Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is an email application, which allows you to send high volumes of transactional mails (one sender - one recipient). In combination with MailChimp's STS service you can even generate reports about how your transactional emails perform.
On this article we're going to navigate you through all necessary steps to have your Joomla site send all transactional emails (for example signup emails) through MailChimp STS. If you want to get a deeper insight on Amazon SES check out their Getting Started Guide PDF.
Sign up to Amazon SES and configure MailChimp
- Open http://aws.amazon.com/ses and click Sign Up for Amazon SES.
- Complete the process by providing your payment information and telephone verification.
- Open http://aws.amazon.com, click Account, then click Security Credentials.
- Navigate to the Access Credentials section of the page, and click the Access Keys tab.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new Access Key ID and Secret Access Key.
- Log in to your MailChimp account and navigate to Account > Integrations. Copy/paste your Amazon AWS Key and AWS Secret in the Amazon integrations panel click "add AWS keys".
- The next step is to enter your email address and click on "verify email". You will receive an email from Amazon SES, asking you to confirm that this is your email address. Click the link in the email.
- Go back to MailChimp and click "i've already verified" to finish the connection
- After your email address is verified you will be connected to Amazon's sandbox. That means your account is in a review status. Until your account is approved you can only send to email addresses, which have been verified.
- You need to request production access from Amazon in order to send out emails to any email address. Open this page http://aws.amazon.com/ses/fullaccessrequest and complete the request form. Amazon will contact you by email after reviewing your request (allow 24 hours for processing).
Setup the MailChimp STS plugin on your Joomla site
After you completed the previous steps successfully it's time to setup MailChimp STS on your Joomla site. Login to the Joomla backend and install the freakedout MailChimp STS plugin if you haven't done so already (download link at the bottom of this page). Then navigate to the plugin manager (Extensions > Plugin manager). Open the plugin called "System - freakedout Mailchimp STS". Enter your MailChimp API key and select if you want to use a secure connection over HTTPS or not (you need a valid SSL certificate in order to use HTTPS). Set the plugin to enabled and press save.
From now on all transactional mails like registration emails or password reminders will be sent through MailChimp STS and you are able to view reports in your account at mailchimp.com as explained above.
Note that Amazon assigns you a daily email quota, which is extended depending on the amount of emails you send. Read the Amazon developer docs for more information about how to increase your quota.
However, with the MailChimp STS plugin no emails get lost because you reached your quota! If the plugin detects that the limit is exhausted it will revert to the mail engine that you used before to send emails, most likely the PHP Mail function (as set in Joomla's global configuration).
You can view the reports about your transactional mails in your MailChimp account. Login to mailchimp.com and click "Reports" in the top menu. On the left hand side you'll find a button called "transactional reports". Click on that button and you'll see the reports of your transactional emails.