Why I Decided to Simplify our Pricing Structure

Changing the pricing structure was a tough decision for me.  It’s a strategic decision for the future of Mailbutler, which will benefit our customers in the months and years to come, but I am aware that the change will also have a negative impact on our free Essential plan users. That’s why I’d like to share the thought process behind that decision with you.

What will change? 

As of this October, we will no longer offer actions.
You’re probably already aware of what monthly actions are. Per our knowledge base article,

Mailbutler’s Essential and Professional plans allow customers to try the additional email productivity features of the Professional or Business plans at no extra cost. The use of any one of these additional features is what is referred to as an ,action’.

This change will not effect the prices of the subscriptions.

Why are we discontinuing these actions?

First, a little history about our pricing.

In 2010, we started by selling separate plugins, which added only one feature to the Apple Mail client. Over the next 5 years, we kept developing more and more standalone plugins for Apple Mail until 2015, when we decided to combine all of these features in one productivity suite: Mailbutler. 

Apart from paid subscriptions to Mailbutler, since 2015, we’ve offered a free plan. This no-cost, “Essential” plan came with 30 free actions per month, allowing non-paying users to sample the paid Mailbutler features. We extended these 30 actions to Professional subscribers as well, so that they would have access to the Business features. 

Since 2018, on top of the 30 free actions for Essential users and Professional subscribers, we have been offering a free 14 day trial for anyone when they first register an account with Mailbutler. This provides two weeks of unlimited access to all Mailbutler features, the same as having the Business subscription for that trial period. 

The intention behind both the actions and the 14 day trial was to give people the opportunity to try out any and all of Mailbutler’s features. What we’ve realized is that the 14 day trial has made these monthly actions redundant, in terms of testing out features. 

On top of that, the actions have actually been a source of confusion and frustration for many of our customers. Professional subscribers, in particular, have been unclear about the distinctions between Professional and Business features. We’ve heard from customers who would get used to and start relying on Business features, only to run out of actions at the end of the month and not be able to use the features again until the 1st. Things have been unclear in many respects, and we’re receiving emails like this every day: 

I’m paying for a Mailbutler subscription! 

Why am I running out of actions?!

Because of this, in the beginning of 2020, we started surveying our users about our pricing structure. We quickly realized that it was too complicated, and that many people had no idea which features were included in which plan. The actions were a big part of this confusion. 

This is why we’ve decided to drop the 30 free actions in October and focus on the 14 day trial, and to give as much attention and support to these new users as possible. 

How will the change affect you? 

Nothing will change for most Professional subscribers, but I am aware that this is a big shift for our Essential users. Thank you for your understanding, and I apologize for any limitations you might experience because of this change.

But as a bootstrapped company that is in competition with highly funded start-ups, we must distribute our available resources optimally. By removing the 30 free actions in October, we will be able to use the freed-up resources to improve our service overall. Our goals are to:

  • provide even better customer support for our subscribers. 
  • further improve and optimize all features.
  • increase our server capacities to make everything even faster.

To those of you who have been with us since the beginning, thank you so much for being loyal to our product. I hope that you’ll keep using and enjoying our features, as Mailbutler continues to grow.

73 comments on “Why I Decided to Simplify our Pricing Structure

  1. If you are talking many times about “pricing” why are not more clear about prices?

  2. Hi,
    Totally understandable action (pun intended ;-). The only thing I use MB for is the send-delay, which has saved my bacon quite a few times. It’s a mind-thing.
    I have looked at all the other options MB provides, but with my own use of the email medium they are all out of my league. I wish I somehow could justify an upgraded plan with all those goodies, but I can’t.
    So I’ll continue on as before, plugging MB with email power-users though.

    1. Hello Paul,

      Thank you for your understanding. If you ever find yourself needing more features than scheduling emails with Send Later, feel free to reach out to us at support@mailbutler.io to discuss your options.

  3. Very disappointed to see this ‘simplification’ of pricing.
    I’m an ‘Essential’ user and I only use email scheduling , I don’t need or want any other Professional features.
    My cost will jump from ZERO to about $120+ per year, if I choose to stay with Mailbutler.

    I appreciate the company needs to make some money, but this cost is too high for what I use as one minor tweak to the MacMail programme.

    I would ask you to add ‘Scheduling’ to the Essential package. I’d pay up to $1 per month for that…

    1. Hello Mick,

      I’ll pass that on to the bosses. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  4. Instead of removing access to all 30 Actions, might it be reasonable to continue to allow — at least for Professional level subscribers — say, three or five Business level Actions?

    Speaking personally, however, I cannot recall having ever used any of the free Actions in the five years I have been a Professional subscriber, so I’m not going to be greatly affected whatever happens to the Action allowance.

    1. Hello Sandy,

      I just checked your usage history and can confirm that you won’t be affected by this change, actually, at all. I have still passed your suggestion on to my higher ups.

      1. It’s very disturbing to see Mailbutler posting about their user’s history publicly. What happened to respecting our privacy?

      1. Hello Doug,

        I would say that you will still get use out of Mailbutler, since you’ve been using the Professional features that you subscribed for every month. If you didn’t have the Professional subscription, you wouldn’t have unlimited access to the Tracking feature, for example, which I can see you use quite a lot. You also barely ever used your actions for Business features, so I doubt that the change in October will effect you.

  5. I’ve been with you a long time as a free user and appreciated having 30 actions for free. I will miss them. I rarely used actions more than 15 times a month, almost always to schedule the sending of email but occasionally to track read receipt. I will miss the extra flexibility the free actions gave me and will be removing the application because, working for a charity as I do, I know my employer would not pay for it. However I understand your reasoning and your right to charge for providing a useful service. I wish you well in future.

    1. Hello Gillian,

      Could you please email directly? Please address your email to Claire at support@mailbutler.io. We have options for people working for non profits. Please be sure to included the email account that you used to register for your Mailbutler profile. Thank you.

    2. Same here. I have been happy using mail scheduling, and a couple of other features occasionally, but there is no way I can justify 120 € per year for my usage. 20 € yes, no more. So I’ll be leaving, unless there is some some of institutional plan for my university.

      1. Hello Jan,

        You can suggest this in-between pricing option on our feedback and suggestion page, here: https://roadmap.mailbutler.io/feature-requests
        That page is monitored regularly by our CTO, and if your suggestion has not been made before, it will be posted publicly, in which case others with the same opinion can upvote it. Or you can look for this suggestion, and upvote it if it’s already been made.

  6. This would not bother me if you had a pricing structure of, say, $30/year. As it is, though, I’m likely just to uninstall MailButler.

  7. Problem is I am neither a Professional nor a Business. The only non-“essential” feature I am interested in is “Schedule Email.”

    You might consider a paid “Essential-Plus” tier, from which a subscriber could cherrypick one “Plus” feature.

    1. Agreed! I too mainly use MailButler to schedule emails for non-Gmail accounts. I love this idea of an essential-plus tier!

    2. Agree with this! The only reason I downloaded mailbutler was because I needed a way to delay-send emails. Please just make this one feature a low price option! Thanks!

      1. Hello Jonathan,

        You can suggest this in-between pricing option on our feedback and suggestion page, here: https://roadmap.mailbutler.io/feature-requests
        That page is monitored regularly by our CTO, and if your suggestion has not been made before, it will be posted publicly, in which case others with the same opinion can upvote it.

  8. I cant say I am thrilled.

    Your argumentation feels a little … fluffy … Could it be that there are other reasons as well? Other reasons weighing higher than you actually want to admit?
    Such as to put a little extra pressure on your Essential users to get them upgraded to paid subscribers?

    1. Hello George,

      The reasons for discontinuing actions in October are genuinely what we’ve listed in that blog post. They have been a source of confusion and frustration for our Professional subscribers, and our resources can be better allocated. We’re still offering the Essential plan, with free access to Undo Send and Attachment Reminder. And we’ve also given our Essential users nearly 4 months notice that we are removing the actions, so that they have time to decide for themselves if they want to simply use that pared down Essential plan in the Fall or sign up for a subscription. There is no pressure intended in this announcement, it is simply a fact, and one that we’re trying to communicate as transparently and with as much advance notice as possible.

  9. Hi Tobias,

    While I understand that your’e running a business in a very turbulent time period and competing against larger companies along with well funded startups, I am disappointed to read this post that you and the Mailbutler team have decided to slowly start to charge your most loyal customers who’ve not only been with you from the start but also helped you improve the product to where it is today.

    I recognize that your resources are valuable and you want them focused on revenue generation product functionalities but I feel you can do both. One idea is to have your Essential customers be grandfathered into the existing functionality without using customer support / resources for those features. If those customers want support from your resources, they will have an option to upgrade.

    The slow and steady loss of basic functionality in Mailbutler, is eventually going to force customers like me to move away from you. As a customer centric company, I hope you would reconsider some portions of your pricing model.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for this very thoughtful and kindly worded email. You make a lot of valuable points, all of which I will be passing on to the CEO and CTO. We have some time before October, and between now and then, if you’d like to discuss some options for a custom pricing plan, you can email me directly. Please address your message to Claire at support@mailbutler.io. Be sure to include whichever email account is registered to your Mailbutler profile.

  10. Your service is exceptional but you are ‘bundling’ services in the same manner as communication companies. You might have noticed how many are ‘Cutting the Chord’ across the planet because customers end up paying a lot of money for features they do not need.

    You offer 2 features that I need and desire to charge me for many features which I do not need. THis is to force non paying customers to become paying customers. I am not in a position to pay and have integrated MailButlet into my workflow with every intention to RENT your service if and when I am available. You decision will take these tools away as if being punished for obliging a serice that you willingly offered. Seems like a double standard to me or rather an offer that was not genuine. Why not put a limit on the number of features instead so that non-paying customers cano continue to enjoy the service without you having to feel as if they are getting ‘something for nothing’.

    It’s not for anyone’s protection…

    1. Hello Gil,

      You mentioned wanting to rent our service in the future if and when you’re able. Are you aware that you could pay for either a Professional or Business plan for just one month at a time, if you wanted to? That would mean that, as needed, you could potentially pay €7.95 for one month, and in that month, use the hell out of all of our Professional features. I fully understand what you’re saying about bundling, but MOST of our subscribers tend to just use 2-4 of the features heavily, and the other features very rarely or not at all. And they feel that they’re getting a good value out of our service.

      If you have more questions about any of this, or would like to discuss your options in October, please reach out to me directly at support@mailbutler.io, and direct your email to Claire.

  11. please, also allow the option to pay just for the features we need.

    For example, I just use the email tracking, sending scheduling and the undo features, thats it.

    1. Hello Gerardo,

      Most of our subscribers, at both the Professional and Business level, tend to use 2-4 features on a regular basis, and we’ve factored that in to the pricing structure.

      If you’ve got more questions regarding this, please feel free to contact me directly at support@mailbutler.io

  12. I would like an even more flexibel pricing.

    eg. I do not use the integrations but would like to use the contacts feature. I do also not use signature and have no team. So there is no need the business option.

    1. Hello,

      I can see that you’re using the Open Tracking feature that comes with your Professional subscription, as well as the Contacts feature. I can understand why you would not want to switch to the Business plan for just one feature, but that level of subscription also comes with Link Tracking and Tracking Details, both of which I can see you’ve used in the past. Most of our subscribers, at both levels, tend to use 2-4 features on a regular basis, and we’ve factored that in to the pricing structure.

      If you’ve got more questions regarding this, please feel free to contact me directly at support@mailbutler.io.

      1. or give me the possibility of a professional plus version, where I can choose 1 or to options with a pro plus pricing.

        1. Hello Markus. You can suggest this in-between pricing option on our feedback and suggestion page, here: https://roadmap.mailbutler.io/feature-requests
          That page is monitored regularly by our CTO, and if your suggestion has not been made before, it will be posted publicly, in which case others with the same opinion can upvote it.

  13. Dear Mailbutler team,

    Why would you offer the same Essential plan with 30 actions at a low price, say for $30/year? The Professional plan is too expensive for many customers who never use all the offered functionality. Look, why would I pay $120 for the professional plan if I am only going to use 10% of all functions? Wasting money is never a smart idea, all know that. You will lose potential customers.

    My point is, instead of completely ditching the Essential plan with actions, simply offer it at a lower price and leave it as is or slightly improve. Please consider it.

    unsu

    1. Hello Jon, depending on your usage habits, there maybe little to no change for you. As a lifetime Professional user, you will still have unlimited access to Professional features, as you always have. You will no longer have 30 actions per month to use on Business features, such as Link Tracking or Tracking Details. But as I just mentioned, if you were not using Business features, then there would be no change to how you use Mailbutler.

    1. You say that professional users will not ben impacted … and to my utter dismay have had a longer series of discussions with your company about exactly this exact issue in the past. I am in complete agreeance with your conclusion that your current pricing-and-content structure sucks, but as a tried and beleaguered professional user, I still don’t see how I remain unaffected when you pull the plug og the 30 actions. Its all very well you guys finally seeing the light and changing things around, but I simply would request a refund.

      1. Hello Simon. I just looked up your usage history and can see that you’ve used Tracking Details and custom signatures a bit over the couple of years that you’ve had Mailbutler, but not a ton. If the discontinuation of the option of using these Business features is going to have a major impact on you, please write to me at support@mailbutler.io so that we can discuss your options come October. I would be happy to work something out with you. –Claire

    2. Hello Gavin. My apologies for the delay. No, this change does not mean that your Tracking feature is gone. The open tracking is included in the Professional plan. What you will not have access to any more is up to 30 uses per month of Business features, such as Tracking Details or Link Tracking. Open Tracking is still included and unlimited.

  14. Very disappointed by this news, I use mailbutler for 2 years now because the 30 actions suit me very well for my very small activity and everyday life. I planned to upgrade if my activity increased but this is not the case at the moment. I don’t see myself paying 6 or 12 € per month for features that I don’t need en masse or for other features.

    You should think about a different policy that does not challenge the 30 monthly actions.

  15. I see that your pricing has increased dramatically. I just paid $226.65 in April for the business subscription. Your pricing page now shows it will be $349.50. That seems like a huge increase. I will not be able to renew at that price.

    1. Hello Karen. I’m sorry for the delay of this response. I just looked you up in our system, and can see that you started a yearly Business subscription with us in April, and took advantage of the Spring discount we were offering at the time, of 33% off. This is why your price seemed significantly lower than the normal price that you’re now looking at. Plus the conversion rate.

      I see that you set your subscription to cancel in April 2021. If you’d like me to reinstate your Business plan to renew automatically, and at the lower price that you already signed up with, I can do that. Please just write to me at support@mailbutler.io, and direct your email to Claire.

  16. I am not clear what “actions” I currently use that will be disabled in October. It makes me wonder what the value of Mailbutler will be to me thereafter if I do not upgrade. I am not against paying for something I get value from. My problem is the amount I have to pay to get a lot of features a single person business would never use.

    I am also aware of an ongoing and unresolved issue I have whereby the latest version of MB fails to “stick”. Every time I restart my computer I am told the version I am using is out of date. That makes me lose a bit of confidence in the stability of the software.

    1. Hello Simon. I just looked up your usage history in our system, and can tell you that you actually almost never use any of these actions on Business features, so this change should not impact you at all. You used Tracking Details twice in the entire time you’ve used Mailbutler. That’s the only Business feature that I’ve seen you used.
      If you have any further questions, specifically about this issue where the new MB version does not “stick”, don’t hesitate to write our support team directly at support@mailbutler.io.

  17. Dear,

    I’m very disappointed about this loss of service.
    I have a Lifetime Professional plan, but to continue enjoying the full service, I will have to pay again…

    1. Hello Guy,

      I can assure you that is not the case at all. You can continue to use your Lifetime Professional subscription, and enjoy unlimited use of all Professional features, as you always have. You have never used Business features at all, so the discontinuation of these Actions will have zero effect on you. If you’re at all confused, please write to Claire at support@mailbutler.io. Thank you!

  18. HI!
    What a shame. I really need to check who opened certain messages when sometimes and I love that about Mail Butler and I would be happy to pay a bit more than I do as for the professional plan to add just that feature, but the leap to Business is too huge financiallt considering I need none of its other features …. I once wrote to you suggesting that you should have gone for a modular model. Basic subscription with basic features then you add the features you want by paying just for thos eyou choose, like photoshop plugins…. so that you spend money on what you need. I may actually stop my pro subscription altogether as it was those 30 actions that made me go for professional instead of staying free….

  19. Thank you for the prompt notice of these changes, MB. I’ll stick with ya, I love you guys. I love your team of people, and I appreciate how you all do your best to communicate, be transparent, plan ahead, and remain open and flexible to your customers’ ideas and needs. Personally, I’ve been with Mailbutler since the very beginning. I randomly found them online one day, suggested a few of my peers sign up also (which they did) and we all started out with free plans. Eventually I moved to the Business plan just to try it out and because work was SUPER busy at the time, then when things let up a bit, I downgraded to the Professional plan that I still have today. The main features I use are Email scheduling, Undo Send/Delay Send, Read Receipt, and notification that an attachment has been opened along with the date/time. MB has always provided me nothing less than fantastic, friendly, and caring customer service. Every employee I’ve been contacted by or have reached out to has always been helpful, responsive, and successful at accomplishing what was needed. You won’t find a better service than Mailbutler, IMO, and personally, I don’t care to look for one. I’m extremely grateful for the service provided and the helpful care along with pleasant attitudes exhibited by the team. Just buck up and get a Professional plan. All of you Essential plan users complaining, just suck it up and get a Professional plan. You’ll be glad you did.

    (For those wondering, the answer is NO. I have no relation to, nor am I affiliated with MB in way other than as their paying customer on a Professional plan. I was not offered payment or given anything in return for my promotion of their services. I’m just a genuinely happy customer and fan of MB, haters.) 🙂 Thanks MB!!! Keep up the good work and excellent service!

  20. Since we are paying the same price, why are we not getting something else in exchange for giving up the 30 actions?

    I feel there is too big a gap between Professional and Business Pricing.
    Perhaps there should be something in between.

    1. Hello Brian,

      I understand what you’re saying, and would like to discuss the Business features that you feel you’d miss the most in October, when the actions are discontinued. Could you please write to me at support@mailbutler.io? My name is Claire. Please be sure to include the email account of yours that is tied to your Mailbutler subscription, as I could not find you in our system under the email you’ve left this comment from. Thank you!

  21. Das ist aber Schade.

    I LOVE Mailbutler, but use it for only a couple of features and only 10-15 action a month. It actually lost some functionality that I enjoyed (e.g., attachment file upload).

    It’s a shame: you are leaving money on the table. I’d happily pay a few bucks a month ($2 to $5) to keep the “Essential,” but just can’t justify $9/month to keep playing. Maybe I’m not worth bothering with, but I suspect there are a lot of people like me.

    It’ll be a shame to say goodbye. You folks have a very nice product that makes Apple Mail a well-rounded application.

    Rob

    1. Hello Robert,

      You can suggest this in-between pricing option on our feedback and suggestion page, here: https://roadmap.mailbutler.io/feature-requests
      That page is monitored regularly by our CTO, and if your suggestion has not been made before, it will be posted publicly, in which case others with the same opinion can upvote it.

  22. This is my first month paying for the full service and I’m just interested in the tracking and even that can be a little iffy and confusing. I’ll have to think about this became there are a couple other great programs that track as well, just without the links, which in this moment in time doesn’t bother me.

    Thank so much!

  23. Sad to hear about this decision. As do not make much use of mailbutler, but did appreciate the features, even if I used them sparingly.

    I am in the business of developing software myself. As I cannot make a living of my development efforts (yet), I feel forced to uninstall mailbutler. I simply cannot afford the high price / no income combination. That means goodbye… too sad.

    Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

    1. Hello Hans,

      I’m sorry to hear that, but I of course understand. I hope that you enjoy the actions between now and October. Please feel free to reach out to Claire at support@mailbutler.io to discuss your options, if you’re interested, before October.

  24. “Professional” user for some time now – really don’t appreciate the upsell. For a one-person shop $35/month is a pretty big chunk to swallow – why even call it “Professional” anymore? It’s barely better than the “essential” plan.

    Not pleased.

    1. Hello Rich,

      I’m sorry you’re not happy with this upcoming change. I can see from your usage history that you’ve used your actions on Tracking Details and Link Tracking in the past. If there’s an in between option in terms of price that you’d be happy with, as some of these other users have suggested, I strongly recommend either going to our feedback page (link below) and suggesting this or upvoting another person’s suggestion OR writing to Claire at support@mailbutler.io to see if there’s an alternative that we can work out, by October. Thank you.

  25. Ich verfolge Mailbuttler seit vielen Jahren. Ich gehöre zu denen die damals die einzelnen Plugins gekauft hatten. Ich habe durch zufall einen Lifetime Professional Plan und benutze quasi fast nur das Tracking. Ich fand es schon immer verwirrend das mir nach 30 Aktionen angezeigt wird das ich keine weitere Aktionen übrig habe. Und das obwohl ich ja Professional habe … Als Freelancer sind mir leider die Business Version zu teuer. Aber vielleicht verschwindet durch die 30 Gratis Aktionen jetzt die Verwirrung….

    1. Guten Tag Michael,

      vielen Dank für Ihre Nachricht. Ich habe eben Ihr Mailbutler-Konto geprüft und kann sehen, dass die einzige Business Funktion, die Sie benutzt haben (und auch nicht sehr oft), “Tracking Details” waren. Ich denke deshalb nicht, dass die im Oktober startenden Änderungen Sie tatsächlich betreffen werden.

  26. Hallo Mailbutlers,
    ich brauche selten send later und noch seltener tracking (Tracking aus Versehen, weil ihr das per default aktiviert habt. Sollte man anwählen müssen)

    Das sind die einzigen Funktionen, für die ich MB habe.
    Wieviel soll mich das jetzt jährlich kosten?
    Bitte an die Bosse geben…:-)
    Grüße, Bernhard

  27. I see you’ve not bothered to reply to my question.

    I am a “Lifetime Professional” subscriber so what impact will this have on the service I paid for?

  28. All I need to know is if this 3 actions will still be available on my plan:
    1 – Scheduling emails
    2 – Track my emails
    3 – Signatures
    If I don’t how much will this cost me to keep?
    Thank You
    CCD

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