Asked

Roast my new email API OhMySMTP.com

I've just finished the MVP features for my transactional email API https://ohmysmtp.com

It's a very similar service to Mailgun, Amazon Send Email Service (SES), Postmark etc.

I'm looking for feedback on:

  • The name
  • The landing page
  • The onboarding experience after registering
  • The email sending experience / API itself
  • The documentation (https://docs.ohmysmtp.com)

I'm looking for some ongoing beta testers, so if you're launching an application that needs to send emails let me know and I can help you get sending!

- Creator of https://tab.bz and https://idbloc.co - Building an Email API: https://ohmysmtp.com
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

My main piece of feedback is that it isn’t clear to me why I should use this over one of the many established services.

Especially considering it’s mission critical and privacy sensitive.

- Creator of https://tab.bz and https://idbloc.co - Building an Email API: https://ohmysmtp.com

Thanks Marc! This is a great question.

I want to position OhMySMTP as the most developer friendly way to send transactional email. The API is really, really simple (one endpoint with very few options to trip users up), we're focused on getting to inboxes/staying out of spam folders, and we hand-hold users through getting DKIM setup and setting everything up ready to go.

I'll update the landing page to make this clearer.

I see you use sendgrid for wip, was there a reason you chose them?

Maker of WIP amongst other things.

I think it's a laudable goal, but to be honest it would be hard to convince me to switch to a new service.

I think most established services are already quite developer-friendly with a lot of available plugins and different ways to integrate their service. For example, I use SendGrid's SMTP because it's easy to configure Ruby on Rails that way. There's also built-in support for ActionMailbox which lets me process incoming email.

For me an HTTP API would actually make things more difficult as I'd need to somehow configure Rails to use that instead. It would also make it harder for me to switch from or to another service.

SendGrid also has a great deal for startups ( wip.chat/deals ) where you basically get 12 months premium for free.

I think you're getting into a very crowded and competitive market. I wonder if there's a specific niche that's currently underserved you target instead of developers as a whole.

- Creator of https://tab.bz and https://idbloc.co - Building an Email API: https://ohmysmtp.com

Thanks Marc, indeed this is spot on.

It's hard to convince anyone to switch unless they're having difficulties with their current provider (I do think that is an ongoing problem for even the larger players, e.g. Sendgrid were getting heat recently: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=…)

An integration with Rails is something I am considering, but I don't want to maintain lots of integrations so I will be selective about which frameworks to target. There's also something to be said about reducing library dependencies for a lot of app developers.

Obviously buying into the market by e.g. offering 12 months free could help but I would prefer to choose customers that are looking for quality service, performance etc. over the cheapest deal.

Thanks for your last comment especially - looking for and finding the right niche, figuring out how/when those developers/companies make their email provider choice and then influencing that choice is going to be my main focus for the immediate future.

Maker of WIP amongst other things.

👍 Sounds like you're on the right track. Digging through customer feedback about SendGrid, etc might reveal an unserved niche.

Software engineer. Building btfy.io.

I’m using Postmarkapp for my emails and for ruby on rails it’s as easy as adding a gem (library) then adding a few lines to my configuration and that’s it. I think this would be a good baseline if you want developers to use this over the others.

I’ve built some SMTP’s in the past and I salute you for taking this problem. It’s really hard to maintain good scores for email providers to accept your emails.

Good luck on this one!

- Creator of https://tab.bz and https://idbloc.co - Building an Email API: https://ohmysmtp.com

Thanks AJ! Yes, Postmark are an amazing company and have built an incredible product. Do you mind if I ask:

a) How you made/came to the decision to use them initially (if you remember?)

b) If there's anything they do / don't do that could help you?

Maintaining reputation is a challenge - in the early phases I'll be ensuring that no one is abusing our service (note that we only allow transactional email) and over the long term we'll build automated techology to help monitor and scale this out.

Software engineer. Building btfy.io.

It was actually a surprised because like @marc I was using sendgrid too. I was kinda put off a bit at the start because they don’t have a free tier but the starting plan is not that expensive so I did try it out. I was surprised by how easy it was to integrate.