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Mandrill Alternatives


Circo

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Mandrill just announced it will no longer be a free service, and all functionality will be migrating to a MailChimp add-on. They sent this communication to current users of the Mandrill service:

Quote

We're writing to let you know about some significant changes that will affect your Mandrill account.

Going forward, all Mandrill users will be required to have a paid monthly MailChimp account and verify ownership of all sending domains. Here's the timeline: Starting 3/16, all new Mandrill users will create accounts through MailChimp, and current Mandrill users can merge their existing Mandrill account with a monthly MailChimp account. Current users will have until 4/27 to merge their accounts.

Why we're making this change

The MailChimp team built Mandrill in 2012 as a transactional email tool. Mandrill has always been under the MailChimp umbrella, but it has functioned as a completely separate product. Mandrill is now becoming an optional add-on to paid MailChimp accounts. This is a strategic change we're making to close the gap between the two products and focus on the MailChimp marketing platform. MailChimp is designed for marketing, and Mandrill is designed for transactional messages. Each is powerful on its own, and offering Mandrill as an add-on makes MailChimp even more powerful for our small business and e-commerce customers. Our CEO and cofounder Ben Chestnut wrote more about the changes on the MailChimp blog.

What you need to know

The application's functionality and look and feel are not changing at this time. Here are the important changes that will affect your account:

  • Starting today, Mandrill will adopt MailChimp's Terms of Use and Acceptable Use Policy. These terms reinforce that Mandrill should be used for transactional email, and bulk email/email marketing campaigns should be sent through MailChimp. In addition, MailChimp's Privacy Policy, which has always covered Mandrill, has been updated. If you have any questions about our policy changes, please email legal@mailchimp.com.
  • To continue using Mandrill, all users will be required to have a paid monthly MailChimp account by 4/27.
  • All Mandrill users will be required to verify their sending domains and add SPF and DKIM records by 4/27. This is already in effect for new Mandrill users.
  • Starting 3/16, all new Mandrill accounts will be created and accessed through MailChimp.
  • Starting 3/16, the Mandrill mobile application will no longer be available for installation. It will remain functional for existing users until 4/27.
  • Our billing and pricing model is also changing. MailChimp will generate one consolidated bill that covers your MailChimp and Mandrill charges. Mandrill credits will be sold in blocks of 25,000 emails. Blocks will start at $20 per month. This goes into effect once your accounts are merged.
  • Any existing discounts, free credits, and free accounts will no longer be valid once your accounts are merged.

What you need to do

  • If you already have a paid monthly MailChimp account, you’ll be able to merge your accounts starting on 3/16. We’ll send detailed instructions at that time.
  • If you don't have a paid monthly MailChimp account and decide to create one, you can go to mailchimp.com and do so at any time. You'll be able to merge your accounts starting on 3/16. We'll send detailed instructions at that time.
  • If you haven't already done so, you'll need to add SPF and DKIM records and verify ownership of your sending domains. Here's an article explaining how to do that. Starting 4/27, Mandrill will not send any email from unverified domains or domains without valid SPF and DKIM records, including public domains likegmail.com and yahoo.com.

If you don't have a paid monthly MailChimp account merged with your Mandrill account by 4/27, then your Mandrill account will be disabled.

If you have questions or need technical support, please log in to your Mandrill account and click Support in your dashboard. We've made support available to all users on free and paid accounts.

We know this is disruptive, and we understand that it may affect your decision to use Mandrill. Please know that we carefully considered these changes. The new structure will allow us to create more flexible products and better serve our customers. Thanks for using Mandrill, and we hope to welcome you to MailChimp soon.

- The Mandrill team

Since Mandrill will no longer be a free option for IPS users, I think it would be beneficial to also support other competing platforms. SendGrid in particular has the same feature set and better pricing. IPS users should be given a choice. Since this change is fast approaching, would the Invision team give priority to this matter? What are everyone's thoughts on the matter?

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50 minutes ago, Lindy said:

This caught us by surprise as well - we're reaching out to Mandrill to clarify a couple of points and also looking at alternatives. 

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you for looking into it. I've done a bit of research and it looks like the two best alternatives are SparkPost and SendGrid. Both of those services still offer a free option, which make them fantastic options for community enhancements.

Edit: Here are some plan details.

SparkPost

sparkpost.thumb.png.cab98abb42b3049a0274

SendGrid
Free

  • 12,000 Emails/mo

Essentials

  • 40,000 Emails/mo for $9.95
  • 100,000 Emails/mo for $19.95

Pro

  • 100,000 Emails/mo for $79.95
  • 300,000 Emails/mo for $199.95
  • 700,000 Emails/mo for $399.95
Edited by Circo
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On 2/25/2016 at 0:09 PM, Circo said:

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you for looking into it. I've done a bit of research and it looks like the two best alternatives are SparkPost and SendGrid. Both of those services still offer a free option, which make them fantastic options for community enhancements.

Did SparkPost change their plans since you posted that?  It looks like they're offering 100k sends/month for free now, far more than any other provider I've seen.

I wonder if bounce handling could be added to the core of the Suite if another provider is integrated as a community enhancement to replace Mandrill.

As for replacement providers, I'd want one with SPF/DKIM customization, open/click tracking (with a custom CNAME), and preferably subaccounts (or similar) like Mandrill so I can use separate API keys for my sites and view statistics per-site.  And, of course, good deliverability and fair pricing for low- and high-volume senders.

Also, this is an interesting tweet from Mandrill the same day they sent out that email (8 hours before I received it):

 

Edited by Nick²
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On 2/25/2016 at 10:37 AM, Lindy said:

This caught us by surprise as well - we're reaching out to Mandrill to clarify a couple of points and also looking at alternatives. 

thanks.gif Thank you so much @Lindy

 

2 minutes ago, CheersnGears said:

I'm liking both SparkPost and SendGrid

Me too! The free option is a definite, because some sites do not generate any revenue, and for us small businesses, the $9.95 package is definitely more affordable than the minimum package with MailChimp.

 

On 2/25/2016 at 11:09 AM, Circo said:

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you for looking into it. I've done a bit of research and it looks like the two best alternatives are SparkPost and SendGrid. Both of those services still offer a free option, which make them fantastic options for community enhancements.

Edit: Here are some plan details.

SparkPost

sparkpost.thumb.png.cab98abb42b3049a0274

SendGrid
Free

  • 12,000 Emails/mo

Essentials

  • 40,000 Emails/mo for $9.95
  • 100,000 Emails/mo for $19.95

Pro

  • 100,000 Emails/mo for $79.95
  • 300,000 Emails/mo for $199.95
  • 700,000 Emails/mo for $399.95

@Circo thanks.gif for the helpful information!

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Hi Sherri,

Its really easy. I was more confused about what to enter when altering the DNS in Cpanel more than anything else because there were existing entries.

Don't miss the larger topic Martin pointed to above, these topics should ideally be merged.

Remember to create an API first and set preferably both of your SPF and DKIM settings for your DNS as instructed and then verify them.

In IPS, remember to deactivate Mandrill first in the Community Enhancements section.

Then just go to the Email Settings:

Choose SMTP for the Mail Delivery Method.

SMTP Host: smtp.sparkpostmail.com

SMTP Protocol: choose TLS

SMTP Port: 587

SMTP Username: SMTP_Injection

SMTP Password: Paste your unique API Key in as your password.

Hit save and it will send a test email to your email address.

If you need help PM me at IBTheme, I'm no expert but I'd be happy to try and help.

There seems to be some issues with Bulk Mail at the moment, which I know as a customer you use, so you may want to hold fire for the moment.

Edited by The Old Man
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15 hours ago, Jesse Lambdin said:

I've verified everything with SparkPost (SPF, DKIM, Abuse, and Postmaster emails. All settings are correct from the IPB side of things but emails are failing. The error is connection refused? Any ideas?

Double-check your email username in the ACP -- it is NOT your SparkPost username, it's "SMTP_Injection".

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On 28 February 2016 at 1:15 AM, IBTheme said:

thanks.gif @The Old Man very much! I'll hold off for now until it's fixed in the next IPB update and then I'll give it a try. :thumbsup:

Hi Sherri,

IPS have released a fix. It works great for the bulk mailer and also fixes some normal emails (digest emails) that were refused by Sparkpost according to my email error log:-

 

 

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On 04/03/2016 at 0:37 PM, Lenny Warren said:

I've been trying t get the SendGrid to work with my forum,

56d9818d069bd_ScreenShot2016-03-04at12.3

every time I enter details as above, get the error message...

56d9818fc890a_ScreenShot2016-03-04at12.3

Daft question but did you register with Sparkpost or Sendgrid? You have entered settings for Sparkpost, but mentioned SendGrid at the start of your post? That password seems way too long as OpenType mentioned.

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On 3/2/2016 at 6:20 AM, Prank said:

I moved our emails to Amazon SES over the weekend. There's no competitors when it comes to the price (note that we send far too many emails for any free plan.)

That said, we have no tracking with SES so we need to implement our own.

Can u please pm me the steps - i will like to opt for the same..

Thanks

Regards

Saurabh

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On March 1, 2016 at 3:06 AM, The Old Man said:

Hi Jesse,

Did you creat an API for your website to use, and use the API key as your password?

Yes

On March 1, 2016 at 0:44 PM, eGullet said:

Double-check your email username in the ACP -- it is NOT your SparkPost username, it's "SMTP_Injection".

This is correct.

On March 4, 2016 at 7:37 AM, Lenny Warren said:

I've been trying t get the SendGrid to work with my forum,

56d9818d069bd_ScreenShot2016-03-04at12.3

every time I enter details as above, get the error message...

56d9818fc890a_ScreenShot2016-03-04at12.3

I'm getting this same exact error. The SMTP password is long because it is the API Key.

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