If you’re using Mailchimp email marketing software to manage your email lists, you might want to consider switching to Sendy.
This review shows how Sendy has most of Mailchimp’s powerful and user friendly features, but costs just a fraction of the price to use, making it possible to build and maintain better relationships with your prospects without cost being an issue.
Sendy vs Mailchimp
I love Mailchimp. When it comes to email marketing software, it’s one of the most user-friendly interfaces you could wish for. It makes managing an email list and sending it an absolute piece of cake for anyone. But Mailchimp is not cheap. If you’ve got over 2,000 subscribers on your mailing list, you’ll need a subscription or credits to send your mails. A one-off send to 10,000 subscribers will set you back $200.
Enter Sendy, another option for email marketing software. I also really love Sendy. A one-off $59 gets you the interface which you install on your server (this requires about the same skill as installing WordPress – and if you don’t have that, they’ll install it for you). After that, a one-off mailshot to 10,000 suscribers will cost you – wait for it – $1. I’m not kidding, it really is that cheap, $1 per 10,000 sent. And because Sendy uses Amazon SES, you’re still getting authenticated emails and all the stats you need to manage your lists. There’s loads of great features built in too.
I’ll walk you through a demo of how it works so you can see just how fantastic and easy to use this software is.
First, you buy the Sendy package and download it.
You’ll get your licence key straight away in an email together with a ‘get started’ guide which walks you through the simply process of setting up Sendy.
Then hop on your server and create a MySQL database, adding a user to it with all privileges (if you’ve got anything like Cpanel, this is a piece of cake). You then just add your database details to the config.php file in the ‘includes’ folder. That’s hostname (e.g. localhost), db name, user name and password. That’s about as complicated as it gets.
Next you just upload the files to where you want them. I’ve added them in a directory called Sendy.
You’ll need to change the permissions on the ‘uploads’ folder to 777.
You should now be ready to install Sendy on your server. Simply go to the location where you uploaded Sendy, for example, www.yourwebsite.com/sendy.
You’ll need to use your license key that was emailed to you to unlock sendy.
You can leave AWS Access Key ID and AWS Secret Access Key blank as you’ll get these from Amazon. That’s the next step – you visit Amazon Web Services (AWS) and sign up for an AWS account. Once signed up, you will get these two keys from your account enabling Sendy to send emails via your Amazon SES account. This process is extremely simple and Sendy’s installation guide walks you through everything.
The next step is simply to verify your email address with Amazon Web Services, which is as difficult as clicking a link.
After that, you’ll just need to set up handling of complaints and bounces. Sendy’s instructions include links and cover every step of the way so it’s very easy.
Ready to send your first mail?
Okay, first set up a brand in Sendy. Because Sendy allows you brands, you can manage emails for multiple products and services, which is really handy. Once you’ve created your brand, click on it and you’ll be taken to the place where you create your first email campaign.
Click on create and send new campaign. You’ll be taken to a screen where you can build your email. You can either use HTML (it’s easier to build in Dreamweaver or something similar, and copy the campaign across) or use the WYSIWYG editor which makes things very easy.
You may miss Mailchimp’s amazing easy-to-use templates at this stage. But given that there are plenty of free templates on the web, and factoring in just how much you’re saving, Sendy’s editor will do just fine.
Once you’re finished building your mail, the next page you see is a test screen. Simply drop an email address in the box and test how your finished mail will look.
If everything works as you’d like it to, you can go ahead and send. Choose a list – if you’ve not already set one up you can go and create one, and Sendy allows importing so it’s pretty easy. Return to your campaigns and you’ll see your campaign has been saved as a draft.
Once sent, you can go into the reports section to see how your campaign is going.
Click on your campaign to see more information. Here you can see how many people opened your campaign, how many unsubscribed and how many bounced.
You can also view link activity if this was in your email. A small point to note is that if your recipient uses a program like Thunderbird which blocks remote content until they allow it, this will falsely report as not opened. This is the case for any email tracker though, as it’s how the software knows whether the email has been opened or not.
As email marketing software goes, Sendy is an awesome and powerful alternative to Mailchimp, allowing you to send email campaigns for just a fraction of the price without sacrificing on valuable insights that help you to maintain your list and refine your marketing efforts. There’s a tiny bit more setting up involved but at just $59, it’s a great investment that allows you to build stronger relationships with your list recipients without cost being an issue. Click here to get Sendy.