Tackling Zen Cart Email Issues


I've come across a couple of interesting cases where a Zen Cart store's email either wouldn't send at all, wouldn't send HTML emails or wouldn't send TEXT emails. For any email-related issues, I always start with this set of FAQs on the Zen Cart site. If those don't help, here are a couple of additional hints that might apply:

  1. If a specific type of email (e.g. welcome or order_status) doesn't send, check to make sure that the EMAIL_SUBJECT value doesn't contain either carriage-return (\r) or new-line (\n) characters. The function zen_mail checks those conditions and simply (and silently) fails to send that email as a means of preventing an injection attack on the associated site.
  2. If the email address associated with one of your store's admin accounts is also used as the email address for a test customer account, that email address will always receive email in the format chosen within the customer account. For example, if your admin's Configuration->E-Mail Options->Email Admin Format? is set to TEXT but the admin/test-customer account is set to HTML then that email address will always be sent messages in HTML format.
  3. If you have a multi-language store and neither admin nor customer emails are sent in HTML format for a non-English language ... make sure that you have an email template directory associated with those secondary languages. For example, if your secondary language is Spanish your store should have the directory /email/es that contains all the email template files. Contrary to what the FAQ page indicates, as of v1.5.1 the zen_mail process does not default to the English version (i.e. the template files present in the /email directory).
  4. If your admin users are not receiving their copy of the various email types that are configured within your admin's Configuration->E-Mail Options, check to make sure that any multiple email addresses are separated by commas (,). Sometimes, it's easy to type a period (.) or semi-colon (;) instead and then none of the emails in the list will receive the message.

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