SendGrid – Enterprise level Email Delivery for Businesses

Posted by Rachel Scanlon

SendGrid is a cloud-based service developed with effective email delivery in mind to. It helps businesses to reach their target market effectively through mediums such as email newsletters, lead generation, promotions and retention emails. The suite comprises of a wide array of tools and service levels to help both small and large businesses achieve their email marketing goals.

SendGrid APIs

SendGrid’s API allows developers to interface with the API using a wide range of development frameworks and technologies to seamlessly deliver emails. These include, Node.js, Ruby, .NET and Java. The API has a “sandbox” mode for development purposes.

Features of the API include;

  • Authentication
  • Sending emails to multiple recipients
  • Sending emails from multiple “from” Addresses
  • Sending emails using a template
  • Sending emails at scheduled times
  • Canceling scheduled emails.

SendGrid’s SMTP API allows developers to customize email handling instructions via a list of JSON encoded “rules” called an “X-SMTPAPI header” inserted into the message.

Features of the SMTP API include;

  • Enabling specific templates using their unique id.
  • Specifying scheduling parameters
  • Including section tags to enable you to swap out custom sections of text in your emails when required
  • Substitution tags – An example of this would be a name parameter or another “customer specific” variable.
  • Specify unique arguments that can be used for tracking in the event webhook feature detailed in the following paragraph.
  • Disable or enable settings for specific emails

In addition to the base email delivery functionality, you can also utilize the event webhook to ping your URL with informational data about the processing of your emails. This allows you to easily send customized responses from within your application which are appropriate for the status of the ping you receive. For example, reacting to spam and bounced emails. This takes the manual work out of analyzing feedback loops for spam complaints and parsing logs to look for bounced emails. All of this is essential to improving the deliverability of your emails and your domain’s reputation. Businesses can easily streamline this process with the webhook features, allowing them to free up developer time and other resources.  This streamlined processing helps to improve the quality of your email delivery you can then disable emails the are flagged as spam or bounced as soon as soon as you receive notification that this has occurred. It also serves to decrease the spam reports from valid emails, which ultimately hurt your domain’s reputation.

Email Delivery Management System

In addition to the API, you will receive;

  1. A dedicated IP address, optimized for your business’s monthly sending volume.
  2. Be signed up for notifications of *all* third party ISP feedback.
  3. Authentication with SPF and DKIM. This notifies other ISPs and domains that your domain is authentic and trusted.
  4. Specialized support to assist you with finetuning your email campaigns or resolve any more stubborn deliverability or targeting issues.

SendGrid also has a suite of tools to enable management to monitor and be directly involved with analyzing and reacting to the performance of their email campaigns. These are presented by way of a user-friendly dashboard. The dashboard’s features include;

  1. Concise and clear reporting on all email delivery deliver issues, which serves to clarify and simplify troubleshooting.
  2. Flagging of bounced emails to make sure management can maintain an updated record of valid/invalid emails.
  3. Keeps track of any instances of your email being blacklisted so that management can actively seek to resolve the issue before it actively damages email campaign performance.
  4. Ability to design and develop custom marketing campaigns. For example, email newsletters, lead generation emails, promotion emails and retention emails.
  5. It can help you reach your target market by segmenting your customers by specific traits such as birthdays, previous purchasing history, how they have responded to your prior email campaigns etc.
  6. Tailor your content and text based on the above.
  7. Allow you to produce email templates with customized html to suit your needs.
  8. The dashboard allows for the use of a WYSIWYG (drag and drop – text/images) interface or dual code and preview panes depending in the user’s html coding comfort level.
  9. These campaign templates can be based on SendGrid’s standard templates or built from scratch.
  10. Specific html “modules” can be designed independently of the tool, to be used with the drag and drop feature.
  11. Up to 6 variations of the same email campaign can be tested and performance and optimization purposes.
  12. SendGrid has the capability to analyze variations of the same email campaign to advise you on which will perform most optimally for your goals. In addition to highlighting any potential deliverability/customer targeting issues in your text/html.
  13. You can have SendGrid select a campaign variation for you or simply select it yourself.
  14. The tool allows you to conduct in depth testing of your campaigns before sending them out.
  15. After the campaign has been sent out the tools allow you to track the performance of the campaign and analyze its successes and failures to help improve the performance of future campaigns.

Hopefully from this blog post you have been able to get a sense of how “feature rich” the SendGrid tools are, both for developers and management alike. For more information on pricing, plans and for documentation to further demonstrate how you might utilize the API for your business applications, go to the SendGrid website.

Category: Business , Cloud