Due to vast amounts of spam populating inboxes, spam folders, and the internet in general, most web hosting providers tend to operate rather stringent rules for outgoing mail setups and occasionally1 this can lead to conflicts with WordPress’ mailing functionality.
Additionally free email providers, such as Gmail and Zoho, also tend to operate limits on the number of recipients you can mail each day. This again out of obvious spam prevention issues.
Both combined, for WordPress users this can be an absolute nightmare and may result in much more difficult website visit growth and definitely visitor retention issues. Thus it is no surprise that SMTP plugins ranked among the most popular categories in the WordPress plugin directory. Several with tens of thousands of active installs.
As such it is obvious that we recommend to send WordPress mails, no matter whether those are comment notifications, update notifications or an self-hosted newsletter, via an external provider.
SparkPost, 100,000 Free Emails per Month
Enter the excellent SparkPost mail delivery platform which is trusted by major, international brands and apps like Twitter, Intercom, Linkedin.
While there are several free professional mailing solutions such as Mandril, Postmark, and Mailgun for this post we are focusing on SparkPost.
Like the other mentioned services SparkPost replaces the default WordPress SMTP library, PHPMailer, and delivers email via its own delivery platform. Straight out of the box SparkPost offers every user2 100,000 free emails per month.
As a bonus come reasonable overcharge rates making the free solution a more economic option than the paid 100,000 mails per month plan up to around 135,000 monthly mails sent3.
Additionally, SparkPost also offers excellent real-time email analytics in its dashboard. Sadly enough though the analytics require one to visit their SparkPost account dashboard and are not integrated within the WordPress plugin.
Unlike several/most other services, Sparkpost’s free account has the same features as the paid accounts.
It is important to understand that at the core SparkPost is an email delivery solution (and API) and not a mailing list builder or email campaign manager like for example Mailchimp or Aweber. SparkPost is an alternative mailing system for the default WordPress SMTP library, PHPMailer.
SparkPost perfectly integrates with mailer and newsletter plugins like Mailpoet because it replaces the WP mailing functionality with its own, reliable delivery platform.
SparkPost is available as a free option for up to 100,000 emails sent per month. Sign up here. The SparkPost integration with WordPress is available as a free plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.