Maintaining and communicating with your subscriber base is a great way to make news travel about what you’re doing. However, if you’re not careful you could be spending much more for your email service than makes sense. This post will guide you through our experience with subscriber emails and how we ended up using Sendy.
We started collecting email addresses using Mailchimp, a user friendly service that’s trusted by loads of companies. They have a great free tier that allows you to collect up to 2,000 subscribers before paying anything. They give you multiple ways of integrating sign up forms in many places and they have a bunch of great features. It’s a great way to get started.
We didn’t have many subscribers for the first several months so Mailchimp’s free tier was perfect for us. Then came the Free App of The Week feature.
When King Rabbit got the FAOTW feature, we gained 14K subscribers in one month. That put us in Mailchimp’s $150/month tier, which isn’t cost effective for how often we send emails (once a month). After 25K subscribers the rate increases at $5 every 200 subscribers. We didn’t like where this was going so we rethought how we were going to send emails.
Sendy will save your wallet. It’s a $59 one-time fee and all additional costs are based on Amazon AWS’ SES service. We chose to use Sendy because we already used AWS for our servers, so getting their SES service setup was a piece of cake. AWS SES is cheap and has an awesome free tier. We’ve used Sendy for a few months now and we’ve sent about 60K emails. It’s been reliable and has a solid WYSIWYG editor for drafting emails. It took a day to setup on our server (you host your subscriber database and Sendy frontend). Using Sendy has cut down our monthly email cost to about $0.01 so I can’t say I know of a cheaper way to send mass emails.
We came from using Mailchimp, so we had high expectations from our mailing service. Needless to say, you won’t get all of Mailchimp’s features in Sendy. We are primarily missing the ability to send emails to segments of lists. Sendy can maintain separate mailing lists, but you can’t send emails to a particular segment of a list (i.e. subscribers in the past month, subscribers who clicked a link, etc.). Also, Mailchimp’s editor is amazing so Sendy’s felt like a step down, but it works well. We are sending really basic html emails, which don’t require assets or tables so it’s not much of a complaint for us.
Neither Mailchimp nor Sendy have a good way of sending localized emails. In Mailchimp, you would have to put in a bunch of if/else conditional blocks and check the subscriber’s language in order to send an email in a subscriber’s language. Sendy just doesn’t have a way of doing it. It’s important to us to be able to communicate with our subscribers in their native language so we patched in some code to allow it. We’re now able to send emails in 14 different languages with the click of a button. Contact us if you have interest in our localization code and we’ll publish it if there’s enough interest.
Our switch to using Sendy is saving us $150/month right now and will continue to be affordable as our subscriber list grows. It was a no brainer for us, we hope this post helps you make your mailing decisions!