Hi there 🙂 A woman has the right to change her mind, doesn't she? And up until recently, I said that I would NEVER go back to an auto-responder on my own domain.
Two days ago, I sent out my first mails with Sendy, and I'll tell you about what I did, why I did it, where I had problems, what I loved, and more.
And as always: Please leave your questions and comments in the … yeah, comment's area.
It All Starts With a Brand
In my last post about Sendy, I told you how I figured out the connection between Brand, List and Campaign.
Well, I didn't quite get it after all…
A brand is more than what was known as a list in AWeber. A Brand is one or more related lists.
When I figured that out, I created a Brand called Money Making, and then I was ready to import around 30 different lists from AWeber.
You see… You can choose to send mails to several lists at a time, if they are within the same brand. And that's what I needed for all my money-making lists.
How to Move Lists from AWeber to Sendy
My auto-responder was AWeber, but I guess the process is similar with other auto-responders. If Sendy is going to be your first, then you can skip this paragraph.
Inside AWeber I backed-up all my lists. Then I downloaded the zip-file and unpacked it.
I started Excel and a new project, and used File -> Import to fetch my first list from AWeber.
As default in Sendy, you only need “Name” and “Email”. I wanted to have the IP the subscriber had signed up with as well as the sign-up date, so I created a new list in Sendy, and added those two fields.
Back in Excel, I deleted all the columns I didn't need, so now I had Email, Name, IP and Sign-up date. I had to switch the two columns (Email and Name), and then save as CSV. Excel complained about this EVERY time I did it… Well, not my problem 😉
In Sendy, I just hit Add Subscribers and Import inside my first list.
Rinse and repeat around 30 times… After that round, I was rather tired and rather proud. So I sent out a “hello world” too all the list at the same time 😀
Only 8.74% opened that mail. It breaks my heart!
Right, I'll blame it on the Memorial Weekend…
Broadcasts = Campaigns
If you want to send out a mail that's meant for now and here, you should create a campaign. This corresponds to broadcasts in other systems.
It's very easy to do. You click on Create & send a new campaign, and then you either write your mail right in the form, or you do as I do, which is create the mail in an HTML editor and then copy and paste to the Sendy form.
When your mail looks good, you can save it and then send a test to yourself first. Select all the lists you want to send to and hit Send.
If everything is setup correctly in Amazon (and it should be, it's not that hard, and the Sendy directions are good), then your mail will go out to thousands of grateful subscribers who eagerly wait by their mailbox for new posts from you.
Nah, I'm dreaming again. Your mail will be send, and what happened after “blew me away”. And I can tell you that with the weight I carry that takes a lot of power!
Statistics Are Awesome
After the mail was sent, I got a message from Sendy that everything went well and that I could check the statistics through the included link.
I went there, and ooooh! Woaaaw! Woooot!
The things that I could see!
- The last ten opens (and you can save them all, by the way, not just the last ten).
- Who unsubscribed (yes, I had 3 after that hello-world mail).
- Who had marked my mail as spam (one sinner did that – I asked him WTF! You've signed up through a double opt-in that date? Don't you know what spam is? Then I gave him a link to wiki to enlighten him, and kicked him out of my lists).
- How many clicked each of the links. This is awesome knowlegde!
When I told my husband about this awesome feature, he said: Does this mean I have to read your mails now?
He's a funny guy, my husband.
What Am I Missing So Far
Not much, but there are features I'm missing. Several of them have already been suggested to the programmer, and as far as I understand, they will be implemented in future versions.
An overall search function, so that I can search for email or name across several lists. As it is now, this is not possible. So I went to the database to do that kind of searches.
The possibility of editing a subscriber. I had one who was subscribed with two email addresses, and again, I had to go to the database to change this.
The possibility for a subscriber to edit his own email or name. As it is now, he can only unsubscribe and subscribe again.
A way to send to non-openers. Well, I couldn't even do this in AWeber with my account (from 2007), but this is high on my wishlist. Actually, it will probably not get implemented, because the programmer says that a mail can be marked as unopened, if a reader hasn't turn on images in the mail. But there's a workaround to sending to non-openers, and I think I'll do this once a month or so to ask them, if they don't want my mails (no use that I pay for sending them in that case), or they just don't have pictures turned on. Here's the workaround: http://forum.sendy.co/discussion/123/send-email-to-the-users-who-didnt-opened-the-emails-/p1
A way to add a subscriber to my main list, when he subscribes to one of my specific lists. (And I found somebody on Fiverr to fix this for me).
The possibility to add a new subscriber through email, like you can do on AWeber, when you send an email to LISTNAME@aweber.com. The lack of this is causing me problems with my webshop right now. I'm not sure how to fix this.
Automatically post to Twitter and Facebook.
The Sendy API – When You Want More
When you want Sendy to do something it doesn't already do, like adding a subscriber to two lists, you can make it do it by using the API.
I know some PHP. I used to do very well with PHP. But for years I've almost not used it. And I have no idea about how to use this API.
But others do, so I've hired a guy on Fiverr to solve this problem for me. He wanted two gigs ($10), which I found was a fair price, so I paid. Within three days this should be fixed.
I love this flexibility. You can do a lot of things through that API. Just ask in the forums, and hire somebody on Fiverr. If my hired help is good, I'll share his name with you. I used the GIGProspector to find him with – took a split-second.
The Auto-Responder Function
The auto-responder function can be used to drip-feed new content down to the minute. Or you can send annual mails, or even send mails on a specific date. I haven't seen that matched in AWeber. This is so good!
I have only tested this function once so far, so I cannot tell you more at the moment. Except that you find it within the List. I set this up a while ago, and I've forgotten if I had to do something special the first time. If I did, it wasn't difficult, because then I would have remembered.
Setting Up New Opt-In Forms
I find it really easy to use the opt-in forms. You can get the code from each list and copy and paste to the place where you want to add the form.
Of course, you'll have to do the design and formatting yourself, if you're not happy with the looks. Look at HTML3 org (I think it is) for information on how to format forms. There are probably also tons of YouTube videos. Or you can outsource this in Fiverr.
The only place where I'm having problems right now is in my eStore script. I used to paste the email from AWeber, like LISTNAME@aweber.com – which is no longer possible. I don't know right now how to solve this problem.
If you've been using AWeber, you're probably aware that every mail you sent could be saved in an archive.
This means more bread crumbles left by you.
However, since this is not possible with Sendy, you have to do a workaround. And that's very easy, in fact.
It's a one time operation, which takes a few minutes, and then you're set.
This mail archive is very old, and it's normally ranking very well.
You can find it here, as well as instructions on how to use it: http://www.mail-archive.com/
P.S. If you search for my name there, you'll see that I've been using it at least since 2002.
My message from yesterday has't showed up in the mail archive yet. But it can take a day, it says on the site. If it doesn't show up later, I'll have to investigate if something is missing from the mail headers.
So much to do… but how it feels great when things are done 🙂
There's a support forum connected to Sendy, where you can add suggestions and ask questions. The programmer, Ben, replies incridible fast. I don't know when that man sleeps!
So far, I'm happy I switched to Sendy.
We'll save money (at least $10 per month), and if you're new to AWeber it's even more. With their new pricing system, we could have to pay $50 per month, and in that case I would be saving more than $45 per month.
But money is not as important as performance.
And I love the easy way I can use the editor with my own template (in the Sendy forum, you can find links to free, high-performing templates by the way).
It's easy to send mails. And after I've figured out the connection between Brand and List, that's easy to use, too. In fact, it gives me a much better overview than AWeber.
On AWeber, I had… don't know… let's say 90 lists. All in the main window. If I wanted to send a mail to all my list that had money-making in common, I had to look at each list and decide whether or not it would fit.
Now? I just open my brand named Money Making.
So far, I say the same as many others: I love Sendy!
And trust me! Should this change in the future, I'll tell you about it. I rarely keep my mouth shut!