Surprised by news from Mandrill? We understand how frustrating that can be, and we have a Mandrill alternative for you. If you want to get started with SparkPost fast, our developer community has got you covered! Here’s a quick guide to getting started and getting your transactional emails up and running.
- Create a SparkPost account
- Configure sending domains, DKIM, and SPF
- Migrate to the SparkPost API
- Migrate your templates
- Build something awesome
1. Create a SparkPost Account
First, sign up for a free SparkPost account if you haven’t already. BTW, we’ve made it really easy to get started. Our free developer accounts include up to 15,000 emails/month with the same built-in functionality and performance as our paid plans — with no time limitation.
2. Configure Sending Domains, DKIM, and SPF
Check out our Getting Started Walkthrough video for an easy quick start. If video’s not your thing, simply follow the in-app SparkPost dashboard as it walks you through the basic account configuration steps.
3. Migrate to the SparkPost API
SparkPost’s API is fantastic. Here’s the API documentation. As a general rule, if you see it in our UI, you can access it in our API, too.
Just want to get your hands in some code? You’ll find client libraries for the usual suspects on GitHub (and maybe some unusual ones, too):
- NodeJS – sample
- PHP – sample
- Java – sample
- Python – sample
- Ruby – sample
- Elixir – sample
- Go – sample
The Transmissions endpoint is the business end of SparkPost’s email sending capability. It supports both transactional and non-transactional mail streams, templating, tracking, variable substitution, attachments and all the usual goodies. It’s documented here with sample code in all the usual languages.
Receiving: Relay Webhooks
Tracking: Webhooks and Message Events
Beyond delivery and receipt, you can use Webhooks or the Message Events endpoint keep track of deliveries, bounces, opens, clicks, and all the other events SparkPost emits.
BTW, here’s a definitive reference to the available events.
Translating Mandrill to SparkPost Terminology
Mandrill and SparkPost use slightly different nomenclature to describe similar functions. Here’s a SparkPost terminology primer for those coming from Mandrill’s API.
|merge vars||substitution data||SparkPost’s substitution data is similar to Mandrill’s with rich JSON-like structure.|
|messages/search-time-series||metrics||SparkPost Metrics offer time-series aggregate views on everything to do with your mail streams. They also power the reporting UI.|
|transmissions||A single endpoint for all types of transmission.|
4. Migrate Your Templates
**Update: we have an awesome new Mandrill-to-SparkPost template migration tool! Now, it’s even easier to get started with SparkPost as a Mandrill alternative. If that sounds good to you, go get it and read how to use the tool to convert and migrate your Mandrill templates.
If you’re just pulling variables into your template for simple personalization, you might be able to use your Mandrill templates unchanged with SparkPost. Otherwise, here are a few syntax pointers.
5. Build Something Awesome
- General help: You can find help with most questions about SparkPost functionality, account configuration, and our web app in the SparkPost Support Center.
- Developer stuff: For help with code and general developer support, the SparkPost Developer Hub is a great resource. And, if you want to chat something through with our developer community team, join our Slack community.
- Heroku: here’s our addon and a quick how-to-migrate-from-mandrill-heroku-to-sparkpost-heroku.
- WordPress: take a look at our plugin.
- Zapier: we do have a zap!
- And here’s a list of lots of other integrations.