May 17, 2019

Know any good Mailchimp competitors I should try out?

Jeff Doan @jefff

With the recent Mailchimp update, I just realized that the ability to use a custom-coded template has been removed from their free plan. Not that $15 a month is much, but I send a few newsletters weekly to not too many subscribers.

Hackers: are there any other great, simple email marketing tools I should try out?

I'm pretty well versed in the bigger players (CampaignMonitor, ConstantContact, etc.) but curious if there are other small ones I should try out. Thanks!

Update: I decided to go with for now --- I'll update this after my first few sends with this as well.

*** Thanks for all the great feedback here! ***

  1. 4

    👋 I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug my own tool (, which has an emphasis on developer friendliness and smaller businesses/indies!

    Some other great email tools:

    1. Revue (, which has an emphasis on link curation
    2. EmailOctopus (, which is a pleasant wrapper around SES (great if you are already tied into AWS)
    3. BigMailer ( which is really solid for high-volume sending
      1. 1

        Thanks for this -- I am going to give this a go for a bit as their freemium version has everything I need and more =)

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          Let me know how it goes i'm looking into them as well.

      2. 1

        I like MailerLite! I think (ironically, despite their name) they’re a little bit on the heavier side in terms of feature fullness, but some of the stuff they’ve built out is really smart and does a good job of showcasing how they understand their users (in particular the built-in photo editor is brilliant.)

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          Thanks, so many ESPs.

    1. 1

      Hi Justin, greetings from Oregon...I was born in Seattle and spent quite a few years there as an adult, great city! Curious how Buttondown is doing for you...based on your published Stripe running cost it appears you've hit the magic $5K/month milestone?

      1. 1

        howdy! nah, it's a little less (those costs include amortized Atlas + Sigma, two additional Stripe products), though I'm still super happy with how Buttondown's grown. And Oregon's great — I love taking weekend trips into Bend or Portland via the Amtrak, it's such a gorgeous route!

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          Yeah I've taken the Amtrak up from Portland to go to Mariner's games! One other thing I'm curious about, your roadmap says you're ditching SES, curious about why? I owned a hosting company for about a decade and found server maintenance was my #1 headache, much preferred outsourcing.

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            Mind elaborating? I'm not actually using SES for anything any more (all my email is flowing through Mailgun and Postmark!)

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              Oops I must have been thinking of another mail service site I was looking at...can't even remember which one! For the SaaS I'm currently building I'm planning on using Postmark and SendGrid.

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                😅 Happens to the best of us. And nice — SendGrid is lovely, the only reason I ended up choosing Mailgun over them was some analytics special cases that I wanted.

    2. 1

      Hi Justin, what do you think of SendPulse?

      I really like ConvertKit but for my side project I was looking for something similar but less expansive.

      1. 1

        Ooh, I haven’t seen SendPulse before! Definitely will play around with it; at first blush it looks more like “a marketing tool that happens to handle email as a channel” rather than “an email tool that is good for marketing”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is interesting compared to the ConvertKits/Drips of the world which are very much email focused.

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          Their pricing is really attractive!

          They also did an IH interview

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            My advice is to run as many tests as you can, collect feedback, and talk to each of your customers. Without feedback, you have zero chance of understanding whether they're really willing to use your product and pay for it.


  2. 2

    I use

    It's cheaper than MailChimp and has some automation tools.

  3. 1

    Has anyone already mentioned Sendy. By far, I found this to be the cheapest.
    Pros: offer a licensing fee model instead of monthly subscription.
    Cons: Need AWS with SES configured to start sending emails.

    They also have subscription service called sendplus I guess. Haven't checked it out yet.

    1. 1

      Yes, I used them years ago on another project -- I did like their controls & flexibility, but I am not looking for a self-hosted one for this -- thanks though!

  4. 1

    Self-hosted option, but dirt-cheap when you have a lot of emails:

  5. 1

    Thanks for all the great replies! Just getting back into this; I'll share what I find is the best here, if anything, so others in a similar situation can find value here =)

  6. 1

    Email Octopus,, is a good fit.

    much cheaper and they were on IH podcast back in the day. Nice people

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    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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