What are transactional emails
This is a video about the importance of picking a good and reliable transactional email provider. Transactional emails are a different group of emails to say provider like MailChimp that is bulk or mass email, that's where you're sending the same email to multiple people. Whereas the transactional email is an email that is often a direct result of an action that a user has taken and is only sent to that user
For example, like a password reset email or a welcome email.
What Bubble provides (SendGrid)
When you're building your Bubble app, Bubble provides you with some helpful workflows. Let's just set one up here just so I can demonstrate it. When the button is clicked, we send an email. When you are in the email tab here that is referring to the provider that you have set up through the domain and email tab here, and Bubble built into the Settings panel, you've got the ability to integrate in with a provider called Sendgrid.
Using your own account
One of the reasons why it's so important to have a transactional email from either set up is that without one, emails are sent from this email address here, which means that you can't reliably monitor the emails and also they're not sent from your identity and because it's a pooled address, these are much more likely to end up in spam. Because if someone was to receive an email from this address here and mark it as spam, again, it doesn't clearly identifies you, it doesn't differentiate you from any other Bubble app builder.
So you need a transactional email provider set up to reliably send transactional emails to your Bubble app. Now the built in one if we go back to it, is SendGrid and once you've connected up your domain, you'd then be able to sign up for a SendGrid account and enter the relevant API details in here.
Something that's in common with all of the transaction providers is they will provide you with a list of instructions for additions to the DNS records of your domain name. This is to verify you as the sender to say that this email was legitimately sent on behalf of your brand's identity of your domain name. These are all things that you can do in your battle against the spam folder. You don't want your users to be frustrated because the forgotten password email or their welcome email ends up in spam.
So yeah, really important that you set up a transaction provider. Okay, back to SendGrid. Bubble provides in the settings panel a way to set up SendGrid. But if we look through the Bubble documentation we'll see that it's a little bit out of date. Bubble currently allows you to replace the body of the email with a template style only for legacy SendGrid templates.
So the integration that Bubble will provide through the settings panel is one that is a little bit out of date and SendGrid have moved on, but they've provided what they term legacy templates. If you want much more flexibility, then I'd recommend looking at other providers.
One that I used for a long time was Mailgun. Mailgun offers quite a generous starting package here, so you can do plenty of testing. No reflection on Mailgun, but I would say a word of warning. If a transactional email provider offers anything for free, then they are opening themselves up to the potential that their services abused.
There's a lot of people around the globe who want to send a lot of emails and they're all very spammy and they will degrade the reputation of the IP addresses of the servers that that provider uses. So the provider, whether it's SendGrid or Mailgun, they're in a constant struggle to provide a quality service to their customers by blocking the bad actors from using their services because that will degrade the deliverability for everyone who uses their service. So, yeah, Mailgun, I've integrated that in with the API connector on Bubble. I can say that that works well, I've used it in the past.
My current favourite and the one that I'm directing people towards is Postmark. Postmark doesn't have a free tier, but the pricing begins at just I think it's $10 for 10,000 emails.
So if you can cover that cost, I'd really recommend just go with Postmark from the start because they have a really clear API documentation.
I've used their support. Their support is quick and very helpful. They have a clear domain DNS additions, instructions, how to create that verification between your domain name and you and the emails that you send.
Also they have some fantastic templates for common uses such as welcome emails and password reset that you can customise and you can integrate in with your Bubble app in really under 30 minutes. So I would expect in the future we will do a whole video about the API connector in Bubble and Postmark. But I wanted just to produce this video as an overview of why you need to be thinking about transactional email providers as a Bubble builder and the different options that are available.
Just the point forward into why when I build a Bubble app now, I'm not using the Email settings tab here, I'm not using the email actions here. When I create an API integration with Postmark, then it appears as plugins and if I've set it to an action, it appears here. That's how would go about sending emails. But yeah, we'll do a whole video on that in the future. Setting up the domain name and setting up the API connector.