Too bad, Mandrill

One of the shocking news this week for lots of developers is the important changes to Mandrill. I been using it for all my Laravel Forge based server, I will be willing to pay if they remove the free tier only. Too bad Mandrill has made too many changes on this, and I guess the only choice for me is to find another alternative.

I guess those who build their product on top of Mandrill are going to be busy now.

So what is Mandrill?

Mandrill is one of the MailChimp product which is focus on transaction emails.

What is transaction emails?

Transaction email means that email which sends based on user action, for example, a user register on your site, you send them a welcome email, when they reset the password, you send them to reset instruction email, all these are considered transaction emails.

Why need transaction emails?

You might think that any web server can just setup email module and send email, what so good about transaction emails services? In my opinion, there are few reasons why a transaction emails services is required.

  1. Scaling email services are not easy.
  2. Hosting the email services on the same web server will take out resources.
  3. Create a dedicated email server is an enormous cost when the transaction emails amount is small.
  4. What if you want to be able to track every email that you send to your client for e-commerce purpose.

What’s the changes that disappointed lots of developers?

  • Remove of free tier. This is just a minor issue, if only this happen, it won’t getting so much backlash. Since most of the developers know that for a service to growth properly, paid plan is required.
  • Merge Mandrill to Mailchimp. You need to have a paid MailChimp account to subscribe Mandrill service; it become an addon for Mailchimp Paid Account.
  • The increase in price. Original you can send 25k emails with the cheapest plan ($9.95), but now you need to pay for MailChimp account ( $10 ) and the cheapest Mandrill plan now is $20 for 500K emails.
  • Short period for action. There are only around two months to migrated off if you don’t to merge into Mailchimp and become Mailchimp paid user.

What’s the alternative of Mandrill?

One of the comparison posts that you can reference is this. Lots of transaction emails services are starting to welcome the users migrate from Mandrill.

What’s my decision?

For my client, if they are MailChimp paid user already, I might advise them to take on Mandrill as paid add-on. For myself? I will move to Mailgun since they already have a WordPress plugin. Seriously if I do want to take up a newsletter service now, I won’t choose MailChimp too because of what happen.

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