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Email Notifications Not Working

WS Form sends emails using a built-in function provided by WordPress called wp_mail. This is the same function used by other WordPress form plugins.

If you are experiencing problems sending email notification, this article suggests ways to correct that problem.

Recommended Send Email Settings

When sending email acknowledgements using the Send Email action, we recommend using the following settings for optimal reliability.

From Email Address

Default: #blog_admin_email

  • The From Email Address setting should be a valid email address that is authorized to send emails.
  • Refer to your hosting or SMTP provider about which email address you should use. For example, Amazon SES users would use a verified email address or domain name.
  • Do not send emails from the email address entered on the form, e.g. by using #field(123).
  • If you want to have replies to email acknowledgements go to a different email address, use the Reply To setting (See below).

From Display Name

Default: #blog_name

  • This can be anything you wish and should be something that easily identifies the entity sending the email.
  • If you are using an SMTP plugin that does not support display names then we recommend keeping this blank.

To Email Address

Default: #blog_admin_email

  • This is the email address you want the email acknowledgement to go to. It can be any valid email address(es) you wish.
  • If the email is being sent to the person completing the form you can use the #field(123) variable to insert their email address (where 123 is the ID of the email field on the form). Ensure that the variable in syntactically correct.

To Display Name

Default: #blog_name

  • This can be anything you wish and should be something that relates to the identity of the recipient (e.g. their name).
  • If you are using an SMTP plugin that does not support display names then we recommend keeping this blank.
  • If the email is being sent to the person completing the form you can use the #field(123) variable to insert their name (where 123 is the ID of the text field on the form containing their full name, first name or last name).

Reply To (Optional)

Default: Blank

If you want to have replies to emails acknowledgements go to a different email address, use the Reply To setting. For example if you have an email field on your form with an ID of 123, you could enter: #field(123)

Error Messages

If you are receiving the error message Could not instantiate mail function, please refer to this knowledge base article:

SMTP Plugins

Consider using an SMTP plugin for WordPress. Check out https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/smtp/ for a list of SMTP plugins. These plugins improve email deliverability by sending your emails via an SMTP server as opposed to directly from your server. Enter the SMTP details provided by your email platform for more reliable email notifications.

Many SMTP plugins allow you to send a test email. We would recommend doing this to ensure your SMTP plugin is configured correctly.

From / To Email Addresses

Sending test emails from and to the same email address will sometimes result in the email not reaching its intended recipient. It will often end up in a spam folder and sometimes the email will be deleted altogether.

Check Your Spam Folder

Don’t forget to check your spam folder when testing. Many email systems are very sensitive and may inadvertently put your email in the spam folder. Consider whitelisting your From Email Address to ensure email notifications are received.

Publish Your Form

If you have made changes to your Send Email action, ensure you have published your form.

Submissions

WS Form stores all submissions in a database if you have a Save Submission action on your form. If you have any email deliverability issues you can check the submissions page for a complete list of all forms that have been completed.

For further information about sending emails, please check these knowledge base articles: