Using Mandrill for WordPress Email

WordPress sends e-mail notifications for a number of different reasons. New user registration, password resets, and comment notifications are the common defaults.

Plugins also tap into the e-mail system too, especially for extensions that add contact forms, e-commerce or subscription functionality.

logout-mandrill

If e-mail is integral to your WordPress site, you might want to consider using Mandrill (a service by the folks behind MailChimp) rather than the default WordPress mail system. If your server doesn’t allow mail scripts or have a mail server, this might even be essential (and an alternative to running it through SMTP using a plugin like this).

Mandrill Advantages

  • Allows you to see which e-mail have been sent
  • Helps ensure good deliverability
  • Helps track open rates
  • Helps track link clicks
  • Allows automatic tracking and sorting

The Mandrill blog post has some more information on all of this. The wpMandrill plugin announcement also has good information.

How to Set It Up

You’ll want to install the wpMandrill plugin.

Next, sign up for a Mandrill account. They give a generous 12,000 e-mails a month- so it’s unlikely you’ll need a bigger plan. But if so, pricing information is here.

api

Once you’re logged in, generate a new API key and copy it. Then head back to your WordPress install and enter the API key on the wpMandrill settings page. After the key is verified, you can fill out the rest of the e-mail information and send a test e-mail.

DNS Settings

To help ensure the best e-mail reliability, Mandrill suggests you two records to your DNS settings. You’ll need to log into where you domain DNS is managed in order to that- and the Mandrill instructions for that are pretty easy to follow.

Other Notes

Mandrill immediately flagged my site for suspicious activity and backlogged all outgoing e-mails. Make sure to monitor your site after setting up Mandrill and request a review from support if you get flagged. I have no idea why they would have flagged me, bit of a bummer.

Conclusions

Using Mandrill is likely overkill for a simple WordPress blog site, but if you’re using it for e-commerce, lead generation, or to manage a subscription site- it seems incredibly useful.

About Devin

I'm a WordPress developer based in Austin, Texas. I run a little theme shop called DevPress and work for a startup called Nano. Find me on twitter @devinsays.

Leave a Reply