How to stop WordPress website emails going to spam

WordPress is an amazing content management system (CMS) which powers about 35% of all websites on the Internet. But while is does have a huge array of great features out of the box, it does have some shortcomings too.

One of these is that, often emails which are sent from the website will go into a Spam or Junk folder. This could be a notification about a new enquiry for the website owner, or perhaps an order confirmation for a customer who bought a product on the website.

Compounding this, your domain name may end up blacklisted, which means you may not be able to send emails at all — so your issue then becomes even more severe. Therefore it’s critical to fix this problem and ensure your emails make it through to the right place.

As part of our wide range of web development and support services, we can easily help to sort that out. But in the meantime, here are three things you can check yourself.

1. Are you sending spammy emails?

To check whether your email is being flagged as spam, send an example of your emails to This is a piece of online software that gives your domain itself a score from 1 to 10, and highlights problems that should be fixed. These problems include hiding the name of the sender from the recipient, as this often causes the recipient to mark your email as spam, and not including your business’s physical address at the bottom of the email.

It’s also best to avoid image-heavy emails, as these are often used by spammers to send hidden messages. Don’t use certain keywords very often (gambling, betting, prizes, discounts, and so on), only link to respected websites, and include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email. 

2. Is your email list being maintained?

Email lists that aren’t kept up-to-date can flag anti-spam software, so every now and again you need to check all these email addresses. It’s also important to enforce a double opt-in and remove inactive subscribers from your list. It’s often these inactive email addresses that are used by spammers to send hidden messages, so check and remove them on a regular basis. Also, don’t resend bounced emails and only send to people who have subscribed to your list (don’t buy lists!). Basically, do the right thing by your subscribers and manage your list with subscriber preferences front of mind.

3. Are your emails sent via your domain name?

As mentioned above, WordPress does need to be set up to properly handle sending emails. This applies to every other type of CMS as well. If you haven’t taken specific steps to route emails via your domain name or a particular email account, this could be one of the reasons why your emails are flagged as spam.

To avoid this problem, WordPress must be configured to send your emails using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), which basically means the emails sent from WordPress are first routed through your actual email account. There are many free SMTP plugins which will guide you through the process, though it can get a little complicated with some email providers, such as Gmail/G Suite. Another option is to use a dedicated email delivery service such as Mandrill or Sendgrid, which often pays for itself very quickly (and many services offer free options too).

So the take home message is to make sure that your emails aren’t spammy, keep your list updated, and route your emails via your email account or a dedicated email service.

If you’re still having problems with your emails going to spam, even after doing all the above, we can help set everything up for you quickly and cost-effectively.

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