Like many WordPress users, I use Mandrill to send outgoing emails (“transactional” emails like password resets) to make sure server resources aren’t being expended on unnecessary things. I also use it at WP Chat for notifications (like if someone @'s you, you’ve been getting an email about it sent by Mandrill if allowed by your preferences).
Mandrill just announced that they’re eliminating the free tier (which was previously 12k/emails per month) and rolling everything under the MailChimp brand. This will be effective on April 27, so Mandrill users have a couple months or so to make a decision.
I’m all for paying for high-quality services, but considering there are so many alternatives with similar free tiers that Mandrill had (that I don’t even come close to), it seems like a waste of money to stay with “MailChimp Transactional” (as they’re going to call it).
Remkus DeVries just published a nice roundup of transactional email alternatives in response to Mandrill’s announcement.
MailGun, SendGrid, MailJet, SendInBlue all appear to have a free monthly allotment of emails (MailJet and SendInBlue have a daily limit too). Some others have “all time” allotments, but I’d rather avoid those if other companies give you a fresh block of emails every month.
The AWS Free Tier of Amazon SES offers 62,000 messages per month when called from an EC2 instance, which blows the aforementioned companies’ free tiers out of the water, but sounds like a pain to call it from an EC2 instance if you don’t already have an EC2 instance in use.
Although if you do switch to SES, it looks like Human Made released a simple SES and WordPress integration plugin which should get you up and running pretty quickly.
I’ll never be one to knock someone for charging more money for something, but I have to say I’m a little confused by their decision. While I use MailChimp as well, the brand seems a bit kitschy. I personally liked the more refined branding of Mandrill, and its separation from MailChimp’s opt-in newsletter services.
In 3 short years, Mandrill grew to more than 800,000 users, reached an annual run rate of $12 million
I’m not sure of specifics, but their free tier must have been at least partially responsible for this growth mentioned. Why mess with a proven formula? I suppose time will tell how this decision pans out.
Anyway, how do you feel about MailChimp/Mandrill’s decision to eliminate the free tier of Mandrill and bake it into the MailChimp brand? If you were a user of Mandrill’s free tier, what do you plan to do? Pay MailChimp, or move to another service which still has a free tier?