Are you looking for some bulk mailing and email automation services for your business? Email marketing is hands down one of the best tried and tested marketing strategies to ensure that your products and services reach your target audience. Amazon SES is one of the most budget-friendly options in the market, but we also have Amazon SES alternatives as some very effective options. How to choose the one best suited for your business? Here is a comprehensive guide to help you out.
What is Amazon SES?
Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a cloud-based email marketing service that can be integrated into any application for bulk email automation. It is a very popular service because it is easy to use, cost-effective, and a great tool to reduce your overall maintenance of the email service.
Email service providers can help you send two types of emails: Transactional and Promotional. Transactional emails are the ones that you receive right after signing up with or interacting with a business, like making an account, a welcome email, transaction receipts, order tracking, etc. Promotional emails are the ones you draft for specific email campaigns to promote products and services, to reach target customers, and boost sales. Amazon SES is more suited for sending bulk transactional emails, but in this blog, I will suggest some leading Amazon SES alternatives for sending both transactional and promotional emails.
Features of Amazon SES
- Offers Multiple Sender Option: You have access to several methods of sending emails, like the Amazon SES API, Amazon SES console, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Amazon also offers you the option to access the API using the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or the AWS Software Development Kit (SDK).
- Supports Multiple User Types: Amazon SES supports two types of users: Sandbox Users and IAM Users. All new users are added to the Sandbox user list by default, but you can always request Amazon to remove yourself from this list as it poses some limitations to your account usability. For example, Sandbox users can send a maximum of 200 emails in 24 hours, and one email per second. They can also send and receive emails only from verified email IDs and domains. However, IAM (Identity and Access Management) users get many more benefits and accessibility like sending 10,000 emails per day. All you need to do is follow a procedure to gain production access.
- Offers SMTP and Account Security: Amazon SES offers you certain SMTP credentials to safely send emails to clients. You receive a Unique Access Key ID and a Secret Access Key to use as SMTP to send your emails. You can also generate a New Access Key and revoke the use of your current SMTP.
- Cost-effective: We will discuss several Amazon SES alternatives in this blog, but Amazon will always lead in providing the most cost-effective plans for email automation. It costs around $0.10 for each thousand emails, and needless to say, it is the most pocket-friendly among all of its competitors.
- High Deliverability: As marketers, we know that just drafting a decent email campaign and sending it is not enough, but delivering it to genuine target customers is of topmost priority. Amazon SES will surely help you out with this. It makes sure that the maximum number of emails get sent to your client’s inboxes. Powered by an advanced content filtering technology, it scans the outgoing emails ensures that the content meets the ISP standards, and queues them for sending. If the standards are not met, then they are sent back to the sender for corrections.
- Malware and Spam Detection: It can also detect and block emails with malware or viruses before they are sent. Additionally, it lets you know which of the emails were marked as spam by the recipients to understand your client base and plan further strategies.
- Access to Email Statistics: Amazon provides you with access to email statistics for successful deliveries, bounced messages, rejected messages, and complaints. You can see this in real time on the SES control. This will help you to detect the problems and fix them right away.
What are the Best Amazon SES Alternatives?
Amazon SES is surely the most cost-effective email automation service that allows you to send bulk emails with ease. However, you may then ask, why should we look for Amazon SES alternatives?
Firstly, setting up Amazon SES is not the easiest procedure, and you need to be quite tech-savvy to do so. If you are unable to do it, then you have to hire someone who can, or someone from your team can help you out. But if you are a small business with limited resources and team members, then this will pose a problem. Moreover, if your bounce or ‘spam’ message rates are a little high on Amazon SES, then it will first give you a warning, and then stop you from sending emails. These aspects do not sit well with quite a few businesses.
There might be several reasons why Amazon SES might not prove well-suited for your business. That is why we are here to help you out! We have a list of Amazon SES alternatives for you to choose from:
Let us assess some features of the best Amazon SES along with its alternatives.
|Transactional Emails||Marketing Emails||Email Analytics||Starting Price||Free Plan|
|Amazon||✓||X||X||$0.10/1000 emails||✓ (free 3000 emails/month)|
|Mailgun||✓||X||✓||$35/month for 50,000 emails||✓ (5000 emails/month)|
|Postmark||✓||X||✓||$15/month for 10,000 emails||✓ (100 emails/month)|
|Mailtrap||✓||X||✓||$10/month for 10,000 emails||✓ (1000 emails/month)|
|SendGrid||✓||✓||✓||$19.95/month for 50,000 emails||✓ (100 emails/day)|
|Mailchimp||✓||✓||✓||$13/month for 5000 emails and 500 contacts||✓ (1000 emails and 5000 contacts/month)|
Best Amazon SES Alternatives 2023
Mailgun is one of the leading Amazon SES alternatives email service providers that helps enterprises of all sizes send, validate, and receive high-volume emails through their domain. It mostly provides you with email API and SMTP services, and it is not suitable for email marketing. From providing you with tracking and valuable analytics about your emails to helping you with email builder facilities, verification of email addresses, and optimization of email delivery times, Mailgun offers you these and many more features to streamline your emailing experience and make your work easier, and therefore it is one of the leading Amazon SES alternatives. I have discussed some of its important features here.
Features of Mailgun
- Powerful API Ensures Lightening-fast, high-volume mail delivery: With a powerful tool like Mailgun at your service, you do not have to worry about deliverability issues for your bulk emails. Just add your domain, verify it by adding DNS records, and start sending emails within 24 hours. Mailgun ensures super-fast service and bulk mail delivery within a very short time. It prioritizes sending transactional emails to clients as fast as possible. With its Rapid Fire feature, it helps you send high-volume emails in bursts at a predetermined time and even offers round-the-clock service.
- Ensures Better Deliverability of Emails: Mailgun offers deliverability options tailored to the needs of specific businesses and provides features like a Technical Account Manager to ensure continuous support, troubleshooting in case of issues, and email best practices.
- SMTP Services: I was very impressed by the SMTP services provided by Mailgun. It supports cloud-based SMTP services that are easy to set up and work with. It helps you send transactional emails, design marketing campaigns, set email routing commands, track and receive email analytics, and a lot more. You can choose between the API or the SMTP services.
- Ensures Email Validation: Mailgun offers an impressive service of helping you verify the email addresses of recipients and filter out the inactive and undeliverable recipient addresses before sending the emails. This helps you to keep a low bounce rate and improve your engagement metrics and IP reputation. It has a real-time email validation API to detect and identify invalid email addresses while inserting them into your database, therefore no invalid addresses can be added to the database at all. It also has an impressive bulk validation tool that helps you clean out the invalid recipients in your mailing list.
- Provides Valuable Email Analytics: This impressive tool also offers you not only analytics and tracking of your emails but also performance predictions. Most other email automation tools will help you with analytics post-delivery, but Mailgun has a feature called Inbox Placement that provides performance predictions and identifies email deliverability issues even before the emails are sent. This will boost your recipient engagement, and prevent mail bounces or spam. If there are issues with the content or subject line of your emails, Mailgun detects them and gives you suggestions to make changes.
- Impressive Email Builder Feature: Mailgun offers the Mailjet email builder to build marketable emails for target customers. These email templates are fully customizable so you can tailor them according to your needs to grab your customer’s attention and get the maximum benefits.
Advantages of Mailgun over Amazon SES
- Offers you options of a powerful API or an efficient SMTP to choose from.
- Ensures super-fast, high-volume email delivery.
- Prioritizes quick and efficient transaction email delivery.
- Offers email validation to filter out invalid and undeliverable recipient addresses.
- Provides impressive email analytics and performance predictions before the email delivery.
- Offers an email builder feature that is completely customizable and easy to use.
- Prices can be slightly steep for small businesses as there are no free plans
- Very few email marketing features.
- Can be a little tricky to set up for non-developers.
- Provides limited features for low-tier users.
Postmark is a SaaS email service provider designed to serve enterprises and startups, and one of the most popular Amazon SES alternatives. It offers fast and reliable SMTP services, an email API, and many other beneficial transactional email services to businesses both big and small. With several smart features like Template management, Queue Manager, Spam Blocker, Analytics, and much more, Postmark is popular for its easy and fast email delivery service. It is hands down one of the best Amazon SES alternatives out there. One of its unique features is that it keeps the transactional and marketing email streams completely separate to ensure top-notch quality for both. Now, let us take a look at all of its features.
Features of Postmark
- Prioritizes Transactional Emails: For any business, transactional emails are of utmost importance to communicate with their customers. These include personalized welcome messages, account setup, password resets, purchase receipts, shipping or delivery information, and a lot more. Postmark helps you set up transactional messages with ease, and ensures fast and accurate deliverability rates. This helps you to maintain your sender reputation and improve customer experience.
- Ensures Fast Delivery of Transactional Emails: As I have mentioned Postmark prioritizes Transactional emails, and it ensures that they reach your customers almost instantly. They acknowledge that transactional emails contain vital information that customers should receive as soon as possible. Postmark tries its best to avoid any confusion or distress related to late receipt of transactional emails and ensure that these messages reach a client’s inbox instead of the spam folder. It also allows dedicated IPs to high-volume senders. However, it ensures fast delivery for all the subscription plans.
- Large Library of Email Templates: Postmark offers several premade email templates for your transactional and marketing emails, like password resets, welcome emails, payment receipt notifications, and more. Drafting and creating new email templates every single time can be very time-consuming and require a lot of effort. Postmark makes this process smooth and streamlined with its large and diverse library of integrated, compatible, and responsive email templates. Moreover, these templates are completely customizable, so you can tailor them to your needs.
- Offers Several Email APIs: I found Postmark to be one of the most reliable email automation services that offers several email APIs for sending emails and managing templates, servers, and domains. The Postmark email API is quite easy to set up even for a not-so-tech-savvy person like myself.
- Email API Easy to Set up and Manage: It supports powerful client libraries and several popular languages like Java, Python, PHP, and more, thus making it more accessible. It also allows you to sort your emails into logical groups based on the environment or application from which it is being sent. For example, you can use Postmark to segregate the emails being sent from your web application and website separately.
- Offers Detailed Email Statistics: This feature will truly help you understand the success of your email campaigns, detect mistakes, and help you plan further strategies. Postmark provides you with bounce rates and click rates of your emails, and provides you detailed insights into your email analytics. You can also check if clients have opened any links attached to these emails, or if the messages have been marked as spam. It provides you with a 45-day history of all your email logs, so you can check your records and take conclusive steps for your campaigns.
Advantages of Postmark over Amazon SES
- Prioritizes transactional emails to maintain the sender’s reputation and improve customer experience.
- Ensures fast delivery of bulk transactional emails.
- It uses a pay-per-use system.
- Easy to set up with a flexible API that can be integrated with several popular languages like Java, Python, PHP, and more.
- Provides email analytics that offers valuable information about email delivery, helps to detect mistakes, and plans further strategies.
- Comes with premade, responsive, and customizable email templates.
- Offers only monthly pricing, and no yearly pricing.
- No support for lists or visual template builders.
- Does not provide SMS support.
Mailtrap is a one-stop solution for enterprises and business owners to solve their email-related issues. From sending and testing, to controlling email infrastructure, Mailtrap promises to handle it all so that entrepreneurs can relax about the emails and focus on other aspects of their business. I found this claim by Mailtrap a reassuring one and therefore decided to test it out and include it in the list. With impressively high delivery rates, easy set-up, and effortless maintenance, Mailtrap is one of the best Amazon SES alternatives out there. I will list some of its features for you to understand it better.
Features of Mailtrap
- Supports Email Testing API: Mailtrap’s email testing features help you to test and tweak emails even before sending them to recipients. developers can run load tests and integration to ensure that the emails can be sent and received with ease. You can also make tweaks in the design and copy, make changes in the placement of elements, test the deliverability of emails, analyze source code, assess the functionality and performance of emails with dynamic, personalized, and marketable content, and so much more!
- Ensures High Deliverability of Emails: This is our prime concern while testing out email service providers, and Mailtrap consistently fulfills this criterion. It gives developers a lot of control over email deliverability and allows them to quickly fix any existing sending issues before they occur. It covers quick troubleshooting and debugging, with an impressive throughput of ~10,000 emails/second.
- Provides API Freedom and SMTP service: I found the Mailtrap Email API quite easy to use and offers seamless integration for greater email sending flexibility. It offers several SDKs to integrate Mailtrap integration in your system, like NodeJS, Ruby, PHP, Python, and Elixir. The Mailtrap SMTP service is also very easy to set up, and it provides and validates all essential DNS records like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
- Quality Assurance Automation: Just sending high-volume emails is not enough, ensuring their quality and standards is also essential. This not only boosts customer experience but also maintains and improves your sender reputation. Mailtrap offers great quality assurance features like testing complex email sequences that go beyond determining if emails are being sent or delivered. It helps you to verify headers, subjects, attachments, body structure, and other elements meet the quality standard metrics.
- Provides Valuable Insights: Mailtrap provides valuable insights and analytics for your email campaigns. You can check out these statistics under three tabs in the menu: Stats, Mailbox Providers, and Email Categories. These help you assess the success of your email campaigns, detect mistakes you are making, and rectify them in the following campaigns. Mailtrap gives you insights about several aspects like Delivered emails, Unique Open Rate, Click Rate, Bounce Rate, Spam Complaints, and much more!
Advantages of Mailtrap over Amazon SES
- Provides email testing API to test and tweak emails before sending them.
- Ensures high deliverability of emails and allows quick fixes for issues before sending them.
- Provides both API freedom and SMTP service with easy setup and integration.
- Provides Quality Assurance Automation that boosts customer experience and improves your sender reputation.
- Provides valuable insights and performance analysis of your email campaigns.
- The free trial version supports very limited features.
- The lower tier subscriptions lack some essential features like viewing the history logs.
- History logs on Mailtrap are recorded for only 60 days and not more than that.
- The user interface is more suited for developers and not very much for marketers.
Are you looking for an email delivery platform for sending both transactional and marketing emails? Sendgrid should be your pick! With a consistent presence in the industry for more than a decade, Sendgrid offers several email services like email testing, designing, sending, and marketing tools. No wonder it is one of the most popular Amazon SES alternatives. With recently added SMS and Whatsapp service tools, it is here to provide you with comprehensive solutions for your business. Let us check out its features below.
Features of SendGrid
- Provides Transactional Email Support: You can use SendGrid’s Email API or SMTP service to automate your transactional emails to send them to your customers. Transactional emails have high open rates and must be delivered soon to boost customer experience.
- Dynamic Built-in Email Templates and Editor: Sendgrid offers great support for drafting your promotional emails. Do you want to build your emails from scratch? You can access the HTML editor or the drag-and-drop editor to frame your email. You can also choose from the diverse gallery of Sendgrid’s email templates to build and personalize them according to your needs. Personalized messages help to build lasting relationships with your customers and boost customer experience.
- Ensures High Deliverability of Bulk Emails: Powered by robust features, Sendgrid is one of the better bulk email platforms I have used. Sending high-volume emails through this platform is quite simple. Just create your email, select the recipient list, schedule your content, and you are done! Thanks to its robust features like email validation and integrated email tests, a lot of your time and effort can be saved. With advanced spam filters and spam testing, Sendgrid ensures the optimization of emails before delivery. It also provides you with a subscription of dedicated IP to prevent spammers from using the same IP and affecting your sender’s reputation.
- Ease of Integration and Powerful API: I was very impressed to find that Sendgrid offers integrations with many API, CRM, and automation software that can help enterprises ease out their business requirements and connect to a variety of martech tools. Sendgrid can be easily integrated with several popular tools like Airtable, Shopify, Zapier, Oracle, Google Cloud Platform. and many more. Supported by powerful SMTP and Web API, it helps you to set up custom integrations with an API key, and it helps you perform several business activities with ease and convenience like sending emails and managing email lists.
- Advanced Analytics and Reporting: Thanks to the robust support of this SMTP, you can track the performance of your emails in real-time and understand how your campaigns are performing. It provides you with comprehensive analytics of emails delivered, spam reports, unique clicks and opens, bounce rate, unsubscribed, and more. These valuable statistics help you understand the lacks and mistakes in your current campaign and design better campaigns in the future.
Advantages of SendGrid over Amazon SES
- Provides ample support for transactional emails.
- You can avail built-in email templates for drafting promotional emails.
- Ensures high deliverability of bulk emails powered by some robust features.
- Ease of integration with several popular software to make your work much more convenient.
- Gives you advanced email analytics and performance reporting to understand your errors or judge the performance of your email campaigns.
- The lower tier plans have very limited features.
- Could have better features for marketing automation.
- Customer support could be better as the team takes a lot of time to respond and also lacks email support.
Mailchimp is a leading email marketing automation platform, an email newsletter provider, and one of the best Amazon SES alternatives. With several robust features like a website and landing page builder, free CRM, automation tools for planning and executing marketing campaigns, and a lot more. If you want to create impactful email ad campaigns, then Mailchimp should be your go-to marketing email automation tool. As one of the leading platforms in the business, it provides its services according to the SaaS principle, which means that customers do not need any additional software or server to access the tool and they can use it through the browser-based interface.
Features of Mailchimp
- Create Email Campaigns Easily: I would suggest novice users use Mailchimp because of its ease of use. It gives you a step-by-step guide to build your email campaign. To get started, you have to fill in some details of your campaign, like subscribers, subject line, and form address. Once this is done, you can move on to create your email campaign. It allows you loads of customization options and flexibility. You can choose from a pre-designed template theme, choose from basic layouts or layouts designed for targeted marketing and campaigns, or you can code your own from scratch.
- Offers Email Testing Features: Mailchimp offers email testing features, in which you can send test emails to other recipients, who can put down their comments and suggestions in the comments section. This will help you collaborate with other developers or marketers and improve your email campaigns. It also provides a feature known as A/B testing functionality that lets you test up to three different variants of not only the email content, but also the subject line, from name to scheduled time, and send these variations to a certain percentage of your email list. You can specify your target goals, like more unique click or open rates, revenue generation, or some other aspect, and Mailchimp will help you choose a winning email among the variants.
- Offers an Advanced Content Management Functionality: This feature of Mailchimp provides high-functionality to segregate and manage your contacts, so much so that you might not require a CRM. Under the ‘Audience’ section, you will find the Contact Management Dashboard. You can add your contacts manually or import lists from your device, and also narrow them down according to the behavior of the contacts. Mailchimp will also help you create segments among your contacts to help you with a targeted customer list for your marketing and promotional campaigns.
- Provides Insights and Analytics: Most other email service providers provide basic email performance analytics like delivered emails, open rate, click rate, spam complaints, bounce rate, etc. However, Mailchimp’s Marketing Platforms provide much more in-depth reports and insights like the number of orders, average order revenue, and total revenue. These insights help you to understand the ROI of each campaign and the actual impact that your campaigns could create. It also helps you track other performance aspects of your email campaigns, like the geographical location of customers who have opened the emails, the performance of your campaign in the first 24 hours, and the subscribers who open your emails the most.
- Online Support: Navigating through email automation platforms is not always the easiest. It is mostly the job of developers, not of not-so-tech-savvy marketers like me. However, if you have to wear different hats for your business, then Mailchimp is here to help you out. With several blog and video tutorials, it helps its users to set up, navigate, and use this platform for their marketing and emailing needs.
Advantages of Mailchimp over Amazon SES
- Provides ease and convenience for users even if they lack advanced technical know-how.
- Helps users to create email campaigns with ease.
- Offers impressive email testing features.
- Best suited for email marketing campaigns for businesses who want to promote their goods and services.
- Has multiple pricing and plans to suit businesses of all sizes.
- Offers advanced content management functionality to segregate and manage contact lists more conveniently.
- Provides in-depth insights and analytics about your email marketing campaigns.
- Available also as an application that can be downloaded on Android or iOS devices.
- Offers online blogs, video tutorials, and resources for customers to navigate and use the platform with much more ease.
- Does not provide a lot of autonomy over the email design.
- Customer service is sometimes slow to respond.
- New users need some time to navigate and understand the platform, so user interface can be improved.
- There are limited free email templates to choose from.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I consider Amazon SES alternatives?
Amazon SES can be a pocket-friendly option for email services, but it is not the easiest to set up or use, at least for users without the technical know-how. It is also not the most suitable for several business needs. It lacks features like email scheduling, email insights and analytics, premade email templates, and a lot more. To avail of such features, you need to check out some Amazon SES alternatives that suit your requirements.
What are some of the best Amazon SES alternatives?
I have discussed some of the best Amazon SES alternatives available in the industry. They are Mailgun, Postmark, Mailtrap, SendGrid, and Mailchimp. These will help you out with the functionality and features that Amazon SES cannot offer and streamline your work.
Should I use an Email API or SMTP?
Most email service providers will give you the option to choose between an Email API or SMTP service as they offer both to the customers. SMTP is more suited for users who do not have much technical know-how and want to send high-volume transactional emails. It is much easier to set up and work with. Email requires users to have some technical knowledge of the language or tools used for integration, mainly developers. However, API is much faster than SMTP and is better suited for sending bulk transactional emails.
In this blog, I have suggested to you some of the most popular Amazon SES alternatives that are sure to help you with all your business email lists. Sending transactional emails and conducting email marketing campaigns are some essential aspects of any business or enterprise. I hope that my blog about the leading Amazon SES alternatives could ease out some of your concerns.