Junk Folder | Getting complaints from your first time customers that they’re not receiving confirmation emails from your site? It’s not a good look and it makes customers nervous, and trust is the first currency you start cultivating with a client or customer.
Why The Junk Folder?
Email is probably one of the most abused tools there is when it comes to the internet. From virus transmission to viagra spam, from phishing to identity theft – email has been the most exploitable weapon in the blackhat arsenal.
A common practise used to be setting up servers as mass-mail relays to carpet bomb the internet with spam or other malicious content and these servers used pretty thin authentication to make the process easier to replicate and to make the offender more difficult to track.
The response has been to put greater emphasis on authentication channels that are credible and follow rules that all parties can agree on and these require user transparency and methods that prove user identity – methods that are too cumbersome for a default WordPress set up, so it’s something we need to build on top of our WordPress site.
SMTP: Setting Up For Success
If you’ve gone with the default mail setup with your WordPress installation then you’re using some fairly primitive tools to manage your mail flow, and this can look pretty dodgy with mail services who will probably assign your correspondence off to the junk folder.
The solution is to use a more trustworthy protocol and have your mail route through a stellar provide with good standing. If you’re a smaller site with les than 1000 emails going out per day then a simple solution is to use a plugin to enable the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for mail from your website and to set up an account with an SMTP service.
Both tools are fairly straight forward to configure and have internal testing mechanisms, so you can check every step of the way that you’ve put everything together the right way and you’re on the right path to solving your junk mail problem.
The Right Tools
WP Mail SMTP is fairly easy to set up and their free version does the job you want, although going the pro route will give you more information on the mail you’re sending and how it’s being received on the other end, unsubscribes etc. WP Mail SMTP is made by the same folks who make WP Forms, so you know it’s going to be updated frequently and built with the same care as their other products.
Pepipost maintain good standing with the big relays such as Google, hotmail or Yahoo as they put all new accounts through a warmup phase to ensure they’re not sending spam or scam mail or utilising nasty stuff like mailbots, but you will need to be comfortable logging into your site’s cPanel and fiddling with the DNS settings. their free account allows up to 1000 mail items to pass through their servers per day but it more than meets the task of preventing your emails from ending up in the junk mail folder.
If you need help setting this up then contact me. It’s a fairly simple job but it needs to be done right.