By default, a WordPress website sends email using the built-in functions of the programming language it was built with. This is the Mail function of PHP. Unfortunately, email sent this way look suspect to a receiving email server. Sometimes the domain name of the website and the domain name of the email address aren’t the same. The mail culprit is that email servers want email to be send from the email server for that domain which isn’t the website server.
To combat spam, email servers have added a number of techniques to increase the trust factor before accepting incoming emails. When these methods are configured, email servers accept email and not mark it as spam. A WordPress website doesn’t meet these checks so the email it sends is marked as spam or even just deleted outright.
The way to overcome this is to use the same protocol that email server use which is SMTP. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and used by all email servers to send email. The way to improve sending email from a WordPress website is to integrate with either the company’s email server or use an email relaying service.
The way to connect to these services is to use a WordPress plugin. I recommend WP Mail SMTP. The plugin allows you to connect your WordPress website to a number of different email services. The two most common are Google Gmail or Microsoft Outlook. Once these services are connected, the WordPress website will send an outbound email to them and then they will forward it on. Since these are full email servers, your email will be reliably sent to its destination.
If you would like to learn more about how to send email reliably from a WordPress website, check out a companion article on Digital Marketing Extreme.