Contact Form 7 is a common plugin used on WordPress sites. It works great for simple contact forms. But recently, I noticed many Contact Form 7 emails going to spam in Gmail. I figured out how to fix this in my situation. Here’s a few troubleshooting tips to try when you’re debugging this problem.
“From” Address is Flagged
In Contact Form 7 (version 4.0.1 and above), newly generated contact forms use [email protected] for the From email. Gmail tends to flag this as potential spam. One thing to try is adding an email account to your site, and using this address under Mail > From on the Edit Contact Form screen.
You can set up new email accounts on cPanel by going to Mail > Email Accounts. Add this email address to your Contacts in Gmail. Adding contacts tells Gmail that messages from those addresses are a priority.
If you have a Gmail address in the Mail > From box on Contact Form 7, Gmail may flag this as a phishing attempt. It does this because the From header says the email is coming from a Gmail server, but Google sees that the message is coming from your server. Making sure the From email header and the originating email server match will keep it from being flagged as suspicious.
Most of the time, this will be enough to solve the problem. If you still have issues with your Contact Form messages going to spam, here’s a few more things you can try.
Create Gmail Filter
Many people don’t know you can create filters on your incoming Gmail. This is actually something I would like to learn more about and utilize.
To keep your contact form submissions out of spam, send a test email from your website contact form. Find this message (or another contact form email) in Gmail and open it. In the top right drop down menu, select More > Filter messages like these. You can make this as specific as you want, but for now, just make sure your special contact form email is in the Filter From input box. You’ll be creating a rule for any messages that come from this email address. Click the link in the bottom right of this window that says Create filter with this search ».
Check the box Never send it to Spam. If you have Labels set up (like folders for email), you can set that here. You may choose to check Always mark it as important or apply the same filter to any existing emails from the same address. Finish by hitting the Create Filter button. See if this works by sending a test message from your contact form.
If your contact form emails are still going to your Spam folder, there’s one more thing you can try.
Send Mail via SMTP
WordPress defaults to sending email through
PHP mail(). Sometimes, changing this protocol to SMTP will keep email from your website out of your spam folder. There are several plugins that will help you do that. Many people have sworn by the WP Mail SMTP plugin, which as of this writing, is compatible up to WordPress version 4.7.2.
Did this solve your contact form problem? Let me know in the comments below.