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Email is a crucial part of running a business – Email is used to communicate with customers, market new products, reach out to potential clients, and the list goes on. While many other methods of communications are available today such as social media networks, chatbots, and collaboration tools like Slack – email is here to stay. In fact, Internet Live Stats currently estimates that approximately 2,641,007 emails are sent every second.
When we talk about business email, there are basically two use cases: transactional emails and marketing emails. Transactional emails typically include information the recipient needs or wants, and the emails are usually automated notifications triggered by user actions. Account creation emails, account notification emails, and purchase receipts are examples of transactional emails. Marketing emails contain information that aims to attract, convert, and retain customers. Newsletters, promotions, and advertisements are a few examples of marketing emails.
This blog post highlights several email APIs businesses could use to integrate transactional and marketing email capabilities with applications.
Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a basic email sending and receiving service. It requires some effort to integrate Amazon SES with applications but can be a cost-effective email solution. Amazon SES documentation is extremely thorough although a little hard to follow. Amazon provides many resources for developers including code examples, SDKs, and a sandbox for testing Amazon SES API calls. Pricing is based on what services are used, and while there is a free tier, fees for attachments, mail chunks, and EC2 data transfers apply to all users.
MailChimp focuses on email marketing, marketing automation, and branding. MailChimp is a great solution for building and maintaining mailing lists, segmenting lists into different groups, creating marketing campaigns, and automating marketing tasks. The documentation is well-designed and comprehensive with many guides and code examples with corresponding results. There’s also a Playground for testing MailChimp API calls with your own data and in real time. Pricing is based on the number of subscribers as opposed to the number of emails sent per month.
Learn how to get an API Key here.
Mailgun describes its product as the “transactional email API service for developers.” Mailgun can be used by developers to easily add to applications email sending, receiving, tracking, validation, and other email capabilities. The Mailgun API can be used for a variety of use cases from adding basic messaging to applications to building advanced marketing applications. The documentation is comprehensive, easy to follow, and you can view code samples in a number of languages. Pricing is based on the number of messages sent per month along with the number of dedicated IP addresses used.
SendGrid focuses primarily on transactional email, primarily transactional senders. The platform does include marketing email capabilities but does not currently have advanced automation built into its tool. Developers can use the SendGrid API to easily add transactional email capabilities such as weekly user stats emails and password reset emails to applications. The documentation is easy to follow, interactive, and provides code samples for a number of languages. Pricing is based on the number of emails sent per month and the number of contacts stored in Marketing Campaigns.
Which Email API Should You Choose?
The only way to know which Email API is the best one for your use case is to try them all out. All of these APIs have a free tier so that developers can try them out and see if they work well in their applications. It’s also important to carefully review the pricing for each API (all of these providers have a pricing calculator on their website). Pricing for most of these APIs is based on email volume per month so the higher the email volume, the higher the cost.
Summary: Best Email APIs
|API||Functions||Pricing||All Time Users on RapidAPI
(as of 5/24/2018)
|AmazonSES||Basic email sending and receiving service||Free Tier.|
Fees for attachments, mailchunks, and EC2 data transfers
|MailChimp||Build and maintain mailing lists||Based on number of subscribers||146,940|
|MailGun||Easily add email sending, receiving, tracking, validation, and more||Based on number of messages sent/month||12,606|
|SendGrid||Add transnational email capabilities||Based on number of emails/month and number of contacts||864|