… Because we were able to engage to 1.2 Million people at a cost of $ 0.002 per email. Yes, that’s 1/50th of a Cent!
At our startup, we run several sites, some of which get close to a million hits a month collectively. We are a big advocates of low-budgeted marketing (and believe me, that is very much possible) and are always on a lookout to optimise our RoI (Return on Investment) – trying to cut down on our spends as well as optimise our conversions for every penny spent. One of our key marketing channels is, Email Marketing and we consistently work towards improvising its RoI – tweaking every single email campaign of ours to cut down the costs we incur per email subscriber and increasing the average conversions per subscriber. For instance, one of our sites got nearly 12% of the total sessions via email over the past 3 months – a total of 38,214 sessions. And this number is consistently going north.
Similarly, one of our other website got nearly 19.7% of the total sessions via email for a period of 3 months – that’s a total of 25,769 sessions.
And that’s not it. The other benefits we get to enjoy owing to our email marketing activities are:
- Our repeated number of visitors have increased.
- The number of people who visited us via email and bought our products have increased too.
What more can you ask for! But this post is not about the merits of email marketing but to talk about our experience of using email marketing services to bring about this growth in traffic via email. This all happened because we found a MailChimp / Aweber Clone that we could manage, run and at the same time could cut our email marketing costs by upto 75 – 80% (which is a huge number, any which way you look at it.)
To begin with, like most even we went for MailChimp – Amazing email marketing option to get started for anyone. However, it comes with a few limitations – the biggest being cost. Make no mistake, there are free plans on offer from MailChimp but they can be short lived if you have an ever growing email list like ours. It provides FREE emails to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers. While we loved sending emails using MailChimp, our email list soon outgrew the free limits. We then went for a paid plan but soon the email marketing costs were on the rise and it was not practical for us to continue with our beloved MailChimp as our email list was already at 3,000+ at that point.
We then went on hunting for email marketing service that could be less burden on our pockets and at the same time not compromise on the effectiveness. We checked out Aweber, iContact, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Mad Mimi among others. But we couldn’t see a long term solution that would be cost effective for us. So we kept digging further.
We had the following criteria while searching for the MailChimp / Aweber clone or Alternative:
- Should be cost effective.
- Should be easy to set up and should not take up a lot of our time managing the campaigns and email lists.
- WYSIWYG editor to draft emails easily.
- Per email cost should not increase even if our lists grow.
- Reliable delivery of our emails and to ensure the emails do not land in spam folders.
- We should be able to track the performance of our email campaigns – Opens, Clicks, Subscriptions, Bounces etc.
That is when we came across Sendy, a self hosted – trackable email service by Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) and it allows you to send authenticated emails at very low costs… We were actually not sure if we should use it as it had to be set up on a webhost. But then we decided to give a shot and it was actually as simple as setting upo a WordPress setup. The cherry on the cake was we were using Amazon’s mailing infrastructure to send our emails, which made is very reliable. It requires a one time investment of $59 and web-hosting plan which would cost $4-5 a month. So if you average it out you can easily have your own MailChimp / Aweber Clone for under $10 a month.
We had these 2 simple use cases that guided our decision to switch to Sendy apart from its ease of use of course:
- The Pay-as-you-go Plan from MailChimp: We already had an email list of 3,000 subscribers and with the pay-as-you go plan from MailChimp ($0.02 per email), it would cost us $60 for as single round of emails. The same on Sendy didn’t even cost us $1. Yep, the cost on Sendy to send the whole campaign was a mere $0.30 (as against $60 with MailChimp).
- MailChimp Email Plan for 3000 subscribers: Our second usecase that helped us go ahead with Sendy was when we had to send newsletters/emails to our then list of 3000 subscribers – using MailChimp would have cost us $50. Again with Sendy we were good to go with a mere $1.20 even if we sent emails once a week – 4 times a month. That’s pretty sweet deal. Isn’t it!
We do agree that other email marketing services mentioned above do have some fancy features like A/B testing and drag and drop layouts etc, but most of those features are strictly – Good to Have but not very crucial, since you do not do A/B testing everyday or keep making drastic changes to your campaigns every single. So why pay $40-$50 every month for that for no reason?
Some of the cool things about Sendy, what we like apart from the cost aspect:
- Reliable email infrastructure by Amazon SES.
- Can manage multiple lists and email campaigns with ease.
- We could set up set-up multiple emails on our single Sendy hosting (they call it ‘brands’), and use them all together or even assign specific logins for specific brands to specific people.
- Easily track the email campaign performance at a single click in visual formats as well as exportable data.
It has been more than a year with Sendy and have sent over 18 Million emails and we are really really happy with it. It has been a pillar in our email marketing efforts. One of the critical part of this journey with Sendy has been out web-host on which we hosted Sendy – InMotion Hosting which costs us around $5 a month.
If you are looking forward to using Sendy, we definitely recommend you read our next post on why we choose and strongly recommend InMotion Hosting for hosting and running our Sendy. You can check it out over here.
And how much Sendy save us every month?
If you have any queries in regards to Sendy, feel free to ask them in the comments below.
3-post series: Using Sendy – Our $6 alternative to MailChimp / AWeber / Constant Contact:
- Part 2: Sendy Hosting we trust to send 2 million emails a month
- Part 3: How to setup Sendy – A guide to setup your MailChimp alternative at less than $6
Blogging, WordPress, Building High Traffic Websites, Web Apps and Digital Marketing .... and yes, did I say I'm a big-time food junkie.
I'm currently reading:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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