.
The server then authenticates each of your emails and breaks them into relevant parts. Right after completing the authentication, the SMTP server sends all your emails to the recipients’ inboxes following their email addresses.
Let’s know why you need an SMTP Plugin.
Why Do You Need A WordPress SMTP Plugin
Your web hosting server can’t handle multiple objectives. They are usually dedicated to completing one objective at a time. This is why most hosting providers don’t support bulk emailing services. But if you have a commercial website, you need to send or receive hundreds of emails every day.
Having an SMTP plugin can help your website following ways:
- Helps to connect your website to an SMTP server
- Tracks your email status and delivery report
- Manages email notifications
- Finds out the causes of failed emails
- Tests if there is any configuration error
So, to get things right and scale-up conversion through email marketing, you need an SMTP plugin.
Why Should You Consider SMTP Server As Well
You may ask why you need an SMTP protocol to send emails. You can do it manually from your website. But the fact is, you can do it manually when your email volume is low. If you think of sending thousands of emails every day, the wp_mail function cannot support you anyway.
SMTP server can save your following ways:
- Sends countless emails in a short time
- Improves email delivery rate
- Makes email blasting easy
- Safeguards your IP reputation
- Maximizes user engagement
Now, we are going to cover the best SMTP plugins that you can use to connect the SMTP servers and boost user engagement.
7 Best WordPress SMTP Plugins to Improve Email Deliverability And IP Reputation
The WordPress SMTP plugin takes full control of your WP_Mail function. It tracks all your email status, keeps a record of your email transaction, and scrutinizes the errors of your failed emails.
We have tested a number of SMTP plugins. According to our analysis, the followings are the best performing SMTP plugins for WordPress users at this moment.
- WP Mail SMTP
- Easy WP SMTP
- Post SMTP Mailer
- Mail Bank SMTP
- Gmail SMTP
We are going to highlight their pros-cons and recommendations. It will help you choose the best WordPress SMTP plugin for your website.
Note: We have sorted this list based on their installation number. But as for bonus, we are going to introduce you to weMail, a compact solution of email marketing and SMTP services.
Introducing weMail: An Easy and Reliable Email Marketing Tool at a Low Cost
If you are looking for an affordable SMTP plugin that can provide email marketing solutions as well, weMail must be on your checklist. With 20,000+ active installations, it is one of the top-performing SMTP plugins for small to large organizations online.
It helps you focus more on growing your subscriber list, sending beautiful emails, and creating engagement all from your WordPress dashboard. Also, you can display subscription forms, automate emails, collect leads, and add subscribers to your list quite easily.
- Compatible with multiple email gateways (Amazon SES, Mailgun, SparkPost, SendGrid, etc.)
- Cloud-based solution so it can handle literally unlimited number of emails
- Supports all sorts of emails: transactional emails, subscription form builders, email campaigns, and others
- 24-hours of email analytics to check the success rate of your email campaigns
What weMail is Better for
If you are a small business owner and looking for an affordable SMTP plugin to grow the subscriber list, then weMail is incomparable to others. Its free version allows you to manage up to 3,000 subscribers which are quite enough if you have a small audience.
Now, we are going to cover the top WordPress SMTP plugins according to their number of installations.
1. WP Mail SMTP
With 2+ million active installations, WP Mail SMTP is probably the most SMTP plugin for WordPress users. This is very easy to set up. In case you face any trouble you can upgrade to the Elite plan. An expert from their team will do the setup process for you.
The free version of the plugin allows you to integrate some major email gateways. Such as SendGrid, Mailgun, and Gmail. But to integrate Amazon SES and Microsoft SMTP, you need to upgrade to the pro version.
Pros of WP Mail SMTP
- Easy to integrate with all the best email gateways
- In-depth email reports with graphs, tracking and deliverability statistics
- Keep a record of every email details sent from your website
- Takes full control of your website’s notifcation emails
- You can enable or disable the SMTP authentication manually
- Supported by WPForms team
Cons of WP Mail SMTP
- Only developer and agency plan users can use the same API key to multiple sites
- You can’t have Microsoft and Amazon SES support unless you are a pro user
Our Verdict on WP Mail SMTP
WP Mail SMTP can give you a stress-free life. You can send all sorts of transactional emails using this plugin. It has 24-hour premium support available.
2. Easy WP SMTP
Easy WP SMTP avoids all the conflicting issues with the PHP mail () function and can reach all your emails to the inbox section of your users. With 600,000+ active installations, this is also in high demand among WordPress users. Easy WP SMTP is inspired by the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
It has a debug logging feature by which you can track if your emails are hitting the users’ inbox or not. Also, you can use its import and export feature to place the same configuration on multiple websites if you want.
Pros of Easy WP SMTP
- A 100% free WordPress SMTP plugin
- Supports Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail/GSuite server
- Integratable to multiple websites
- Option to specify a reply-to email address
- Easy to check the success rate of email delivery
- Top-notch user interface
Cons of Easy WP SMTP
- Doesn’t offer direct pathways to integrate the email gateways
- Very limited service available for Amazon SES and Microsoft SMTP
Our Verdict on Easy WP SMTP
If you are a beginner and new to WordPress, you can use this plugin to grow your skillset in email marketing. You just need to bear the subscription fee of your SMTP server because this plugin is completely free.
3. Post SMTP Mailer
With 300,000+ active installations, Post SMTP Mailer is another free and feature-rich WordPress SMTP plugin. After you install the plugin, it connects Zend_Mail to your website and replaces the default PHP Mailer and WordPress SMTP library. Chrome extension instantly notifies if any email fails hit the inbox
It has an intelligent Setup Wizard and Connectivity Tester. Using them, you can scan your SMTP server to check if there is any configuration mistake or firewall blockade.
Pros of Post SMTP Mailer
- Connectivity tester and Setup Wizard ensure there is no configuration error
- Scrutinizes the causes of failed emails and resend them
- Backs custom email headers and forced recipients (cc, bcc, to)
- As it replaces the WordPress library, you never again loss another PHP mail
- Backs up HTML Mail, Multipart, and International alphabets.
Cons of Post SMTP Mailer
- Since this plugin is free, it’s difficult to get instant support
- Without a third-party SMTP service provider, you can’t use this plugin
Our Verdict on Post SMTP Mailer
You will get no premium support from this plugin as it is free. By integrating Mailgun API into this plugin, you can send 10,000 emails for free per month. Also, you can send 100 emails per day for free integrating the SendGrid API.
4. Mailgun SMTP
If you are looking for a developer-friendly SMTP plugin, you must check out Mailgun SMTP. It comes with a RESTful API that makes it easy to send transactional emails in bulk. Using its API, you can check the current status of all your emails anytime.
Mailgun has a 24-hour support facility for its premium users. Also, it saves your email data for up to 15 days. Active installations of the plugin are 90,000+.
Pros of Mailgun SMTP
- Offers email address validation and email tracking
- 24/7 support including detailed documentation
- You can optimize the email sending schedule
- It supports all the powerful languages (C#, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby)
- Gives you an email log to retreive information in need
Cons of Mailgun SMTP
- The free plan allows sending 5000 emails/per month for up to the first three months
- You cannot create a custom domain
Our Verdict on Mailgun SMTP
Configuration of Mailgun SMTP is kinda difficult for general users. This plugin is much suitable for developers. You can maximize your ROI using this plugin if you are a developer. Technical support is available for premium users.
5. Mail Bank SMTP
Mail Bank SMTP allows you to send emails using an existing Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail. It harnesses the Zend framework to maximize the functionality of your WordPress site. It has an email logger that records every email you send. It allows you to delete unnecessary emails individually or in bulk.
You will find different authentication methods in this plugin. Mail Bank SMTP is highly compatible with other email and contact form plugins. Alongside the premium versions, it offers you a free plan to check its prospects. The number of active installations of the plugin is 40,000+.
Pros of Mail Bank SMTP
- Offers you different SMTP services (Google SMTP, Sendgrid, Mailgun)
- Its email logger and analytics give you a comprehensive email report
- You can either encrypt (TLS/SSL) or non encrypt your emails
- Using the debugging report you can fix deliverability errors
- You can choose authentication type from many (OAuth 2.0, Lain Authentication, Cram-MD5)
Cons of Mail Bank SMTP
- Most of the exciting features are reserved only for the premium users
- Premium plans are a bit expensive compared to the available services
Our Verdict on Mail Bank SMTP
Mail Bank SMTP is developed by Tech Banker. They have another SMTP plugin named WP Mail Booster which is completely free. If you find the Mail Bank SMTP is expensive, you can use this free plugin to meet your basic needs.
6. Gmail SMTP
Gmail SMTP has been designed and developed specifically for Gmail users. If you have no SMTP server and want to use Gmail as the server, this plugin is the best fit for you. All you need is a Gmail API to use this plugin.
Gmail SMTP uses OAuth 2.0 protocol for authentication. It doesn’t require storing your username and password which ensures more security for the users. Right now this plugin has 20,000+ active installations.
Pros of Gmail SMTP
- Utilizes PHPMailer library to send emails via PHP’s mail functionality
- Website admin can set redirect to a redirect to a web URL
- Utilizes TLS/SSL to encrypt while sending an email
- You don’t need to enable the less secured apps to solve SMTP connection errors
Cons of Gmail SMTP
- Uses the WordPress default wp_mail() which is an old technology
- You can send only 150 emails daily in the free plan
Our Verdict on Gmail SMTP
You cannot integrate or switch to other SMTP servers using this plugin. If you are ready to stay just with the Gmail SMTP server, you can use this plugin. No premium support is available with this plugin.
7. Mailjet SMTP
Mailjet is currently a popular SMTP plugin among the online commercial community. Using this plugin, business websites can customize their marketing campaigns and send transaction emails in bulk. It has a template gallery from which you can choose the right one for your campaigns.
Mailjet has an analytic that gives you real-time reports on email deliverability. With 20,000+ active installations, DHL, Kia, Microsoft, American Express, and many other prominent giants are using this plugin.
Pros of Mailjet SMTP
- Offers a number of email templates to let you design your email campaign
- Has real-time dashboard to monitor email performance
- Offers you a drag and drop builder to design your emails
- Let you choose from a variety of ports to enjoy greater flexibility
Cons of Mailjet SMTP
- By default, you can send only 200 emails per day
- Doesn’t have the same price plan for all the countries around the world
Our Verdict on Mailjet SMTP
Right now, Mailjet is one of the most affordable WordPress SMTP plugins available on the web. But its pricing varies according to users’ location. So, take a look at the price list before you purchase it.
How to Set Up An SMTP Plugin for WordPress
You might be thinking of how to Set Up your desired SMTP plugin in your WordPress site. This is very easy to do. Since WP Mail SMTP is number one and mostly used on the web, we are going to show you how to configure this plugin on your website.
Step 01: Install and Activate the WP Mail SMTP Plugin
- Follow the navigation Plugins > Add New.
- Type WP Mail SMTP on the top-right search box.
- Click on Install Now. Then, Activate it.
Click on Go back to the Dashboard.
Go to WP Mail SMTP > Settings. You will get into the General section.
Type the email address in From Email. All your WordPress emails will be sent from this email ID. Then, give a name in the From Name box. Try to keep this name the same as the email address.
Scrolling a bit down come to the Return Path section. Check the box to receive bounced and received email notifications. Then, from the Mailer section, choose your preferred gateway. For now, here we are choosing Other SMTP.
Keep scrolling down. Type your SMTP Host on the particular box. Then choose TSL encryption.
Just a few more options left. Keep scrolling down again. Complete the SMTP Username and Password section. Better not to save your SMTP password here. Rather do it in the wp-config.php file.
Now, you have to choose an SMTP server and configure it according to the settings you have done in the WP SMTP plugin.
FAQ on WordPress SMTP Plugins
Here, we are going to answer some common questions on SMTP plugins that frequently come from WordPress users.
1. What is SMTP Plugin in WordPress?
SMTP plugin connects and configures a website to a mail server and manages all the outgoing emails to ensure better deliverability.
2. Is Post SMTP Mailer free?
Yes. The Post SMTP Mailer is a completely free plugin for WordPress users.
3. Is WP SMTP Plugin free?
No. The WP SMTP Plugin is a freemium plugin.
4. What is wp_mail in WordPress?
wp_mail is a built-in function in PHP that allows users to send emails.
5. Do I need SMTP for WordPress?
WordPress uses the PHP mail function by default to send emails. WordPress will continue to provide this support as long as your email volume is low. But if you think of email blasting, there is no alternative to SMTP services.
Scale Up Your Email Deliverability with SMTP
Email is not just about sending text messages. You can send all kinds of electronic data through this medium. Email marketing is the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to make direct communication with the customers and users.
If you are determined to have only a limited number of users, you don’t need any additional WordPress tools. But if you plan to increase users, take new members, or start eCommerce, there is no alternative to using an SMTP plugin.
The choice is yours. Using an SMTP plugin can significantly mitigate your risks and email bounce rate. It will make sure all your emails are landing in the inbox section of your users.