Twilio is everywhere, with over 40,000 businesses using the service for their communication software. Twilio provides a variety of APIs to enable their clients to communicate with their own customers. One such type of software comes in for the form of Twilio’s SendGrid, their email API(Opens in a new browser tab).
What Is SendGrid?
Email, as a marketing tool, is becoming less popular among its competitors, such as SMS marketing or a social media marketing campaign. However, just because email marketing is losing traction in the industry, it doesn’t mean it should get thrown out altogether. Consumers still rely on emails to receive information, whether for shipping notifications, a transactional email, sign-up confirmations, email validation, or email newsletters. To make this happen, in an efficient way that does not require manual input, the best thing a business can do is use an email API such as SendGrid.
SendGrid is easy to implement, with support for a variety of popular programming languages. A moderately skilled developer can integrate the SendGrid API with existing software and get it running in less than 5 minutes. Once in place, SendGrid’s API can be scaled to meet a business’s requirements. Twilio claims that SendGrid can reliably manage up to over 50 billion emails a month. Reliability is excellent in any form of software, though it’s not the only thing a business looks for in a service. What other benefits can it bring to a company’s email campaign?
SendGrid’s Benefits To A Business
An email API can significantly benefit a company that relies on email communication, though with so many competitors on the market, what makes Twilio’s SendGrid stand out? Yes, it is easy to implement with the SendGrid plugin and reliable, but any good web API should be. Luckily, that’s not all SendGrid does.
Getting Emails Delivered Is Priority One
Twilio realizes that no email API will improve business, with a variety of useful features, if the emails sent through their system aren’t getting to where they need to go. It is for that reason why SendGrid put email deliverability above all else. The SendGrid service helps to ensure that a business’s market email delivery system doesn’t lead to the email ending up in their customer’s spam folder. Some of the ways that the system does this include:
- Through the use of a selection of dedicated IP addresses.
- Partnerships with popular mailbox providers, such as Gmail and Microsoft Hotmail.
- Implementing custom DKM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, a type of domain authentication technique that enhances security.
A Business Works Better When It Works Together
A team is only as strong as its weakest member, but that weak member can’t do their job if they can’t communicate(Opens in a new browser tab) with the rest. An email API provides a single interface for the whole sales team over several accounts, with the manager being able to implement certain restrictions, permissions, and an email template, for those who need them across the business, no matter where the staff members are in the world. Everyone can access the same email list and email body, allowing them to work together. The platform also allows a team leader to assess the performance of other users via analytics. Finally, when things do go wrong, whether a system or user error, the built-in troubleshoot interface allows users to see what happened, and more importantly, how to fix it, whether the is service down, or an error occurred with a transactional template or a variety of other reasons.
Security Never Gets Compromised
A developer that uses custom integration when implementing a new email API can get distracted by the variety of additional features. That distraction may lead to essential details getting missed out, such as email security. Luckily, with SendGrid integration, that won’t be the case, as Twilio made sure to include a variety of security options that will meet the needs of almost any business owner. The team permissions and management are just basics. SendGrid comes with API keys, 2-factor authentication, and IP access management. The below points outline just what these terms mean.
- API Keys – A SendGrid API key is a unique identifier that gets used whenever a consumer interacts with the interface. It is usually used for billing purposes as it helps ensure that the person interacting with the program is who they say they are.
- 2-Factor Authentication – 2-factor authentication, often shortened to 2FA, confirms the identity of a user. A company can do this either by forwarding the consumer a code, which they have to enter into an interface, or by asking them a question only they know the answer to.
- IP Access Management – IP access management allows a company to whitelist individual IP addresses to access its interface. Unless the IP address has got previously approved, the device related to it won’t be able to access the UI, API, or SMTP relay.
When Things Go Wrong, SendGrid Is There To Help
SendGrid has gone through rigorous testing to get to where it is today so that businesses can put their faith in the system’s reliability. The cloud-based architecture gets distributed globally, so even if Twilio has an issue is one location, another can pick up the slack.
The API also allows a business to monitor their email solution with ease via the SendGrid dashboard, with the ability to send a test email before committing to an extensive email campaign.
It is also possible to seek technical support whenever it’s required, with open issues getting addressed promptly. The last thing a business needs is an error during an email event. Twilio is also open to receiving a pull request, which is the process of requesting a feature to be integrated, allowing the system to improve and work better for the consumer continually.
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Should A Company Use An Email API Like SendGrid?
As per the above, SendGrid has some clear benefits. However, it is not too dissimilar from other email APIs, with the real question being whether a company should use a cloud-based email API, like SendGrid, or implement their own solution.
The number one priority of any email solution is deliverability. A cloud-based flexible API provides all of the tools to ensure the email gets to the intended destination. A developer building that same system from scratch will have to authenticate individual IPs, stay up to date with the inbox provider requirements, monitor feedback loops, and keep the DNS records updated, all of which come with a lot of data to manage.
Additionally, cloud-based services have a team behind them, who have the job to ensure the system is working, and if not, provide support. A business that uses an in-house system can’t ask anyone for help when their app doesn’t work as intended.
Scalability is also less complicated with a cloud-based system. As a business grows, so do the systems that make its growth possible. Scaling in-house systems take time, money, and expertise of the minimum needed code to run the system. Time and knowledge can get saved with a cloud-based service, but then the question comes to money.
The cost of services is often a priority for businesses above all else. An email API usually comes with a monthly fee. That fee buys you the system and support via a SendGrid account, or a similar alternative, with additional extras available for purchase if required. An in-house solution might end up being cheaper after the initial setup, but it isn’t easy to calculate the final cost. The infrastructure, the power usage, licenses, upgrades, additional staff to manage the system, and maintenance all need to be taken into account. By the time that maths gets done, a cloud-based system could already be up and running.
If money for a business is tight, there are free plugin services with minimum features such as WP Mail SMTP or the SendGrid WordPress plugin, but these are basic and lack the features of a paid service.