One of the most frustrating things about creating an email list is understanding all of the differences among the platforms.
Whether it's trying to compare features between different email marketing providers or understand their pricing, it all comes with this special hint of it depends.
In this article, we're going to tackle one of the questions we get quite frequently about our favorite email marketing service provider, Convertkit.
So how much does Convertkit cost?
Convertkit can cost you as little as zero dollars depending on the size of your email list.
For email lists of up to 1000 subscribers, you can use their feature-rich free forever plan. Additionally, they have two levels of paid plans (creator and creator Pro) which start at $29 a month and $59 a month respectively.
Your actual monthly cost will depend on the number of subscribers that you have and whether you're paying monthly or yearly (like most software providers they offer a discount for yearly payments, in the case of Convertkit it works out to two months free).
Now that we understand some of the basic costs of Convertkit, it's time to dive into the ins and outs of each of their three plans to understand which one is the right fit for you and help you understand exactly how much it will cost.
- Start For Free
- Become a Creator
- Go Pro
- That’s a Wrap
Start For Free
Like we mentioned above, Convertkit has what they call a “free forever” plan, which allows you to take advantage of the huge number of Convertkit's features for the low low price of free.
While there are a few limitations on the free plan (mainly that you can use some of the advanced automation features), this Convertkit plan will allow anyone with up to one thousand subscribers to take advantage of the platform and start to build and understand their email list.
Unlike many of the other “free” plans offered by email service providers, the plan offered by Convertkit allows anyone to utilize the vast majority of features on the platform and gives you all of the tools that you need to successfully start building your email list.
Let's take a look at a few of the different features that you get on the free plan.
Right now, working to take a look at the six main features included in the Convertkit free plan.
Manage up to 1,000 subscribers
The first and perhaps most important thing you need to know about the free plan from Convertkit is that it gives you the ability to manage up to 1000 unique subscribers.
Additionally, it's important to note that Convertkit doesn't necessarily remove unsubscribes from your database, so if you have Satan 900 active subscribers and 50 on subscribers, your total subscribers in your Convertkit account would be 950 (you can always just delete those 50 to have a true count).
If your list is larger than this Convertkit will automatically add you to other paid plans, which you can start using on a trial basis.
Unlimited landing pages & forms
One of the reasons that we love Convertkit is that they tend not to be as stingy or worried about people taking advantage of their system like many other platforms.
It's nice to be trusted by a platform.
Unlike many other free plans offered by their competitors, Convertkit gives us access to unlimited landing pages and forms inside of our free account.
This means we can create an unlimited number of forms for a website or landing pages for our lead magnets, without having to worry about Convertkit limiting our growth potential.
This is especially important for just getting started building your email list and we need the ability to test several different types of lead magnets or form placements on the website to see what converts best for your audience.
Deliver Opt-In Incentives
Being able to create an unlimited number of landing pages and forms doesn't do us much good if we can't deliver on the promise of getting to our potential new email subscribers on those landing pages or forms.
Thankfully, Convertkit gives us the ability to deliver opt-in incentives (or as we call them lead magnet) and makes it simple to connect these incentives to the different forms and landing pages that we can create using the platform.
Send email broadcasts
Just like with the ability to deliver our lead magnets, building an email list wouldn't do us much good if we couldn't communicate with the list by sending them emails.
Every plan, including the free plan that Convertkit offers, includes the ability to send unlimited email broadcasts.
If you're not familiar with this terminology, an email broadcast is a single email that you create and send to your entire list.
Think of this as an “at scale” way of sending one email to all of your friends.
Inside of the Convertkit editor it looks and feels very much like a standard email editor (like what you'd see inside a Gmail) and includes the ability to send to your entire list, segments of the list, and even resend to people who have not opened the email you sent them previously.
Additionally, the Convertkit broadcast feature allows us to schedule messages for future sending, so we don't have to be sitting in front of her computer at all times of the day if we want our email to go out at a specific time.
While disability may not sound like a huge thing, many other free plans don't include the ability to schedule or segment the list.
When it comes to sending broadcast emails, Convertkit delivers us all of the same functionality on the free plan that they do on their paid levels.
Sell digital products & subscriptions
Let's be honest, having an email list is an essential part of your business (which is why we spend so much time talking about it), but the entire point of building a list is to be able to turn those subscribers into dollars down the road.
Unlike most other providers, Convertkit gives us the ability to sell Digital Products and subscriptions from day one.
This means, even on their free plan, we can start to monetize the list.
One thing they want to keep in mind is that Convertkit does charge a transaction fee for any digital products or subscriptions you choose to sell and they are currently charging 3.5% plus $0.30 for each transaction that takes place using their system.
While this is slightly higher than some other platforms, like gumroad, the fact that you can use it from day one and it's built right into your email service provider makes it super simple to use.
Additionally, because their sales page builder uses many of the same features as their landing page builder, once you've gotten used to building landing pages, Convertkit makes it extremely simple to build sales and order pages with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Lastly, the free plan from Convertkit does include a decent level of support, in case you run into any technical issues.
Their support team (accessible by email or the live chat icon located in the bottom right-hand corner) is available to help with any basic support questions that you have.
Anything related to your plan itself or specific questions about landing pages etc. are fair game and are usually responded to within one business day.
As someone who has experimented with virtually every email marketing platform in existence (seriously) if I were starting my email list from scratch today the only plan I would consider is the free plan from Convertkit.
Obviously, I am a little biased, as a current user of the platform, but in reality, no other platform offers the same number of features and virtually unlimited access to every aspect of the platform.
While they do reserve a few paid features (like advanced automation), there is not another plan on the market that comes even close to giving you everything that you need at the price Convertkit offers, absolutely free.
The free plan gives you everything you need to get started and more.
That being said, nothing can be all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns.
There are a few small downsides to the free plan from Convertkit, mainly that it's limited to a thousand subscribers.
Obviously, I wish that they could offer this up to 10 or 15,000 subscribers, but I know as a business owner myself that this is not very realistic.
The other downside to the free plan is that you can’t send automated sequences.
This feature is reserved for any of their paid tiers and while it should be a part of your long-term email strategy to build out these types of sequences, in the short term you can always use their broadcast scheduling feature to keep yourself ahead.
Lastly, you don't have access to some of the automation abilities that you can use inside of Convertkit if you’re on the free tier.
Just like with automated sequences this feature isn't critically important in the early days of your email list, and so it's not a dealbreaker for me, but it is something important to keep in mind if you want to learn all of the ins and outs of the system on the free plan.
Become a Creator
If you have more than 1000 subscribers on your email list, the next type of plan that's available from Convertkit is what they call the creator tier.
Convertkit does not limit the upward growth of your list on this tier, but the pricing is scalable depending on the number of subscribers that you have.
- 1,000 subscribers for $29 a month
- 10,000 subscribers for $119 a month
- 95,000 subscribers for $619 a month
They also offer a wide variety of price points and subscriber levels in between the levels listed above, but I wanted to give you a good idea of what it will cost at a variety of list sizes.
Additionally, if you opt for the yearly plan Convertkit gives you a discount that works out to essentially giving you two months free of whatever plan you qualify for based on the size of your list.
In addition to all of the features that are available on the free plan, Convertkit offers a few key features to people on the creator tier.
Free migration from another tool
The first is the ability to painlessly migrate from another tool by taking advantage of their free migration service.
If you have an email list in virtually any other email marketing tool in existence, their team will help you migrate your list from the other provider into Convertkit.
This includes things like pouring over all of the email addresses and potentially helping you set up tags and other features that you had in existence in the other account.
While this feature won't be important to the most tech-savvy among us, if you ever tried to move from one email platform to another, you know just how much of a pain in the butt it is, and being able to take advantage of this feature makes the process seamless and painless.
Not to mention, not having to do this work yourself, even if you know what you're doing and how to do it, means you'll save several hours or weeks of your time and can use that for other things that will help to grow your business.
Automated funnels & sequences
The second big feature that you will receive if you opt for the creator plan from Convertkit is the ability to use their automated funnels and sequences.
While Convertkit tends to refer to these as a single feature, it's actually easier to think of them as two separate features.
Any plan on the creator tier allows you access to the ability to create and send automated sequences to your list.
We have a wide variety of sequences that we send to our list, such as the welcome home sequence, which goes to anyone new to our email list.
Without the ability to automatically add people to these sequences and for the emails to go out automatically, depending on when a specific subscriber enters that sequence, we wouldn't be able to create the same level of connection with our email lists.
The sequences are extremely important for creating a deep and lasting connection as well as making sure that subscribers get the information they need when they need it and not just when we send a broadcast email.
In addition to the ability to send automated sequences, Convertkit
also gives us the ability to create automated funnels.
This automation feature is on par with some of the much more expensive email marketing programs and is available at any level of the creator subscription.
In addition to automatically adding people to specific sequences when they fill out specific forms, using the automation feature allows us to string together multiple sequences, tag subscribers based on specific behavior, and overall make sure that each subscriber is getting the information that they need when they need it.
For example, by setting up Convertkit automation we can take a new email subscriber and start sending them our welcome home sequence.
If at any point during that sequence they click on one of the links we send them and turn into a customer by buying one of our digital products (that we can sell directly through Convertkit) we can have them automatically removed from that sequence and placed in a new sequence based on their behavior.
While this may sound like an extremely complicated process, Convertkit uses a drag-and-drop automation editor which makes this process very simple.
As a general rule, any time I am asked by anyone (regardless of industry or list size) who my email service provider of choice is, I will recommend the Convertkit creator plan.
If your list is more than a thousand people, you're not going to find a better deal for the price and terms of giving you everything that you need for what is truly a fair price.
The creator plan includes all of the features you need (and even some you'd only find in a high-end or enterprise-level email marketing software) in one of the easiest to use platforms, starting at just 29 bucks a month.
After having used a variety of other email marketing platforms, my only real complaint about the Convertkit creator tier is that you don't have access to some of the features that are available at the pro tier.
I know that sounds like a silly complaint, they are business after all, but because you can’t buy any of these features à la carte, you are forced to upgrade to the Pro tier if you want some of the convenience features.
For example, on the creator tier, Facebook integration is not included, meaning I'm not able to sync segments created in my Convertkit account (like people who purchase a certain digital product or click a specific link) into Facebook custom audiences to run Facebook ads with.
They do have workarounds built in the system, for example, I can connect Convertkit to Zapier and zapier to Facebook ads to achieve the same result, but it's a much messier system.
That being said, the creator tier is one of the most feature-rich base plans of any email marketing software on the planet and does technically give us access to everything needed to be successful using their platform.
If you are a more advanced email marketer, you may want to take a look at the Convertkit Pro tier. Just like with the creator tier includes everything the tier below it (the free tier and the creator tier) and adds on a few really nice features that can take your email marketing experience to a whole new level.
Just like with the creator plan, the Pro plan cost will scale based on the number of subscribers that you have.
- 1,000 subscribers for $59 a month
- 10,000 subscribers for $167 a month
- 95,000 subscribers for $807 a month
This is going to be more expensive than the creator's plan at each level. The question in your head should be whether or not the additional features make the additional cost worth it.
Facebook custom audiences
Perhaps the biggest appeal to the Convertkit Pro plan is the ability to directly integrate segments created inside of your Convertkit account directly to Facebook custom audiences.
This feature will help to ensure that any segment you create, such as people who purchase a specific product or click on a specific link, is automatically updated inside of the Facebook ads ecosystem.
Essentially, we can keep any custom or lookalike audiences updated on the fly without us having to go in and manually upload lists.
You haven't run a ton of Facebook as this feature may not seem like such a big deal, but having it set up once and syncing with the correct audiences as our subscribers engage with their emails, means that we can eliminate a huge amount of work in keeping these lists updated properly.
Newsletter referral system
The Pro plan also includes a free spark loop account, which allows you to create incentives (anything you can imagine from scheduling a free call to giving them access to free products) for people to recommend signing up to your email list to their friends and family.
One of the biggest problems people run into with building an email list is continuing to grow the size of the list with people that are the right fit.
This feature allows us to hack that process slightly by having the ability to let our subscribers recommend people they think are going to be the best fit.
This saves us from spending money on things like Facebook ads to grow our list, and because of their direct recommendation from someone who's already on the list, they're more likely to be a good fit for us.
The subscriber scoring feature allows us to understand how every subscriber on our list is engaging with the content that we sent.
We're able to see who is opening who is clicking and who needs a little bit more love to start re-engaging with the list.
As we start to get more advanced in our email marketing journey, we start to gain more appreciation for the things that are working and not working inside of our email marketing systems.
Convertkit offers full deliverability reporting for anyone on the pro plan.
This gives us the ability to look at not just individual emails, but how broadcasts and automated emails are being interacted with over time.
Not only are we able to analyze open rates, click-through rates, etc. but we are also able to take that step further and take a look at how specific email providers are handling our list.
For example, we may notice that our overall open rate has dropped over the last few broadcast emails.
Diving into the deliverability reports provided by Convertkit on the Pro plan, unable to take a look at each email provider, such as Yahoo, and see if our emails are being delivered to our subscribers or if they're winding up in spam.
This type of granular reporting can't be overlooked in terms of the effect it can have on your business and gives you the ability to identify potentially large problems quickly and easily (like if all of the emails you are sending to Microsoft on domains were going directly to spam).
This information can be found without the addition of these reports, but it's a very labor and time-intensive process.
The ability to change a link after you send an email broadcast is probably one of the most “sexy” features that can be included in an email marketing platform.
What this feature allows you to do, is change the destination of any link you send in any broadcast email after you sent it, and after it has been received by the contacts on your list.
This can be extremely useful when you're running something like a discount or limited-time promotion.
After the promotion has expired you can simply log in to your Convertkit dashboard and change where the link will take someone if they click on it after the deadline.
We traditionally have done something very similar to this by utilizing the WordPress plug-in called pretty links, but having it built directly into the email marketing dashboard saves us a ton of time in setup and maintenance.
After having used all three levels of Convertkit plans, I can safely say the Pro plan is the best.
In addition to all of the advanced deliverability reports, the ability to directly integrate Facebook custom audiences with segments and the ability to change links after recent emails makes this plan hard to resist.
If you've been in the email marketing game for a while and have a list that supports the extra cost I would strongly suggest giving it a look.
All that being said, even though you get several extremely useful additional features I have and often used the Pro plan for my lists (we do use it for the list here at brandcreators.com).
For many of my other lists, I haven't found the additional features to be worthwhile when compared to the additional cost.
I would love to see the ability to purchase individual features, such as Facebook custom audiences, or the ability to change links after the fact at its lower plans.
With just a few minutes of extra work (a little bit of technical know-how), I can recreate those two features, for much less every month than Convertkit charges to have them directly integrated into your account.
I know that if you're a little less tech-savvy than I am (all openly admit I love technology), this may not be a concern for you, and if any of the additional features included with the Pro plan appeal to you, I would take it for a spin.
That’s a Wrap
Now that you have a better understanding of the three different tiers Convertkit has to offer and the costs and features associated with each of them, you should be armed with everything you need to choose the best plan for you.
As we talked about above, in most scenarios I would recommend checking out the Convertkit creator plan (in less you don't need automation and you have fewer than a thousand emails), since it has the features 90% of people will need and saves you a good bit of money off of what you would pay for the pro plan.