Sending emails without using mailgun

I’d like to not use mailgun. I think it’s overpriced and absurd. People could just sign up thousands of times and I’d be down a thousand dollars. I want to do this on a separate server. I’m on DigitalOcean and I’m wondering what the options are for something that could be a set it and forget it option. I don’t see the need as sending text as a service that I should pay for monthly.

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I think this article answers most of your questions - Why do I have to set up Mailgun for newsletters?

tl;dr - You don’t have to use mailgun with Ghost, but if you choose not to, you’ll have to use an external service for bulk (sending newsletters) email.

@mailgun is definitely expensive only when you compare it to the likes to AWS, but is equally reliable and provides clean IPs.

As @vikaspotluri123 pointed out - you don’t need to use it, you can setup an external email service to send emails but then it defeats the purpose of using ghost (i.e. native newsletters, no external service sh*t and so on).

Paying 35$ for the default is kind of lame. That’s my point. I’d much rather pay set something else up. My quandary is what is able to replace mailgun for 5-10$ a month instead of 35$ at the default mailgun tier. For Flarum I got “you can configure any smtp service you like… use postfix or exim”. I just need something that I can tell Ghost to point to and say use this to do mail stuff.

The Mailgun Flex plan is $0.80/1k emails, not sure if there’s an upper limit.

Again, if you want to use something else for transactional email, Ghost supports using an smpt mailer. You’re only limited to Mailgun for bulk email through Ghost.

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I need some clarification. I read the link and then the proceeding link that explained mail. I’m not proficient in doing any js or any code stuff, I’ll just pay someone to do what I’m trying to do.

How often does Ghost fire off with the newsletter mail and what is in the newsletter mail? If it sends out something where it has all of the things that have been posted that day or week I think it’s unnecessary for what I want to do. People will just come back and I’m sur what I want to do won’t fall into obscurity where people don’t want to read it anymore.

Thanks to alternative to

What about this? It says it’s similar to mailgun and it does mailgun stuff. Even though I’m not sure what newsletter mail is it should do everything that mailgun does.

Ghost has a feature where you can send a post to some or all of your subscribers. It won’t send a newsletter without you triggering it to be sent. This is the bulk email part of Ghost. If you don’t need/want it, you don’t need mailgun.


Ghost has a key distinction between transactional emails and bulk emails. You need to understand that distinction before setting up email.

Transactional emails are for things like people signing up, logging in, etc.
Bulk emails occur when you send out an email blast to all of your members at once. This will occur if you publish one of your articles via email. Ghost won’t publish a newsletter without you telling it to. You can decide granularly what subscribers should receive an email.

Mailgun is the only supported bulk email provider. You can use whatever you want for transactional emails.

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Ok cool so I can choose what I want it to send stuff out for newsletters or not at all. Nice. I guess I’ll just use a SMTP server.

Thanks for the assistance. Also for the documentation.

I’m confused, if ghost supports using SMPT mailer then why am I limited to mailgun for bulk?

I tried to sign up to mailgun, they rejected me immediately. I guess they don’t like my Mexican phone number? great so much for free and open source or w.e.

So now I can’t use Ghost’s bulk email feature?

There’s got to be a way around this. I get that people’s IPs can get blocked by mail servers and stuff. but that’s my risk and my problem to take not Ghost’s. My business partner is a pro, we already run our own mail server and would like to plug this in and use Ghost’s bulk mailer natively.

If anyone knows a work around or how to solve this, I’d be willing to reward them for it.

@juangalt you can dump all emails collected of members and then upload it to email provider of your choice and start shooting them as many emails.

mailgun is support for newsletters (primarily) and transactional emails (signup, signin etc.)

Yes, there is a way. You can use webhooks and route them to your custom service which will compose email and sent it to your subscribers via your e-mail server.

You publish post → ghost triggers webhook and sends post content to your middleware → middleware composes e-mail and pass it to the e-mail server.

I’m doing exact same, but for Telegram channels.

But that does not give access to the newsletter facility. Your have to build your own newsletter, when all of that capability is already present within Ghost.

See topic How do I send a single email through SMTP?

Not sure I’ve got your point.

Ghost will handle everything for you (transaction emails for subscribers) while you only need to process new posts and send them to your list which I think can be retrieved via API or webhooks as well.