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Don’t Pay For ConvertKit, Here Are the Best Paid Email Marketing Alternatives 2022

If you need more than a newsletter, this is what you want

Once you’ve gained a large email list, you most likely won’t be able to rely on free email marketing software anymore.

If you “only” write newsletters, you can do so at any size for free on SubstackRevue, and others.

If you require automation capabilities and advanced functionality, however, you won’t find free platforms. They all have limits on either email list members or emails per day/month.

Why would you need advanced email tools?

A real-life example: I built a digital product called Medium OS.

I created an email list for this product. Everyone who signs up for Medium OS via this email list gets an automated mail with a discount code for the product. You can’t do this simple automation with basic newsletter services like Substack or Revue.

For this, you need an email marketing tool, or email automation software.

There are plenty. What’s the best one?

ConvertKit? No.

Email tools get expensive pretty quickly. ConvertKit is one of the most popular email marketing products. And it is rather expensive.

For 5000 subscribers, you’ll already be paying $66 per month on their creator plan or $93 per month on the creator pro plan. That’s a huge chunk of cash. ConvertKit is a great tool, but there are more affordable, very capable tools out there. They don’t offer the exact same feature set, but they have the core functionality of an email marketing and automation tool.


ConvertKit’s free plan only allows for 1000 subscribers max, by the way.

MailChimp? No.

I wouldn’t go for MailChimp either. Although it’s a famous brand, MailChimp is just as expensive as ConvertKit.

5000 subscribers will cost you $59 on the essentials plan or $90 with the standard plan. Again, a huge chunk of money.

Both, ConvertKit and Mailchimp, offer similar features with their paid plans like unlimited landing pages and forms, automations and segmentation, store integrations, and more.


Better: Flodesk

A great alternative to both MailChimp and ConvertKit is Flodesk.

The most notable downside of Flodesk is that there’s no free version, other than a free trial period.

But since we’re talking about paid services, Flodesk is the perfect competitor. It offers beautifully designed email functionality in an easy-to-use interface that anyone instantly understands.

It offers all important features you want like automations, segmentation, landing pages, forms, integrations with other apps and platforms like Zapier, Shopify, WordPress, Typeform, and more.

All of this will cost you $38 per month, no matter how many subscribers you have. And it gets even better. If you sign up with my referral link, you get Flodesk for half the price! $19 is a steal for this tool.


Yes, you heard that correctly. Unlike virtually every other platform, Flodesk doesn’t scale pricing with your growth. Usually, you pay more for more subscribers. Hundreds, even thousands in some cases. Flodesk stays at $38 a month. That’s a huge deal.

The most prominent feature of Flodesk is its design, though. I haven’t found a platform with better looking templates yet. If you care about the look of your emails, landing pages, forms, and backend, there’s no way around Flodesk.


Under the radar: EmailOctopus

This service flies under the radar. You might have never heard of it, unless you’re one of my readers. I’ve talked about EmailOctopus recently, because it’s a great free service for up to 2500 subscribers.

We’re talking paid, though, and EmailOctopus shines here as well.

Let’s again look at the 5000 subscribers details. Reminder: ConvertKit and Mailchimp both start at around $60 for 5000 subscribers and more than $90 on the upper tier.

EmailOctopus costs $20 per month for 5000 subscribers. A third of the first two.

The downside: You have a monthly limit on emails at 50,000. Other than that, EmailOctopus is a great tool. I’ve been using it for my latest email automations for Medium OS, and it’s been fantastic. The support team, in particular, is outstanding. I got responses to my questions in minutes! If you want to check out EmailOctopus, I have a referral link hereI’ll get a small cut on my next bill for each referral.

EmailOctopus offers much of the same functionality MailChimp and ConvertKit do.


Tip: Sendinblue

Another tip I’ve mentioned recently is Sendinblue. This email marketing software offer unlimited contacts (email list members) on the free plan. No other service I know does that. They do limit on the daily emails, though. 300 is the max for free.

Once you go paid, Sendinblue is reasonably priced.

For 60,000 monthly mails (compared to 50,000 on EmailOctopus) you pay $39 per month on Sendinblue’s lite plan or $69 on the premium plan.

Considerably less than on ConvertKit or Mailchimp. Functionality is similar for all tools. With some exceptions, of course.


New: Beehiiv

A rather new competitor in the field of email automation software and newsletters is Beehiiv. It reminds me of Ghost, the blogging and newsletter platform which is another fine alternative that I don’t mention in this review, by the way.

Beehiiv has a nice free version for up to 2500 subscribers which is already superior to both, ConvertKit and MailChimp.

Paid plans start at $42 if you have more than 2500 subscribers or $84 from 25,000 subscribers upwards. Those are the monthly prices if you pay annually. Otherwise, it’s $49 and $99.

These plans give you basically the same options and features as ConvertKit or MailChimp do. Just a bit cheaper.

I like the design and ease-of-use a lot with Beehiiv. Since they’re new, it remains to be seen how well they can establish their brand among the other giants.


High-end all-in-one tool: Kajabi

If you need an all-in one tool with extensive capabilities and functionality, Kajabi might the way to go.

But Kajabi is expensive. It starts at $149 per month for “only” 10,000 contacts.

The thing with Kajabi is that it’s much more than an email marketing tool. Hence, the high price. Kajabi does email marketing like the others, it’s also a course platform, a coaching platform, a podcasting site, a website builder, a CRM, and more.

With Kajabi, you can bundle pretty much anything you want into one single tool. You might end up paying $399+ per month on the pro plan, though.

Whether Kajabi is worth it really depends on your needs.


The bottom line

Growing an email list is the way to go for writers in 2022.

Many of us can simply do this for free with a basic newsletter platform like Substack or Revue.

If we want advanced email marketing functionality, however, free tools are highly limited on the number of subscribers or newsletter issues. In that case, you should think about paying. But don’t automatically jump to the popular options like ConvertKit or MailChimp. Check out alternatives first.

The winner is

The best value for money is offered by Flodesk right now, I’d say. You just can’t beat $38 (or $19 with my referral link) per month for unlimited contacts, mails, a rich feature set, and that stunning design.

EmailOctopusSendinblueBeehiiv, and Kajabi are worth checking out if you require more or other capabilities.

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