For the technically savvy, using your own server or tapping Amazon’s super cheap Simple Email Service (SES) is obvious when it comes to mailing lists, but for everyone else who’s knowledge-base lies somewhere between expert and novice, diving head-first into those options is just too much.
Here’s what the majority is left with: relatively expensive service from the likes of MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, etc. These options are at the opposite end of the spectrum and are quite easy to work with — for a price. They’d even be the option I’d use myself, had it not been for Sendy, a newsletter application I recently discovered by Hex, which also created SUBERNOVA & MockVault.
Sendy is a self-hosed option that bridges the gap and makes Amazon SES and self-hosted solutions more accessible. Think of Sendy as the CMS for your newsletter.
To use Sendy, buy the application ($40 — well worth it for larger lists) and install it like you would a WordPress blog; here’s a thorough how-to guide. Given how cheap and necessary hosting is, we’ll just leave that out of the cost (you can find a solid host for >$4/month).
Once installed, you can send out your newsletter in two ways. For more professional results, Amazon SES will really make the difference and costs a whopping $1 per 10,000 emails. That’ll bring you features like bounce notifications / tracking. For the more casual or cheap user, you can stick with your own host and everything works automatically.
From there, the system functions as you’d expect: Set up different brands and campaigns, import contact lists via XML, write your email in HTML and plain text, test it and then ship it. If you can install a WordPress blog, you can handle this. Demo the dashboard here.
Check the application out via the link below:
➤ Sendy ($40)
Featured image by Bogdan Suditu