WP Offload™ SES is a plugin that takes over email sending for your WordPress site, sending all site emails through your Amazon SES account. It offers the benefits of sending your site emails through Amazon SES without the negatives.
I use SES for my projects and I know the pain involved in setting it up. Thankfully @dliciousbrains has done it again with their latest: WP Offload SES!Jon Christopher
The Benefits of Amazon SES
High Deliverability + Control
Your web host (like all others) has outsourced email sending to a third-party provider who promises to keep your email out of SPAM folders. But you don’t have any visibility into your sending reputation or control over it. An Amazon SES account of your own will get you high delivery rates in addition to insights into your reputation and control to improve things should your reputation decline.
No monthly fee. You pay only for what you use. And SES has the lowest cost of any email sending service. Just $0.10 per 1,000 emails sent. And if you want a dedicated IP, only $24.95/month. If you run your WordPress site on Amazon EC2, the first 62,000 emails you send through SES every month are free.
Without the Negatives of Amazon SES
Painful Painless Setup
The setup wizard built-in to WP Offload SES guides you through each step of setting up Amazon SES for your site. With screenshots and detailed instructions, you can rest assured that you’ll have it set up correctly on the first try. No need to guess about settings you don’t understand, re-read the perplexing AWS docs a fifth time, or scour Google search results for answers as to why it’s not working.
Lack of Tracking and Analytics
The Amazon SES site would have you believe it’s easy to set up Amazon CloudWatch to track opens and clicks for your emails, but it can involve trying to follow half-baked documentation, guessing, and trial and error. WP Offload SES has open and click tracking built-in so you don’t have to mess around with CloudWatch and all your reporting is right there in your WordPress dashboard.
Manually setting up Amazon SES to work with WordPress is a big hassle. WP Offload SES makes this easy by guiding you through the setup process step-by-step and providing you with guidance to ensure you understand what you're setting up at each step.
Open & click tracking
Implementing tracking for your emails in Amazon SES is a painful undertaking. When you enable the open tracking option in WP Offload SES, it will add an invisible image to all outgoing emails to track how many times each one has been viewed. When you enable the click tracking option in WP Offload SES, it will replace every email link with a special tracking link.
Open & click reporting
It's important to be able to measure the engagement of your site emails. Are people actually opening certain emails? Are they clicking links? With that information, you can try to update an email's subject line and see if the open rate improves. Or update the email copy and see if more people click on the links. With WP Offload SES, you can access all of this instantly, from your WordPress dashboard.
Robust email queuing
Every Amazon SES account has a max send rate. If you try to send more emails per second than your account rate, Amazon SES will return an error and refuse to send the email which could result in dropped emails if not handled properly. WP Offload SES is aware of your SES account's send rate and will stay within the limit, but in the event of a failed send (e.g. a networking issue) the robust queue system will retry sending those emails and keep track of failures.
Log every email sent
WP Offload SES will save the full content of every email sent through your WordPress site. It saves each email to the database so that in future versions of the plugin you will be able to query that data. For example, you'll be able to see exactly what emails were sent to a given email address and whether they opened it or clicked any of the links.
Verify senders from your WordPress dashboard
No need to login to the AWS console to add/remove sender emails or domains, you can do that right from your WordPress dashboard. Instructions to verify a new email or domain are also provided, so there is no need to get lost in the jungle that is the Amazon SES documentation.
Painlessly set up email sending for your entire WordPress multisite network and monitor open and click rates. Configure different settings for each subsite or set universal settings at the network level.
WP Offload SES automatically replaces every plain text email it sends with an email that includes both the original plain text version and an HTML version of the email. But currently there's no way to customize the header and footer of these emails. Configurable templates will allow you to create your own template with a custom header, footer, sidebar, or whatever other elements you'd like to include in each plain text email.
Handling bounces & complaints
By default with SES, bounces and complaints are sent to you by email and that's all. There is no report in the AWS console of exactly which emails have bounced or received a complaint, nor is there a way to handle them. We're planning to show which emails have bounced as part of the WP Offload SES reports so you can clean up your email address list periodically. We also plan to have actions/filters you can hook into with code to automatically handle bounces and complaints.
The AWS console allows you to review statistics about your reputation and do some reputation management. We're planning to pull this data into your WordPress dashboard so you can manage it without needing to login to AWS.
Search for any email sent
Amazon SES doesn't log every email sent, let alone allow you to search for a sent email. Although WP Offload SES is currently logging every email sent to the database, there's currently no interface to browse or search those emails. We plan to build that interface soon so that you can look up all the emails sent to a given email address for example.
Resend any email
Let's say that one of your users accidentally deleted a message that was sent to them. In the future you'll be able to look up that email in the WP Offload SES log and resend it in just a few clicks. No more copying and pasting the content of the email you think they need because Amazon SES is missing such a critical feature.
Unsubscribe from site emails
The ability for a user to unsubscribe from site emails is a significant feature missing from WordPress. For email addresses that have hard bounced for example, it doesn't make sense to continue sending them emails, so we can automatically unsubscribe them from future site emails. In the future you'll have the option to include an unsubscribe link in the footer of your site emails to satisfy your users' need to unsubscribe and better comply with ever-tightening privacy regulations.
If you want to hear when these features are available for WP Offload SES, sign up here.
I so appreciate the #customerservice @dliciousbrains. Impressive product, impressive response!Becky Caneday
Compatible with your favorite form plugins
Although WP Offload SES is designed to work with all form plugins, we have strong relationships with the people behind the following form plugins. We work with them to ensure WP Offload SES continues to work on their platform as both products evolve. And if there is a problem, we have a dedicated contact at these companies we can reach out to for a quick resolution.
@dliciousbrains does software right, thanks for making using your plugins a pleasant experience!!Ben Kuhl