Apr 7, 2021 4 min read

10 Free and Paid SMTP Services You Can Use For Transactional and Bulk Emails

Here are some of the most popular SMTP relay services with their plans for your web app notifications.
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Now is the age of NoOps. Even in email. The email automation industry is booming!

The young and enthusiastic DevOps people often suggest managing SMTP server on their own but a seasoned and experienced sysadmin understands that having own SMTP server for transactional as well as bulk email sending would be a hectic responsibility eventually!

This is why it is easier to rely on dedicated SMTP service providers. This is specially helpful when you are a small business and have limited human power.

In this short discussion, I'm going to list some SMTP services that offer both free and paid plans. I'll share an overview of each of them. At High On Cloud, we use at least two of these SMTP service providers extensively.

1. SendGrid

This tops our list since we rely on it for most of our web apps (Nextcloud, Rocket.Chat and Plausible Analytics). It is well trusted by developers and marketers for time-savings, scalability, and delivery expertise. I really wish their API goes open source sometime in the future.

The free plan offers 100 emails per day forever. All their plans are listed here.

SendGrid Free and Paid Plans

2. Amazon SES

As per Amazon, Simple Email Service (SES) is a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable email service that enables developers to send mail from within any application. Their paid plans may vary from region to region as detailed here.

A screenshot from the Amazon SES Pricing Page

3. Mailjet

Mailjet is an all-in-one e-mail platform. SMTP relay is an essential part of it. Their free plan offers 6,000 emails per month and 200 emails per day. You can discover more through their paid plans here.

Mailjet Free & Paid Plans

4. Pabbly

Pabbly provides email marketing facilities through their own delivery servers as well as through other popular service providers. Bulk emails can be sent either through their  inbuilt SMTP or by connecting through any external SMTP service. Their free plan has restricted features(shared below). You can take a look at their plans here.

Pabbly Email Marketing Features
Pabbly Email Marketing Plans

5. Sendinblue

Sendinblue provides a smart an intuitive interface for email marketing. They have both free and paid plans that you can check here.

6. SMTP.com

SMTP.com offers powerful email delivery features with their various paid plans. The platform sends billions of emails every month by handling large volumes efficiently at great speeds.

SMTP.com Plans

7. Postmark

Postmark is an email delivery service that specializes in transactional emails. It is not recommended for sending bulk emails, though. Their primary motivation is to ensure quick email deliveries and mitigating delays.

Postmark Time to Inbox Model

They offer a trial along-with a free developer plan with 100 test emails per month. Take a look at all of their plans here.

8. Inboxroad

Inboxroad specializes in personalized support for their email delivery services. Their basic plan begins at €59 per month. They also allow customization options to create your own expansive plan if your requirement is more demanding or higher than a premium one. A personal account manager handles such a requirement on a 1:1 basis.

9. SendPulse

SendPulse allows you to send email campaigns via SMTP or API with upto 12,000 emails for free. Note that their email marketing plans are different than their transactional email plans as shown here. They also offer "Pay AS you GO" options on both.

SendPulse Email Marketing Plans
SendPulse Transactional Email Plans

10. Mailgun

We use Mailgun for both transactional and bulk emails at Linux Handbook on Ghost. They claim to be the world's best email delivery platform. Sometime in the past they used to provide free plans but that is no longer the case. They now have a "Pay As You Grow" plan in addition to their premium plans. They also offer Enterprise based plans.

I hope you find a good SMTP service for your requirement. If you would like to share some of your favourite SMTP service providers, please join the conversation below. Any other suggestions, comments or feedback are always welcome!

Avimanyu Bandyopadhyay
Avimanyu Bandyopadhyay
DevOps Geek at Linux Handbook. Doctoral Researcher on GPU-based Bioinformatics & author of 'Hands-On GPU Computing with Python'. He strongly believes in the significance of Linux and FOSS in Science.

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