ClickFunnels SMTP

Setting up SMTP on ClickFunnels is very hard.

If I could remember what I went through while trying to configure and connect the whole stuff myself in the very beginning of my ClickFunnels journey.

I suffered a lot! Being that I’m not much of a techy type of person. Back then I thought I was the only person having such difficult challenge setting up SMTP inside of ClickFunnels.

Not until began to see posts and questions like this:

SMTP Facebook question

And this:

ClickFunnels SMTP issue

Even this… and SMTP headaches never end haha!

SMTP third question

I was like:

Oh, so it’s not just me having a problem to set up SMTP on ClickFunnels

To cut the whole story short I figured it out and even started helping newbies and other funnel hackers to set up their own SMTP in ClickFunnels.

In case you don’t know what SMTP stands for – it means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Before I walk you through the complete tutorial on how to set up your Simple Mail Transfer Protocol on ClickFunnels…

…and also give you reasons why you shouldn’t bother about SMTPs (in some cases).

Let us first of all, dive in a bit on what SMTP does and why do you really need it with ClickFunnels.

Here are what we shall be covering:

What is An SMTP? Do You Need It?

According to Wikipedia, a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a communication protocol for electronic mail transmission. Mail servers and other message transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive emails.

To help you understand the whole concept around SMTP in the simplest possible form. Take it as a postman that helps you to deliver your written letter to the person it is being addressed to.

I may not be the one to give the best-simplified analogy here, but below is a clearer one explained by a fellow funnel hacker which I also shared in my ClickFunnels autoresponder post.

Here it goes:

Now assuming you are to send a written letter to a friend via snail mail. There are 2 parts to that activity:

  1. You write the letter and seal it up in an envelope to send OR
  2. You drop it off at the post office, who delivers it

Think about sending mass marketing emails just like these 2 parts of a real snail mail letter: you write the email and ‘package’ it up to send, then someone delivers it.

When you have an email autoresponder (like GetResponse), that company is doing BOTH parts for you: they are giving you a user-friendly front-end platform where you can write the email and then they send it.

How do they send it? Using SMTP’s. An SMTP is like the post office in our snail mail analogy. It is what actually delivers the email. In reality, it’s a whole bunch of email servers sending emails.

What you probably don’t know is that these email autoresponder companies like GetResponse, ConvertKit, etc do not own their own SMTPs! They actually hire other SMTP companies to send their emails!

That’s why you pay so much. They give you the front-end platform to write the email, then charge you a huge markup cost. They then hire the SMTP for a small cost to send your emails.

Hope it’s a little bit more understandable now?

Why Do You Need SMTP On ClickFunnels?

It is not compulsory you have to use SMTP while using ClickFunnels because you can integrate a third-party autoresponder. Even though you get ClickFunnels Actionetics for free when you are on the $297 plan…

Do I need It

I have to say that you do not really need it unless your aim is to do inbuilt automation like transactional emails and all that.  Because that is one of the benefits of setting up an SMTP.

To further clear things up – let me back it up a bit:

Now ClickFunnels gives you the first part you need to ‘write your letter’. With Actionetics, you get a user-friendly platform where you can write your emails and schedule them to send (just like an email autoresponder does).

But, ClickFunnels doesn’t deliver the emails. It’s not an SMTP!

This is where the service of an SMTP provider comes into play.

But some people keep asking some common questions like:

Since ClickFunnels claims to give us access to an inbuilt automation tool, why then do we need an SMTP?

Good question!

Fortunately, I myself wondered this and made a research and found out that one of the ClickFunnels dream car winner (Catlin Bettridge) already addressed this inside the ClickFunnels community a long time ago.

So, read the below explanation carefully and see for yourself why you actually need an SMTP solution like SendGrid, MailGun, etc. (don’t worry we are going to talk about these SMTP services later in this post).

Catlin writes:

Let’s clear up some common misconceptions about Actionetics…

As many of you know, I have the $297/month Etison Suite plan from ClickFunnels, and I use Actionetics (with SendGrid) as my email marketing software.

I get asked the same 2 questions over and over again about Actionetics:

1.) If an SMTP service like SendGrid is the thing actually sending my email, what value does Actionetics even give me?

2.) If I’m already paying for Actionetics, why do I also need to pay for an SMTP service like SendGrid?

Here’s the answer to both those questions…

Actionetics works just like every other email marketing software does.

Every email marketing software uses an SMTP service to send its customers emails. (For example, ConvertKit uses MailGun SMTP to send all of their customer’s emails).

The major difference with Actionetics is that they let you choose which SMTP you want to work with, and they allow you to setup up to 3 different SMTP integrations in your ClickFunnels account.

Whereas with ConvertKit you’re forced to use MailGun. (But you probably didn’t even realize this because it all happens behind the scenes and is completely out of your control)

With ConvertKit, every single customer shares a single MailGun account that is owned and controlled by ConvertKit.

Because of this, they’re naturally paranoid about having that one account shut down, because the actions of one spammy user can affect the email deliverability rates of all ConvertKit customers.

Whereas when you use Actionetics, you have your very own dedicated SMTP service that only sends your emails and no one else’s.

This same reason is why email marketing softwares like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign generally frown upon marketers like us having affiliate links in our emails.

They simply can’t afford to take the risk of having their only SMTP account that’s shared by all of their customers shut down, or the email deliverability rates of their entire user base negatively impacted by the actions of one or a few rogue customers.

But if you’re an affiliate Marketer using Actionetics, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Because if your SMTP account gets shut down, you just hit the ‘destroy SMTP’ button within your ClickFunnels dashboard and plug in a new one. 😊

All of your contacts, stats and action funnels (sequences) are preserved and protected, and you just carry on right where you left off like nothing bad even happened to you..

I like to think of it as like having ‘removable batteries’ for your email marketing software.

If the batteries die – you just CHANGE them – no big deal, right?

But with MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, etc. it’s sort of like having a phone with a built-in battery.

If the battery dies, you’re pretty much going to need to buy a brand-new phone.

And if you didn’t back up your contacts, apps and text messages before it unexpectedly died on you – you’re basically out of luck. ☹

So, this is why Actionetics is the absolute safest solution when doing email marketing promoting affiliate offers to the make money online niche like many of us are.

If you upgrade your ClickFunnels account to unlock Actionetics, you’re going to be able to sleep much better at night.

And if you were annoyed at and a bit confused by the fact you had to pay $10/month for SendGrid when you’re already shelling out for Actionetics, hopefully this post sheds some light on the reasoning and the clever strategy behind this.

Being forced to get your own dedicated SMTP account in order to be able to use Actionetics in your affiliate marketing business isn’t to screw with you, it’s to protect you.

Before moving on to the integration aspect and the MAIN setting up of your SMTP with ClickFunnels, let me summarize the benefits and importance of using SMTP with ClickFunnels Actionetics.

Benefits and Importance of Using ClickFunnels SMTP

  • You have more control over your email and domain
  • You won’t be sharing IPs and SMTPs with spammy email senders
  • Your email deliverability rate will be dramatically increased and never gets hurts
  • You will be able to send transactional emails, texts, reminders to your customers based on action taken within your sales funnel
  • You will have everything working together under one roof.

How To Set up SMTP On ClickFunnels Server – Actionetics MD

There are two ways which you can set up your SMTP on ClickFunnels – the first one is using ClickFunnels own in-built SMTP service called Actionetics MD AND using an external SMTP solution like SendGrid.

First of all, lets take a look at how to set up SMTP on ClickFunnels using Actionetics MD…

Critical Note: Make sure you have acquired a business email address for you to be able to send emails. Free email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo won’t work. You need an email address like Name@Yourdomain, contact@yourdomian, etc. You can do that with Gsuite or Zoho

Part #1: Setting up Actionetics MD SMTP internally With A Domain Bought On ClickFunnels

This part involves setting up your ClickFunnels eMail SMTP with the domain you bought on ClickFunnels.

  • Step #1: From your dashboard select your Account dropdown
  • Step #2: Select SMTP Settings
  • Step #3: Select Set Up Email Sending

set up SMTP

  • Step #4: Select Get Started

Start SMTP setup

  • Step #5: Fill up the below details
    • Title – Nickname
    • From Name – Your name or business’s
    • From Email – Your professional email
    • Domain – select the domain you will be using
    • Address – Your physical address
    • SMTP Footer – The information to be included in all footers of your email
    • Select Default SMTP integration if appropriate
    • Finally, Save SMTP Integration

ClickFunnels SMTP final settings

Note: The SMTP footer area supports HTML so use the following code and input your business details where appropriate:

ClickFunnels eMail SMTP

Part #2: How To Set up Actionetics MD SMTP internally on ClickFunnels With External Domain

Before I proceed, I want to bring it to your notice that you will need a domain bought outside of ClickFunnels for this part. Buy your domain on

  • Step #1: Within your ClickFunnels account, go to Account Settings and click SMTP Settings.
  • Step #2: Click Add Email Integration
  • Step #3: Click on the Get Started button
  • Step #4: Fill in the below information:
    • Title – Integration nickname
    • From Name – Name of email sender (Your brand)
    • From Email – Email address your emails are sent from
    • Domain – Your domain
    • Address – Business’s physical address
    • SMTP Footer – Information that displays on all email footers
    • Select Default SMTP integration if appropriate
    • Finally, select Save SMTP Integration

The next step of this process involves adding DNS records in your domain host to validate your DNS records.

For this – ClickFunnels help documentation has provided a step-by-step process on how to do this for Namecheap, Godaddy, and Cloudflare.

Read how to add DNS records on:

Setting up ClickFunnels SMTP With A Third-party Integration

As you may already know – to send emails from ClickFunnels using the inbuilt automation software, you will need to integrate an SMTP service if you don’t want to use the internal SMTP service.

Below are the four SMTP service provider currently supported with ClickFunnels:

  • MailGun
  • SendGrid
  • Mandrill
  • SparkPost

Fortunately, there is helpful documentation provided by ClickFunnels on how integrate all these SMTP services. You will get the right link to all these in each section. After that, we shall address and answer the common challenges and questions.

Shall we?!

How To Add or Connect MailGun SMTP To ClickFunnels

First of all, make sure you’ve created your MailGun account and follow this ClickFunnels help documentation that shows you the process on how to set everything up.

How To Add or Connect SendGrid SMTP To ClickFunnels

Integrating SendGrid SMTP with ClickFunnels also requires you to have a SendGrid account. Also, make sure you have set up your professional business email address.

Then go through this help documentation to see how to connect it.

After successfully integrating SendGrid – it is advisable that you White-label your SendGrid SMTP which will help improve your email deliverability at maximum level.

This involves setting up domain authentication, adding CNAME records to the DNS host, and the final verification.

How To Add Mandrill MailChimp SMTP To ClickFunnels

What you basically need for this is a paid MailChimp account and a Mandrill Add-on. There is also a guideline on how to accomplish this from A-Z. Check it out here.

How To Add SparkPost SMTP To ClickFunnels

Create a SparkPost account and follow this ClickFunnels documentation on integrating SparkPost SMTP.


Frequently Answered Questions (FAQS)


FAQ #1: Do I have to pay for another SMTP service if I’m on the $297 plan?

No, you really do not need to pay for a third-party SMTP software because you get Actionectics MD which comes with the Etison plan of $297. But it’s only limited to 5,000 contacts, then, it goes up to $50/mo per 5,000 contacts.

FAQ #2: If I have ConverKit, AWeber, ActiveCampiagn, or GetResponse integrated to my ClickFunnels – do I still need SMTP?

Remember you need an SMTP service with Actionetics, you only need Actionetics if you want to send transactional emails (like purchases, receipts, etc) from your funnel.

Mind you that those other autoresponder solutions already have their own SMTP at the backend and can also send emails and do automations. You just need an SMTP to work with Actionetics if you desire to send your emails from ClickFunnels.

There is also a lower risk of getting your emails in spam folders or your email account being shut down while on Actionetics. That’s why it’s very affiliate marketing friendly.

FAQ #3: Which is the best SMTP Integration for ClickFunnels Actionetics?

After a couple of research, SendGrid has been the best SMTP and top option with ClickFunnels Actionetics for several funnel hackers. But I will advise you to set it up correctly.

One of the great ways you can have SendGrid work well in terms of deliverability and other functions is by making sure you white-label your domain. There is a link above on how to do that appropriately.

But that doesn’t mean other SMTPs don’t work. You can go with whichever you feel the best match your needs.

FAQ #4: How are SendGrid and MailGun different from GetResponse and ConverKit?

Great question!

ConvertKit, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, GetResponse, Actionetics, and MailChimp are the software you can build your list, format emails, set automation, handle (un)subscribers, etc…

Now the above software has to talk to an SMTP server to send your emails, that’s why they hired or bought an SMTP service to do this job.

While Actionetics didn’t hire any – you will then need to connect it with Actionetics MD, SendGrid, MailGun, SparkPost or Mandrill to send out your emails.

FAQ #5: How many SMTP accounts can I connect with ClickFunnels?

If you’re subscribed on the ClickFunnels $97/mo plan, you have just one SMTP option, then on the Etison Suite plan, you can have up to three SMTP providers.

Additionally, Actionetics MD subscribers can leverage additional SMTP integrations based on the number of subscribers. Like 5k emails for an extra $50.

FAQ #6: Can I have two emails for one SMTP?

You can register different business emails for one SMTP on the same domain. Like having info@yourdomain dot come and support@yourdomain dot com. The DKIM & reputation sits on the domain itself BUT it’s NOT recommended to have two emails for one SMTP on separate domains.

FAQ #7: How do I make sure my emails lands in my recipient’s inbox and not spam?

There are lots of factors involved in making sure your emails don’t end up somewhere else. In some cases, it might be from improper SMTP settings and few misconfigurations, some could be as a result of not sending from a professional email address and many more…

To best learn how to optimize for deliverability, I will list a few helpful resources which will help you improve or recover a reputation in your SMTP account.

Read the following:

The End…

My aim for coming up with this article is for anyone who is looking for an all-in-one piece that breaks and solves everything relating to understanding ClickFunnels SMTP where new users and existing users of ClickFunnels can gain values on this subject.

I hope it really helps your ClickFunnels and online marketing business in general.

Maybe you’re not yet signed up as a ClickFunnels user – then make sure you check out these amazing bonuses which I think would help you get the best in your online business as a subscriber of this great software.

Affiliate Disclosure: I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.

Drop your comment if there is something not clear to you or maybe you’re having a hard time setting up your SMTP with ClickFunnels.

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