SendGrid is a powerful SMTP provider serving over 69,000 customers worldwide and sending over 40 billion emails monthly, which is enough to put this SaaS platform as one of the strongest email marketing specialized in transactional email available on market.
Today we are discussing some of the most prominent alternatives for the transactional email giant, yet finding an alternative is always related to a couple of important questions. If we are already dealing with a top-notch service provider, why search for the alternatives? And on our way to seek such alternatives, on what basis do we set our searching. What are the aspects of the chosen service that defines it as the best?
Answering the first question might relate to a group of criteria concerned with the type of targeted service and what customers have to expect based on their scale and field of profession.
SendGrid serves a wide range of business from small to enterprise-level, with different pricing plans suitable for each size built mainly on subscribe`s number goes as essentials, pro, & premier. The plan also includes a 30 days free trial which allows for 40,000 emails sent daily and can be converted into an ever free plan at will, with a limit of 100 emails each day.
As an Email marketing cloud-based platform, SendGrid support outbound marketing and obtains a good stock of marketing automation and newsletter creation tools, yet its main focus lies in transactional email service with various API available such as SMTP, REST, EVENT, & PARSE API providing customers with full control over their email processing right from their respective applications.
SendGrid also provides paid plans for clients the ability to obtain their own unique IPs for sustaining their email reputation and White Labeling so that all emails sent comes out from their personal domains.
These, among many other A-list features of SendGrid such as fully capable and experienced team of Email deliverability specialists that SendGrid constantly investing in and broadening their base with sole purpose of ensuring every email sent out hits recipients mailbox without fail, powerful integrations and apps including Google analytics, Post-to-twitter, and newsletter, and granting access to powerful real-time metrics for emails sent throughout SendGrid including unique clicks & opens, spam & bouncing reports, unsubscribes and more, all secure SendGrid`s place among the top transactional email providers at market.
Yet the talking here is not about SendGrid solely, we came to seek the best alternatives to this SMTP or transactional email powerhouse, and for that, we are now answering the second question concerning the basis on which we define SendGrid best alternatives.
Main aspects of the best transactional email service:
- Deliverability: This point includes methods, techniques, and tools used to ensure higher delivery rates and avoiding spam filters.
- Scalability: This point concerns the capability of these providers to serve different size of business demanding various amounts of email sending daily depends on their scale and profession.
- Automation: this point focuses on the tools & abilities of each platform to automate the mailing process based on pre-set rules & metrics.
- Action: this point discusses the options & decisions providers empower their clients with according to action-based-triggers detected.
- Administration: This point illustrates the level of control clients are granted over the whole process through its variant steps and stages.
- Customization: this point introduces the ability for each platform to send out highly visual & customized emails and newsletters.
- Pricing: This point demonstrates how flexible these providers are with their pricing plans suitable for different size of business.
Now we introduce the best SendGrid alternatives based on the latter points of interest shown.
Best SendGrid Alternatives:
A direct alternative of SendGrid which is a bit more affordable. Sendinblue is an email marketing platform introducing different types of marketing campaigns such as email marketing, SMS marketing, Trigger-based marketing, or even creating your own marketing template on its marketing dashboard. Beside its multilingual/ Multi-currency features, one of Sendinblue most powerful aspects as a transactional email tool is the SMS marketing ability, which allows clients to create and send SMS campaigns with SMTP feature beside traditional SMTPs, & with optimum deliverability. The interface also provides real-time metrics working in reverse chronological order, means they can follow up to previous 30 min of email interactions. Sendinblue SMTP can be integrated through traditional SMTP settings (server, port, user, pass), the Sendinblue PHP library, postfix configuration, or API Documentation.
Sendinblue has 3 pricing plan categories, each with a dedicated pricing plan as follows:
1- Email plans: (This includes 5 pricing plans).
- Free: 300 emails/day. (Unlimited contacts).
- Lite: $25. 40,000 emails/month. (+no daily sending limit)
- Essential: $39. 60,000 email/month (+advanced statistics, no Sendinblue logo).
- Premium: $66 for silver ver. $173 for Gold ver. $334 for platinum ver. $603 for diamond ver. (120,000/ 350,000/750,000, 3 million) emails/month to each pricing plan ver. respectively. (Check each plan on the website for details on allowed features for each).
- Enterprise: Customized with tailored volume. (All premium plan features included +dedicated account manager).
2- SMS plans:
* This plan functions by a number of emails sent per day and in which country. It does not require a contract and does not have an expiry date.
3- IP plans:
Assigning a dedicated IP with digitally signed emails and full control over own sending reputation. ($145 per year).
You may also want to check: SendGrid Vs. SendinBlue
The most simple and straightforward bulk & transactional email tool. The SES service from amazon is designed to give direct effect as directly initiating SMTP campaigns at order, and automatically calculate reputation based on a number of complaints. It’s pretty much offering simple API & SMTP to initiate mail sending process, such formality allowed users to call it “a barebones service” yet several reviews actually reported they added analysis and reporting tools, besides the ability to obtain a dedicated IP. No clear reports on additional pricing fees requested for the service were detected though. Concerning scalability in Amazon SES case, it’s actually as simple as this: when your list of subscribes doubles, your payments are simply doubled same wise.
Amazon SES offering a free price plan for up to 62,000 emails per month for Amazon EC2 user and “on calling Amazon SES from an Amazon EC2 instance directly or through AWS Elastic Beanstalk.” otherwise, its price plan goes simply as follows:
- $0.10 per 1,000 emails + $0.12 per GB of attachments sent.
- $1 per 10,000 emails.
- Pricing multiplies based email sends increase.
With this email marketing tool, you can start sending emails… with a human touch!
Mailjet most powerful feature is the one-to-one personalization for emails created using customized dynamic content that varies based on recipients personal data such as browsing habits, different online actions, location and so on. As for transactional email. Mailjet is using its SendAPI integration and settable SMTP to send fast and fully optimized individual or bulk email. It’s also using its unique open source free MJML or Mailjet markup language for coding highly visual emails promising an improved performance over usual HTML coding. Beside its templating language, which is another unique feature for Mailjet used to create an even deeper & highly personalized mailing experience.
Mailjet is offering 4 pricing plans including a free one with limited features. These plans are based on the number of emails sent per month, can be paid monthly or annually, and in 4 different currencies (USD, EURO, and BRITISH POUNDS)
- Free: Ever free plan. 6000 email/month – 200 emails/day. (Unlimited contacts/Full API access/Advanced email editor/Advanced statistics).
- Basic: $8.04 per month. 30,000 email (no daily limit sending/24/7 support/no mailjet branding/ from 150,000 email per month/ dedicated IP on demand)
- Premium: $14.96 per month. (Segmentation/ A/B testing/ marketing automation/ multi-user collaboration/ locked section/advanced templates management).
- Enterprise: customized solution for high volume senders and big companies. (Needs contact or requesting quotes).
The inbound & transactional integrated service built for developers. MailGun is built on a solid base of API integrations which is simple & RESTful to ensure simplicity and reliability, besides its focus on conforming to compliance standards. Being built to serve developers gives MailGun an extended level of customization, with its powerful engines such as its intelligent email parsing engine and the smart rules engine, besides its high capability of integrating with various coding languages such as Python, Ruby, PHP, C#, Node.js or Java, gives this tool exceptional capabilities for sending, receiving, and perfectly tracking all kinds of mail may it be outbound, inbound, or transactional email. With powerful Spam filter to ensure safer delivery and a set of elaborate tracking & analysis tools including searchable logs & tags all connected via webhooks that sure gives you a paramount stage of being confident & in control over your whole mailing system.
MailGun is using a unique feature of validating emails to concrete users domain/IP reputation clearing out all phony or non-existing contacts, this also increases deliverability rates success. This service is actually payable, yet free for a cap of 100 emails. Other than that, MailGun has built its pricing plans on a number of emails sent, as usual, dividing its service into 4 featured categories.
- Concept: for testing the platform with no commitment. First 10,000 emails free. First 100 validations free.
- Production: $79/ month. 100,000 emails. 100 validations available.
- Scale: $325/month. 500,00 emails. 5,000 validations.
- Enterprise: Customizable plan, need to make contact.
The all-in-one email delivery platform. Elastic Email is offering SMTP relay, robust HTTP API, and one of the most acclaimed interfaces to be friendly and so easy to use, added its multilingual feature which allows users from over eight different languages (Dutch, English, French, Italian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian)to interact with confidence. This service specialized in delivering transactional & marketing emails introduces a suite of impressive features includes private IP addresses, detailed activity reports, triggered emails, segmentation, contact management tools, A/X testing, and email client and spam testing. Elastic email also allows the ability to directly send email using standard SMTP or a simple REST API, with SMTP configuration for their mail servers or one of the code samples provided in their API documentation. Their service also includes autoresponders, merging tags, dynamic content, and customizable HTML templates.
With a page of plans, included features, and paid add-ons, Elastic email have set its pricing guide for newcomers.
All three pricing plans included introducing a startup payment increasing as emails number increase.
- Basic: The free plan for up to 150,00 email/ month with a limit of 5000 email/day.
- Advanced: $ 150/month starting at 2,000,000 email/month.
- Premium: $600/month. Start at 10,000,000 Email/month.
- * For over 10 million emails sends requirement you need to make contact for deciding price quotes.
The transactional email service for web applications. Postmark specialized in transactional email forms a pipeline for sending emails between clients web apps and their customers, excluding all other email forms of promotional email such as newsletters or bulk, they claim to secure an enhanced, speedier, and more accurate delivery for emails sent throughout their server IPs. Postmark takes deliverability matters so heartedly they share their customers live delivery data to ensure perfect delivery without delay. Such feature they call the immediate email delivery. That, besides 45 days o full content history, detailed delivery & opens/links tracking, inbound email processing, webhook notifications, & responsive email templates all makes Postmark one of the most trusted transactional email services in the industry. Setup can be a working fix just so you know, yet, it’s really worth it according to real-time users.
With Postmark pricing gets simple as it should be, there is no more need to pay or extra add-ons or dedicated IP rentals, its all part of the deal.
Their pricing plan is built solely on number of emails you send monthly with added fees for extra numbers.
- (10,000 = $10 +$1.25 for 1000 extra)
- (50,000 = $50 +$ 1.0 for 1000 extra)
- (125,000 = $100 +$0.85 for 1000 extra)
- (300,000 = $200 +$0.60 for 1000 extra)
- (700,000 = $400 +$0.45 for 1000 extra)
For bigger plans you can contact a rep via email or phone.
The serverless service. Moon mail is using a serverless framework which allows it to send massive email numbers directly via an amazon cloud network. The cloud-based service includes great features that rival top-notch providers such as list segmentation, liquid markup syntax, double opt-in, multilingual interface, custom DKIM & SPF, unlimited custom personalization tags, real-time metrics & more. All makes this cloud-based software respectful SendGrid alternatives capable of serving a broad spectrum of business sending a high volume of emails right off the bat. MoonMail does not fall behind when it comes to deliverability either, in fact, being hosted through Amazon servers guarantees acceptable delivery rates, besides its real-time insight provided which allows for close monitoring for emails sent performance.
MoonMail is using a simple & flexible price plan where you only pay for the actual number of emails sent each month, with unlimited subscribers feature that allows for upgrading billing plans without paying extra fees.
- $16.98 for 10,000 subscribers.
- $61.98 for 100,000 subscribers.
- $ 111.98 for 200,000 subscribers.
Mandrill (Highly overpriced/requires MailChimp paid account)
The name is well known for email marketing experts, its mandrill, the transactional email platform that used to be on top, until the incident known as the mandrill controversy, that’s when MailChimp decided to buy the service and merge it into MailChimp marketing automation industry, forcing existing and new clients to pay extra fees for obtaining the service, that’s when mandrill stacks started to fall, leaving a gap that was fast covered by alternative powerful solutions including SendGrid and others. It’s still undeniably a powerful service, with servers covering the entire globe nearly, yet living in the shadows of MailChimp resulted in a huge pricing gap, makes the service no more affordable as it used to be. As it is well known, to reach Mandrill services existing inside MailChimp now, you need first to create a paid MailChimp account, means you pay for both services added together. Inconvenient isn’t it ?!
Mandrill is using the concept of blocks. Each block is a credit of 25,000 emails (remaining credit expires at the end of each month!)
- $20/block 1-500k emails 1-20 blocks
- $18/block 500k-1m emails 21-40 blocks
- $16/block 1m-2m emails 41-80 blocks
- $14/block 2m-3m emails 81-120 blocks
- $12/block 3m-4m emails 121-160 blocks
- $10/block 4m+ emails 161+ blocks
- Add a dedicated IP for $29.95 / month.
* These pricing changes will take effect when you connect your Mandrill account with a paid, monthly MailChimp account.
Transactional email is fun, and options in this field are limitless. On our search for the best alternatives for the renowned email marketing expert SendGrid, we were surprised by the huge list of these alternatives which all are capable of delivering a great service, yet with their own method and conveniences around the best ways of creating a perfect transactional email experience. Only remains to say that transactional emails are more personal nature. People trigger them, people expect them, people always feel it’s related to them personally, and fulfilling this element with a deeper understanding is what defines the best transactional service among the others.
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