is a unique email marketing solution, but it’s not for everyone. It’s aimed at creatives, such as bloggers and artists who want to build a relationship with their audience first by providing valuable content. They can then move on to showcasing their products.
One of the most interesting decisions ConvertKit has taken is to provide a minimalist email editor. There are none of the bells and whistles and customization options you find in most email editors.
You can’t personalize email marketing content according to your recipients’ interests, preferences, and demographic data, and you’ll find no raft of templates to help you quickly create attractive emails.
The free plan is also very basic, including only one text-based email template.
However, ConvertKit’s landing page functionality is excellent, it has a ton of analytical features, and it lets you set up automated email sequences.
If ConvertKit doesn’t sound like the right solution for you, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the top alternatives to ConvertKit as an email marketing software:
What to look for in a great ConvertKit alternative
The alternatives to ConvertKit we’ll profile below have intuitive email editors, are easy to use, and have lots of features in their free plan.
1. Intuitive email editor
ConvertKit’s ethos is that content matters more than appearance with email newsletters, but that’s not true for all businesses. Some businesses have built a strong visual brand and need to reflect that through all their email communication and strategy.
And in some industries, your email’s appearance does matter. Imagine receiving an email from a clothing brand with just text or a few basic images. That approach isn’t going to win customers.
2. Ease of use
ConvertKit isn’t organized in the same way as other email marketing software. Most email marketing tools encourage you to create a newsletter or other type of campaign as a first step when you log in. Not so with ConvertKit. Its home page is the subscribers menu and there is no mention of creating an email in its horizontal menu.
This is confusing at first, as it doesn’t seem like an intuitive layout. Other email marketing solutions take less time to get used to and have a more intuitive navigation.
3. Fully-featured free plan
ConvertKit is expensive. Its very limited free plan doesn’t even let you send emails for free. You need to refer a friend or pay to send emails. ConvertKit’s free trial only lasts 14 days and requires a credit card, unlike most email marketing software which removes barriers to entry with their free trials.
ConvertKit’s paid pricing plans are expensive. Its least expensive plan — which is only for 1-1,000 subscribers — comes in at $29 per month.
Look for email marketing software that has a fully-featured free plan or has a good feature set for the price.
Our top 5 picks for ConvertKit alternatives
We’ve handpicked the best ConvertKit alternatives for your business considering the above criteria and any areas where ConvertKit falls short.
1. Zoho Campaigns
ConvertKit provides a basic email editor, whereas Zoho Campaigns’ intuitive email editor helps you create customized newsletters.
You can choose from its range of templates and then use the drag-and-drop email editor to add images, text, videos, buttons, tables, and HTML snippets. The email editor also lets you change the layout and customize the design, and add polls, attachments, and calendar invites.
With Zoho Campaigns’ advanced email creation options, you can even add dynamic content. You can display different content based on conditions such as the recipient being on a certain list or segment, or based on custom contact fields.
Zoho Campaigns also lets you send test versions of emails to up to five recipients, previews how the email looks on both mobile and desktop, and provides a reputation score based on its anti-spam criteria.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing solutions for a reason, and its user experience is streets ahead when compared to ConvertKit. It’s loaded with features, but it’s also easy to use and provides in-app help that both explains its functionality and gives you tips on how to improve your email marketing campaigns.
Mailchimp tailors your email marketing experience to your business needs, such as whether you support online bookings or appointments or sell products online.
When you start using the software, each time you take an action, Mailchimp suggests ways to use the software to make your campaigns more successful.
It also uses in-app messaging to show you how to use each feature. For example, when you use the email editor, it provides a step-by-step guide, with different messages appearing as you complete each task.
Its friendly in-app copywriting also makes running email marketing campaigns both easy and fun.
MailerLite is a great free alternative to ConvertKit. While ConvertKit’s free plan has limited functionality (and doesn’t even let you send emails unless you refer a friend), MailerLite packs many useful features into its free plan.
Here are the highlights:
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Landing pages
- Signup forms
- Subscriber management
- Automated email sequences
- Advanced segmentation
- A/B testing
- Campaign reports
It also lets you send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 1,000 subscribers.
4. HubSpot Marketing Hub
HubSpot’s email editor is ideal for customizing and personalizing your content, perfect for B2C and B2B audiences. You can add a range of content blocks, such as image, buttons, and social sharing options, and edit the design of each, as well as change the overall layout of the email, for instance, adding and removing columns and rows.
To tailor your message for individual recipients, you can personalize the email with both personal contact details, such as name and location, and company details, such as company name and industry, which is ideal for B2B marketers.
HubSpot Marketing Hub also allows you to personalize emails according to the customer lifecycle stage or their membership in different lists. Once you’ve created the email, HubSpot Marketing Hub will adjust content such as subject lines, links, and attachments, according to conditions such as prior purchases.
5. Benchmark Email
While ConvertKit takes a while to get used to, and it isn’t immediately obvious what to do when you first sign up, Benchmark Email is the opposite.
Its user interface is easy to understand and navigate, with only four main menus:
Each menu has several submenu options, with clearly marked functionality, such as “segments” and “A/B” testing. Benchmark Email uses the most straightforward terms to describe all its functionality so you can quickly find the feature you need. You can also easily return to the dashboard at any point.
Benchmark Email breaks down each task into manageable chunks you must complete before moving onto the next task.
Often a task only becomes visible when you complete the previous one, either by moving to a new screen or through a checklist. It saves your progress between sessions, and you can pick up where you left off.
Benchmark Email uses in-app messages that pop up while you’re completing tasks to point out features you might not know about and to offer advice on how you can improve your campaigns.
Find the right solution for your needs
When we reviewed ConvertKit, we found it had fantastic landing page builder functionality, great segmentation and automation features to help you manage your marketing funnels, and excellent support options. It has a lot going for it. But it’s also made bold choices about what not to include, namely a visual email editor.
If you are in a creative industry, consider what ConvertKit offers, as it might be right up your street. But If not, think about what you need from an email marketing tool, then read our reviews of the leading solutions on the market.