Mautic can do a whole lot of smart stuff for your email, except sending it! Mautic users have to use a third party service to send emails, in this post I'll go over 3 different options for sending Mautic emails, the pros and cons of each and I'll give you a final recommendation for your business type.
There's a lot to consider when choosing the best email delivery for Mautic emails, for starters a lot of work can go into building Mautic campaigns, in those cases, the cost of sending emails will be just a small fraction of the overall spend and deliverability should be second to nothing. On the other hand, companies using Mautic to send newsletters or simpler DRIP campaigns might be more sensible to the cost of sending these emails. And finally, heavily IT bound companies might care less about pricing and will consider flexibility as the main feature to consider.
I have chosen 3 companies that will cater to each of those needs, keep reading!
Amazon SES vs SendGrid vs Elastic Email
Mautic - Amazon SES:
Amazon Simple Email Service is probably the preferred option among Mautic users and there are several reasons for it:
- 65K free emails per month if you send them from any other AWS service.
- Very competitive pricing, $1 for every 10K emails is hard to beat!
- Good Deliverability
- Dozens of other Cloud Services that you can use within the same platform and can communicate with SES.
- Complexity: SES is designed by and for Systems engineers and DevOps engineers, if you are not used to navigating the Amazon UI or their powerful APIs, setting up SES for Mautic will get confusing, it's not simple or friendly for the average marketer and can get quite difficult to setup depending on your level of technical knowledge. If you're not very well acquainted with cloud computing services, try to stay away. In fact, a huge percentage of support requests in Mautic's Slack and forums are about setting up SES.
- Needs additional services to properly communicate with Mautic. Amazon SES doesn't return DNC (Do Not Contact), spam, bounce and other deliverability information to Mautic by default, for that you will have to setup another additional service, SNS (Amazon Simple Notification Service). Funny both services include the word "simple" in their names, I guess their view of simplicity is not the same as mine... SNS is among the less intuitive services of AWS (unless you are already used to manage msg queues, then it's a snap, hehe).
- Pricing goes up when you start adding your traffic (images are heavy and costly to send) and the cost of other services like SNS.
- Mautic only includes an SMTP connector to Amazon SES. SES has an API you can use with Mautic, it's just not implemented out of the box and sending emails via SMTP is slow and cumbersome compared to API. If you want to send email to SES via API you'll have to work it out yourself.
- SES Setup is a 2 step process, first you enable the service, then you are put into the sandbox and you have to manually request permission, via email, to get out of the sandbox, most of the times a third step is required to also increase your sending limits, again via email...
- Support is slow unless you pay for an extra support plan, you need to ask your questions in the forums.
In general, SES offers a super strong combination of features, pricing, and deliverability, if you have the technical knowledge or are willing to learn, Amazon SES will make you smile.
Mautic - Sendgrid
Sendgrid is among the biggest email senders in the world and the biggest in the USA.
- Excellent deliverability
- Easy to configure
- Send emails via API
- Friendly and easy to understand web control panel.
- Top notch Support! Included in the price...
- Pricing is about triple than SES in most cases and get's more and more expensive (in comparison) the more emails you send, so you could easily end paying 4x or 5x more to Sendgrid that it would cost you on SES or Elastic Email, and that's a lot!
Sendgrid is the biggest email delivery company for a reason (about 5 times bigger than SES or Elastic Email). Deliverability is probably the strongest selling point, but it also comes with the best support and the most friendly and informative control panel. Question is, is it worth 400% extra cost for you?
Mautic - Elastic email
Elastic Email is the smallest of the bunch. They are making huge efforts to modernize their offering, they now have more or less the same features that the other 2 providers in this post and they offer you the best price of them all. While I use SES and Sendgrid regularly, I have never used Elastic Email myself, hence the pros and cons are based only on opinions found around the Internet.
- Lots of emails for free (100K per month) that you can send from anywhere.
- Pricing is even better than SES ($0.9 per 10K emails)
- Everything is included on the price, making them about 15%-30% cheaper than SES.
- Deliverability is said to be just OK (but I have no numbers to prove it)
- Support is included in the price but it's not the best service around (based on opinions found on the Internet)
- SMTP based delivery (not API)
I have decided to include this company in this post because I fill it perfectly fits the needs of an important group of Mautic users, sadly I haven't yet tried it myself so my opinions are just a reflection of what "the Internet" says about the company.
Technically, Mautic really doesn't care about the provider you choose, so you should choose one that fits well your business needs.
If you want the best service and top deliverability rates, Sendgrid will keep you happy as long as you have deep pockets.
This option is ideal for medium or small businesses where a general manager or the marketing department will be responsible for email since no technical knowledge is required and the Web-UI is very good and offers powerful and simple to operate deliverability and troubleshooting tools out of the box.
The flexibility SES offers for IT teams is not matched anywhere else and SES offers a very strong and competitive product overall. If you already are using some other AWS services, SES makes a lot of sense, since all of its limitations are so only if you are not used to the cloud services model AWS uses, otherwise, it's all advantages! The 65K free emails for companies sending email from within AWS also sweeten the offer a lot for the smaller senders.
If cost is a concern and you don't want to deal with the technicalities of Amazon SES, Elastic Email is a good alternative. Elastic Email is the only email company offering even lower prices than SES and 100K emails for free each month that you can send from absolutely anywhere (while free emails on SES are only for users of other AWS services). If your email doesn't need 99% deliverability and you don't mind dealing with mediocre support, give it a try, it might surprise you!
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