Cloud email service price comparison

Larger interactive versions of all the graphs on this page are available here.

Update: Added Mailgun to the graphs.

Earlier this year I posted a price comparison between Sendgrid, and the then newly available Amazon SES.

Tim Falls commented on the post saying that Sendgrid had updated their pricing:

Since this post was published, we have released a new pricing structure *and* a new service tier that offers more email for less + a feature set and pricing model that you will find very competitive with SES.

That was back in June, so it’s about time I produced an updated comparison. First, lets look at the difference between the old and new Sendgrid prices:

Comparison of old and new Sendgrid prices, click for a larger version

Overall the up-front plan prices, and prices for email over allowance have remained the same, but email allowance within each plan has increased. The exception is the Silver plan where email over allowance has increased by $0.0001/email. New to the lineup is the Lite plan.

More interesting is how these new prices compare to the competitors. I’ve added in Amazon SES, and Postmark too:

Sendgrid, Postmark and Amazon SES price comparison, click for a larger version

The most notable differences here are the inclusion of Postmark, and the the Sendgrid Lite plan that shadows Amazon SES. I’d guess this was added purely to compete with Amazon. As in my last post it is hard to see what is going on with smaller numbers of emails being sent, here’s a zoom on the origin:

Price comparison for small numbers of emails sent, click for a larger version

Here you can see the Sendgrid Lite plan shadowing Amazon and the Postmark costs heading up rapidly.

Conclusion

It seems Sendgrid have just added an ‘Amazon SES’ plan to pull back any customers that would have chosen SES based on price. It’s probably a good move, and it will allow easy transition into their more ‘premium’ plans if you sign up and later decide to change plan.

Given the advertised features of Postmark compared to the price it seems hard to consider using them. They seem to have some fairly well known customers though, so if anyone has used Postmark leave a comment with how that is working out for you.

So which email cloud provider should you use? Use the graphs I made, but price is only going to be one factor, so check what each provider offers. I’ve linked to all the pricing pages below.

Price sources

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11 thoughts on “Cloud email service price comparison

  1. John Barham says:

    I chose Postmark over Sendgrid for the simple reason that Postmark supports bounce URL callbacks at any volume (since it only has one plan) but to get the same feature with Sendgrid, you have to pay $80/month.

  2. Alex Hillman says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put together this comparison! I’m from the Postmark team, and wanted to take some time to share why we’re “more expensive”.

    My full response is over on HackerNews, for the sake of not fragmenting the conversation. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3297776

  3. Matt Freeman says:

    We use Postmark, seems to work out the box, but in the past once or twice emails have been delayed for hours, and more recently several minutes are the normal for blips. The latter isn’t an issue, the hours are especially when they are asleep. When dealing with a transactional email (sending a quote etc..) we consider a seriously delayed email might as well be ‘lost’, but they dont share the same view, an eventually delivered email is their goal. We dont have time to migrate at the moment, but good to see other alternatives. Is there any have a widget that says ‘average dispatch time – X secs’ (dispatch time – time received (via smtp or api) to time sent to remove smtp)

  4. JohnE says:

    We have had issues with sendgrid emails being really delayed (up to an hour or more). Anyone else?

  5. NodeSocket says:

    We use PostMark for our transactional e-mails and have not looked back. In fact, we push e-mails off to gearmean instantly, and then the gearman worker pushes the e-mail jobs off into a queue.

  6. I’m from CritSend. You should have a look at us. Also besides pricing we offer a few ground breaking features that are worth a look.

  7. Andrew says:

    Hey guys, thanks for publishing the article.

    I have to say though, I too was looking for critsend and was disappointed not to find them.

  8. Mailgun says:

    Actually Mailgun is the only true email service in this group: we offer the complete package: send/receive/store in a mailbox – not just the basic sending.

    Significant percentage of Mailgun customers actually host mail and accept incoming email via our network: this is why ESPs treat our traffic with greater respect.

    Mailgun does not accept high-volume low-quality senders, that’s why our deliverability and reliability are in a different league: so far we haven’t heard of a single dropped message.

  9. John says:

    JohnE – I have had the same problems with Sendgrid delaying emails for quite a long time, even over an hour. We are going to try SES and see how it goes since I’m not very impressed with Sendgrid’s deliverability – it’s no better than sending mail directly from our own server.

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

  11. Elie says:

    Hi guys,

    I’ve just stumbled on this article, it’s a great job comparing the different rates available. As stated on top, Critsend is missing but they’re not the only ones! I’m from Mailjet and I can tell you it would have beed very interesting to be represented in these graphs. We’ve actually worked lot on our pricing (as well as on the possibilities that we offer).

    You can get a nice overview here on our website http://www.mailjet.com Plans start at $7,49 for 30,000 emails a month. Don’t hesitate if you got questions, I’ll Be happy to answer!

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