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