The Contact Form 7 (CF7) plugin successfully sends millions of emails every day. But, there are a wide variety of issues that can delay or stop your Contact Form 7 emails.
Follow along and learn how to prevent your Contact Form 7 emails getting rejected as spam.
There are a few simple checks you can do right now to prevent your emails going to spam.
Contact Form 7 email going into spam
What happens to some CF7 emails
During the email sending and receiving process, your email message can be:
- Rejected as spam by the sending or receiving mail server.
- Routed to a spam folder on your local computer or business network.
- Discarded as malicious content by mail servers all around the world.
This mostly happens without any notification.
Why your email may be treated as spam
Emails sent from Contact Form 7 can be considered spam for a number of reasons and get rejected, at many points during the email sending and receiving process.
This is usually due to the main email headers (in particular the From: email address used) or email content.
If your site was on example.com, then the email being sent should be sent from email@example.com as well. If you’re using a different domain in your From: email address, it is possible that the email will:
- Not send on some hosting systems, or
- Be rejected as spam by many mail receiving systems.
…and this often happens without any notification.
Go to Your email may be treated as SPAM for a more detailed explanation of the issue and how to fix it.
Avoid using From: [your-name] <[your-email]>
If you use the user’s submitted email address in the From: field, you are actually trying to send an email from their address – e.g firstname.lastname@example.org.
It may not seem like that to you … you’re just filling in a CF7 option, but CF7 is going to attempt to send an email from that email address.
Also your form is hosted at yourdomain.com.
What your host and other email hosts see is an email from email@example.com sent by yourdomain.com.
… and this mismatch in domain names looks like spam.
But, if you use something like firstname.lastname@example.org in the From: field, then you don’t look like a spammer and all is good in the world again.
Increasingly, emails that are seen to come from a different domain are rejected as spam by many mail receiving systems.
It is now highly likely that emails sent from CF7 using the form users email address will be rejected as spam by mail servers all around the world – without any warning they were rejected.
Go to Using ‘From: [your-name] <[your-email]>‘ is risky for information and steps on what to use instead.
Use a suitable From: address
The From: address used in the Mail section of CF7 is very important in determining whether an email is able to be sent and received.
A simple and effective way to avoid most problems is to always use an email address that belongs to the same domain as your WordPress site in the From field in the Mail & Mail(2) sections.
Go to Use a suitable From: address in Contact Form 7 to see step-by-step instructions using the correct From: address.
Examples of good & bad email addresses
Below are some example email addresses, whether they could be seen as spam or not, and why:
- Why? Gmail.com is not a domain handled by your mail server.
- Not spam
- Why? cf7pro.com is your domain.
- Why? outlook.com is not a domain handled by your mail server.
- Not spam
- Why? cf7pro.com is your domain.
You can safely use [your name] <email@example.com> if you want to be able to sort by the name of the sender or apply filters in your email application.
For a more in-depth explanation and even more examples, refer to Some From email addresses to NOT use.
Extra steps to prevent your form emails being seen as spam
There are a few other measures you can take to ensure delivery of your Contact Form 7 emails.
These measures will help convince a recipient’s mail servers that your message is legitimate and should be delivered.
- Best Practice to Set Up Mail in the CF7 documentation has detailed information.
- Adding Additional headers can help you appear legitimate.
- Setting up an SPF Record can help ensure that an email from CF7 isn’t seen as forged.
Follow our Extra steps to prevent your form email being seen as SPAM and increase the chances of your email being sent.
A good rule of thumb is to use an email address that belongs to the same domain as your WordPress site in the From field in the Mail and Mail(2) sections of CF7.
- What to put in the From address field in Contact Form 7
- What to put in the Reply To field and be able to reply back to submitted forms
- Store your form submissions with a Contact Form 7 Submission Storage plugin