Goodbye Sparkpost

It was good while it lasted.

Now they communicate that the free plans that they had extended to those who used them will not be available anymore. And they recommend me to go to the starter plan of 30 usd per month, and to the year it would go to 360 usd.

(…) we will be deprecating our old free plans. On or before September 15, 2019, you will need to login to your SparkPost account to select from our current plans. Based on your sending patterns and feature usage*, we recommend the 50K Starter plan. If you do not select one of the current plans by September 15, you will automatically be migrated to our free “Test” plan, with a limit of 500 emails/month and 100 emails/day.

* PS: I use less than 6.000 emails per week!

I think starter plan is an armed assault :astonished: I do not use any SparkPost feature, only what Discourse needs to send the registration mails, or the summary. I do not even use the discourse feature to answer by email either.

So … what other email service can you recommend?


I used Mailgun, which has a great free tier. If you do less than 10,000 emails you should be fine and integration worked well with my Discourse install.


I’m facing the same issue. The entry level Production tier cost is too high to justify staying.

Bear in mind though, you can share the quota across instances, so if you have several forums, all monetised …

Mass migration ensues! Lookout for related support posts :wink:

(Trouble is, if they are an efficient outfit with most of their costs scaling with volume I suspect they won’t care - they just want to turn all volume into cash)


I was still on one of their old 100,000 free emails/month plan and got the mail too. I can’t blame them for having to run a profitable business, but for me, Amazon SES is a more economical choice. I’ve been using it on my Discourse instance for over a year without any issues.


How many emails are you sending?

Right now, about 200k a month, which costs me $20.


I figured people would want to use this post to compare alternatives to Sparkpost so I’ll mention that the only solution on the list of supported email services that’s able to compete with that is Elastic Email. It’s able to do 200,000 emails on $18 a month. I hope this is useful to users who want something with a premade config for Discourse but doesn’t cost a ton of money.


That’s still a tonne of money to small, low traffic sites and will push those sites into loss territory.

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Small, low traffic sites aren’t likely to be sending 200,000 emails a month. Free tiers, either Elastic’s or Mailgun’s (which I recommended earlier) should suffice.


Excuse me @Owen_Walters, when you mentioned Elastic Email; which plan is the best to start with discourse? I saw in the pricing’s elastic email page that they offer… the “Email API”'s offer “Pay as you go” will work with discourse?


Pay as you go works with Discourse, yes.


That’s actually a very good option for even moderately active sites, and still good for very low volume new sites, thanks for sharing.

Do they aggregate by all your sites - ie charge by account rather than domain? Can you then leverage your quota across several sites? (Which would essentially make adding a new site marginally zero cost).

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I’ve not personally used Elastic, but Mailgun/Sendgrid both have account based quotas.


I have tried them all until I settled with Amazon SES. 10/10 deliverability and for a small to medium site it will cost pennies.


Bad news. Elastic Email does not have Discourse’s integration. :sob:

I contacted ElasticEmail’s Sales and Christine from Elastic Email said:

We do not have an integration with Discourse yet, You can try our integration with Piesync and it has a lot of apps supported.

So… goodbye Elastic Email too.

Ps; information updated about Elastic Email and Discourse, here #19.


SidV, what do you mean by that? SparkPost doesn’t specifically have Discourse Integration as such, but its SMTP interface permits Discourse to send emails? What is Elastic Email missing?


Hi Robert.

I really do not understand why Elastic Email Sales Support told me that. I asked them if they could buy any of their plans to use Discourse, and they responded again that there was no integration.

Now I’m still in conversation with another person.

Finally, Carlos from Elastic Email said:

Pay as you Go is definitely compatible with SMTP. You should have no problem using that plan. Just ensure to use the instructions in the article and the Discourse link you provided and everything should work correctly.

If there are any problems during setup please let us know and we’ll ensure to provide assistance to get everything working correctly. We highly appreciate your help with this.

Thanks for choosing Elastic Email!

I should try, but it seems that nobody here uses Elastic Email (?).

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Just ask them if they still support SMTP, because that’s what Discourse uses. :slight_smile: The guide I linked above shows how to use Elastic Email’s SMTP with Discourse.


I use SparkPost on one forum and MailGun on another. Wanted to hedge my bets and find the most cost-effective and reliable service.

SparkPost’s announcement just made that decision for me.


Just checked with Elastic Mail:

Given they are (very) slightly cheaper than Amazon SES if you are not using EC2, I think I will be going with Elastic Email’s Pay as You Go.