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Using the Mandrill App to Process OptimizeMember Emails

Please note that Mandrill will soon require a paid MailChimp.com account in order to use Mandrill. Starting 3/16/16 they will begin making changes, however the functionality of Mandrill will likely not change much, so the guide below will still be able to be used to link up your WordPress site to send emails through Mandrill instead of your server.

If you prefer an alternate solution, please scroll down to the end of this guide for two alternatives that you can use instead of Mandrill which work very much the same as Mandrill, or CLICK HERE for our guide on using SendGrid.

The Mandrill App is an integration that can be setup to help process outgoing emails from your WordPress installation. This would essentially bypass your server which can be helpful if there are issues with sending emails on your site which are caused by your hosting server, or if you are on a Managed WordPress host (Such as WP Engine) who doesn't include an email service (in which case you have to use 3rd party to send emails from your site).

Mandrill can integrate directly with WordPress through their API system.

After you setup your account you will need to complete the steps below. It should be noted that after this is setup, ALL emails sent through WordPress will use Mandrill and is not limited to just OptimizeMember emails. Any and All emails generated by WordPress will use the Mandrill APP.

 

Step 1: Create API Key for Mandrill to use on your site

After you signup for an account, you will need to generate an API key to use with WordPress.

Login to mandrill.com and click on "settings" on the left side:

Then, if it doesn't already load, click on "SMTP & API Info" at the top:

 

Under the API Settings, click the button for "+ New API Key"

Then fill in the details. Everything is optional, and you don't need to check any of those options unless you know what you are doing. A description would be useful so you know which site the API key is good for. Just click the "Create API Key" button to create the API key:

Then just copy that API key to a safe place and complete the next step below.

 

Step 2: Install and setup Mandrill Plugin on your site.

In this step, you'll need to login to your WordPress admin, and install the Mandrill Plugin which can be found here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpmandrill/

Download the plugin (best as if you search for Mandrill there are other plugins which don't work as well)

One you login to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to "Plugins > Add new" and click the "upload" button. Then proceed to upload and activate the plugin.

After the Mandrill Plugin is activated, you can access the settings by going to "Settings > Mandrill" (in the WP Dashboard). You will need to copy/paste the Mandrill API key, and setup other options:

 

At this stage, you will need to send a test email. This will trigger Mandrill to add the domain name of your site to your "domains" area inside the Mandrill.com user dashboard (more on that below in the next step).

 

Step 3: Verify Domain and setup SPF/DKIM records

Once you send a test email, you can log back into Mandrill.com to verify the domain and setup the DKIM and SPF records.

After you login to mandrill.com click on "Settings > Domains > Sending Domains" and you should now see your domain listed like this:

You will need to click the "View Details" under "Verified Domain" and follow instructions there to verify the domain, which generally requires that you have an email address at that domain to send an email to and click a link to verify it.

For DKIM and SPF settings, if you click on the "view DKIM/SPF settings" links it will give you the information needed to setup the text records on your web host. If you are using cPanel this can be setup through the DNS Zone Editor or Advanced DNS Zone Editor.

This part is a little more advanced but is very beneficial as it will essentially reduce the number of your sends that go to spam folders since the domain will be verified and digitally signed. Not all web hosts will have SPF and DKIM activated by default, so you may need to contact your web host and have them set these up for you.

Once you have verified your domain and setup the DKIM/SPF text records, you will find a few neat features of Mandrill.

1. You can login to mandrill.com and click on "outbound" to see a list of emails that have recently sent through your domain.

2. You can also see stats about if any emails were not delivered and why.

3. You can even resend an email if it has been less than a few hours since it was sent.

There are other features of Mandrill that we won't get into here that you may find useful so we suggest clicking around and seeing what all is possible.

If you have any questions about this process or need help, just click the link below to send our friendly support staff an email and we will be glad to help.

Other similar services

These work similar to ManDrill:

SparkPost - Sparkpost WP Plugin

SendGrid - SendGrid WP Plugin - Our Guide for using SendGrid: https://optimizepress.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219190767-Use-SendGrid-to-send-emails-generated-by-WordPress-OptimizeMember

 

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