Send Email with WordPress Forms Like a Pro, Fast!

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Decided that email is just hard? You’re not the only one. With a little help around the initial learning curve, you can setup your forms to send email like a pro. Here’s how!

The ability to send email with WordPress forms is a basic feature of any modern form builder, and ought to be painless and easy. Learning the ropes of anything new can be a hassle sometimes, though!

Have you tried setting up email on your forms, only to discover that they’re not going through?

Tried customizing an email only to decide you must have to practically be a web developer to learn how?

Need to send only certain emails, or email only specific people, but can’t figure out how?

With the right form builder, learning how to send email with WordPress forms is easy, painless, and fast. You can be an expert in no time. Follow below and we’ll look at:

How to send email with WordPress forms that will actually show up in a user’s inbox!

One of the single most frustrating, infuriating, painful experiences with form email is setting everything up. Seeing your forms being submitted. And… not having the blasted thing deliver. It’s a pain we’ve all felt.

It’s almost a rite of initiation for building out your forms for the first time. It doesn’t have to be the norm. Here’s a few very common things that cause it, how to fix them, and an ace to put up your sleeve if you need one 🙂

First, look at these 4 things.

WordPress email is one of those things where the slightest detail out of place can cause the whole darn system to break down. And it is very much a system with lots of moving parts. If you’re interested, we’ve covered in great detail how WordPress email works.

Basically, your forms are going to pass the raw data you and your users input deeper into WordPress. WordPress then wraps it all up nice and neat and passes it to your host (or email plugin if you use one). It then has to pass a sort of ‘quality test’ to get sent, and then again when it hits the email inbox at the receiving end.

So many places to break! Here’s how you can make sure the raw data you pass isn’t the problem.

1. Make sure you have a TO address properly defined.

In your email action, that’s this field:

In every new email action with a pre-built form, that’s already set up for you. As is, that will send the email to the address the user enters into the form’s email field. If you’ve deleted that field and then added another, be sure to change this. Just use the hamburger icon on the right to reselect the email field.

2. Make sure you have a Subject and Message.

Simple thing, easily missed. By default there’s already text here for you with the pre-built forms. If you’re making one custom, be sure to enter your own. Also, be sure not to enter anything spammy. Scroll to the last section of this article for common things to avoid that can make your email trip spam filters.

3. Don’t get too fancy with advanced features

In the email action settings, you can expand the Advanced section to see… well, advanced features. It’s very common that altered From Name, BCC, and CC settings can cause deliverability problems. These can cause issues with passing your host or recipient security filters on the sending or receiving end. Only use these if you’re already really familiar with what you’re doing, and already know how to avoid those issues.

4. Looking for more troubleshooting resources? Check these out.

Issues that impact your ability to send email with WordPress forms are really common due to the complex nature of how email works. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re still having problems. These resources will help.

  1. Ninja Forms email documentation
  2. A 3-part series on troubleshooting WordPress forms email
  3. Our in-house support ninjas

Next, here’s your ace-in-the-sleeve if you’re still struggling

The vast majority of WordPress forms email issues stem from either 1) having the action configured improperly or 2) the email not being sent properly. Because #2 happens exclusively with the host (or email plugin), we weren’t able to help at all with those cases. Those cases by far make up the majority of delivery failures. We hated that we couldn’t be of any help there, so we created our own solution.

If you’ve troubleshot until you’re blue in the face and still can’t make things work, look into Ninja Mail. It takes over responsibility for sending your WordPress forms email. Send email with WordPress forms without the middleman. It’s your ace-in-the-sleeve 🙂

Here’s how to set up your email using specific information that users enter into the form

Want to send specific information back to the user? Generic responses aren’t worth much, but you already know that. Fortunately, sending confirmation to your users with specific content from their submission is very easy.

Using the standard Event Registration template form as an example, we’re asking:

  1. How many friends the submitter will be bringing to the event
  2. Food requirements
  3. Drink preference

An email confirmation that includes their specific choices is far more reassuring that you’re meeting their needs. It also reflects a much higher level of professionalism for your organization. It’s also drop-dead easy to pull off. Here’s how:

Place your mouse wherever in the email message you want the field information to appear. Click the merge tag icon at the base of the arrow. Select the field merge tag from the list. Rinse repeat.

Here we’ve pulled in the information from number of guests attending, meal requirement, and drink preference fields. You can use this in your own forms, for any fields, in any manner you like!

Here’s a gif of the process in action:

Use merge tags for specific fields, WordPress post or page info, submission count number, and much more!

Want to page the form was submitted on? Use a hidden field + the {wp:post_title} or {wp:post_url} merge tags.

Want to pull information for a logged in user into the email? There’s {wp:user_first_name}, {wp:user_display_name}, {wp:user_id}, and more.

Include a Transaction ID in a PayPal receipt? {paypal_express:transaction_id} (requires PayPal Express add-on)

There are tons of merge tags to help personalize your email confirmations. Browse the lists for many more of them!

Sending different emails, or emails to different people, based on what’s selected in a form

Sometimes you’re going to want to send a specific email only to certain people based on how the form’s filled out. That’s easy too, with a little help from the Conditional Logic add-on.

Have a dinner event you’re registering attendees for? Maybe you want to send additional information to individuals who indicate they have food allergies. Whip up an email action specifically for these individuals. In the action settings, expand the Conditional Logic settings, select the field where you ask about food allergies. Set the action to fire only if that field is checked:

You can use the same process to send an email to specific departments or individuals within your organization as well. Just set a condition that allows the action to process based on a users preferences, interests, issues, etc.

For a step-by-step guide on this, check out our Getting the Right Notifications to the Right People: A Tutorial article!

Bonus: Easily customize your email format with the built-in rich text editor

Are your emails a disorganized information dump? Decently organized but just plain boring? Want to give them a bit of flair or a personal design? Your email action has a built-in rich text editor for you to do that and more. There’s even an option for entering your own custom HTML and inline CSS.

Design away! Learn more and find a full walkthrough of the rich text editor in our Learn How to Easily Customize Your Ninja Forms Email! article. Don’t just send email with WordPress forms, send them in style!

What more do you need to help you send email with WordPress forms?

We’re always looking for ways to make this easier for everyone. Email can be a massive pain sometimes, but with a little know-how, sending email like a pro is in your reach.

You’ll find the comments below. What additions or changes would make it easier or better for you to send email with WordPress forms?

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