Migrating from MailChimp/Mandrill to Amazon SES/Sendy
If you search for a good email marketing tool, many results would claim MailChimp the best for email marketing for its large number of features that can not be found in its competitors, ready to integrate, but mostly because of its free plan for less than 2000 contacts (including unsubscribed) with 12000 emails.
But the free plan comes with all sorts of limitations. One of the major limitations is that one can not have more than 1 audience list. And it is not suitable for most business requirements. All in all the free plan is only an option for very small organizations or companies. They can choose their free plan with limited features to get the job done.
Also, the Essential and Standard plan allows a maximum of 3 and 5 audience lists respectively. Which leaves you with their premium plan which is extremely expensive.
MailChimp bills you on the basis of the number of contacts on your emails list per month. As your email contacts and the number of emails per week grow, MailChimp starts to cost you hundreds of dollars. And this is not the only cost you have to pay. Mandrill is the transactional API to send emails that must be added along with MailChimp. You have to buy email blocks from Mandrill. One block costs $20 and consists of 25000 emails.
For one of Technosoft’s clients, 583 subscribers and 1 block of email from mandrill, they had to pay $35 every month.
But what if the subscribers increase? Let’s take a look at the following table.
|# of Subscribers||MailChimp Cost||Mandrill Blocks||Total Cost/Month|
As you can see the table speaks for itself. The total price escalates very quickly with the increase in the number of subscribers. This is when we realized there must be a better way. We just have to look for it.
That is when we came across Sendy which claims to be 100x cheaper. So we had to find out more about it. Sendy is another email marketing tool that has all the core features of MailChimp plus it uses Amazon’s Simple Email Service or SES to send emails which is very cheap as it costs $1 per 10,000 emails.
Sendy comes with a one-time fee (currently $59), but still, very cost-effective as compared to MailChimp. Also, Sendy does not cost you on the basis of the number of subscribers, but the number of emails. So if you have 10,000 subscribers and you send no emails in a month. You would pay nothing ($0). On the other hand, you would pay the usual bill to MailChimp regardless of whether you sent 0 emails or twice every week.
Advantages of using Sendy
Although the Sendy.co explains all the advantages Sendy has to offer in detail, I will list here some of them
- Custom Fields: You can store extra information about subscribers e.g. their interests
- Automatic bounce and unsubscription handling.
- Very cheap
- Automatically send newsletter populated from RSS feed
- Detailed reporting.
- Scaling/Large number of subscribers? No problem.
Drawbacks of Sendy
A major downside of Sendy is that it is self-hosted, which means you have to set up and host it yourself. However, it is not that big of a downside if you have a technical team/person in your organization. You can ask Technosoft to set Sendy up for you or you can use tools like EasySendy for the one-click solution.
EasySendy is a specialized hosting company that specializes in setting up the application and handling all of the AWS, DNS and server details so that if you don’t have the technical expertise to set up hosting or install Sendy, you can get their services. Which are still pretty cheap compared to MailChimp/Mandrill.
Our Annual Cost Saving Summary
|Email Marketing Tool||Subscribers||# of emails||1st-year cost||After 1st year cost|
That’s how Technosoft saved our client $418.8 or decreased 99% costs annually by moving from MailChimp/Mandrill to Amazon SES/Sendy. Of Course, we didn’t add the hosting costs in the table, as our client already had multiple EC2 instances running. For estimation, a t2.small instance would cost $19/month at the or $78 annually to host Sendy. And that instance would be able to do a lot more other cloud functions in addition to hosting Sendy. And still, you will be saving big time. In addition, Sendy is only used to keep the user subscriptions (Amazon SES sends the emails), the AWS instance needed for Sendy needs to be up only when adding subscribers or sending emails. So, in some instances, you may be spending only .026/hour for the AWS t2.small instance uptime only.
Why Sendy? Why not SendX, SoulCRM or GetRespose?
The answer is simple: most of the competitors of Sendy offer monthly subscription plans and that is exactly why we looked for Sendy in the first place. Also, Sendy offers all the core features of email-marketing plus it has a really easy user interface.
Sendy and HIPAA
With Sendy, your email subscribers database is secure in your own HIPAA compliant AWS t2.small instance, hosted in your HIPAA compliant AWS cloud. And thus, Sendy provides better options compared to Mandril to store PHI data at rest.
Please note: You will need to carefully review your options to send PHI, including any of the patient identifier, in an email. Our view regarding Sendy here is only for the storage of patient’s email data as subscribers (PHI at Rest). Sendy does not help in sending PHI in plain text in a HIPAA compliant manner. Please contact your or Technosoft HIPAA consultant, if you have any questions in this regard.
When to use MailChimp and when to use Sendy?
If MailChimp’s free plan can cover your use case, use MailChimp on all other conditions we would recommend Sendy as you can all figure yourself why.