Now, here’s a scenario. Let’s say you have a WordPress website and you’re using WooCommerce to sell things. Or maybe you have online courses you sell, or even just password resets or new account creations. Those are all going to generate emails. Those are called transactional emails.
They’re emails your website sends to your users automatically when they request information. And it is super critical that those emails hit the inbox and do do not go into spam. Why is it so critical? Because if they hit the spam box, that means people can’t get access to their products. They can’t see their receipts, they don’t know what they were charged, they can’t get their passwords, and your business will look scammy.
Now, there’s a solution to this. I’ve made a video about it. In the past, there was another plug in I recommended that allowed you to send transactional emails through a really reliable source like Amazon Ses to make sure that you hit the inbox with your WordPress emails. But things have changed, and people are now sending marketing emails from their website where they used to only send off transactional emails. That isn’t always such a bad thing.
But if you’re having trouble with your marketing emails hitting the inbox, that means your transactional emails aren’t going to hit the inbox either. And that is a bad thing. So what can you do about it? Well, in a traditional setup, your transactional emails would be sent by one sender, and your marketing emails would be sent by another sender. There’d be different reputations for each domain that is sending.
So essentially what I need WordPress to do is use one provider to send off transactional emails for things like WooCommerce receipts and another provider, if I’m using an application like Fluent CRM, which is sending off marketing messages all through the same website. Thankfully, the folks at WP managed Ninja have essentially donated the solution to this problem, whether or not you’re using their great applications or not. And that is the plugin, Fluent SMTP. It is free now. It is free forever.
There’s not a pro version. There are no upgrades or add ons to buy. It simply works. It should be the thing that we’re all using. In the rest of this video, I’m going to show you how to set up Fluent SMTP for transactional emails and then use a different provider to send off marketing emails.
Let’s get into it.
Okay, so as you can see here, I already have Fluent SMTP installed. If you do not simply head over to Plugins, go to Add New and search for Fluent SMTP, it’ll be the first result that shows up. Just install and activate. Once it’s installed, you’ll want to go to Settings and then Fluent SMTP. Here you can see a list of all the email service providers that are supported by Fluent SMTP.
It is growing all the time. Most recently, they added support for Google Workspace and Microsoft Office. In this video. I’m going to be setting up Amazon Ses to send off my marketing messages, and I’ll be using Mailgun to send off transactional messages. The first thing you’ll want to do is go over to your marketing application.
So in this case, I’m using fluent CRM. You’ll want to go to the settings and figure out your email sending name. So in this case, I am sending from the address Dave at Profitable Tools. This is where all of my marketing emails will be sent from. And so I can queue fluent SMTP to use Amazon ses When I send from this email address for my WooCommerce receipts, I want to send from a totally different email address.
So I’m going to go to WooCommerce Settings, go to Emails, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a section where you can set your from name for this application. In this case, I’ll send all transactional emails from WooCommerce from orders at Profitable Tools. Now you should be aware that WordPress is going to send other emails for things like account creation or password resets. Those are typically going to come from your administration email address. So you could actually have three different emails that are sending.
Now I’ll show you to handle this in a little bit. All right, let’s get fluent SMTP configured. Remember, I’m going to use Amazon Ses for my marketing emails. Let’s set that up. First.
My from email was dave at profitable tools. And notice this box right here where it says Force from Email. When I have this checked, it’s going to force all transactional emails to go through this account. Now, since I only want Fluent CRM to use this, I’m going to turn this off in this case. Next, I need to get my access keys from Amazon Ses.
WP Manage Ninja has provided some great help docs on exactly how to do this. But I’ll show you quickly because it’s really not that bad. To get started, you’re going to need an Amazon AWS account. Setting it up is just like any other account. Don’t be intimidated because you’ve heard that AWS is hard to deal with.
It is. But what we’re doing here is very simple. Once you’re logged in, click in the search bar and type in Ses. Choose Amazon simple email service. Then you’re going to need to authenticate your domain.
So click on Domains, choose Verify a New Domain, and then type in your domain here. Make sure you check. Generate DKM settings. Next, you’ll need to add some records to your domain’s DNS server. You should know how to do this.
It’s probably where you purchased your domain name over at GoDaddy or Namecheap, something like that. You’ll just copy and paste all of these fields into their appropriate categories on your DNS server. Watch out for the DKIM settings because there’s actually three records here, but one is hidden by this little scroll bar. Once you’re done, wait a few minutes and you should see that your domain is verified for sending. So it’s very important that your domain has been verified before you take this next step.
But assuming that it has, you should see a screen that looks something like this. It might not look exactly like this, but it’ll be close. You need to click on this box and then you can request to be removed out of what is known as sandbox mode. Sandbox mode is where Amazon prevents you from emailing anyone other than yourself or anyone who doesn’t have the same domain name as yourself. So essentially your coworkers.
This is to prevent people from signing up from Amazon Ses and then immediately sending out 1 million spam messages. So once your domain is verified, request a sending limit increase that will move you out of sandbox mode. This can be tricky, so make sure you’re very specific when you’re answering all of the questions that Amazon asks you. It can also take a day or two, so be patient. Don’t try to set this up right before a major marketing campaign and you are stressed out because you just need to send emails.
The next thing you’re going to need to do is create an account so that Fluent SMTP can connect to Amazon Ses via an API connection. This is better than just connecting over the standard SMTP connection because if there’s a problem with the server at the moment, well, Fluent SMTP can try again later, and that way no emails are lost. So in the search bar, type in IAM, this is Amazon’s account management service. Let’s enter that. And here we’re going to create a new user.
So go to users and add a new user. Give it any name you like and then choose Programmatic Access. Next. Choose permissions. We’re going to attach existing policies directly.
Search for Ses. We want to choose Amazon. Ses full access. Then choose next. You can skip this section.
There’s no reason to add any tags here unless you know what you’re doing. Review. All looks good. Let’s create the user on the screen. You’re going to get your access keys.
You’ll only have access to this one time, so make sure you get it set up properly. Right now, I’ll click this little button here to copy my access key ID back over. In Fluent SMTP, I can enter my access key right inside of the plugin. Now, the more secure way to do this is to put it in a config file. You’ll copy and paste these two lines of code and simply update the stars with the access keys.
You’ll want to put this inside of your Wpconfig file. I’m not going to go into that in this video. But if you know how to access your Wpconfig file, either through your file manager on your shared hosting platform or via SSH FTP, that is the best way to do this. However, in this case, I’m going to stick to entering it in via the plugin. A little less secure.
Not the end of the world in my opinion. I’ll paste in both my access key as well as my secret key. And then I want to make sure I’ve got the right region selected. Here over in AWS, I can see the region in the upper right hand corner here. It says Oregon.
I’ll choose Oregon from the drop down menu and then save connection Settings. So now I can see that I’ve got Amazon Ses set up as the sender for any emails that go out from Dave at Profitable Tools. But what about WooCommerce? I want my WooCommerce to go out from orders at Profitable Tools. This might link up to a support desk so that if anyone has trouble with their order, it will automatically go to some place where other human beings will actually read it.
Or maybe you prefer to have a no reply email address for your regular transactional emails. Things like password resets, that is up to you. You could simply change the email address to suit your needs. Regardless, what I want to do is connect another service to handle all other transactional emails. Because the Dave at Profitable Tools address is only going to send marketing emails through Amazon Ses, let’s head back over to Settings and go to Fluent SMTP.
I’ll click on Settings here and let’s add another connection. This time I’m going to choose Mailgun. Mailgun is a great service. I highly recommend it. It’s my second favorite after Amazon Ses.
This time for the from name, I’m going to type orders at Profitable Tools. Just like Amazon Ses, you’ll need to have a Mailgun account to proceed. Go ahead and get one set up. And then once you’re logged in, you’re going to want to click on Domains. From here, you’re going to click on Add new domain.
In this case, let’s use a subdomain. So I’m going to use one called notify profitable Tools. Now truth be told, I’ve already set this one up. But all you’ll need to do is click Add Domain and then you’ll get very similar results that we saw in Amazon Ses where we have to update our domain names DNS settings so that Mailgun gets the proper authorization to send from this domain. Once your domain is verified with Mill Gun, you get to skip the step in Amazon Ses where we had all that sendfox Gobbleygook.
We’re ready to send. So what we need to do next is go over to Settings and choose API. This is where we’ll get the API keys that we can paste into Fluent SMTP so that the two can communicate. Same idea as Amazon Ses. It’s really best to put this in your WP config file, but if you don’t want to, or like in the case of this video, you can put it right inside of the plugin.
Just know you’re leaving a little bit of a security hole. People might be able to grab your API keys and then start sending under your account if they’re snooping around. All right, I just filled in my API key as well as my domain name. I am ready to go here. Let’s hit save connection settings.
So you can see here that the emails will be routed based on the from email address. So I can just keep track of what applications are sending and then choose the right from address to choose which platform I want to send out from. Now, it is important to note that you’re going to have a default connection over here. I actually want Mailgun to be my default connection. I’ll choose that one.
If you want to have a fallback connection because maybe you’re worried that Mailgun is going to go out of service for a moment, you could choose your other service here or even add an additional one. There’s no limit of how many connections you add. Fluent SMTP also has really great logging and can even send off an email notification to let you know how the emails are being sent. So right here I’ve got my email logs. Now, this is just a demo site, so you can see it’s only sent off a few email messages that are automated messages from WordPress over the last few months.
But if something didn’t get delivered, I could simply click resend. Maybe a client says they didn’t get that receipt. We’ll simply find it and then resend it back in Settings. We can go to Notification Settings, where we can enable an email notification summary. When we turn this on, we can schedule how often we want to get a summary of how well our emails are being sent via our website, make sure there’s no issues.
Of course, testing is critical to the success of any mission, so make sure you send out a test email using both of your email addresses. So in this case, I’d want to send two test emails, one from Dave Atprofitable Tools and another from Order at Profitable Tools. I can make sure they get delivered to my inbox. And I could also check with Ses as well as Mailgun to make sure that those emails were actually sent and from the correct providers. So there you have it.
There’s really no reason not to switch over to Fluent SMTP at this point. This isn’t a sponsored video. There’s nothing to buy, nothing to sell. It’s just totally free, and it’s the best option for WordPress right now. You might be using another application, one that’s very popular is called SMTP.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that Fluent SMTP has now a one click button. You simply install Fluent SMTP, click a button, it’ll copy all of your settings over from SMTP so you don’t have to do anything. No excuses. Get switched over right now. All right, that’s going to do it.
For this video, I do want to recommend that you sign up for my email newsletter that goes out once per week. No spam, just really cool information. All of the best things I find on the internet that week I send off to my subscribers. I think you’re going to love it. Definitely go get subscribed for that.
I’ve also got the free Facebook group. You can click down there, get engaged with me, ask questions. I’m on the Facebook Group at least a few times a day to help people out, so check that out. Otherwise, make sure you get subscribed to the channel, like the video, if you found it helpful, and I’ll see you in the next video.