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How to Configure Gmail SMTP Email Settings

This article will cover:

Note: To understand more about Email Settings, please see the general Email settings article here.

When you shouldn't use Gmail for your SMTP

CAKE can be a high volume sender of emails, depending on how you use it. CAKE connects to an email SMTP relay to:

  • Send unique links to users to setup passwords, including Admin users, Affiliates, Advertisers and Buyers who need to login to your CAKE system. If you do not receive this email, you will not be able to login to CAKE, so ensuring deliverability of these emails is very important
  • Send out configured Alerts (such as when fraud is detected, problems with your system or traffic drop offs) to admin users
  • Send email packs with Creatives to Affiliates
  • Send newsletters to Affiliates and Advertisers

Depending on how much of this functionality that you use will determine how many emails you might send out. Gmail is designed to be a personal email relay system, which comes with its own Inbox, but CAKE is expecting to connect to a transactional email relay, used for sending emails in bulk and will send millions of emails. Gmail expects to be used by a single human user and they actively try to block its use beyond that, as they think it to be spam. 

Known limitations clients have experienced are hard caps on the number of emails that can be sent per day (typically 250) and clients finding that they have their account disabled for 'sender abuse'. If you use the email templates to send newsletters, you will find that once you hit your daily / monthly limits, Gmail will no longer send your emails (without notifying CAKE) and your account can be blocked.

USE IT: If you have a very limited number of users connecting to CAKE and you just need to send password emails. 

DON'T USE IT: If you care about mass email deliverability to large numbers of recipients, then you should search for a 'Transactional Email SMTP Relay', such as Sendpulse, SendGrid, Mandrill by MailChimp or Amazon's Simple Email Service. Many of these services have free tiers that allow several thousand emails per month.

How to Configure CAKE and Gmail to Send Email Through CAKE

There are several settings that need to be configured to leverage a Gmail email account in order to send email via relay in CAKE.  We will walk through the settings which need to be set in CAKE and also in Gmail in order for the two systems to integrate.

How to Configure Gmail Settings

Settings within Gmail will need to be configured so that Gmail is able to function as an SMTP relay for mail from your CAKE system. In Gmail you will need to do the following steps:

  • Enable 2-step verification

  • Create Application Specific Password

  • Enable POP and IMAP

Enable 2-Step Verification

2-step verification must be set-up for app specific password generation to work.  To enable 2-step verification click here: and navigate to the Signing into Google area.  Check the 2-step verification box and follow the instructions.

Application Specific Password:

You will need to enable an application specific password (the regular password used to login to Gmail WILL NOT WORK).  Again, please go to the google settings area, Signing into Google here:

An app password must be generated and this is the application specific password that will be entered into the CAKE system as the Mail Server Password (we have outlined steps below).  

Click on 2-step verification:

  • Select Mail as the type

  • Select Other as the device and type in CAKE as the name

  • Click Generate and a 16 digit password will be generated

  • Copy and paste the password to be saved for the CAKE configuration setup. 

Enable POP and IMAP

Finally, you will need to enable both POP and IMAP in the Gmail settings under “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.”  To enable this go to:

  • The Setting dial in the top right corner (from the screen) 

  • Click See All Settings

  • Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP  

  • Select Enable for both POP and IMAP

How to Configure CAKE Settings

Settings within CAKE need to be configured so that your system is aware of the Gmail account you will be utilizing for the relay process.  

These settings can be entered by navigating to the CAKE:

  • Setup main tab 

  • Settings subtab 

  • Select Email Settings  

The following information will need to be entered:

  • Mail Server Domain/IP Address*  –

  • Mail Server "From" Email Address – can be set to whatever name you want. This is the from email address that will show when emails are triggered from CAKE to your employees, affiliates or other entities in CAKE

    • Ex:

  • Mail Server "From " Name – This is the from name that will show when emails are triggered from CAKE to your employees, affiliates or other entities in CAKE

    • Ex: Your Network Name

  • Mail Server Username – this is the email address used to sign in to Gmail.  

    • Ex: 

  • Mail Server Password - this will be a 16 digit password provided by Gmail 

  • Mail Server Port Number - 587

  • Mail Server Use SSL - mark as true


Once complete, allow 10-15 minutes for propagation before sending emails from the CAKE platform

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