While running an online business, it becomes the need of the hour to communicate with customers. There are various forms of initiating a conversation or triggering communication. Among all, email campaigns are one such form. Whether it’s product update or sharing new tips with customers in the form of regular newsletters, emails are needed everywhere, at every step.
We send various updates as newsletters, other than emails that contain several transaction details. As an e-commerce portal, we have a high frequency of email campaigns. We carry out email campaigns almost every alternate day to a subscriber base of around 40,000. Hence, if seen on a monthly basis, we send out approximately 400,000 emails per month. We are only happy to state that our subscriber base is only increasing!
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MailChimp and Aweber Days
We have been a long-term user of MailChimp and Aweber, starting from our first attempt to send emails. We used MailChimp for consumer interactions, while Aweber was more for business and clients. We loved both of these email marketing services since each helped us cater to a separate segment.
Our inbound and business development team were using Aweber email marketing solution to be in touch with vendors and sellers. Until now, we did not face any issue with Aweber, as we were paying a nominal amount to handle the email subscribers. Also, compared to the growth and frequency of email volumes, we were growing too fast on MailChimp account. With this increase in the volume of emails on MailChimp, our per month billing started going above $5000 and observing this spike in 2 quarters, and we started going out on our planned budget expenditure on email marketing.
Search for MailChimp Alternatives began
Left by no choice, we started our search for right email marketing and drip software or service. We started with evaluating email services through SMTP servers. While searching, we chanced upon Interspire. However, looking at the cost involved and technology required for Interspire, we dropped the idea. Then we came across transactional email gateways, which included MailChimp parent email SMTP Server called Mandrill. Along with this, we also cross-checked the pricing of SendGrid.
All in all, these were the affordable comparison to MailChimp, but the problem was they all required a separate application to manage email campaigns and subscribers, along with lists and bounce/spam automation to filter emails.
Amazon SES was my next new finding
Meanwhile, during this search for SMTP gateways, we came across Amazon SES, which is widely known as Amazon Simple Email Service. SES is an STMP service provided by Amazon itself and to my knowledge until now I was not aware of this service. Now doing quick research, I got to know that, Amazon SES has the lowest price email gateway.
SES was way cheaper than Mailchimp solution that we were using until now. Also, compared with other email SMTP services, Amazon SES was available at a damn low price. Comparing the prices of bulk emails where Mailchimp used to charge $1,000.00 for 100,000 emails and Campaign Monitor also costs about $1,005.00, Amazon SES cost only $10.00! – which was completely unbelievable to us in the first look.
Then we met Sendy
Once we were clear on how well Amazon SES service can help us do our work at a lower price, our whole team decided to start working with it. As we were exploring more options for email marketing, we screeched a halt at Sendy. Sendy needed to be hosted on a server and integrated with Amazon SES API. As a team of marketing people, the entire process looked very geeky!
After a week of deadlock, and some lengthy discussions, we decided to ping the technology team of our company. The tech team agreed to help us with the installation. Hence, we ordered for Sendy online and got everything set up by the following weekend.
Started using Sendy…
Monday started with the trial session of the Sendy emailer. Everything was perfect except for the speed of sending emails. On further digging, we got to know Amazon SES puts your account on five emails per second and 10,000 emails per day limit for the first few weeks. But, looking at our current requirement, we needed more speed and number of emails.
Contacting SES team, they said that, first we need to start with small campaign sample and to look at the performance of the emails, they will allow us to grow the email sending rate and per day email limit elastically. We followed the instructions. After starting off with small email campaigns and generating a good performance result, the rate at which emails were being sent started increasing. Along with this, our per day email limit also increased gradually.
We were happy with Sendy. It took care of everything- starting with the bounce to spam, email campaigns were now more seamless. Sendy automatically removed those subscribers where bounce was happening. It also handled all unsubscriptions and spams efficiently. We now had a system that was great.
Talking about EasySendy Drip:
After a few months, at a marketing event, we happened to come across another email marketing and drip solution, EasySendy Drip. I was talking about ways to save on email campaigns as well as make it more advanced. So, one of my fellow marketer friends suggested trying EasySendy Drip. It is a cloud-based product which offers advanced drip email campaign features, email list building forms, multiple email delivery servers, behavior-based email campaigns, and more. What triggered my interest along with all these features is that EasySendy Drip connects with some major email delivery servers like Aritic Mail, Amazon SES, and more.
This brief was enough to make me go through EasySendy Drip’s features the very next day. EasySendy Drip is a popular drip email marketing plan from the EasySendy brand, a product of Aritic (which is a high-end comprehensive marketing automation suite).
EasySendy Drip had all the features I was looking for, infact more than what I had bargained for. I instantly took a free trial and simultaneously contacted the support team for some immediate questions that had popped in my head.
Another reason was, I wanted to see if their team was responsive.
And hola! In 20 minutes, I had all the answers to my queries from the support team. Along with detailed information on using multiple email delivery servers, I also discovered the concept of micro-delivery of emails that can increase email open rates drastically. I had already registered for a free trial where I could build email list up to 2,000 subscribers. After that, I will be paying $9/month for 2,500 subscribers. The idea of increasing the price according to the number of subscribers clicked with our brand instantly.
Migrating to EasySendy Drip
All said and done, we were ready to migrate to EasySendy Drip. Initially, it all looked complicated but soon the customer support team came in. After that, it was a smooth sail. We opted for a pricing plan of $191/month for 100,000 subscribers. In less than 10 minutes, everything was up and running. The support team helped us integrate with Amazon SES, and get our domain name verified with DKIM records (Earlier we did not have any DKIM record setup on our domain name. So this really helped. We now know the importance of having valid DKIM and SPF records in improving inbox delivery of emails).
We also activated the built-in Aritic Mail email delivery server. We are using these two email delivery servers the most.
Other features of EasySendy Drip, which are very useful –
The new embeddable popup forms in EasySendy Drip eased out our email list building process. These forms can be embedded anywhere on the website. There are over 250 templates available that can be customized to capture new visitors on your website. We loved most of the templates. Infact, we started using exit-intent popups on our website to grow our email lists.
We used Facebook and Twitter subscription buttons on our forms and saw the time to subscribe for our new visitors going down considerably, pushing our subscription rates up. We tried their on-exit and page scroll forms as well. However, for us, on-exit forms worked the best. Here is the template that we use most frequently now.
We started doing behavior-based contact segmentation (more advanced level) and sending event-based email campaigns to our customers. In other words, our email campaigns became more relevant and targeted. The new campaign builder comes with ample of actions, conditions, and decision triggers – or, to put it simply, creating behavior-based and event-based drip email campaigns are easy and quick. We created welcome drips and onboarding drips for our new subscribers in a few minutes. Oh, before I forget, one amazing feature is that when you use popup forms to capture your new subscribers, these contacts are automatically added to the database with proper segmentation. Hence, all you need to do is place your popup form on your website, and then head to plan your nurturing drip campaign.
As the name suggests, EasySendy Drip is actually designed to make small drip series pretty easily. If you want to build a long drip, you can do that. You can include subscriber score tags, add numerous email tags, and trigger re-engagement campaigns as well. Add to this, you can A/B test your email campaigns and dig in deep into the analytics that will take you beyond email open rates and clicks. The time wrap delivery feature and the added advantage of using more than one email delivery server make EasySendy (Drip) worth every penny.
EasySendy Automate, on the other hand, is more advanced. If you want to have 360-lead profiling, landing pages, dynamic segmentation, website tracking, and more such advanced automation features, you can surely upgrade to this Automate plan. We are considering upgrading to this, but I think that will take some more time. 🙂
We are using EasySendy Drip for over a month now, and I can say its a hassle-free email marketing tool. It is GDPR compliant and lets you create double opt-in subscription methods so that you can be extra sure that your subscribers have joined your mailing list by choice. EasySendy team was very clear from the starting that they do not support third party email lists or cold emailing. Rather, they have beautiful popups to help you build an email list from scratch if you need to.
You will get everything you’d need to create, nurture, and monitor your email campaigns. Autoresponders, RSS emails, A/B testing, behavior-based segmentation, email tags, subscriber scores, webhook, time wrap, email filters, reCaptcha forms, Google Analytics UTM Tags; name it and EasySendy Drip has it sorted for you. You can try it for free for first 1,000 subscribers.
PS – These email marketing tips were shared by a marketing team of India’s fastest growing e-commerce portal.