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Mailgun vs SparkPost: What are the differences?

Introduction:

Mailgun and SparkPost are both email delivery services that offer reliable and scalable solutions for sending transactional and marketing emails. While they have similar goals, there are key differences that set them apart. Below are the six key differences between Mailgun and SparkPost.

  1. Pricing and Plans: Mailgun offers a flexible pricing structure based on the number of monthly messages, allowing users to choose a plan that aligns with their volume requirements. On the other hand, SparkPost has tiered pricing plans that include features like dedicated IP addresses and advanced analytics, which may be more suitable for businesses with specific needs or higher email volumes.

  2. Email Validation and Verification: Mailgun provides an email validation API that allows users to verify the delivery status of an email address, reducing bounce rates and improving deliverability. SparkPost also offers similar email validation features but goes a step further by providing real-time email verification through integrations with third-party services, allowing users to validate email addresses at the point of entry.

  3. Email Templates and Personalization: Mailgun allows users to create and manage email templates using their simple templating language, enabling easy customization and personalization of emails. SparkPost, on the other hand, offers a more advanced template engine that supports conditional logic, loops, dynamic content, and data binding, providing greater flexibility in creating highly personalized and dynamic email campaigns.

  4. Advanced Email Analytics and Reporting: SparkPost offers comprehensive real-time email analytics and reporting, providing detailed insights on email engagement, delivery rates, bounces, opens, and clicks. In comparison, Mailgun provides basic email analytics, including delivery statuses and event tracking, but lacks the advanced reporting capabilities offered by SparkPost.

  5. Deliverability Management: SparkPost places a strong emphasis on deliverability management, providing users with tools and features to monitor and improve their email deliverability rates. This includes features such as engagement tracking, spam complaint reporting, and IP reputation monitoring. Mailgun offers similar deliverability management features but to a lesser extent, focusing more on the technical aspects of email delivery.

  6. API and Integration Flexibility: Both Mailgun and SparkPost provide robust APIs for seamless integration with existing systems and applications. However, SparkPost offers a wider range of integrations with popular marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, making it more suitable for businesses that rely heavily on these systems for their email marketing campaigns.

In summary, Mailgun and SparkPost differ in their pricing plans, email validation capabilities, email templating and personalization features, email analytics and reporting, deliverability management focus, and integration options. Ultimately, the choice between Mailgun and SparkPost depends on the specific needs and priorities of an organization when it comes to email delivery and marketing.

Advice on Mailgun and SparkPost

For transactional emails, notifications, reminders, etc, I want to make it so writers/designers can set up the emails and maintain them, and then dynamically insert fields, that I then replace when actually sending the mail from code.

I think the ability to use a basic layout template across individual email templates would make things a lot easier (think header, footer, standard typography, etc).

What is best for this? Why would you prefer Mailgun, SendGrid, Mandrill or something else?

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Replies (4)
Justini Powell
Lead Developer at Watermark Community Church · | 4 upvotes · 88.7K views
Recommends
on
Twilio SendGridTwilio SendGrid

If you need your emails to be sent in a time-sensitive manner, I'd recommend SendGrid. We were using Mailgun and the lag because they aren't "transactional" in nature caused issues for us. SendGrid also has the ability to do dynamic templates and bulk send from their API. I don't know that they have the shared layout ability you mentioned, though.

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Mika Henriksson
Coder at mhenrixon Consulting · | 4 upvotes · 88.6K views
Recommends
on
PostmarkPostmark

The only transactional email service that I've been able to stomach is Postmark! It is by far the easiest (and quickest to get feedback from) service that I have come across. While drowning in attempts to debug Mandril, Mailgun and others I get quick feedback from Postmark in what I need to do.

Postmark for the win!

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Vit Ulicny
Recommends
on
MandrillMandrill

We are using more extensively Mandrill.

It is a ok tool, which gives you the power for emailing with nice set of features.

The templates editing and management is a bit tricky, but this is mostly related to email templates in general, which are hard to create and maintain.

I do not think you can share the parts of the templates. You can have your predefined templates with possibility to insert dynamic content.

They provide a limited possibility to preview and test your templates.

The template editor is text only. For the better editors checkout http://topol.io or https://mosaico.io

Unfortunately, I do not have experience with the other tools and possibilities to manage templates.

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Aric Fedida
Founder, CTO at ASK Technologies Inc · | 1 upvotes · 88K views
Recommends
on
Twilio SendGridTwilio SendGrid

At this stage, all of the tools you mentioned do email delivery pretty well. They all support email templates as well. Here are some considerations:

  1. Twilio owns SendGrid. If you're an existing Twilio customer, in my opinion that's a good reason to use SendGrid over the other solutions. The APIs are solid, and Twilio has excellent developer tools that allow you to create interesting automations (which is important for scaling).
  2. Mandrill was created by MailChimp, who have massive experience with email delivery and specifically with emailing beautiful email templates.
  3. Mailgun is a tool on its own. Like the other two, it supports mail templates and is built to be controlled almost exclusively via APIs.

SendGrid and Mandrill have pretty nice WYSIWIG template editors as part of their platform. Not so sure about Mailgun.

So for me the considerations would be: 1. How easy is it for you to integrate with their API? How complete is their API in terms of your own specific needs? 2. Prices: Which one works best for my budget? 3. Am I OK with editing the templates elsewhere (or even by hand), and then pasting the code into Mailgun? Or do I want the comfort of Mandrill or Sendgrid with their WYSIWYG editors?

Personally I'd go with Twilio, simply because it's such a massive ecosystem they are less likely to go bankrupt, and their APIs are rock solid.

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Decisions about Mailgun and SparkPost
Imelda Garcia

We did a quick test on the reliability of these three common email services, sending a few emails an hour at random intervals.

Unfortunately, none of them had 100% availability over the 30 day test. I don't understand why this is so hard?

Mailgun performed the best with the most reliability and fastest response times. Mandrill was notably bad.

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Slawomir Pucia
Head of Product at Coresender · | 5 upvotes · 80.9K views

Of course we chose Coresender to send our own transactional emails :) So I thought I'll let you know how we use it.

  • We set up separate sending accounts for all company needs, eg. transactional emails, monitoring alerts, time to inbox. We even configured our office printers to send emails through Coresender.

  • We have a real-time and extremely usable view into what emails go through each account, so each time anybody reports an email not arriving we're able to assist them in a few seconds

  • We utilize our message timeline feature, so we can learn eg. if people are clicking on password reset links

  • We always know how many of our onboarding emails are being opened which helps us improve them

  • Finally, we have full controll over our suppressions lists, so we can add (and remove!) from them whenever necessary.

To sum up, at Coresender we're eating our own dogfood and it helps us stay connected to the product and understand our customers better.

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Migrated
from
MailgunMailgun
to
PostmarkPostmark
at

While building our authentication system, we originally picked Mailgun. However, emails took minutes to arrive and some of them didn't get delivered - or got delivered to spam.

We started looking for a new provider, and settled on Postmark. We love that they track time-to-inbox, it makes me feel they really care about going above and beyond to provide a good service.

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Pros of Mailgun
Pros of SparkPost
  • 178
    Quick email integration
  • 148
    Free plan
  • 91
    Easy setup
  • 67
    Ridiculously reliable
  • 53
    Extensive apis
  • 30
    Great for parsing inbound emails
  • 25
    Nice UI
  • 22
    Developer-centric
  • 15
    Excellent customer support
  • 12
    Heroku Add-on
  • 4
    Easy to view logs of sent emails
  • 4
    Email mailbox management for developers
  • 2
    Great PHP library
  • 2
    Great documentation
  • 2
    Great customer support, love rackspace
  • 1
    Better than sendgrid not ask too many question
  • 10
    I could start sending real emails in less than 5 mins
  • 2
    Email don't end up in spam after DNS verification
  • 1
    Flexible, robust API
  • 1
    Very easy to integrate with Laravel

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Cons of Mailgun
Cons of SparkPost
  • 2
    Cost
  • 2
    No HTTPS tracking links supported
  • 1
    Emails go to spam due to blacklisted IP's of mailgun
  • 1
    Cannot create multiple api keys
  • 1
    Suspended paid acount without warning or reason
  • 1
    Spam trap reports are suspicious b/c all users opted in
  • 1
    Support won't answer mail (9h so far)
  • 1
    Only free for 100 emails/day
  • 1
    New dedicated ip blacklisted by some clients

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What is Mailgun?

Mailgun is a set of powerful APIs that allow you to send, receive, track and store email effortlessly.

What is SparkPost?

SparkPost is the world’s #1 email delivery provider. We empower companies with actionable, real-time data to send relevant email to their customers which increases engagement and both top and bottom line revenue.

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What are some alternatives to Mailgun and SparkPost?
Twilio SendGrid
Twilio SendGrid's cloud-based email infrastructure relieves businesses of the cost and complexity of maintaining custom email systems. Twilio SendGrid provides reliable delivery, scalability & real-time analytics along with flexible API's.
Postmark
Postmark removes the headaches of delivering and parsing email for webapps with minimal setup time and zero maintenance.
Mailchimp
MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It's like your own personal publishing platform.
Mailjet
Mailjet is a real-time Cloud Emailing platform: scalable, agile and flexible. Our unique algorithm boosts your deliverability and our platform provides in-depth insight so you can optimize more than ever.
Mandrill
Mandrill is a new way for apps to send transactional email. It runs on the delivery infrastructure that powers MailChimp.
See all alternatives