Monthly Archives: January 2011

Should I switch from Sendgrid to Amazon SES?

Update: A new comparison with updated Sendgrid prices, and Postmark is available here.

Probably yes, at least if price is your main concern and you are just concerned with sending email and not with extras. I wanted to see just how the Amazon SES prices stacked up against (that I am aware of) the next cheapest provider, Sendgrid so I graphed it (thanks to carldr for the help with the Grapher formulas):

Cost comparison for Amazon SES/Sendgrid, click for a larger version.

SendGrid can’t be too happy with that, in short at no point is it better to go with SendGrid over SES if you are only taking price into account. Of course SendGrid have value-add over just plain email sending, you decide if it’s worth the premium, but for me the only feature I’d want would be the ‘Whitelabel’ option, and Amazon SES has that included.

Note that you get 2000 emails per day free with Amazon SES if you send from an Amazon EC2 instance, but at this scale there is very little visible difference in cost. I thought it would be useful to take into account the cost of an EC2 instance, even if you have your main server elsewhere you could run your email processing on a micro or small EC2 machine to take advantage of the 2000 free emails per day, here’s a zoom in on the origin:

Cost comparison for Amazon SES/Sendgrid + EC2 instance cost , click for a larger version.

So, there is no point in spinning up an EC2 instance to take advantage of the 2000 free emails per day.

I will be interested in SendGrid’s response to this. Possibly lowering prices? For me certainly their value-add isn’t worth the extra cost over Amazon SES.

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