Email Processing - MailGun vs Mandrill by MailChimp

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here, but I’ve been having a serous battle with a project that I’m working on that requires the use of a Mail Processing system to accomplish it’s most important task. I heard about MailGun first in the beginning of last year (2014), and it had me hooked for a good few months, only to come to the end of core development to find that mail processing through MailGun is temperamental to say the least. It has me with arms up in the air, and if I had any hair on my head today, I definitely wouldn’t have had any left now.

So I was hoping someone has had experience with using such systems and if we had to compare between MailGun and MailChimp’s Madrill, which should I have gone for? Looking at Mandrill now, they seem so much more stable and robust from their front ends, but when it comes to processing mail on a managed hosted dedicated environment, would it be worth my while to add Mandrill support to my application.

I would really only have to write a new mail processor that works through Mandrill’s API instead of the MailGun API, but it’s still going to be code that I have to re-write, which I’m probably not getting paid for because the work that was done on MailGun has already been paid for… those bitches :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Anyone with some understanding and experience in the field are welcome to provide some advice and direction.


I have used Mailgun and found it to be a reasonable experience - it and SendGrid. I’ve never used Mandrill, although I’ve used MailChimp.

So… my advice is just logical/practical.

You say you’d have to rewrite code for Mandrill. How much code? Do you believe Mandrill will be significantly better/easier/less maintenance issues? Because if Mailgun has you pulling hair… how much time (and is it unpaid time?) is being spent dealing with issues on it? The Mandrill setup might be a one time expenditure of time that offsets the continuing time spent dealing with Mailgun problems.

If it was me, I’d make the most time-practical decision I could, unless you for some reason enjoy the use of one over the other.

Not too much code at all. I’ve created a php class file for MailGun that contains mail sending functions for both SMTP and API calls along with some small methods executing API based event tracking functions provided by mailgun. For Mandrill I can do the same and just change the calls to the class in my application. The problem really is that the system is to go live month end, and this period was to be used for testing, and now I have to consider changing core functionality of the app with limited time.

I have no reason to believe that I won’t experience similar delays in SMTP processing through Mandrill than what I’ve experienced through MailGun, which is why I came here before implementing code changes. I do get the impression that Mandrill is better maintained, but seems more pricey than MailGun, which could be a good thing.

Honestly, I can still invoice for the hours I spend on it, but from a moral perspective, I find it unfair towards my client to charge for fixing something that should be working. My client is not upset, but he is very adamant in avoiding our month end deadline, so one way or another, I’ll have to make it happen, and I really hope that if I add Mandrill support that it would deal with processing email better.

Regarding the use of the two, even though I like the Mandrill dashboard better, i am not currently in the position to take preference of one over the other. I urgently need a functionally better SMTP backbone for my app to be fast and robust, and if it means that I’m losing access to things I like, then so be it, as long as I don’t have to wait for hours for a message to be delivered, or like in yesterday’s case, receive a message that I sent later than the other, and receiving the former one first. Unfortunately, this is exactly the function of the system… To track response tines, and that kind of thing just won’t fly in my application.

Thanks for your response. It’s good to hear than someone has had a better experience with mail gun. I have submitted a support ticket, and I’m dealing with them as we speak. They’ve changed IP configuration for my domain instances on their side, saying that I must test and let them know if the problem persists. An hour of testing on an app like this would not suffice. I need to go at it constantly today to make sure that there are no delays, and maybe then I’ll have some hope staying with MailGun.

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