Why You Should Setup Primary and Backup Email Service Providers

When you’re operating a mission critical WordPress site (eg: ecommerce, membership sites, LMS sites etc.), getting your transactional and marketing emails delivered is critical to your business and customer satisfaction ratings.

Which means that if your email provider stops working, both your operations and your reputation are compromised.

There are two primary reasons your email provider might stop working:

  • A service outage
  • Terms-of-service ‘violations’ (i.e.: suspected spam or abuse)

If you’re operating multiple domains for your customers through the same email service provider, it is possible that they might shutdown ALL your client accounts even if only a single one has violated their policies. Mailpoet is, by far, the major culprit with this policy.

Thus, it is important that you plan for an email service outage and have backup providers ready to go.

Enter FluentSMTP

Prior to the release of the free FluentSMTP plugin in 2021, you would have had to handle the failover to a new or backup provider manually – which would be a nightmare if you had dozens or hundreds of clients affected by a service outage.

FluentSMTP has made manually handling failovers unnecessary. With it, you can setup both a primary and backup provider and never have to worry if the primary connection fails for some reason.

We strongly recommend that you ALWAYS configure two email providers for your mission-critical sites

We have used FluentSMTP with the following email providers:

  • Mailgun
  • Mailpoet (reminder: This is one that WILL definitely shut down ALL your accounts for any single client violation)
  • SendGrid
  • Brevo (formerly sendinblue)
  • Regular email accounts using SMTP for smaller sites

And of course, there are many other transactional providers out there such as:

  • Postmark
  • SocketLabs
  • Amazon SES
  • Sparkpost
  • Elastic Email
  • Resend (the newest kid on the block at the time this article was written)
  • etc…

These all work with FluentSMTP as both primary and backup email providers.

Configuring Your Backup Email Service

Setting a backup provider is easy! In the image below you can see that we have set up two email services – one at Mailgun and one at Sendgrid. The red arrow shows where we specified that the Sendgrid connection is the backup.

Alternatives to FluentSMTP

There are other plugins that offer email failover capabilities. The most popular alternative is WP MAIL SMTP which is a premium product. If you don’t like FluentSMTP for some reason, you can give that one a shot.


These days, email service providers are quick to shut down accounts that they believe are being abused. They do this to protect their deliverability reputation. Unfortunately, they can and usually do shut you down without advance notice – by the time you get the notification, numerous emails might have failed to be delivered.

So, setting up a backup email provider is very important for your mission critical WordPress sites.

You do get some nice additional benefits if you use FluentSMTP – it also provides email logs and delivery confirmations even for providers that do not offer those (eg: standard SMTP connections). And it centralizes delivery logs for multiple providers in a single location.

If you’re running mission critical sites without a backup email service, getting one configured should be somewhere close to the top of your todo list.

Related Article: How WordPress Emails Work

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