Tag Archives: amazon

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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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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