Mailchimp recently advised of various changes to its awesome Mandrill transaction email service. The most significant change for small businesses and low volume senders is that there is now a minimum monthly subscription cost of $20. This relates to a high cost per send if your transactional email volumes are low.
I’ve been using Amazon SES in place of Mandrill for a few weeks on one of my WordPress websites and it is super reliable and cost effective. The one issue I have is that it isn’t straightforward to use a single Amazon SES account and send from multiple domains using that single account (when starting out with Amazon SES).
I therefore started my search for a transactional email service with the following criteria:
- Must be low cost for my low volume sending (I don’t use the service for ecommerce but just for contact form emails).
- Good reputation for reliability and deliverability.
- Easy integration with WordPress (preferably via a plugin developed by the transactional email service).
- Easy to find SPF and DKIM settings.
- Easy to setup to send from multiple domains.
Essentially I was looking for a service similar to what Mandrill used to be.
Using Mailgun to send WordPress emails
I looked at SendGrid however their monthly costs are too high for my low volume sending. I then found my Mandrill replacement; Mailgun.
Mailgun (a Rackspace service) allows for 200 free sends per day which is more than I need and satisfies all my criteria as listed above. Furthermore, Mailgun is really quick and simple to setup with a single or multiple sending domains. I love the ease of use of Mandrill and Mailgun is just as good.
Using Mailgun to send emails from WordPress was really easy to setup. I installed the Mailgun for WordPress plugin which is a free plugin developed by Mailgun themselves. Just a few setting were needed to be entered in WordPress (such as the API key) and then all was good. My website contact form emails are now being sent by Mailgun.
Using Mailjet to send WordPress emails
After I had installed and configured Mailgun to send my WordPress website emails I noticed that Mailjet also has a free account. They have also developed a free WordPress plugin (called Mailjet for WordPress).
I haven’t tried Mailjet but, from what I can see, it also looks good and is worth a try if you don’t like Mailgun for whatever reason.
Should you use Amazon SES, Mailgun or Mailjet with WordPress?
Before the merging of Mandrill into Mailchimp (and the subsequent price implications), I would have recommended Mandrill (I’m a Mailchimp listed Expert so am biased 😉 ).
I’ve used Amazon SES and Mailgun with WordPress and have both found very good. I haven’t used Mailjet so can’t rate their service.
For my small volume purposes, Mailgun is my preference for its free sending and easy to use WordPress plugin.