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What Is ConvertKit?
Sounds like every other autoresponder service, doesn’t it?
Maybe, but there are some significant differences.
Most notably in its automation processes.
This is where you get to decide who of your subscribers should get what emails based on their behaviour.
So, as an example, if they buy something from you (your own product or an affiliate offer), they get moved to a buyers list where they receive a particular set of emails.
If they don’t buy, they get added to a different list where they receive a different set of emails.
You can keep this as simple as you like, or make it as complex as you need to.
But what it does is give you complete control.
And you can set up your automations in ConvertKit using a visual tool which makes it much, much easier to see how things hang together.
This is something that’s not a part of other alternative autoresponders.
That said, the automation tools and some of the more advanced features are not available to free account holders.
Here’s a tutorial on how to use the various features in ConvertKit:
Why Use A ConvertKit Free Account?
While the automation features are not available in the Free Account, there are no restrictions on the number of pages, sign-up forms or funnels you can build.
You can choose from 30+ templates, add personalization and design, include an incentive email, create a thank you page, manage subscribers and send broadcast emails.
There’s also no time-limited trial.
You can use these features for as long as you want.
And you can collect and manage up to 1,000 subscribers with the free account before you need to think about paying for the service.
Here’s what’s included in the ConvertKit Free Account:
- Unlimited landing pages
- Unlimited, customizable Calls To Action & signup forms
- Separate incentive emails for each opt-in to automatically deliver lead magnets
- 30+ premium landing page templates
- Unlimited traffic
- Customizable domain setup (don’t use a free email account like Gmail for sending out emails)
- Mobile responsive designs
- Manage up to 1,000 subscribers including tagging & segmenting
- Unlimited Email broadcasts
- Seamless Unsplash integration
- Creator community
If you’d prefer to check out ConvertKit’s full set of features, they also offer a free 14-day trial.
ConvertKit Free Plan Demo
All autoresponders have a sliding scale of cost, depending on the number of subscribers that have been added to your account.
The more subscribers you have, the more you pay.
That sliding scale of pricing is different for each service and the points at which prices are increased is different too.
With the ConvertKit Free Account, it’s always free as long as you have less than 1,000 subscribers.
Once you go over that, pricing starts at $49 per month (or $490 billed annually).
If you want access to the automation and other advanced features while you still have fewer than 1,000 subscribers, there’s a $29 per month ($290 per year) plan that covers that.
Or you can test-drive all features in the service with their 14-day free trial.
These are the price points:
|# Subscribers||Price Per Month||Price Billed Annually|
|Up to 3,000||$49||$490|
|Up to 5,000||$79||$790|
|Up to 8,000||$99||$990|
|Up to 10,000||$119||$1,190|
|Up to 15,000||$149||$1,490|
|Up to 20,000||$179||$1,790|
|Up to 25,000||$199||$1,990|
|After that, it’s an extra $60 per 10,000 subscribers you want to add.|
You can max out at 900,000 subscribers which would cost $3,999 per month (or $39,900 billed annually).
ConvertKit Vs MailChimp
If you think ConvertKit is starting to look expensive once you get over 1,000 subscribers, remember that it’s providing automation tools and other features that aren’t in other autoresponder services.
MailChimp is another very popular email service.
They now allow free account holders to manage up to 2,000 subscribers before it’s time to pay them.
On the face of it, that looks like a more appealing offer than ConvertKit’s.
But there’s one MAJOR issue with MailChimp…
…They don’t like marketers in the Internet Marketing and Make Money Online niches.
So, if your line of business is in these or any related niches, when they find out (and they will) they will close your account without notice.
And you lose all the subscribers you’ve collected.
How do I know?
Because it happened to me…
…And other affiliate marketers in the Internet Marketing arena.
If you’re in any other line of business, then MailChimp is a great choice when you’re starting out.
ConvertKit Vs Aweber
Aweber is the autoresponder service I use, for historical reasons.
I’ve been with them for over a decade and I joined them when their pricing was lower than it is today.
So, for me, it’s more economical to stay with them.
I pay them legacy pricing of $19.95 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers.
Currently, they charge $49 per month for that number of subscribers (similar to what ConvertKit costs).
Aweber does have some automation tools but doesn’t have a visual editor like ConvertKit.
Aweber’s automations are based around what they call Campaigns.
Traditionally, when someone signed up to your list, they were added to what is called your Followup Sequence of emails.
This is a series of emails that are sent out on the schedule you set up (say, 1 email a day).
When your subscriber gets to the end of that sequence, they won’t receive any more emails from you unless you send out Broadcast emails – one-off emails that are not part of your Followup email sequence.
So, with this setup, you have one sequence of emails per list and you can’t control what emails your subscribers will receive.
They’ll simply get all emails in your Followup Sequence.
Campaigns, on the other hand, allow you to set up multiple email sequences on the same list.
There are two ways to trigger when a subscriber to your list will receive emails from a particular Campaign.
The first is when a subscriber is first added to your list.
You can use this trigger on only one Campaign and the emails in it are the first ones your subscriber will receive.
All other Campaigns are triggered by tags.
You add tags on events.
One event is when someone signs up to your list.
You can also add a tag at the end of a Campaign that basically says your subscriber has finished that Campaign.
And you can use that tag as a trigger on another Campaign, so this second Campaign starts when the first one finishes.
This way you can chain multiple Campaigns.
You can also add tags to events like when your subscriber opens a particular email or clicks on a certain link in an email.
And you can use those tags to trigger other Campaigns.
You can also use tags to segment your list.
An example of this would be adding a tag to a subscriber if they click a certain link.
You then know that they’re at least interested in that kind of product.
And you can then send out a Broadcast email only to those people with that tag offering a special deal, coupon or related product.
So you have much greater control over what emails your subscriber receives based on the actions they take when engaging with your emails.
The problem, though, is that there is no visual tool that shows you at a glance how everything you’ve set up hangs together.
When you come back to a complex automation setup after some months to make some tweaks, you have to figure out how you set things up originally again.
This is one reason why ConvertKit is a better choice if you’re going to use automations a lot.
Aweber has a 30-day Free Trial where you can test out all aspects of their system.
But after that, this is the pricing:
You can build unlimited signup forms and landing pages and there’s no restriction on the number of emails you can send out, regardless of the number of subscribers you have.
Other ConvertKit Alternatives
Another popular autoresponder service used by marketers is GetResponse.
They’ve been around as long as Aweber.
Like Aweber, they also offer a 30-day Free Trial after which you have to start paying.
They’re less expensive than Aweber for the Basic package – which is for collecting and managing subscribers.
But once you start adding Automations into the mix, they become a lot more expensive.
And, in comparison to ConvertKit, they’re also more expensive.
The most comparable plan to ConvertKit is the Professional Plan (since it offers unlimited automations whereas the Plus Plan only offers 5).
And it is consistently more expensive than ConvertKit for having at least as many as 25,000 subscribers.
So, ConvertKit is the better option, both because of its Free Plan and because it’s less expensive overall than GetResponse.
MailerLite is another popular though relatively new autoresponder.
They also offer a Free Plan where you can sign up and manage up to 1,000 subscribers.
The difference here to ConvertKit is that you are able to use their automation features, even as a free member.
Their restriction on this account is that you can send out, at most, 12,000 emails per month.
That might sound like a lot, but if you have 1,000 subscribers, you can only email them 12 times each month.
Sending emails daily is what’s recommended so that your subscribers remember who you are and that they’re on your list.
So that 12,000 emails a month looks a bit restrictive now, doesn’t it?
There are some other things that are unique to the MailerLite Free Plan, like all emails being watermarked with the MailerLite logo.
There’s no custom HTML editor, which I presume means you can send text-only emails and can’t format them in any way (like using a different font, changing font size, no bolding or italics, can’t embed images or videos, and so on).
And you don’t get access to their newsletter templates either.
Nevertheless, if you’re just starting out, MailerLite is actually the best alternative to ConvertKit, at least where those first 1,000 subscribers are concerned.
This is MailerLite’s pricing structure:
So they are less expensive than ConvertKit, again up to 25,000 subscribers.
ConvertKit Vs MailChimp Vs MailerLite
This video talks about the merits of the three autoresponder services that offer Free Plans.
Just one thing to note: the video was recorded before ConvertKit introduced their own Free Plan earlier this year (2020):
ConvertKit Affiliate Program
If you’re an affiliate marketer, then you’ll be interested to learn that ConvertKit does indeed have its own affiliate program.
Anyone can join and it’s free to join, so you don’t need to subscribe to ConvertKit beforehand.
To earn that sweet recurring commission, all you need to do is start sharing the custom link that they give you.
But they want you to be a really successful affiliate.
So they also hook you up with helpful resources including:
- A training course with THE Pat Flynn
- Graphics and video assets to create your content
- Evergreen webinars to use as a funnel
- A dashboard to track your progress
Here’s one of the weekly webinars they run (it might be a different one depending on when you’re reading this post):
Each workshop will start at 11AM PST/2PM EST on Thursdays.
ConvertKit pays a 30% commission for every person who signs up through your affiliate link.
That 30% is going to hit your bank account every month for as long as your referral’s ConvertKit account is active.
So that’s a potential passive income stream right there.
So, is it better to start out with a ConvertKit Free Account as opposed to a free account with MailChimp or MailerLite?
It depends on your goals.
If you’re a marketer in the Internet Marketing / Make Money Online niches then, because of MailChimp’s dislike of these, it drops out of the equation.
If you’re in a niche other than those, then MailChimp is probably the best choice when you’re starting out since they allow you to collect up to 2,000 subscribers with their free account.
But they have no automation features on either their Free or Paid accounts.
If automation and having lots of control over your list and how emails are sent out then, no matter what niche you’re in, it comes down to either ConvertKit or MailerLite.
Both allow you to collect up to 1,000 subscribers on their Free Accounts.
However, while ConvertKit lets you format your emails with styles and templates and has no restriction on the number emails you can send, MailerLite only lets you send out up to 12,000 plain text emails each month with their Free Account.
On the other hand, ConvertKit doesn’t give you access to its automation features with its Free Account whereas MailerLite does.
There will come a point where you collect enough subscribers and will have to start paying for an autoresponder service.
If budget is one of your main considerations, then you should choose MailerLite.
Both services provide visualization tools for creating your automations but ConvertKit’s is better.
Ultimately, you need to have some idea of the number of people you hope to sign up as subscribers.
And those need to be buyers rather than dead weight subscribers who simply cost you money to keep on your lists each month.
So, while it might be fun to think of the 100,000 or 1 million people you’ll sign up…
…realistically, only a small percentage of those are going to be buying stuff from you.
Each subscriber you get will cost you a small bit of money each and every month.
So you need to keep your lists clean and prune out the dead wood regularly.
This is often a manual and somewhat tedious housekeeping task you need to do.
ConvertKit make this process simpler and less time-consuming than it otherwise would be.
This article details the process.
As I mentioned, if your budget really is tight, then MailerLite is an excellent choice.
If you’ve already built a list (or lists) with an autoresponder service, then ConvertKit will do free migrations of those lists and subscribers to their platform for you.
So, as far as I can see, for all the features it offers, ConvertKit is the best long-term autoresponder solution.
All the best,
P.S.: Don't forget, if you want to create an internet income of your own, here's one of my recommended ways to do that:
And you can get some free training here on how to build an online business and start list building here: