New email service available! WP_Mail()

Post written by Hudson Atwell
On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Great News! New Email Service Available!

I’m very happy to announce that a new email service has been added to the Email Component for the Inbound Now PRO plugin: WP_Mail()!

This new service will allow current customers to send automated and batch emails directly through WordPress’s wp_mail() PHP function, instead of being tied down to having to use SparkPost as an email service.

SparkPost is no longer our only carrier service

For the longest time we’ve only had one available carrier for sending batch and automated emails through our Inbound Now PRO plugin, SparkPost.

When I first introduced Inbound Now PRO’s email component SparkPost provided 100k free email sends a month. This was more than enough for a small business to get started sending email with our tool while not having to invest extra money.

When users grew activity past 100k sends a month SparkPost was ready to offer them more emails at a very low rate. It was a great deal!

Over time as SparkPost reduced their free to only allow 15,000 free sends for the first month only.

This dramatically reduced the value offering of Inbound Now PRO’s email component and I’ve had to respond by writing in support for a new email service.

Restoring value by supporting WP_Mail as a service

In order to restore value for our customers and make our product suite attractive once again I’ve developed in a new email service that leverages WordPress’s core email function, wp_mail().

This is great news for customers who’v had to cancel their account due to rising SparkPost costs.

Leveraging WordPress’s wp_mail() service will cost no additional money at all.

Leveraging services like SparkPost still may be preferable to some. SparkPost users will find they can track email bounces and email rejection events while users leveraging WordPress’s core email service find that they can no longer track these metrics.

We can still track sends, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes though! So we are really not losing too many features in exchange for moving to a 100% free service.

Using custom SMTP plugins to improve sending email through wp_mail()

In addition to wp_mail being free, it also allows you to connect your own custom email servers through SMTP plugins like Postman.

Third party email providers sometimes also provide their own plugin to enhance WordPress’s wp_mail(). For example MailChimp’s Mandrill has an official plugin that makes sure all wp_mail() email sends are routed through the Mandrill API.

If you choose to use a 3rd party plugin that leverages wp_mail(), most likely our Inbound Now PRO tool will continue to work as normal. — Not only will you have the gorgeous stats provided by our reporting systems, you will have the 3rd party provider’s reports as well.

This is an older screenshot that shows off the reporting of one of our automated emails. This particular screenshot shows an email we sent through SparkPost (not WP_Mail). You can tell SparkPost is our carrier here because the Bounces & Rejects metrics are visible. With WP_Mail selected as a service we will not see these metrics. 2509 Bounces is a significant number! After I notices our list had 2509 potentially spam email addresses in our Newsletter list I ran into our Bulk Management tool and unsubscribed those emails manually to improve our inbox rate for our next send. This screenshot is great for illustrating why a customer may choose the paid SparkPost service over the free WP_Mail service.

Want to learn more?

Our email component is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite components
(available for subscribers only) in our PRO plugin suite.

If you haven’t heard of it, click the link below to continue learning.

About the Author:
Cheers! Hudson Atwell is a co-founder and current administrator of Inbound Now. Consider hiring him through the Codeable.io Agency or connecting with him professionally through LinkedIn.

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