Can I use my own SMTP server for newsletters?

I’m learning how to create a bulk email server (dedicated IP, warming up the server slowly, etc). Will the newsletter function work if I use my own SMTP instead of Mailgun? Or will it only work if Mailgun is used?

Please note that I’m only asking if Ghost’s newsletter function will work with custom SMTP settings - I’m not asking how to setup an email server, if it’s a good idea, or anything like that. My question is specific to how Ghost functions & nothing else.

The answer to your question can be found here:

Not exactly. When I read that Ghost requires the Mailgun API I thought config would need an API key. But configuring Mailgun in a self-hosted install requires this in config.production.json:

"mail": {  
  "transport": "SMTP",  
  "options": {  
    "service": "Mailgun",  
    "host": "",  
    "port": "587",  
    "auth": {  
      "user": "",  
      "pass": "your_password"  

It’s just SMTP settings, though specific to Mailgun. Perhaps my more specific question should be Will newsletters work if the SMTP host is something other than

@CheezBallz those config settings are for transactional email (signup, signin, staff invite, etc), you can use any mail server for that although a dedicated transactional email service is recommended. For bulk email/member newsletters only Mailgun is supported and is set up with an API key via the admin interface.


Thank you Kevin - that’s exactly the answer I was looking for. I read through all of the docs over the weekend and must have overlooked the specific part mentioning the API key.

Can Mailgun also be used for transactional emails?

Yes, any mail server can be used for transactional emails. You’ll need to configure it in the config.production.json file using SMTP auth rather than an API key.

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