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Mailgun vs Postmark: What are the differences?


Mailgun and Postmark are both popular email delivery services that provide reliable and scalable solutions for sending transactional emails. While both offer similar functionalities, there are a few key differences that set them apart.

1. Scalability:

Mailgun provides highly scalable email infrastructure, allowing users to send large volumes of emails efficiently. It offers features like email validation, routing, and automatic handling of bounces and spam complaints. Postmark, on the other hand, focuses on providing a high-quality email delivery service with excellent deliverability rates, but it may not be as scalable as Mailgun for very high email volumes.

2. Pricing Structure:

Mailgun follows a tiered pricing structure based on the number of email sends per month. This means that as the volume of emails increases, the cost per email decreases. Postmark, on the other hand, has a fixed pricing model based on the number of outgoing emails, regardless of the volume. Depending on the specific email sending needs, one pricing model may be more cost-effective than the other.

3. Email Templates and Design:

Mailgun provides a flexible template engine that allows users to create dynamic and personalized email templates easily. It supports multiple programming languages and provides a drag-and-drop editor for designing visually appealing emails. Postmark offers a more straightforward approach to email templates, focusing on simplicity and ease of use, without the drag-and-drop editor.

4. API Features and Integrations:

Both Mailgun and Postmark offer robust APIs that allow developers to integrate email functionality into their applications seamlessly. However, Mailgun has a broader range of features and integrations available, including inbound email processing, webhooks, and advanced analytics. Postmark primarily focuses on delivering emails and doesn't provide the same level of breadth in terms of additional features and integrations.

5. Email Testing and Analytics:

Mailgun offers comprehensive email testing and analytics features, allowing users to track delivery rates, engagement, and even perform A/B testing. It provides detailed reports and insights to improve email performance. Postmark also provides delivery statistics and bounce handling, but it doesn't offer the same level of granular analytics and testing capabilities as Mailgun.

6. Reputation and Deliverability:

Both Mailgun and Postmark have established good reputations in the email delivery industry and ensure high deliverability rates. However, Mailgun allows users to maintain their own sender reputation and IP addresses, providing more control and flexibility in managing email deliverability. Postmark manages sender reputation on behalf of users, ensuring high deliverability but with less flexibility for customization.

In summary, Mailgun offers highly scalable infrastructure, a tiered pricing structure, flexible templates, extensive API features and integrations, comprehensive email testing and analytics, and customizable sender reputation. Postmark focuses on quality email delivery, fixed pricing, simplicity in template design, limited additional features and integrations, basic analytics, and reputation management on behalf of users.

Advice on Mailgun and Postmark

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)
Justini Powell
Lead Developer at Watermark Community Church · | 4 upvotes · 89.2K views
Twilio SendGridTwilio 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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Mika Henriksson
Coder at mhenrixon Consulting · | 4 upvotes · 89.2K views

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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Vit Ulicny

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 or

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 · 88.6K views
Twilio SendGridTwilio 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 Postmark

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 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 · 81.3K 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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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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