Why would my website need to send emails?
To send automatic notifications for visitor transactions e.g. when someone registers or fills out a form on your website. You may also want to send bulk emails for marketing purposes.
Why not use another website?
If you're lucky the data you need to send your mass/bulk emails is already stored in a database on your website. For many website owners, the information submitted by visitors to their page is sent via email and never stored anywhere else.
Even if the data is on your website, it may not be straightforward to download and format the information in a way that can be used by something like MailChimp. In the case of personal client information - you want not even want to upload it to another website.
Why can't I just use my existing email service?
In recent months, some better equipped websites with built-in databases and automatic email generation have not been able to send emails using their existing free email providers. Some email services have drastically reduced the number of free emails you can send per day and offer paid packages to increase the usage limits. Others are blocking automatically generated emails and offing paid packages for this purpose.
How do I setup this email service?
If you haven't already, get a custom domain domain name and email address. See our earlier article on how to get a free custom email from zoho.com.
Signup for SendGrid.com and configure your domain and website. This configurations are will prevent your emails being marked as SPAM. SendGrid provides detailed documentation and support but feel free to contact us for assistance with this.
What's the cost?
SendGrid's services are free for up to 100 messages per day.
In the first month you are allowed to send up to 40,000 messages. After a month, you can purchase 40,000 emails per month for about $15 US - or keep the 100 per day limit forever.
Are there any alternatives to SendGrid?
There are a few, most notably, MailChimp, Zoho and SendInBlue. SendGrid is just our choice because the paid plan is more affordable in some cases and the support is better in others.