Last Updated: 16 December 2018
By Maynard Paton
Before I read all these FAQs, is there a demo website where I can see for myself how Sendy works?
What is Sendy?
Sendy is a bulk-email software package that helps bridge the gap between WordPress to Amazon SES and allow you to send thousands of newsletters at a very low cost.
Who is Sendy for?
Sendy can be used by anyone who sends a WordPress newsletter, but is particularly useful for those fed up paying large sums every month to the likes of MailChimp for simply sending their campaigns.
What are the main differences between Sendy and the likes of MailChimp?
Cost: Sendy should prove to be much cheaper to run.
Features: The expensive alternatives generally offer greater reporting and workflow bells and whistles than Sendy, although Sendy is not exactly featureless (visit the Sendy website for full details).
Hosting: Sendy is self-hosted — that is, you own the software and it runs on your own web server. In contrast, you pay the likes of MailChimp every month to use its software.
Control and Privacy: Sendy gives you complete control of your emails, content and data, and the only person that has access to your lists and statistics is you.
My WordPress site is hosted by a shared-hosting firm such as 1and1, Tsohost, 123-reg, Hostgator GoDaddy and Hostinger. Can I run Sendy on that host?
Yes, but your shared-host is unlikely to offer the server processing power suitable for mailing lists containing thousands of names.
You see, Sendy transfers your email in bulk from your server to Amazon SES for sending and, depending on the capability of your share-host, your WordPress server may have trouble processing large numbers of emails efficiently
Instead, hosting Sendy on a server at Amazon Web Services (AWS) — or through another dedicated server provider — allows you to send your Sendy emails much, much faster.
How much does Sendy cost?
Sendy costs $59 — approximately £49 — for a one-time fee. Click here for full details.
Can I get a refund for Sendy?
Yes. A full refund is available.
Is there a limit to list sizes?
How many different lists can I have?
There is no limit.
Can I use Sendy to handle lists on multiple websites?
Although a Sendy licence limits you to installing Sendy on just one domain, a single Sendy licence can handle multiple lists used on multiple websites.
Sendy allows you to create different 'brands', which essentially allows you to differentiate between websites and use multiple 'sent from' email addresses.
Can I import my list from, say, MailChimp?
Yes. MailChimp lists can be exported into CSV files and then imported into Sendy. The minimum field requirements for Sendy are name and email address (although the name field can be left empty).
Can I create custom fields on my Sendy lists?
Yes, you can create additional text and date fields and have the data pass through to Sendy via a WordPress email opt-in plugin.
What is Sendy's double opt-in feature?
Double opt-in helps enhance the delivery of your newsletters and reduces the possibility of them being marked as spam.
By selecting double opt-in when creating a Sendy list, anyone then submitting an email address for your newsletter receives an email confirmation message, within which there is an activation link to click. Once clicked, the email address is then added to your list.
What are Sendy’s autoresponders?
Autoresponders are automatic emails and are typically used to welcome new subscribers to your website by showcasing popular pages and resources.
Autoresponders can be created within Sendy to form a ‘drip’ campaign, whereby new subscribers receive a series of automatic emails that are sent at predetermined intervals.
Sendy autoresponders can also be sent at predetermined times based on when a subscriber joined your list or a custom date field.
There is no limit to the number of autoresponders that can operate within Sendy.
Does Sendy send transactional emails?
Sendy was designed primarily to send bulk emails and autoresponders only.
Emails relating to online purchases, new blog/comment notifications, password resets and similar website events are not handled.
However, certain WordPress plugins have been developed to trigger Sendy emails under certain circumstances.
Does Sendy offer list segments?
Yes. Sendy can divide your lists into segments based on the subscriber’s name, email address, the date they joined the list, the last time they opened an email, or any custom field.
Campaigns can then be sent to multiple segments from different lists to target a specific group of recipients. Campaigns can also exclude emails on certain lists or segments.
What about bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints?
Sendy handles all notifications of bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints (where a recipient marks your newsletter as spam in their inbox).
The associated email addresses can be removed individually or en masse to keep your lists clean. Sendy does not send emails to any address marked as bounced, unsubscribed or spam complaint.
Is there a minimum amount or minimum frequency of emails I can send with Sendy?
Can I schedule a newsletter campaign within Sendy?
Yes, campaigns can be sent immediately or scheduled for a specific time and date.
What campaign reports do I get with Sendy?
Every campaign comes complete with a one-page report that displays the number of opens, unopens, total clicks, unique clicks, unsubscribes, bounces and spam complaints, and the last 10 emails that fall into each category.
CSV downloads are available containing all the relevant email addresses for opens, activity on each link, unsubscribes, bounces and spam complaints.
You can visit the Sendy website and view the Sendy demo to learn more about the report.
Can I send attachments with Sendy?
Yes. Formats can be jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf and zip. AWS has an individual email size limit of 10MB. You will pay a little extra to AWS for sending attachments.
Can I use my MailChimp templates within Sendy?
Yes. You can simply download your template in HTML format from MailChimp, and copy and paste the HTML into Sendy.
However, you do need to make a few alterations before sending with Sendy.
Unsubscribe links for example will need to be altered to Sendy’s format. Certain MailChimp tags, such as physical address, will need to be hard coded in the Sendy template, too.
Also, images within your Sendy templates should be hosted on and linked to your own website, and not to copies that still reside on MailChimp’s servers.
The second video on this page shows how to place a MailChimp template into Sendy (from 0m34s).
Does Sendy have an email template designer?
Yes, although the template designer is a basic WYSIWYG editor for HTML and does not offer the 'drag and drop' features of MailChimp.
A useful alternative to MailChimp's template designer is MailPoet, which is a free WordPress plugin. Similar to MailChimp, MailPoet offers a flexible 'drag and drop' template editor and can easily insert your WordPress-hosted blogs and images into an email for sending with Sendy. Click here for details.
How do my website visitors sign up for my Sendy newsletter? Is there any kind of form supplied?
Sendy supplies a basic HTML sign-up form that you can then customise yourself.
Alternatively, there are several WordPress plugins that integrate with Sendy and provide attractive forms and optins. Click here for full details.
The Sendy website mentions ‘white labeled client accounts’. Can other people use my Sendy installation?
Sendy generates separate login details for any website ‘brand’ you create within the software. It also offers a Paypal facility for these 'client brands' to pay the main Sendy owner (you).
However, you may breach AWS’s rules by using Sendy for clients. AWS’s FAQs state:
Q: Can I send emails from any source email address?
A: You can send email from any address or domain that you own.
You do not own a client website. Therefore you really should not use Sendy to send third-party emails — at least through your own AWS account. Note your AWS 'sender reputation' is based on ALL of the emails that you send, so a single client with a high bounce or complaint rate could put your entire AWS sending in jeopardy.
Of course, other server hosts may have different rules about email sending.
Also, Sendy can send only one campaign at a time — which may cause problems with a multi-user setup.
The proper solution is to create multiple Sendy installations within the same domain, for example, johnsmith.mywebsite.com, janebrown.mywebsite.com, and so on.
That way, multiple clients can use their own AWS accounts linked to their own Sendy installations, all of which relate to a single Sendy licence.
We found that as our subscribers grew, we were creeping up to over $100 a month for a traditional cloud-based email marketing platform. We decided to explore alternatives and ended up landing on a great self-hosted email marketing solution called Sendy.
Overall, we've found Sendy to not only be an excellent alternative to MailChimp, but to blow it away as far as speed, usability and functionality are concerned.
Sendy is fast, reliable and cheap.
MailChimp 'Disruptor'. $59 One-Off Fee. Full Refund Available.