Struggling with Contact Form 7 not sending email to your inbox?
Contact Form 7 lets you send email notifications to both yourself and people who submit your form. However, if you don’t configure your site the right way, it’s common to have issues with Contact Form 7 emails not sending.
In this article, we’ll explain what’s going wrong. Then, we’ll show you a few easy fixes to get your Contact Form 7 emails working.
📚 Table of contents:
- Why is Contact Form 7 not sending email?
- How to fix Contact Form 7 not sending emails
- Common Contact Form 7 errors
Why is Contact Form 7 not sending email?
There are two main reasons why Contact Form 7 is not sending emails properly. They are:
1. Your email notifications are considered spam
In some cases, Contact Form 7 might be sending emails just fine…it’s just that those emails are going to the spam folder, so you don’t see them.
Because email spam is such a large problem, email providers like Gmail have automatic spam filters that will flag emails as spam without requiring human intervention.
Your Contact Form 7 emails can easily get caught up in this net if you’re using the wrong reply email or you’re not implementing email authentication tactics like DKIM.
2. Your web host does not support the PHP mail function
By default, Contact Form 7 sends emails using the wp_mail function, which relies on the PHP mail function of your hosting server. Some hosting providers, like GoDaddy, don’t support the PHP mail function, which is why WordPress can’t inform you about the messages left on your site.
Even if your host does support PHP mail, the fact that PHP mail lacks authentication makes emails sent via this method more likely to be flagged as spam.
These are the two main reasons why you are not receiving emails from your website. But don’t worry, in the next section, you will learn how to fix this issue for good.
How to fix Contact Form 7 not sending emails
To maximize the email deliverability of your Contact Form 7 emails, you can implement the following solutions:
- Change your email address
- Use an SMTP plugin and a dedicated email sending service
- Switch to a different contact form plugin
1. Change your email address
This first tip won’t fix all the problems, but it’s easy to implement, so it’s worth trying first.
One common reason that your emails go to spam is that the from email doesn’t match the sending domain.
To check this, go to Contact → Contact Forms in your WordPress dashboard:
- Open the form where you’re having issues.
- Go to the Mail tab in that form’s settings.
- Scroll down to the From option.
If there’s a problem with your from email, you are likely to see this configuration error: “Sender email address does not belong to the site domain.”
The error appears when you use a generic email address such as yahoo.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com, etc.
Generic email addresses are often used to send spam emails. So email giants like Gmail and Yahoo Mail are wary about generic email addresses.
Showing you an error on your form setting is Contact Form 7’s way of nudging you to change the email address.
To fix the error, you need a business email address, one that has your domain name.
For instance, if this is your domain: https://openatlas.shop, your business email address should be something like this: email@example.com.
To create a business email address, follow this guide. When it’s ready, open your WordPress dashboard and go to Contact → Contact Forms → Mail → From, enter the new email address, and save your settings.
The error should be gone by now.
Next, check if Contact Form 7 is sending you email notifications. Fill up your contact form, as a visitor would, and then wait for a few minutes for the email notification to show up in your inbox.
Didn’t get any notification? Try the next solution.👇
2. Use an SMTP plugin and a dedicated email sending service
Your WordPress site’s hosting server is optimized to host your WordPress site, not to send emails from Contact Form 7.
If you want to make your Contact Form 7 emails more reliable, you can use a dedicated email sending service instead. Unlike your hosting server, these servers are optimized specifically for sending emails (and keeping those emails out of recipients’ spam folders).
To connect your WordPress site to one of these dedicated email sending services, you can use a WordPress SMTP plugin.
There are many SMTP plugins to choose from. Below, we are listing down four most popular SMTP plugins:
Each one of these plugins is free, but you may have to upgrade to a premium version to access some of the advanced features.
In the following tutorial, we are using the free WP Mail SMTP plugin.
Before we start, remember to back up your WordPress website. New plugins are known to break websites. If you have a backup, you can get your website up and running in no time.
☑️ Setting up WP Mail SMTP
Install and activate the plugin on your site. A Setup Wizard should appear. Click on Let’s Get Started and then choose an SMPT mailer.
The plugin supports 11 different email sending services, as well as a generic SMTP option. Some are free and others are premium services.
On our demo site, we chose the free Google/Gmail mailer. By using your existing Gmail account, you can send up to 500 emails per day for free, which should be more than enough for the Contact Form 7 plugin.
You can choose a different SMTP provider if desired – Brevo and SendGrid are other popular options that have free versions.
Setting up the Gmail sending service is a somewhat lengthy process because you’ll need to create a Google Cloud API key to use it. Rather than duplicating the instructions, we’ll just link you to the developer’s documentation. We recommend following it carefully.
By the end of the setup process, you will have a Client ID and a Client Secret code which you need to copy and paste into the Setup Wizard.
Done? Now, click on Connect to Google and hit the Save and Continue button.
Next, Google will ask you if you really want to connect wpmailsmtp.com with your Google account. Select Allow.
Google will then warn you saying that Google hasn’t verified the wpmailsmtp.com app. Go to Advanced → Go to wpmailsmtp.com (unsafe) and select Allow.
That’s it, folks. The SMTP plugin is now installed on your WordPress website. Next, you need to check and see if the plugin is working properly.
☑️ Sending test email
We recommend sending a test email using the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It’s very simple. Go to WP Mail SMTP → Tools → Email Test → Send To and enter the email address where you want to send the test email. Then hit Send Email.
If the test email fails and the plugin throws an error, it was caused by a wrong Client ID or an issue with your hosting server. Developers of the plugin have addressed the error along with directions on how to fix it in this tutorial (in the Frequently Asked Questions section).
If you do receive the email, you’re good to go! Contact Form 7 will now automatically send its emails using the dedicated sending service, which should ensure they make it to your inbox.
3. Switch to a different contact form plugin
Contact Form 7 is still not sending you emails? Try talking to their support team. If that doesn’t work, then all you can do is deactivate the current form and use a different contact form plugin.
There are a ton of user-friendly, free contact form plugins. We have already compiled a list of the best WordPress form builders. Check it out. You will certainly find something that suits you.
Common Contact Form 7 errors
Some of you are going to encounter certain errors while fixing the ‘not sending email’ issue. In this section, we’ll dive into why the errors occur and how to fix them:
“There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later”
This particular error is caused by a reCAPTCHA issue or misconfiguration of the contact form.
☑️ Fixing misconfiguration
Go to Contact → Contact Forms and you are likely to see the following message: “Misconfiguration leads to mail delivery failure or other troubles. Validate your contact form now.”
Select the Validate Contact Form 7 Configuration button and then click on Validate 1 contact form now.
That’s it. The error should disappear.
☑️ Fixing reCAPTCHA
If you don’t see the ‘Misconfiguration leads to mail delivery failure or other troubles’ message, then the error is certainly caused by your form’s reCAPTCHA feature.
Contact Form 7 only allows you to use reCAPTCHA v3, which is known to cause different types of errors on a WordPress website. The most effective way of dealing with this problem is to downgrade from reCAPTCHA v3 to reCAPTCHA v2 with the help of a 3rd party plugin.
“Invalid mailbox syntax is used”
This error occurs when you make a mistake in your email address.
The error typically appears below the From option in the Mail tab of your contact form. You can fix this error by checking for typos and formatting issues in the email address.
“Misconfiguration leads to mail delivery failure or other troubles. Validate your contact forms now.”
This one is a rare error, and it usually appears when a new validation item is added to the plugin. For instance, in Contact Form 7 5.1.5, the developer added a validation item that prevents users from uploading a file larger than 25 MB. After upgrading to that version, users began seeing the misconfiguration error.
To fix the error, go to Contact → Contact Forms. The contact form should show you the following message: “Misconfiguration leads to mail delivery failure or other troubles. Validate your contact form now.”
Select the Validate Contact Form 7 Configuration button and then click on Validate 1 contact form now.
🤩 That’s it. The error will disappear.
Final thoughts on contact form 7 not sending email
If you’re having issues with Contact Form 7 not sending emails, chances are there’s something wrong with the plugin’s configuration.
There are two different ways of fixing this issue: You can either create a business email address with your domain name and use the new email in your contact form settings, or you can install and set up an SMTP plugin and use a dedicated email sending service.
⚠️ Both these methods are time-consuming, so to save yourself a lot of hassle, consider switching to a different content form plugin.
Any questions about how to fix Contact Form 7 not sending email? Let us know in the comments section below!