SendGrid Review (Sep 2021): The Complete Guide

Everything You Need to Know About SendGrid

Email marketing is still one of the most valuable tools in the world of digital promotion. Through email solutions, you can ensure that you connect with your target audience at all the right moments in the buying journey. Email can even keep your brand front-of-mind in a sea of competition.

The only problem? Handling a full email strategy on your own would take a lot of time (and work). That’s why there are so many companies offering email marketing solutions for businesses to explore today. Today, we’re going to be exploring just one of the leading products around, SendGrid.

SendGrid assists marketers and developers with their email marketing campaigns. You can use this solution for email delivery, transactional emails, campaign management, and audience engagement. Thanks to things like list management and A/B testing, you’ll be on your way to better customer relationships in no time.

SendGrid even offers a range of ways to get involved with the service, from accessing the SMTP API if you’re a developer, to using the all-in-one email marketing platform.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can do with SendGrid.

What is SendGrid?

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Since launching in 2009, SendGrid has seen massive growth. This email marketing solution aims to support all kinds of people on the path to better email experiences. Whether you’re a marketer, developer, or the CEO of your own business, SendGrid will help you to achieve your goals with a sensational selection of tools.

SendGrid is an interesting choice for today’s business leaders, as it goes above and beyond some of the more common features you might find on other platforms. SendGrid is particularly good at delivering automated transactional emails, and it’s fantastic for support and expert guidance. You can even create custom solutions with the API.

Some stand-out elements of SendGrid include:

  • Powerful API customizations
  • Responsive promotional emails that work anywhere
  • Reports for insights into performance and deliverability
  • High-volume email marketing campaign access
  • Access to SMS marketing too
  • Automated transactional emails
  • More experts and support engineers than anyone else

SendGrid Pros 👍

As a pioneering provider of email marketing solutions, SendGrid has earned a lot of positive attention from happy customers. There are plenty of customer reviews out there extoling the benefits of the SendGrid platform or API. Benefits include:

  • SendGrid is the most significant competitor in the transactional email market, supporting customers like Spotify and Pinterest.
  • Great support for beginners and experienced email marketers alike. There are tons of videos and guides to help you get started, as well as chat and email support.
  • SendGrid provides sensational report and analytics functionality. You can check who marks messages as spam, which emails get delivered, and what kind of data is available.
  • You can experiment with all kinds of different emails, including newsletters, transactional emails automated to suit your customer’s buying journey, and more.
  • There’s a free tier available so you can send up to 6,000 emails per month to 2,000 contacts without spending a fortune. There’s also a free tier on the API option too.
  • SendGrid offers an easy-to-use API that allows users to create more custom experiences for email marketing.

SendGrid Cons 👎

As wonderful as SendGrid might be for many customers, it won’t appeal to everyone. There are some downsides to this product that might send you looking elsewhere for your email marketing functionality too. For instance:

  • SendGrid has had some issues with deliverability in the past, with some companies being unable to achieve the best rates.
  • If you don’t have a technical background, you might find it more difficult to customize and enhance your SendGrid experience.
  • SendGrid doesn’t have a sandbox or testing mode so you can experiment with integrations if you’re using the API functionality

SendGrid Review: Pricing

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There are a lot of features and functionality to consider with SendGrid before you make your decision about whether to try the platform for yourself or not. However, before we get to that part, let’s take a closer look at what you might pay for SendGrid.

The first thing you should know is that there are two sections to SendGrid’s pricing strategy. The first option is “Email API plans” which appeals to developers, while the second is “Marketing Campaign plans”. Let’s see what you get with each one.

Marketing Campaign Plans

One huge benefit of SendGrid is that you can start with a totally free plan. The “free” plan supports up to 2,000 contacts and allows you to send up to 6,000 emails a month, but there’s no dedicated IP access, and some features are missing.

For extra features and functionality, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Basic plan, which starts at $15 per month. For each premium plan, your price will increase based on the number of contacts you want to store, and the number of emails you send per month.

Let’s examine each option a bit more:

  • Free: 2,000 contacts and 6,000 emails per month: Design and code editing, A/B testing, 1 signup form, access to one teammate, segmentation, ticket support, automation, and 3 email testing credits.
  • Basic: Starts at $15 per month: All the features of free, including 5 signup forms, actionable insights, 10 email testing credit, and ticket and chat support.
  • Advanced: Starts at $60 per month: All the features of Basic plus 15 signup forms, 1,000 teammates, dedicated IP address, 60 email testing credits, automation for your emails, chat, ticket, and phone support.

On the other side of the fence, you have the API plans for SendGrid. These are designed for developers who want to integrate email functionality into existing tools and solutions. Once again, there’s a free plan to get you started here, which comes with a bunch of features, but no access to email validation, sub user management, or dedicated IPs.

Like in the marketing plan segment, each of the API plans start at a certain price, but that cost increases based on how many emails you send per month.

Options for the API plan include:

  • Free: The email marketing plan for $0 per month comes with APIs, SMTP relay, and webhooks, dynamic template editing, ticket support, delivery optimization, and analytics.
  • Essentials: $14.95 per month up to 50,000 emails, or $29.95 per month between 50,000 and 100,000 emails. All the features of free included.
  • Pro: $85.95 per month up to 200,000 emails, $249 per month from 250,000 to 600,000 emails, $449 per month up to 1,300,000 emails, or $749 per month from 1,300,000 to 1.5 million. All the features of Essential, plus a dedicated IP, ticket, chat and phone support, and sub user management.
  • Premier: Custom pricing with all the features of Pro, as well as 5,000 email validation, and prioritized support.

If you go over your plan or send more emails than you’ve paid for, then SendGrid includes a small overage fee in your billing.

SendGrid Features

Now that you know what the pricing looks like for SendGrid, we can begin to get a closer look at the potential features that you may want to take advantage of. Some of the features that really make SendGrid stand out from other email marketing solutions include its email template engine, custom API integration, and unique feedback loop.

SendGrid can help you to monitor your email reputation and customize DKIM functionality. There’s an SMTP relay, suppression list management, and unsubscribe tracking, as well as 24/7 phone support and chat for some users too. Let’s examine some of the features available.

SendGrid Email Marketing Features

The email marketing section of SendGrid is designed to handle all your email marketing needs for you. You can build your campaigns according to your needs using a responsive template library or build your own template from scratch. The email design functionality appeals to all kinds of companies, because you can switch between HTML, or drag and drop. There’s even the option to use both solutions at once.

SendGrid makes it easy to create automation flows using a comprehensive design system that offers some of the best results in the market. You can build high-impact automation strategies, and even automate recurring emails. Some features include:

  • Easy automation: Creating fantastic email automation flows is easy with SendGrid. You get a centralized view of all the message you receive and can create compelling drip series based on time. There’s also the option to measure results and optimize accordingly.
  • Deliverability: SendGrid helps you to maximize your deliverability results with dedicated IP addresses and custom domains. You can benefit from relationships with leading Inbox service providers and get deliverability support from a wide selection of experts.
  • Team management: If you need help managing all your team members in one place, then you can. You can control the design of transactional and marketing emails in one place, get reporting visibility on the full email experience, and more.
  • Email activity history: 30 days of email activity history means that you’ll have no problem checking what’s happening with your email campaigns.
  • Additional dedicated IP address: You can distribute traffic across dedicated IP addresses to support a stronger sender reputation and increase deliverability results
  • Email marketing automation: Engage with a wide selection of automated recurring emails, or design your own drip series in a matter of moments.
  • Signup forms: Create forms to collect information from your customers and add it directly to your marketing campaigns. You can even use double opt-in.
  • Email testing: Check that your emails are working properly with inbox rendering previews, link validation and spam testing.
  • List management: Make sure that you’re sending the right messages to the right people with segmented lists of customers.
  • Email statistics: Track the performance of every email with analytics that support more data-driven decision making.

SendGrid promises a powerful level of deliverability optimization, expertise, and scalability for companies that want to rapidly enhance and grow their email marketing strategy.

The built-in email templates and editor function means that you can easily design your emails from scratch, or you can build them based off the existing designs that SendGrid already has in place. The editors allow you to choose intended audiences for your campaigns and conduct A/B tests to check for any problems with performance.

SendGrid Email Platform Features

If you decide to go all-out and invest in the SendGrid platform, the company promises everything you need to drive a better customer experience. Within the Platform, you can centralize your email communications and gain a better view of your customer journey.

The intuitive interface makes it quick and simple to align communications through transactional and promotional emails. You can create branded templates to delight your audience and showcase a unique brand image. You’ll also be able to oversee how your campaigns are performing with extensive analytics and insights.

The platform basically gives companies more control, so they can track the entire email program, collaborate with team members over sales and marketing strategies, and more.

Features include:

  • Team collaboration: It’s easier to give amazing customer experiences when everyone in your team can work together. With a comprehensive email program that supports cross-team collaboration, SendGrid makes collaboration simple. You can manage templates for your marketing and transactional emails in the same place and work together on trouble-shooting strategies.
  • Complete insights: Track the ROI for all of your email campaigns, manage and organize customer categories, and work with teams on strategies to get more profitable results.
  • Inbox delivery: SendGrid promises industry-leading inbox delivery rates. The platform gives you access to support from experts who can help with delivery optimization and compliance. There’s also ISP monitoring and outreach, dedicated IP support, and sending best practices guidance.
  • Scalability: You can easily send thousands of emails without worrying about managing your email infrastructure alone. The distributed cloud-based email platform from SendGrid delivers reliability, while adhering to SOC 2 type 2 certification demands.

SendGrid API Features

One of the things that makes SendGrid so appealing is the fact that it comes with access to its own email API. For developers, this means it’s possible to create a custom communication strategy that scales with the needs of the business.

The API solution allows users to do so much more than they could do with a standard SaaS email provider like MailChimp. Through the dedicated API, you can deliver billions of emails per month to targeted customers. The Twilio API function also means that you can connect your email marketing with SMS advertising for a broader reach.

Designed by developers, for developers, the SendGrid API solutions help small businesses to accomplish more with their campaigns. There are fast troubleshooting features and an intuitive UI for data analysis. The RESTful APIs and variety of programming languages give you the freedom to design in the way that suits you. There’s also plenty of customer support if you need extra help.

SendGrid notes that you can deliver excellent email campaigns with custom DKIM, SPF records, dedicated IP addresses and more through the API. There’s also consultation available from delivery experts, and partnerships with providers like Microsoft, and Gmail.

What’s more, for developers working as a team, you also get a single platform where everyone can interact at the same time. The email API from SendGrid offers:

  • Dynamic templates: Email templates with conditional formatting and HTML rendering with testing support accessed by API calls.
  • Email validation API: Get real-time results to catch issues with addressees, and minimize the number of potential bounces.
  • SMTP: Send emails through a leading cloud-based SMTP service for easier integrations and more flexible email environments.
  • Email testing: Text your emails with inbox rendering, link validity, and improved performance against spam filters.

SendGrid Additional Features: What Else is Available?

SendGrid aims to deliver effective experiences for businesses of all sizes. If you’re looking for an email service provider that can offer excellent delivery rates, and plenty of support for subscribers, then this could be the solution for you. With SendGrid, you can build contact lists and segment your audience to improve your chances of credit card transactions.

The high level of email deliverability means that even when you’re sending bulk email newsletters, you’ll still be able to rely on reaching as many customers as possible. SendGrid makes email sending easy and ensures that you have the tools required to check on crucial metrics, like open rates, and engagement. While you can create great emails with Mandrill, Mailgun, and various other services, SendGrid goes above and beyond to get results.

Extra features of the email delivery service include:

  • Integrated email test: User friendly email test mean that you can send as many emails as Uber with no problem and check for spammy or broken content as you go.
  • Dedicated IP: You don’t have to send emails from your own mail server to look professional. You get your own dedicated IP address to avoid being tarred with the same brush as spammers on a similar network.
  • Email validation: The email validation API means you can test your contact list for any invalid, inactive, or mistyped emails, which reduces your bounce rate.

As you may expect from any leading email marketing solution today, the SendGrid system also comes with robust reporting so you can check on how well your emails are performing. There’s plenty of information on things like the number of emails delivered. You can check real-time and historical metrics, examine unique open rates and clicks, and even check unsubscribes.

A comprehensive reporting features mean that you can get an easy insight into how the new features of your emails are impacting your audience. All you need to do is log into your SendGrid account, and you can send spam reports to your collaborators too.

The SendGrid platform ensures you don’t have to rely on a screenshot to share metrics with colleagues. Everyone can access information and password reset options in the same simple platform. You can compare mailbox providers using your analytics, and check the benefits of not using a Shared IP. There’s also the option to analyse prospects with detailed audience information.

Custom reports and support for data exports means that sharing information with shareholders is easy too.

SendGrid Review: Customer Support and Services

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SendGrid is also one of the few email providers on the market that offers Expert Services.

In other words, you can get support from specialists who can help you to improve your impact on your customers. The Expert Service offering gives you insight from a huge data pool of more than 70 billion emails each month. You’ll get guidance from experts who support some of the top brands around the world, and the SendGrid team has over 130 years of combined experience too.

SendGrid offers guidance for every step of your email marketing strategy, and you can choose the help that’s best suited for you. For instance, a startup exploring email marketing for the first time can get setup assistance, while a more advanced user can get help with analyzing their email program and finding potential problems. SendGrid helps with:

  • Building your email strategy, so you get it right first-time
  • Solving deliverability issues and ensuring you reach the inbox
  • Email analytics and presenting information in a digestible format
  • Ongoing consulting with experts that have over 130 years of experience

You’ll also have support in the form of various resources on SendGrid too. There’s a comprehensive knowledge center where you can find answers to common questions. A status page helps you check the status of your email provider at all times, and there are tons of blogs and guides too.

For those who need a bit more help, videos, podcasts, and webcasts mean that you have plenty of opportunities to learn more as you go.

SendGrid Review: The Verdict

There’s no denying that SendGrid is a powerful product for anyone who wants to take advantage of email marketing. Whether you’re using the Twilio SendGrid SMS solution, building email functions into your WordPress site with the APIs, or just creating email campaigns, SendGrid has it all.

SendGrid support is second to none, with plenty of guidance and expert help provided for anything you might need to know. You can even access plugin integrations for things like Zapier, Twilio, and the Google cloud platform to expand what you can accomplish in the platform.

The perfect addition to your content marketing and social media plan, SendGrid helps you to drive powerful results from your email and SMS messaging campaigns. You can even connect your strategy to LinkedIn and other channels too.

All the while, you can have your own support team working in the same platform as you, and access tools that keep you out of the spam folder when you reach out to your customers. It’s no wonder that SendGrid is so popular.

Sendgrid
Rating: 5.0 - Review by

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.