We have just been informed by Sparkpost that their free service which gave us up to 100k/mo emails with a max of 25k/day will be discontinued. We use the CiviDesk Sparkpost extension 1.3 on CiviCRM 5.12.4 under WordPress 5.2.2. The new Sparkpost pricing plans are shown at https://www.sparkpost.com/pricing/us/. We are borderline between the 50K/mo Starter plan (almost all months average ~25k/mo but we have peaks that go slightly over) and the 100K/mo Premier plan. These 2 plans are respectively priced at $30/mo and $75/mo US$. My main question concerns whether the webhooks that the CiviDesk extension uses work without change regardless of which plan chosen. Is anyone else in a similar boat and considering changing their mail service? We've only used Sparkpost from the get-go and would entertain comparably priced services that other CiviCRM sites recommend. Thanks to anyone for any advice.
Two weeks ago I would suggest Mailgun but the plugin supplied for webhook settings seems to be updated to work for new CiviCRM versions.
But if you somehow make it work (and so integrate the service with Civi successfully) the service itself is quite successful for most of the mail providers.
Here comes the last two weeks... Yahoo (and AOL) domains keep rejecting the newsletter I sent because I was sharing an IP with some bad players. People at Mailgun are quite helpful and respond very quickly. They've changed the IP assigned to our account and the mails were accepted, but in another bulk sending, we had the problem all over again.
So I was tired of trying out providers and set up a postfix myself, I'm sending my mails with my own server. It needs maintenance and a bit experience to set it up but I think it was worth the effort. I can compare better in few months when new mailings will be sent.
The ironic part is, Yahoo has a program for bulk mailers and I had to enroll to that in order to have some positive reputation for my server and it was not based on IP address. So maybe I could try to add my domain to the program while I was using Mailgun and it could change something but I was already done a lot in server side, so this worked for me...
Hope it helps...
My recommendation is that you pay for SMTP services with a dedicated IP address. Your domain being blacklisted and marked as SPAM would end up far more costly.
Have you looked into amazon ses? It's not free but afaik by far the lowest price. A couple of steps to set up (and more complicated than others) but works well.