Sender Review – Best Email Marketing Tool for Small Businesses?

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In 2020, there were 306 billion e-mails sent and received worldwide each day, resulting in the email marketing revenue worldwide jumping to $7.5 billion!

And no, this number is not going down any time soon. As a matter of fact, it is expected to go up to 376 billion daily emails and generate $14 billion by 2025!

Not surprisingly, businesses ranging from mom & pop setups and solopreneurs to corporates are tripping over each other to include a solid email marketing arm as part of their digital marketing strategy.

However, most people don’t realize that while the strategy stands head and shoulders above everything else, you need an equally good email marketing tool to put those ideas into sweet action!

In this write-up, I review one of the promising contenders, Sender, to see if they match the demands of fast-moving marketing requirements in 2022!

Sender review

What is Sender?

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Sender in the email marketing scene before.

So you can imagine my surprise when I heard of this dynamic team based out of Lithuania catering to over 170,000+ users worldwide for email marketing needs.

That’s when I knew I had to check them out and see if this promising email marketing platform lives up to its hype (Shortlisted as one of the Top Performers in “Email Marketing”, “SMS Marketing”, and “Marketing Automation” categories by Capterra for 2021)!

Sender is an all-in-one email and SMS marketing automation solution aimed at small businesses while claiming to be specially optimized for the ecommerce niche.

They offer an arsenal of features, including:

  • Popups and embeddable forms;
  • Broadcast emails and SMSes;
  • Fully automated (triggered and scheduled) email & SMS workflows

and more to help businesses attract, nurture and convert leads into paying customers.

It is noteworthy that they are GDPR compliant and have a strict anti-spam policy for users, so this means great news for everyone looking to do email marketing long-term, the right way.

Interested in a Lifetime FREE Account that’ll allow you to send up to 15,000 emails to a maximum of 2,500 contacts?

As promised, no credit card info was asked. Moreover, premium features like segmentation and automation were included (from research, I know that these are usually hard to come by in the free tier offerings of email marketing solutions)!

Will Sender help every business?

The generic nature of email marketing means that most email marketing platforms are happy to have almost anyone pay for their product.

But as you would agree, no one solution tries to target everyone.

Sender is positioned as a cost-effective, all-in-one email and SMS marketing automation solution for small to medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs and ecommerce.

Also, their core focus seems to be on ensuring high inbox deliverability, which is what a lot of businesses across all niches seem to struggle with. Looks like a great fit!

However, every business is different, and so are its requirements. Therefore, it’s best to get your feet wet and test everything before shifting from your existing email toolset.

The Main Features

Below are the major features that I spent the maximum amount of time on as a user to see if they lived up to their claims.

Pop-ups and Forms

Whether you are starting from scratch or simply growing your list, being able to attract your tribe the right way is fundamental. Therefore, popups and forms become invaluable components of such an exercise.

Pop-ups are dynamic, meaning they can be placed anywhere they’re most likely to be seen, including on your most visited pages.

From a marketing standpoint, pop-ups are also seen as more intrusive and unfriendly than embedded forms that are static and stay strictly on the website and landing pages that they have been configured to be a part of.

Sender offers several fully customizable, prebuilt easy-to-edit templates and layouts that don’t just look attractive but also play well on mobile devices. If you don’t like the suggested designs and have something else in mind, it’s easy to design your own using the in-built drag and drop tool.

Their collection of ready-made templates is limited, but their powerful drag-and-drop editor is not. In addition, the popup or form can be easily customized to reflect your branding, including the font, color, and text.

In addition to the customary name and email address details, you can also request any other relevant information by defining your own custom fields from your subscribers.

 

You can also define your own customer segments (Sender calls them groups) in advance and drop incoming prospects into the relevant buckets to keep them segregated inside Sender. The most significant advantage of this would be that you can send them meaningful and relevant offers in the future.

If you are paying separately for a form builder or popup solution, give this a shot since this feature is available without limitations inside the forever FREE account.

Stunning Email Newsletters

We all want our emails to look good, no matter whether we are writing to an audience of 30,000 loyal subscribers or just 10!

Email campaigns are super simple to configure and offer the following options during setup:

  1. Drag and Drop builder (or pre-made email newsletter template) emails

Want to build out your own branded newsletters quickly without wanting to learn how to code HTML and PHP or anything remotely tech?

Choose from a library of responsive, attractive HTML newsletter designs or if you decide to, design your own using Sender’s robust drag-and-drop email editor.

The email newsletter templates cover a variety of events, including welcome, reengagement, and abandoned cart. They also include ready-to-edit yet fully customizable designs for various occasions ranging from Black Friday and Halloween Day to Valentine’s and Mothers Days!

Drag and drop elements such as your email header, paragraphs, images, videos, Call to Action (CTA) buttons, social icons, or any custom HTML code to create your email design effortlessly.

Running an online ecommerce business or store? You can easily save hours of your time by quickly and efficiently importing products from your website or store with a single click.

  1. Plain text emailsIf you believe in sending out more of plain text emails for better deliverability to inboxes, Sender’s got you covered here.

What the text email editor lacks for in looks, it easily overcomes with ease of use and a compelling user experience.

  1. Custom HTML emails

Many of us already have our favorites when it comes to email design.

If you already have your email design ready, copy-paste the HTML code and allow Sender to take care of the delivery. Alternatively, you can import your HTML newsletters easily using the ‘Import via URL link” feature.

Whichever way you choose, not only can you have your branded email newsletter up and ready in no time, but with far less effort as well.

Intelligent Segmentation for Better Conversions

Relevance in your email communications often equates to better conversions and higher sales!

With segmentation, you divide your subscribers into different groups or categories based on specific known characteristics or behaviors.

This allows you to send out relevant email and SMS messaging to specific groups of users in highly targeted and relevant ways.

Sender lets you segment contact lists based on several conditions, including:

  • Basic information (such as preexisting groups or email IDs)
  • Subscriber activity (for instance, you could group your most active and engaged subscribers and make them more offers), and
  • Custom fields (collecting any custom information from the subscriber that makes sense for your business and interaction with them).

If you’ve never executed any form of segmentation before, you are likely leaving cash on the table. Do it now to monetize the same old list of loyal followers better.

Smart Automations for Effective & Efficient Business Communications

Most email marketing platforms, including Sender, allow you to send out a periodic broadcast to your entire list or particular segments.

However, manually broadcasting your emails can drain both your focus and time. Time that could be better spent on other business activities and focus that could be better diverted towards designing better email strategies.

Sender’s step-by-step automation builder helps you set up email and SMS steps on complete automation so they can gently funnel your signups and prospects all way from welcome through to a sale.

Automation can be set up based on a predefined schedule (specific date and time) or configured to fire based on potent conditional triggers such as:

  • Contact is added to/ removed from a specific list;
  • A subscriber’s birthday;
  • A link is clicked inside the email;
  • A contact’s anniversary with your business;
  • A product is purchased;
  • An order is fulfilled;
  • Prospect abandons cart;
  • Prospect unsubscribes from a list.

And more!

Each step can be a condition (checking something to be true or not), delay (wait for a specific period), email, SMS, or an action taken at a particular point.

If you are an email automation expert, I can understand you feeling like Sender could lose the race for complex automation scenarios.

But I feel its biggest advantage was the ease of configuration, which allowed anyone without any automation knowledge to set up and operate an automation workflow in minutes.

Text Messaging Features

Considering that nearly 98% of text messages are read and responded to within 15 minutes, SMS marketing offers a great deal of potential.

Sender allows you to compose, schedule, and automate your business texts with the simple dashboard experience that hooked you on email marketing.

Again, SMSes can be pre-scheduled or configured to fire in response to specific triggers such as cart abandonment (most popular and highly profitable use case for ecommerce and online stores), new signups (a welcome SMS? Wow, who sends that?), and product purchases to name a few.

It is crucial to operate your SMS communications in a consent-first mode, where your signup forms and popups explicitly provide required information about why the phone number is required, what type of texts you are likely to send, and how frequently.

Sender is strictly TCPA compliant, which means that you can easily provide your subscribers the ability to opt-out by texting STOP or any other keyword you specify in your settings.

About the SMS pricing.

The FREE tier, understandably, does not include the ability to send out SMSes. However, once you upgrade to a paid plan, SMS credits can be bought at competitive pricing, starting as low as $0.015 (for the United States).

Also, the Professional (PRO) plan includes generous free SMS credits, equalling your monthly plan amount. So think of it like this, if you are spending that much money on a good email marketing plan anyways, SMS comes free.

Plans & Pricing (aka Affordability)

Good things seldom come cheap. However, Sender seems to want to make the rare exception by coming across as a reliable email & SMS marketing platform that simply works while not costing a bomb (not at all).

FREE Forever Plan

If you are like me, this is where you hop in first. Test and break everything and then take a call on whether the tool is helping you do your emails and SMS processes better and faster.

I like the free plan over the ones offered by competitors because it is filled with value – send a maximum of 15,000 emails every month at no cost to up to 2,500 subscribers, plus all Premium features such as segmentation and automation included at no extra cost.

Although the caveat is that your emails will go with the Sender branding, I think it is fair game given how much small startups can get done without paying a single dime.

No credit card details, nothing to lose – you got me!

Standard Plan

Pricing starts at $12.50 per month, and you can send 60,000 emails per month to a maximum of 5,000 contacts.

There is no Sender branding here, and you can create multiple users for team access.

Professional Plan

Prices start at $58.25 per month for 120,000 emails per month to 5,000 contacts.

This is the plan I would look to get if I was serious about adopting this email tool. It includes great value for money in terms of limits and has free SMS credits (mentioned once above) equalling the monthly plan amount, which I think is terrific!

Besides the Inbox preview feature, you also get SMS automation capabilities and elements like feedback blocks and timers in emails!

Most importantly, the PRO plan allocates you a dedicated IP address for email delivery. Having a dedicated IP address that you can slowly build your reputation over can help you deliver messages to more inboxes instead of promotion and spam folders.

Enterprise

Unlimited emails, dedicated account manager, SLAs, and phone support! If you need the Enterprise plan, you already know it by now.

TLDR: Quick Pros & Cons Summary

PROS

What I liked:

  • Affordable paid plans, even as you scale
  • Generous lifetime FREE plan with 15,000 emails and 2,500 contacts (PLUS complete access to premium features such as pop-ups, forms, segmentation, and automation features)
  • Focus on inbox deliverability (including a stringent anti-spam policy)
  • Robust and reliable UX for daily use
  • All-in-one tool with a simple dashboard providing convenient access to popups and forms, emails, SMS, and automation features.
  • Powerful automation builder to design custom email and SMS workflows.
  • Free hands-on migration support from a product expert to transfer your email assets (contacts etc.) over from your existing ESP (email service provider) to Sender.
CONS

Here’s what could be improved:

  • Literally a no-frills user interface (intended by design?)
  • Self-contained reporting module that businesses who are looking for extensive reporting capabilities may despise.

Why You Should Join Sender

Every business believes they face unique challenges and that they, therefore, have different needs. However, having ready access to a great email tool is a common requirement across businesses and niches in today’s digital-first marketing strategies.

Looking for the complex tech and latest innovation in email marketing? Sometimes even to the point of testing the latest beta features on your business use cases? Don’t even look at Sender. It may not be the right choice for you.

But if your business is among those looking for an email marketing platform that works as promised, and without breaking the bank, Sender will not disappoint you. Ridiculously easy-to-use-daily UI/ UX and friendly support make this choice even more automatic and compelling.

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