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The Top 10 Twilio SendGrid Alternatives for Your Transactional Emails

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The Top 10 Twilio SendGrid Alternatives for Your Transactional Emails

If you are interested in sending transactional emails, the chances you’ve heard about Twilio SendGrid are high. While the platform offers a wide range of features designed to assist in delivering your business messages to customers, there are other solutions that have speed, deliverability, and security as top priorities.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best alternatives to Twilio SendGrid in terms of their features and pricing so that you can identify the best option for you.

Twilio SendGrid features and capabilities

Before jumping into discussing SendGrid competitors, let’s see what this platform has to offer.

Twilio SendGrid, formerly SendGrid, is a cloud-based email delivery and marketing platform that provides tools to send and manage business messages effectively. It lets you take advantage of email delivery, campaign management, testing, reporting, analytics tools, etc. Besides, this popular transactional email platform offers two email transfer methods: Rest API and SMTP relay.

Other SendGrid features and pros include:

  • Email templates and HTML coding. With SendGrid, you can use any of these options or combine them to streamline your email design process.
  • Email automations. It’s possible to craft automated email flows using triggers and a centralized view of your message series and timing.
  • High deliverability. The platform states an average inboxing rate of 96%. You can also manage your reputation with dedicated IP addresses and customized domains.
  • APIs and SDKs. SendGrid provides APIs and software development kits for various programming languages, making it developer-friendly and adaptable to different tech stacks.
  • Scalability. You can deliver more than 100 billion emails monthly on a customized plan.
  • Security compliance. Twilio SendGrid adheres to email marketing regulations, such as GDPR and the CAN-SPAM Act, that are vital to protect a brand’s reputation.
  • Support and documentation. The service offers customer support and extensive documentation to assist users in setting up and optimizing their email campaigns.

Speaking of Twilio SendGrid’s cost, a free plan is limited to 100 emails per day. The cheapest prepaid plan, allowing you to send up to 50,000 emails monthly, starts at $19.95/month.

Twilio SendGrid disadvantages

SendGrid may appear enticing due to its extensive functionality in transactional email marketing. At the same time, it’s always advisable to compare the pros and cons to identify whether the service is the best fit for you.

Let’s look at some reasons for businesses to be looking for Twilio SendGrid alternatives in more detail:

  • Cost. If you want to send transactional, marketing, and automated emails, you need to pay for separate plans. Transactional email plans start at nearly $20/month, and email marketing plans, including automated and drip campaigns, start at $60/month. Combined, Twilio SendGrid will cost you much more than its all-in-one alternatives.
  • Short email sending history. With only a 3-day email log, evaluating your email performance becomes rushed with unsatisfactory results. To access at least seven days of activity history, you have to upgrade to a Pro plan starting at almost $90/month.
  • Limited marketing channel options. If you’re considering other marketing channels, such as SMS, push notifications, or chats, you’ll have to invest in costly add-ons.
  • One teammate per account. To allow more users to send emails from a single SendGrid account, you have to upgrade to at least a Pro plan.
  • Subpar customer service. Depending on your subscription, there are different support channels available. For example, Free plan users can get help from the support team only through web tickets, while Essential plan users can also use a live chat. However, many users have expressed dissatisfaction in their SendGrid reviews, reporting a decline in responsiveness over time, even on paid add-on plans.

On different review websites, you can check feedback from real SendGrid users. Here is an example:

Twilio SendGrid review
A Twilio SendGrid review on Trustpilot

Twilio SendGrid customers also often report about having their dedicated IP addresses blacklisted. This means that the majority of messages end up in recipients’ spam folders, which probably doesn’t match any marketer’s expectations. Here is a SendGrid review about this issue:

Twilio SendGrid review
A Twilio SendGrid review on G2

So, are you ready to explore Twilio SendGrid alternatives that offer no less for the same price or even outperform it? Read on to find out!

The best Twilio SendGrid alternatives

If you’re looking to move away from Twilio SendGrid, surely your first concern is the features you’ll get elsewhere and the cost. We’re bringing you a detailed comparison between this SMTP relay service and ten other providers.

SendPulse

SendPulse is a versatile marketing platform that allows you to create and send email campaigns, web push notifications, SMS, set up chatbots and live chats, launch smart pop-ups, use a built-in CRM, and more.

In addition to these powerful tools, the platform offers a free transactional email service. This solution allows you to send email campaigns using SMTP or API, providing a seamless way to communicate through your website, CRM, or SDK libraries like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, Node.js, and Оbj-C. Other tools include in-depth metrics and analytics. With their help, you can enhance your email marketing strategy by evaluating open and click rates, for example.

Another standout feature of SendPulse is the ability to set up webhooks for transactional emails, providing valuable insights into email statuses. This SendGrid competitor offers a dedicated IP address for a strong sender reputation that prevents IP blacklisting. It also employs SPF and DKIM authentication methods to keep your emails away from spam folders.

The platform actively manages unsubscribed contacts to ensure your emails do not reach them, even if they are on your mailing list. SendPulse also allows for a custom tracking domain, ensuring no mention of the service appears in your email header and footer.

This platform allows you to set up and launch different automation flows, for example, to confirm a booking, inform users about order updates, notify them about password reset, and more.

order confirmation flow
Building an order confirmation flow in SendPulse

Besides, you can benefit from 24/7 customer support, even on a free plan. This Twilio SendGrid competitor provides assistance in five languages and offers a wealth of helpful guides in their knowledge base.

Pricing: SendPulse’s SMTP email service offers a free plan that includes 12,000 emails per month. The next most affordable plan starts at $7 per month for 25,000 emails. You can also choose a pay-as-you-go option.

You can create a SendPulse account and send up to 12,000 transactional emails via SMTP or API for free every month.

Netcore

Netcore is a robust transactional email API and a great alternative to SendGrid. You can seamlessly integrate any application with either SMTP or RESTful API. The tool offers an in-house Mail Transfer Agent infused with AI, which optimizes speed and enhances deliverability.

In the dashboards, you can track insights on your email activity, including such metrics as deliverability, delivery speed, and inbox placement rates. Apart from that, AI-driven insights will offer suggestions for optimizing your email campaign performance. Netcore’s email API, with its Send Time Optimization feature, ensures that your emails hit the inboxes precisely when your recipients are most engaged.

email campaign in Netcore
Getting started with an email campaign in Netcore; source: YouTube

Integrating with Netcore’s email API assures end-to-end safety through rigorous regulatory compliance. This Twilio SendGrid competitor is fully compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations.

To get help with the service, you can raise a ticket or look through their knowledge base.

Pricing: This service doesn’t provide any information on their plans. However, you can book a demo and inquire about their costs.

SendLayer

SendLayer is another powerful email delivery solution and a competitor to SendGrid in terms of its functionality. With this platform, you have the flexibility to use an SMTP server or API, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

The service guarantees exceptional deliverability, meaning your emails will consistently land in recipients’ inboxes. This software also enables you to set up webhooks to stay informed about important events.

You can easily track email opens, clicks, bounces, and more in the dashboard. This Twilio SendGrid alternative lets you check the performance of individual emails and filter them by status or recipient for a more granular view.

analytics dashboard
SendLayer analytics dashboard; source: YouTube

Lastly, SendLayer allows you to create and manage mailing lists and groups directly in your dashboard. It also offers two-factor authentication to protect your account from unauthorized access.

Just like SendGrid, this alternative offers customer support through a ticketing system.

Pricing: The platform offers three prepaid plans and an option to customize your own one. The most affordable tier costs $5/month and allows you to send 1,000 emails monthly. All plans have the same set of features; they differ in the log retention period and the number of emails you can send.

Brevo

Brevo stands out as another cost-effective alternative to SendGrid. You can send transactional emails using their email API and SMTP relay. Alternatively, you can set up automated triggers for transactional emails based on specific events. Their SMTP server allows you to establish webhooks and monitor email events. It also seamlessly integrates with major eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, etc.

When it comes to creating your transactional emails, no coding skills are required. Brevo’s drag-and-drop email editor empowers you to build emails from scratch or customize one of the ready-made templates. Moreover, this SendGrid alternative offers comprehensive email analytics for all key metrics. It also maintains an unlimited history of emails sent to each recipient.

email stats
Transactional email stats; source: Brevo

Brevo places a strong emphasis on GDPR compliance. This SendGris competitor offers signup forms that facilitate the legal collection of consent and streamline subscriber preference management. If someone accepts transactional but not promotional emails, you won’t inadvertently email them. This proactive approach safeguards your sender’s reputation, preventing you from being marked as spam for unwanted communications.

Brevo offers customer support to their transactional email service customers in several languages via email.

Pricing: A free plan is limited to 300 emails a day. For 20,000 emails monthly without a daily sending limit, you have to pay $25/month.

DuoCircle

DuoCircle stands out as another SendGrid competitor for companies seeking effective transactional email solutions. This platform offers SPF and DKIM signing, real-time reports and analytics, multiple delivery ports to ensure emails reach their destination, robust anti-spam services, etc.

The software safeguards against phishing attacks through its Link Click Protection feature, ensuring the security of your confidential corporate information as well. Its outbound SMTP service for secure email delivery can help you manage the complexities of email delivery, including IP reputation, DKIM keys, and DNS. The service can also back up your emails on cloud servers and serve as an email queuing service during server outages.

dashboard
A dashboard in DuoCircle, source: YouTube

This platform offers 24/7 email, chat, and phone support.

Pricing: With up to 1,000 monthly emails, you can use the service for free. The next most affordable plan is $4/month for 2,500 emails a month.

Elastic Email

Elastic Email is a cloud-based email marketing and delivery platform and a SendGrid competitor. It provides various email-related services and tools for businesses and developers looking to manage and improve their campaigns.

Using this service, you can seamlessly integrate your software with their RESTful API or SMTP relay to reliably send and deliver emails to millions of users. Moreover, it offers extensive documentation and code samples, as well as supports 11 programming languages and frameworks. Using simple plugins and guides, you can integrate their API with popular content management systems without a hassle.

You can set up webhooks to track email sends, opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes. Besides, you can increase your deliverability thanks to suppression list management. In the suppression management tab of your dashboard, you can find out more about the methods and reasons why people unsubscribed from your list.

This Twilio SendGrid alternative allows you to use templates created with Email Designer or HTML Editor for your transactional emails.

Email templates
Email templates in Elastic Email; source: Email Vendor Selection

The platform also offers a 24/7 customer support team for troubleshooting and advanced tips for improved deliverability.

Pricing: Elastic Email offers a free plan that includes up to 100 emails/day. Their cheapest paid plan costs $9/month, allowing you to send up to 10,000 emails/month.

MailTrap

Next on our list of SendGrid alternatives, we have MailTrap, a scalable API and SMTP service. With its email sandbox, you can inspect and debug emails in staging, development, and QA environments before a campaign begins. To help you ace your email deliverability, this platform also offers features like a dedicated IP and suppression list segmentation.

This solution allows you to group your transactional emails into various categories like password changes, invoices, and confirmations. For each category, you’ll be able to view the corresponding metrics.

MailTrap enables you to access an extended email history log for up to 60 days on paid plans, allowing you to go back and assess what’s working and what’s not. It also comes with extensive analytics, including critical deliverability alerts and all critical metrics like opens, bounce rates, unsubscribes, etc.

Statistics
Statistics overview; source: MailTrap

The platform provides customer support with a guaranteed response time on every plan and offers a robust knowledge base.

Pricing: The platform offers a free plan that supports up to 1,000 monthly emails. Paid plans are based on emails sent per month and the provided email log history. For example, the most affordable paid plan costs $10/month for up to 10,000 emails and a 15-day email activity log.

Postmark

Postmark is another email delivery service that is primarily focusing on transactional emails. This Twilio SendGrid competitor includes promotional and bulk email delivery through SMTP and API. The service maintains an entirely separate infrastructure for these types of emails to ensure that the quality of the delivery remains top-notch for both transactional and bulk emails. To achieve this, they employ the Message Streams feature.

Each Stream’s activity feed provides comprehensive access to essential data, including delivery events, bounces, opens, and clicks for a default period of 45 days.

Postmark doesn’t have a visual editor for email templates. When building your email, you have two options: write the code yourself or start with one of their pre-pre-designed, responsive email templates that include password resets, comment notifications, trial expirations, invoices, etc.

Coding a transactional email
Coding a transactional email with Postmark; source: Postmark

There is also vast documentation if you have difficulties navigating the service, and customer support via email, chat, or phone for all plan users at no additional charge.

Pricing: Postmark offers a free plan for everyone willing to try the service. It includes 100 emails every month. Their pricing model is volume-based, so your costs depend on the number of emails you send. For example, for 10,000 emails/month, you will pay around $15.

MessageBird

MessageBird is another email sending and deliverability platform we consider a great alternative to Twilio SendGrid. It is a tech-focused solution for businesses and developers looking to send large volumes of bulk emails.

The platform comes pre-configured to ensure top inbox placement with providers like Gmail. MessageBird offers a comprehensive suite of tools to monitor your sender reputation and resolve issues such as hitting spam traps and blacklists. By evaluating optimization models that aggregate data from emails in real time, you can reduce bounce rates, blockages, and delays across all ISPs and markets.

Analytics
Analytics dashboard in MessageBird

You can also authenticate your emails with DMARC, SPF, and DKIM and maintain GDPR compliance. Besides, you have full control of your email operations by managing and updating contacts, triggering messages, verifying phone numbers, and more, using MessageBird’s developer APIs.

They also offer client and server libraries in a wide range of programming languages, including Node, PHP, Java, and more. Additionally, you can benefit from integrations with platforms like Salesforce, Shopify, Zendesk, Zapier, and many others.

The platform’s customers can get help through tickets and chats.

Pricing: The service doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can test it during a trial period. Their most affordable plan starts at $20 for 50,000 emails.

Mailjet

Mailjet is a cloud-based email marketing platform that provides tools for creating, sending, and tracking transactional emails. With this Twilio SendGrid competitor, you can manage your email campaigns and establish dedicated IP addresses to enhance your sender reputation.

With Mailjet’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, marketers can maintain brand consistency in emails and craft impeccable content. In its Expert Preview mode, you can see how your emails appear on mobile devices and desktops in recipients’ inboxes.

drag-and-drop editor
Mailjet’s drag-and-drop editor; source: YouTube

You can easily tailor your transactional emails using variables. The service enables you to craft email templates for various purposes like notifications, password resets, or order confirmations. After that, you can employ loops, conditionals, and functions to trigger the appropriate content.

The software supports webhooks, enabling you to forward event data to your chosen destination. To do that, specify the endpoint URL where event details should be delivered for tracking metrics.

Pricing: With Mailjet’s free plan, you can send up to 6,000 emails/month with a daily sending limit of 200 emails. For a larger email volume, you might want to consider the Essential plan for $15/month. It will allow you to send 15,000 emails/month with no daily sending limit.

Final thoughts

To recap the top Twilio SendGrid alternatives we explored in this post, here’s a comparison table with their features and pricing.

PlatformFree planThe cheapest paid planTransactional email quotaBest feature
SendPulseYes$7/month12,000 free emails/monthWebhooks for transactional emails
NetcoreNoOn requestOn requestMail Transfer Agent
SendLayerNo$5/month1,000 emails/monthBounce management
BrevoYes$25/month300 free emails/daySend logs
DuoCircleYes$41,000 free emails/monthEmail backup MX
Elastic EmailYes$9/month100 free emails/monthInbound email routing
MailTrapYes$101,000 free emails/monthAdvanced analytics
PostmarkYes$15100 free emails/monthMessage Streams
MessageBirdNo$2050,000 emails/monthFast transit times
MailjetYes$15/month6,000 free emails/monthExpert preview mode

When comparing various platforms, prioritize an assessment of pricing, features, and sending limits to make an informed decision. Make good use of free plans and trials to get a feel for the platform. For example, you can get started with SendPulse absolutely for free and see its power. Try it today!

Date of publication:

20 Oct. 2023

Irina Kompanets

Writing to help you level up your marketing game. Wordsmith and digital enthusiast. Turning ideas into stories and marketing concepts...

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