SendGrid is a nice service, but we've had several nagging annoyances:
1) The credentials to send emails are the same as to login and change plan settings. Seriously? Impossible to lock down the account on a large team from a security perspective. Makes their subuser management feature totally pointless.
2) Our dedicated IP got blocked by an RBL and we had to go to them about it. If I'm paying them for the pain of deal with email crap, I expect them to monitor their own logs and detect when an IP is blocked and come to me, not the other way around. And it wasn't just our IP... the whole class B our IP was on was blocked.
3) Their default behavior for bounces is once it fails, they never even attempt delivery to that address for future messages. They accept the messages our app sends, but just drop them. We had a DNS issue for a few days cause daily email alerts to fail for several big customers and this behavior bit us hard. Wasn't well documented. Come to find out we had a lot that were being blocked.
4) Website is horrible. "Recent Activity" section says last bounce was 8 days ago, but when you drill down to the "Email Activity", there were several as recent as a half hour ago. Clicking the buttons to clear all entries on the email lists don't do anything. Site is just slow and feels overly bloat. Almost feels like a template.
2) We do our best to monitor blacklists and proactively notify customers as soon as we detect their placement on an RBL. We also recognize that some RBL information may get past us in certain instances. To address this, we're increasing support staff by 66% next Monday. Finally, it should be noted that some RBL's are legit, while others are, frankly, scams and exist for the wrong reasons.
3) Some things we offer to address this issue: set your own policy for bounce removal and remove them as often as you like; disable bounces so that we don't track bounces at all; get bounce notifications - as soon as the bounce occurs, you can remove it over our Web API.
4) This example could be account specific (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can look into your account and work to debug). However, it could be more general - we realize our website is far from perfect and are working daily to make improvements. We invite any and all bug/feedback/feature reports so we can investigate, address, and deploy the fixes and enhancements that are most important to users.
This is just a post saying what they do, how they do it, and why they're good. It has nothing to do with Amazon SES at all.
> This is just a post saying what they do, how they do it, and why
> they're good. It has nothing to do with Amazon SES at all.
The risk of one of the Borg companies doing this to you at any time is yet another reason why you should not attempt to compete on price, and relatedly why you should probably not seek the business of equisitvely price sensitive customers.
If you send that level of email a month (which is easy to do if you send a weekly newsletter to a few hundred thousand users) you're now talking about saving yourself a few grand a year with Amazon.
Given the "switch" can be as simple as changing some SMTP settings, this is a big deal. I don't think the people who jump ship are necessarily hyper-price-sensitive customers. Amazon is just turning this service into a commodity.
You can, however, configure an MTA to deliver through SES by delegating delivery to a Perl script (e.g. http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/ses/latest/DeveloperGuide/...).
Sometimes the "massive online store" domain knowledge doesn't seem to transfer over to the AWS team.
"When I offered dozens of companies SendGrid for $100 per month, they all said yes. I raised the price to $300 per month, and they all said yes. $500?—yes. Today, we are working with hundreds of companies, including well-known ones like Foursquare, Gowalla, and GetSatisfaction. When you're selling a solution to a problem and you find that nobody is saying no to your prices, you've found some serious pain. We're building SendGrid to solve a very specific problem that I discovered just by paying attention."
I guess it's time to change...
I'm a customer of sendgrid but I have to admit not a really happy one (the website is shitty, the search is working half of the time, and I have the 20$ plan with heroku which mean that my mails are send about 30min after my request because apparently on shared IP we need to wait...)
My issue is the pricing model, where you pay for 50k (or whatever) emails "per month" but don't get them. If I send 45k one month, and then 55k the next, I have to pay more for those extra 5k emails. I will pay a premium for a premium service, but this is irritating. Irritating enough that I have been monitoring the space waiting for a viable competitor. And with this policy, they are certainly not earning any loyalty on my part. I would leave in a heartbeat.
We've got 5+ years of experience with our bulk email service, Newsberry, to back this up. Not only are our IP reputations carefully monitored and maintained, but we keep bulk and transactional as far away from each other as we can because they're treated SO differently by ISPs.
I was aware of Newsberry, but I still think that it is not comparable to SendGrid.
Even when we concentrate on bulk email, on one hand there is Newsberry, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, etc. And on the other are SendGrid, AuthSMTP, and now Amazon. The former provide an all inclusive solution: WYSIWG editing, templates, subscriber management, analytics, etc. while the latter are an order of magnitude cheaper, but offer a bare-bones solution that doesn't have much in the form of niceties and UI.
SendGrid is somewhere in the middle actually (and so is their pricing). They have analytics (and subscriber management if you wish) and even a crude UI where you can define email campaigns and newsletter templates (although clearly not their core business.) These feature put them above and beyond AuthSMTP which is basically an SMTP server. If Amazon has per campaign analytics (from my very brief look they do), then SendGrid should really be shacking in their boots, because Amazon has just undercut them big time without compromising on core competencies.
Before SendGrid, I was using Campaign Monitor, it was great, but outrageously expensive. SendGrid kicked off because it was an order of magnitude cheaper that CM, Mailchimp, etc. It seems that Amazon did to SendGrid what SendGrid did to "1 cent per email" providers such as Mailchimp.
Are we talking about emails that aren't 100% legit? If so then what does SG offer other than an ever changing set of geographically disperse outbound MXs?
--Tim Falls, SendGrid
Please, fix your website and write some docs.
"Documentation for this feature is coming soon. Meanwhile, contact us if you need any help."