Mandrill is going to paid plans on MailChimp

(Justin Gordon) #1

Today, my team is sending an email to all Mandrill users about some changes our business is making in the coming weeks. I’ll explain the changes in detail below, but here’s a summary: Mandrill is becoming a transactional email add-on to paid MailChimp accounts instead of a completely separate product.

Going forward, all Mandrill users will be required to have a paid monthly MailChimp account. We want to give everyone plenty of time to research their options and decide whether they’d like to create a MailChimp account, so here’s the timeline and important details:

  • Starting March 16, all new Mandrill users will create accounts through MailChimp.
  • Also starting March 16, Mandrill users can merge their existing Mandrill account with a MailChimp account.
  • Current users will have until April 27 to merge the accounts.

This is a big change, so I’d like to provide some context for our customers who want to know the “why” behind strategic decisions like this one.

For those of us that send less than a couple hundred emails a month, what’s the best choice?

Does anybody use a google apps account?

Alternatives to Mandrill
(Lee_Ars) #2

Mailgun is a good alternative—it’s as near as I can tell essentially the same transactional email service as Mandrill. This comparison from a couple of years ago lists a few other alternatives as well.

(Michael Downey) #3

Thanks for sharing this! Still not clear on if/how pricing is going to change, which is an important open question.

(Jonathan Rogers) #4

MailGun: 10,000 emails free every month! Nice!


I made a super simple script that gives you send-only email for Discourse from your server & creates the DKIM record for you. All of these free mail services end up having a catch, and are not necessary. Best I can tell the memory footprint is less than 1MB for the service.

(Clay Heaton) #6

Is there a robust tutorial for how to set up a Discourse hosting machine to just use postfix, etc… and act as its own relay? I’m wary of trusting another service that could change its pricing/policy.

Yes! Can you share that. I was typing the above while you were ninja editing your post. :smiley:


I’m going to announce it next week in marketplace for a small price.

It took me a long while to sort through what was necessary.

(AstonJ) #8

Do you have a dedicated server? You could run postfix and dovecot.

(Nicolas Genty) #9

Well, sadly it’s the case.

@ianthomas_uk The Forever Free plan on MailChimp won't have access to Mandrill.

— Mandrill (@mandrillapp) February 25, 2016

Mandrill is now a 20$ option and works only with a 10$ minimum account, that’s insane!

@mandrillapp It sounds like I'll need to pay the minimum $10/mo for @MailChimp plus a minimum of $20/mo for up to 25K emails. Is that right?

— Mike Piontek (@robotspacer) February 24, 2016

(Matt Palmer) #10

If you’re running Discourse, you’ve got the resources necessary to send e-mail. The trick is managing deliverability. It’s easy to end up getting a poor sending reputation (or for the IP address you’re using to have residual bad reputation from a previous occupant or neighbours) and then you’ve got a whole world of hurt cleaning that up. If you’re OK with that minor speedbump and potential risk, sending e-mail from your own server is straightforward, and it sounds like @webeindustry is going to give us all the goods shortly.

(Clay Heaton) #11

I do. Postfix seems pretty complex, however, and from the perspective of somebody who never has had to configure secure email services on a server, I’m not confident in my ability to check all of the boxes required to get it working properly and securely.

(Lee_Ars) #12

If you’re interested in an end-to-end tutorial on postfix (and dovecot for IMAP and spamassassin for despamming), I wrote up a big four-part series on Ars a couple of years ago (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). Doing it properly requires a significant amount of work and there are a number of potential configuration pitfalls. Plus, if you’re on a shared hosting box, bad behavior by other tenants on your server or even at your provider can get your IP address or you entire netblock blacklisted.

If you’re confident in your abilities as a sysadmin and you’re willing to put in some time to do it, it’s a good exercise. Just know that it’s not simple and it’s also not entirely self-sustaining, since you need to be vigilant about security and updates (although updates to postfix’s core aren’t frequent).

Personally, I run the setup described in the above linked tutorial on my Discourse server (which is run out of my closet on a Comcast business-class account with a static IP address) and use it to provide e-mail for several domains I own. It’s proven extremely handy to have and I like the practical knowledge and experience the DIY route provides. Still, as far as difficult sysadmin tasks go, proper care and feeding of an e-mail server is at the very top of the list.

(Jeff Atwood) #13

This should be printed in 50 point blinking pink Comic Sans. You really do not want™ to be in charge of an email server.

(Scott Smith) #14

I ran my own discourse email server for a month or so, but I found it hard to get reliable delivery of mail in spite of configuring DKIM etc. So the do not want is definitely big and blinking for me :smile:

I just looked into Mailgun and it looks like they are free for 10K/mo, $5/mo for 20K, $10/mo for 30K etc. I just did the very easy initial setup now and hope to be a happy Mailgun customer in a few days.

(Benjamin lupton) #15

A few other suggestions are appearing from Jeff Atwood on Twitter: "arrrrgh curse you MailCimp!"

So far:

(Zajako) #16

Why won’t it let me edit my delivery method in Emails > Settings in discourse? It shows the values but they are not editable and I can’t find any lace to change it away from mandrill.

Also thanks for the recommendation for mailgun!


You do that in the app.yml file

(Pradeep Kumar) #18

We are using SendGrid for our forum, it’s good so far. We can send up to 12,000 emails a month using the free account. :slight_smile:

(AstonJ) #19

Valid points - however you take the complexity out by using a server control panel (the simplest is webmin). This makes your life as a server admin MUCH easier :slight_smile: (and works absolutely fine with Discourse).

Not only does a CP take care of little details, but gives you powerful backup options, makes moving to a new server trivial (you just back up a site account, and upload it to your new server and when it is restored you get all your email accounts, sites details, dbs etc all set back up - slightly more involved for Discourse sties - just the Discourse side not email though, as email/DNS records etc are part of the back-up) and gives you lots of other benefits too, way too many to list.

I have been running dedicated servers for 7 years and have always handled mail on our own server - the only problems relating to mail have been my own (sending email to 40,000 users got me temporarily blacklisted once, oops! This is actually something Discourse can help with - whenever a user’s email notification is returned it should flag the user’s account as such and then ask the user to update their email - XF does this now).

(@SenpaiMass) #20

I am checking out Pepipost as of now. Speaking to one of their devs, Having issues Regarding, verification of domain as of now Issue related to meta-tag. It will be solved by the dev.

<meta name='verify-v1' content='xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'/>

If i add that to </head> it gets converted to

<meta name="verify-v1" content="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"/>

With the "

This is causing issues related to domain verification. But the support was nice to activate my domain from their end.
regarding this it should be solved by tomorrow.

Trying Pepi post i will let you guys know how it goes.