Troubleshooting email deliverability problems

If you are experiencing issues with login or confirmation emails being sent or delivered to your buyers, use this guide to help you troubleshoot the issues.

Step 1: Are emails being sent from WordPress?

The first step in troubleshooting the problem is to establish whether or not WordPress is sending out your login/confirmation emails.  

Sometimes we find that due to server configuration issues, WordPress is not able to send out emails from your server.  By default, WordPress uses the PHPMail function - so if this is not setup properly you may experience issues.

Some Managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine and others do not provide any email services, so you'll need to use a 3rd party app such as Mandrill, SendGrid, or Sparkpost (Zoho and Google Apps may work also). Please see this guide for information on Mandrill, SendGrid, and SparkPost.

Option 1. To test if emails are being sent (test email from WP)

You can go to WordPress > Users  and select "Add New".  Add some new user details and enter an email address you can check easily.  Complete the other main fields including name, email and password.  Ensure that you tick the "Send this password to the new user by email." to send yourself the new login information.

This will send the new logins to the email you specified.   Ensure that you check spam and junk folders and it is advisable that if you find the email in the spam or junk you mark it as "Not Spam".  See below for more tips on improving email deliverability to your users inboxes.

Option 2. Testing if emails are being sent (test using WP Mail Log plugin)

To check if OptimizeMember is actually sending the emails that you're expecting, please install the WP Mail Log.

This plugin will log all email calls to wp_mail() to a file wp-content/plugins/wp-mail-log/wp-mail-log.txt for debugging. Delete this file afterwards.

Please be advised, this file is probably publicly accessible on your server, and could well contain private information. This plugin is for debugging purposes only, I encourage you to delete the log file and deactivate the plugin once you’re finished with it.

You can view the file using the WordPress plugin editor. It will appear in the same folder as this plugin.

Once you've installed the plugin, conduct another test that should generate the email you're expecting. Then go to the log and look for the email you were expecting.

If you are finding that emails are not being sent, you should consider speaking to your host and asking if they can check if PHPMail/WPMail is working properly.

Also consider the steps below for using SMTP to send emails from WordPress.

Step 2: Improving Deliverability (Stop emails going to spam).

By default, WordPress and OptimizeMember will use the local email server to send emails. Sometimes this can cause issues with the recipient receiving those emails. Email servers may not "trust" your server to send emails and it could mark those emails as spam (or simply not deliver them at all).

To avoid these possible issues, you can configure WordPress to send all email using the SMTP server for the "From" address (this is the address configured in WP Admin -> OptimizeMember -> General Options -> Email Configuration -> Email From Address). Configuring WordPress with your SMTP server details will allow WordPress to authenticate all sent emails with the proper SMTP server.

You can do this by installing and configuring the WP Mail SMTP plugin with the SMTP server details for the "From" address that you're using in WordPress/OptimizeMember.

If you're using a Gmail account as your "From" address, you find Gmail's SMTP server details here. Otherwise, you'll need to contact your email provider and request the SMTP server details.

Once you've finished configuring the plugin, please conduct your test with OptimizeMember again and see if the emails are received properly.

You may also wish to try these alternative plugins as well:

WP Gmail SMTP:

Gmail SMTP:

We have also published some guides for using Mandril and SendGrid as well:

Mandril: (note that you now need a paid MailChimp account to use Mandrill)


IMPORTANT: Some "Managed WordPress" Hosts (Such as WP Engine) may not include by default a way to send out emails from your WordPress site. In those cases, any of the above mentioned plugins/services should help you with getting these working properly.

Avoiding Trouble with Usernames.

Some mail servers don't handle names so well. You can try this possible solution.

See: Dashboard -› OptimizeMember -› PayPal® Options -› Signup Confirmation Email (for Pro Forms).

You will see the settings look like this:

Change to this:

Other Tips

Another tip to help You can improve your chances of making the inbox is by editing the email so it's unique instead of having the default template.

The Singup Confirmation email can be edited from the payment gateway's Options page in OptimizeMember. The New User email can be edited from WP Admin -> OptimizeMember -> General Options -> Email Configuration.

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