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Sendy: The (much) cheaper Mailchimp alternative

Technology

Sendy: The (much) cheaper Mailchimp alternative

Whether you’ve got a blog, business, or just a large group of people you need to contact, you’ve probably looked into sending online newsletters. There are a ton of options out there. Most are similarly priced and offer a competitive suite of features. They’re reliable, effective, and help you actually reach the people you want.

But there’s one big problem. They’re all expensive.

If you grow your subscriber list beyond about 2,500 people, you’re going to start paying about $20-$30 per month to start. Once that list hits a couple thousand more people, you’re going to be doubling that monthly cost. The sliding (up) scale terrifies me and made me hunt around for a better option. I didn’t find one until just a few months ago.

And I think Sendy might just be the future of newsletters.

So, What Is Sendy?

sendy-logoIn a nutshell, Sendy is a self-hosted way to send your own newsletters. You install (or they’ll do it for you for about $75) a subdomain like sendy.yourdomain.com which talks to the Amazon SES mail delivery system. In case you haven’t heard of Amazon SES, it’s basically a no-frills cost-effective way for people with technical skill to send out large quantities of emails at a fraction of the cost you’d pay with MailChimp, AWeber, or any other mainstream newsletter delivery option.

To get started, just follow the step-by-step instructions on Sendy’s website, set up your Amazon account, and you’re ready to send 10,000 emails/day at no charge for the first year. This is assuming your domain is ‘verified’ which is all spelled out in the instructions.

So, Why Is It So Cheap?

Because the expense of creating templates and running the actual dashboard is up to you. So if you’re comfortable getting your own email templates from a place like Themeforest and clicking ‘update’ once in awhile on your Sendy installation, then you’re all set. Once you’re setup, you don’t have to actually go to Amazon SES, which is great since it’s not the easiest place to figure out.

In case you were wondering, it costs just $59 which is a one-time fee. All in, the cost comes out to about 100x cheaper than MailChimp.

What’s It Look Like?

The first thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t (yet) have a template builder. There isn’t a drag-and-drop interface for moving things around in your email. I’m guessing that’s coming though as the software has been updated quite regularly and works quite well.

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What Do You Think?

I’m a big fan of Sendy, obviously. But I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself. I wasn’t paid or anything to write about it and just wanted to help the world find a better way to contact others using mass email distribution. Good luck!

I love to cover interesting technology, tools, and trends we'll be using in the future!

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