Updated Feb 27, 2016 (Originally Published Feb 26, 2016)
The reason I am composing this brief article at all is due to years and years of recommending MailChimp and Mandrill to everyone.
Over the years, I've tried a lot of email sites, and MaiChimp became my number one choice.
Instead of releasing a MailChimp API, they released a separate product called Mandrill, which is fabulous.
MailChimp's design is especially good. They had a good design, and then made it even better. Their site flows well. Very impressive UX.
In my opinion, MailChimp is uniquely superb at communications. They are candid, they are very detailed at explaining what they are thinking.
The announcement yesterday that they are going to close down their free tiers strikes me as being very out of character for MailChimp.
For such a major change, they would have communicated what they are considering when they were considering it -- and why there were considering it. Then they would have communicated milestone decisions along the way. Just getting an email out-of-the-blue that they are ending free tiers, and they are changing their systems in a month-ish -- I actually thought it was from another outfit.
I am interpreting the "out-of-the-blue" aspect of their announcement as something fundamental has changed at MailChimp. I've heard nothing. I know nothing. Just a gut instinct. And, so, I'm wondering what other changes might be in store.
The announcement included the suggestion that those who want a low-cost transactional email API use Amazon's Simple Email Service (SES). The Laravel Framework includes a MailGun "driver" (just wanted to sneak that in here). I will be taking them up on their suggestion, and I'll be frank here, likely never to return to MailChimp. I have plans to build email capabilities into LaSalle Software, and using SES is very attractive. Amazon just took their WorkMail live, with March being the first billable month (they've been warning me for two months). SES can now handle incoming emails. Incoming SES emails can be routed to WorkMail, so that has possibilities. And, it wouldn't suprise me one bit if (when) Amazon includes MailChimp-type list and analytics.