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 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, Omnisend, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But what if I really want to use WordPress for email newsletters?
Now some users don’t like the high costs of these email marketing service providers. In that case, they usually ask us whether it’s even possible to send an email newsletter with WordPress.
The answer is YES.
If we were doing it, the only way we would set it up is by using FunnelKit Automation plugin for WordPress in combination with WP Mail SMTP plugin.
That’s the only solution that we have found to be reliable for sending email newsletters in WordPress.
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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Jeremy Smith says
Curious – this article was last updated in 2016. As plugins have improved (and there are a lot more now!), do you still feel the same way about not using WordPress for sending emails? Thanks!
WPBeginner Support says
At this time, yes we still feel this way
I’ve had emails from an entity that uses Constant Contact go straight to my junk folder. Is this a new thing? And there are newer plug-in’s for newsletters. Do they have the same problems?
WPBeginner Support says
There are multiple possible reasons an email could go to your spam folder. While there are new plugins, we still recommend an email service provider for sending newsletters.
Kathy Laws says
Great and helpful post. Im searching for a way to streamline some tasks, which led me to your post. I send multiple weekly newsletters for various “departments” in my organization. That same content also need to be posted on our website. Any suggestions on how I can streamline that, so Im not creating the same content twice? I do use constant contact and we are in the process of converting our website platform from Joomla to WP. Thanks in advance, Kathy
Thanks for the informative article. Since feedburner is owned by google, can we not assume that feedburner’s servers are whitelisted by gmail, and since most people use gmail, feedburner is a real alternative to aweber/mailchimp especially if one is not interested in their bells & whistles?
WPBeginner Support says
Please see our article on why you should stop using FeedBurner.
Using a transactional outgoing server such as sendgrid overcomes ALL of your concerns, without needing to pay a cent.
Also most email sending plugins have all of the other features shown above.
Hi and thank you for your reply. Since your post a lot has changed and quite a few new plugins and also php-server-based software was developed.
sendy, mailwixx, mailster, lether just to name a few and they all can connect to a smtp provider such as amazon ses. What is your take on the newest development?
WPBeginner Support says
We do recommend using third-party SMTP providers such as Amazon and Mailgun.
I use zoho mail SMTP to send my site’s mail. Would it not be okay to use a plugin to send newsletter directly from the site since I use an SMTP with an SPF record?
Sherry Muldoon says
Is still relevant 10/2017. Just wondering. I use MailPoet now and want to make sure I’m using platform to avoid the spam filters.
WPBeginner Support says
Yes, it is still relevant.
Can we do this with core php? because i did’nt installed wordpress.
Rex Alexander says
Finally, some of this is falling into place! Thanks. A couple of years ago, I was was using a WP newsletter plugin which was doing a great job . . . until my WP site got infected, which infected a bunch of other sites hosted on the same account. Catastrophe! Later, learned that this plugin had a know vulnerability and had infected 100s of other WP sites! Geezus, thanks for telling me! Obviously, I will never do that again! Ouch!
At the time, I didn’t know anything about MailChimp, et al. How does the plugin get new subscribers addys into MailChimp? If I have MailChimp, do I even need a plug in to harvest new subscribers on WP? At what point does something like Instapage for creating landing pages fit into all of this, or does it?
Any discussion much appreciated. Tks!
Thanks for the info. it seems Amazon SES is the cheapest. Anybody using WP SES Plugin? How is it? Does it have a good interface for sending/receiving mail?
I’ve been using MyMail with Amazon SES as the delivery option. All in WordPress.
It worked well to send emails to 200k subscribers, although there are some delays (it takes up to one day to send).
I’ve also WP SES plugin configured to send all other WP emails through SES. Interface is basic.