Comparing Mail Servers

First off I want to thank the community. Last week I moved a football forum from a site that was shutting down. Speaking as a non-techie, with no experience in any of this, the tutorials and advice on this site were brilliant. The move of approx 300-400 people to new site is goning really well. The only exception has been the Mail Server.

I used Mailjet, believing that their free plan (200 emails a day limit) would be ample. However, I realized some of my invites where no being delieved as I was going over my daily limit. After some investigation a couple of users were receiving 60 emails a day :astonished:

I have taken to educating members to change their settings, I have changed the default settings for email notification to “never”. However, I realize probably sooner than later I need a better solution.

Looking around there seems to be:

Mailier Lite - 1000 users, 12,000 emails a month (average 400 a day)

Mail Chimp 2000 users, 10,000 emails a month (average 333 a day)

SendGrid After Trail - After 30 day trail, 100/day

Sedinblue Unlimited users, and 300 emails a day

Mailrelay 15,000 users and 75,000 emails/month (averages 2,500 a day)

Mailgun 3 months of 5000, emails then 80c per 1000 emails

Amazon SES, 62,000 free emails but 0.12c /GB

As well as several others which charge more. (Please excuse my technical ignorance if any of these cant be used with Discourse)

As I understand email notifications cant be turned off. As I want to keep my site completely free, which free/low-cost option would you guys recommend?

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Links to other Mail server prices

SendGrid After Trail - After 30 day trail, 100/day

Sedinblue Unlimited users, and 300 emails a day

Further links

Mailrelay 15,000 users and 75,000 emails/month (averages 2,500 a day)

Mailgun 3 months of 5000, emails then 80c per 1000 emails

Amazon SES, 62,000 free emails but 0.12c /GB

I don’t believe it’s possible to completely disable them, but nobody should be getting 60 messages/day unless you want it to be that way (in my case, my Discourse forum replaces an old Yahoo group that was primarily used as a mailing list, so I enabled mailing list mode by default for my users). “Normal” email notifications would send you an email if you’re mentioned, or if a reply is made to one of your posts, and you aren’t on the forum at the time. The normal notification settings will also send an email digest to users occasionally when they haven’t visited the forum in a while (the details are configurable).

So, if you don’t want to be sending a ton of emails, and your users aren’t expecting Discourse to operate like a mailing list, disable mailing list mode (search in the site settings for “mailing”), and make sure the other notification settings are sensible.

None of which actually answers your question, but might still be helpful nonetheless. But to your actual question, I’ve been happy with Mailgun. Most of the time, my usage is low enough that I don’t get a bill (they don’t bill for less than $1/month).

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My vote is https://mailinabox.email Super easy to setup and you can scale without worries. Spin up a $5 DO droplet and check the blacklists. If it’s a dirty IP destroy and try again. I tried sendgrid and less mail went through than the MIAB droplet. We’ve got a few K users signed up in the last month and are happy with the results. I don’t expect issues.

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