Mandrill now requires a paid MailChimp account. Bye Mandrill. Hello Postmark.
Posted on 1 March 2016
One of our most used features on the site is the tool on the home page which lets users email their web browser details to their developers/sysadmins/colleagues.
Unlike other websites which just give you a web link inside a mailto: link, our system actually saves the Frontend and Backend detection and builds & transmits a complete, personalised email to the recipient.
Until now we've been using MailChimp's Mandrill transactional email system to send all of these emails. It costs money to send these emails, but the site generates money and can cover these costs - it's a small price to pay to have easy and reliable transactional emails for our users.
It was a reliable system and I had no complaints with it, however I was surprised and frustrated to hear that in the last few days, MailChimp have announced they are now rolling Mandrill in with their main MailChimp product and in doing so, requiring us to also have a paid MailChimp account as well paying for Mandrill.
No need for MailChimp
MailChimp is a fine system; I've used it for a number of clients in the past without complaint, however WhatIsMyBrowser.com has no need for a newsletter or CRM and so paying this extra monthly fee for a system we have no plans to use is completely wasted money.
My frustration is shared by other soon-to-be-ex-Mandrill users:
- HackerNews: Major changes to Mandrill, must be tied to a MailChimp account
- HackerNews: Important Changes to Mandrill
- Mandrill’s Betrayal (HN discussion)
- In hostile move, Mandrill gives all developers 60 days to switch to paid Mailchimp service
- MailChimp's Mandrill Move Enrages Email Users
Although, to be honest, I'm not so frustrated as I am confused: there's no way I'm going to a paid MailChimp account (I simply have no need for one), and so they simply lose my business.
If the change was "you have to have a MailChimp account in order to pay for Mandrill - but it can be a free MailChimp account", then I'd still be with MailChimp/Mandrill. But like I said; I have no need for a paid MailChimp account.
I've left MailChimp/Mandrill and have moved to PostMark.
They have a great reputation, an impressive client list and their signup and integration process was quick and painless.
I verified the whatismybrowser.com domain for sending emails using DKIM and SPF DNS records and since I was completely building the email's HTML internally (instead of using their template system) switching my system to using Postmark was as easy as swapping the domain, username and password in my Django config. Phew.
A few days use and I have 0 complaints.
Some Mandrill competitors are showing good pro-activity to capitalise on this change;
Sparkpost have created a "survival guide" for ex-mandrill users and raised their Free tier limits from 10K/month to 100K/month emails. There are other comparisons and offers in the main HackerNews thread.
SendGrid are offering a 10% off discount for ex-Mandrill users.