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I need to send emails from my social service (this is continuation of Experiences in mailing to registered users). I got strong feeling that it's better to avoid problems with email server configuration and maintance and to choose email provider which will take care of all painful problems.

So several offers were compared: http://imgur.com/JkK2X.jpg

Three of them look very attractive: Postageapp / Sendgrid / CritSend

As alternative i'm considering setup GAE app.

Email provider is quite easy to start work with, but have no idea how much effort require GAE to integrate with PHP.

So my question is: which option is better to choose:

  • email provider
  • GAE

?

Two factors are important here:

  • business background (therefore prices are mentioned),
  • work required to setup and maintain desired solution.

Preferably i would love to avoid all email-related problems (like black lists and so on).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 28 '10 at 9:53

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

2  
not suited for stackoverflow. –  poelinca Dec 26 '10 at 21:46
    
c'mon how come it is not suited for stackoverflow? For which of the stackoverflow sites is this question valid. +1 for image –  Alfred Dec 26 '10 at 21:54
    
@Alfred: "Stack Overflow is a programming Q & A site" , this question is related to services provided by some companies , not related to programming ! –  poelinca Dec 26 '10 at 22:01
    
@poelinca now it's about email integration and effort required to accomplish task. –  nrph Dec 26 '10 at 22:24
    
realy ? quote from you're question : "Which provider works for you and is worth choosing?" , in the picture you're sending you're telling the monthly prices and price per email , how is that related to programming ? –  poelinca Dec 26 '10 at 22:28
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In my opinion they all are dismissed. You should use google app engine email service. You can send to recipients for 1000 every day and after that it will cost you $0.0001 per recipients.

app.yaml

You have to replace application: sendmail with your application name.

application: sendemail
version: 1
runtime: python
api_version: 1

handlers:
- url: /static
  static_dir: static
- url: /email
  script: email.py

email.py

You have to replace and SECRET = '1234' with your SECRET to protect application and SENDER = 'x@.y.com with the email address of one of your registered users.

import os
from google.appengine.ext import webapp
from google.appengine.ext.webapp.util import run_wsgi_app
from google.appengine.ext.webapp import template
from google.appengine.api import mail
import logging

SECRET = '1234'
SENDER = 'x@y.com'

class MainPage(webapp.RequestHandler):
    def post(self):
        secret = self.request.get('secret')
        if (secret == SECRET):
            to = self.request.get('to')
            subject = self.request.get('subject')
            body = self.request.get('body')

            if (to != None and subject != None and body != None):
                mail.send_mail(sender=SENDER,
                  to=to,
                  subject=subject,
                  body=body)
                self.response.out.write('ok')
            else:
                self.response.out.write('param missing')


application = webapp.WSGIApplication(
                                     [('/.*', MainPage)],
                                     debug=True)

def main():
    run_wsgi_app(application)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

First upload your application to app engine(thoroughly explained in the documentation). Next you can curl your application. let's say your application = 'sendmail'. When you do curl http://sendmail.appspot.com/email -d "to=y@z.com&subject=hi&body=hi&secret=1234" you will send that email to y@z.com

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Looks pretty easy. What's about handling DKIM, SPF, ISP rate limits, content inspection, bounces, spam reports, black lists and all stuff that matters with regular emails? –  nrph Dec 27 '10 at 8:21
    
@Alfred and what's about costs? I know it is very competetive with price per single email, but are there any other hidden costs with such solution? –  nrph Dec 27 '10 at 8:25
    
All the costs can be found at billing allthough I have never used app engine paying for something => code.google.com/appengine/docs/billing.html –  Alfred Dec 27 '10 at 16:41
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I would give DeliverHQ a go. They are currently in beta at the moment. By the same people who make PointHQ and CodebaseHQ

http://deliverhq.com

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(not really an answer, as it doesn't cover the technical aspects at all, but this is too long for a comment on your question)

Rather than a picture, it might have been better to have created that as a Google Docs Spreadsheet (or similar online document - there are a number of competitors in the field) and shared the link to that.

Also when comparing services like that you should not compare the prices based on using up an exact allowance that matches the provider's pricing bands. In your basic comparison a "$20-for-20,000 mails" comes out the same as "$9-for-9,000 mails" which isn't true: it is a lot more expensive if you only send 5,000 for instance. A run-down like this is a much better way to compare services with different price bands (though with your range of expected volumes plugged in rather than the arbitrary bands of 2500 I've thrown at it).

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Comparing those three solutions (as well as the others you have listed) all pretty much come down to preference. They all offer a free account that you can integrate into your staging environment and test out, which would give you an idea of how they operate it.

That said, PostageApp is a great solution because not only is it easy to integrate but also has a great API and a strong template system that the users really love.

(Full Disclosure: I am the Product Manager for PostageApp.)

Unfortunately at this time, PostageApp is just a layer between an application and an SMTP server, neither of which we provide. However, we are rolling out a hosted SMTP service within the coming weeks, making us a complete end-to-end solution.

If you want to give us a try, definitely send me an email at jon@postageapp.com and I would be happy to set you up with something. But at the same time, definitely try out all of the other services and make sure that your needs are taken care of.

Hope that helps!

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