Right. There are too many reasons that email can’t be free, I’m afraid. I always thought that 10K free per month seemed too good to be true.
As someone who sets up several self-hosted sites per month, I’m going to keep recommending Mailgun. I’ve been happy with their service and they are easy to set up (plus it’s what I’ve scripted ). While it is $8/month if you send 10,000 emails per month, most small sites will send much less mail than that. 1000 emails (100 users getting 2.5 emails per week) will cost you 80 cents, which still seems like a pretty good deal to me.
I’ve just moved our forum to using Amazon SES and am quite happy with it. AWS is a complex beast and it isn’t the simplest provider, but it wasn’t too hard to change over to their SMTP servers. Note that you will need to raise a support ticket with them in order to be moved out of their email sandbox, so if anyone else plans to move to SES, you should set up a test Discourse instance first to check your SMTP settings are working, and also don’t leave it to the last moment because it could take a day or two for them to respond to your support ticket.
Btw, the test email says this at the bottom, which is no longer really true:
(The easy way is to create a free account on SendGrid, SparkPost, Mailgun or Mailjet, which have generous free mailing plans and will be fine for small communities. You’ll still need to set up the SPF and DKIM records in your DNS, though!)
While these companies have free trial periods, and their general fees are quite cheap, they’re not free for small communities after the trials run out.
As of today 8 May, 2022, Mailgun is giving 1k free per month, thereafter (perhaps) $ 1 for each next 1k mails sent.
While SendinBlue gives 9k per month (300 daily) and Mailet 200 free daily (6k per month), but both stamp the mails with their own logo.
Amazon’s AWS gives 62000 free monthly emails sending if your app/site is hosted on Aws, otherwise just $0.1 every 1k emails (sent or received) [still very cheap in comparison to others]. Though I think it would be a bit more complex but very reliable service.
So I think, Mailgun is no longer a better choice than Aws, particularly for Indian credit card holders.
One biggest thing which is putting hindrance to me vis-a-vis Mailgun is that my Indian Credit Card doesn’t allow me to pay any vendor without Otp. And the Mailgun payment gateway isn’t giving me to either pay thru OTP enabled credit card, or any other method. And in the end, neither my credit company is responding positively, nor Mailgun is giving me another (paypal etc) way to pay them.
AND THEY’VE DISABLED MY ACCOUNT, WHICH IS VERY UGLY FOR AS SMALL PAYMENT AS UNDER $2.
I think that for a time they wouldn’t charge you if your total was under a dollar a month, but now they roll over the payments so it’s no longer free. They’ve changed things a number of times in the two years since this topic started.
If you have read their pricing then you probably understand it.
Information about the $1 minimum can be found in their help center, which explicitly states the sent count does not accrue over months.
I think that is the “Foundation Trial” mentioned in the above article, I suspect “Flex Trial” is some legacy plan you’re sitting on. If you do find it wants to shift you over to the $35/month Foundation plan, you can definitely probably switch to Flex, free up to 1000/month, $1 for the 1001st email.
It is slightly hidden behind obscurity, naturally. Click the upgrade button from your screenshot, then find See downgrade options for a lower volume on the right and clicking that will reveal the Flex / Pay as You Go plan.
When you cross the threshold at 1001 messages they charge you for those first 1000 messages at the additional rate of $0.001 per message. They charge it to that 1001 message though so strictly speaking the first 1000 are still free.
Ah, I think I missed/misread the part about registering a new account, so was under the impression the “Flex Trial” was on your two years old account.
Hopefully that’s just while you’re on the trial. I did create my account back in September though so conceivably it may have changed for accounts created more recently than that. I’ve edited my previous post to use “probably” rather than “definitely”.
I guess it’s possible that the article I referenced is outdated and only there for existing users on that plan but that plan is no longer available to new accounts.
I do find the wording very unclear. The pricing page uses “Try us out! Get 5,000 free emails per month for 3 months before moving to our Foundation plan” which is ambiguous, it could imply that it will automatically transition to Foundation at the end of the trial or it could be a recommendation to upgrade after it ends.
In the FAQ on the same page, for the question about testing out Mailgun, it says “For the first three months on the Trial plan, you get a complimentary 5,000 free emails per month. After your three-month trial expires, you’ll pay based on what you use.”
That seems to imply that it will move to Flex rather than Foundation at the end of the trial.
Getting a definitive answer from Mailgun certainly seems like the way to go.
The Flex plan is still mentioned on other pages but not on their main Pricing page.
It seems as though either:
The Flex plan can only now be discovered during the three months of the Trial plan - “you can always select pay-as-you-go”.
The Flex plan only exists for old customers (I send over 1000 emails a month and still pay $0.001 per email).
Probably the former.
They were very aggressive (as far as persistent emails can be aggressive!) about moving from Flex to the $35pm Foundation plan when I first signed up. Maybe they weren’t successful enough in that approach and decided instead to hide or remove the Flex option.