Hi there 🙂 I've been a faithful AWeber user for many years, but since they implemented their new “easy to use” editor, I get more and more annoyed. And they told me that they are going to remove their old editor totally, which means that I'm going to leave AWeber.
I've been looking for alternatives. I didn't want them to be more expensive (I paid $15 per month for AWeber), just as stable, and I wanted to be able to use my own HTML-code, and not some autoresponder's clumsy code.
Another marketer started to use Sendy, and I was intrigued. So four days ago, I purchased and installed the mailer. Yes, it's installed on your own server, which put me off when I read that, BUT it uses a stable service to send out mails: Amazon SES.
This is all still very new to me, so I wanted to make this blog post, because I know from experience that in a few weeks, I will not be able to remember the questions I had to begin with. So follow me on this journey, if you're interested in an autoresponder, but don't want to pay $60 per month to have one.
Installation of Sendy
Most of this was pretty easy to do, because I knew how to set up a MySQL database with CPanel, and how to upload files and stuff. I had to ask my husband to help me with some DNS changes I didn't get. You have to do that where you bought your domain, not where you host them.
If these technical things are not your strong side, the people behind Sendy can install the script for free. So don't let this stop you from starting to build a list.
I didn't encounter any errors or problems (besides from the DNS I didn't know) while installing.
Connection with Amazon SES
You can send the mails through your web host, but I don't recommend that. It's slower, and you can easily get into trouble, if you send out too many emails. Instead, I recommend that you go with Amazon SES (I think is the name), which is a very low-priced system. You can send out several thousand mails for a few dollars per month.
I followed the getting started with Sendy guide, got the right link to Amazon, joined, upgradet (for free) and everything went smoothly and fast.
I'm not allowed to send out 10,000 mails per day, 5 per second. This can be further upgradet, as far as I understood, but I don't need so at the moment.
Setting Up the First Brand, Campaign and List
Okay, so far, so good.
The Sendy start guide told me to start out with a Brand and that a brand was:
Let's just say you own this company called Widgets Inc. And, you have several products under it. These several “child” products are what we refer to as ‘brands'. With brands, you can also setup accounts for each of your clients. Optionally send them a password to login and send newsletters on their own at a price you set.
Okay, so I created a new brand with the creative name Test. I guess that I can compare that to a List on AWeber? Or maybe not…
Next, Sendy tells me that I have no Campaigns. Now, what's a Campaign?
I have no idea, so I've just asked on the forum what the connection is between a Brand, a Campaign and a List, which is the next item to take care of.
I clicked to start a new Campaign.
Oh, wait, that's a mail I'm starting on now?
Nice and easy user interface, but I still don't know what a Campaign is in relation to the other parts.
It's easy to create a mail here, and I can use my own HTML code, yeah! You can make such code with editors like CompoZer or similar program.
So I skip that for now and go to Lists.
After I've clicked on View All Lists, I get to Subscriber List and can add a new one. Okay, so I guess this is the list members here.
I make one called TestList (yeah, I know… where do I get all those brilliant names? Mere talent.)
And then I added list members, myself with email 1, and myself with email 2.
So far so good.
There's a difference between broadcasts and autoresponders.
A broadcast is sent immediately. An autoresponder can drip content over a period.
Autoresponders can be found here under Lists.
I had to set up a chron job in the CPanel to make it work. It only took a minute, but again, if you're not technically, you have to ask them to do this while they are installing your script. Or maybe they just do it without being asked.
This is where Sendy gets better than AWeber, at least in the version I have. You can choose to send out immediately after someone signs up, or x minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months. AWeber can only handle Days.
I Think I Understand the Connection Now
I knew it would help to write about it 😉 And I think I got it now.
A Brand is like a List on AWeber, for example people who bought my ebook about “Blue Banana Peel”.
A Campaign is a broad cast. Something you can send out NOW or later, but only send once, and to people who are members of the List.
List is the members, those who receive the Campaigns and the Autoresponder series, which can also be found under Lists.
I have asked on the forum if this is how it is, and I'll get back and update this blog post, when I know for certain.
Update an Hour Later
I just received an answer from the forum. Here it is:
[Connection between Brand, Campaign and List?]
I think you got it. 🙂
My Thoughts So Far
I like it! I see some possibilities I didn't have with AWeber. I also see some minor adjustments I have to make. I definitely like the price! $59 one time, and then $1 to send 10,000 mails per month. I don't think it gets cheaper.
I will start setting up and importing real lists and see how this turns out. If they cannot solve any problems I might encounter, they promise to refund.
If you have any questions about Sendy that you think I might be able to answer, please don't hesitate to ask below in the comments. I'll be happy to help.