Send Newsletters or Email Marketing Campaigns via Amazon SES with Sendy (PHP app) for Cheap (a Review)

Email newsletters is one of the most effective way to execute your marketing campaigns by reaching out directly to your subscribers who are basically your customers, readers, fans/followers or prospects. But the issue that many of us face is that, as the subscriber base grows or we want to send emails more frequently, the entire process can get a bit pricey when using services like Mailchimp, Campaign MonitorAweber, Signal, Constant Contact, GetResponse, LoopFuseSales-PushMad MimiCampaigner, Vertical Response, Benchmark Email, iContact, JangoMail, Boomerang and Ezine Director – unless our requirements can be fulfilled by their free plans.

There are some decent cheaper alternatives like Mailer Lite, Emailit and Campayn, But the best solution (IMHO) that I came across is Sendy – if one really wants to optimize on the budget and still get all the essential functionalities of an email marketing solution like reports, campaigns, editors for email content and obviously – sending emails.

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About Sendy – A Self-Hosted Newsletter App

Sendy - Self Hosted App to Send Newsletters 100x Cheaper

Sendy is a paid self-hosted newsletter application that you need to setup yourself on your servers. Once properly setup, it lets you send trackable emails via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). Due to the emails getting dispatched via Amazon’s servers, we don’t have to worry about deliverability when sending bulk emails.

The app runs on PHP and MySQL and costs $59 (one-time fee). Installing it is very simple if you follow the Getting started guide. You just need to modify a few configuration files and then configure and setup various options in Sendy’s web UI and Amazon’s SES admin panel. Configuring Amazon SES to setup “from” email address/domains, bounce and complaints handling and getting access to sending 10k emails/day (which requires 1 day for approval) is the only time consuming process.

If for some reason you’re unable to setup the software, then you can pay them $79 to complete the installation process on your behalf or just ask questions in the comments below.

Sending out Emails

Once you’re done with the installation process, sending out emails is very easy. We start off by creating brands which are basically organized groups for various products, services, companies or customers you have. You can even give your clients access to their brands and let them manage and send their own newsletters.

Setup Brands in Sendy

Once your brand is setup, you’ll need to setup a subscribers list by either manually entering name and emails or importing a CSV file containing a bunch of them. After creating your lists, you can add/delete subscriber, mass unsubscribe and export the list too.

Sendy Subscriber List

Here’s a quick view of the subscribers list section:

Sendy Subscribers List

Next up, start creating your marketing campaigns. While creating a campaign, you need to feed in details like subject, “from” name and email and obviously the content of the emails which can be either plain text or neat HTML templates for a richer experience. You can also set reply-to emails and add attachments to the emails.

Sendy Creating Campaigns

Here’s a quick snap of the campaigns list view:

Sendy List View Campaigns

While sending the campaign, all you’ll need to do is go to the campaign, select one or more subscriber lists and submit the form. It’ll start dispatching emails to recipients in the background.

Beautiful Insightful Reports

Sendy helps you quickly get insights on how your campaigns performed with beautiful charts and reports. It gives you data like locations at which emails were opened, how many emails got bounced, unsubscribed, marked as spam, and opened, how many people clicked the links inside the emails (link tracking) and much more. That’s really all you want from its email analytics!

Sendy Email Campaign Reports and Charts


Sendy is a great app if you want to cut down your email sending costs massively. I’ve used it myself and would definitely recommend to anyone else. The detailed stats, ability to create email lists, setting up campaigns and ability to send HTML emails to tons of people is all we want.

Few things that you may want to keep in mind is that if your bounce rate is high then Amazon may end up suspending SES in your AWS account. I’m not sure about what the exact figure for that is, but I assume that it shouldn’t exceed 5-10%. Also in order to exceed this 10k/24hours limit (which is free apparently), you’ll have to submit an extended access request to Amazon. They’ll grant your request depending upon your credibility.

If you’ve been using Sendy, then share your experience in the comments. Got questions? Do the same!

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Author: Rishabh

Rishabh is a full stack web and mobile developer from India. Follow me on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Send Newsletters or Email Marketing Campaigns via Amazon SES with Sendy (PHP app) for Cheap (a Review)”

  1. Have you ever considered trying “Email Marketer” from Interspire ? I just found them today and looks like they have a far better solution (compared to’s features).

    I also like the fact that 100% of their code is available to you… so it can be changed if required. Some essential parts of uses obfuscated code (i.e. impossible to see/change)

    The last important fact is that only has one developer (named Ben) behind the project and it’s completely *impossible* to pay if you don’t have PayPal… won’t even accept bank wire transfers (even for multiple license payments)

    Please let me know if you have any idea of something else like out there… right now I just found one possible replacement 🙁

    1. I haven’t tried the Interspire product but I definitely know about it. The product might definitely be better than Sendy but then it is more costly for multiple users (some 750 USD).

      Also I’m not sure on how the emails are sent with that product, is it Amazon SES (better deliverability) or through our own servers ?

  2. Where do you host Sendy ? I use HostGator shared hosting for my website. Can we host Sendy on HostGator. Also my list size is 67K. Will Sendy scale to such list size on a shared hosting ?

  3. Hi ,
    Will i get source code of this application . Are you using any other third party script than AWS.Can i integrate it with my custom built website .


  4. Hi , Payment is not an issue for me . Just need to get couple of confirmation from your side –
    — Can i customize each function you used in this application .
    — Can i use the source code of your application to use in more than one website ?
    — Are you using any method to protect any source code of this application .

    Can you confirm about the above. so i can go ahead and buy .


    1. “Can i customize each function you used in this application .”

      – Entire source code will be given to you, you can do whatever you feel like with it I guess. If we’re talking about the software/UI then it’s easy and comprehensive by itself.

      “Can i use the source code of your application to use in more than one website ?”

      – You should read the licensing info here.

      “Are you using any method to protect any source code of this application .”

      – Protect source code in what way ? You can encrypt if you really want to, using something like ionCube but that’s probably not what you want to do.

  5. I need this module.Please share your email address. So that we can move it further.kindly add me in your skype.My skype: mahatma07vivek

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