Alternatives to Mandrill

Now that Mandrill is going to require a paid Mailchimp account, I’m going to want to switch. I already pay a monthly fee after the # of free allotted emails are used up.

What do you folks use, or what do you plan on using?

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I used Mailgun on one of my latest projects. 10 000 free emails per month.

We’re signed up to Sendgrid, 12,000 free emails per month and have multiple sites using it. Seems to do the job fine.

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Which of these work well with Trellis? I tried Sendgrid but couldn’t find the right settings for trellis mail. Mandrill was pretty easy for that, just copy/paste.

This is the mail.yml file from a recent site (Trellis v0.9.4):

mail_user: bcwordpress
mail_password: "{{ vault_mail_password }}" # Define this variable in group_vars/all/vault.yml

For mail user and password I created new “credentials” (and gave it Mail access) just for this specific site.


I recommend Sparkpost, they have free plan for 100k/ month and really good deliverability and responsive support.

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We use Amazon SES for all our trellis-based projects. It’s not free but its pricing is pretty friendly ($0.10 per 1,000). So far we’ve had no problems with it. We also use it for a Sendy installation we have and it works like a charm.

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SES also allows for easy setup of DKIM/SPF records if you’re using Route 53 for your DNS :thumbsup:

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I’m going to have to look into Route 53 instead of Cloudflare. Thanks.

Probably going to go this route due to the fact that everything else we have is in AWS.

We use Amazon SES with the Postman plugin in SMTP mode - give really nice logging, mail holding transcripts and resending within the Wordpress Admin. You can use postman with a bunch of services and still have logging so we use it on pretty much every install now.

There is a seperate SES plugin we tested but it is just terrible - if you don’t have it fully set up
it breaks the frontend and backend of the site. We’ve also tried SendGrid, but there were a lot of hoops to jump through to set it up.

#Amazon SES Setup for first-timers
This is our internal setup notes in case you are new to SES

Ensure you can get email for the address you are verifying and have access to DNS for the domain you are sending from

  1. Login to the aws console, choose SES service
  2. Use Oregon as the location (or another that has SES available, it’s not in every location)
  3. Add the sending domain to SES console and verify. We don’t normally add DKIM records - Seems to be reliable without them
  4. Add the sending email address and verify
  5. Create an SMTP user, make the name easy to distinguish in IAM, eg:
  6. Install Postman SMTP Plugin, server:, use details from the SMTP user you just made
  7. Send a test, ensure the sending email is the one you verified

First time using SES - you need to request out of their sandbox:


FWIW, no plugin is necessary to use Trellis with SES as long as you provide the credentials in the mail config

True. You don’t need a plugin. It is super-convenient to see sending logs and errors directly in Wordpress if you have issues with that.

@brandon We use Mandrill, but also have accounts with SendGrid, Mailgun, and Postmark.

Postmark doesn’t have a free account, but they give you the first 25K emails for free and have very reasonable pricing after that.

You can also try SendinBlue : allows you to create a free account and send up to 9 000 free emails per month. You can manage both transactional emails and newsletters from the same account :slightly_smiling:

@alexyna while we don’t mind people promoting their own products when it’s useful, you should at least disclaim that you work for them :slightly_smiling:


Hi there Scott :slightly_smiling:
Yes, I work for SendinBlue indeed!
So, if anybody here has any questions about the platform I’d be happy to help

The one feature I really miss form Mandrill is their test mode. In test mode, Mandrill would catch any emails without sending them to the recipient - incredibly useful for staging sites.

As far as I’ve been able to determine, none of the other competitors in this market have that particular feature. Mailhog will catch and prevent send mails in development, but Mandrill test mode is great on staging sites.

We (Pepipost ) are happy to help you get started with one of Pepipost’s Essentials plans. It’s easy! Check it out:

We might be small in terms of market presence… But we score high in satisfaction and performance!

Hey Paul, I’m trying to figure out how to get this working for me. I have a working Sendgrid account I’ve used with express/node mailer and I’m trying to setup trellis but the way the credentials are different for each and I’m having trouble understanding the correct format. For example, you’re using as the server however the one I have working in node is a .net address. Any guidance would be appreciated.