Mandrill ditches free plans, stacks onto paid Mailchimp

Most of you know this by now, as it's been all over the web and a hot topic in Slack, but Mailchimp is ditching free Mandrill plans for transactional emails, and stacking Mandrill onto paid Mailchimp plans.

But even if you already have a paid Mailchimp account, you'll still have to pay $20 per month per 25,000 emails. Considering many folks don't send anywhere near 25,000 emails with Mandrill, it makes an already expensive plan ($/email) even more expensive.

While it's a completely understandable business move, it's left many developers scrambling for alternatives. I think most people scrambling to make a move aren't upset that it's no longer free, but rather that it's quite a quick transition, and it's an expensive move to top it all off.

There's been a good bit of conversation around which alternatives to look at, and Remkus de Vries has the go to post on viable alternatives, I think.

I've seen messages from people saying all of those Remkus lists as being great for various reasons, and only a few things stuck out to me particularly to note:

  • While Mailgun allows 10,000 emails per month free, Ryan McCue found that they have a high spam rate, according to Inbox trail, and that's not good.
  • Amazon SES is cheap and reliable, and if you're already a heavy Amazon service user, it seems like a no-brainer. Human Made has a plugin to use it with WordPress, as Human Made tends to do.
  • Personally, I really dig Wildbit, the company behind Postmark. Postmark offers 25,000 emails for free (so a free trial, basically), and then pricing starts at $1 per 1,000 emails with discounts for larger batches. I use Deploybot from this same company (you may also know of Beanstalk) and their service is great. I'm tempted to try Postmark, though their “official” plugin for WordPress isn't by them.

Remkus lists other options, and I'm considering the latter two I've noted here, but check out his post for more, and of course your mileage may vary. I'd love to stay with Mandrill, but the batch pricing is a little too high for me. I prefer Postmark's billing method that I don't pay for more until I need them, versus monthly.

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