WordPress comes with built-in mail feature which uses PHP’s mail function to send out emails. There are several WordPress newsletter plugins which allow you to run a fully functional newsletter using this feature. Recently one of our users asked us: “if it is possible to send out email newsletters using WordPress plugins, then why do we recommend using an email service provider like Constant Contact or Aweber?” In this article, we will explain 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 tool. It helps you bring back users to your website. It helps you increase sales, promote products, and build trust around your brand.
If you are not already doing it, then you should start building your email list right away.
You will notice that almost every serious marketer, blogger, and expert will recommend that you use an email marketing service such as Aweber or Constant Contact rather than using WordPress for email newsletters. Let’s take a look at why.
When you send out emails using a newsletter plugin which 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 (gmail, yahoo, etc) have spam tools which 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 server sending email is allowed to do so or not. It will look for suspicious behavior, words, and phrases to rule out spam.
The spam catching tools will also check their databases for your 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 catching algorithms, and it is very challenging to satisfy all those.
On the other hand, professional email service providers work day and night to make sure that their emails are delivered to your user’s inbox. They follow a strict set of rules and apply it to all their outgoing emails to ensure it reaches the destination and not ends up in junk mail.
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 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
Most hosting providers have limits on the number of emails you can send at a time. It is possible that your newsletter plugin or script will try to queue outgoing emails, but there will always be a chance that something might go wrong, and your outgoing email queue may not even process. For large email lists, your web host may even consider this as an abuse of their services.
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 Aweber 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, Gravity Forms, etc.
By running your own newsletter you miss out on all these tools that make things easier. Instead of focusing on your website, you will be spending time struggling to do 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 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 though a newsletter plugin, you have no way of knowing how many emails reached to user’s inbox, opened, or clicked. You will have to spend a lot of time trying to integrate Google Analytics in your campaigns and landing pages, and still 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 all these things. These email service providers work very hard to make sure that your emails reach their destination.
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 of all, you need to put 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 service, Constant Contact for free for two months. 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.
Considering all these facts, we strongly recommend our users to use professional email marketing service.
If you must use a WordPress newsletter plugin, then only use MailPoet. Remember, deliverability is still an issue and even MailPoet understand that which is why they allow you to use third-party SMTP services like SendGrid (which cost money).
Which email marketing service do you use? Let us know by leaving a comment below.