Were you using Mandrill to send emails through FileMaker? And did you stop (or want to stop) when Mandrill started charging for small accounts? If so, you’ll want to check out this blog post from Daniel Wood of Digital Fusion:
This is where SparkPost comes in. SparkPost is a new web service sending emails much like Mandrill, but SparkPost has a free email plan and is a great alternative for those who wish to not pay for Mandrill. SparkPost is recommended by Mandrill as the alternative for those who wish not to move to MailChimp, that’s a good endorsement!
Better still, SparkPost offer a Mandrill Migration Guide which will help anyone with the transition.
SparkPost offers a free 100,00 emails a month plan (capped).
They have a great and fully complete API and excellent developer support.
Two download files are provided: One with Mandrill converted to SparkPost, and another set up just for SparkPost. Get both at the link below.
There are other Mandrill replacements, too. In the comments of the blog post, Sky Willmott gives advice on his preferred alternative, elasticmail.com:
elasticemail.com … A good thing about its very simple API, is that it doesn’t require custom headers, so works well with Insert from URL…, and therefor works on FileMaker Go as well. It also still allows email to be sent from any domain, though it is encouraged to have valid SPF/DKIM records set up.
It’s also very low cost, with 25,000 emails/month for free.
And, finally, don’t forget about Amazon Web Services for email, Simple Email Service (SES). Just like anything else with Amazon Web Services, it’s not as easy as they make it out to be, but once past the learning curve, it’s very powerful. I am using it with a FileMaker solution using the CloudMail plugin from 360Works, and it allows you to send huge quantities of emails, track bounces, clicks, deliveries, and more. Very nice.
Check out Emory Brown’s video on FileMaker Visual Design at FileMaker Academy:
A quick skim shows some good tips on design and some on data entry techniques.