Mandrill is a great service by the team behind Mailchimp that enabled emails to get send send reliably from your site or application. Mandrill provides reporting on your email too and was incredibly easy to setup in WordPress due to the Mandrill WordPress plugin.
However, after years of using it and recommending it to others they have decided to stop providing it as a standalone service and will now only be provided via a paid subscription to Mailchimp. Developers have been given to the end of April to make a transition to another service or setup an account with Mailchimp.
One of the main attractions to me and my clients was the fact that Mandrill was completely free for sending up to 10,000 emails a month so I wanted an alternative with the same generous allowance. I looked at Mailgun, Sparkpost and Sendgrid when looking for an alternative.
All 3 of these services looked great. I did a quick comparison and and signed up for Mailgun, simply because it was the first alternative I found. I cant really say I did a detailed comparison and they all had pretty similar features and seemed to do everything I wanted.
The Dashboard in Mailgun is nice and clear Mailgun provides really easy to follow instructions for setting things up. You’ll need to add some MX and TXT records to your DNS provider, and you’ll need to set up a subdomain to send mail from. This part adds an extra step that Mandrill did not require but it’s easy to do, and Mailgun provide support if you do get stuck.
Keep in mind that after adding the DNS records you will need to wait up to 24 hours for them to start working. You’ll be notified when everything is good to go and you can then start sending mail through Mailgun.
There are loads of options for sending the mail and plenty of documentation is provided on the API. If you use WordPress like I do then you can also use the fantastic Mailgun for WordPress plugin. Simply install the plugin, specify your API key and subdomain and your mail should now be sending through Mailgun. You can log in to your dashboard and check the logs to see when your messages were sent and what happened to each one