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Using SparkPost with PHPList

Last updated February 2020

PHPList ships with PHPMailer hence it’s very easy to configure it to send emails through SparkPost SMTP. Follow these instructions to configure PHPList:

define('PHPMAILERHOST', '');
$phpmailer_smtpuser = 'SMTP_Injection';
$phpmailer_smtppassword = '<API_KEY>';
define('PHPMAILERPORT', 587);
  • In your PHPList Campaign, use correct From Line. For example, if your Sending Domain is, you can set From Line to 
  • Send a test email to confirm the configuration is correct. 


  • SparkPost will decline emails if the domain name in the From Line does not match one of your verified sending domains. 
  • Replace <API_KEY> with the actual API Key that you’ve created in earlier step. It must have the ‘Send via SMTP’ permission. 
  • In case outbound traffic is not allowed through port 587 from your server (blocked by firewall), you can use the alternate port 2525 if that is open.

Handling bounces

SparkPost does not send bounce report for emails it failed to send. So PHPList's bounce processing is not applicable to SparkPost. 

However, "hard bounce" recipients or people who complain about your mail will be automatically added to your account's suppression list and SparkPost will suppress any attempt to deliver to them in the future. Suppression will be added for the same type of emails. For example, a transactional email received “hard bounce” will only be suppressed for transactional emails only. Non-transactional emails will still go through unless they are suppressed separately.  

You can track bounces, complaints and other types of non-delivery from your SparkPost Account and through its webhooks and message events APIs. If you'd like to update your PHPList database directly using bounces and complaints from SparkPost, a 3rd party webhook endpoint has been published which enables handling webhook events.

This tutorial is prepared and tested against PHPList v3.3.1

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