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SendGrid is a third-party reliable email service that sends outgoing emails through SMTP and Web API. Those outgoing emails are maybe part of the email marketing campaign or transactional emails such as password reset emails, order confirmation emails, user registration emails, etc. These external SMTP services like SendGrid, Elastic Email, Mailgun, and Gmail maximize the deliverability of emails and are considered more reliable than the emails dispatching from your cloud server.
In this article, you will learn about the procedure of integrating the SendGrid SMTP Add-on on your Cloudways server effortlessly using the Cloudways Platform, so follow the steps written below for quick and easy integration.
What is SendGrid?
SendGrid is a cloud-based SMTP provider and a customer communication platform that allows you to send marketing and transactional emails without maintaining separate email servers. It is acquired by Twilio and has many big clients in their baskets who use SendGrid.
SendGrid offers 30 days trial period in which you can send up to 40,000 emails. Later, if you wish to go with their free plan, you can send 100 emails/day. Read more about SendGrid plans.
Benefits of SendGrid
We have listed the few benefits of using SendGrid below:
SendGrid provides two methods of sending emails; one is via SMTP relay, and another is using the Web API. Web API has some advantages over SMTP as it is fast and has the feature of managing IPs, user unsubscribes, etc.
It offers hosted templates for transactional emails and templates, scheduling, A/B testing, and more for email marketing campaigns.
It helps to improve the deliverability ratio of hitting recipients' inboxes with domain and link customization regardless if sent from a dedicated IP address or shared IP pools.
It offers email logs and real-time analytics.
SendGrid also prevents phishing and stops domain spoofing by using their custom DKIM and SPF records.
How to Configure SendGrid SMTP
First, you need to get your SendGrid username and password that can be used while integrating SendGrid SMTP with your Cloudways server. Here, a username and password can be your SendGrid’s login credentials or your SendGrid’s API Key.
If you are choosing to use your SendGrid login credentials or if you already have a SendGrid API key copied somewhere, then you may jump to Step# 3. If you did not copy your SendGrid API Key earlier, then SendGrid will not allow you to view it again. So, follow all the steps below if you want to generate and use SendGrid’s API Key.
Please be advised that you need an account with SendGrid to integrate SMTP. If you do not have an account and you are choosing to use SendGrid as your email gateway provider, then you may create an account first before proceeding with this guide.
First, log in to your SendGrid account with your login credentials (username and password) and hit Log In.
Now, expand the Settings from the left navigation bar.
Now, click on the API Keys option from this list.
Here, you will see all of your API keys if you have generated any in the past. To generate a new one, you need to click on Create API Key.
Now, input some necessary information:
API Key Name: Give any name to your API Key. In this example, we are inputting Test 2.
API Key Permissions: Select Full Access.
Finally, click on Create & View.
It's time to copy your API Key by clicking on it simply and save it somewhere safe, as it will be needed in further steps too. Click on Done once you have saved your API Key.
Log in to the Cloudways Platform, click on the Servers tab from the top menu bar and choose your target server.
Next, click on the SMTP option from the left menu bar.
Now, click on this drop-down box, which prompts you to Select SMTP, so choose an option called Your Own SMTP.
Now, you will see a few more fields down after choosing the Your Own SMTP option.
Select SendGrid as your email gateway provider from the drop-down list.
Now, enter your username. If you want to use SendGrid’s login credentials, input your username, which you use while logging on SendGrid if you want to use SendGrid’s API Key, input apikey in the username field.
Input your password. Input your login password if using SendGrid’s login credentials; else, use your SendGrid’s API Key, which you generated earlier.
Finally, click on the Save button.
How to Verify SMTP Configuration
Cloudways offers you the on-site functionality of testing your SMTP settings immediately after configuring the SMTP service on the server. You can verify if emails are properly dispatching from the server by sending a test email to yourself.
First, click Send Test Email.
Next, enter the Sender’s email address (From address).
Enter your email address as the recipient (To address).
Finally, click Send Test Email.
The sender’s email address (From address) should be that verified email for which DNS records are properly pointed. Sender’s email with no DNS authentication will mostly land in spam.
You will also get notified there once the test email is successfully sent.
If you are using more than one application on the same server, you will need to enforce “From Name” and “From Address” on each web application to use the correct sender details. Else, your web applications may pick the default application’s name and From Address.
All your outgoing emails from this server will be delivered through the SendGrid SMTP relay.