Generating high-quality leads is one of the first challenges you face when you start a business. When it comes to translating traffic into purchases and visitors into regular customers, your email list is a marketing goldmine – if you know where to dig and if you dig with a tool such as ConvertKit.
We’ve written about the ways to grow your email list, as well as the strategies to get the best out of your email marketing campaigns. Automated emails are a must-have if you want high-quality engagement with your customers. Still not convinced?
According to a case study conducted with Smart Pak Equine, almost a third of their subscribers opened the automated messages, compared to 17% who clicked on manually sent emails. The click-through and conversion rate doubled with an automated process. You need an email marketing platform. Your first, logical choice could be ConvertKit – a giant on the market.
ConvertKit built its reputation for being a solid and straightforward tool for sending customized content to your subscribers and successfully growing your business. It enables you to segment your email list, personalize each part based on customer’s actions and interests, and reach them at the right moment.
However, the effectiveness is pricey. If you’re a small business beginner on a budget, ConvertKit’s cheapest $29 monthly plan may not be exactly what you need. So this time, we’ll talk about the low priced ConvertKit’s alternatives.
Before we move on to suggestions, let’s establish what a good email marketing platform like ConvertKit has. Even one dollar spent is one dollar wasted if it does not deliver the goods – so any alternative has to offer the same features.
Segmentation means dividing your email list according to location, interests, age, gender, online activities, etc. This feature is non-negotiable. One of the greatest aspects of the Internet 2.0 is personalization of the user experience, which has enabled marketers to tailor their messages more effectively.
If you’re a retailer and blast your whole subscribers’ list with the lingerie discount news, you’re wasting your money and everyone’s time. A guy who subscribed because he bought a pair of cargo shorts will send this email straight to the spam folder – if his email provider doesn’t do it first.
ConvertKit takes segmentation seriously. It went one step further from the standard email list, tagging users as they subscribe and sorting them into groups based on interests, purchases, and other factors.
Once you send out emails, you’ll want to track their performance, including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates and unsubscribes. Even the worst results are an opportunity to fix your mistakes.
ConvertKit reports show which email forms result in the highest subscription rate, which campaigns have the best results and how each of your customizations reflects on your performance.
One of the ways to improve your email content along the way is merge tags. At first glance, it may seem like a complicated programming task, but this is not the case. All you have to do is drop a specific “code” from the available sheet, and the platform will turn it into personalized content.
Mobile phones are not going anywhere – in fact, they even managed to change the way we scan content on our desktop computers. You want to be sure that each email you send looks good on the smartphone, and that you can customize your marketing campaign on the go.
Good things to have:
Everything on ConvertKit is made to ensure that you can easily customize your content from your computer or smartphone, and turn it into an effective marketing tool that looks good on any device.
FreshMail tops this list as the platform that has almost all of ConvertKit’s features for a fraction of the marketing giant’s cheapest monthly plan.
FreshMail enables you to customize your emails with pre-designed templates, large image library and merge tags. This allows you to create dynamic, appealing content. Some of its advanced options are A/B testing, drip campaigns, auto-response, and event-triggered emails.
All these features come with a starter price of $14 for email list with up to 1000 subscribers. If you are not a frequent user, this platform provides an alternative option similar to ConverKit’s offer – pay only for the emails you send. The price for 5,000 emails is $30.
While ConvertKit scores 5 out of 5 stars on Capterra.com, average FreshMail’s rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most users appreciate its simple interface and advanced options like A/B testing. Some of the negative feedback referred to a higher number of messages filtered to spam. However, most users are ready to overlook some of FreshMail’s shortcomings thanks to its price.
MailerLite comes with a “What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” email editor, web forms and landing pages, template management and dynamic content, making it exquisitely simple and interesting to use. Just like ConvertKit and FreshMail, it offers a palette of features like A/B testing, auto-responders, drip campaigns and event-triggered email.
While it misses some more detailed features of ConvertKit and FreshMail, MailerLite gives you all of this for free if your list has up to 1000 subscribers. For $10 you can send unlimited emails to the list with 1001- 2500 customers.
MailerLite scored 4.5 stars on Capterra.com. Most complaints revolve around the need for improved automation. For example, one user noted that it was not possible to create automation based on multiple campaign actions or specific links clicked in a previous email. The overall consensus is that MailerLite is an excellent tool for beginners with small business.
With Moosend, you’re going to have to work a bit harder than you normally would on ConvertKit. Warm up your fingers, because there are no templates to help you create a safe-bet email. If you’re savvy with visuals, Moosend’s image library and WYSIWYG email editor can nudge your creativity in the right direction.
Save for this flaw, Moosend still has a lot to offer – A/B testing, auto-responder, drip campaigns, event-triggered email and detailed analytics. Moosend’s pricing offer is hard to refuse – three-months free trial for users with up to 5,000 subscribers. After the trial expires, you can continue using this amazing ConvertKit alternative for $10 a month.
While Moosend received five stars for its overall performance, it still has room to grow. For one user, the major letdown was the inability to create a subscription form with a link shared on social media. Customer service hours can be problematic for users in the United States, given that Moosend is based in Greece.
Automizy deserved the entry on this list for its solid promise. True, it lacks some of the advanced features you can find on ConvertKit and other platforms we mentioned here. Yet, it makes up for it by offering solid performance with the features it does have.
Automizy’s hard work on lead nurturing and lead scoring is notable in its pre-designed templates enriched with customizable CTAs (calls to action). Its highly automated workflow can compete with ConvertKit. It enables you to visually plan subscriber’s journey “down the funnel” and send event-triggered emails to the carefully segmented list of subscribers.
After a free trial, a monthly fee for using Automizy is $15 per 1000 subscribers. The platform offers the starter and pro subscription plans, but the main features are available with both options.
EmailOctopus found its way to this list for its sheer potential. The affordable price and no-nonsense approach make this platform worth considering, even though it lacks some of ConvertKit’s most essential features.
In order to use EmailOctopus, you have to open an Amazon Web Services account, because the software is an intermediary for email marketers and Amazon. EmailOctopus will provide you with free templates you can customize for each campaign, and in return, you’ll get data and analytics in real time.
Now comes the best part – the platform’s “Shrimp plan” provides free service for users with up to 2,500 subscribers. The upgrade to “Tuna” plan with 10,000 subscribers and full automation will cost you $19 a month. That would be $100 less than ConvertKit’s fee for the 10,000-heavy email list. EmailOctopus leaves a lot of room for upgrades – but your budget has nothing to lose if you give it a shot.
These are only five out of hundreds of email marketing platforms that can offer a beginner a reliable service for the lower price. As you explore this software, you’ll be able to figure out what exactly your business needs. Most of these platforms offer a free trial, so you can try them out before you decide to stick with one.
Your goal is to grow your email list, so your needs and expectations may change in time. These platforms’ more advanced plans can offer you dependable performance, and if not, well-known tech giants are always an option.
ConvertKit, however, is not the only platform known for successful email marketing. Here’s a useful comparison between three email automation giants, MailChimp vs. Constant Contact vs. Aweber. We’ve also written about the alternatives, including SendinBlue and GetResponse. Crack your knuckles and start sending!