KampAdmin will need to send (a lot) of transactional emails from your mail-address. Transactional means non-commercial mails, thus for existing customers. Examples are
- auto logins
- confirmations / fiscal proofs
- medical info / payment reminders
- Leader: proposals / contracts / events
If we would send these directly from your own organisation's mail servers. MANY of these mails will arrive in the SPAM folder.
The solution exists in using a premium mail partner. These parties are whitelisted at the big email companies like hotmail / gmail / outlook / ...
Some of the big players in this domain are
- mandrill: daughter company of Mailchimp. Used for KampAdmin clients from 2015 to 2016. Works well but raised their price became a bit more expensive for low volume. (Min $30/month if you did not have a mailchimp account yet)
- Sendgrid: Combines the best of two worlds. User friendly + interesting pricing plans for smaller organisations. (normally even free)
- Amazon SES service: lowest price but only for very tech savy people
In this guide we focus on Sendgrid which also serves clients like booking.com, uber, ... Long story short, they know their business.
Before you start
If you currently already have another mailing provider configured in KampAdmin (e.g. Mandrill). You can continue until step 5 without impacting the current outgoing mails. Only when performing step 6 will you swap one service with the other.
Step 1: Create a Sendgrid account
Surf to https://sendgrid.com/pricing , scroll down and click the "Try for free"
- username: whatever you want
- email: put the main e-mail from which most emails are sent. Often info@..... No worries, other sender addresses as moni@..... can be added later on.
- password: whatever you want. This does NOT need to be the same as the actual email account. For security reasons you even better pick another one. Long story short: to SEND mails we do not need the same password as to READ emails from your inbox.
Step 2: Configure your sendgrid account with your basic information
You received an email to confirm your email address, click the button to continue
Fill in data as you see below
After submitting you'll see in the top bar
"Your account is currently being provisioned. You will not be able to send out any email".
This is standard practice. In the first hours that your create your account sendgrid has to verify your account (manually) to keep up their own reputation. This procedure greatly improves the reliability of their service.
Typically it only takes a couple of hours before you get provisioned. You'll get a mail when this happened. It is from that moment on that you can start sending out emails. However in the meantime we can (and should) already continue to configure the other parameters.
Step 3: Configure sending domain
By default all mails sent will be from @sendgrid.com. To change this to @yourorganisation.com we need to configure our own domain.
Go to https://app.sendgrid.com/settings/whitelabel and click "add domain"
Next fill in the basic info as you can see in the screenshot (of course fill in your own domain)
Step 4: Add sender addresses
For every mail address (so also your main, probably "info@...") you'll need to add a "credential"
Go to https://app.sendgrid.com/settings/credentials and click "add credential". In this example we will do this for firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- email: the email address from which we wish to send emails
- password: whatever you want. Just as in step 1 you best not choose the actual password for logging in into that mail account. This is the sendgrid password we will set, we don't need the same.
- UI/App: normally this account should not be able to access the sendgrid admin interface, we only want it to send out mails. So leave unchecked
- Mail: check so that we can send out mails from this email
After doing this for both moni@... and info@... we get this screen
Step 5: Update your dns records
After confirming on step 3 you'll see the necessary DNS records you'll need to add. This is more technical and if you don't know what this is you better ask the company/person responsible for your domain name.
If you are asking someone else to do this for you, we suggest that you send them a screenshot of your admin interface (the same screen as shown below).
The technical person (or you) will insert these 3 CNAME DNS records. Below you see an example for how we did this at KampAdmin. The other records you already have for your domain (A, MX, TXT, ...) should remain untouched.
Click "validate record" and check if everything is set correctly (this make take up to a few hours before sendgrid detects this, but most often it happens within minutes).
If you send out mails from different domains, you'll of course need to add the different ones.
Step 6: Update the podio mail senders app
Performing step 6 is finishing all the previous configuration you did. This will tell KampAdmin to use sendgrid to send emails.
Sidenote: we prefer that you only do this when step 5 is completed, however if you are in a hurry (or your installation is not live yet) you can proceed anyway. Mails will still leave the building. They'll just come from @sendgrid.com instead of @your-domain.com.
So you are ready to let KampAdmin use the sendgrid servers? Go to your mail senders app (in podio type "g" + "mail sen..."). And create or edit the mail senders you have. (Preferably do not delete existing records as they are already linked to mail templates).
You should provide these values
- email: the email address you provided in step 1 (or in step 5 for additional ones)
- password: the password you chose in step 1 (or in step 5 for additional ones)
- smtp: smtp.sendgrid.net (copy paste this value, we've already seen many organisations type smtp.sendgrid.com or smtp.sentgrid.net. This won't work)
- port: 587
- default sender: for your info@... put "yes", for all other no
Step 7: Test
Send an email and verify if you receive it. You can also check the https://app.sendgrid.com/email_activity page to see if sendgrid received the request to send the email (this takes usually up to 5 minutes to be fully up to date, so be patient)