FAQ Q284: Why didn't Planyo send an email notification?

1. Finding the cause

There can be different reasons for this and it's also possible that Planyo actually sent a notification but it never arrived in the recipient's inbox. Let's first identify the actual problem.

If the recipient of the notification that wasn't received is a customer, then you should go to the reservation details page and examine the section Notifications sent to the customer. All the notifications sent by planyo for given reservation ID are listed here together with the date and time when the email was sent, the success status and a link which resends the email to the customer. If you see the notification in this list, check the status and comments. If there was an error sending the email, you'll see the error message in the comments field (most likely, a misspelled email address). If, on the other hand, the status is success, then this means that the email notification was actually sent. Proceed to point 2 of this tutorial to fix this issue which obviously is related to the recipient's inbox software or their mail server marking the email as spam and preventing the customer from seeing it.

If the recipient of the notification is not a customer but one of the administrators and you double checked that the administrator's email address is correct (not misspelled!), then you should go to Site settings / Active features and switch on the option Email notifications debug log. From this moment on, all email notifications sent by planyo will be recorded in a special log (the link to view the log can be found next to this option in active features and also on the reservation details page). You can review the log the next time an email doesn't get sent and check for an error message. Once again, if you see the email notification was sent and the status is success, you know that the problem is with the spam (see point 2 below) and not with your configuration.

2. Fixing the spam issue (email sent by Planyo but never arrived in inbox)

By default, emails from planyo will probably never end up in spam because we use a @planyo.com address as the sender (and your email address in the reply-to field). We also use authentication methods such as DKIM/SPF to let the recipient's mail server know the email is authentic. If you changed your email settings and set your email address to be used in the from field, you may have this problem. Please see Q188 for a detailed analysis of the spam problem and the possible solutions.

Also, you may wish to use your own SMTP server to send out automated emails from Planyo. See Q351 for configuration instructions for a custom STMP server (gmail in case of this tutorial). Using a custom SMTP server will give you a complete control over the email sending process and potential problems related to delivery or marking an email as spam.

3. Fixing the notification settings to ensure the desired notifications are sent

The most obvious cause for an email not being sent at all is that in Site settings / Notifications you didn't select a checkbox next to the notification which you want to be sent and next to the user role which should receive the notification. For example, if you want the main admin to receive an email whenever a customer cancels their reservation, make sure that the checkbox is selected in the site admin column and for the event Reservation cancelled by client.

Another possible problem is that a given user role (specifically resource admin or main moderator) doesn't exist or their email address is invalid. This can be easily checked in the settings of your planyo site (if main moderator) or the settings of your resource (if resource admin). If the email was supposed to be sent to the customer, double check that the spelling of their email address is correct.

The last potential problem is that the email notification is configured correctly and the recipient's email address is correct but the notification's body is empty. This can happen if you take advantage of the feature of planyo which suppresses sending of email messages with an empty body which is used if you want to send an email conditionally. In such case you wrap the entire body inside a conditional tag. In Site settings / Notifications you can select such email notification and test it against a specific reservation ID. If you notice the body is empty, you know this is the issue. Otherwise (if any text is present) the email gets sent.

4. Before or after event (#1 .. #8) configured but not sent

One possibility is that the reservation has been entered into the system too late, that is, after the scheduled time for given event. In order to take care of such condition, there's an option in Site settings / Active features called Window of time for the notifications sent X days before arrival which determines what the "sending window" for your before/after events is.

For example, by default, a notification that's supposed to be sent 7 days before arrival will not be sent at all if the reservation is entered 3 days before arrival. In such situations you need to increase the sending window (to at least 4 days in this example) if you want the notifications relative to the arrival time to be sent.

It's also possible that a notification of type "before or after event #1 .. #8" doesn't get sent even though the notification body is not empty and all the sending conditions are fulfilled. This can happen if for given reservation the notification had already been scheduled for sending (according to the configured time settings) but the email body was empty (e.g. you used a custom condition for sending of the notification), and at a later time you changed the email body (or your custom conditions have changed) and the body is now no longer empty. The reservations which were flagged as having met the time conditions will block given event in the future, no matter what the new settings are. This means that if you want to modify a before/after event and be certain that the event will be sent for all existing reservations, you should switch off the existing event and create a new one (e.g. create a new #2 event instead of reusing #1 event with different settings). You will know that this condition has occurred by going to the reservation details page and checking the 'notifications sent' section.