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Sendy For Email Marketing

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Anthony Parsons, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I've been doing a lot of shopping around for efficient email marketing methods, and Mail Chimp was certainly on the list, albeit highly expensive, but then I got talking with some actual experts in email marketing, and their simple response was... Sendy. $50 approx one-time cost, and you can send out quality lists via Amazon SES for about a dollar per 20,000 emails.

    This was across 5 experts who send in the scheme of millions of emails for corporations and such.

    You can design directly in it, or design via your email marketing program and import the HTML direct. Which for me was the best option... I use the pro version of Mail Styler, drag and drop and I can change each newsletter around. Apparently it's actually good to change the layout slightly for each mail, as many online mail accounts will push them into spam when they see the same thing repeatedly. Learnt something new.

    Total cost for my clean, double opted in list of 22,000 emails for newsletters, Upfront $250 - Ongoing $1 per completed batch sent.

    I think one batch via mail chimp was going to cost me $160 per batch sent. This was not an efficient means.

    I did a search here for it, and nothing... which is why I'm mentioning it here. It seems the experts use this stuff because it keeps the longevity cost down. Even using it with an external SMTP... that only changes my batch processing from $1 to $9 per batch sent... depending on which SMTP company you use. I used https://serversmtp.com to get my list initially cleaned, as Amazon is pretty strict and will boot you for using their service to clean your list with.

    Pretty easy to integrate too. Does anyone else use this in boosting readership and such, and just hasn't mentioned it?
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Stuart Wright will be using it for his newsletters and syncing his XF membership across to Sendy via an add-on that has been in development for a while (very delayed at this point). Sendy is a great tool.
  3. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  4. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    @Anthony Parsons
    Thanks for the input. I have almost 30K member across several lists on Mailchimp which I have used for the last few years.
    It's getting very expensive to send out to my members even if I buy the credits in bulk. Mailchimp is very good and has several active addons that I use for my XF and WP installation but I think I will seriously look at alternatives now.
  5. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    How do you get your list initially cleaned with that service?
  6. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Sendy has WP add-ons publicly for download... and Joomla... but not XF.

    I think you're going to find a massive savings then @Andy.N if you look at this. Server side, very easy to setup and use, extremely powerful.

    The one thing I struggled with is the design aspect, as the pro's I spoke to even said they use software (like I've opted for on their advice myself) or a defined template they know works across all email clients, because it's apparently so finicky you can quickly screw-up your newsletter showing in a lot of Outlook inboxes, was the example given to me. Apparently the Outlook versions alone have massive differences in how they render HTML email...

    I was a little shocked, to be honest, just how finicky and complicated email marketing actually is... IP's needing to be warmed up, a small change in a template can disable it in specific clients... mind boggling to learn this stuff.
    Dinh Thanh likes this.
  7. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Using Sendy, when you establish a campaign (Called Brand in Sendy), you can enter a SMTP of your choosing if you don't want to use Amazon or your own server (obvious dangers there). I went with the above, who have full bounce, complaint and such handling already. I could then export the list from the SMTP and import it into Sendy, thus a clean list with pretty much only bounces or complaints that are going to be new, and not attached to older account emails.

    If you already have an active list going out through mail chimp, you already have a clean list I suspect, with little bounces or complaints.

    I think any list will always get bounces or complaints... but Amazon won't tolerate you cleaning a new list on their IP's, getting hundreds or thousand or more bounces / complaints from the first send.
    Andy.N likes this.
  8. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    The problem with an external provider, is it doesn't fully integrate with Sendy, thus you have to export and import between SMTP and Sendy in relation to cleaning bounces or such... but Amazon SES is fully integrated with Sendy and automatically handles complaint and bounces in Sendy, thus disabling them from further emails automatically for you, just as mail chimp does. Amazon is so cheap... its worth the work to get the list right, then use them. Sendy has all the same real-time analytics as most programs do.

    For what you pay with mail chimp for a 20k list, you could send daily email for the month with Sendy and Amazon for the same cost.
  9. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    Awesome. I'm going to set up for Sendy now. I already use Amazon SES for all the transactional email on XF so it is already set up.
    I'm still in the process of figuring out how to set up bounce email in XF 1.4.3 using external providers.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  10. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    I have an addon that add new XF signups to Mailchimp list on the sign up page. I probably will look at getting it redeveloped for Sendy.
  11. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    @Anthony Parsons
    Does Sendy comply with CAN SPAM act? Do they automatically include unsubscribe link on outgoing mail?
  12. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    You have to embed it into your mail template when designing... but yes, they cater all such requirements. They enforce that you must include both unsubscribe and web browser links in your template before allowing to send. You can also setup automatic double opt-in form process and such, as required.

    Yes, we need something coded to automatically sync XF user list and registrations, along with checking / unchecking of the admin email field in combination with a person unsubscribing from the list being checked whether that email is a user, or newsletter subscriber only.
  13. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    Looks like we are looking at it ;)
  14. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    I just got Amazon SES to raise my daily emailing limit to 50k/day from 10k/day
    Dinh Thanh and Anthony Parsons like this.
  15. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Much better bang for your buck now Andy... the secrets the experts keep... amazing what is out there.
    Dinh Thanh likes this.
  16. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    Just bought Sendy and installed on my server. Still poking around to see how things work, email templates, etc.
    Dinh Thanh and Anthony Parsons like this.
  17. Dinh Thanh

    Dinh Thanh Well-Known Member

    Great job Chris D!
  18. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    There is a Sendy addon available right now but I'm waiting for the one you are developing. Any ETA?
  19. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

  20. Jim Boy

    Jim Boy Well-Known Member

    Went for a little while with SES, but they booted us for having too unclean a list. That's rectified now, partly in thanks to the new XF functionality. Decided in the end just to an ec2 instance as the outgoing smtp - we'll send 80,000 emails at a go. We didn't start a new instance as we have an admin one. Whilst we aren't using sendy (i designed my own system) we may switch back. No need to go with SES though as I think the only advantage is bounce and complaining handling, which XF can handle. We haven't had any issues with blacklists either on our EC2 instance. You just have to set it up correctly, which is a reverse IP and getting the smtp limitation removed.

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