Whether it is a blog or an ecommerce portal, emails are sent through a website in one form or the other. When a user comments on your post and you have chosen to be notified over the email about the event, you should receive an email when any comment is posted. For an ecommerce portal say using WooCommerce, your prospects and customers need to receive emails at so many points starting with adding an item to the cart.
“Proprietary systems such as Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes and webmail systems such as Outlook.com, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail may use non-standard protocols internally, but all use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) when sending to or receiving email from outside their own systems.”
It may be that you are not interested in knowing the nitty-gritty of mail servers and intend to go for paid services like Elite by WP Mail SMTP that comes with White Glove Setup. Still, “it’s smart to have a basic grasp of how mail servers work”. For aspiring website admins, email server courses on Udemy can be very helpful.
For WordPress users, the most popular SMTP plugin is WP Mail SMTP (2+ million active installations) with the free and pro version.
“You can send emails using your own (or third party) SMTP email server, Google, Mailgun, SendGrid, Amazon SES, Office 365, or Outlook.com – so you will need to have one of those accounts to complete setup of the WP Mail SMTP plugin.” Do refer Common Questions that make it clear that this WordPress plugin will not work on WordPress.com platform unless using their Business Plan or higher.
Do I need WP Mail SMTP in case using email marketing software?
If you are already using an email marketing software, you may wonder if you really need WP Mail SMTP in the first place as all your email marketing needs apparently taken care of by the email marketing software. For instance, I am using Moosend. Be it sending bulk emails or newsletters, these are carried out even if I do not activate WP Mail SMTP.
Q) Do I really need WPMail SMTP plugin (WordPress) if using Moosend?
A) You do not. However, keep in mind that all tracking features will not be available, as this is what the plug-in is for.
Q) So your suggestion would be to activate the plugin for better tracking?
A) That is correct!
For Moosend users, here is an article by the Moosend team that explains How to Send Emails Through WordPress With Moosend’s SMTP Server.
This article shows how to set up WP Mail SMTP with any host or third-party SMTP service: How to Set Up WP Mail SMTP with Any Host (Ultimate Guide)
WP Mail SMTP 2.9 (released July 2021) includes many new features to track WordPress emails, giving more reasons to activate the plugin.
1. Email opens and clicks
Pro Email SMTP customers can track if an email sent is opened or not, the link within the email is clicked or not.
To activate this newly introduced feature with Pro WP Mail SMTP, just turn on email logging, enable tracking. All clicks and opens in any HTML email sent from the site will be tracked.
2. Resend Emails
There is a feature for Pro customers now to resend emails right from the WordPress email log.
If it is found that an email has not been sent, you can click and resend it right there. You can send it to the original recipient or change the email if you want to forward it to someone else.
3. Save Attachments
Now you can save attachments in WordPress too. Once this Pro feature is enabled, attachments are saved with the original email.
4. EML Export
While the XLSX and CSV log export feature was added in the last release, this time Pro WP Mail SMTP customers can Export individual emails as EML files. Also, export multiple EML files in 1 ZIP.
Network Aggregated Email Log
5. Multisite Users Can View Logs of All Subsites from any of the Subsite
For multisite WordPress users, as a Pro customer, you can view all of your subsites’ email logs from any of the subsites. So no need to log into each subsite to view email logs.