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Mandrill

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Mandrill vs SparkPost: What are the differences?

What is 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.

What is SparkPost? Email Delivery and Analytics for Developers and Enterprises. 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.

Mandrill and SparkPost belong to "Transactional Email" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Mandrill are:

  • 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.

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

  • Quick and easy SMTP or REST API integration
  • Free trial
  • Real-time & predictive analytics

"Simple installation" is the primary reason why developers consider Mandrill over the competitors, whereas "I could start sending real emails in less than 5 mins" was stated as the key factor in picking SparkPost.

According to the StackShare community, Mandrill has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2312 company stacks & 205 developers stacks; compared to SparkPost, which is listed in 49 company stacks and 14 developer stacks.

Advice on Mandrill and SparkPost

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 · 33.5K views
Recommends
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 · 33.5K views
Recommends
PostmarkPostmark

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
Recommends
MandrillMandrill

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 · 33.1K views
Recommends
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 Mandrill and SparkPost
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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Pros of Mandrill
Pros of SparkPost
  • 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
  • 10
    I could start sending real emails in less than 5 mins
  • 2
    Email don't end up in spam after DNS verification
  • 1
    Flexible, robust API
  • 1
    Very easy to integrate with Laravel

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Cons of Mandrill
Cons of SparkPost
  • 1
    Really hard to pull analytics out via api
  • 1
    Suspended paid acount without warning or reason
  • 1
    Spam trap reports are suspicious b/c all users opted in
  • 1
    Support won't answer mail (9h so far)
  • 1
    Only free for 100 emails/day
  • 1
    New dedicated ip blacklisted by some clients

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What is Mandrill?

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

What is 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.

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What companies use Mandrill?
What companies use SparkPost?
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What are some alternatives to Mandrill and SparkPost?
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.
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.
Apache Drill
Apache Drill is a distributed MPP query layer that supports SQL and alternative query languages against NoSQL and Hadoop data storage systems. It was inspired in part by Google's Dremel.
Mailgun
Mailgun is a set of powerful APIs that allow you to send, receive, track and store email effortlessly.
Gmail
An easy to use email app that saves you time and keeps your messages safe. Get your messages instantly via push notifications, read and respond online & offline, and find any message quickly.
See all alternatives