Mailgun vs Mandrill

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Mailgun vs Mandrill: What are the differences?

Mailgun: The Email Service for Developers. Mailgun is a set of powerful APIs that allow you to send, receive, track and store email effortlessly; Mandrill: Send transactional, triggered, and personalized email, then track results. Mandrill is a new way for apps to send transactional email. It runs on the delivery infrastructure that powers MailChimp.

Mailgun and Mandrill can be primarily classified as "Transactional Email" tools.

Some of the features offered by Mailgun are:

  • Optimized Queue
  • Scheduled Delivery
  • MIME Assembly

On the other hand, Mandrill provides the following key features:

  • Inbound Email- Set up inboxes for Mandrill to control. When they receive email, we’ll make an API call to your app with all the relevant information, so you don’t have to worry about what’s happening behind the scenes.
  • Webhooks Support- Create custom event notifications, keep track of new signups and unsubscribes in real-time, get a notice of every spam complaint so you can flag them in your database.
  • Rules Engine- Modify the content of email coming through Mandrill without having to involve developers. For example, you could tell Mandrill to take any email coming from confirmation@yourdomain.com, give it a new template, and add Google Analytics tracking.

"Quick email integration", "Free plan" and "Easy setup" are the key factors why developers consider Mailgun; whereas "Simple installation", "Great api" and "Generous free allowance to get you started" are the primary reasons why Mandrill is favored.

According to the StackShare community, Mandrill has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2313 company stacks & 208 developers stacks; compared to Mailgun, which is listed in 1490 company stacks and 268 developer stacks.

Advice on Mailgun and Mandrill

For transactional emails, notifications, reminders, etc, I want to make it so writers/designers can set up the emails and maintain them, and then dynamically insert fields, that I then replace when actually sending the mail from code.

I think the ability to use a basic layout template across individual email templates would make things a lot easier (think header, footer, standard typography, etc).

What is best for this? Why would you prefer Mailgun, SendGrid, Mandrill or something else?

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Replies (4)
Mika Henriksson
Coder at mhenrixon Consulting · | 4 upvotes · 30.5K views
Recommends
Postmark

The only transactional email service that I've been able to stomach is Postmark! It is by far the easiest (and quickest to get feedback from) service that I have come across. While drowning in attempts to debug Mandril, Mailgun and others I get quick feedback from Postmark in what I need to do.

Postmark for the win!

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Justini Powell
Lead Developer at Watermark Community Church · | 4 upvotes · 30.5K views
Recommends
Twilio SendGrid

If you need your emails to be sent in a time-sensitive manner, I'd recommend SendGrid. We were using Mailgun and the lag because they aren't "transactional" in nature caused issues for us. SendGrid also has the ability to do dynamic templates and bulk send from their API. I don't know that they have the shared layout ability you mentioned, though.

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Vit Ulicny
Recommends
Mandrill

We are using more extensively Mandrill.

It is a ok tool, which gives you the power for emailing with nice set of features.

The templates editing and management is a bit tricky, but this is mostly related to email templates in general, which are hard to create and maintain.

I do not think you can share the parts of the templates. You can have your predefined templates with possibility to insert dynamic content.

They provide a limited possibility to preview and test your templates.

The template editor is text only. For the better editors checkout http://topol.io or https://mosaico.io

Unfortunately, I do not have experience with the other tools and possibilities to manage templates.

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Aric Fedida
Founder, CTO at ASK Technologies Inc · | 1 upvotes · 30.1K views
Recommends
Twilio SendGrid

At this stage, all of the tools you mentioned do email delivery pretty well. They all support email templates as well. Here are some considerations:

  1. Twilio owns SendGrid. If you're an existing Twilio customer, in my opinion that's a good reason to use SendGrid over the other solutions. The APIs are solid, and Twilio has excellent developer tools that allow you to create interesting automations (which is important for scaling).
  2. Mandrill was created by MailChimp, who have massive experience with email delivery and specifically with emailing beautiful email templates.
  3. Mailgun is a tool on its own. Like the other two, it supports mail templates and is built to be controlled almost exclusively via APIs.

SendGrid and Mandrill have pretty nice WYSIWIG template editors as part of their platform. Not so sure about Mailgun.

So for me the considerations would be: 1. How easy is it for you to integrate with their API? How complete is their API in terms of your own specific needs? 2. Prices: Which one works best for my budget? 3. Am I OK with editing the templates elsewhere (or even by hand), and then pasting the code into Mailgun? Or do I want the comfort of Mandrill or Sendgrid with their WYSIWYG editors?

Personally I'd go with Twilio, simply because it's such a massive ecosystem they are less likely to go bankrupt, and their APIs are rock solid.

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Decisions about Mailgun and Mandrill

We chose Postmark as our transactional email service for several reasons:

  • Laser-focus (at the time) on transactional email - their success/speed/reliability with delivering transactional email is amazing. Note, they have now branched out and offer marketing/broadcast email services too.

  • Developer-friendly - Awesome docs and resources. Their Rail gem integrates directly with ActionMailer so nearly all of our code worked without changes.

  • Servers - You can set up "Servers" for different mail streams/workflows to keep things separate and easy to review.

  • Bootstrapped - Wildbit (who makes Postmark) is bootstrapped just like the Friendliest.app and they offer a service credit to other bootstrapped startups.

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Imelda Garcia

We did a quick test on the reliability of these three common email services, sending a few emails an hour at random intervals.

Unfortunately, none of them had 100% availability over the 30 day test. I don't understand why this is so hard?

Mailgun performed the best with the most reliability and fastest response times. Mandrill was notably bad.

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Slawomir Pucia
Head of Product at Coresender · | 5 upvotes · 26K views

Of course we chose Coresender to send our own transactional emails :) So I thought I'll let you know how we use it.

  • We set up separate sending accounts for all company needs, eg. transactional emails, monitoring alerts, time to inbox. We even configured our office printers to send emails through Coresender.

  • We have a real-time and extremely usable view into what emails go through each account, so each time anybody reports an email not arriving we're able to assist them in a few seconds

  • We utilize our message timeline feature, so we can learn eg. if people are clicking on password reset links

  • We always know how many of our onboarding emails are being opened which helps us improve them

  • Finally, we have full controll over our suppressions lists, so we can add (and remove!) from them whenever necessary.

To sum up, at Coresender we're eating our own dogfood and it helps us stay connected to the product and understand our customers better.

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Migrated
from
Mailgun
to
Postmark
at

While building our authentication system, we originally picked Mailgun. However, emails took minutes to arrive and some of them didn't get delivered - or got delivered to spam.

We started looking for a new provider, and settled on Postmark. We love that they track time-to-inbox, it makes me feel they really care about going above and beyond to provide a good service.

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Pros of Mailgun
Pros of Mandrill
  • 177
    Quick email integration
  • 147
    Free plan
  • 91
    Easy setup
  • 67
    Ridiculously reliable
  • 54
    Extensive apis
  • 29
    Great for parsing inbound emails
  • 25
    Nice UI
  • 23
    Developer-centric
  • 15
    Excellent customer support
  • 12
    Heroku Add-on
  • 4
    Easy to view logs of sent emails
  • 3
    Email mailbox management for developers
  • 2
    Great customer support, love rackspace
  • 2
    Great documentation
  • 1
    Great PHP library
  • 1
    Better than sendgrid not ask too many question
  • 188
    Simple installation
  • 141
    Great api
  • 123
    Generous free allowance to get you started
  • 114
    Cheap and simple
  • 99
    Trackable
  • 59
    Well-documented
  • 54
    Doesn't go to spam
  • 47
    Great for mailchimp users
  • 32
    Webhooks
  • 28
    Client libraries
  • 7
    Heroku Add-on
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Meaningful Metrics
  • 5
    Free
  • 3
    Advanced Tagging and Reports
  • 3
    Mobile Access
  • 3
    Status Update
  • 2
    Very chimp-like
  • 2
    Great Documentation
  • 2
    love this service
  • 1
    Free Plan
  • 1
    Webhooks for bounce mail

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Cons of Mailgun
Cons of Mandrill
  • 2
    Cost
  • 2
    No HTTPS tracking links supported
  • 1
    Emails go to spam due to blacklisted IP's of mailgun
  • 1
    Cannot create multiple api keys
  • 1
    Really hard to pull analytics out via api

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What is Mailgun?

Mailgun is a set of powerful APIs that allow you to send, receive, track and store email effortlessly.

What is Mandrill?

Mandrill is a new way for apps to send transactional email. It runs on the delivery infrastructure that powers MailChimp.

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What are some alternatives to Mailgun and Mandrill?
Twilio SendGrid
Twilio SendGrid's cloud-based email infrastructure relieves businesses of the cost and complexity of maintaining custom email systems. Twilio SendGrid provides reliable delivery, scalability & real-time analytics along with flexible API's.
Postmark
Postmark removes the headaches of delivering and parsing email for webapps with minimal setup time and zero maintenance.
Mailchimp
MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It's like your own personal publishing platform.
Mailjet
Mailjet is a real-time Cloud Emailing platform: scalable, agile and flexible. Our unique algorithm boosts your deliverability and our platform provides in-depth insight so you can optimize more than ever.
SparkPost
SparkPost is the world’s #1 email delivery provider. We empower companies with actionable, real-time data to send relevant email to their customers which increases engagement and both top and bottom line revenue.
See all alternatives