It’s common for WooCommerce emails to end up in the recipients’ spam/junk folders, partly because of a common shortcut that web hosts take when providing you with email service. If you’re finding your store’s email is going straight to spam (or never arriving at all), the simplest answer is usually to switch to a dedicated SMTP provider (usually free if you’re not sending a lot of email). But if you want to do some more fine-grained troubleshooting, jump to the section that interests you:
Dedicated SMTP providers
The most common advice for fixing spam filter problems is to switch to a “dedicated SMTP provider.” That can actually be through any email service provider (ESP), even those that you don’t connect to through SMTP. But either way, they almost always keep your mail out of spam folders better than the default email delivery that’s provided by web hosts:
- They usually help you configure Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) correctly, giving spam filters clues that your mail is trustworthy.
- They often have the option of using a dedicated IP for sending your mail so that your junk mail reputation isn’t sullied by “bad neighbors”, as often occurs on shared hosting.
- They usually report how often your emails are opened (or bounced), helping you troubleshoot delivery problems before a customer is motivated enough to complain.
Even better news: many of them are free if you’re not sending a ton of email. If you want to find a good option for you, see my comparison list.
If it’s particularly important that your email get through, I’d suggest upgrading your plan with your providers to provide a dedicated IP so that you’re not sharing one with potential-spammers that can affect your spam filter reputation.
Troubleshooting your existing email setup
An easy first step is to enter the domain name your email is being sent from into MXToolBox’s blacklist checker. If any of the lists don’t show the green OK checkbox, you can Google their particular method of getting removed from their blacklist.
Next, I’d suggest entering your domain into the tool at intoDNS, and correcting any issues it finds in the MX section.
Finally, I’d suggest sending a test mail from your site (ideally a test order) to the address generated by Mail-Tester. It will provide friendly instructions on improving your “spammyness” score.
If your issue still isn’t fixed, there’s a couple additional places you should check to make sure your site isn’t falsely listed with a bad reputation:
SMTP plugins for connecting to your own SMTP provider (Gmail / G Suite, Outlook / Office 365, etc.)
There’s a lot of SMTP plugins, but I’d suggest just using one of these:
- Post SMTP (the reincarnation of Postman SMTP) gives you SMTP functionality along with mail logging, BCC support, and Gmail / G Suite support.
- WP Mail SMTP has a longer track record (in its current form), and also offers similar mail logging and Gmail / GSuite support as Post SMTP.
Be aware of the sending limits imposed by most services:
- G Suite: limited to 2000 emails per 24-hour-rolling-period (or 500 on trial accounts)
- Gmail: limited to 500 emails per 24-hour-rolling-period
- Office 365 Exchange Online: limited to 30 emails per minute
You’ve somehow made it to the end of this boring article without falling asleep…
…so here are 3 randomly-generated emojis that will surely tell a compelling story: