ConvertKit Alternative

I have recently planned to get started with email marketing & setting up an email list for my blog readers so that I can send them email updates about my journey and share knowledge with them. I tried Convertkit which was charging me $29 a month which seems quite expensive for those who have just started with blogging.

List building is the must thing every blogger should do, but it’s quite expensive for peoples who are just starting out. I was using Sendy for one of my clients in the past but using the old version, I didn’t aware of the new version as I have stopped working for that client now.

Convertkit Billing History

When I saw the credit card bill statement from Convertkit, I thought I should switch to a better alternative as I don’t want to pay recurring bills as I feel it’s too much for me to pay $29 each month for less than 1000 subscribers. Instead, I would be able to save that money that I can use to travel to 2 new places.

Since I have already worked with Sendy & setup Sendy for one of my clients, It was easy for me to switch from Convertkit to Sendy. But it might be difficult for one who is not aware of technical things and want to setup Sendy, so they might ending up buying Convertkit from where they get everything set up done for them.

I recently purchased Sendy and did the setup, but I thought I should make a tutorial article on it to help my subscribers as well. So the users who spend so many dollars as a commission on email marketing platforms can save a lot of money on the long run that they can invest somewhere else to get better income. Usually, you get everything when you purchase it on how you can setup Sendy, but you might end up getting an error on your Sendy installation when you don’t set up it properly. So let’s come to the point without wasting more time.

Basically, you need 2 Things to Use Sendy

Amazon SES will be used to send emails, Sendy is just a platform where you configure your Amazon SES credential so that you can start sending emails, build a list and do many more things on you Sendy Account.

Things to do After you Purchase Sendy

With Sendy

When you first purchase Sendy, you will get an email from Sendy about your purchase along with a license key that you will need while configuring Sendy on your server.

Sendy Confirmation Email

Now you will click on Download Sendy link you receive in your email, so you will be taken to a place to download your Sendy folder. You will need to upload that Sendy Folder on your server.

Uploading to Server

I am using the Bluehost server, so explaining your step by step process of setting up Sendy on Bluehost. if you are using any other server, some options might be different than this, but the process will remain the same.

Just head over to the Public_html folder on your server and extract that Sendy folder, so your URL will be created. Since my site is ehowportal.com & I extracted the Sendy to the specified folder, It will look like ehowportal.com/sendy.

Now Go to the /includes/ folder from extracted & open the file config.php file in any text or code editor. You will need to set up your database name, database password and database user on your Sendy configuration file in order to work it.

How To Save $29/Month - ConvertKit Alternative 1

Below are the process of creating a database, username, and password on your server, you should copy these details that we are going to create and paste it on config.php file like in the above image to setup your Sendy installation.

You should also change the APP_Path as shown in the image above.

“Login to your Server” > “Go to MySQL Databases” to create a database for this Sendy.

MYSQL DatabaseYou will need to create a database user for this setup, just scroll down below to see the option to create database user on your server.

I have blurred some part of the image for privacy, but the processed screenshot will help you setting up Sendy on your server exactly, as I used the same process to setup Sendy on my server.

Creating Database User on BluehostNow Create a Database User and Password from there. Clicking on Create a User will create a database user on your server.

Now Next thing is to “add a user to your created database”. Just “select the User” that we have created in the first step and “select the database” that we created in the second step, clicking on the add button will take you to the confirmation page.

Adding User to Database on Bluehost

Clicking on the Make Changes button will add a user to the database we have selected.

Sendy Installation Process

Now we have done with creating database user, password, etc & done with adding those credentials on config.php file. Next thing is to open the Sendy Installation URL that we have set up on APP_Path, to complete Sendy Setup on our server.

Now Open URL that we have set up on APP_Path while we setup config.php file. When you open your Sendy URL, you will see a page like this, where you will have to enter your “Sendy License Key” that you have received while you purchased it.

Sendy Final Setup

On the next step, Add the name of your company/brand and email address that you want to set up as a login. Create a password & Select your timezone from the list.

After that, you will need AWS Access key ID & AWS Secret Access Key that is a bit technical part and took me around 3-4 hours figuring out how it works when I set up it for my client for the first time. This tutorial will save a lot of your time in setting up your Sendy.

With Amazon SES Setup for Sendy

I assume that you don’t have amazon SES account, you can signup for one from here. You will get 12 months of free Tier access including Amazon S3 and other services.Amazon SES Signup

Once you have signed up for Amazon SES account, you will need to create an IAM user on your dashboard, here is the direct link to access that page.

Add IM User to Amazon AWS Account

You can also go to that page from “Amazon AWS” > “Users” > “Add User” option from there.

Adding User to Amazon AWS

Here you just need to set up your Username from there and tick box that says Programmatic access. It actually enables Access key ID and secret access key that we will be using on our Sendy.

AmazonSESFullAccess

On the next step, we need to set permission from there, Search AmazonSESFullAccess from the search box and check that box. Click on the Next button to go to the next page. The next screen is to add tag there, but it’s optional, so we will skip that & moving on to the next step.

Creating User on Amazon AWS

On the final step, you will see a confirmation message, just verify the details and click on Create user button to get your Access key ID and secret access key to use on our Sendy installation.

Amazon Access Key ID

All we need to do is, enter the Access Key ID and Secret access key to the Sendy installation page that we have left on the Sendy Installation Process.


Once you click on Install Now on the Sendy installation page, it will take you to this page with green marks that seem you have successfully done your Sendy setup.

Amazon SES Setup Done on Sendy

Sendy seems a bit hard in setting up but believe me, it’s quite an easy process if you follow the right steps.

Troubleshooting

You will also need to verify your Email address at Amazon AWS, which you are going to use for sending emails, just go to “Amazon SES” > “Email Address” tag to add your email address there or use this direct link to go to that page.

Verify Email Address on Amazon AWS

Add the email address you want to use with your Sendy and you will see verification link just beside that. You will receive an email from Amazon to verify your email address, just click on that verification link to verify your mail address there.

Once after doing so, Add your brand to Sendy and start using it. You can create an email newsletter, Setup Autoresponder series and many more with email marketing without recurring charges. You just have to pay your bill on Amazon SES(pay as you go) instead of a fixed monthly bill.

Conclusion

Convertkit has its own advantage, that you don’t have to mess up with setting the technical part, another biggest advantage of convertkit is it uses its server and resources. So if you have a big list, probably it will consume your server’s bandwidth and at that time, it will be a good option to switch to Convertkit.

You can get Sendy at a quite cheaper price which is only $59 and onetime cost. If you have more subscribers on your list, you can even upgrade your server to get more bandwidth without any issues.  It’s a bit technical while setting up that seems timeconsuming as well. The good thing I like about Sendy is no recurring charges.

Which email marketing service do you use to send emails to your subscribers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.