Today we've made a major change to the way we send email by moving from Mailgun to Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) and we wanted to explain why we've made this change and discuss some of the challenges we've faced with Mailgun as we feel sharing our experience may be beneficial to others.
Firstly though we should explain why we use a third party email service to begin with instead of self-hosting and delivering our own emails directly. Put simply it's to guarantee our emails actually get delivered. That isn't to say we couldn't send our own emails from our own server infrastructure as we certainly could but with the way so many email services are setup the deliverability relies on them trusting your reputation as an email sender.
There are many factors that go into an email servers reputation and one of the biggest factors is the IP Address it sends emails from. If you're sending email from an IP Address which is shared with spammers your emails are more likely to get bounced or blocked by the recipients mail provider. And some spam-blocking services that these mail providers use don't only list singular addresses but entire subnets, zones and even service providers.
This can create a headache for developers like us when we just want to make sure our legitimate email that you expect to receive from us actually arrives and so services like Mailgun, Sendgrid and Amazon SES are paramount to making sure the emails we need to send actually arrive in your inbox.
So why the move from Mailgun? - Well over the past year we've had many occasions where Mailgun's shared address pool has been blacklisted by major email providers including Google Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. Each time we have had to manually intervene raising tickets at Mailgun to receive a different IP Address. Often their responses have been extremely delayed and without much care to the situation or its importance.
On top of that their business model recently changed and their pricing per 1,000 emails sent is now 10x that of Amazon SES while offering an inferior product. In-fact just to get a dedicated IP Address at Mailgun it now costs $80 USD per month while at Amazon the same is only $25 USD per month.
For us the pricing isn't the issue though, we understand the value of a premium product but we felt that Mailgun failed us on too many occasions and their lack of care and attention to their own business negatively affected our own and caused a number of our customers to email us in dismay that they missed query overage notices, late payment notices or emailed our support questions and did not receive any replies from us.
They made us look bad to our own customers because they couldn't do the one job their entire business is setup to provide. This isn't meant to be a review of the Mailgun service but if you're reading this and considering them we would highly recommend going with one of their competitors.
So from today all email we send will go through the Amazon SES infrastructure and we are confident our deliverability rates will be high once again. In addition to this we would like to sincerely apologise to all our customers who were affected by the email problems we've experienced over the past year and in particular over the past two weeks which have been markedly bad and the reason we've spent the extra engineering time on changing mail providers.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!