Many are asking why their website form submissions and notification emails — known as “transactional emails” — are not being received. Transactional emails might include a contact form seeking more information about your services, a payment notification, or an interested prospect requesting to sign up for your newsletter.
As your web hosting company, Big Head is continually working to ensure your web services are seamless, reliable and meet your needs in every way. Like all hosting companies, we fight a constant battle to protect your website against hackers who want to steal your data and generally disrupt your smooth operation. The issue with not receiving transactional emails is not unique to Big Head. All hosting companies are experiencing the same level of interference — with accompanying user frustration — caused mostly by hackers whose activities require that we remain vigilant to keep your website secure.
We realize that most people are not web experts and are not familiar with the inner workings of coding and web security. That’s part of the service we offer — helping you to go about your daily business with complete peace of mind that your website is secure and protected.
As part of reviewing and diagnosing the problem with transactional emails, the first place we look is the server to make sure there are no issues preventing emails from being sent out. Our testing has shown that the servers are indeed sending out emails as expected, leaving email deliverability as an issue with the email provider. As email providers are becoming increasingly strict with potential spam and constantly changing their email rules and algorithms, this is not at all surprising.
It is important to recognize that servers send transactional emails “on behalf of” your designated email address not “from” your address as with normal emails. Hosting servers do not have a built-in ability to actually log into your email account and send the email from the account itself. Spammers have taken advantage of this, forcing most email providers to tighten their security to block these types of emails.
We have two solutions for you:
1. EASY WORDPRESS SMTP SOFTWARE PLUGIN
We have installed a plugin on your website to assist with transactional email concerns. The addition of this plugin solution usually corrects 99% of the delivery issues as it allows you to enter the email credentials for the “From” email address — the valid address supplied by your email provider. This forces the system to use the credentials to send the email from the actual email address.
The Easy WP SMTP plugin should be installed and activated on your website already. We have already added it to your site. To verify, find the settings located in your website’s wp-admin panel under Settings -> Easy WP SMTP. Here you MUST add the email address login credentials that will allow the website to connect to your email account and send the transactional emails through your account instead of originating from the server.
If you do not see the settings page for this plugin, you can easily add the plugin by logging in as an Admin user, going to the Plugins -> Install New PLUGIN and typing Easy WP SMTP into the search box. Once found, click Install and then Activate.
If you prefer, send us the following settings for your email address, and we can complete the setup for you:
- email address
- password (for logging into email address)
- SMTP Server (typically provided by your email provider)
- Outgoing Server Port (typically provided by your email provider)
2. TRANSACTIONAL EMAIL SERVICE
If the SMTP settings are correct and the plugin does not work, or you want to bypass relying on your email provider for transactional emails, a 3rd party transactional email service such as MailGun may be a great option. These services send email “on your behalf ” and are paired with an SMTP plugin of some sort, but the deliverability rate is among the best available. The Mailgun service actually has a plugin that connects right into Gravity Forms and sends the email notifications on your behalf.
While these services charge a fee (generally on a per email basis), the costs are minimal. MailGun’s Flex plan, for example, charges only $0.80 per 1000 emails sent per month. Please note, with these services, each individual email sent from your website will count towards the total, so if you have one email on a notification and two BCC email addresses, that would be three per notification. Unless you are dealing with extremely high volumes of server-related emails, the cost is relatively minimal and really reliable.
SPAMMERS REMAIN THE BIGGEST THREAT
No matter how you slice it, the underlying issue here is spam. Spammers continue to learn and evolve their methods, and as long as it is beneficial for them to do so, they will continue to find ways to bypass your email provider’s security measures. This forces email providers to constantly change to combat the issue.
To help on your end, report all instances of legitimate spam to your email provider. Don’t open emails that you don’t recognize, especially if there are any attachments to them. And never click a link within an email that is supposed to take you to a login page – go to the website directly and log in that way instead.
We hope that this will help to ensure you are getting the transactional emails from your website as needed. Download our Info Sheet on Email Solutions to Receive Website Forms.