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Postmark & Mastodon: Powering email for the independent, open-source Twitter alternative

  • Customer since 2023
  • Postmark features
    • Delivery
    • Message Streams
    • Templates
  • Emails sent or processed 2,600,000

The good folks at Mastodon are on a mission to build an independent, open-source alternative to Twitter—and Postmark is incredibly proud to support the team on their mission. Here’s why the Mastodon team counts on Postmark to power their important transactional emails.

Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform known for its unique federated model—and it is loved for its commitment to privacy, absence of ads, and genuine conversations. The decentralized structure provides users with more control over their experience, making it a popular choice for those seeking an authentic and community-driven alternative to traditional social media. While everyone can create their own Mastodon Server to start their own community, the Mastodon organization also runs their own popular servers, with being the largest one. And what do you need to power crucial processes for a popular online service? A reliable transactional email service!

View of Mastodon 4.2

The challenge with Mastodon’s previous email provider: Unresponsive support when you need help the most

One weekend in 2023, Twitter announced they’d start to require payment for a visual verification symbol, causing an uproar in the community. Hundreds of thousands of people started searching for a social media alternative, and this led to a mass influx of new sign-ups on Mastodon. What was an exciting event of viral growth quickly turned into a stressful day. While busy scaling up their infrastructure to support this new growth, suddenly, CTO Renaud Chaput, noticed that Mastodon’s transactional emails were not sending.

All those new accounts couldn’t get set up because they were lacking something critical: access to the confirmation email.

Confirmation email in new Mastodon user’s inbox
Confirmation email in new Mastodon user’s inbox

It turns out that the team had hit a send limit with their email provider, so messages were queuing up without getting delivered. Renaud and his team were scrambling to resolve the issue to get their emails back up and running—but they couldn’t get a hold of the provider’s customer service. They couldn’t go on for much longer without fixing this issue and decided to make the switch to an SMTP service provider about whom they’d heard great things: Postmark.

I had previously heard a lot of good things about Postmark, in particular that you were one of the human providers compared to the really big ones where it can be hard to get support as we saw.

Postmark: An email service you can count on

Thanks to Postmark’s straight-forward documentation, setting up the new account, verifying Mastodon’s sending domain, and grabbing the right SMTP credentials was a piece of cake. Plus, within minutes, Brian from Postmark’s Customer Success team also confirmed that the Postmark account is up and running and won’t hit any send limits as Mastodon ramped up email traffic.

And just like that, Renaud could see a live stream of emails, confirming that everything was working correctly.

The activity view in Postmark allows you to see which emails have successfully been delivered, with time stamps

We have been able to send our huge queue of 550,000 registration-related emails in a few hours after signing up for Postmark, and Postmark handled them without a hiccup. The product is simple, the support is outstanding. It’s what I expect from a great email provider.

Today, Postmark powers all transactional emails for, the original Mastodon server created by the Mastodon team, making sure that crucial emails such as confirmation emails, password resets, or mention notifications make it to the inbox fast and reliably.

Use Postmark to power your own Mastodon server

We’re proud to power crucial transactional email for the most popular Mastodon communities, and if you’d like to run your own Mastodon Server, we’re here to support you as well. If you are looking for an SMTP provider to handle your transactional emails, Postmark is a great choice.

Our experience with Postmark has been nothing but great. So if you're looking for an SMTP provider to power your own Mastodon instance, give Postmark a try.

Learn how to use Postmark with Mastodon →

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