Mandrill users are being notified that the service is being integrated into Mailchimp, and you must have a paid account by the end of April.

What alternatives are out there that work well with CiviCRM? Some that look interesting might be Sendgrid, Mailjet or Mailgun.

Any experiences with these?

  • Does your hosting provider not provide an email server?
    – frTommy
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 2:53
  • 3
    We have our own server, and the last thing I want to manage is a mail server.
    – Rob Brandt
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 16:43
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    Update for 2019: Sparkpost was a popular option two years ago when they offered a generous free tier (100,000 emails/month) "for life". Unfortunately, that was a lie. As of July 2019, the free plan is 500 emails/month. They're no longer recommended by most in the community. Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 1:43

8 Answers 8


SparkPost is great, but the UI is a little lacking, but as far as sending is concerned, it works great. My company also just developed and extension for processing bounces from SparkPosts in Civi.


  • 1
    In the most current release. we've added bounce processing for transactional emails github.com/proexchange/com.pesc.sparkpost/releases/tag/1.3.1 Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 0:02
  • FYI : I couldn't get the latest version of this extension to work. When trying to configure email smtp setting, I got authentication failure [SMTP: STARTTLS failed (code: 220, response: 2.0.0 Ready to start TLS)] error message. After some digging I found the following post which suggested downgrading my site from PHP5.6 to php5.5. The change worked immediately. osticket.com/forum/discussion/3422/…
    – Davy Ivins
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 19:29
  • If PHP 5.6 is not working it might be helpful to post an issue. The readme states: CiviCRM 4.4, 4.6 or higher PHP version 5.4 or higher, with the curl extension enabled Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 16:06
  • We need to look into this further. Looks like it's really a CiviCRM/PHP issue. if nothing else we will make a change to readme so people are aware. I know there are a few other questions regarding this in the CivCRM Stack exchange. civicrm.stackexchange.com/questions/10964/… civicrm.stackexchange.com/questions/9467/… Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:38
  • This is still a problem with CiviCRM 4.7.7 as of today (May 19 2016). I've written a ticket at github.com/proexchange/com.pesc.sparkpost/issues/22 Downgrading to PHP 5.5 started the mailing immediately.
    – tabletguy
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:53

I was asked to post a roundup of a variety of alternatives--the writeup is here: https://civicrm.org/blog/andrewhunt/alternatives-to-mandrill

Tommy also suggested I build a calculator to compare costs.

[edit follows] We also have some clients using SendGrid, which has worked fairly nicely. An extension by IMBA is available on GitHub (mentioned in the blog post), but at the moment (May 2016) it only works for Drupal. I made some changes to it in order to work for some WordPress clients, and I offered it as a pull request for them. If you are using WordPress or Joomla, you should look at [my fork] instead. I'll try to remember to update this when things change.


We are using mailjet and it works fine, but they are VERY cautious (eg. they threatened to block us because our spam rate came around 0.08% in three separate mailings, where we are normally < 0.01%) . The main reason we use mailjet is that it's based in the EU, so for privacy reason and with the problems around the safe harbour agreement, we preferred them.

One other organisation doing lots of mailing is using sendgrid, but not sure what's the status of integration with civi

  • You could use the cool Email Amender extension to reduce your bounce rate :)
    – JohnFF
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 16:53
  • +1 for Mailjet - I used it for one of my clients
    – Andy Clark
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 19:52


MailGunny extension

@netzih points out another MailGun extension (by @artfulrobot) which looks more up to date, uses current webhooks and other non-legacy settings. I will do some testing with it, too:


Team Singer extension

I have set up a Mailgun account and done some testing, and the SMTP functionality seems to work fine.

I've recently installed this extension on a site that is using MailGun and preliminary results look good:


(This is a fork of https://github.com/teamsinger/uk.teamsinger.civicrm.mailgun which hasn't been updated recently, but may be in the future according to the author).

The setup is a little more complex than (for example) the Sparkpost or Mandrill usage where you just input the API information, but perhaps that will be improved upon in future versions. This version requires you to set up a "Mail Account" for Bounce Processing using the "MailgunDB" protocol, and then have the "Fetch Bounced Messages" scheduled job active. "Legacy Webhooks" need to be defined in MailGun. Sending is done using basic SMTP credentials.

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    If editing this already, maybe add the mailgunny github.com/artfulrobot/mailgunny
    – netzih
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 20:16
  • Thanks! I didn't know about that one.
    – Laryn
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 5:34
  • I didn't either until very recently. Just started using it and seems pretty promising.
    – netzih
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 7:26

We use sendgrid, simple to setup for the entire server. It is free if you have less than 12,000 emails a month. We are moving to 4.7 the sendgrid extension does not support it yet.


A good alternative is SendinBlue, because they offer a free plan allowing you to send up to 9k emails/month forever. And the same account can be used to send both transactional emails and newsletters. Plus they have some interesting plugins (WP, PrestaShop,..)


SparkPost has pretty amazing pricing and is apparently the only alternative Mandrill refer to. Anyone have experience with them?

  • Where do Mandrill state that SparkPost are 'official' or recommended alternative (i know the latter is not your phrase but I see others using it on that post). I see "SparkPost has offered to take on any departing Mandrill users and to honor Mandrill’s pricing for those users". Notifying your clients that there 'is' an alternative, is not the same imo.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 19:28
  • Agreed. @Laryn, Where does it state that Sparkpost is the "official" alternative to mandrill?
    – Yossi
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 19:31
  • Yes, I put the word official in quotes to indicate it is not truly officially, but as it is the only recommended/suggested alternative from Mandrill it is (IMO) de facto official. Sorry if that feels misleading, and feel free to change it. I was trying to keep the answer section clean and just modify an existing answer rather than adding another with essentially the same info.
    – Laryn
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 19:44
  • @petednz-fuzion - also this page interprets it the same way (although that is from the Sparkpost side), sparkpost.com/mandrill-migration-guide, claims "MailChimp recommends SparkPost as a Mandrill alternative for developers looking for a transactional email provider" and in the comments an official Mandrill employee repeatedly mentions SparkPost.
    – Laryn
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 23:47
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    The frequent usage of the word "transactional" in mandrill's - as well as others here - wording suggests that we are the customers they are trying to jettison with this change. Certainly, we use it for transactional emails. We also however use it for newsletters. Not a ton, but we do. Obviously they want us to use Mailchimp for that instead. Sparkpost also emphasizes transactional email. Is there anything in Sparkpost that would prevent newsletters & other legitimate marketing?
    – Rob Brandt
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 23:56

I've been very happy with the services of CiviSMTP https://www.civismtp.com/drupal/pricing

  • unfortunately they are closing down July 2022
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 4:51

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