Updated: Sep 6
SendGrid is a cloud-based SMTP provider that enables you to send email without the need for email servers. SendGrid handles all technical aspects, from infrastructure scaling to ISP outreach and reputation monitoring to whitelist services and real-time analytics.
SendGrid pricing plans are flexible and it offers two methods for sending an email: via their SMTP relay or via their Web API. SendGrid offers client libraries in a variety of languages.
This is the recommended method for integrating with SendGrid. If you choose to use SendGrid without a client library, the Web API is recommended in most cases because it is faster, has some encoding benefits, and is generally easier to use. SMTP comes with a lot of features by default, but it’s more difficult to set up.
WHAT IS SMTP?
The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the protocol used by internet servers to send email messages. When you send an email from your Gmail account, for example, your mail client sends the message to the server via SMTP. The server then sends it to the receiving server via SMTP.
Without going into too many technical details, the simplest way to think of SMTP is as an email server.
BENEFITS OF SMTP
Easy sending infrastructure
Your sending infrastructure is transformed by SMTP relay providers. Providers of Internet access (ISPs) Examine your domain reputation and IP address reputation to determine whether your emails are delivered to your recipients’ inboxes or redirected to the spam folder.
A good SMTP relay service provider adds your company to a pool of reliable, high-reputation senders and protects your IP reputation with a variety of tools.
You can’t control the reputation of your sending IP if you manage your own SMTP server on a shared Virtual Machine (VM), which means you could be sharing it with someone sending unsolicited messages. This could result in your IP address being blacklisted… and you have to work your way back into the good graces of your ISP.
Handles large email volume
Many ISPs and webmail providers impose email sending limits in order to deter spammers and bad actors. This is due to the fact that these services are intended for user mail rather than application email, such as order confirmations. This can limit your company’s ability to nurture, engage, and support its customer base unnecessarily, especially if you’re a high-volume email sender.
The good news is that SMTP relay services allow you to scale and expand your email volume as needed.
Expert support anytime
Who wouldn’t want to collaborate with the best of the best? Providers of SMTP relay services specialize in delivering, monitoring, and improving email sending practices. You gain access to a high-quality email infrastructure as well as an experienced, on-call support team that can assist you with difficult email issues or deliverability issues.
When you manage your own SMTP services, it’s a different story: you’ll need to know how to troubleshoot issues, whether your server goes down one night or legitimate emails start bouncing.
Quick insight into issues and data insights
One of the most common complaints heard from clients who switch from their own server to SendGrid is that they previously couldn’t get a clear picture of their deliverability. For example, they had no idea how many of their emails were bouncing or why this was happening.
Deliverability data collected by SMTP relay services includes emails sent, bounces (and the type of bounce), spam notifications, spam complaints, detailed error codes, and more.
In other words, SMTP services provide value beyond the ability to hit “send”: they provide important data and insights, so you’ll know why your email arrives smoothly or fails to arrive.
User-friendly and efficient interface
Unlike a self-managed server, most SMTP relay services ship with a clean, appealing user interface (UI). The SendGrid interface makes it simple for anyone in your organization to find, surface, and understand email information. It also reduces exhausting repetitive back-and-forth and searches for email information.
For example, suppose you’re perplexed by a customer’s complaint that they didn’t receive an order confirmation. A clean UI would allow you to find the email in question much faster and see the bounce code in a clear, visual manner.
HOW DOES SENDGRID WORK?
You couldn’t send email messages to anyone outside your domain if you didn’t have SMTP, which is obviously a problem if your business relies heavily on transactional and bulk emails to interact with your subscribers and customers on a daily basis.
When you click the send button on an email message, your email app or client establishes an SMTP connection. Your server (also known as the sending mail server or SMTP client) begins communicating with the SMTP server of your recipient. They employ a number of SMTP commands, or short phrases, to transfer data and enable authentication at various stages of the sending process.
WHAT IS SENDGRID?
SendGrid, like many other SMTP providers, allows you to send emails through their mail servers. This is a great option for sending large amounts of emails where doing so by hand would take a substantial deal of time and effort.
BENEFITS OF SENDGRID
SendGrid offers dependable email delivery that scales with any business. Their cloud-based email solution replaces your email infrastructure, freeing you from the burden of developing, scaling, and maintaining these systems in-house.
Customizable and flexible APIs, real-time analytics, and 24/7 phone or chat support are all available to assist you every step of the way.
Sendgrid pricing plans start at $14.95 per month.
Email API Plans
Free plan: 40,000 emails for the first month, then 100 emails/day + API key, SMTP relay and webhooks + delivery optimization + dynamic template editor.
Essentials plan: includes all “Free” features + live chat customer support.
40K: $14.95/month — 40,000 emails/month.
100K: $29.95/month — 100,000 emails/month.
Pro plan: includes all “Essentials” features + Email validation + dedicated IP + subuser management + phone customer service from SendGrid support.
100K: $89.95/month — 100,000 emails/month.
300K: $249/month — 300,000 emails/month.
700K: $449/month — 700,000 emails/month.
1.5M: $749/month — 1,500,000 emails/month.
Premier: Custom pricing (get in touch with the sales support team) — includes all “Pro” features + customer success manager + prioritized customer support.
Email Marketing Plans
Free plan: 2000 contacts + 6000 emails/month + segmentation + A/B testing + 1 signup form (no credit card required).
Basic plan: includes all “Free” features except marketing automation + 5 signup forms + SendGrid support via chat.
5K: $15/month — 5,000 contacts + 15,000 emails/month.
10K: $25/month — 10,000 contacts + 30,000 emails/month.
20K: $50/month — 20,000 contacts + 60,000 emails/month.
50K: $120/month — 50,000 contacts + 150,000 emails/month.
100K: $200/month — 100,000 contacts + 300,000 emails/month.
Advanced plan: includes all “Basic” features + marketing automation + dedicated IP + customer support via phone.
10K: $60/month — 10,000 contacts + 50,000 emails/month.
20K: $100/month — 20,000 contacts + 100,000 emails/month.
50K: $250/month — 50,000 contacts + 250,000 emails/month.
100K: $450/month — 100,000 contacts + 500,000 emails/month.
200K: $900/month — 200,000 contacts + 1,000,000 emails/month.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is SendGrid really free? SendGrid does provide a free email API and Email Marketing plan, however, they have limited features and support. 40,000 emails for the first month, then 100 emails per day after that. How many emails can you send per day on SendGrid? On the free play, a user is able to send 40,000 emails in their first month, and then 100 emails each day after the month is up. Is Mailchimp like SendGrid? Mailchimp and SendGrid are both email marketing platforms, however, there are key differences. Choose SendGrid when you have complex requirements, massive scale operations, or a solution to eCommerce email. How does SendGrid make money? SendGrid earns money from users who sign up for a premium paid plan.