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MailChimp vs. Amazon SES - How I Reduced My Monthly Bill by 92%

By Gary simon - Oct 17, 2017

I joined MailChimp several years ago when I had a really small email list. The pricing initially was fine, but as my list grew bigger, it seemed as though each month my bill would jump up.

Below, I outline the problem I was facing with a $240 monthly email fee and what I ultimately did to reduce it by 92%.

MailChimp vs. Amazon SES + Mailwizz

MailChimp offers a fully featured email system where you can:

  • Create email lists
  • Store / export emails
  • Create email campaigns
  • Create autoresponders
  • ...insert a million other great features.

It offers a great API and it's really easy to use. All of this comes at a price, though. It costs quite a bit the bigger your email list becomes. That was the problem that I was facing here at Coursetro.

I only sent out about 1 email per week to my list of 40,000 subscribers, and a price tag of $240 just didn't seem worth it.

I looked into alternative solutions, and a few friends recommended Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) and Mailwizz.

What is Amazon SES?

Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is a cloud-based solution for users to send email to their customers or subscribers. 

The main difference between MailChimp and SES, is the fact that SES lacks many of the features from MailChimp. 

It does not give you the ability to store emails, create lists and campaigns, or any of that. It only sends email. You need a separate service or script that connects to SES and issues the commands to send the emails on your behalf.

Enter: Mailwizz.

What is Mailwizz?

Mailwizz takes care of all the features that you miss from MailChimp and similar services. It's a script that you pay a one time fee for (currently only $54), you install on your own server, and use to manage your emails.

You can set it up to connect to a wide variety of email services, one of which being Amazon SES. 

You can even use it as a way to make money, as you can charge your web dev. clients a fee to use a customer-based login to manage their own email lists and newsletters.

Personally, I didn't need that; I would be the only customer.

What were the results after switching from MC to SES?

It's October 16 and I've used SES + Mailwizz the entire time. I've sent out 2 emails to my 40k subscribers, and also use it to send an autoresponder and other simple transactional emails, like account approval.

In other words, this is the same usage that I've been experiencing while I was working with MailChimp.

Here is the Month-to-Date screenshot from SES:

Notice SES has only cost me $8.26 to send approximately 80,000 emails!

I could send an email to my list every day, and still come out half the price ($120 per month) as compared to MailChimp's $240 monthly price tag.

Conclusion

If you are at all tech savy, there's no reason you should be using MailChimp (or the other similar services), when you can use a service like SES + Mailwizz. 

It's simply a matter of installing the Mailwizz script, which is made easy with great documentation and support, connecting it to SES (there's docs on that too), and integrating Mailwizz into your site, with their API libraries.


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