ConvertKit is a popular email service provider for creators, but it’s not for every creator.

I wrote this post from the perspective of a “content creator” lens looking for other options to ConvertKit.

Below let’s discuss the top 5 ConvertKit alternatives, including a deep dive into BirdSend — the affordable email marketing tool my team and I created especially for content creators.

If you’re short on time and want an email marketing tool with great deliverability yet saves you 80% every month, click here to try BirdSend free.

Why some folks may not like ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a good email marketing tool with good deliverability, customer support, and ease-of-use. However, there are some things ConvertKit users told me they don’t like.

  • Your subscribers can only unsubscribe from all your emails, instead of unsubscribing from certain topics only.
    • E.g. You run a homeschool site and you have a few major topics:
    • Homeschool education; fun kids activities; how to become a certified homeschool expert.
    • When Amy originally became your subscriber, she was interested in all 3. After a few months, she is now only interested in homeschool education and fun kids activities.
    • But there isn’t a way for her to unsubscribe from just “certified homeschool expert” without unsubscribing from all topics. So she bit the bullet and unsubscribe from you completely.
    • Result: You lose a subscriber simply because you didn’t have an option for subscribers to choose their subscription preferences.
  • ConvertKit has now ventured into Ecommerce. You might find it harder to use the tool because there are more menus to choose from within the user interface, when you just want to quickly send emails.
  • In email sequences, you can’t auto resend to contacts who haven’t opened. You can only do so in broadcast emails. As a result, less people open your sequence emails.

Now let’s dive into the 5 ConvertKit alternatives.

ConvertKit Alternative #1 – BirdSend

BirdSend is my email marketing tool that my team and I created specifically only for content creators (and not for everyone else).

Overview

Content creators use BirdSend to save 80% in email tool expenses every month, while still enjoying high email opens.

How is this possible? Typically affordable prices lead to bad deliverability and poor product, right?

We don’t run any paid ads. Our customer acquisition strategy is to let our product do the talking. Customers spread the word for us because they enjoy using BirdSend. We pass on the savings to our customers.

As one of the ConvertKit alternatives on this list, BirdSend currently sends 30 million emails/month.

  • Saves you 80% in email tool expenses every month.
  • Target audience: specifically created for content creators only and no one else.
  • Target business size: only for solopreneurs or tiny teams of less than 10 members. Any bigger is not suitable.
  • Very focused tool: it only does 1 thing — email marketing. It’s hyper-focused and there aren’t bells and whistles (like e-commerce selling features and fancy email design templates for example). Because of this, it’s very easy to use and fast to set up email campaigns. We dare say the fastest. If you can find one that’s faster, let me know and I’ll give you a complimentary, paid BirdSend account.

    Dennis Demori review for ConvertKit alternative #1 - BirdSend
    (click here for full image)
    Source: Capterra
  • Good deliverability and open rates.

    ConvertKit alternatives - BirdSend - Chuck Nguyen's testi
    (click here for full image)
  • Humanly responsive customer support.
    We listen to customers. As in… real, empathetic humans actually listens to customers’ feedback and try to solve their problems. Robotic and canned replies don’t apply here.

    What Camila Rojas say about BirdSend ESP
    (click here for full image)
  • Unsubscribe from certain topics instead of unsubscribe completely.
    • As previously explained, some subscribers want to hear certain topics from you (and not others). Having this option means you’re giving them choices. Instead of unsubscribing completely, they simply untick a box(es) to unsubscribe from certain topic(s). Less subscriber churn = win for you.
  • Free migration
    We provide a free migration service. We’ll move everything from your email tool to BirdSend — contacts, sequences / drip emails, forms, automation, integrations, etc.

    Naa Ardua review for email marketing tool BirdSend
    (click here for full image)

    You can see more reviews here.

Features

  • All features are included regardless of how many contacts you have.
  • 1-click resend to unopens (both sequences & broadcasts). ConvertKit can only resend to broadcast unopens.

    ConvertKit alternatives - BirdSend's auto resend email to unopens
  • Like ConvertKit, in BirdSend, you can quickly create a sequence / drip campaign on ONE SINGLE page. If you have 10 emails in the sequence, you only need to load this ONE SINGLE page to create. With other tools, you’d need to to go back and forth to load 10 different pages.
  • Email marketing automation:
    • Email sequences / drip campaigns
    • If this happens, do that
      • E.g. If subscriber opens email / clicks email link, tag [interested in X] and subscribe to sequence X.
      • E.g. If buys product Y, tag [customer Y] and subscribe to sequence Y.
  • One-off broadcasts
  • A/B test
    • Better than ConvertKit in the sense that BirdSend can specify the email ratios for the original email, the variation email, and the winning email.
    • You’re also able to set the duration of the test, e.g. 1 hour, 5 hours, 1 day, 3 days, etc.
    • Can set winner as the one with the higher open rate, click rate, or sales revenue. With ConvertKit, the criteria of a winner is only based on open rate.
    • Exclusive to BirdSend (AFAIK) is also the ability to resend to subscribers who didn’t open the “loser” email. As far as I know, no other email tool can do this automatically at the click of a button.

      A/B and split test feature of BirdSend
  • ConvertKit only shows you the open, click, and unsubscribe rates. BirdSend tells you all that, plus bounce and spam rates.
  • Tracks sales revenue of the box and know your subscriber’s lifetime value without any 3rd party tool. You’ll know which emails result in sales and who your VIP subscribers are. You can also know the ALTV (average lifetime value) based on a specific campaign, e.g. a free coaching call campaign.

    Revenue tracking feature for this ConvertKit alternative
    • ConvertKit does have revenue tracking, but they don’t tell you (1) which emails are making sales and (2) how much revenue a particular email makes, and (3) your ALTV.

Cons

  • Like ConvertKit, BirdSend uses a simple email editor. Folks who want to design fancy visual-heavy emails are not a good fit.
    • Interesting note: a simple email design as opposed to a fancy email design helps with email deliverability and getting your emails to the inbox. Reason is because of the much cleaner backend html code.
  • BirdSend is a relatively new player in the email marketing space (since 2018 only). It currently only sends around 30M emails every month.
  • No fancy email design templates — which could also be considered a “pro” (bullet point #2 below).
    • You’re a content creator. Your audience wants to hear from you because of how your content can help them, not because of how fancy-looking your email design is. Your content, not design, is the essence. This is email we’re talking about, not website. If you want fancy design, by all means employ fancy email design to your website.
    • When you use simple minimalistic design for your emails, like BirdSend, it’ll help with your email deliverability too because the html backend code is much cleaner than “fancy-designed” emails.
  • Our team is small — 7 team members.
    • Depending on your preference, you might even like a small team better because there’s less bureaucracy. And they typically listen more seriously to your feedback, are more personal and responsive, and are generally just easier to work with.

Pricing

  • 7+7 = 14-day free trial
    • On the sign up screen, it says 7-day free trial. When you enter your credit card info, however, you’re given another 7 days free trial.
    • A credit card is required to try the free trial because BirdSend only wants serious and legit folks to try the tool. Don’t worry though as we don’t charge you during the free trial.
    • Without the credit card requirement, there will always be spammers and disingenuous people who try to game the system. This creates all sorts of problems to truly serve our customers and legit leads – YOU. Since we’re a small team with limited resources, we choose to focus on serving paying customers and legit, hot serious leads at this time.
  • One of the most affordable email marketing tools for content creators, for what it can do to your business. Save 3-5X every month.
  • Grandfathered / locked pricing for every contact level tier
    • You’ll be grandfathered / locked in at the current affordable price for every contact level tier.

ConvertKit vs BirdSend At A Glance

ConvertKit (Creator)BirdSend
Target audienceCreatorsContent Creatiors
Target business sizeSmall businessesSolopreneurs or tiny businesses of less than 10 teammates
Top featureEasy segmentation via tags1-click “set and forget it” resend to unopens, for sequences + broadcasts
ConSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email designSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email design
Price (5k contacts)$79/m$19/m

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ConvertKit Competitor #2 – Mailchimp

Overview

  • The granddaddy of email marketing, Mailchimp is one of the oldest email marketing brands around. Because of its long history, a lot of folks trust this brand.
    • When people ask, “Which email marketing tool do you recommend?”, you can be sure this brand’s name comes up a lot.
  • Mailchimp is no longer just an email marketing tool — it’s now an all-in-one tool.
    • This is also reflected by their tagline “All-In-One Marketing Platform”. With all-in-one tools like this, it’s generally hard to use. You can’t fault it though — because being an all-in-one tool, it’s bloated with features.
    • Features like the ability to run and manage your Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads. The ability to social post on the various social media platforms, plus sending postcards and registering domains. There are just so many different options you can do from within the user interface that it gets confusing.
  • Overall good email deliverability.
  • Target audience: everyone and anyone.
  • Target business size:
    • Though its homepage tagline is “All-in-one marketing platform for small business”, every business size from small ones to big corporations use Mailchimp.

Features of this ConvertKit alternative

  • Email sequences / drip emails / autoresponders — check.
  • Automation — check
    • Things like if contact opens or clicks an email link, subscribe to another sequence or tag with X, etc.
  • Send one-off broadcast / newsletter emails. This is one of the most basic features an email service provider must have. Which is why all the other ConvertKit alternatives have this.
  • As mentioned above, being an all-in-one tool, you can do a lot of things in Mailchimp. The idea is you can simply use this 1 platform for all your online business needs.
  • A/B test emails — check.

Cons

  • The user interface can be confusing, because it can do a lot of things and boast many features (which you most likely don’t need all because you’re a content creator).
  • Mailchimp is a big corporation with more than 1,200 employees.

    When Mailchimp - the #2 alternative to ConvertKit was founded
    Source: Mailchimp
  • Big corporations typically have a lot of bureaucracy. It’s hard to talk to an empathetic human who is willing to listen to your problems and actually give you real solutions. In addition, the product knowledge of first-level support for big companies is typically subpar. When was the last time you had issues with a big company and you were impressed by how they handled it?
  • Creating a simple sequence or drip campaign involves a lot of steps and button-clicking. If, for example, you have 10 emails in the sequence, you’ll have to go back and forth 10 different times to load 10 different pages — which can be frustrating when you just want to quickly set it up.
  • No free migration service
    • You’d need to manually move over your data (contacts, sequences, automation, forms, automations, and integrations).

Pricing

  • Mailchimp has a free plan that can store up to 2k contacts. The limitations are:
    • There is no automation — i.e. you can’t send automated emails.
    • You can only send a maximum of 10k emails/month with a limit of 2k emails/day.
    • Mailchimp branding will be on every email that’s sent to your contacts, and also on your forms.
  • Unsubscribers and unconfirmed contacts count towards your billing quota.
  • Mailchimp counts the same email address in different audience multiple times. E.g. Sam Johnson is on 3 different lists/audience → count as 3 contacts.
  • None of the paid plans have unlimited email sendings. For example, the “Standard” plan can only send 12X the amount of contacts per month.

    Mailchimp's sending limit - this ConvertKit competitor imposes send limits
  • There is a contacts limit on each plan. For example, the “Standard” plan can only store up to 100k contacts.

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp At A Glance

ConvertKit (Creator)Mailchimp (Standard)
Target audienceCreatorsEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeSmall businessesEveryone from tiny, small, mid, to large corporations
Top featureEasy segmentation via tagsAll-in-one marketing platform to serve all your marketing needs
ConSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email designComplex UI with many different options
Price (5k contacts)$79/m$79.99/m

Now that we’ve taken a look at two ConvertKit alternatives, let’s move on to the next one.

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ConvertKit Option #3 – ActiveCampaign

Overview

  • It seems like ActiveCampaign just shot to fame a few years ago, but it has been around since 2003. Here’s what their site says:

    When ActiveCampaign was founded
    Source: ActiveCampaign
  • A trusted brand with good email deliverability.
  • Advanced all-in-one marketing platform. Whatever kind of automation you can think of, you probably can build it in ActiveCampaign. It’s worth noting some of the more advanced features cost more money as you need to be in their higher level plans.
  • Target audience: everyone and anyone who wants to do email marketing, and then some (e-commerce selling, CRM, site messaging [Professional plan and above], SMS).
  • The platform also advertises itself as a tool for all business sizes, from small to big businesses.

Features

  • Advanced automation — this is ActiveCampaign’s strongest point.
    • Sequences / drip campaigns, subscriber-behavior automation like opening or clicking email links, plus conditional yes/no automation are all possible with this tool.
  • One-off broadcast / newsletter emails.
  • Sales revenue tracking (“Plus” plan and above — $70/month for 1k contacts)
  • Sales & CRM features, including lead scoring and site messaging is only available in more expensive plans.

Cons

  • User interface is a bit slow, probably because it has so many features.
  • List-based segmentation, yet can also do tags. This can be confusing, especially for non-advanced users. Setting things up takes a bit more work, since you need to create a separate list for each interest / topic.
  • Setting up simple automated sequence emails is somewhat clunky and involves a lot of steps and mouse-clicking. Can get frustrated at times, especially if you’re in a hurry.
  • Sales attribution tracking is only available for BigCommerce, Square, Shopify, and WooCommerce, and is only available in the higher level “Plus” plan and above.
  • Can be overwhelming to navigate around the user interface, since it has so many features.

Pricing

  • ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial.
  • There is no free plan.
  • Price lock for 2 years only
    • When ActiveCampaign increases their price, you need to pay the higher price after 2 years of being locked-in.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign At A Glance

ConvertKit (Creator)ActiveCampaign (Lite)
Target audienceCreatorsEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeSmall businessesEveryone from tiny, small, mid, to large corporations
Top featureEasy segmentation via tagsVery advanced automation
ConSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email designSlow UI and setting up simple drip campaigns involves a lot of mouse-clicking
Price (1k contacts)$79/m$99/m

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ConvertKit Alternatives: #4 – Aweber

Overview

  • The oldest email marketing tool that has been around since 1998, this tool boasts a user base of 120k users.

    Aweber's been in business for 20 years
    Source: Aweber
  • I’ve personally used them in 2012 – 2018 before I created BirdSend, and it has good deliverability and is easy to use.
  • Aweber used to be the granddaddy and go-to email marketing tool, but sadly in recent years it has been left behind by its competitors. It hasn’t been keeping up to date with new development and features in the email marketing game. Because of this, a lot of users have left for other platforms. It is now starting to catch up, but a lot of users have already left the tool.
  • Target audience: everyone and anyone.
  • Target business size: all business size, including one-man show and big companies.

Features

  • It can do the usual autoresponders / email sequences.
  • Can also do behavioral automation like subscribers opening emails or clicking email links → subscribe to list X or tag with Y.
  • One-time broadcasts / newsletter type emails can also be easily achieved.
  • E-commerce selling (takes certain percentage off your revenue on top of payment / Stripe processing fees).

Cons of this ConvertKit alternative

  • Archaic list-based segmentation, yet can also do tags. (Tags is added as an afterthought). This can be confusing to non-advanced folks. Also it’s more hassle to set up as you need to create a new list for each separate topic.
  • Setting up sequence / drip emails can also be somewhat cumbersome — say you have 15 emails in the sequence. You need to go back and forth to load 15 pages to create each email.
  • A/B testing is flawed — you can’t set an automatic winner. Instead, after the test is over, you must login to your account to manually check which one is the winner, and then manually send the winner to the remaining recipients.

Pricing

  • Aweber has a free plan with the following limitations:
    • Limited to 500 subscribers and 3k emails/month.
    • They put their branding on every single email and form.
    • No segmentation.
  • There’s no free trial because they already have a free plan.
  • Aweber counts unsubscribes and unconfirmed subscribers towards your billing.
  • The same email address in different lists is also counted multiple times. E.g. Hector is on 5 different lists → you get charged for 5 subscribers.

ConvertKit vs Aweber At A Glance

ConvertKit (Creator)Aweber
Target audienceCreatorsEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeSmall businessesSmall businesses
Top featureEasy segmentation via tagsRelatively easy to use
ConSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email designA/B testing is flawed & cumbersome
Price (1k contacts)$79/m$49.99/m

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ConvertKit Alternatives: #5 – GetResponse

Overview

  • Another all-in-one digital marketing tool. You get more features as you go up the pricing plan. Like webinars, e-commerce selling (via Stripe or PayPal), chat/support tool, lead scoring, and website builder.
  • GetResponse boasts a lot of features with advanced automation.
  • The dashboard is customizable according to your liking.

Features

  • You can do the typical email marketing tasks — sequences / drip emails, and one-time broadcast emails, and also advanced automation.
  • Good customer support.
  • Built-in spam testing. You can easily check your spam score before sending out emails.

Cons

  • Deliverability could be improved.
  • All-in-one marketing tool means there are a lot of menus / options to navigate — more confusing and harder to find what you’re looking for.
  • GetResponse is a list-centric tool, yet it can also do tags. Non-advanced folks could find this confusing. It takes more time and effort to create a list for each separate topic / interest, as compared to a subscriber-centric tool like BirdSend and ConvertKit, where all you need for a separate topic is to create a tag on the fly.
  • Setting up drip emails is a bit of a hassle as you need to load multiple different pages. Let’s say you have 10 emails in the drip campaign, you’d need to go back and forth and load 10 different pages. In BirdSend and ConvertKit, all these is done on a SINGLE PAGE, no matter if you have 5 or 20 or 50 emails in the drip campaign.
  • No free migration – you’d need to find the time and energy to manually move over all your data.

Pricing

  • Has a free plan with the following limitations:
    • 500 contacts max.
    • Their branding on all your emails.
    • No automation whatsoever (i.e. no sequences / drip emails, let alone advanced automation).
  • They offer a 30-day free trial for the paid plans
  • Tagging is only available in Plus plans or higher ($49/m for 1k contacts).

    GetResponse - also one of the ConvertKit alternatives - their pricing plan
    (click here for full image)
    Source: GetResponse
  • GetResponse also charges you multiple times for the same email address in different lists.

ConvertKit vs GetResponse At A Glance

ConvertKit (Creator)GetResponse (Plus)
Target audienceCreatorsEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeSmall businessesEveryone from tiny, small, mid, to large corporations
Top featureEasy segmentation via tagsAll-in-one marketing platform. Has webinar capability.
ConSimple email editor, not suitable for fancy email designDeliverability could be improved
Price (1k contacts)$79/m$79/m

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ConvertKit Alternatives Price Comparison (price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k Contacts5k Contacts10k Contacts25k Contacts50k Contacts100k Contacts
ConvertKit (Creator)$29$49$79$119$199$379$679
Mailchimp (Standard)$51.99$51.99$79.99$105$230$320$540
ActiveCampaign (Lite)$29$55$99$155$259$345$505
Aweber$29.99$29.99$49.99$69.99$149.99??
GetResponse (Plus)$49$59$79$95$179$299$499
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

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Which ConvertKit alternative is right for you?

If you’re a content creator and want a focused email marketing tool without all the other “non email marketing” features, and you want to save 80% every month while still enjoying high email opens, go for BirdSend.

For advanced marketing automation with sales & CRM features and site/chat messaging capability, go for ActiveCampaign.

Should you need an all-in-one marketing tool that can do email marketing, webinars, website and landing pages, and e-commerce selling, but don’t mind the subpar deliverability… go for GetResponse.

Welly Mulia

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

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Try BirdSend Free Now!

Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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