Emailing Made Easy | Part 1 | SendGrid

I've been working with emails recently, so I thought I'd turn it into a post.
In total there'll be 3 posts, covering the aspects of how I do emailing.

  • SendGrid
  • Templating with Razor Views from ASP.NET
  • Google Go-To Actions

Lets begin. If you're thinking of using SMTP, STOP! SendGrid is a cloud-based email delivery platform.
They take care of making sure your emails don't end up in the spam folder.
It's free for 25k emails a month, which is good enough for a MVP.

Below I list the steps of getting a SendGrid account and configuring it.
If you don't at anytime in future want to pay for SendGrid through Azure, don't sign up via Azure.
SendGrid won't be able to migrate your account.

Step 1: Create your account

Find SendGrid on the Azure Marketplace.
Fill in your details and smash that create button.
You can only have a maximum of 2 SendGrid accounts per Azure subscription.
Azure SendGrid Email Delivery Info

Azure SendGrid Create Account

Step 2: Manage your account

After your account is created. Click the Manage button and you'll be taken to SendGrid and automatically logged in.
Azure SendGrid AccountDetails

Step 3: Create an API Key

You'll land your SendGrid dashboard, giving you all the stats for how great your email engagement is going.
In the sidebar menu, click API Keys. Create a key, once you have your key you can start sending emails.

SendGrid Dashboard

SendGrid Create API Key

Step 4: Sender Authentication

If you want to do things right, you should authenticate your domain.
The DKIM FAQ provides some insight to what those fancy acronyms mean.
SendGrid Sender Authentication

While here, you should probably brand the links the email reader sees.
SendGrid Sender Authentication Your DNS Host

Automated security means, SendGrid will roll your encryption keys.
You defnitely want this!
SendGrid Sender Authentication Your Domain

SendGrid will then provide you with the DNS records you need to create.
SendGrid Sender Authentication Install Your DNS Records

After the records have been verified. Make sure you go in and set the domain as the default.
SendGrid Sender Authentication Domain Verified

SendGrid Sender Authentication Default Domain

That is it! This entire process should take less that 30 minutes. The only dependency being your DNS record propagation.