August 26, 2020

Why do we need services like Mailchimp?

Zencentric

The question may be sound stupid but I really don't get. Okay, it works great for those who can't or don't want to code. But, if you can code the sending emails is a piece of cake.

Maybe it's about delivery? But I saw that many emails sent from MailChimp went to my spam folder too.

Maybe it's about spamming? But if your user subscribes using your web site and you provide the Unsubscribe link it will be considered "not-spamming" email too.

Maybe it's about spamming because you are not allowed to send multiple emails at once? Who and how regulates this rule? GMass service does exactly the same.

Maybe it's about personalized emails? Come on. It's about sending a new piece of information to your subscribers and using their first name doesn't make emails "personal".

So, what's the real point to use such services except for the convenience the email can be collected?

Thanks!!

UPD Clarification. I want to review the service from the coders' point of view.

UPD2 I don't ask you in the general sense - because I totally understand why such services may be convenient - the answer is to save your time, to allow you to focus on your business and others well-known "bla" excusing why ANY business exists. I'm asking because I found I can collect emails using just several lines of code - and if there is something that I desperately need and what the email marketing service can provide?

UPD3 I have a feeling people consider this question like an attack on their "favorite" tool - NOT AT ALL! What I'm trying to understand - if I really need it or not - that's it.

  1. 5

    sending emails is a piece of cake.

    • If you are familiar with DNS not only A and MX records but SPF, PTR and DKIM
    • If you can keep it secure with using TLS with IMAP, POP3 and ACAP
    • If you can handle multiple MIME-types
    • If you have multiple IP addresses not marked spam much and manage them carefully
    • If you are aware of the limitations and quotas
    • If you have enough experience on parallel programming
    • If you have servers to handle those parallel programming
    • If you've read several RFCs on mail protocols wiki
    • etc.

    EZ.

    e.g. Daily/Monthly usage quota on gmail https://support.google.com/a/answer/166852

    Reason for ending up in spam might not be mailchimp but the sender itself.
    https://optinmonster.com/11-reasons-why-your-emails-go-in-the-spam-box-and-how-to-make-sure-they-dont/

    1. -1

      This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

      1. 4

        Try sending them in bulk then. Many popular services limits daily usage up to 500. Mailchimp and similar services are meant for bulk mails. It's okay to if you use it for registration confirmations for small projects. Even tho you'll need to figure out some of the points above to avoid end up in spam folder. But you do what you know best.

        1. 1

          I checked my service (Privateemail) they have the restriction up to 500 per hour, not a day.

        2. 0

          Try sending them in bulk then. Many popular services limits daily usage up to 500.

          This is it! I wonder if I'll face any limits if I just send emails from my account programmatically.

      2. 1

        Flask-email is just a wrapper to use the STMP server, the hard thing is maintaining an SMTP server itself and with good deliverability, without getting banned for the many email providers that exist.

        I manage my own email server for https://smartforms.dev because of cost issues(I send lots of emails), but damn it is a huge pain sometimes. For example, recently I got banned from gmx.com(didn't even know they exist until a user started complaining) and had to go through the process of emailing them, compliance, etc

        On my new projects I just use SendGrid, because even though I can minimize my costs by hosting my own mail server, the cost in time is just too much.

        1. -1

          This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

  2. 1

    Sussessful businesses focus on what they do best.
    Tesla does not dig mines for materials.

    1. 1

      Tesla has almost endless resources for everything. Usually, the startup founder doesn't.

      1. 0

        The biggest resource restriction for most startup founders is time.

        Please please please don't waste it building an email marketing client when there are a number of free ones who will do the job better.

        1. 1

          email marketing client when there are a number of free ones who will do the job better.

          Please tell us their names.

          Please please please don't waste it building an email marketing client

          Ahahah said the email marketing client's COO.

          1. 1

            Mailchimp, MailerLite, Us, Moosend. All have free plans for contacts in the thousands which will satisfy the needs of almost all Indie Hackers starting out.

            I intentionally didn't use this to promote our own company, but if you have more our free limit (2,500), drop me a message and we'll sort you out with a free plan.

            It's not about money it's about you building a successful business and not wasting your time on distractions.

            1. 1

              OMG. I appreciate your concern for my time and life.

              But WHO the hell told you I'm going to build something like that? All I wanted to know - why eventually people use such services just because at some moment I had a feeling such services are overkill for my needs?

              1. 1

                First time someone has been offended by an offer of a free plan!

                You're right, many won't use the full features of an email marketing platform. But if it's free and saves time and money why would you not use it?

  3. 1

    I use it to:

    • collect potential users in a waiting list
    • offer them something in return (an ebook)
    • send them updates every once in a while without even thinking on technicalities (I just want to say "thanks for your patience")
    • establish relationships in a technically transparent way (I don't wanna spend time fixing some weird DNS issue because of which my welcome emails do not arrive)
    • potentially once live to start a campaign that will target these leads

    I am a mobile engineer and I really do not know what "sending an email is a piece of cake" means :) For some the piece is just a bite, for some it's a fool dinner. 🤷🏼‍♂️

    1. 1

      Well, saying "piece of cake" I just meant the code to send a simple email. I believe every library/framework has functions to do that. Of course, it's not about complex workflows. The question came to me because I'm trying to understand if it's overkill in many cases, or not.

  4. 1

    Generally for a business, or indeed any task, you want to focus on the core value of the task not the peripheral stuff. I would use mailchimp to do a number of things for me that might take me 10-100 hours to set up otherwise.

    One of these is making sure my email gets past spam. Another is the design of the email, and having a drag and drop interface to make it look good. Another is sequencing, timing and workflows. Another is collecting statistics on send rates, open rates, action rates etc. Another is ensuring good devops practices to minimise downtime. Another is source control. And so on.

    In a nutshell it is a lot cheaper to use mailchimp if I bill my time.

    There is an exception - I used SES for my last project because I needed affordable transactional emails, and I couldn't find that anywhere if I needed lots of free users and send them a lot of emails. On the back end the tight integration with code is an advantage and mailchimp would have been a bad fit. But I did feel the pain of not having the UI of something like mailchimp to make composing and sending non-txn emails easier.

    1. 0

      Fair enough, thanks!

  5. 0

    It's the same with anything. Why use AWS for hosting, when you can use your own server at home?

    At some point the convenience and speed in which you can send emails, outweighs the cost spent setting up your own servers, managing their reputation, categorising the bounce responses, and coding an email which renders across both new and 20yr old clients.

    Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers. Which is the majority of Indie Hackers. Your time is better spent on your own product, rather than building a complex email system for a business which might not scale beyond the free limits of established services. At the point you do scale above that, you're probably making sufficient money that the $20 per month is a drop in the ocean.

    1. 1

      Your time is better spent on your own product

      Please please let me decide what to do with my own time. I'm grown up enough. Ok?

      1. 0

        The decision is yours, don't worry. The you was a royal, general, you. Not aimed at Zencentric specifically.

        You're welcome to do with my advice as you wish :)

  6. 1

    This comment was deleted 5 months ago.

    1. 1

      I agree 100% with you.

      First thought: I wonder why there isn't a simple open source framework for setting that stuff up?

      Second thought: Oh, there probably is, I'm just too lazy to search for it! :-P

        1. 1

          Thanks for the link. Why are all of your comments hidden?

          1. 1

            Not all of them :) Mailchimp users don't like my comments. They consider my question like an attack on the tool they are paying. It's actually not - but they don't listen to me.

            1. 2

              That's so weird. I'm not used to seeing that on IH. Your comments weren't overly confrontational or anything. It looked like one or two people purposefully went through every comment of yours to downvote here.

              Weird!

              1. 2

                Yes, I noticed it too :) Maybe reps from Mailchimp and Emailoctopus worked or people who paid for their service a lot :)))

                No worries, s#it happens sometimes :))) Thanks for your support!!!

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted 6 months ago.

    2. 0

      So, it's about the convenience to set up some kind of workflow, tags and additional information.
      Got it thanks!

      1. 2

        Drag and drop email designer, subscriber management, one-off campaigns, drip campaigns, segmenting, drop-in forms, IP management.

        It's like you're asking why we need construction companies when you, a builder, can go by a hardware store and buy a hammer and build your own house. You probably can throw together your own email system, but most people aren't coders and most people aren't interested in reinventing all that wheel for an inferior, thrown-together solution.

        1. 1

          Drag and drop email designer, subscriber management, one-off campaigns, drip campaigns, segmenting, drop-in forms, IP management.

          Okay, taken.

          but most people aren't coders and most people aren't interested in reinventing all that wheel for an inferior, thrown-together solution.

          I probably was not clear enough but I wanted to estimate the service from the coder's point of view. Updated the topic.

          1. 1

            Here is another coder's perspective. Since indiehackers tend to listen this guy.

            1. 1

              Haha, but wouldn't AWS SES arrive?

              1. 1

                well experience speaks, he obviously tried cheaper alternatives. now paying more for better results.

                1. 1

                  I have the same experience. I moved to AWS just to use SES for pricing reasons, just to realize SES is shit.

                  Been using SendGrid since it without problems.

                  1. 1

                    I was considering AWS if I ever needed but it seems like SendGrid is the way to go.

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