Managing email delivery from your application can be a pain. Most hosting providers are able to provide email services along with your plan. But often, if you need to track an email or check receipt, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Especially in shared servers, where thousands of emails are being exchanged, finding one lost message is beyond what most can accomplish in a day.
This is where a tool like Postmark can save the day. Not only does it improve the delivery of transactional emails from your website, it tracks them as well. If someone says they didn’t get that message, you can see every hop the message took on the way to their mailbox and even see if they opened it or not.
Does Your WordPress Site Use Email?
First, you’ll need to consider how you’re currently using email in your WordPress site.
Every WordPress site comes with email features. These are used most commonly for resetting user passwords or alerting a user when their password has been rotated.
These emails are merely transactional, but they’re important nonetheless. And often, it’s these kinds of emails that people most rely upon to get basic work done on your site. If someone sits around waiting for a password reset email that may have got stuck on a server queue somewhere, you could lose hours in productivity chasing it down.
In most cases, these emails will be delivered by your server’s default simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP). This is easy because it requires virtually no work on your part to set up, but it’s not custom to your domain and could create security risks if your host is not using a security certificate to sign those outbound emails.
Email Costs in Time and Money
It may not seem obvious at first, but managing your email services can create new headaches. First of all, you want to make sure you have at least a VPS server with a dedicated IP address. Then you need to make sure the IP address stays off of any spam blacklists.
This all requires system admin time that you may not have. It’s possible your hosting company might be able to help with some initial setup, but they cannot guarantee that your IP address will stay spotless.
The best situation is to avoid sysadmin costs by using a third-party service to handle transactional email delivery.
What Are Transactional Emails?
Transactional email is different from marketing email.
When we talk about marketing email, we’re referring to newsletters, promotions, and other kinds of mass email delivery. There are other services that better manage large lists of subscribers and can segment and stagger list delivery under various conditions.
Mass emails are not Postmark’s speciality. Postmark does “transactional” emails. For our purposes, a transactional email is best described as a single email from an app to a user.
So, if you request a password reset on your WordPress site, you get an email to confirm the change. That email is transactional in the sense that it helps achieve a simple transaction. It’s different from a marketing email that might be purely information and not triggered by a transaction.
What is Postmark and How Does It Help?
Postmark is a transactional email service you can easily connect to a custom-coded app or, even easier, any WordPress site. Postmark makes it super easy to send out emails from your app and track them.
All you need to do is create a postmark account, set up a server, DNS records, and you’re ready to go.
The Postmark WordPress Plugin
It’s easy to install the Postmark plugin for WordPress. The plugin itself provides all of the key functionality that you’ll need.
- Set up a Postmark account
- Install the WordPress plugin
- Add your API key
If your domain is configured with the necessary DNS records, you can actually use Postmark to send email from any name “@” your domain. So you could use “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com”—anything you want.
Postmark Makes WordPress Email Work Better
With Postmark, there’s no need to configure SMTP settings for your WordPress site. All you need to do is install the plugin, and it just works.
Your emails will automatically route through the Postmark system. With minimal setup, and improved delivery and tracking, you’ll wonder how you got on without this tool.