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Transactional email providers for indie businesses

Most businesses need to send an email from time to time. Marketing platforms aside, what if you want to send it on your terms? Here’s a table comparing the common choices for starting businesses and indie makers.

I looked at leading transactional email providers and tried to compare them in what they give you for free, what they cost per 10 000 emails/month, 20 000 emails/month, 50 000 emails/month, and for a dedicated IP address. It focuses on initial costs where the business is starting up. I am including a price for one milion emails for fun, profit, and growing B2C startups.

This table is put together in November 2020. Please let me know if this needs an update.

Provider Free plan 10 000 20 000 50 000 1M Address Validation Dedicated IP address
Mailgun 5000/month for 3 mo. $8+ $16+ $35+ $810+ $35+ $75+
SendGrid 100/day $14.95+ $14.95+ $14.95+ $449+ $89.95+ (2500) $89.95+
Postmark 100 test emails/month $10 $22.5 $50 $535+ none +$50
Mandrill none $34.00+ $34.00+ $54.00+ $734+ none +$29.95
Sendinblue 300/day $25 $39 $69 $599 none Enterprise
Pepipost 30000 free for 30 days + 100/day $25 $25 $25 $599 none $245
Mailjet 200/day $9.65 $9.65 $18.95 Enterprise none $68.95+
Transmail first 10000 emails $2.5 $5 $12.5 $250 none on request
Kingmailer 100 test emails/month $10 $20 $50 $1000 none $5
Amazon SES 62000/month $1 $2 $5 $100 none $24.95

Notes:

The table compares limits and the minimum payment but does not compare other advantages of higher volumes. Some price points might already trigger a higher plan with more emails.

Mailgun’s one dedicated IP address starts with the Foundation plan ($35) for 100k emails and up ($75). You might consider going for the growth plan ($80) already with 1000 email address validations included.

SendGrid starts the email validation at $89.95, but only for 2500 emails.

Postmark charges for dedicated IP address extra ($50), but for any volume.

Mandrill is a transactional email service from Mailchimp. Transactional email is available as an add-on to Standard ($14.99) and Premium plans. I included the Standard plan for keeping 500 contacts). Charges extra for a dedicated IP address ($29.95) for any volume.

Sendinblue offers discounts for yearly payments. Dedicated IP address are offered only in the Enterprise plan without published pricing.

Pepipost has great pricing for higher volumes. The mentioned $25/month gives you actually 150000 emails. 1 million can be as cheap as $171 for paying yearly.

Mailjet free offering inserts a logo. $398.95 gets you 900k, then you have to switch to the Enterprise plan.

Transmail is a service from Zoho Mail.

Kingmailer does not support any email type. Newsletters, announcements, and marketing emails are not supported. Dedicated IP does not seem to have any additional price. You can pay with Bitcoin.

Amazon SES pricing can get little confusing like anything in AWS. 62000 free emails in a month are for projects hosted in Amazon EC2 without data transfer fees. In general, you pay $0.10 for every 1000 emails sent, $0.12 for 1GB of attachments, and transfers.

They are some more services out there to consider, but I wanted to start with something famous and solid. Let me know on Twitter what should I add to the list.

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