WCIGAWW? Is SendX a viable MailChimp alternative? Part 1

By | September 20, 2017

Is SendX a viable MailChimp alternative? I’ve learned the hard way that #indiedev is #prdev. In a Gamasutra blog post I noted that;

Triple A developers spend 2 to 3 times the development budget on marketing2. They know that how good the game is isn’t nearly as important as how well the game is perceived, or being seen at all3. In the low-rent world of indies, your social network head count IS your marketing budget.

Pair this advice with my “time is money” observations from another blog post and you’ll quickly come to realize that to be successful you’ll need to spend lots of money on a marketing campaign, or invest time and effort to b̶u̶y̶  gain followers. Followers then need to be converted into customers. This is often a multi-staged procedure.

A time-honored tradition of accruing potential customers is to subscribe them to an email newsletter. Followers who take the time and have the interest to subscribe can *usually* be counted on to support you. There are several vectors to an email campaign:

  • Getting people to subscribe
  • Providing means for them to subscribe
  • Managing subscriptions
  • Call to action

Getting people to subscribe can be difficult, and a bit of a vicious circle regarding discovery. But to be overly broad and to overly simplify things, there are two strategies:

  • Be so good that they can’t ignore you. – Steve Martin
  • To achieve a million subscriptions, you have to help a million people. – Unknown

It’s wise to cover all your bases by doing both. Once you have amassed a million followers, you’ll need to convert them to customers with a strong call to action. But before any of this can occur you must provide the means for followers to subscribe and have a way to manage those subscriptions and send out newsletters.

Mailchimp. Far and away the most recognizable of the email newsletter subscription and management services. This isn’t necessarily the result of superior performance, but more likely the result of its marketing (mailchimp has been a major NPR sponsor). I assume that its recognition isn’t the result of superior performance because when I tried it, it sucked from the get-go:

Is that monkey giving me the stink eye?

After a very brief and wholly unexamined web search, I decided to give SendX a try. Is SendX a viable MailChimp alternative? I intended to have a full review done by today, but so far things have not gone smoothly. I installed the SendX WordPress plugin yesterday. The settings page requires a “Team ID” which you get by first signing up for an account at https://sendx.io/. Account creation, and by extension your Team ID, doesn’t occur until you verify your email address. This is, of course, supposed to be an automated process. I, however, never received a verification email (yes, I checked my spam and trash folders). And yet, I was already a step further than I got with that damn monkey.

Today, SendX’s customer support was very responsive and manually activated my account. Unfortunately the day delay doesn’t leave me enough time to both try out SendX and report back.

Next week is #megadesk week! But check back in two week’s time for WCIGAWW? Is SendX a viable MailChimp alternative? Part 2!

Oh, and if you see a pop-up asking you to sign-up for my newsletter, do so, OK? Don’t be ironic. Helping me helps me help you!

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