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SMTP providers for sending emails- Personal experience

Hey, guys. Just decided to make the article on SMTP providers for sending emails, as I’ve spent pretty time on research, trying to figure out which would work for me. That’s only my feedback that you can consider, though you might have different requirements and expectations on the best SMTP relay service provider.

I was looking for a budget SMTP provider (up to $20/mo and preferably even less) to serve this website and for more that I am maintaining as part of my business or my partners’ business. Here is the list of SMTP that I will cover:

Sendinblue – a huge free plan? Let’s see…

I’ve signed up with them and was impressed by their offer of 300/emails per day for a free plan, which potentially could lead you to 9k emails a month! Are there really free SMTP service providers?… In theory, yes, but the practice has shown results far, far away from what is claimed on the website.

I decided to execute my small mail list that contains 170+ subscribers. It successfully processed the mail list and I didn’t get any complaints etc. as this was my true list. But such an execution spent all my emails/per hour limitations. I thought it’s fine as I was expecting it will get reset the next day to original values, but the next day nothing has happened. And in the day after, I still haven’t got restored my mail/per hour limitations.

So I decided to contact the support team, but they weren’t helpful, just providing me with generic answers. It doesn’t seem they were interested to help. Ok… I am on the free plan, but I don’t think the paid plan will change the approach.

What I liked about using Sendinblue is that they allow using the sender’s email from public services like Gmail or Outlook. So you can send the emails using Sendinblue with your Gmail or Outlook public email address indicated as the sender address.

👍 Pros:

  • Public sender emails are allowed

👎 Cons:

  • Fake free plan specs
  • Weak support

Sendpulse – Affordable and featured? Let’s see…

This service looks attractive from a pricing perspective. This time I decided not to play with a free plan, considering my previous experience, and purchased a basic paid plan.

Very soon, I realized that all my emails processed through Sendpulse SMTP arrived in broken condition (template styles got broken). I’ve contacted support which seems to work promptly both via chat and email, but they were not ready to deal with my issue, claiming that something wrong with such services as Outlook. I’ve tried a few times more, but this didn’t seem they really want to help in this… I was sure that my email templates are good, as I haven’t had any problems with them while using Sendinblue. So I decided to quit with them and search elsewhere.

👍 Pros:

  • Affordable

👎 Cons:

  • Broke email templates
  • Public sender emails are NOT allowed
  • Weak support

Sendgrid – Let’s try!

My next destination was Sendgrid. In general, they look good from the description and pricing standpoint, but I haven’t found how to use their SMTP service… Yes, I haven’t found it! I’ve spent like 15 mins browsing using their interface, but this wasn’t helpful. I even decided not to contact their support and continued to the next point.

👍 Pros:

  • N/A

👎 Cons:

  • Interface?

Postmark – Looks affordable!

I’ve signed up with them during the weekend, and it was stated that I need to be validated to send. They also indicated that if you registered on the weekend, you have to wait till the business days. Since I haven’t had time to wait, I decided to continue my journey.

👍 Pros:

  • N/A

👎 Cons:

  • Public sender emails are NOT allowed
  • N/A

SMTP2GO – I’ve tried plenty of them already, how they can surprise me?

Alright! I’ve registered with them and promptly switched to their initial paid plan, for $10 regardless of the claim they are a free SMTP server provider if you have up to 1k emails a month. I was able to add my domains and promptly validate them. Then I decided to start sending my 1k subscription list and while I was sending they reached me via email and asked to confirm the nature of the mail list, which I promptly verified. During the weekend I did have a few more questions which were responded really promptly.

👍 Pros:

  • The application interface looks good and clear.
  • Blazing fast support even during the weekend (responses around ~30/mins)
  • Allow to create virtual SMTP sub-accounts and configure them separately.
  • Affordable

👎 Cons:

  • Public sender emails are NOT allowed
  • No support of localhost domains

Summary:

As of now, my journey has ended. Among the so-called best SMTP service providers, I switched to SMTP2GO.

Is SMTP2GO the best SMTP provider? Not sure, though, I hope this SMTP service provider will work fine for me and I will stay with them for quite a while. I like the price and the support, which is important for me. Also, I didn’t have any problem with broken mail templates, though they don’t support public email addresses for senders as well as localhost domains.

If you intend to use public emails as the sender address as well as localhost domains, then you should consider Sendinblue. At the same time, I did not like their “free” plan, which is far from what is stated on the site.

Hope this experience sharing will save some time for you on your research. If you have questions or suggestions, please do use the comment box below.

 

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Alex Kostritsa

About author
My name is Alex. For more than 10 last years I've been worked in the role of Project Manager in an Agile environment. I have experience working with different business domains including e-commerce, social networks, and gambling. As a Software Manager, I try to keep myself tuned and continue self-development.
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  • Odessa, Ukraine