Hey everyone, this article is an email software showdown, we're going to be looking at the top three free email service providers MailerLite, ConvertKit, and Mail Chimp. So at time stamps below, along with some other comparison tips, it's a deeper dive into the pros and cons of mail Chimp, and Convertkitand Mailerlight.
So here we're going to be using this basic lead generation funnel as our template for evaluating what you can and can't do with these different free plans. So we're going to assume that you want to build a landing page. You're going to send out one email as a lead magnet. You probably want to have some sort of follow-up sequence that links over to your sales or checkout page. And that's what we're going to evaluate these.
So the very first thing of course is going to be the landing page. Now the good news is all three of these allow you to build a landing page, even with their free plans. However, when it comes to the functionality of these landing page builders, there is a huge difference. So let's kick things off with the bad news. Convertkit is not all that great when it comes to customizing the landing pages.
What you see is what you're stuck with the Convertkit templates. You can change the text, the pictures, and then also colors, of course, but that's pretty much where the customization ends. Whereas with MailerLiteand MailChimp, you have a lot more flexibility, Mailerlight having the best flexibility and the best customization of landing pages. Although you wind up paying for that, because you only can have five landing pages with mailer lights, so they give the best experience, but they limit you on landing pages, unlike MailChimp and ConvertKit.
Although, the unlimited landing pages with MailChimp, you're going to learn later, isn't all that important or really matters. So when it comes to convertkit, it offers the best in terms of creating forms. So if you have a giant WordPress site and you want to do a lot of content upgrades, Convertkit, understanding that business model. And so they understand how to create forms that easily do that and those types of content upgrades.
But when it comes to just strict landing pages, MailerLite is going to be the winner, even though you're stuck at five and you can pay$10 a month to have unlimited and also get split testing. Even if you start paying for these solutions, MailerLiteis the only one that's going to allow you to split test your landing pages. So now let's move on to number two, which is going to be sending out your lead magnet.
So when someone enters their name and email, irrespective of what landing page or form it is, you want to be able to automatically, send them a lead email immediately to let them know, Hey, I got your email or just to give them a free offer lead magnet or link to your webinar or whatever you deciding todo here. So the good news is, all three of these allow you to send the first email, however, MailChimp does not allow you to have more than one audience.
So essentially when someone enters their name and email on the former landing page, you want to be able to create an audience, a tag, or a group. They all call them different things, right? An audience, a tag or group, essentially saying, Hey, this person came from this landing page and they wanted this lead magnet or this particular offer, right? Well with the free plan of MailChimp, you can only have one of those. So it actually doesn't really matter that you can create unlimited landing pages because you have to tag everyone as if they came from the same one, which is why I think Convertkit and Mailerlight come out on top here.
So MailChimp is definitely lagging behind, but when it comes to sending out just that initial email, they're all able to do it. It's just very important to note that you can't do or set up your segmentation using MailChimp. Now comes the function where Mailerlight actually begins to really take a huge lead here. And that is with automated sequences. So when you purchase an email software, the expectation, I know we're talking about free here, but when you purchase an email software, the expectation is someone enters their name and email or just their email or phone number. And you're able to send emails automatically, I guess, actually phone numbers.
You're not sending emails, I'm talking over myself, right? So either way, you're expecting that you're going to be able to automatically send emails over a specific period of time. Well, with these free plans, MailChimp and Convertkits do not allow you to do that. Mailerlight with their free plan. However, does. So if you're looking for a solution, that going to allow you to automatically send emails, which is pretty much the core of what an autoresponder is supposed to do. Then mailer light is the only one that has your back here.
So moving on to broadcast though, this is a little different. So, whereas automation, you set something up where the emails go out automatically, with a broadcast, you are manually going into the software and saying, this is the email I want to send to these people at this specific time. So it's manual. That's why they just call it a broadcast, right? All three of them allow you to do that. Now the only special note here is Convertkit does not have email templates. You can only send plain text emails, while I personally don't think that's a big deal. You may need to go with MailerLite or MailChimp if having that feature of being able to put a bunch of pictures and have some fancy design template for some reason is really important.
So that does it for the features and what you can and can't do. We'll go through usability. And some special cases are specifically when it comes to affiliate marketing in a moment. But first, let's look at the restrictions of these free plans and how quickly you're going to have to move from free to paid. So taking a look at our chart again here, you can see that MailChimp allows for 2000 contacts and up to 10,000 email sends per month, Mailerlight 1000 contacts, but you can send unlimited emails, which makes a whole lot of sense because you're going to be able to set up automation. And so you're going to be sending a lot more emails to those thousand contacts versus the other two.
And then finally Convertkit gives you a thousand contacts as well with unlimited email sense. Now, before we declared the winner, there are some usability things you should be aware of with each one of these platforms and some restrictions you might run into in the future as your business grows. So we'll kick things off with a big downside of Mailerlight. Well, you can tell it does have the most features on this list for their free plan.
They are the most restrictive when it comes to applying for an account. And yes, there is in fact, an application process, whereas MailChimp and Convertkit are just pretty much going to let you in, no matter what business you're in with a little asterisk. Mailerlight is going to actually manually review your business. And this is simply because they are allowing you to do automation on their free plan. So they really have to protect their IP addresses to make sure that spammers aren't getting through and hurting their own server reputation. Right? And so you will need to have a website setup.
You will need to have some sort of online presence or business presence to prove that you are a real person actually doing a real product or actually selling a real product or service. Now I'll get into affiliate marketing in a moment. So the next thing we need to talk about is usability. Once you go to being paid, out of the three of these, I think Convertkit has the best user experience just in general, because MailerLitecanfeel slow and clunky at times, while they do have a visual, the builder for your automation, Convertkits, automation, and visual builder is much more powerful once you start to pay. So that's just something to keep in mind. If you're planning on selling digital courses or memberships, Convertkit is actually going to be able to work with teachable and.
Whereas Mail Chimp is only going to work with the teachable platform and Mailerlight, unfortunately, does not have a direct integration with either of those popular course platforms. And the final thing to note here is affiliate marketing. So this is, can be a little confusing, but it's incredibly important to understand. None of these services like affiliate marketers is very different from having affiliate links. So we explained when you have affiliate links, this means you are an influencer or you are a business or coach, consultant, where your primary business is selling your own products and services.
And then every once in a while, you mentioned, Hey, I think this software, this offer, this course, this t-shirt is really cool, right? That's an affiliate link because your primary business is your products and services over here. And sometimes you like to promote other products and services, but you're putting your face, your name, your brand behind this promotion. So that is okay with all of these solutions, when it comes to it, affiliate marketing, however, affiliate marketing as MailerLiteand MailChimp.
Describe it roughly again, you need to go check out their terms of service, what they describe as your primary business is over here. You don't have your own products or services at all. All you do is pitch other affiliate offers, and you might not even be using your own name or your own brand to do it. That is what they do not want. So if you are going to be doing a hundred percent affiliate marketing, you don't have your own product, services, or business. Your entire revenue stream is over here with affiliate marketing, MailChimp and Mailerlight are not for you. Convertkit doesn't have anything really specific in their terms of service saying this isn't okay.
But again, you're just going in either case, you're going to have to make sure that you continue to have good open and deliverability rates. And of course, you're not just taking emails that you didn't actually collect or have permission to send to. So that's really important to note. So don't get scared, just because you want to do some affiliate promotions from using MailerLiteor MailChimp. Just keep in mind that their primary concern is affiliate marketers because most affiliate marketers don't care at all about their subscribers and just spam.
So that does it for the features, the usability, and of course the restrictions with the free account. So now let's go ahead and crown the winner, and it might be a little obvious at this point, if you're looking at just free features, being able to create a landing page, deliver your lead magnets or initial email, and then have some automation. And of course, set up tags groups, audiences, and triggers. Then MailerLiteis the winner when it comes to the free plan, as long as you already have an online presence and your account does in fact get approved.
When it comes to being an affiliate marketer or you plan on having course creation, being a large part of your business, then Convertkit would is the winner for you, because they are much more open to a lot more affiliate links and affiliate marketing, as opposed to making sure your primary business is over here and not with affiliates. And then number two, they actually are the only one on this list that directly integrates with teachable.
Free Programs: Allow you to start building your audience with usable features like unlimited landing templates and forms to choose from and manage up to 1,000 subscribers.
Paid plans: Paid plans range from $ 29 up to $ 4,000 depending on how many subscribers you have
Convertkit gives you the flexibility and flexibility you need in building an email campaign and performance. You get better performance and increased productivity, you can use its automation to save time, in addition to customizing the customer, easy to use, powerful and functional, cost more expensive compared to other software, Instead of traditional email marketing platforms, where you should know coding and HTML, ConvertKit provides a seamless, drag-and-drop experience to create flexible professional emails. There is also the automation feature to view all the make-up of your fit.
Free Program: Up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month
Paid plans: Start at $ 9.99 per month
MailChimp is probably the most popular email delivery tool covered here. They regularly update their product and add new features. They have recently expanded into a single marketing platform.
MailChimp has always been known for the quality of its free delivery. Includes all-new business foundations. It now offers fewer email marketing features in the free program than ever before but instead adds a basic service to a wide range of marketing channels: email, landing pages, Facebook and Instagram ads, social media, postcards, and pop-up forms. Higher paid rates include more channel - re-advertising ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. The free version also includes basic CRM with a single audience and related dashboard, tags and components, and contact profiles.
You get access to Mailchimp Contentch's free version, which lets you sync and save all your photos, graphics, and other files, so your campaigns are always consistent. Includes a list of basic templates, and extras available in paid programs.
You can access one-step automation in a free program, such as welcome emails, order notifications, discarded carts, and more.
Free Program: Up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
Paid plans: Start at $ 10 a month
MailerLite was born in 2010 to provide businesses with a simple but powerful email solution to help them grow. It offers a limited free program for those with less than 1,000 subscribers looking for limited features. All paid programs offer a complete set of features (and allow you to send unlimited emails), which differ only in the number of subscribers,
You still get access to many useful features with the free program, however. These include a drag and drop editor, rich text editor, and built-in image editor. You can edit items in their file manager and create easy-to-use email newsletters. You can access automation via email and advanced segmentation, and unlike other competitions, MailerLite includes A / B testing in its free program.
Again, you can use things like Zapier or automate.io, but you probably don't want to add those extra steps in the future. So that does it for the three free solutions and the two winners at the end. I don't think MailChimp really wins in any of the categories, unfortunately, but when it comes down to choosing free software, I sincerely hope you got some value out of this article. And you're really clear on which one of these three solutions to go with. Keep building the business, Thank you.
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