If you’ve ever had customers tell you that your website’s transactional email is constantly ending up in their SPAM/Junk folders or not received at all, this guide is definitely for you.
Transactional Email Types:
- Receipts and Confirmations (ex. Order confirmations).
- Explicit Requests (ex. password resets).
- Account Alerts (ex. Failed payment attempts).
- and more.
Postmark signup is simple and they have a FREE plan that includes 100 emails per month, which is good for testing or for those just starting out with their website.
- Sign up for Postmark.
- Input the name you would like WordPress to display when sending out emails and the address to send from.
- Click the ‘Create Sender Signature’ button.
- Check the inbox for the email account you just specified above, for a confirmation email from Postmark, and click on the ‘Confirm this’ button.
- From the WordPress website where you want to implement Postmark, install, and activate their official plugin.
- WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Postmark > General Settings > Enable Postmark.
- Using the link provided by Postmark, grab your API Key and paste it in here.
- Fill in the Sender Email and optionally change the remaining settings according to your needs.
- Save changes.
- WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Postmark > Send Test Email > Enter an email address in the ‘To’ line and click the ‘Send Test Email’ button. (Note: Since you are still going through the approval phase, Postmark requires you to enter an email address that’s under the same domain as the mailbox you’re setting up.).
At this point, you have satisfied 2 of 3 requirements to get your account approved and the steps below will take care of the final requirement.
- From your Postmark dashboard, click on the ‘Request approval’ button.
- Fill in the questionnaire, submit for approval, and wait to hear back from Postmark.
- Once your account is approved you will receive a welcome email, where you can click on the provided link to log into your account and continue the setup of Postmark.
Secure Your Account
It is a good practice in general, to protect your account with 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication), but it is especially important if you are going to be responsible for running Postmark operations for your clients.
- Click on your user profile avatar from the menu.
- Go to ‘Profile’.
- Under the ‘Security’ section, click the ‘Turn On’ button next to ‘Two-Factor Authentication’.
- After confirming your password, enter your phone number, click the ‘Send Code’ button, and then verify the code sent to your mobile device.
- Using a 2FA application on your mobile device, scan the QR Code provided by Postmark, and complete the verification steps.
- Download the ‘Backup Codes’ to your workstation so that you have them in case of emergency when/if you lose your mobile device.
- Optionally, but recommended, click on the ‘Set Primary’ button for the App authentication option, to use that instead of ‘SMS authentication’ by default.
Domain Verification will allow you to send from any email address on a particular domain, using the Postmark platform with any @mydomain.com email address.
- From your Postmark dashboard, click on the ‘Sender Signatures’ tab.
- Click on the ‘DNS Settings’ link.
Note: Adding the following records to your domain’s DNS will not affect any other DNS records already in place, nor affect sending from the domain using a method other than Postmark.
- Pull up your DNS hosting solution.
- Grab the DNS records shown for ‘DKIM’ and ‘Return-Path’, in your Postmark and add them to your DNS hosting. (Note: If you are using Cloudflare, make sure the ‘Return-Path’ record is not being “Proxied”, by clicking on the orange cloud icon.).
- In Postmark, click on the ‘Verify’ buttons to verify your new records are properly in place.
- From that same screen, click on the ‘Set up DMARC’ button.
- Set up Postmark’s FREE DMARC service by entering your email address, your domain name, and clicking the ‘Get started for free’ button.
- From your DNS hosting solution, add a TXT record with the values provided by Postmark. (Note: Example record shown below, from a Cloudflare dashboard).
- Click the ‘Verify _dmarc.<xxxx-your-value>’ button.
At this point, the DNS Settings area of Postmark should be showing “green” status across the board and you’re ready to continue with your setup.
At this point, you’ve set up “trust” between your transactional email system and your customers, which we can put to the test.
- Pull up the Postmark plugin settings on your website and click on the ‘Send Test Email’ tab.
- In the ‘To’ field, input an email address that is not of the same domain that you just set up in Postmark.
- Click the ‘Send Test Email’ button.
- Verify the test email appears in the inbox of the email account you sent the test email to, rather than their SPAM/Junk folder.
Postmark > Servers > Your Server > Message Streams > Default Transactional Stream > Statistics
In this area of your Postmark dashboard, you can view the number of emails that were sent out over a given period, any associated Tags attached to those emails, any SPAM complaints, and more.
If you’ve enabled ‘Track Opens’ and/or ‘Track Links’ to see which emails were opened, who opened them, and more, you can also find that information here.
Postmark > Servers > Your Server > Message Streams > Default Transactional Stream > Activity
In this area, you can see the status (Processed, Delivered, etc.) of the emails being sent, the recipient, the subject, tag(s), date/time, etc., and perform searches for any of the above.
You can click on the various links (recipient, subject, etc.) to drill down even further and discover more information regarding delivery history, email message content, and more.
Postmark > Servers > Your Server > Message Streams > Default Transactional Stream > Suppressions
Your suppression list contains all of the recipients who can no longer receive emails, because of one of the reasons below.
- Recipients that you manually ban.
- Recipients who unsubscribe.
- Recipients who mark your emails as SPAM.
- Hard bounces. (i.e. Email that has failed to deliver for permanent reasons, such as the recipient’s address is invalid.).
Getting ahead of your transactional email delivery issues is super important for your company’s reputation and internal success.
After you sign up for Postmark’s FREE plan, you may wonder when/if you need to start paying for their services and this can easily be predicted by filtering your WooCommerce orders by the previous month.
If your sales orders alone are anywhere near 100, you should sign up for a paid Postmark plan right away.