A common issue for WooCommerce sellers is WooCommerce not sending emails to admin or to customers. Both are frustrating hiccups but, fortunately, they can be fixed.
Running a successful e-commerce store is not an easy task. There are lots of administrative actions to complete and keep up daily. When these important details don’t go to plan, your customer experience is put at risk. As e-commerce is all about pleasing the customer, you must deal with account problems as quickly and painlessly as possible.
The problem is likely with the PHP mail function. By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails generated by WordPress or any contact form plugins (see WPForms vs Gravity Forms comparison).
PHP mail function is not the best approach and can sometimes decrease deliveries of emails to customers or admins. You may find your emails automatically land in the customer’s spam folder, which is not good for anybody.
Some of the biggest mail providers end up blocking WooCommerce emails before they even get to inboxes specifically because of this issue with the PHP mail functions. So, it’s a pressing problem for WooCommerce sellers. If you’re dealing with it right now, you need a quick solution.
To avoid abuse, some hosting companies (see best cheap WordPress hosting providers) apply limitations or even disable PHP Mail function. Another common cause is that many email service providers use a variety of tools to reduce email spam.
It’s common for email providers to use tools that automatically detect and manage inbox ‘spam.’ One of the ways to do this is by filtering out emails that haven’t originated from the claimed location. If you operate a WordPress site, this is a problem. It’s likely to happen to your emails even though they’re not ‘spam.’
Here are some situations when emails might not get send:
- Contact Forms – if a visitor completes a contact form on a third-party plugin or via the theme’s default form, they should receive an email to notify them of its submission. In some cases, incompatibility issues with the PHP mail function mean it doesn’t happen.
- WordPress Alerts – It can happen that WordPress notifications (new comments, updates available, etc.) land in the spam folder or don’t arrive at all.
- Third-Party Plugins – You may find that notifications from third-party plugins like WPForms are often missing. Or even follow-up emails (see best WooCommerce follow up email plugins) and abandoned cart emails (check tips how to reduce cart abandonment) can land in spam or never arrive at all.
How To Fix WooCommerce Not Sending Emails?
Here are a few methods of how you can fix the issue when you or customers don’t receive emails from the website:
Method 1. – Look for commas or periods in email sender settings
If there are unnecessary commas or periods in a sender’s email addresses, there is a good chance the message won’t get delivered. So, it’s helpful to check the address fields.
Navigate to the Settings area of your WooCommerce plugin. Select ‘Emails.’ First, take a moment to read and check the sender fields. Make sure information in both the “From” name and “From” address fields is entered correctly. If you see any commas or periods in these fields, delete them.
Method 2. – Set SMTP to send emails
Another solution is to send email messages through SMTP. Unfortunately, WooCommerce doesn’t allow users to make this change out-of-the-box. It uses the built-in WordPress mail function to send emails, which means it should just work, right?
But the truth is, it doesn’t always work, which is the main reason for this WooCommerce not sending emails issue. So, you need an external SMTP to send emails. Also, check my tutorial on how to send WordPress emails using Amazon SES.
Method 3. – Enable email notifications in WooCommerce email settings
If neither of these actions works, take a moment to check your customer, and admin emails are correctly configured. Navigate to New Order, then select Manage.
In this area, look for a box marked ‘Enable Email Notifications.’ It has to be checked. If it’s not checked, you’ve got your solution. WooCommerce won’t send order confirmations to customers by email if the box is unchecked.
Repeat the process for the two boxes marked ‘Failed Order’ and ‘Cancelled Order.’ Check all of the boxes that represent opportunities for email notifications. If you don’t want customers to get notifications after the specific action, leave them blank. If you do, make sure they have a check on them.
WooCommerce Doesn’t Send Email Notifications Conclusion
WordPress uses mail function in PHP to send emails. Many shared hosting providers have disabled this to avoid abuse or do not have it configured correctly.
In either case, your WordPress emails will not be delivered. The alternate solution is to use a third-party email service provider to send your emails. You can use services like Mandrill, MailChimp, or Sendgrid. Many of them offer free accounts with limitations.
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