I need to set up newsletter signup for a site.

Initially, I was eyeing services like MailChimp and SendPulse, but I'm not comfortable with their prices and I'm not really keen on sort of giving up control over and giving them access to the mailing list (for both mine and my users' sake).

The downside of not picking such a service seems to be that they are supposedly way more resistant to being blacklisted, rate limited or their emails being marked as spam.

The question is whether even if I follow Google's recommendations about mass email service configurations is it still worth going with one of these big companies from a blacklist/rate-limiting/marked-as-spam perspective over setting up a DIY mass email service with Firebase Cloud Functions and SMTP?

  • Please explain the downvote if you do that... – Zoltán Matók Mar 3 '20 at 17:40
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    "worth it" is going to be very subjective. Whats acceptable for a mobile game may not be acceptable for a bank. Unfortunately, the modern tech world is configured right now such that anyone not paying a suitable tribute to one or more of the big tech companies is going to be swimming upstream. Be sure to set up SPF and DKIM keys. Those will help. If you are using a third party SMTP server, that should prevent ip black listing. – GrandmasterB Mar 3 '20 at 18:04
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    Thank you, @GrandmasterB! – Zoltán Matók Mar 3 '20 at 18:06
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    I've done both, and I never again want to manage bulk emails myself. The problem with getting blacklisted is that you have to drop everything, figure out who blacklisted you and why, and work to get off the blacklist. It can immediately prevent you from doing all other work and it's a PITA. – Dan Wilson Mar 3 '20 at 18:10
  • Thanks, @DanWilson, this really helped me decide – Zoltán Matók Mar 3 '20 at 19:05

It depends on your scale and how critical the email is to your work. If you are low scale, and are fine spending a bit of time maintaining it then it can make sense to DIY.

In general though, the cost of managing blacklisting/rate-limiting/spam yourself (along with the cost that comes with email disruption since you will do a worse job) outweigh just paying someone else to do it.

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