How to Make Sure Website Notifications Make it to the Inbox
Building membership and online learning websites that keep our members informed, notified and engaged is so easy now. WooCommerce makes it easy to sell them and includes some nifty email features that are so easy to use. LearnDash Notifications, an email feature addon included with LearnDash, enables you to email members when they enroll in a course, complete a lesson, earn a certification, you name it. It's also easy to use. BuddyBoss puts email to work hard in support of their community learning experience.
Tools like these and others make it easy to keep your learners learning and fully informed. The problem a lot of people face is that these messages are NOT getting to the learner? These messages we spent so much time crafting are not arriving like they should. That may be the case if you're using the standard email features provided by web hosting platforms.
We recently set up a WooCommerce, BuddyBoss, LearnDash configuration for a client. They made use of Keap / Infusionsoft for marketing automation, but they also relied on these other three programs to send out messages. They were making a lot of sales, getting members involved in their membership forums, discussion groups and getting giving students and instructors ways to communicate with each other. What they discovered is they were exceeding the email limits of their web hosting provider's email system.
Wordpress web hosting providers like our two favorites WPEngine and SiteGround are excellent for webhosting. But just like they aren't ideal for serving up video (use YouTube or Vimeo for that), they aren't well set up for sending out a lot of email messages. They are set up to send out a forgot password messages every once in a while. What happened in our client's case is that they started with only a few email messages being sent to more and more. Before you know it, they were exceeding the providers email limit and the messages were not going out.
Fortunately, there is a solution for this. Wordpress can be enhanced with a FREE plugin called WP Mail SMTP. It enables Wordpress to replace the standard email service provided by the web hosting provider with more robust solutions. If you use any flavor of Google Mail, the plugin allows you to configure Wordpress to make use of it. This allows you to send out email with the same service you use every day. This is at no extra cost. Getting these configured can be a little involved. It's not horrible, but the configuration can be a little bit cryptic. Once you do get it set up, all your website email messages got out using the new service.
The plugin give you a lot of other options for sending email. You can integrate it with Outlook / 365 if that's the email system you use. They provide integration with Amazon SE and SendGrid which are services we have used and find very reliable. These are all very reasonable so you can get your email working right without having to spend a lot of money.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a problem that kind of creeps up on you. You start with simple email requirements for sending out the forgot password message. Then you slowly start sending out notifications using WooCommerce, LearnDash or BuddyBoss and before you know it, you exceed the limits and your messages are not being sent out. So this is an issue that can begin happening and it could be a while before you realize it isn't working.
Hope this helps.