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Mailchimp making some pretty drastic changes to Mandrill


#1

Reading between the lines - they basically they want out of the transactional email delivery business as Amazon etc have made it a commodity.

Lots of pretty pissed off customers (including me - I spend about $1k per year with them but only on the PAYG plan which won’t allow me to also PAY for Mandrill with new scheme)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11170713

(+nice dig on twitter here)

Thats the problem when you use external services eh? Quick and easy and trouble free… until it isn’t. Ironically I chose Mandrill in the first place as I thought being part of big long established Mailchimp would be a safe bet.


#2

I’ve used mailgun for the last 2 years, love them. Check them out if you’re looking for alternatives.


#3

Ditto, lol. Switching to Mailgun.


#4

I have been using Postmark and it works pretty well. I get higher delivery rates than I did with SendGrid.


#5

I’m also quite irritated with the short notice and lack of grandfathering. I’m moving to Postmark and am happy to read confirmations here of their high delivery rates.

Another service that announced a forced paid plan recently was Ngrok. Going to stick with them as it’s still a good deal.


#6

I have been using Mandrill and Postmark, both are good. After the news, I just moved everything to Postmark.


#7

I feel like they’ve really shot themselves in the foot here. Seems they could have achieved the same result without fucking over existing customers by simply removing mandrill’s free plan, and requiring Mandrill accounts to be tied to any Mailchimp account, free or paid.

I’ve always used Mailgun, and agree with @shanelabs, they’re well worth checking out if you now have to migrate from Mandrill.


#8

Yeah I actually wrote a big post on the whole thing:

http://magemail.co/blog/mandrill-debacle.html

Towards the bottom is a spreadsheet where I’m comparing all the other service providers as I’m looking for an alternative.

Seems they could have achieved the same result without f***ing over existing customers by simply removing mandrill’s free plan, and requiring Mandrill accounts to be tied to any Mailchimp account, free or paid.

150% agree. They keep saying “the decision was well considered” and stuff like that without actually replying to peoples’ critiques or explaining why they are doing what they’re doing despite the obvious fact that it’s ridiculous, which is driving me insane.

I did finally get a reply from Ben Chestnut on a blog post comment - who interestingly enough has an account on this forum although I doubt he uses it much - but he still really hasn’t addressed any of the issues.

Also someone named Tony reached out from Mailchimp to me personally but hasn’t really addressed any of the issues either. I think the corporate-speak is the most frustrating thing in all of this - who ever expected that from Mailchimp!?


Postmark - my understanding is that you can’t use them for marketing email. @pjc your emails might be considered marketing no?

Mailgun - they seem solid and I’m playing with them as an option but their deliverability on https://www.inboxtrail.com/compare isn’t amazing right now.

That’s only one data point but still it’s not exactly encouraging when you basically don’t want to have to worry or wonder about deliverability ever.

they basically want out of the transactional email delivery business as Amazon etc have made it a commodity

Well the funny thing is they’re the ones that made it a commodity!. They introduced their insanely cheap free plan which many competitors were forced to match. Sendgrid for example didn’t use to have a free plan and then they mysteriously showed up with 12k free emails soon after Mandrill did it.

It is true that SES’s pricing is cheaper though. I was thinking of going with them but I sometimes run into edge cases with my customers so it’s important for me to be able to get support when I need it - which is why I’m probably not going to go with them personally.

Leaning towards Sendgrid right now but haven’t fully made up my mind yet.


#9

@kalen we’re moving to Postmark because they have 45 days of email content storage. Sendgrid has none I’ve been told. This feature has been crucial in my customer support and I assume your app’s support needs are quite similar.

Edit: One thing neither has but Mandrill did (and still does, but they are dead to me) is non-verified sender emails. So you can’t send from hello@mycustomerdomain.com. That’s an issue for our app as we now offer it to our customers, and not all inboxes respect ReplyTo headers so it will be a mess. Either will need to add +customername to the from emails and process inbound replies to forward automatically to the shops or get all my customers to verify their domains to Postmark (if at all possible).

Edit2: Just found out Postmark is very strict on no marketing email. That may become an issue. God this is a mess.


#10

Just found out Postmark is very strict on no marketing email

That’s what I said :slightly_smiling:. Sorry bud.

Postmark because they have 45 days of email content storage. Sendgrid has none I’ve been told

Yeah this is probably something I need to consider. I’m doing some content storage on my end in some cases but not in others.

Non-verified sending

Yeah good point - I also use that in initial onboarding, then push them to verify.


#11

hmmm… I just came across this at the bottom of Postmark’s pricing page:


#12

They also offer 100K free credits for being DKIM compliant: https://postmarkapp.com/blog/get-100000-free-postmark-credits

I’ve emailed one of the Wildbit co-founders (the team behind Postmark) to verify if triggered emails are OK for them, will keep you posted @kalenjordan


#13

Postmark confirmed that triggered emails are OK @kalenjordan . However they want customers to have less than 10 spam complaints per 10K emails and reach out to you if you don’t.


#14

Hi everyone. Chris here from Postmark.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to respond quickly. Our definition of transactional does have some grey areas, so maybe I can help explain. We usually say that if you can send it from an email marketing system, you probably should. Otherwise, if it is a triggered message from your application, it’s transactional. Our main focus is on high engagement and low spam rates - we enforce this heavily.


#15

Got it thanks! Sounds reasonable. Unfortunately I moved into the newsletter blast territory with my latest product (in addition to the triggered emails I was doing before) so I guess that wouldn’t be an option for me. But probably a great option for others that don’t need that.


#16

Anyone heard good/bad about SparkPost - they certainly seem to be making all the right noises (e.g. we’re in this long haul, will grandfather old accounts if pricing changes etc).


#17

Hi, guys! As for ex-Mandrill users as those who are searching for the right transactional email platform, the one with all the features you need exists! http://maildocker.com/blog/maildocker-the-best-free-alternative-to-mandrill/


#18

I’m also pissed off about this.

The feature I miss the most is the non-verified domains. It’s very important to send the emails from my clients’ domains. I’m not an expert on this, but can sendgrid use VIA headers without having to verify the from address?


#19

Anyone heard good/bad about SparkPost

@Rhino I had a chat with a sales rep named Mike over there - nice guy and they have some fairly large customers that use their MTA - although that’s kind of apples and oranges with their SaaS offering.

It looks like they are the recommended provider for Mandrill - Mandril linked them up in their blog post and said they would be honoring all Mandrill pricing agreements.

Previously a recommendation from Mandrill would have meant a lot to me before I lost pretty much all trust in them.

They increased their free tier from 10k to 100k which is a pretty huge red flag for me. I’ll definitely have some customers using them so I’ll be supporting them but not planning to use them myself.


@maildocker thanks for posting here - you guys seem to have a pretty solid offering. Have you considered trying to get listed with inboxtrail?


I’m not an expert on this, but can sendgrid use VIA headers without having to verify the from address?

@Virgil yes I believe they do - and if they don’t I’ll be finding out very soon because I’m planning to move to them and this is currently part of my workflow.


#20

Hi, @kalenjordan! Thanks for the contact. We honor to keep our prices even cheaper than Sparkpost, please check here: maildocker.com/pricing/ We contacted Inboxtrail so they can check Maildocker. We created a unique opportunity for those who come from Mandrill: we offer 50% discount for 01 year! :grinning: