I’ve been a user of Mandrill for a while, it’s a great service for sending transactional email. I only use it for a couple of personal projects (mainly because Gmail started getting funny when I was sending through them). I just checked my account and I average one email per day. It’s slightly higher than that as I send at least one a day, sometimes more. If I send fifty emails in a month it’s been a busy one.
I took advantage of their very generous free tier that offered 12,000 free emails a month (which got removed last July). I barely made a dent. So their recent announcement that you will soon require a paid MailChimp account to use Mandrill, and to pay for all email sent via Mandrill, meant my days of use were numbered (I wasn’t the only one, it wasn’t a popular decision).
There are plenty of alternatives, so I thought I would check them out and see which best suited me.
My requirements were pretty simple:
- A free tier (ideally) allowing for 100 or so emails per month
- A simple web API, ideally with libraries for common languages like Python and PHP
- Ability to host templates preferred (so I can just load the data I need rather than the entire email) and a simple templating language
- No requirement to set up a domain (I could do it, but these emails are only sent to me, so spoofing should be fine)
- Good deliverability (I still need my emails to get through)
- Good documentation
During the outcry following the Mandrill announcement, a number of options were put forward by the community:
- Elastic Email
- Amazon SES (discounted as no free tier* and reports of poor deliverability)
* Yes, strictly speaking you can get it free for 12 months or if you have an EC2 instance Continue reading…