SendFox Review

In this “Hot Beverage” Review, I take a look at SendFox email marketing automation tool from the AppSumo family.

Who It’s For

SendFox is targeted at creators who want to send email newsletters without the feature bloat that makes things complex like Active Campaign or Keap (formerly Infusionsoft).

Initial Impressions

The UI (user-interface) is very simple and clean. You’re not bombarded with a plethora of features and functions, so you won’t get lost when you first login.

SendFox Dashboard

SendFox offers standard features such as landing pages (if you don’t have a website or want a simple tool to create landing pages), creating web forms, and scheduling email campaigns. All the things you would expect in an email marketing app.


The Pro’s

Value

I bought the $49 for 5,000 contacts Lifetime deal through AppSumo. It looks like this is a perpetual deal available on both their website and at AppSumo. I figured I could use this for any kind of new project I launch since email is such a big part of any project launch I do.

Referrals Campaign Feature

When you look at the growth of newsletters like The Morning Brew, a big part of their growth is rewarding existing subscribers to recruit new subscribers.

With SendFox, you can setup referral campaigns just like that which is one of my favourite features in SendFox that most of my other preferred email & marketing automation tools don’t have built-in.

SendFox’s Referral Campaign feature (I wish more apps included this)

Simple & Clean UI

This is both a pro and con in my view, but people who want and only need something simple will find the interface clean and not cluttered with a whole bunch of functions they won’t use.

Smart Campaigns

Basically, SendFox’s Smart Campaigns are automations. The process is very simple and easy to setup to automate any new content from your blog, social media profiles to be sent out as emails to your list(s) with exception with the inability to have your emails sent as a template you have saved.

You either have to live with the default way they display your emails or you have to manually go in and edit how they look before sending (which defies the whole point of automation in my opinion).

Smart Campaigns would be better if they allowed email templates…

The Con’s

No Email Templates

The fact they don’t have standard templates or a way to save your own template (even a simple one) that you can re-use is big deal-breaker for me.

I did ask if templates were on the roadmap anytime soon, but this is the response I received:

Unfortunately, we do not have an option to save a standard template/design for emails. 🙁

I’ve added this feature to our Feature Request list for you. It’s not currently on our immediate development roadmap, but that can change based on demand.

Our product team will consider it for future updates.

Unless you’re only sending text-only emails (with no logo or simple header image), then you can probably get away with using SendFox on a regular basis.

Otherwise, this is a big pain without this simple and common feature.

via GIPHY

No Advanced Automations

A big part of my own newsletter strategy and automation workflows depends on RSS to Email automations.

Meaning, when I push publish on a blog post it automatically gets pushed (or pulled depending on how you look at it) to my email marketing automation system and scheduled to be sent to my email list.

I have email templates setup so I set it up once and the system handles the rest whenever I publish anything.

While SendFox has the ability to automatically pull content from various content sources you setup (e.g. your blog, Twitter feed, Youtube channel, etc), it can automatically create and send an email BUT…because there are no email templates feature, this isn’t a great option if you don’t like the way their default email looks.

If you want your emails to look a specific way, you still have to manually log into the system fix up the email how you want it to look (add your logo or email header…every…single…time, because there’s no email template function…).

This is what makes me scratch my head. Compared to other similar type tools & apps, you’ll end up spending more time than necessary to send out an email newsletter.

The ONLY way to trigger an automation in SendFox is when a contact is added or subscribed to a List. I totally understand that this is in keeping with their theme of keeping simple, but I think it’s a bit overboard on the simplicity side.

Whereas, in Active Campaign you can trigger an automation via many different triggers, such as, when a person clicks a link, visits a page, and more.

Automation Triggers available in Active Campaign

No Custom Fields

This is another deal-breaker for me. If I’m spending money on ads to get leads/subscribers onto my email list, I’ll want to know where they came from.

Tracking lead sources and utm parameters is extremely important, so the inability to add any kind of custom field is a big fault with SendFox.

When you add a contact into your database, the only information you can input is Firstname, Lastname and Email.

That’s it.

You are able to add your own “Notes” to a contact record, but there are no Tags or Custom Fields to add more data to your contacts.


The Team Behind the Product

SendFox is a product developed by the teams behind AppSumo.

So, the product is backed by a well-known and established name in the industry.

I understand their focus is a lot on keeping things simple to make it easier to use and don’t want too much feature bloat which can plague an app…but I just get the feeling some of the decisions on this product isn’t quite useful or practical for the target audience.


Hot Beverage Take

The Lifetime Pricing is somewhat enticing, but ultimately, I believe there are better value options out there even if you don’t want to splurge on an email marketing automation tool.

The lack of (and it looks like the insistence on NOT including email templates or the ability to save your own templates) is a HUGE mistake on their part in my opinion.

You can see the lack of email templates is the biggest annoyance for me, otherwise SendFox is a decent tool and I can see how it would serve its purpose in some instances.

So, I’d prefer to use FluentCRM or MailerLite over SendFox for a new project (for a more established business or a business with more advanced requirements, my go to automation apps would be Active Campaign or ConvertKit).

SendFox gets a Hot Beverage Rating of: (2 hot beverages out of 5)

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