Sending emails from websites can be a bit of a pain!
The plugin sends two types of email
1 “Transactional” which are one off individual emails for things like user account creation, schedule emails, admin emails and tickets.
2 “Bulk” emails where you want to send the same email to lots of people at the same time – a new prayer request, an email to the whole church and so on.
For years we have offered MailChimp to send Bulk emails. But their API is horrific and when someone unsubscribes, the plugin can’t resubscribe them if they want to opt back in. And they have put their prices up! I will be deprecating MailChimp in March 2024.
I have been working on using Mailersend, who can handle transactional and bulk emails easily. And they have a free plan that offers 3,000 emails per month free and then $1 per 1,000 after that.
Here’s how to sign up and set up! It’ll take about 10mins, although account approval takes up to 48hrs.
Click on “Sign Up” top left at www.mailersend.com
Then fill out the details there.
The next screen is also pretty user friendly and gives the steps to get yourself all signed up and set up their end.
But before we do that, head over to yoru email account and click on “Verify email address”
Doing that will mean a tick for the first “next steps”
Click on the Start button to the right of “Please review and accept our policies”. Read and click okay at the bottom.
The next step is to “Add a sending domain”. That will be your website domain name, without any http or www bits…
The next step is to “Verify your sending domain”. This will add some DKIM and SPF magic, that means your emails will get through to gmail and yahoo accounts. Click the last start button.
You don’t have to understand it, you just need to ask your webhosting to do it for you. My old host let me edit DNS records myself, my current host did it after I asked on a chat.
Once done, you can click Verify domain at the bottom. And hopefully all will be well. Sometimes it takes a few hours for the setting to wind their way around the internet. If you are impatient, you can check at https://www.whatsmydns.net/#TXT/
After the verify domain step is done.
Lastly you need to get your account approved. Click on “Get approved”
They want a few more details…
Leave the “Which services have you used in the past? ” question set to None for simplicity!
And the type of emails being sent is “transactional”
Once done you will see this…
Meanwhile you can grab an API key.
Head to https://app.mailersend.com/integrations – click on Manage in the MailerSend API section
And then “Generate a new token”
Give it a name and set the domain field to your domain.
Click “Create token”. ANd you will see your API token. Click Download, to keep it and Copy to put it on the clipboard.
Finally head back to your website and over to Church Admin > Communications > Email Settings (v 4.0.30 and above) and paste in that API key and click “Save API key”.
You are done. Mailersend will handle your email. Make sure any other email settings plugins are deactivated or it will get messy!
Within 24 hours you should get an email approving your account from Mailersend. Login to your account and “upgrade” to the free plan or a paid one!
At the top of thescreen click the “upgrade” button, then pull the slider to the left for free and then click the “Subscribe now” button on the right.
On the next screen they will want some more details including card details in case you go over 3,000 emails in a month and then you are done!