So you’ve decided to grow a business online. You’ve purchased a domain, designed a logo, and picked out your company colours. Now you have to decide on a marketing platform. Naturally you’ve come across the tempting promises of various software packages but have you considered setting up a service like Mailgun? We’ll tell you all about Mailgun and why you shouldn’t underestimate its utility as a marketing platform.
Features & Benefits Of Using Mailgun
Let’s start with the good news. Mailgun offers some fantastic features and benefits that make it stand out above the rest. Here’s a short but sweet list.
- Simple to Use
- Numerous integrations
- Free For Everyone
- SEO Optimized
- Mobile Friendly
- And much more
Now the bad news. While there’s a lot to like about Mailgun, it certainly isn’t for everyone. Here’s a short list of things you might want to consider before committing.
- Limited Forwards & Spam Assurance
- No Free Trial
- No SSL Cert (Self-signed only)
- No Advanced Features
- No API Access
- No Cloud Storage
Why Should You Use Mailgun?
If you’re looking for a free and affordable solution that provides all the basic features you need, Mailgun is the one for you. But if you’re looking for something more, you might want to consider one of the bigger platforms like Aweber or GetResponse.
Limited Forwards & Spam Assurance
One of the unique things about Mailgun is its limited forwards and spam assurances. When you sign up for a free account you get 500MB of storage which you can use to send up to 25,000 emails per month. This gave it the name “Small Business Server”. It also gives you 2,000 email forwarding options so you can get your emails delivered to the right place. The great thing about these limits is that they don’t just apply to storage and forwards, they also apply to spam. If you violate the 550 spams per day policy, you’ll be temporarily suspended and then have to renew your subscription at a higher cost. But despite these limitations, you can still get overwhelmed by email if you have a large mailing list. Thankfully, Mailgun still makes it easy for you to manage your email by integrating with various apps and services. This is even more helpful if you have a lot of customers that use different devices or emails to connect with you.
No Free Trial
Another downside to Mailgun is that there is no free trial. After your trial expires, you have to pay for the service or convert your account to a premium one. However, there’s a great solution to this problem. Whenever you create a new account with Mailgun, you’re given the option to become a Gold member. For just $5 per month, you get all the features of a standard account plus you can use the service without limitations. It’s also worth noting that you always have the option to cancel your subscription at any time.
No SSL Cert (Self-signed only)
When it comes to setting up an email marketing solution, security is of the utmost importance. After all, you’re entrusting your emails to be delivered to the inboxes of your customers. One of the ways hackers can access your emails is through getting ahold of your SSL certificate. When SSL is installed on a website, it encrypts all the information that you’re sending online by securing it with a key. This ensures that your customers’ information is kept secure while they’re shopping with you or engaging with your brand. Self-signed certificates don’t require you to get a trusted certificate from a third party server. This makes them much easier to manage and cheaper to acquire. Nevertheless, it’s still essential to protect your private key and only share it with trusted individuals. Luckily for you, Mailgun provides a way to easily generate an unlimited number of self-signed certificates so you don’t have to worry about running out anytime soon. Just follow the instructions on their site to get started.
No Advanced Features
On the surface, Mailgun looks like it has all the features you could need to launch an effective email marketing campaign. But if you dig a little bit deeper, you’ll see that it doesn’t offer many advanced features. This is mainly due to the fact that it was originally developed for use by startups and small businesses. So if you’re looking for complex functionality that requires advanced programming skills, you might want to consider looking elsewhere. But for the majority of businesses, Mailgun should be more than sufficient.
No API Access
Another downside to Mailgun is that you can’t access the API (Application Programming Interface) to manually add subscribers or send mailouts. Sure, you can use their drag and drop interface to do everything from create email campaigns to send out automatic messages to your contacts. But, you won’t be able to customize many of the details like, the subject lines or the template of the email. This is mainly due to the fact that Mailgun wants to keep their platform as simple and easy to use as possible for the average small business.
No Cloud Storage
A related downside to using the Mailgun platform is that it doesn’t provide any kind of cloud storage. This means that all your emails, as well as the ones you forward to others, will be saved on your device. While we often like to think that technology will save us, in this case, it’s you who will save you by keeping your own emails organized and accessible. Fortunately, there are also solutions that provide this functionality as part of their service so if you’re looking to keep your email campaigns organized, you should check out those solutions as well.
In the interest of fairness, let’s not forget about the advantages of Mailgun. After all, not everything about this service is bad. With all the advantages and disadvantages out of the way, you might find that it’s the best option for your business.