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Why You Should Never Use WordPress to Send Newsletter Emails

We strongly advise our users to never use WordPress to send newsletter emails.

Some WordPress plugins allow you to send newsletter emails using the WordPress’ built-in PHP mail feature. Often beginners make the mistake of choosing this method due to lower costs.

In this article, we’ll explain why it is a bad idea and why you should never use WordPress to send newsletter emails.

Why using WordPress to send newsletter emails is a bad idea

Why You Should Take Your Email List Seriously?

Your email list is one of the most reliable communication tools. It helps you bring back users to your website which leads to more sales, leads, and conversions.

If you are not already doing it, then you should start building your email list right away.

You’ll notice that almost every serious marketer, blogger, and business expert will recommend that you use an email marketing service such as Constant Contact, Sendinblue, HubSpot, etc. rather than using WordPress for email newsletters.

Now you may be wondering if WordPress can send emails itself, then why use a third-party service to do that?

Let’s take a look at why.

Reliability

Email reliablity

When you send out emails using a newsletter plugin that relies on PHP and WordPress mail functions, there is a great chance that your emails will land in your user’s SPAM folder.

Email providers like Gmail, Outlook, etc have spam tools that would mark your email as SPAM for a number of reasons.

For example, the email server receiving your email will look for an SPF record to determine whether the sending server is allowed to do so or not. It will also look for suspicious behavior, words, and phrases to rule out spam.

The spam-catching tools will also check their databases for suspicious IP address. On shared WordPress hosting, your website is sharing the same server IP address with several other websites.

Any sign of abuse by one person on that server can trigger spam-catching databases which will make your email delivery doubtful.

There are countless other factors that are checked by spam-capturing algorithms, and it is very challenging to satisfy all those.

On the other hand, professional email marketing service providers work day and night to make sure that their emails are delivered to your user’s inbox.

Why build an email list

They apply a strict set of rules to all outgoing emails to ensure they reach the user’s inbox and not spam.

They have highly trained engineers, developers, and support staff that works round the clock to make this possible. They are also approved and known bulk mail service providers with most major ISPs and email services. When a user’s email server receives an email from a white-listed server, they know it is reliable and not spam.

This reliability alone is the single most important factor that should be enough to convince you to use a professional newsletter service.

Email Limits and Delays

Email limits and delays

Many WordPress hosting companies provide email services to be used for a quick business email address or to send WordPress password reset and other important notifications.

They consider mass emailing to be an abuse of their mail servers and have strict limits on the number of emails you can send at a time.

Now, it is possible that your newsletter plugin or script will try to queue outgoing emails. But eventually, your hosting company will catch and block such processes.

They may even suspend your hosting account for violating their terms of service.

On the other hand, when you are using a professional email marketing service, you don’t need to worry about these limitations.

They have servers spread all across the world sending hundreds and thousands of emails every day. They have flexible plans which allow you to easily upgrade as your email list grows.

Ease of Use

Email service providers like Constant Contact and Sendinblue allow you to easily create and send emails to your subscribers. They have extremely easy to use tools to create and design your emails.

They also have API integration which makes it easy for you to connect your email list with other useful WordPress plugins like OptinMonster, WPForms, SeedProd, and more.

List building tools

By running your own newsletter you miss out on all these tools that make things easier.

Instead of focusing on growing your business, you’ll be spending time struggling with things that can be easily done in minutes using a proper email marketing service.

Stats and Analysis

Professional email service providers offer you integrated stats and analytics about your campaigns.

You can see the number of emails landed in the user’s inbox, how many of them were opened, and the number of clicks you have received. This allows you to improve and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

Tracking your email campaigns

When sending out your own newsletter through a newsletter plugin, you have no way of knowing how many emails reached to the user’s inbox, opened, or clicked.

You’ll have to integrate Google Analytics into your email campaigns and landing pages, even then the data you would gather will be limited.

Another reason to use an email service provider is that some of them offer you diagnostic and analysis tools.

You can use those tools to see how your campaigns are doing. If your emails are getting marked as spam, then you can figure out what’s triggering the spam check tools to flag your emails.

Compliance Issues

Compliance

Email marketing is huge and so is spam. To deal with spam, ISPs and email marketing services have introduced and implemented new legislation, requirements, and protocols.

When you are using a professional email service to send out your newsletter, you don’t have to worry about compliance with regulations in different regions.

These email service providers work very hard to ensure their service is compliant with privacy and anti-spam laws in different countries.

On the other hand, if you are sending out your own newsletter you are less likely to know if there is something new happening in the email spam protection world.

Cost Effectiveness

Cost effectiveness

Some users might think that if they run their own newsletter using a plugin, then they are saving money.

First, you need to put a value on your time. The time you spend configuring your newsletter plugin is much more valuable than the amount you pay for a good email service.

In fact, you can use one of the best email services, Constant Contact for free for two months using our Constant Contact coupon. This free trial gives you enough time to setup and start collecting email addresses. By the time your trial ends, your email list will be paying for itself.

Similarly, Sendinblue offers a free account that you can use to send up to 300 emails per day. After that, you can upgrade your account to send more emails and access more tools.

Which Email Service to Use to Send WordPress Newsletter

We recommend using Constant Contact as the best email marketing service for small businesses and blogs.

It is easy to use and comes with all the necessary tools like email automation, subscriber segmentation, beautiful templates, and detailed analytics.

For other providers, you may take a look at Sendinblue or Drip. They offer more advanced marketing features and tools.

For more details, see our detailed comparison of the top email marketing services with pros and cons.

We hope this article helped you learn why you should never use WordPress to send newsletter emails. You may also want to see our guide on how to grow your email list or our tips on getting more traffic to your website.

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Reader Interactions

112 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. While I agree that using WordPress for email newsletters isn’t the way to go for people who are making a living off of their websites, I still think it is a valuable option for people who can’t afford a mailing list but still want one.

    Also, the analogy made that says it’s better to invest than take time setting the complicated plugin up is plain wrong. If I had an option to do something that would take a little bit longer than a more expensive alternative, of course I’d choose the free alternative and dedicate more effort. If time is money, then isn’t money time too. This attitude towards spending money here and there is horrible. If we were to agree with this analogy then one could also say “No one should track their expenses because it takes too much time”. Well yeah, it takes time but of course it’s worth it because the time that you spend doing something could save you the money!

    • You’ve got some serious comments and I totally love that because I’m a beginner and I’m trying to figure out if to use Email Subscribers and Newsletter plug in because those guys offer such an irresistible promise, I’m very happy Wpbeginner let your comment though, I’m sure many more would find this useful and also challenge the decision posed on them from the also wonderful article above, are there totally free email service providers, for beginners, Wpbeginner :) ?

  2. Hi, thanks for this article. Would you say the same for Woocommerce followup emails. I am thinking to use it on my ecommerce store. Thanks in advance.

  3. I’m trying to find a solution for sending emails directly from the blog post (like JetPack), but without being tied to wordpress.com. We need the post to appear on the blog as well as be emailed to subscribers, and I need to be able to have control over the subscriber list. It’s looking like the closest thing that will do this is Mailpoet and/or “Send Posts to Subscribers” plugin. I’m using the former (free version) because I’ve not heard a lot about the latter. Also using the WP Mail SMTP plugin for sending. Is this my best bet? Has anyone heard of the “Send Posts” plugin?

    • This isn’t a response to Deirdre’s question, but a “+1”; I have the same question.
      I’ve found a lot of plugins that send a notification with partial text; I’d like to send a copy of the complete post — either automatically @post time, or have it be easy to send one if someone is familiar with wp at the level of creating blog posts (not site administration). Control over the subscriber list would be great too. Thanks–

  4. How do I stop WordPress from sending out the automated emails so I don’t send out two at the same time.

    • I have the same question. I set up MailChimp to send out my blog notifications, but now I’m not sure how to disable WordPress from sending the notifications.

  5. Thank so much for this awesome post. It’s helped me no end.
    With this resource I’m armed to start blogging!!

  6. wow, it comes to a surprise to me that one shouldn’t use WordPress plugin to manage newsletters. I see 2 problems though: mailing services are way too expensive, and using such a system you cannot really pull data from your WP posts/databases… can you?

    • This is likely because you’re on a shared server and your IP address has been marked as spam. For beginners/small sites, I always recommend setting up a third party SMTP mail server and using that to send your website’s mail.

      I recommend SendGrid their free plan allows you to send 12,000 email per month.

  7. If my WP is sending auto emails when new posts generate, is it definitely a plugin that I’ve set up at some point in time? I can’t remember now, and I don’t seem to be able to find the culprit. I would love to disable it and start using Aweber as your article suggests. TIA!

  8. I am following often your posts and noticing that every post contains an educative value. I have some trouble when I use default WP email. It will sow the sender name is wordpress in the mail box. what do you suggest to correct this? Doe the plugins you recommand can show the
    name of the sender intead of wordpress.

  9. What about Jetpack and the subscribe feature? Does it fall into the good or bad category and why?

      • Question: I had been using Subscribe2 plugin to send posts as they were published, but we have a lot of subscribers not receiving posts. So, after much trouble shooting, I have
        1) disabled the Subscribe2 button,
        2) set up a MailChimp account and list and
        3) have set up the MailChimp Subscribe plugin to add subscribers to Mail Chimp list… QUESTION: (this is probably so basic, but… ) now, when we make a new blog post, do I need to log in to MAIL CHIMP to actually send a notification of new post // HOW DO I SEND NEW POST NOTIFICATION BY EMAIL? (I have also had the JetPack Subscribe button, but have disabled that I think, so we can get all our subscribers in one place.) This is a small blog, only about 170 subscribers. ( “RINOcracy”)

  10. I was using MailChimp but I’m now using MailPoet because it automaticly send all new post in my weekly newsletter.

    I don’t think there’s a other service offering that.

  11. This is a great post, very useful and really helpful. Thanks a lot, now that I want to start sending newsletters I’ll try Mailchimp.

  12. Many interesting points of view here. Seems there is this regular suggestion that MailPoet will do everthing people question. Sadly it falls down on one critical issue. It still sends through php mail and fails to present validated mail that mail servers dont reject or mark as questionable. They apparently have rewritten the interface with wp-mail that smtp validation programs like Postman are excluded as a sending or routing device. Yes i love so many things about Mailpoet and its simplicity of use. I just see it as all very pointless if the result ends up in the spam folder and no-one ever sees it!!!! Wasting your time people….

  13. We setup MyMail plugin to use WordPress as the host for newsletters. But we send the emails through MandrillApp.

    Boom.

      • This is working perfectly. Yes, Mandrill did make changes in pricing (not free!) so we switched to SendGrid. In WordPress we also setup Postman to handle the SendGrid connection – this sends all WP emails through SendGrid.

        • Update, for some reason Postman wasn’t getting all the emails out. So we dropped it and are using the Sendgrid plugin. MyMail picked it up and sends through it flawlessly. Since switching we can no longer duplicate any errors.

          Maybe someone will find this helpful.

    • Excellent! Now that Mandrill is no longer free for smaller users, I am using Mailgun. I am having excellent results!

  14. This is great. My website is just a month old and I am learning a whole lot thanks to you guys. Great work as usual wpbeginner.

  15. That’s some very limited view of the capabilities of campaigning from within WP. You fail to mention one can quite happily use SMTP protocol from within WP so your first paragraphs are a non issue.
    You obviously haven’t tried to configure newsletters from within either – with MailPoet it takes about 30minutes from the installation of the plugin to the ready Newsletter.
    With My mail, you probably need about an hour for the basics. Don’t know how you calculate the costs, but no matter how you look at it, that’s much cheaper in the long run than using any of the paid services unless we’re talking tenths of thousands of emails – but that’s either for large companies or spammers – not a typical WP user.

    I have a tendency to research all options carefully before settling on anything, and having tried both subscription based all in one solutions as well as self configuration of plugins, I can say that for a medium sized business, the control and cost of sending newsletter from within WP is unbeatable.

    Last but not least, you have a legal obligation in the Western world, to protect your clients data. Passing it on to third party services without their consent, is illegal. Sadly, very few companies inform their clientbase upon newsletter signup that all their details will reside somewhere ‘in space’ with another entity. You’re taking a leap of faith assuming someone else has appropriate protection in place, without being sure about it.

    I value my time, my money and my reputation – the less people in between my business and my clients, the less chance of data breach or non compliance with the law.

    • Thanks for that very helpful input Magdalena…
      I am looking to start my IM business by first building up my list with free product giveaways(still have to find those)… I will probably do so for three to six months before I start to try and monetize it.
      I have been trying to find help on free autoresponders for quite a while now but Google is really not too helpful here…

      Have a lovely day
      John

    • Useful comments, Magdalena, thanks.

      As you say, reputation is priceless; gaining “time” could be costly in the long run, so it’s a three-way formula, and the last thing you want is a good prospect consigning your domain name to junk.
      When I receive mail from MailChimp I do not enable html and I click on nothing, as I have nothing to offer to MailChimp’s data servers (or those of other “professional” mass e-mail providers). I also do not think highly of the sender, as I consider mass mail sent via “professional” mail clients to be spam.
      I try then to give my own dedicated, signed-up clients & providers the more personal, direct information service that I would appreciate myself. My target is specific and low-mass and I only mail them when I have something important to communicate (a few times a year at most).

      I used Mailpoet in the past, then their prices went stratic, so my last few mailings were with “Newsletter”. All the stats I need are available (opened, read, etc.) but I will take the time to explore some of the others mentioned.

      For some, “Time is Money”, but when spent diligently, to me, Time is Investment.

  16. I am using MailPoet for my blog.
    MailPoet using SMTP with services like SendGrid, MailChimp.
    My question is is there a way/plugin i can call above services using their rest apis e.g. using Sendgrid username, password authentication. Setting above SMTP system is costly as well as takes time.

    • I use MailPoet too but I might switch to MailChimp soon. For various reasons:

      1. MailPoet cannot be used to send full posts by e-mail since only the first image (or featured image) is used. (And if you created a post excerpt, only the excerpt is used.)

      2. MailPoet ignores text formatting such as h1. (As well as content like […]).

      3. MailPoet always uses the first published version of a post and not the version accessible when the actual newsletter gets send. Very often, I amend a post right after publication due to typos etc. and they get send by MailPoet anyway.

      • Hey that’s a very important point, Martin. Thanks a lot. Even if there are not typos there could many reasons one may want to edit the article after publishing it the first time. If only the first version is used then it’s a problem. There should be some sort of sync option that can update the article. Facebook also has this issue so far I have noted.

  17. You’re totally right! It’s so important to choose the right autoresponder and I decided to use GetResponse.

  18. First I’d like to say thanks for the great article. I don’t like the generic looking newsletter that gets sent out automatically when I add a new post to my website. I would like to switch over to MailChimp–it seems like this is what a lot of people are using, and recommending, and it looks much more professional.

    Since I’m not a pro website designer by any means, I have a really basic question. How do I turn off whatever is automatically setup in WordPress to send out newsletters when you publish a new post? I’ve never made any purposeful changes within WordPress to make it automatically send out a newsletter when I publish a new post, but it does. I’m sure this is easy to do, but can someone tell me how to disable this feature so I can start using MailChimp instead?

    • WordPress does not automatically send out new posts via email. You must have a plugin installed like JetPack or something. You will need to turn that plugin off to stop emails.

      Admin

      • Hello

        I have just started using WP and I can see my posts are sent automatically to subsribers.. Just tested it. Do I still need additional plugins to manage that? Also if I want to instal other providers how do I turn this off?

        • Visit your plugins section to see if there is a newsletter plugin or JetPack plugin installed. You can turn them off to disable this functionality and use other providers.

  19. I’ve used Mailpoet, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and others to distribute about 8,000 newsletters per week to my subscriber list. Of the three, Mailpoet is far superior – for two reasons. 1) I work directly from the WordPress platform, and I can drag and drop posts and images. I can post current and scheduled posts – it works beautifully. 2) It is far cheaper. Mailchimp was costing me $75 per month. Mailpoet, at $99, combined with Amazon SES, free for up to 60,000 emails per month, works out to be less than $10 per month. I also tried Mandrill, free for up to 12,000 emails per month and very cheap increments of 1,000. Mandrill has better reporting and may be worth a few dollars a month extra for some.

    • Hi Ralph ,

      Would you mind telling me which is the best plugin to use Mandrill to send newsletters (I’ve to send text newsletter), I already know Mandrill has WP plugin but that is just for routing emails . It’s not a newsletter plugin?

      2. Secondly, as said so I checked Mailpoet but it doesn’t mention in their site they support Amazon SES?

      Looking for your reply.

  20. I use mailpoet plugin and have a dedicated server through Bluehost and it works beautifully. I used to have to pay $85 for over 5,000 subscribers through Constant Contact (recent price increase) and now I just pay $99 per year for mailpoet premium plugin. I never did pay for the extra service of having Constant Contact store my images as they changed every issue. I use photos from latest posts/recipes. So, I didn’t have to pay anything extra for that. However, if you do pay that extra fee, mailpoet will save you even more money.

  21. I use MailPoet (aka WYSIJA). You can test the spammyness of newsletters, and I find that my MailPoet ones score very well. I have seen profession mail sender emails in spam boxes too… so there is no silver bullet.

  22. What about using sendgrid or a similar service to handle the email and then you could use wordpress or am I missing something?

  23. Have any of you tested out Group Mail already. I have been told it can be easily adapted to send newsletters

  24. I use Lotus Notes for productivity. I use Eproductivity in Lotus Notes. People at Eproductivity send plenty of email marketing stuff using Mailchimp-like tools.

    But I am not able to see a thing. I deactivate HTML in Outlook. Just like every single journalist I know at one of the biggest Spanish speaking outlet. Just like anyone I know.

    So basically, Eproductivity is loosing money.

    So to make a long story short: I do understand the reason for geeks to go on selling rabbits, and blue clouds, and all that b?llsh-it in their HTML newsletter products (money) but really: it mystifies me the way some companies think their products are been sold just because Mailchimp et al assures them their emails are being opened.

    No, sorry, you are loosing money. And killing good taste in the interin (c’mon, those templates should be sent to the moon and buried in its dark side).

  25. MyMail has extremely easy-to-use addon plugins for Mandrill and Amazon SES among others.
    It’s almost like having one’s own personal MailChimp built into WP. It also integrates nicely with Google Analytics and Piwik, and the latest Newsletter stats are right on the Dashboard.
    I find that for my clients not having MailChimp equals to just one less service they have to login to and get comfortable with.

  26. Hi,
    I use MailPoet and Mandrill (a service of Mailchimp) it works well
    Have a nice day
    (Sorry for my english i’m french)

  27. Hi

    I have been using mail poet for a while and love it but it lacks some integration sometimes which can be done easily with mailchimp. So I hesitate to change. I be heard about mad mini as we’ll which gives the opportunity of many ad dons, is easy to use and seems more and more popular but you don’t mention it here.
    Would you say mad mini could be a good option ?

    Thanks

      • Hey..!
        I already extracted your website, & you are using Both Apache & Nginx server, Mailchimp SPF etc.
        I wonder, why you are not mentioned Mailchimp in this post even you use personally?
        Is it not the best one?
        If it is not the best one, then what is the reason behind you use it?
        I am curious about your opinion.
        Thank you

  28. Why didn’t you say anything about Feed burner email subscription service. It is free and it is not restricted to a limited number of subscribers.

    I think it is the most powerful method to communicate with your visitors via email after each post have been added to your blog.

    • Feedburner is cool but it is not a newsletter service. Surely users can recieve your posts in their inbox but that’s all, you can not send them emails that are not part of your blog posts.

      Admin

  29. I used to also be tempted to use a plugin to send email to my readers.

    It’s just that time I was still unsure of the delivery. For what we send a lot of emails, when in fact all of them go into the spam box.

    Finally I use any paid services. Although it was a difficult choice for me.

  30. Just curious why no mention of Constant Contact…is it not as well-known as Mail Chimp and Aweber? Is there something about it that makes using it not recommended?

  31. What is your opinion on hybrid solutions like using WordPress to generate the newsletter but then using SMTP to actually send the message from a service like Mandrill?

    • Tanner, that is basically what MyMail does. You work within WordPress then use a 3rd party to actually sent the emails. SMTP could work, but if you use something like Gmail you could get blocked as they limit this sort of thing (because it’s not the intention of the service but works for low volumes). Connecting to an email service like MailChimp or Sendgrid works better. It uses an API and is designed for higher volume emails.

      Hope that helps.

  32. For someone with a little more experience, it is fairly easy to use Mailchimp’s Mandrill or Amazon SES with a newsletter plugin and avoid most of the problems outlined in this article.

  33. I am using Sendy which uses Amazon SES as SMTP. far more cost effective than MailChimp that you are peddling here.

  34. I have been using your OptinMonster and it has put me in trouble. Now I get around a 1000 new email subscriber each month :)
    Problem is, mine is a tech blog. And all I need is to send a RSS feeds-to-mail to my readers once a week. All of these MailChimps and Aweber are too costly for my situation.

    What do you suggest for me?

    • Hi,
      I too own a tech blog and am using optinmonster. It’s worth it really. As you go upwards increasing your reader base you must be making that much revenue from your site to pay for your 3rd party newsletter integration’s. Else re-check your efforts to see how you can growth hack your process of blogging.

  35. I’ve given up convincing people of these facts. Every time I try to have this argument with someone I feel like I’m bashing my head against a brick wall. People just see that WordPress can easily send emails, so assume that is the best way to send them.

    • Agreed. We use wordpress and dont experience any issues. However, we learned about spf records and spam checks to ensure we comply. We have our own server and our website uses a dedicated IP address. I see many users on shared hosting wondering why their emails are being blocked when the server sends out vast volumes of spam from other users.

      • Hello. Please. Help me with this tip. to say that if I have a dedicated IP trough of a VPS can I use MailChimp or mail poet without having to integrate with pay and expensive sevices as shown? the need for these services to ensure deliveries is poque many times emails are not delivered through the fault of shared hosting? I would have all my emails or larger delivered without having to pay these expensive services through a VPS for example? to considering using “digital ocean” and make instações the cpanel in linux $ 5 monthly. solve the problems of deliveries?

  36. Great thoughts here. Do you know of ways to automatically alert readers of new posts with MailChimp? Or is it okay to use another service like Jetpack to accomplish this? How do you deal with 2 different lists in that case – and how do you streamline the sign-up process?

    I’ve been struggling with this for awhile so I’d really appreciate your insight!

  37. Does this also apply to using WordPress to notify people that I have a new blog post? If so, how does this work?

    For example, when I subscribe to a blog for email updates, I often go though a variety of services that various bloggers use, including Feed Burner, Mail Chp, Mad Mimi, etc, etc. I have no idea how this differs from what I’m using for when people subscribe to my blog. I would like to use a service this this, because I don’t know how to communicate with my readers without posting a blog entry!

    • Cynthia, this is exactly where Email comes in handy. You can do that with mailchimp, mailpoet, and many other fantastic service providers. With mailpoet you can create different lists and automatically send posts to your subscribers on daily, weekly and monthly basis.

      Admin

  38. Thanks for the great post. One question: is it true that you can not embed – as opposed to attach a photo / image – so that the recipient must click to see the image -into any of the email services like, Aweber or Mail Chimp? But you can embed an image with MailPoet or MyMail for WP- which I have been looking into. This is important to me as I am an illustrator sending samples of my work.

    • Karol, I’m brand new to email marketing and have the same question. I’m an artist and will soon start letting people know about my website and will want to start getting email addresses and send new images to subscribers from time to time. I have lots of other online experience, though. I’d love to connect with you and we can support and learn from each other as we grow.

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