Growth October 15, 2020

What Email Service Provider Do You Use for Automations

Bill Flitter @bflitter

Looking for suggestions on email service providers that have drips/sequencing/automation - like or Mailerite. What do you use? What are the pluses and minuses? There are so many tools on the market. Any indie hacker friendly alternatives?

  1. 2

    You need to take a look at Mautic! You'll certainly save yourself some big $$$ in the cost of running your email marketing when you pair with an STMP service like AWS SES. Pluses are saving bucks, unlimited contacts and you can literally customise everything that you need to run a campaign. Minuses... it takes a little tech knowhow to get setup but once you get over the curve of being setup, scheduling your campaigns and stuff it works like a breeze.

    1. 1

      Is the UI for Mautic user friendly? I assume you are referring to setting up the server and configuring AWS SES takes some knowledge?

      1. 1

        There is Mautic freelancers on upworks. We host ours on Linode.

  2. 2

    Sendgrid because it's the only one natively integrated with bubble!

  3. 2

    I would of course recommend our very own 🙂 Friendly Automate :)
    (I'm the founder)

    It offers indie hacker friendly pricing (if the pricing still does not work for you just reach out to me), focuses on privacy and offers nearly all the features of the 5x more expensive HubSpot Marketing Hub in the Professional Plan.

    1. 1

      Very interesting. Could I schedule a demo with you?

    2. 1

      Stefan! So great to see you here!!!!! Then I can also recommend as it has a great team behind it.

      1. 1

        Thank you so much, Josías!

    1. 1

      pretty robust platform. In your mind, what are the plus/minuses?

  4. 2

    Recently, I've weaved together my own custom solution using AWS SES to send emails.

    It works easily for automated transactional emails. I wrote a blog post about how it works.

    And, for timed messages, I use cron jobs on my LAMP server and filter by SQL queries for whatever criteria I want.

    I even use it for newsletter blasts, but haven't built a proper UI for that - since I'm the only one managing it, I can just run the relevant code.

    It definitely takes an engineer's touch, but it's a lot cheaper than any other solution.

    1. 2

      that's impressive and ambitious!

  5. 1

    ActiveCampaign is my weapon of choice.

  6. 1

    I use, they have very affordable pricing and nice easy to use tools.

    1. 1

      Thanks Joe. Are there tools you wish it had? Are you using the automation/drip tools?

  7. 1

    Another vote for Active Campaign. We tried a number of solutions but this was the best. It plays nice with Ruby and has some features that mean we can create complex transactional email campaigns.

    1. 1

      Seems to be the popular choice! Thanks.

  8. 1

    Hi there,

    ActiveCampaign user for 4 years, I am currently toying with Mailgun : any feedbacks would be great 🙏🏻

    I can give you feed back on Mailchimp and Sendindblue too.

    Pro tip: before sending any campaign, give it a try to : before

    1. 1

      Thanks for the tips. What do you like about Mailgun over ActiveCampaign? ActiveCampaign seems to be a popular choice.

      1. 1

        No idea yet, just toying a bit : I am always on the path to find better solutions for everything.

  9. 1

    I use ActiveCampaign. You should also check Froged (

  10. 1

    Hi there,
    I am the co-founder of

    Undersend is created specifically to create email automation in apps. You can sync your app users' data and use them with your emails. Also, you can send custom events that you can use to segment users and send emails to those segments.

    If you need any help let me know 👋

  11. 1

    I'd recommend Mailgun ( any day.

    I used to use SendGrid, but I was getting a number of bounces (especially for Hotmail addresses for some reason). I was on their free plan and SendGrid support told me that I'd have to move to a paid plan. Moving to Mailgun (free plan again) solved all my send problems, plus it's a lot easier use as a developer than SendGrid. I love it!

  12. 1

    Klavyo is the most powerful, but also costly. Friendlier would and cost effective would be setting up your own with Mautic & AWS SES.

  13. 1

    Can anyone help me with my question here?

    What's the simplest ESP that gets me plain-text emails, a mailing list, multiple workflows (e.g. onboarding emails)?

    Currently trying Mailchimp but it feels too "heavy" for what I need.

    1. 1

      thinking the same thing about Mailchimp (more like the 800-pound gorilla - couldn't resist)

  14. 1

    Another ActiveCampaign user here. Formerly with Drip (since nearly the beginning).

    1. 1

      why did you switch?

      1. 1

        Drip has become almost exclusively e-commerce business-focused. Workflow features I needed — ActiveCampaign had them, Drip did not — was the final deciding factor for me.

  15. 1

    We just went to a few weeks back and I really like it. I was struggling to find a platform that allowed me to get granular with the user and event criteria (e.g. user did this action in the app and that action had this property). Now we use it for all user engagement. However, we don't use it for marketing (non-users) emails.

    Their email editor isn't the best, but it gets the job done to be honest. I wish they had better templating, but given that it's really easy to create segments and properties on users, I can deal with that limitation.

    1. 1

      hadn't considered that. Do you mind if I reach out and ask you a few questions?

  16. 1

    Woodpecker is a great service. Costs $40/mo, plugs into G-Suite, cold emails escape all spam filters, and come across as authentic personalized emails.

    1. 1

      I like that option.

  17. 1

    hey Bill! last time you and I chatted, you hesitated between two ideas. Which one are you discussing on this post?

    1. 1

      I went with Moosend and love it BUT I hit a major roadblock with it. I discovered this odd feature/bug (still trying to understand the logic after spending a bit of time with customer service). If you pause an Automation say to edit the flow or edit your template, it actually stops sending to all your subscribers even after you turn it back on. Only new subscribers after the point of the edit you made will receive the sequence. Hence the question! I need to find a replacement. They said it is something they are considering a fix for but no date to in mind.

      1. 1

        right thanks for the context! and we're talking about your consulting gig or coaching?

        1. 1

          Consulting (creating productized services)

  18. 1

    I'm using . It's meant as a newsletter for content creators. Pro's are that it's easy and super simple to setup and when someone signs up, they are then taken to a page with my youtube videos.

    Con's are that the documentation and navigating throughout the dashboard/ui isn't that intuitive. Took me some time to figure out how to do it.

    I'm also using substack which I find much easier to use. I think I'll switch all my contacts from sendfox over to my substack newsletter at some point.

    1. 2

      I took a look at but feel the same way. Need something a bit more robust. I've been using Moosend - which I have love. However, ran into a weird bug that in their automation. If you edit an automation it stops the sequence for all subscribers prior to the edit. They said they are working on fix but couldn't give a date.

      1. 1

        Yeah I'm hoping they keep building out sendfox and making it more intuitive and robust. I like it so far after I figured out how to use it. Haven't heard of Moosend but I'll check it out.

        If I end up growing a ton I may end up using some more mature newsletter provider but for now it feeds my needs. It's simple so it allows me to focus on other more important things

    2. 1

      Sendfox is great only drawback is IP reputation. Currently there’s a good amount being delivered to spam. But the team is solid and I’m confident they’ll be very successful.

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