I have just now finally tried Sendy after hearing of it for years.
It’s been a popular alternative to the paid email services (e.g. MailChimp, MailerLite, Aweber, etc) for quite a long time. The promise was that it saves money and does just as well of a job. I was never in doubt of its capabilities, I just wondered if the cost savings was worth missing out on certain features I might want.
Here’s what I think now after trying out Sendy….
What is Sendy?
Sendy was created as an alternative to the expensive email marketing services out there.
Let’s use MailChimp as an example:
- Costs $75/month for 10,000 subscribers, unlimited sends.
- Or you can do the pay-as-you-go plan which costs $200 for every 10,000 emails.
And the monthly plan can get really expensive if you’re not sending every month. At some point, you might even wonder why do you use an email marketing service?
- Email deliverability – because their servers can get through spam filters better than your webhosting server.
- Email list – because you need a place to store and manage subscribers.
- Email template designs – because you want some nice email designs.
- Auto-responder – email automations and funneling.
- Reports – to know how many people opened and clicked.
So how does Sendy work?
Sendy is a self-hosted software that you install onto your own webhosting server. It costs only $69 (one-time fee) and you can use it forever! It used to be $49 several years ago…and hell, even if it was $199 it would still be much cheaper than MailChimp. In fact, many happy Sendy users have saved thousands of dollars already. It’s not hard to see how you save money.
Basically, it’s like buying the email software and hosting your own email marketing service instead of paying somebody else for it.
Sendy does rely on Amazon SES
Amazon SES (SES stands for “simple email service”) is a whitelabel email service that allows you to send emails from any applications. You have to sign up for Amazon SES, and follow some really technical guides to get the API key and credentials setup within your emailing application.
It’s not THAT hard to setup but can indeed be too scary for the non-technical person. But there are handy guides and you only have to do it once to setup Amazon SES with Sendy. (There’s also a Sendy set-up service or you can pay a developer/admin to set up for you.)
After the initial setup, you never have to mess with it again. Amazon SES rates are super cheap. Only $1 per 10,000 emails, which is 0.5% of the cost of MailChimp’s pay-as-you-go plan. And yes, Amazon SES gets through email filters perfectly. It’s definitely industry-grade deliverability and some argue it’s even better than the paid services out there.
Basically…Sendy is over 100x cheaper to send emails than MailChimp.
Drawbacks to Sendy
Sendy might not have certain features that you want. And Sendy might not look as fancy and polished as your paid email service. However…I’m wiling to bet its simplicity might even be an advantage…perfect for users who want a simpler email service and never use all those fancy segmentation or automation features.
So before going through the hassle of converting to Sendy, you need to make sure it has all the essential features you need.
Visit their page and make sure! https://sendy.co/
- Email list – easily add/remove users. Has CSV import and helpful cleaning functions.
- Custom fields – for other user info you want to keep track of.
- Reports – see how many opened, clicked, etc.
- White-label client accounts – to manage multiple brands yourself and/or allow clients to send on behalf of their own accounts.
- Autoresponders – setup automation triggered by event (e.g. new signup) or time (monthly, annual, etc).
- 3rd-party integration and Zapier – Sendy has been around long enough that it integrates with many other software out there. Useful for automatically adding subscribers to Sendy when they purchase from your store, etc.
Any CONS to Sendy?
I’m not a longtime user so I didn’t notice so many myself but I did read a couple other reviews to see what people are saying. I think many of them don’t matter to me.
- Manual setup – yes, you have to set it up but it really ain’t that hard.
- No email templates – you have to get the HTML code yourself. Not so big a deal and you can work around it.
- Lacking advanced segmentation – I think most people don’t use them anyway. But just a heads-up for you.
- Emails take longer to send – it takes 35 seconds to send 1,000 emails (due to AWS SES rate limit). But honestly not a big deal to me.
- No support – this isn’t entirely true. There’s plenty of documentation, help forums, and online guides. But you don’t have the personalized chat/ticket support you have with other services. But hey…I think most tech-savvy people don’t need it and prefer the cost savings.
- Links don’t work for deleted campaigns – if you delete your campaign from the system, you not only lose reports and stats for it but also the links in that email no longer work. There are work-arounds such as deleting the campaign directly in your database. But really I think most people don’t delete campaigns as they prefer to keep the reports.
Mainly, I think Sendy is adequate as a replacement for MailChimp or MailerLite…but probably not for ActiveCampaign. Got it?
My experience with Sendy
Sendy is a great email tool, with a few limitations (compared to paid email services).
- Saves money – oh yeah, you save a TON of money. Anybody with over 3,000 subscribers will easily save hundreds to thousands of dollars a year with Sendy.
- Simple email designs – if you like to send simple emails or plain text emails, Sendy is perfect for you. Those of you wanting polished email designs will have to code your own templates or hunt down HTML email templates online. It’s not hard to do but certainly more of a hassle than choosing from existing designs.
- Simplified features – yes…it has email list management, auto-responder, and those other features that your paid email service has. BUT, it’s not as fancy and doesn’t have all the little granular options and features. Part of me feels you won’t really need most of them but I’d hate to be the guy telling you to convert only to find out you are missing a key feature.
The reasons why I like Sendy may not be the reason why other people like it. Other people like it because it saves money. Why I like it is because you can spit out emails really quickly. It’s so fast to log in and send out emails since the software loads super fast. Whereas with MailChimp and even MailerLite, sending an email requires many confirmation pages and each page load takes 5 seconds. With Sendy, it’s like one page and 2 instant clicks and your email is sent.
The biggest drawback for me (and really not that big of a deal) is that Sendy doesn’t have any email templates. I wish it at least had a link to resources for users to choose from. Or at least SOME templates. Even very basic ones to start with.
Best users/use-cases for Sendy…
- You have many subscribers and/or send tons of emails…and want to save money.
- You only need simple email functions – create campaign and send, that’s it.
- Your complex email functions (autoresponder, segmentation) aren’t hindered by Sendy’s simpler implementation of them.
- You have simple email designs or don’t mind the one-time hassle of setting up HTML email templates.
Personally, I’m not sure I’m ready for Sendy yet. It’s a hassle for me to switch all my setups over and I don’t have that many subscribers to manage any more. (I’ve been cleaning out my lists a lot.)
Are you ready to saving money on email marketing?