What is SMTP?
SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is a standard communication protocol used for sending and routing email messages between email servers. In other words, your mail transfer agent (MTA) uses this protocol to send/receive emails.
When sending a message to your colleague, you don’t usually think about how the message 'looks like' for the email server.
The fact is, your message is split into lines of text by numbers or code words. Provided by the SMTP, these numbers or code words determine the purpose of each line.
Why do you need an SMTP server for Magento 2?
Default Magento email setup uses the 'mail' PHP function to send emails. To prevent fraudulence, many Internet Service Providers disable this function or don’t configure it properly.
This can lead to:
- sending your emails right into users’ spam folders
- or not reaching final addressees at all.
Also, if not sending emails to big mailing lists, you may not even know that ISPs limit the number of emails you can send out during the day. Some ISPs set limits per hour, some － per day. Turns out you can’t launch an email dispatch for a large contact base after all. Otherwise, you’ll be blacklisted as a spammer by your ISP and blocked from sending emails or they can even cancel your account.
So, to handle this, you need a Magento 2 SMPT configuration with a dedicated Magento email server. SMTP services use stronger authentication. This increases your chances to get to the right folder.
How to choose an SMTP provider?
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The first thing you pay attention to is the pricing. As you can find providers offering free and paid SMTP services, you wonder what’s the difference?
Should I choose a free or paid SMTP server?
Thus, if using business email addresses from Google or Microsoft you get a free SMTP account. However, Gmail and Outlook aren’t interested in sending tons of automated emails for free, i.e. using Gmail, you can send 3.000 emails a month.
While for a small number of subscribers it can be enough, the larger businesses with larger contact bases will suffer. That’s why dealing with e-commerce emails, in particular, you’d better choose one of the paid service providers from the very start.
As we’ve already said some SMTP service providers, i.e. free, set limits on the number of sending emails per day/month. Knowing the number of your subscribers and how many triggered/one-time emails you send, calculate the average number for a month. Drawing on the data, choose an optimal service plan.
No one seems to be much impressed by such words as ‘phishing’, ‘malware’, ‘ransomware’. To protect your business from online fraudulence, email servers providers install filtering solutions to increase spam detection. This can be an anti-spam service from 3rd-party SaaS providers, an in-house virtual app, other.
Normally email servers block up to 97% of spam. Say, you got 7K subscribers on the blog and 97% of them turned out to be spammy. So, 6790 will get blacklisted by your SMTP server.
Now think about the number of e-commerce website subscribers...do you want your SMTP service to have strong anti-spam protection. Yes, I dare say.
Exclusive access to in-house technical specialists is always better than shared support. By choosing a service that follows the dedicated model, you can be 99% sure to get help when needed not when the time comes.
These were basic features. Among other characteristics, pay attention to supported email services (Mailchimp, etc.), provider’s reliability, intuitive interface, how the service integrates with Magento 2, whether they provide an extension for it, 3rd-party solutions or custom services, server locations, etc.
Top 3 free SMTP providers
How to configure an SMTP server on Magento 2?
Say, you have:
- chosen an email client,
- created a new or prepared an existing account,
- and decided on an SMTP service,
then download and install an SMTP extension unless another solution is offered by the provider.
We’ll show you how to configure an SMTP server on the example of our SMTP Email Settings extension for Magento 2.
Magento 2: Configure SMTP, Step 1
Go to Stores → Configuration → SMTP Email Settings and set Enable SMTP for E-mail to Yes
You’re free to set up the rest of the settings at your discretion.
Switch to SMTP Configuration,
and configure the next Magento 2 mail sending settings:
SMTP Provider - choose your SMTP provider or write Other
Server Address - enter your hostname or IP address
Port - ask your service provider
Authentication Method - Login/Password or Authentication Not Required
Login and Password (if required)
Connection Security - SSL (or None, TLS)
Send Test E-mail To - indicate an email address to which you want to send the test email
Click Save and Check Connection.
Switch to Automatic Log Clearing, and set expiration periods for logs.
Now on to log-related Magento 2 email settings:
Clear Sent Emails Log After - indicate a number of days
Clear Debug Log After - indicate a number of days
To see these logs, go to Reports → Sent Emails Log or Reports → Debug Log
Click Save Config.
→ read a complete guide
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