Self-hosted, works with Amazon SES. I have many clients that send many thousands of messages using the cheapest of Bluehost shared hosting accounts, when you also use Amazon SES as the mail service. (Things like Board of Realtors groups that post realty available to a discussion list)
I have known your project for a very long time now.
Have you ever considered offering it as a SaaS ? Why not?
Sure, I've thought about it;
> Why not?
I'm probably at the limit of what I, as the sole developer of the project can do (or want to do) alone, while also performing my other tasks - such as my excellent product support for my clients.
To move to also running a SaaS, I would need a highly motivated partner to help with the workload of development some of the additional parts of the business.
For now, I'm pretty happy with existing in the niche I've made for myself: mostly those individuals and small businesses who find a SaaS like MailChimp too expensive to use. Really - all you need for something like Dada Mail to get started is a shared hosting account - something "Joe's Italian Restaurant" down the street probably already has. If you want to move up, hooking up Amazon SES is a no brainer and solves most all of the problems with sending out messages to a mailing list.
I also enjoy the quality of life given to me knowing I don't have to make sure the service is running 24/7. I live simply, and there's many projects and goals in my life that do not directly involve software.
Disclosure: I'm a dev on this.
If you have a Wordpress site (or any site design), Dada Mail has a templating system to allow it to take on that design,
and adding something like a subscription form is an easy copy/paste.
I am not a Wordpress plugin developer. There is a proof of concept API to some often-used functionality, as well as clients written in a few different languages to show you have to use the API. A wordpress plugin developer would need to talk to me to see what else they would need, and build upon what's already available. I'm listening!
We handle deliverability issues ourselves, so you won't have to maintain the reputation of a self-hosted solution. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me - my email's in my profile.
Disclosure: I'm a SendGrid engineer.
For most people with smaller lists (say 20k), the cost savings is not that significant. But, if you have a large list, providers such as Mailchimp are prohibitively expensive.
> Alpha-grade software. Might or might not work as expected. Awful code base, needs refactoring. No tests. No documentation.
Fills a need. Everything else sucks.
It's the year 2016. It's ridiculous to not have tests. Why even run it? You can't change it and be sure you didn't break something/anything without testing in production.
> No documentation.
The 1990s called. They want their code back.
I used a Wordpress Plugin called MyMail for a while, but updating Wordpress is annoying and I'm always afraid that the plugin changes in some way that it breaks.
I will check out the suggested solutions here, but if anyone knows from the top of his head which satisfies these requirements, I'd really appreciate it:
- self-hosted (obviously)
- must be able to use any SMTP server
- preferrably bounce handling via IMAP
- double opt-in, which also can be disabled
- basic API support (subscribe, unsubscribe)
- one click unsubscribe
- Autoresponder capabilities (nice would be: lets me set the specific time of delivery. Say: +1 day after signup at 11am)
- reasonably fast UI
- template builder
- fancy templates (I will use a very basic email layout)
- CRM capabilities
Same is true for my contact form. A copy is sent to the receiver. This works with my providers SMTP server and again, not that many problems with deliverability.
In my limited experience, sending newsletters doesn't have to be a science project.
That's where the whole deliver ability lark comes in, and is why we offload non-transactional emails to the likes of bronto and adestra. One less thing to worry about.
- Send maybe 2,000 transactional emails per week
- Send a few hundred autoresponders ("newsletters") per week
- Once a year or so, send 70,000 emails to all users who signed up
And also: I won't use non-German newsletter providers for privacy reasons. This is probably way too strict and kind of an illusion, but that's just how I run my business.
We have maybe ten different email templates, in 7 different language. Mandrill makes that sort of easy, but their reason decision to require a Mailchimp account (which we don't need) has made us look for alternatives. We even considered building something in-house, but it seems like something someone else would already have done.
Now we're with Sparkpost, the rate was actually a touch cheaper (by maybe a few hundred a month on a several thousand dollar bill). There are plenty of features they don't have (or don't have working correctly when we tried):
* Css inlining, we opted for doing this ourselves after trying theirs.
* Account sending limits. With mandrill this was managed based on our usage, with Sparkpost, it needs to be manually adjusted through support (hint: you also need to monitor this, they won't warn you if you near limits).
* Tagging of emails is different, less searchable but generally its better in some ways and worse in others.
Main differences: built using a PHP framework, has extensions support, works on SES and competitors and is cheaper.
Most of users that look for such self hosted solution will know that using a framework is better than "pure php" because they get well tested code.
If it's built on a solid framework, and you study the framework, you'll know where to look when you want to change a model, a controller, so on.
One money saving feature: you can setup SES and Sparkpost, for instance, and configure it to send more emails from Sparkpost than through SES, that way you can save money using free 100k emails/month plan from Sparkpost.
It is multi-tenant and you can have sub-accounts with their quotas.
You can even use it to roll your own SaaS with the included user management and billing features.
I believe you should invest in marketing, it's really hard to find about your product in the first place. All your competitors are weak, but they do seem to do better marketing.
From the Call-to-actions on the website, to the mass mailing and statistics on emails. (with a good email template composer)
Functionality wise, it seems the same.
ninja edit: it made me sick because it was ugly, didn't feel secure, and it took me ages to make the changes I needed to make.
It has never sent to completion on its own, it always requires me to monitor the queue so I can hit the 'retry' button once it times out which usually happens after about 100-150 emails have been sent. I've actually scripted this action - so now when I send, I hit the send button as well as fire off a shell script that spoofs the 'refresh' request. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the campaign.
I'll echo the other complaints about the quality of the code - it seems to suffer from a copy / paste syndrome as the database connection logic is repeated in every file, but it could also be that the author has obfuscated it as well. It does do a phone home and some other stuff via some base 64 encoded code. I've unwound it in an attempt to fix another issue I thought it was causing (it wasn't). Here it is if you are curious:
I'll give Sendy credit for getting me this far, though I would like to replace it someday with something I feel I have more control over. Not sure the OP or the other suggestions listed here offer exactly what I'm looking for.
We offer phpList as a hosted service on phpList.com. It's the same code (AGPL) but we deal with deliverability, updates etc. Our clients range from 300 mails a month (free) to high volume senders on VPS with millions of subscribers and mails :)
I think for small volume it's always better value to use the .com service. Using self-hosted is a lot of work for small volumes. I always used .com for my small business (years before I worked for phpList too) :)
I am at a point now with Ghostnote alone that my mailing list on mailchimp is costing me $150 a month.
The project is healthy profitable but its still maybe a $1K a year when all comes to all. Money I would rather spend on other things.
I use sendy.co, but its WYSIWUG editor is not great compared to MailChimp -- that is the only real thing I think MailChimp has over sendy.co.