Is it inconvenient when your emails of password reset or email address confirmations cannot go to your users because they went to their Spam folder? How to ensure that your users can see it without opening the Spam folder? Have you ever heard about transactional email services? It is an excellent solution for these cases. Let’s dig in and find out which service is the best.
Common issues sending emails
Sending emails the normal way
Most hosting/servers are installed a utility called
sendmail for sending emails from the website to their audiences. Despite its advantage, using
sendmail has a big drawback is that your emails are going to the Spam or Junk folder. You know what it means, don’t you? Your audiences, even your customers, may not read that emails because of missing, of course.
If your website is based on WordPress and uses no plugin for sending email, you will meet the above issue because of using
This problem of
sendmail is raised depending a lot on your server IP and your server/domain set up. For example, your email will be labeled as Spam if your IP is on the blacklist, even not in both blacklist and whitelist also. Domains without valid SPF and DKIM records will meet the same situation. It’s quite complicated to fix.
Besides that, the hosting services also have rules which may affect your sending emails via host or verser. And you can't always send plenty of emails at the same time, so you need a solution to remedy this.
Using Gmail SMTP to send emails
Another common way of sending emails from websites is using Gmail SMTP. There are many ways to connect WordPress sites with Gmail such as WP Mail SMTP and Easy WP SMTP, but Gmail SMTP is usually recommended because it’s compatible with the latest Gmail API, use OAuth 2.0, and obviously is secured.
There is a disadvantage that Gmail allows the maximum number of sending emails is 500 per day and 20 per hour. It may be a lot in most need, but not enough for the newsletter and some other cases.
In addition, Gmail SMTP always uses the private avatar and email address of the Gmail account that you use for SMTP. It is ok if you are sending emails personally, but not ok if you are a company. In this case, most of us are companies, so it’s really a problem with the company brand.
Transactional email services
To solve all the above problems of sending emails, using transactional email services is the best solution. So, what is the transactional email service? Let’s find it out step-by-step.
What is transactional email?
Transactional email is sending an email automatically from the website to an individual based on their action. It could be:
- an action they took directly
- an action they were the target of or,
- perhaps even inaction on their part
For instance, whenever users buy any Meta Box extensions, they will receive an automatic email notification that they bought something as well as information about their order. That is sent from our website and also is a kind of transactional email. Or when you register a user account, you will receive an email to confirm that.
Another example, there is an area for comments under each post in our blog. If you subscribe to a post, you will receive a notification email whenever someone leaves a comment on that. That email also is a transactional email.
Other samples of transactional emails:
- email address confirmations
- password resets
- purchase receipts
- “thank you for [some action]”
- account balance updates
- weekly manifests
- support requests
- cart abandonment
- monthly invoices
- app error alerts (developer tested!)
- automated re-engagement (marketer approved!)
Why You Need A Transactional Email Service
Transactional email services naturally were born to solve the mentioned problems of sending emails via a website. Aside from points that the normal ways cannot satisfy, these services also provide more abilities and tools.
More emails and much faster
There is likely no limits on the number of emails by day or hour. Some services like SparkPost allow you to send up to 150,000 emails per month for free!
Ensure your emails arrive at the right place
Emails will be definitely sent to recipients’ inbox because every transactional email service is optimized to send emails and have whitelist IPs.
More flexible with APIs for transactional emails
Transactional email services provide you APIs which allow sending emails via SMTP, curl or any other libraries for your preferred programming languages.
Sufficient tracking and analytics
The adequate reports from transactional email services with the number of delivered emails, delivery / open / click through rate, etc. will help you have a lucid appraisal of your emails. You also may use this information for A/B testing and optimizing the CTR. Clear statics always are better and more transparent than nothing.
Best Free Transactional Email Services
Therefore, what services are the best? Which one is recommended? Choose yourself after reading all of the below information about each transactional email service.
SendGrid is one of the most popular transactional email services available for FREE. It’s a cloud-based email service that provides reliable transactional email delivery, scalability, and real-time analytics along with flexible APIs that make custom integration easy. It features:
- Automatically sending receipts or purchase confirmations to customers.
- Administering distribution lists for sending customers monthly fliers and promotions.
- Collecting real-time metrics for things like blocked email and customer engagement.
- Forwarding customer inquiries.
- Processing incoming emails.
WordPress: SendGrid has its official plugin for WordPress.
Pricing: A trial account that allows sending up to 40,000 free emails for 30 days is available. You can send up to 100 emails free per day forever after the trial expired.
Brevo (formerly SendInBlue)
Brevo is the simplest, most reliable, and cost-effective marketing platform. This all-in-one solution now powers marketing campaigns for over 50,000 companies around the world!
Their pricing remains one of the most cost-effective options as you scale up. Their user interface is very clean. In addition to transactional email, you can also use SendinBlue for normal email marketing campaigns, marketing automation, and transactional SMS messages.
WordPress: Brevo also has its official plugin for WordPress.
Pricing: Free of charge for 300 emails / day.
Being one of the leading transaction email service providers, Mailjet has a good price and great features to customize emails to clients on a mass scale fairly easily. When sending thousands of emails the ability for customization is essential to avoid being labeled as spam mail.
On top of its great features is that the customization for each email is individual. The ability to do split testing is very helpful as well. The included templates were also very helpful to build professional-looking emails.
WordPress: MailJet also has its official plugin for WordPress.
Pricing: Free of charge for 6,000 emails / month & 200 emails / day.
At Postmark, you need to buy credits to start sending emails ($0.25 for 1000 credits, 1 credit = 1 sent email). Postmark guarantees the delivery time below 10s and 100% of the delivery rate. You’ll get 45 days of searchable history, so you can see the full contents of the emails and pinpoint why they bounced.
WordPress: Postmark also has its official plugin for WordPress.
Pricing: Free of charge for 100 emails / month
Elastic Email is all the Email marketing and delivery tools you need to communicate with your customers. Use Elastic Email as your outbound SMTP server to improve your delivery rates and seamlessly scale from 100 emails to 100 million per month on our ultra-fast global infrastructure. Elastic Email provides inbound notification, A/X split testing, and private IPs.
WordPress: Elastic Email does not have its official plugin for WordPress, but you can use the free plugin ElasticEmail Plugin.
Pricing: Free of charge for 100 emails / day.
SendPulse is essentially a multi-channel marketing platform with email service, web push notifications, SMS and transactional emails on board. All of the features go hand in hand with their automation tool that gives you an opportunity to send pre-designed emails at the right time.
WordPress: SendPulse has its official email plugin for WordPress.
Pricing: Free of charge for 12000 emails / month.
MailerSend is a powerful email delivery service designed to simplify and optimize the process of sending transactional and marketing emails. With its user-friendly interface, robust features, and reliable infrastructure, MailerSend empowers businesses to effortlessly send personalized, timely, and engaging emails to their customers. From transactional notifications to marketing campaigns, MailerSend ensures high deliverability rates, detailed analytics, and seamless integration, making it an ideal solution for businesses seeking a scalable and efficient email delivery service.
Pricing: free of charge for 3000 emails / month.
Resend is a new startup (backed by YCombinator) that provides email API for developers to send emails. It can help you deliver emails to people instead of spam folders. Their transactional email service can be used at scale. Resend provides beautiful API for most programming languages and frameworks for sending emails. It also has a great dashboard for monitoring and analytics.
Pricing: 100 emails / day and 3000 emails / month.
Previously Considered Transactional Email Services
There are other transactional email services that we covered in this post before. But they changed, so we no longer recommend them. Here is the list:
- SparkPost: rebranded to MessageBird and no longer offers a free plan.
- MailGun: offers only 5000 emails for free (one-time, not monthly) and then will charge $1/1000 emails.
- SocketLabs: no longer offers a free plan.
- Pepipost: rebranded to Netcore Email API and no longer offers a free plan.
- Amazon SES: no longer offers free 62000 emails if you're on EC2 anymore. It now only offers 3000 emails/month for the free tier (12 months).
Using transactional email services is a necessary method to avoid restrictions of sending via host or SMTP. If there is any doubt about this, these above providers will show you with their free services. Try it and leave us your comments.
P/S: Some of the providers frequently change their policies. So if there is any news, please inform us to keep the information is up-to-date.