First of all, I think, that Mailchimp is an amazing marketing tool. Easy to use, provides great analytics and delivers mail in a very reliable fashion. Mailchimp is an ideal service if you are just staring to send newsletters. Once your list is over 5800 subscribers, you already have to pay 75 USD / month. Thats 900 USD / year.
I will tell you how I cut from $900 / year to $90 / year.
I was happy to pay, since Mailchimp’s easy to use template designer really blew my mind, but after a while I noticed, that I only use 6-7 templates, and I only need to make small changes on them.
As I really worked on growing my email list, my bill grew, and there was a point, where I had to pay over 100 USD / month. I was convinced, that there has to be a cheaper solution, so I started to look for another option to send newsletters.
I wasn’t looking for the same features as in Mailchimp. I wanted a service, that provides reliable delivery, wysiwyg template design, analyitics, autoresponders, easy to use signup forms and ability to use custom fields in newsletters. At that time Sendy just started up, offering the tools I mentioned plus the promise, that it will dramatically reduce my newsletter bill.
There is one big difference between Sendy and MailChimp or similar solutions: you have to provide your own hosting. It means, that the sendy software runs on your own server, like a wordpress site or webshop. If you have one of those, than you can install sendy to the same place.
Now, this is where it gets tricky. Most hosting providers limit the number of emails you can send every month. If you use shared hosting, it probably applies to you as well. Sendy solves this problem by connecting to Amazon SES platform, which is the world’s best email sendign service. Its reliable, cheap and fast.
You can install Sendy on your website just with few clicks. Setting up Amazon SES is also very fast, there is a simple tutorial about it. If you are not tech-savvy, no worries: I am ready to do it for you for just $50.
To start with Sendy, I had to pay a fee of 59 USD, which is the software itself. All my email traffic is billed by Amazon SES based on the number of emails I’m sending. I provide newsletter service for one of my clients, where we send 4 monthly newsletters to 50.000 email subscribers. Thats about 200.000 emails. For about 20 dollars / month. In order to deal with the same large subscriber base, I would have to pay over 250 USD / month. Not bad, eh?