Are you unsure of whether your emails are going to the recipient’s inbox or the recipient’s spam? Are you not receiving alerts from your WordPress contact forms?
In this guide, you will get information about the setup procedure for WordPress SMTP using the WP Mail SMTP plugin in combination with Amazon SES and how to integrate it?
What Is WP Mail SMTP?
Use WP Mail SMTP to make your emails serve the purpose they are built for. Set up a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) on your WordPress site to make sure emails are directed to a reliable mailing service. This plugin ensures accurate email deliverability to increase your engagement and conversions.
How Does SMTP Help?
WordPress makes use of PHP mail function for sending emails developed by a contact form plugin like WPForms. A lot of times, the configuration of hosting servers is such that it cannot utilize the PHP mail function, as a result of which, chances are that your emails, including the WPForms notifications, will not even go to spam.
In such a scenario, it is recommended that you use SMTP on your WordPress site since the plugin uses a proper validation method and ensures email deliverability.
The setup of SMTP is simple and there are several ways to do this. However, most options restrict how many emails you can send. There are chances that you will not receive email alerts if WordPress sends a large number of emails in a short time. The solution is Amazon SES mailer service.
What is Amazon SES?
Amazon SES is a reliable email service developed on the scalable and innovative infrastructure of Amazon.com. When compared with a regular hosting server, it is cost-effective and provides high email deliverability along with some additional features for email marketing.
Amazon SES can be used only when you have successfully installed an SSL certificate on your WordPress site. Additionally, as you set up WP Mail SMTP, you must try and use a domain-specific email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, as the From Email.
How to Setup For WP SMTP Mail With Amazon SES?
Here’s an 8-step guide to set up Amazon SES mailer in WP Mail SMTP and ensure emails go to the recipient’s inbox instead of spam or trash:
Step 1: Sign-up for a Free AWS Account
First and foremost, you need an AWS account. If you already have one, you can continue to step 2 or create a free account from the official AWS website.
AWS accounts include 12 months of free tier access. However, you will need to enter your credit card details during sign up.
Step 2: Choose Your Region
As you complete the signup process for your free account, the AWS system will try to detect your region as per the address mentioned by you. In case AWS is unable to detect the exact region, you will have to choose one from a list of options provided.
Step 3: Make your IAM User Account
After an AWS account has been set up, you need an IAM User Account. The IAM User account provides access keys for use later.
To create the IAM user account, click on the ‘Complete Sign Up’ button on the home page and enter your sign in details.
As you reach your dashboard, click on ‘Add User’. Enter the details for a new user. You can add a name of your choice as your Username. Generally, it is recommended that you use the following format: yourdomain_wpmailsmtp.
Using the suggested name format helps you manage which site is linked to which user and makes it easier for you to add more users, if any, in the future.
Moving on, under the section for Select AWS access type, tick the Programmatic access box. This feature enables an access key ID and a secret access key.
Click on Next: Permissions to move further and complete the registration process.
Step 4: Select Permission Settings
You will see an option for ‘Attach existing policies directly’ on top. Select this to proceed further.
In the search bar, enter AmazonSESFullAccess. A single search result named “AmazonSESFullAccess” will appear. Check the adjacent box to add this permission for the user.
Move on to the next page by clicking on Next: Tags. You don’t need to do anything on this page, so click on Next: Review button.
Step 5: Recheck User Details
The review page will give you a glimpse of all the user details you’ve entered and chosen. If you think everything is accurate, click on the Create user button to confirm. If there’s anything that you need to alter or modify, click on the Previous button.
Congratulations, you have successfully created your Amazon SES account. An Access Key ID and Secret Access Key will be provided.
Important: The Access Key ID and Secret Access Key will not be available after the tab/window has been closed. Please make sure that you save these details either by downloading a CSV or copying them to a secure location. You can let the tab/window remain open since the keys will be used shortly.
Step 6: Move From Sandbox Mode to Production Mode
By default, any Amazon SES account starts in Sandbox Mode. Using the Sandbox, you can send emails to Amazon-verified email addresses. To send emails to all email addresses and everyone, you need to switch to the Production Mode.
For this, you will have to raise a request with AWS. Select the Service limit increase box in the top row of boxes to create a case. You will be redirected to a Case Classification form. Fill in all the required details carefully since Amazon will use this information to keep spammers from using their services. This form helps you to let Amazon know that your site will send emails for legitimate purposes.
Next, you will need to fill in the Use Case Description. Mention your site type and the kind of email you need to send. It is advisable to be detailed in your description since Amazon analyzes this critically before accepting your request.
Click on Submit once you’re done.
You will receive 2 case creation confirmation emails from Amazon Web Services. Usually, AWS will inform you of the progress of your request within one business day. While you wait for their update, you can move ahead with WP Mail SMTP installation and activation.
Step 7: Install The WP Mail SMTP Plugin
Login to your WordPress site. In case, you do not have a WordPress site, here are 13 best free WordPress plugins. In the Tools – Plugin section, search for WP Mail SMTP.
Install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
Step 8: Align Amazon SES with WP Mail SMTP
Visit the Settings for WP Mail SMTP. You will come across a From Email option. Enter any valid email address, preferably a domain-specific email address.
Next, set the From Name. This is the name that will be associated with your emails and can be your brand’s name.
In the Mailer field, choose the Amazon SES option.
Another option that you need to carefully choose is the Return Path. Tick the option Set the return-path to match the From Email. This way you will receive an email notification each time your message bounces back because of issues with the recipient’s email.
Now that you have selected Amazon SES Mailer, a new section will appear requiring you to fill in some information. Enter the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key here. After both the keys have been entered, review the Region field. This is automatically determined by AWS’ system, however, if it is incorrect, you need to choose it appropriately.
Click Save Settings.
At this point, you will see an option for additional settings named Verified Emails. Add the email addresses that you would like to use as the From Email. Complete the process by following the steps mentioned in the verification email received in your email’s inbox.
Once you have completed the verification, refresh the WP Mail SMTP settings page on your site. You will see all the verified email addresses.
Enjoy The WP Mail SMTP Plugin
Your Amazon SES Mailer in WP Mail SMTP setup is complete and you can reliably send WordPress emails. You can rest assured that your emails will deliver productive results and conversions and not sit wasted in the recipient’s spam.
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