Who It’s For
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
AND HTML editing have arrived!
As of Sendfox’s update on 2 August 2022, they have (finally!) added the ability to save email templates
AND access HTML editing features to Sendfox (on the Lifetime plan).
Update 26 August 2022: Oops, I mistakenly thought the Lifetime plan users also had access to a basic HTML editing feature, but it looks like that’s not the case. You can only VIEW your email in HTML but can’t really edit anything (which is a bummer).
These features have been what I’ve been waiting for (along with the July 2022 update of custom fields) to make Sendfox a much better value proposition.
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.
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.
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.
UPDATE: Custom Fields have arrived!
As of Sendfox’s update on 22 July 2022, they have (finally!) added the Custom Field feature to Sendfox.
You’re still limited in the type of custom fields (text, number and date) but that’s still better than no custom fields.
As it’s a new update I’m waiting on Fluent Forms to update their Sendfox integration to actually make use of this (as I write this, Fluent Forms doesn’t take advantage of Sendfox’s new custom fields abilities, but I expect this to be updated soon…I hope).
The Team Behind the Product
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.
*(see my updated rating below since the addition of these features).
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.
UPDATE 2 August 2022: Since the July 2022 and most recent August 2022 updates to include custom fields, ability to save emails as templates
AND HTML editing access, I can now feel more comfortable recommending Sendfox (with its Lifetime plan) as a viable option for your email sending.
The automations are still basic (which is fine), but not close to what MailerLite, ActiveCampaign and Converkit can do. In any case, I’ve updated my rating from a 2 to a 3 out of 5 hot beverages now.
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) -> revised 2 August 2022 = (3 hot beverages out of 5)