Postmark and SendGrid are two of the best email delivery services in 2021, but the best one for you depends on your email needs. As a startup that is currently heavily weighing the decision for ourselves, we can explain why we chose to go with Postmark, but we'll also identify the use cases where SendGrid would be the better choice.
Bottom Line: Which One Should You Use?
The short answer is: it depends. Some companies only need to send a handful of system emails to their customers every month. Some companies run sizable newsletter campaigns with thousands of contacts. Some companies need to do both. Depending on your monthly need, we'll suggest one or the other.
TL;DR: When You Should Choose Postmark
If you're a startup or small business that sends fewer than 300,000 emails a month, Postmark is the better option thanks to their exceptional delivery at every tier, and their infrastructure for separating transactional emails from marketing emails.
TL;DR: When You Should Choose SendGrid
Choose SendGrid if you send a high volume of emails (more than 300,000 emails a month), primarily need a service to deliver high-volume marketing campaigns, or absolutely need a dedicated IP, scheduled delivery, or A/B testing.
Now that we've covered the short versions of which email delivery service to choose, let's do a head-to-head feature comparison for those still on the fence.
Postmark offers the same level of deliverability at every pricing tier, whether you send 5 emails or 500,000 emails a month. We've tested it ourselves, and we can attest the deliverability is extremely high quality. Not only will your emails get delivered to inboxes exceptionally quickly, but you can also rest assured that, if set up properly, your emails will never go to spam.
SendGrid offers decent deliverability too, but upsells you by trying to tell you if you need more deliverability, you should move to their higher tiers for the included dedicated IP.
If you're on their Pro API plan with 1 dedicated IP included, you'll have no issues with deliverability as long as you're comfortable paying the $89.95/month.
Templates and Email Design Editing
Both Postmark and SendGrid offer a comprehensive suite of templates to choose from when designing your emails. However, Postmark only allows you to edit your template using HTML and CSS. This is fine for web developers, but SendGrid's powerful visual editor allows you to make changes to your emails a lot quicker.
If you value a visual editor, SendGrid is the clear winner. For Postmark customers who absolutely need a visual editor, we recommend building your templates in another tool first and then importing your HTML/CSS into Postmark.
Postmark has a feature called Mail Streams that lets you separate your emails into separate streams, making it easier to manage and troubleshoot specific issues. For example, you might want to separate the emails delivered from your main site from the emails delivered by your internal platform, and the emails delivered as a part of your marketing campaign.
Spam Score Monitoring
Postmark has a tool that allows you to check your spam score by pasting in your email content here. It's free to use, and gets you your SpamAssassin score without having to go through the hassle of using SpamAssassin.
SendGrid has a feature they call Email Testing that allows you to test an email from wPostmark vs. SendGrid: Best Email Delivery Service in 2021ithin SendGrid to see the spam score as well as perform render tests in various popular email clients, like Gmail, Outlook, and much more. It's an extremely robust tool that goes way beyond just checking your spam score, but it costs you "credits." Depending on your plan, each month you get a set number of credits to use toward testing your emails, so plan carefully.
The pricing between Postmark and SendGrid is extremely close. Here's a comparison picture from Postmark's website that highlights the difference in pricing, and it comes out to be pretty much the same.
The major difference in pricing is that SendGrid's Pro plan comes with 1 included dedicated IP, but once again Postmark stresses that they promise exceptional deliverability at all tiers without the need for a dedicated IP. In fact, their website's messaging strongly discourages users from adding a dedicated IP unless they absolutely need it, and send a high volume of emails (over 300,000 a month).
Aside from everything we've mentioned above, there's a handful of other features that may play into your decision between Postmark and SendGrid. If you're a company that is looking to send both transactional emails like invoices, password reset links, etc. as well as marketing campaigns, Postmark's Message Streams is invaluable. Separating emails into different servers by their purpose and source helps with keeping your deliverability high.
On the other hand, if you're looking to send emails on a specific schedule, or perform A/B testing with your marketing campaigns, SendGrid is the winner. If you're primarily sending marketing emails and not transactional emails, consider using SendGrid.
Overall, we found Postmark's feature set to be a better fit for us, as a tech company. We need a service that can send both transactional and broadcast emails without compromising on deliverability. We also didn't need the extra features SendGrid offered, since we have the resources to set up things like scheduled delivery and A/B testing ourselves using the Postmark API.
We hope this feature and pricing comparison helped you decide which email delivery service is the best for you in 2021. If you're still feeling conflicted, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or start a website chat and we'd be happy to help!