MailChimp Alternative?

For sending newsletters….anyone use anything other than MailChimp?

I changed to last year. I was finding Mailchimp emails were being blocked/rejected by a few email servers (my guess is that the shared IP address had been blacklisted).

For newsletters, it does almost exactly the same job as Mailchimp. It doesn’t have as many templates (at least in the free version), but the default is nice and clean.

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For a newsletter, Buttondown is very nice. A side-hustle by a single developer who is really responsive and friendly. Also has a very generous free tier.

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ConvertKit is a very solid product.

There are lots of options. I’ve had good experiences with all the suggestions so far.

Another option, if you’re comfortable hosting your own web app, is Sendy. You self-host it on something like DigitalOcean (or just run it locally) and connect it to Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) to do the actual email sends. SES is extremely cheap, probably free if you don’t have a large list. Sendy itself is a one-time purchase of $70 and the developer provides support.

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The Sendy WYSIWYG editor will upload images to your Sendy server. To cache them, putting your Sendy domain behind Cloudflare is probably easiest. If you want to host the images on a different server or CDN from Sendy, I think you’ll need to paste the individual URLs into your template.

Edit: obviously you’d have to host Sendy somewhere else besides your computer if uploading images to it. :slight_smile:

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I’d recommend Cloudinary in that case for media hosting.


Why is Mailchimp unacceptable?

A frustration that occurred with me last night with them.

caveat - I’ve used them for several different organizations.

However yesterday, I needed an additional license for someone to help with the newsletter. So I went to the standard plan, however the standard plan gives admin access which I didn’t want. The only way to get an author license seat was to upgrade again to another higher tier. I don’t have that many subscribers that would be in that higher tier but doing it for the sake of getting a license seat for a user to help me solely for just creating of campaigns and analyzing reports.

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Ah, you’re asking a different question. I don’t think any of these recommendations will give you cheap, role-based access. It’s a common price differentiator between medium and high tiers of service. I advise spending your time training this person to use your login responsibly–seriously. :slight_smile:


That’s not to say making this thread was a bad idea (there’s a reason I hang out here more than I hang out at StackExchange), and I also don’t have enough experience with MailChimp et al. to determine the likelihood of a competitor meeting OP’s use case, but OP probably would’ve gotten more directly helpful answers if they’d posted the original problem as context.

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Thank you! Original problem was as stated, I was looking for alternatives (generally) because I had used them for many organizations in the past.

My question became more defined in my post about a day ago, because the circumstances had changed. The group I’m working with wanted an additional person to assist in the newsletter, which required me researching role based scenarios.

Typically in the past, I just hand-off the whole account or I remain the sender. Haven’t had a situation where I would need an additional license. I also didn’t want to share my login (aside from all the security stuff) but you also lose out on the accountability aspect of who accessed and who sent campaigns.


Have you had good luck with SES? I’ve only tried it once, and their servers kept getting our emails rejected due to spam coming from their IPs.

Yes, we haven’t had issues using SES for marketing or transactional email. Most in our blocks are Favorable, with a few Trusted and Neutral in Cisco Talos. We’re of course scrupulous about SPF, DKIM and DMARC when setting a custom from domain, and we monitor reports.

I’d agree with this (and I use it for two newsletters).

I’ve also been using Autopilot for a client and it’s nice with some useful automation, too.

I’ve tried ConvertKit several times but haven’t been able to get into it. Plus, the free versions of other tools (e.g. Mailerlite, Autopilot) have been more than enough.

+1 to Mailerlite, it’s affordable and has all the features that I need.

Another alternative is EmailOctopus. It has a generous free plan and some features that I have only seen on more expensive options, such as drip campaigns.

I bought Sendy some time ago and always had problems with hosting - as the PHP dev standards are weird imho (does not work with NGINX server, no PHP composer, obfuscated code - maybe for copyright reasons) and I spent more time fiddling with it than actually using it.

Another vote for ConvertKit. I like the workflow tools and automation that it offers.