SendGrid: Your Email Infrastructure in the Cloud

    This post composed by Tim Falls, Marketing Specialist at SendGrid, a Rackspace Cloud Tools Partner.


    If you’ve ever built, managed and scaled email infrastructure to support your application, you probably noticed one common theme throughout the experience — email is really difficult!

    If you haven’t experienced this first hand, then (1) consider yourself lucky, and (2) check out these tweets from people who have:

    “…Can’t wait to rid my life of maintaining a mail server.” (see the full tweet)
    “Oh, @sendgrid. You make my job so much easier…” (see the full tweet)

    So, why is John so anxious to be done with mail servers and Rachel so darn thankful? Because they no longer have to deal with this stuff:

    Poor Deliverability
    Approximately 20% of emails sent by web applications never reaches the inbox! Many people don’t even know if their email is being delivered, until their users call to tell them that they didn’t receive their online purchase receipt or password reset notification.

    Limits to Scalability
    As email volume increases, so do hardware requirements. If you don’t scale your email servers efficiently, you won’t maintain reliable messaging to your users.

    Lack of Understanding
    You’re pretty sure the email was sent, but… …Was it actually delivered? Was it opened? Did the user click on the link? …Why did that email bounce? Who reported this message as SPAM? …Did the recipient unsubscribe from future mailings?


    SendGrid was built with developers like John and Rachel in mind. With the help of dedicated and cloud instances from Rackspace, we replace your email infrastructure and provide everything you need to operate a reliable and scalable email system. Our service improves deliverability, scales on demand, and provides stats on all your email.

    But wait, there’s more…

    Simple Integration
    You can be setup and sending email within minutes via SMTP relay. If you want to get fancy, use our SMTP API or REST API for complete control from your app.

    Relentless Support
    Our documentation and libraries are improving and growing every day for your reference. But, most of the time we’re available via email, phone, live chat or Twitter to help you troubleshoot problems and optimize your deliverability. Because we intend to provide our customers with the best experience possible, we always welcome your feedback – the good and the bad.

    APIs – beyond delivery
    Event: notify a URL of events in real-time
    Parse: parse incoming email replies and enable your users to interact with your web applications through email
    REST API: send email, retrieve statistics or edit your settings

    Solid Company
    SendGrid is backed by top investors and advised by the brightest minds in the email space. SendGrid powers the email infrastructure of over 14,000 businesses and sends approximately a billion emails per month on their behalf.

    Divide and Conquer

    Back in the day, everyone rode a horse, but not everyone was a blacksmith. If you were the cobbler and you needed to re-shoe your horse, you went to the expert!

    The same idea applies today.

    Everyone depends on email, but not everyone should need to develop an expertise in email. At SendGrid we have one goal: to be the experts and to let everyone else focus on building much sexier applications.

    Now that our friends at Rackspace have invited us to become a cloud partner, we’re happy to help accelerate the development of all the awesome apps and businesses built on the Rackspace Cloud.

    Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at


    1. Is there any difference between a service like this and something like constant contact or mailchimp ? Is there anything sendgrid does bette ?

    2. Daniel –

      The primary difference between SendGrid and services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact can be explained as follows:

      – MC and CC are *marketing newsletter* tools. They allow their users to create and send newsletters to lists of customers, subscribers, etc. These are “one-to-many” emails, meaning the same basic email content is sent to a large number of people.

      – SendGrid is focused on the delivery of *transactional* email. Examples include account registration confirmations, password reset notifications, friend/follower notifications, etc. These are unique, high value emails sent on an individual basis from your application to a specific user.

      That being said, SendGrid does offer a newsletter feature, which we consider an application, or tool, on top of our email platform. This feature is not at the core of our service offering at this point in time.

      In summary, SendGrid is an infrastructure that supports any type of email your business or application needs to send. The service is extremely easy to integrate with, and our APIs allow you to control your mail without even having to come to our site.

    3. As a rackspacecloudsite customer, we experienced the need for reliable email messaging to our users. A few months ago when we asked RSCloud support for help, they pointed us to, whom we now use. How is SendGrid different or better? Should we switch? Our “social ecommerce” site absolutely depends on email notifications and messaging, so would we be better of switching, or is this just the same thing?


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