- Mac desktop app
- Subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing
- Works offline too
- Limited email marketing automation tools
- Requires subscribing to E3 servers to enjoy all features
Most mass mail marketing solutions are Cloud based nowadays but Direct Mail is one of the few email marketing tools that is made specifically for macOS.
Direct Mail has been around on Mac (there’s no Windows version) since way back in 2002 and is ideal for individuals or small to mid-size businesses looking to expand their reach via in-house email marketing.
It’s a great tool for those that want to be able to work on email marketing campaigns offline but don’t want to get locked into a monthly subscription. Direct Mail offers both a monthly subscription model but also a pay-as-you-go option if you prefer.
Although it’s not quite up to the same level as professional email marketing services such as Constant Contact, Direct Mail is still an excellent solution for individuals or small businesses looking for an offline email marketing solution.
Direct Mail vs Cloud Email Marketing Services
Because it is designed for Macs with it’s own desktop, Direct Mail is able to take advantage of some of the things in macOS that online email marketing solutions can’t.
- The ability to undo and redo edits as much as you want
- Keyboard shortcuts, Multi-Touch gestures and Touch Bar support
- Handoff support so you can continue working on your iPad or iPhone where you left off on your Mac
- Integration with Apple Photos
- Integration with Apple Contacts
- Integration with Microsoft Excel for importing contacts
- Integration with macOS Notification Center
- Full screen, split screen, retina display and Dark Mode support
On the downside, you can’t collaborate with colleagues on Windows like you can with Cloud services and Direct Mail doesn’t offer the advanced marketing automation tools of online marketing systems.
One of the first things you look for any decent email marketing software is how good do the mail out templates look and Direct Mail scores very well in this regard.
Direct Mail which has lots of elegant and professional looking template designs to choose from.
The templates are easy to customize although you can only modify things like the amount of columns, titles, text and tables you want to insert.
If you know HTML though, you can import your own templates from scratch or you can import email marketing templates from apps like Apple Mail, Mail Designer, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or any other HTML document.
Direct Mail uses a WYSIWYG interface so you can see your mailshots take shape as you edit them. You can preview them at any time to see exactly how they will look to recipients.
Adding images is simply a case of dragging and dropping them into the interface and they are automatically optimized for Retina displays and mobile devices.
Particularly useful in Direct Mail is the Email Preview feature which allows you to design test how your newsletter will look in 30 different email clients depending on the email account your customers are receiving in (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Thunderbird etc).
We also like the fact that there are image editing tools included in Direct Mail that allow you to edit within the app rather than having to use a third party image editor.
If you have a website, Direct Mail allows you to add an email sign-up form to it so that you can increase your subscriber base.
They can Unsubscribe in one click and Direct Mail is fully GDPR compliant for users in the EU.
Automated Email Marketing
Direct Mail doesn’t have a ton of email marketing features but it does have some useful essentials.
Direct Mail does have an Autoresponder that allows you to configure what happens when a new subscriber subscribes via your website. You can control how the Autoresponder looks, what it says and when it is triggered.
You can also setup mail outs to trigger when special occasions such as subscriber birthdays, special events, Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc.
You can even use Direct Mail to create a weekly email training course and send reminders to your subscribers about upcoming appointments.
The tracking tools in Direct Mail are useful and succinct, providing a clear overview of the opened and unopened rate with the top 5 most clicked links clearly visible.
There’s even real time tracking of opens and bounces so that you see what’s going instantly as your email blasts are sent out.
You can also perform a certain amount of A/B Testing by comparing campaigns side-by-side. You can compare key metrics such as opened percentage, links clicked, bounce rate etc.
You can also export these results to Excel or CSV for further analysis.
Direct Mail Integrations
Direct Mail works with Zapier and PieSync which are third party services that integrate with literally thousands of external apps including Slack, Salesforce, Google Apps etc.
Direct Mail also features direct integration with Mailchimp and Daylite which is one of the best CRM software for Mac users.
Which Mail Servers Does Direct Mail Use?
Direct Mail allows you to use your own SMTP servers for $299 per year but the downside is that you can’t use many of the features unless you subscribe to a plan that uses Direct Mail’s own servers.
You can still track opens, clicks and customize mailing list sign-up forms but you can’t automate email campaigns, integrate with other third party services and there’s limited iPhone support.
Direct Mail has also been recently updated to support more secure modern authentication methods for Google G Suite, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365 accounts for companies that want to use their own internal servers.
If you use Direct Mail’s own E3 servers you get to enjoy all the features available in Direct Mail. Direct Mail claims that it’s own E3 servers are 10-100 times faster than using your own SMTP servers as it works with email providers worldwide to optimize the service.
You can send 150 mails per month free using Direct Mail’s E3 servers but anything beyond that you have to choose between a monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go plan.
Note that sometimes, your mail out campaign may be stuck “in review” if Direct Mail suspects it could be spamming or break the terms and conditions of using the service.
This is usually resolved quickly when one of the Direct Mail teams does a manual check on your campaign but it’s something to be aware of.
Direct Mail has a free iPhone app which does a really slick job of reporting how your email marketing efforts are performing.
Reports can be delivered to your iPhone via a free app called Stamps for Direct Mail although this is only available if you use Direct Mail’s own E3 servers.
Direct Mail Pricing
The Direct Mail app is free to use but you have to pay for how you want to send out your email marketing campaigns.
If you want to use your own SMTP servers then Direct Mail costs $299 per year.
If you subscribe to Direct Mail’s E3 servers, then you have two options.
You can choose to subscribe monthly or via a pay-per-email plan.
You can use Direct Mail free for up to 150 mails per month but beyond that you need an unlimited or pay-as-you-go subscription.
Pricing starts at $15 per month for up to 500 subscribers or $30 for 1000 email credits.