WordPress Not Sending Emails? Let’s Setup Mandrill!


Mandrill is no longer offered as a standalone service, so it is best to avoid this tutorial. A better alternative to Mandrill is SendGrid or SendinBlue. Also, here is a great post about the other alternatives.

We have seen many WordPress sites having a problem not sending email notifications for things like form notifications as well as WooCommerce alerts. In fact, one of our most popular posts centered around the topic of Gravity Forms not sending an email notification. Today we will go through the process of setting up Mandrill, which is a service built by the same people at MailChimp, that powers your website’s email delivery. Instead of using your server to send email from your site (which is unreliable), Mandrill has a strong infrastructure that reliably delivers your notifications and alerts.

The first step is to create a new account at Mandrill. Accounts are free up to 2,000 emails, which should last you a long time unless you have a huge number of form submissions or orders coming in. If you do have a higher volume, it would make sense to upgrade to their paid plan to ensure you are receiving notifications.

WordPress Not Sending Emails Signup

After signing up, you will want to get an API key that you will later use to setup Mandrill on your WordPress site. Click “Get API Keys” at the bottom right corner of the first page after signing up.

WordPress Not Sending Emails - Create API

Then click “+ Add API Key”

WordPress Not Sending Emails - Click Here

Now you have your API key that will be needed in a few steps. Keep this window open so you can copy your API key later.


Let’s go back to your WordPress site and install the official Mandrill plugin. Once logged into your site, click “Plugins”, then “Add New”. Search for “Mandrill”.


Be sure to choose the official plugin that looks like this:


After clicking “Install Now”, go ahead and activate the plugin.


After activating the plugin, click “Settings” to set your site up with the API key you got in the first half of this tutorial.


Go ahead and enter your API key in space provided and click Save Changes.


You should get an error message telling you that you haven’t set everything up. Go ahead and fill out the “Sender Settings”. You can leave the “Reply-To Email” blank as with the rest of the fields on this screen. Go ahead and click Save and then we will test things out!

Mandrill_Settings_‹_Sunshine_Pool_and_Spa_—_WordPress 2

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, you will see the following test box. Enter your email and subject with a test message. Then click “Send Test”.

Mandrill_Settings_‹_Sunshine_Pool_and_Spa_—_WordPress 3

You should receive an email almost immediately to confirm the test went through. You will also see the following message at the top of the settings screen.

Mandrill_Settings_‹_Sunshine_Pool_and_Spa_—_WordPress 4

That’s it! This is a pretty straightforward way to ensure your email are going to come through when someone submits a form, buys a product or makes a comment on your site. Instead of relying on your server to deliver email (which often fails), you can have more peace of mind knowing the same system that powers MailChimp is also powering your site.

Let us know if you have any questions!

8 replies
  1. Tara Dillon
    Tara Dillon says:


    I’ve followed this post and the other one about gravity forms the past day or so. Even after following all these steps, it says “error” and that 1 email has been rejected. So frustrating! What could be the possible issue?

    Thank you :)

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Hi Tara,

      Sounds like it might be an issue with the email you are sending the confirmations to. If you want to email me your WP login, I can take a quick look for you to make sure everything is setup properly. kevin@wponcall.com



  2. chris
    chris says:

    Seems like your skipping right past the process of setting up a Mandrill account. You have to verify a sending domain and change DNS settings. Not a common process and I think it warrants writing up those crucial steps.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for pointing this out. It is not a requirement to verify your domain, but it can help with email deliverability. For most users the email notifications will be fine without verifying the domain.



  3. Bo Lais
    Bo Lais says:

    For anyone unaware there have been significant Mandrill Policy Changes as of yesterday (Feb. 24, 2016) that require a paid Mailchimp account in order to use Mandrill any longer. There is chaos stirring on the internet regarding this very bold decision by Mandrill. Additionally, they gave everyone a very short time frame to get moved to another provider before your account will be terminated for non-compliance.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Hi Bo,

      Thanks for pointing this out. I saw this news this morning. It really is too bad that Mandrill is going this route. A good alternative to Mandrill is SendGrid, which is going to be the closest alternative.


    • Eric
      Eric says:

      The change over was relatively simple and didn’t really affect alot. We thought we were going to be paying an extra $20 a month but it looks like we may receive 1 million email sends for free until April 2017. So can’t complain so far.

      • Kevin
        Kevin says:

        Hi Eric,

        I appreciate you sharing your experience switching over. It’s good to know MailChimp isn’t alienating their current customers. Thanks!


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