Alternative to Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign & GetResponse?

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Uncategorized

Are you looking for an alternative to Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, or GetResponse?

If you want to build a lasting career in music or art, you must face the reality that you need a way to communicate with your audience ongoingly.

Social media is useful, but given its tumultuous history, you truly never know when you might lose access to your precious audiences…

Realistically, you need your audience’s contact information, a way to store and manage this data, and a way to send updates to them ongoingly…

Which is exactly why you need email marketing software.

But the ‘Chimp might be a little too much monkey business…

The AC doesn’t really seem to care about their customers…

And Responders don’t seem to want to respond to negative reviews…

Are there any worthy alternatives to Mailchimp?

Choosing an Email Campaign Platform – Mailchimp Alternatives

So, you’ve tried out an email marketing service or two. Maybe even had a good experience for a while…

But almost every artist I know reaches the crossroads at some point.

Either the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) app doesn’t offer the functionality she needs as her career grows and scales…

Or the pricing starts to get out of hand, and it becomes harder to justify the monthly cost.

It’s not surprising, because many newsletter broadcast apps charge for every little welcome sequence or marketing feature you add (which probably wasn’t obvious from the introductory offer).

Either way, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be, and…

Don’t you think it’s time for a change?

And I know change can be painful. At one point, I was very reluctant to switch from Mailchimp to another provider…

Because I knew I would lose my precious custom email templates. I’d have to move all my lists over. And I’d have to get used to a new, “complicated” system and workflow.

But you know what?

The process was much simpler than I thought it was going to be, and I couldn’t be any happier with the service I switched over to.

So, you’re probably asking yourself…

“What is it, David? Tell me about this alternative to Mailchimp already!”

Okay then, let’s get to the goods…

Enter ConvertKit, an Alternative to Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign & GetResponse

I listen to tons of podcasts.

I’d heard about founder Nathan Barry and his work as an independent creator. I’d heard about ConvertKit (affiliate link). I knew that some of my favorite entrepreneurs used it. It wasn’t in my crosshairs, but it had been on my radar for quite a while…

Which is the short version of how I ultimately ended up switching over.

Do you know why ConvertKit was created? You’re going to love this…

ConvertKit was created because Barry experienced the power of building an email list and communicating with his contacts firsthand. But he noticed that there were no email service providers for independent artists, creatives, and creators.

And so, ConvertKit was created.

You need not look much further than their blog to know that ConvertKit caters to:

  • Musicians
  • Authors
  • Podcasters
  • YouTubers
  • And more

Even their Visual Automation templates are primarily based on people like us.

Visual automation templates

Of course, there have been other email broadcast tools for artists in the past…

But most if not all of them didn’t have a solid business model and ended up crumbling to the ground.

So, until recently, the best you could hope for as an artist was a website builder that had some built-in email marketing features…

Not a dedicated email marketing app for creators.

ConvertKit, though, got its start in January 2013, and has now been around for over 10 years… I don’t think it’s going anywhere, not in the immediate future, anyway (it remains to be seen how A.I. will change the world…).

And it’s a worthy alternative to Mailchimp.

So, What’s the Big Deal? Why is ConvertKit Better?

Of course, I asked myself the same thing…

The bottom line is I would not have made the leap if I didn’t think it was worth it…

But if you have nothing to compare it to, there’s no way you would know the difference.

I just want you to know that, as someone who’s been around the block, I can tell you I’ve messed around with a couple of list management tools in my time.

And while there’s no way to compare what I was using in the mid-2000s to what’s available today…

It’s fair to say I know the difference between services that have “got the goods” and those that don’t.

So, here are some of the differences I’ve noticed between what I used to use and what I now use:

Straightforward Contact/List Management

When I finally decided that I wanted to stop monkeying around with my email list…

I was glad to find that ConvertKit didn’t confine my contacts to a restrictive list-based system that was hard to manage or segment.

Once my contacts were imported into ConvertKit, they were assigned tags (based on the names of the lists I’d previously created).

If found this off-putting at first, but I learned to love it fast.

Because whenever I want to send an email broadcast, I can select the audience I want to send my campaigns to, based on how they’d been tagged…

This has meant I’ve never had to duplicate and send the same campaign to multiple lists. I can add multiple audiences at once.

ConvertKit also comes with easy-to-understand (and easy-to-find automation tools) for assigning tags to specific contacts based on their behavior…

This was either a pain in the butt or impossible to do with Monkey Mail.

Which is a good reason to be looking for an alternative to Mailchimp.

But I’ll be talking more about automation a little later. Next up is….

Plain Text Email Campaigns (That Work)

Plain text email campaign

Sure, there are companies out there that send beautiful email newsletters to their audiences and even do well at it…

But the top marketers know that if your emails don’t have a singular focus, you can’t expect a high response or conversion rate.

This is probably why, to this day, many marketers still use plain text emails for their weekly broadcasts.

Wouldn’t you know it – this function never worked all that well with the email sender services I’d tried.

I mean, I just wanted to do what I saw the other gurus and giants doing… was that too much to ask?!

Time to toss the banana broadcasts aside, because ConvertKit makes it easy for me to send plain text emails that WORK, without all the fuss.

Now, I still use a highly stylized email footer because I can see the benefit in that…

Custom email footer

I’m not going to lie. I lifted this from a certain marketer…

But I don’t want a bunch of links and flashy graphics crowding out the message I’m trying to get across to my audience.

And now I don’t need to worry about whether that’s something I’m going to have to use custom coding to achieve.

Easy-to-Use Automation Features

Automation rule setup in ConvertKit

I’ve made a lot of products over the years… Probably TOO many.

But I like to interact with new customers. It’s just good customer service.

If I had to send emails to my buyers manually, I’d NEVER leave my computer (and I already have that problem, if I’m being honest…).

I want to be able to set up email sequences, so my audience feels cared for. And I don’t want to have to make a template, copy, and paste the same messages into Gmail, and schedule them to go out at the right times to the right people.

Nope. What’s the point of investing in an email marketing service if you can’t automate these processes?

It’s an innocuous question, but you’d be surprised at how some email software handles this (or doesn’t handle it at all).

Some essential email sequences to set up as a creative might include:

  • Welcome sequence (for anyone who joins your email list)
  • Onboarding sequence (for customers who’ve bought your product – you can ask them for reviews down the line)
  • Abandoned cart sequence (for those who add products to their shopping cart but don’t check out – following up can help you convert way more customers)
  • And much more

Wouldn’t you love to use an email marketing service that makes setting up sequences effortless? ConvertKit does.

Of course, there are many other automation tasks you may require your email promotion platform to handle, and ConvertKit has other useful features.

Built-in Monetization Features

Product setup

We all know how this works…

Even “free” email services start charging at some point.

It could be because of an increase in subscriber numbers, it could be add-ons, or it could be after the free trial, but ultimately, nothing comes for free. At some point, you will start paying for your email marketing habit.

And if you’re building an email list, it means you take your career seriously. Money isn’t everything, no, but you’d love for your career to be sustainable, and if possible, profitable even…

The sad thing about most electronic mail promotion tools is they don’t set you up for success in this regard.

Sure, they might talk a big game, maybe they even have a few blog articles on how to monetize your list…

But at the end of the day, they aren’t there to help you reach your career goals let alone your revenue goals.

I know because I’ve been there.

(ChatGPT is probably a better friend in this regard…)

While ConvertKit doesn’t make any HUGE promises or guarantees on how much money you can make using their platform, they do have built-in monetization tools to help you boost your chances of earning an income.

You can sell digital products and subscriptions and even set up tip jars, right from inside the ConvertKit dashboard.

The bottom line is that ConvertKit is an advocate of you earning an income from your creativity. And it’s obvious from the way they’ve set up their navigation bar.

Pricing That Makes Sense

I’ve hammered on this point throughout this guide…

But don’t you find it upsetting when what initially appears to be a GREAT deal…

Turns out to be a money-sucking vacuum?

Yeah, it happens A LOT, whether it’s web hosting, email marketing, team chat, or other tools.

It’s almost as if most services have NO IDEA what it’s like to be an artist…

And don’t cater to their needs at all.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather pay one flat monthly fee and not have the billing be a guessing game at the end of the month.

If you’re charged for every autoresponder, sequence, or add-on with your email service provider, it’s inevitable that your costs will increase, sometimes without you even noticing.

And I get it. Email marketing services need to make money too. They do need to tack on some costs for bigger email lists, for example.

Well, so far, I have found ConvertKit to be very fair in what they charge. I am on their Creator plan with over 1,000 subscribers paying month to month, so my costs are quite predictable.

I’m not charged for the features I want to use unless those features happen to fall outside my plan (and so far, I haven’t had the hankering for advanced reporting features and the like).

I know that if my list size doubles or triples, I will pay more. But I’m very comfortable with that, and it’s very fair.

You can investigate other services if you want. But I think you will find the same thing I did, that at some point, with most apps, you end up paying more for stuff that seems like it should be included.

So far, I have not had that problem with ConvertKit (affiliate link).

Alternative to Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign & GetResponse, Final Thoughts

There are many Mailchimp alternatives out there.

But when it comes to alternatives to Mailchimp that are tailored to artists, creatives, and creators… Well, your options are going to be limited.

Ultimately, you need a solution that’s got the flexibility, features, and tools you need to be able to grow and scale with you as your career grows and scales.

Down the line, when you’ve got thousands of fans and a team of 10, you might need to find a more comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or marketing automation solution.

But until then, ConvertKit should more than meet your needs.

So, give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial (affiliate link) with ConvertKit now.