Mailgun Migration Guide: Moving from Mailgun to SparkPost

Ewan Dennis
Feb. 24, 2017 by Ewan Dennis

Mailgun has announced some changes to their business, and our team has been helping Mailgun customers who are interested in other options.

If you’re a Mailgun customer who is considering moving to SparkPost, you’ll definitely want to use our new Mailgun to SparkPost migration guide to make the transition quick and painless. Here’s a quick overview of how to get started when you switch from Mailgun to SparkPost.

Terminology You Should Know When You Switch from Mailgun

Every email delivery service has its own vocabulary, and SparkPost is no different. To ease the transition from Mailgun, our migration guide leads off with a terminology section that helps you quickly understand what we’re talking about when we mention a sink server (“test mode,” in Mailgun’s parlance) or discuss relay webhooks (routes).

Getting up to speed on terminology will also help you better understand SparkPost’s support articles and API reference documents. And doing so will definitely help you sound informed when you chat with others on our community Slack channels.

How to Get Started When You Switch to SparkPost

After you’ve taken a crash course in how to speak SparkPost, and you’re ready to flip the switch on your migration, you’ll want to sign up for your free account. You can track the progress of your onboarding tasks in your dashboard, as detailed in the guide.

One of the onboarding steps involves sending a test email or two from your SparkPost sandbox, which lets you explore what you can do with your new email service. You’ll find it’s a little more robust than what Mailgun offers.

Migrating Sending Domains and Suppression Lists from Mailgun

When you’re ready, you can add your sending domain to your account and have SparkPost verify that you own it. Our guide explains how to do that. (If you send email on behalf of multiple customers through their sending domains, you can set up subaccounts in SparkPost, which are the same as Mailgun’s per-domain SMTP and API credentials.)

You’ll also want to migrate your suppression list of invalid addresses and recipients who have unsubscribed from your mailings or who have complained about your messages. This is key because if you start sending to those addresses again, you’ll likely incur very high bounce and complaint rates. Unusually high bounce rates trigger alarm bells at ISP inbox providers and erode your sending reputation. High bounces and complaints also can cause us to suspend your account from sending while you sort it out. That’s why it’s much better to get it right from the start!

You can manage your suppression list within the SparkPost web app or use an API endpoint for bulk uploading your current suppression list.

Sending Email with SparkPost’s API Transmissions Endpoint vs. Mailgun’s API Messages Endpoint

The rest of our migration guide covers key information you should know about using SparkPost compared to Mailgun, starting with migrating to our REST API. Our transmissions endpoint is broadly equivalent to Mailgun’s messages endpoint, although SparkPost uses top-level API endpoints in most cases. The guide gets into more detail, including an explanation of the tools you can use to call the SparkPost API directly.

You can also send email over traditional SMTP in SparkPost. We’ve added the ability to set metadata, tags, and configuration options with a custom X-MSYS-API header in your messages, which is similar to Mailgun’s X-Mailgun_ headers. You can learn more in the SparkPost SMTP API reference documentation.

Comparing Templates in Mailgun and SparkPost

If you’re familiar with Mailgun’s recipient and template variables, you’ll be at home with SparkPost’s templates, although there are some key differences covered in our migration guide.

Tracking Your Email Activity in SparkPost

You get two levels of tracking information with SparkPost, starting with aggregate metrics that are richer and more complete than Mailgun’s stats. The guide has all the details.

SparkPost also offers a message events API endpoint that’s functionally similar to Mailgun’s events capability. You can create as many webhooks as you’d like, compared to Mailgun’s limit of one webhook per domain and event type. The guide has a table that maps each Mailgun event to its SparkPost equivalent.

Inbound Email: Relay Webhooks and Mailgun Routes

Our migration guide concludes with an explanation of how SparkPost’s relay webhooks process and forward inbound email, which is similar to Mailgun’s routes mechanism and its forward() action.

Want More Info about Switching from Mailgun? Let Us Know!

Our Mailgun migration guide should cover everything you may have questions about when you switch from Mailgun to SparkPost. Of course, you can always chat with our team on Slack. And for more help with configuring and using your SparkPost account, you can peruse our support articles and contact our support team.

—Ewan

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