Sendy: Email Newsletters, Your Way

Email newsletters can still be one of the most effective marketing strategies. When you send out an email campaign, you’re sending a message directly to people who are already interested in your products and services: current customers, fans of your brand, and people who are considering buying your products. The only problem is, email newsletters can get pricey to send. With most email services, you’d spend over $100 to send out email newsletters if you’re contacting more than 10,000 subscribers.

How about sending out 10,000 emails for just $1? Does that sound better to your ears? How about getting the same features, with even more flexibility, and still saving that much money? Sounds like Sendy might be what your business needs.

Self-hosted Email Newsletters Done Right

What’s the last self-hosted email newsletter you’ve seen that looked great and worked even better? crickets

Exactly. It’s basically an empty category. There’s tons of web apps for email newsletters, from Mailchimp to Campaign Monitor, and many of them are great, but there’s few options if you’re wanting to send emails with your own selfhosted web app, especially if you don’t want to manage an actual email server and try to keep your newsletter from being eaten by spam filters by default.

Sendy is a new web app from Hex, the creative team behind SUBERNOVA and MockVault, that may have just hit the perfect spot for a selfhosted email app. For just $40 during their introductory special, you can setup a full-featured email newsletter system on your own server or hosting account. Then, you’ll be able to send emails directly through Amazon’s Simple Email Service, letting you send a thousand emails for $0.10 without having to worry about the ins and outs of managing an email server directly.

Sendy

You will have to download and install it on your server, though that shouldn’t be too difficult if you’ve ever installed WordPress or a similar web app on your own, and should work fine even on most shared hosting. Then, to finish setting up Sendy, you’ll need to configure stuff on Amazon SES, which actually can be the most time consuming part of the process. If you’ve never used MySQL or edited a PHP file, you’ll find it challenging and might want to look around at other email newsletter options, but if you run your own CMS, you’ll be fine.

Getting Your Emails Sent

Since it won’t take too long to get setup, you’ll have more time to actually write newsletters and stay in touch with your customers or those that just might decide to buy your products in the future. Sendy lets you keep up with all of your brands, which in Sendy are how you separate the lists you’re sending emails out to. You’ll then be able to manage individual email campaigns for each brand, and can see old emails as well as save drafts of future campaigns. Then, on the dashboard you’ll see your current Amazon SES quota to see how many emails you can still send out today.

Manage campaigns for every part of your company (or as many companies as you want) together in Sendy

Sendy works with any type of email newsletter you want for your own company, or you could even use it to start a new web service. It’s designed to let you run Sendy as a white-labled email service for your clients. You can setup a brand for them, and Sendy automatically sets up a special login for your clients and lets you bill them through PayPal for a flat fee and a per-email fee. If you’re, say, hosting websites and doing design or marketing work for clients already, it’s a great way to provide more service to your customers and make a bit extra as well.

Setup new brands for your own business or for your clients

The Business of Sending Mail

Sendy makes it easy to manage your campaigns and send emails right to the right people. You can import your subscribers list in CSV format or enter them manually, and maintain different lists. Then, when you’re ready to send a campaign, you can choose which lists to send it to, so only the correct subscribers will see your email. Right from the front page, you’ll be able to see how many people opened the email last time, so you’ll have an idea what to expect with this campaign.

Keep track of the emails you’ve sent

Once you’re ready to send emails, it’s easy to format them exactly like you want. You can tweak your HTML email templates on your server, and then when writing an email, you can drop in the elements you want, quickly write in text areas, and even change the layout with the rich editor. If you need to dig deeper, you can change the HTML code for that individual campaign, and can set specific reply-to emails so you’ll get replies about this campaign at the right place.

Full rich email editing in Sendy

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

Sometimes sending out email newsletters can feel like a shot in the dark. When you post on social networks, you’ve often got instant feedback from fans and followers, liking and retweeting and commenting and everything else. Even on your blog, you could at least check Google Analytics and see how many people read your post.

Email doesn’t have to get left behind. Even if people don’t click Reply after reading your newsletter, Sendy helps you quickly see how your latest email campaigns went with detailed campaign reports after each email newsletter is sent out. You’ll get to see how many of your emails got opened, where they got opened, and what links they clicked. It’s everything you could want from email analytics, right inside an app on your own servers.

All the detailed stats about your campaign you could want

Conclusion

Sendy’s quite a great app if you’ve been looking for a nicer way to send email newsletters but don’t want to spend hundreds each month. With detailed stats and HTML email templates, there’s not much more you could want in a full-featured email app. Best of all, it makes it easy to start your own email service for your clients, helping you make back your initial investment quicker than ever.

If you’ve started using Sendy, we’d love to hear about your experience with it in the comments below!


Summary

Sending email newsletters doesn't have to be expensive. With Sendy, you can send thousands of emails from pennies, right from your own server via Amazon SES.

9
  • Tim

    In that one screenshot it looks like it is displaying the client login details password in plain text? Is this true?

    • Ben

      The password is displayed when you click “Generate password” so that you can send the password to your client to access his/her account. Your client can then change this password to anything they like when they log in.

      When you refresh the page (in the screenshot), the password will be replaced with “Generate password” link again.

      All passwords are salted and encrypted in the database.

  • Adam Perry

    After a couple of weeks using Sendy, I’ve discovered it is full of bugs, that when used for professional purposes makes it unusable,

    When I report the bugs to the developer he replies with rude defensive emails,

    Passwords are not secured well enough, and your Amazon identifiers are left insecure in plain text in the database. Just hope it doesn’t get hacked, as you’ll lose a lot of valuable data…. not acceptable.

    If you need this for anything important or professional, stay well clear of Sendy. It has not been tested fully at all.

  • Ben

    Hi Adam (sorry to address you by your last name previously), this is to add on to my earlier comment.

    I had a hard time finding my email correspondent with you as searching for your name in my email client returns no results.

    But I found an email correspondent with Stephen Knott in which I have refunded his license. I know you’re affiliated with Stephen because Stephen sell apps on Chimpworks http://www.chimpworks.co.uk/ and your web design company, Weio http://www.weio.co.uk/projects, is at the footer of Chimpworks website.

    On November 20, Stephen had a problem importing a CSV file. Turns out Sendy had a problem dissecting a CSV with a certain line ending. 6 hours after discovering the bug, Stephen wanted a fix. There was another problem with not being able to change a brand’s email. But I was not at my desk at that time. So I fixed and pushed out an update shortly after I was available. But I already refunded Stephen as he said he was not doing well with Sendy. And added on by saying bugs should not be discovered by the user and should be caught by me.

    I agree with Stephen in the sense that I should catch all bugs as much as possible and not let users discover them. But if you have a huge user base with different use cases, there may be bugs that were not expected. To make it up to my users, I release fixes as soon as possible as I’ve done with bugs that Stephen discovered. But sometimes, I cannot fix it in a few hours.

    As an app developer yourself on chimpworks.co.uk, you should understand that softwares are rarely without bugs. Users will discover and report them especially if you have a significantly large user base. There is a reason why WordPress continues to update its software today based on users’ feedback since launching it in the year 2003.

    I understand that discovering 2 bugs led you to think Sendy isn’t ready for production. But it’s not fair to ask others to stay clear of Sendy. Tons of fixes have been pushed out since version 1.0 coupled with major new features like multi-threading, autoresponders etc. Customers have been happy with it http://sendy.co/#what-people-s

    Again, both issues you’ve reported have been fixed. I certainly welcome you to come back if you’re willing to give Sendy another shot. Thank you!

  • marko

    I’m interested to find a good newsletter sender, of course something better (and more user friendly) than phpList. At first look this app looks like good but I’m not sure if is the definitive solution for me.

    Anybody can say me more about this App?

    Thank you in advance!

  • Antoine

    Sendy price tag & feature list is very appealing, so I bought this solution for a client.

    I have implemented an attachment feature which was missing in release 1.1.3 quite easily.
    Code architecture is quite well done, though code quality is quite bulky.
    Release 1.1.4 added attachements natively, but I now experience issues when sending ‘large’ emails (above 500kb) with no support from the dev team to sort this out.
    Furthermore, localization is an important feature for my client. But, given the code, I think it implied much parts are rewritten, so it gonna takes time !

    To sum up, Sendy is a software to watch, but not mature enough at the moment.

    • Antoine

      Today, Sendy received an upgrade which finally corrects the bug preventing mailing with attachments over 567kb to be sent correctly.
      While it has been difficult to have this issue taken into account (the previous comment helped), I must admit that Ben, the developer, did a pretty good job.
      Furthermore, localization is now part of the package ; it finally didn’t take as long as I first expected !
      Given the latest enhancements and stronger security, I do now think Sendy is a good and valuable software.

  • Ben

    Hi @Antoine,

    I’m the developer of Sendy. I’m still figuring out the issue with attachments over 500kb. I support ALL my customers, I just don’t have an answer for you yet while I’m juggling many other things at once like support, developing the software, adding new features like localization (the entire codebase has to be worked on) which will come in the next update.

    Thanks for your patience!

    Ben

  • Angelos

    Im one step before purchuasing Sendy, but still cannot figure out if I can send a newsletter around 400 kb to my 11000 subscribers at one time. With my providers smtp and thunderbird I send to two hundred, then wait and send to a few more until I send to all my list! I want to push a button and be sure that in a very short time everyone will have the companys newsletter.
    is this possible?? How much time does the service needs to send the 11.000 mails?

    • Ben

      Hi Angelos,

      Sendy sends emails via Amazon SES, so you don’t have to worry about your host throttling your emails (because emails aren’t sent from their server but via Amazon SES instead).

      You can send 11,000 emails without having to wait, then send again etc. Just click send and your emails will be sent out. If your server times out, Sendy will auto-resume. Sendy uses multi-threading to send your emails, so it will be fast.

      The overall time it’ll take to send all your emails depends on your Amazon SES send rate and how quickly your server is able to send these emails.

      If all goes well, it’ll take around 35 minutes to send 11,000 emails.

      Hope this helps.

      Ben

  • Philip

    I can’t find anywhere to ask a Pre-Sales question: My question is how do we subscribe users to our newsletter. Is there any kind of form builder or do we build the forms ourselves and submit them to api.

    I’m trying to determine how we can load our newsletter up with subscribers.

    Thanks
    Phil

    • http://www.facebook.com/mnhaque Nazmul H. Palash

      This is only for Bulk Email. No legal way…

    • http://www.benhomie.com/ Ben Ho

      Hi Philip,

      Sendy provides you with a subscribe form HTML code which you can use to embed it into your website. You can also subscribe users programmatically using Sendy’s API http://sendy.co/api.

      Hope this helps.

      Ben

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow