Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash. It's an image of a Macbook with Gmail open. The computer is placed on a cute carpet, giving a cozy feeling. Because carpets are cozy? Also, there's blankets in the background

Email providers: AWS SES, Mailgun, Sendgrid, Mailchimp?

07 May, 2022

Every company needs to send some emails, but which email provider do I use?.

I want high deliverability. Which in turn leads to the following requirements:

  • Inbound email routing
  • DKIM and SPF support

(I don't have enough volume or regularity to warrant a dedicated IP)

For transactional emails, I'd want:

  • Email template editor, so developers aren't involved in text edits.
  • Pass template variables in API calls, preferably with validation.

For marketing emails, It would be nice if it could:

  • Handle unsubscribing/resubscribing
  • Automation workflows, e.g. send welcome email 1 day after signup
  • Automated A/B testing of subject lines

GDPR compliance is a must, and I believe integrattons with Facebook Audiences is massively useful for marketing? (But I also don't want to give Meta money)

Mailgun

Cheap, old, transactional email provider.

  • ❌ Email template editor, so developers aren't involved in text edits.
  • ❌ Pass template variables in API calls, with validation.
  • ❌ Handle unsubscribing/resubscribing
  • ❌ Automation workflows
  • ❌ Automated A/B testing of subject lines

AWS SES

  • ✅ Inbound email routing
  • DKIM and SPF support
  • ❌ Handle unsubscrsssibing/resubscribing
  • ❌ Automation workflows
  • ❌ Automated A/B testing of subject lines

SendInBlue

80% 5-stars, 9% 1-stars on TrustPilot. Almost all 5-star reviews are marked as encouraged 😶, while almost all 1-star reviews are about blocked accounts/verification ✅.

Seems to be taking over for MailChimp in the category of "doing everything". Includes handling incoming emails in a shared CRM like inbox, and is hosted within EU

MailerLite

Mailerlite (from 9$ or 19$ for my use case) is a marketing-email service, with a sister-company MailerSend to handle transactional emails. It has a Facebook marketer integration, helping you target similar customers ✅. It's based in EU ✅

71% 5-stars, 24% 1-stars on Trustpilot. The main reason for bad reviews are strict policies ✅, and technical issues ❌.

MailerSend

Mailersend (from 25$ for my use calse) seems like a very well made, easy to use transactional email provider. Thumbs up! It's sister-company MailerLite handles the marketing part.

  • ✅ Email template editor, so developers aren't involved in text edits.
  • 😶 Pass template variables in API calls, with validation.
  • ❌ Handle unsubscribing/resubscribing
  • ❌ Automation workflows
  • ❌ Automated A/B testing of subject lines

Activecampaign

Gives off a more marketing vibe than I'd want. Custom domain starts at "Contact sales" pricing, which kind of disqualifies it for transactional stuff ❌

Mailchimp

Mailchimp has been a big name in email for a long time. Unfortunately, they still process all emails in US only ❌ (though they claim to be GDPR complaint still), and their Trustpilot reviews stink .

  • ✅ Email template editor, so developers aren't involved in text edits.
  • Pass template variables in API calls, with validation.
  • ✅ Handle unsubscribing/resubscribing
  • ✅ Automation workflows
  • ✅ Automated A/B testing of subject lines

Sendgrid

Like Mailchimp, Sendgrid has been a big name in email for a while. Similarily, they still process all emails in US only ❌ (though they claim to be GDPR complaint still), and their Trustpilot reviews stink even worse than Mailchimps.

  • ✅ Email template editor, so developers aren't involved in text edits.
  • Pass template variables in API calls, with validation.

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