We've used Mandrill from Mailchimp for years for our transactional email. We've recently changed to SparkPost. I made a video so others can learn how to as well:


I’ve used Mandrill from Mailchimp for years to do the transactional email for my Joomla sites. It was free up to 10,000 emails a month and worked great. But now it’s a $20 a month add on to a $10 a month mailchimp account. If you divide that by the number of emails I actually send, it’s cheaper to drop them a postcard. Are there alternatives?

Yes, mailchimp recommended Sparkpost. I’ve been using them for a month or so and I really like them.

Let’s walk through how to set up Sparkpost with Joomla.

There are two major things to do here

Phase 1) create a couple of DNS records that tells the internet that sparkpost is authorized to send email in your behalf

Phase 2) configure Joomla to send its email through sparkpost.

And you really have to do them in that order.

On to Step 1:

First, create a free account on sparkpost.com. You should be able to figure this out.

Then when you log in, you’ll see your dashboard sorta like this.

First, go to accounts->sending domains

Click on the ‘new domain’ button

Enter the domain name, like openfacesystems.com

Now we need to add the SPF and DKIM records. What the heck are they? They’re anti-spam measures the industry came up with. The DKIM is the stronger of the two, but it’s best to do both, as some ISPs honor one, and some the other.

So click on the configuration and you’ll see them.

So what do we do with them?

We have to enter them into our DNS settings. How to do this varies by which registrar you bought your domain from. This one is from GoDaddy, so we’ll demonstrate with them. Other registrar DNS control panels should be similar.

In this window I’ve logged into GoDaddy and have my domain DNS control panel.

DNS has within it several types of records, the one we’re interested in is the TXT or text record.

We click on create a new one.

In Sparkpost, click

And copy and paste from Sparkpost.

Step 2 configure Joomla to use Sparkpost

Log into your joomla administrator area

Go to system -> global configuration

Third tab is ‘server’ and look in the lower right corner for ‘mail settings’

Send mail set to Yes

Mailer set to SMTP (simple mail transport protocol)

From email should be from the sending domain you’ve set up in sparkpost

From name is the human-readable name email recipients see

Disable mass email set to ‘no’ because we’ll use it in a bit

SMTP authentication set to yes (it means Joomla will log into sparkpost with a user name and password)

SMTP security TLS (this is encryption)


The next values we’ll pick up from sparkpost’s account->SMTP relay tab.

The port is 587

The SMTP username is the username from sparkpost SMTP_Injection

The host is smtp.sparkpostmail.com

All that’s left is the password. For this, we click the manage api keys. These serve as our password.

You should create one per website.

Click ‘new api key’ in the top right

Give it a name, usually your site name,

For permissions, “SEND VIA SMTP” is all we’ll need.

For allowed IPs put the ip address of your site. You can get this from your hosting provider or various tools on the web if you search for “nslookup”

Here’s one.

We save our configuration and try ‘send test email’ who’d it send it to? The person listed as the originator.

You can also send bulk email to your super admins from users->mass email user.

Fill out the form, select super users and click send.

Check to see you received the email, and check in about an hour to see that sparkpost logged it as sent from it’s reports -> message events listing.