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Postmark vs SendGrid: What are the differences?
Developers describe Postmark as "Email delivery for web apps - done right". Postmark removes the headaches of delivering and parsing transactional email for webapps with minimal setup time and zero maintenance. On the other hand, SendGrid is detailed as "Email Delivery. Simplified". SendGrid's cloud-based email infrastructure relieves businesses of the cost and complexity of maintaining custom email systems. SendGrid provides reliable delivery, scalability and real-time analytics along with flexible API's that make custom integration a breeze.
Postmark and SendGrid can be primarily classified as "Transactional Email" tools.
Some of the features offered by Postmark are:
- Create a new virtual server- Instant access to our infrastructure, no waiting required. Create as many servers as you want, for each of your web applications and environments.
- Drop code into your app- Swap in our SMTP endpoint, or get started with our APIs using one of our send API libraries for Ruby, Rails, .NET, Python, PHP, and more.
- Send emails and track delivery- A beautiful interface to monitor volume, bounces, spam complaints, and send activity. View full email content to troubleshoot issues.
On the other hand, SendGrid provides the following key features:
- Open Tracking
- Click Tracking
- Unsubscribe Tracking
"Simple" is the primary reason why developers consider Postmark over the competitors, whereas "Easy setup" was stated as the key factor in picking SendGrid.
Instacart, Slack, and StackShare are some of the popular companies that use SendGrid, whereas Postmark is used by Docplanner, Meetupcall, and Lighthouse. SendGrid has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2692 company stacks & 421 developers stacks; compared to Postmark, which is listed in 66 company stacks and 15 developer stacks.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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:
- 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).
- Mandrill was created by MailChimp, who have massive experience with email delivery and specifically with emailing beautiful email templates.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros of Postmark
- Great analytics10
- Email, done right8
- Easy setup5
- Heroku Add-on5
- Can review sent messages2
- Very inexpensive1
- Exceptional support1
- Pay per message1
- Great support1
Pros of Twilio SendGrid
- Easy setup190
- Cheap and simple137
- Easy email integration!107
- Generous free allowance to get you started28
- Heroku add-on21
- Azure add-on15
- Better support for third party integrations13
- Free plan6
- Simple installation6
- Helpful evangelist staff4
- Great client libraries4
- Great add-ons3
- Great support3
- Better customer support than the competition3
- Nice dashboard2
- Great customer support1
- Google cloud messaging1
- Web editor for templates1
- Cool setup1
- Within integration1
- Easy set up1
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Cons of Postmark
- No 24x7 support1
Cons of Twilio SendGrid
- Google analytics integration is not campaign-specific3
- Shared IP blacklist removal takes months1
- Shares IP blacklist removal0
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