I have a MailChimp mailing list of 36,000 people. I'm exploring my possibilities when it comes to sending an email to each of them. Here are the alternatives I can see:
Paying $240.00 for a monthly MailChimp subscription, just to send an email once. Technically, I only need to send one email. This means I would have to unsubscribe from the monthly service once my email is sent, and I'm not sure if MailChimp allows this.
Paying $500 in MailChimp "Pay as you go" credits
This is an even higher price, which might be out of my range. This is what MailChimp has to offer for people wanting to send a one-time email, though.
Using Mandrill instead of MailChimp
Since it seems to be possible to export your list from MailChimp and use it somewhere else, I could use Mandrill, a service by the same people who made MailChimp, which would allow me to send my newsletter with just $4.
There is a huge difference in cost, but I'm not sure Mandrill or MailChimp allow this kind of use (Mandrill seems to be made for transactional emails, not newsletters), so I'd like to know if it's possible.
Using Amazon SES
Amazon Simple Email Service looks similar to Mandrill, but doesn't seem to pose restrictions on the kind of email sent through it. Sending email through it would have an even lower cost than it would with Mandrill, but I'm worried about its reliability and potential issues with spam filters.
There is also a secondary problem with unsubscribe links: if you sent an email you'd have to offer one, and you probably can't allow someone to unsubscribe from a MailChimp newsletter with a link that is not generated by MailChimp when sending the email (this would apply to the cases where I export my list and send it with an alternative service).
What is the most convenient way (as long as it's allowed and feasible) to send these emails keeping the constraints I've listed in mind?
Are there any other alternatives?