If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here’s my list of the best email marketing software for online course creators, coaches, and digital product sellers.
How did I reach this verdict? Read the rest of this article for my detailed analysis.
You’ve probably seen the study which says email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent (so, $1000 spent on email marketing earns you $36000).
But did you know how crucial email marketing is for selling online courses, coaching programs, membership sites, and other forms of digital products?
According to a survey by Teachable, 66% of course sellers who earned between $10K to $20K in the past 12 months considered email as their number one source of customers.
But you can’t build an email marketing strategy without using the right email marketing software, which has the necessary features to help you build, grow, engage, and monetize your email list.
So, in this article, I’ll share some of the best email marketing platforms for online course sellers and other expertise-based businesses. To make your choice easier, I’ll give you a summary of each tool’s strengths and weaknesses, along with my verdict.
Let’s get started.
Best Email Marketing Platforms List 2023 – Pricing, Reviews, Pros & Cons
Let’s now examine the top email marketing services in more detail to decide if they’re suitable for your business.
Free Plan: Yes, for up to 300 subscribers
Paid Plans Start From: $9/month
Best For: Course creators, membership site owners, digital product sellers (Read our full review)
ConvertKit is any digital product seller’s dream email marketing software. It’s email marketing software designed specifically for creators looking to sell online courses, memberships, coaching programs, and other forms of digital products.
Nathan Barry, ConvertKit’s founder, was a blogger and course seller himself. So, he understands a creator’s challenges, which is evident from how he has designed his email marketing platform.
ConvertKit offers you unlimited landing pages, sales pages, opt-in forms, lead magnet, content upgrades, and unlimited traffic.
It comes with all the core email marketing functions a course seller needs. For example, you can create condition-based automation rules, send broadcasts, design attractive campaigns, visualize funnels, and apply smart subscriber tagging.
In addition, it allows you to sell digital products and run paid newsletters to monetize your email audience. Plus, it supports dozens of integrations with leading marketing tools, payment processors, and business applications to help you manage your digital product business from a single source.
ConvertKit is among the few email marketing platforms that offer a free plan. As a free ConvertKit user, you can manage up to 1000 subscribers with all the core product features.
The paid plans start from $9/month (billed annually) for up to 300 subscribers. From there, the rate increases with the number of subscribers. So, for example, you’ll need to pay $25/month for up to 1000 subscribers and $41/month for 3000 subscribers.
The Creator Pro plan, designed for advanced users, unleashes ConverKit’s full feature range starting from $50/month for 1000 subscribers.
The paid plans come with a 30-day free trial.
|Designed specifically for creative professionals and digital product sellers.||Limited form customization|
|Extremely easy to use||Slow customer support|
|Offers advanced email marketing and automation features||Software glitches occur regularly.|
|Comes with an intuitive email and landing page builder and customizable templates||Limited scope for email customization|
|Takes care of the entire digital product business cycle.|
|Offers a generous free plan|
Free Plan: No free plan but offers a 14-day free trial
Paid Plans Start From: $19/month for up to 500 subscribers
Best For: Marketers with multiple products and large email lists.
Drip is one of the world’s most popular email marketing platforms designed for eCommerce businesses and online stores. However, its features are equally valuable for digital product sellers.
Drip’s biggest strength is its advanced automation workflows that allow you to create personalized email journeys and engage your subscribers with relevant content. In addition, its behavioral segmentation and tagging will enable you to manage large email lists with ease.
It seamlessly integrates with most of the best online course platforms which means you can quickly grow your online education business with Drip.
It has an intuitive email builder with ready-to-use widgets to help you quickly set up attractive email campaigns. Plus, you get a
You can use it to create trigger condition-based campaigns, drip campaigns, broadcasts, and even SMS campaigns (optional).
While Drip’s features are perfect for all kinds of online sellers, edupreneurs with more extensive lists, established brands, and multiple products would enjoy using it more.
Why? Because it is designed for revenue maximization and helps you drive sales with upsells, product recommendations, and personalized messaging.
However, Drip doesn’t have a native landing page builder, which means you’ll need to integrate a third-party tool for this feature. Since Leadpages owns Drip, the two seamlessly integrate to provide you with landing page features.
Drip doesn’t offer a free plan, but its premium plan comes with a 14-day trial (no credit card needed). Its pricing is relatively straightforward.
There are no separate plans. Instead, you’re charged based on your subscriber count. For example, you can use Drip for up to 500 subscribers at $19/month and 2000 for $29/month. From there, the rate changes as your list grows.
|Advanced automation workflows for personalized email messaging||Not ideal beginners with small lists|
|Triggered campaigns based on subscriber behavior||No free plan|
|Behavioral tagging and segmentation||No landing page builder|
|Drag & drop responsive form builder||Complex product with a learning curve for new users.|
|Pre-built email sequences, e.g., welcome, abandoned cart.|
Free Plan: Yes, free up to 500 subscribers and a 30-day trial for paid plans
Paid Plans Start From: $15.58/month (billed annually)
Best For: Course creators looking for a complete marketing automation solution
GetResponse has been in the email marketing game since 1998 but is still among the best marketing automation tools for beginners and advanced users alike.
It comes packed with advanced email marketing features that allow you to create automated campaigns and personalized messaging for your subscribers.
Its email builder is among the most intuitive in the email marketing industry and offers a wide range of email templates to help you get started quickly.
Using GetResponse, you can build automation funnels and create customer journeys for different audience segments. In addition, its drag & drop landing page builder allows you to set up fully optimized sales and squeeze pages quickly.
GetResponse comes with a complete webinar hosting and marketing solution, which is a massive plus for digital product sellers. You can use it to easily host course product launch webinars, live training sessions, or coaching sessions.
In short, GetResponse is a one-stop marketing solution for edupreneurs and expertise-based businesses. You can use it to set up landing pages, webinars for lead generation, and automated email campaigns to drive sales.
GetResponse offers a limited-feature free plan for beginner marketers with limited email marketing needs. However, you’ll need to sign up for one of its paid plans to experience its full feature range.
GetResponse Basic starts from $15.58/month (billed annually) and contains autoresponders, unlimited landing pages and emails, website builder, segmentation, and many other features.
GetResponse Plus is the most popular plan, starting from $48.38/month (billed annually) for 1000 subscribers. It offers everything in the Basic plan plus marketing automation, webinars, sales funnels, etc.
GetResponse Professional is for bigger teams looking for a full-fledged marketing suite. It costs $97.58/month (billed annually) and offers paid webinars, unlimited funnels, eCommerce features, push notifications, and several other advanced features.
All premium plans come with a 30-day free trial.
|Easy to use and ideal for beginners||Not for advanced users looking for better segmentation|
|Provides all the necessary tools for lead generation and email marketing||Limited automation rules compared to other advanced email marketing tools|
|Affordable compared to other email services|
|Has an intuitive email and landing page builder with templates|
Free Plan: Yes, it offers a free plan for up to 2000 subscribers.
Paid Plans Start From: $11/month for up to 500 subscribers
Best For: Beginners and mid-level digital product sellers looking for essential email marketing features.
MailChimp is the world’s most popular email marketing software with 13 million+ active users worldwide. One of the primary reasons for Mailchimp’s popularity is its generous free plan which provides you basic email marketing features for up to 2000 subscribers.
Over the years, Mailchimp has evolved into a complete marketing automation tool that offers all the necessary email marketing features and lead generation tools for beginners and mid-level marketers.
Its drag & drop email builder is one of the best in this industry and comes with templates that allow you to quickly create email campaigns for different objectives.
Autoresponders and automation workflows are crucial for online course creators and digital products sellers. Mailchimp didn’t have these features for a long time, so it wasn’t as popular among course creators.
But it has filled that loophole by adding customer journeys, automation rules, landing pages, and several other advanced features designed to help you launch and sell online courses.
However, advanced users looking for more in-depth user segmentation and automation triggers would still find Mailchimp underwhelming.
But if you’re just starting your digital product business, Mailchimp is a pretty good choice.
Mailchimp comes with a free plan which gives you up to 2000 subscribers and allows you to send email campaigns, broadcasts and autoresponders.
However, to create customer journeys, workflows, and automated sequences, you must subscribe to one of Mailchimp’s premium plans.
The Essentials plan starts from $11/month for up to 500 subscribers. But the most popular Mailchimp plan is Standard which starts from $17/month for up to 500 subscribers and offers you the full range of marketing automation features you need to grow, engage and monetize your audience.
|Best-in-class email designer||Limited automation rules|
|Attractive free plan||Lack of advanced audience segmentation features|
|User-friendly interface and extensive help documentation||Designed primarily for beginners and mid-level marketers only.|
|Landing page builder with templates|
|High email deliverability|
Free Plan: No free plan but all premium plans come with a limited-feature 14-day trial
Paid Plans Start From: $9/month for up to 500 contacts
Best For: Established course sellers with large email lists and advanced automation and list management needs.
ActiveCampaign has been around for a long time. But it became a front runner in the email marketing industry only a few years ago after completely revamping its platform and introducing advanced marketing automation features.
Right now, it’s safe to say ActiveCampaign offers the most robust automation, user tracking, and email marketing features. It is designed for advanced marketers who want to map their customer’s entire journey and use multiple touchpoints to communicate their message.
ActiveCampaign comes with email marketing, marketing automation, and live chat features to help you communicate the right message at the right time.
It provides users with a modern drag & drop email designer perfect for creating visual email campaigns. In addition, its automation workflows are superior to most other email tools and allow you to plan complex campaigns based on different subscriber actions.
ActiveCampaign also comes with off-site user tracking capabilities that can be used by installing a small piece of code to your landing pages and websites. This allows you to trigger campaigns when your subscriber visits a specific page of your site.
ActiveCampaign also offers a full-fledged CRM for mid-level companies and enterprises. You might not need it as a beginner course seller, but advanced eLearning companies with a large customer base will find it handy.
ActiveCampaign does not have a free plan like some other tools in this list. However, it offers four subscription plans that all come with a 14-day trial.
The paid plans start from $9/month for 500 contacts. But ActiveCampaign’s most popular Professional plan costs $149/month for up to 2500 contacts and offers its full range of automation, personalization, email marketing, and user tracking features.
|Well-rounded email marketing and automation features ideal for digital product launches.||No free plan and pricier than many other email marketing platforms|
|Intuitive visual email builder||A limited number of email templates|
|Free data migration from other email marketing tools||Has a learning curve|
|In-depth product tutorials and customer education resources|
Free Plan: No free plan but offers a 60-day free trial with all paid plans
Paid Plans Start From: $9/month for up to 500 contacts
Best For: Small business and beginner course sellers
Constant Contact is another email marketing tool built specifically for small businesses and content creators. It gets full marks for its beautiful user interface and easy-to-use options.
It’s a beginner-friendly software with robust email marketing features that allow users to easily create attractive email campaigns. It also includes several marketing and sales features to help you drive traffic and leads to your course.
For example, it has a drag & drop landing page builder, Facebook and Google ads integration, Canva support, audio & video content support, A/B testing, and built-in subject line suggestions.
However, Constant Contact has limited automation capabilities, which is a big drawback for course creators looking to set up automated sequences to engage, educate, and convert their audiences.
Overall, it’s worth considering if you’re just starting your online course business. But with its current limitations, I won’t recommend fast-growing eLearning businesses to use Constant Contact.
Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial with its premium plans. It has two subscription plans based on your business needs.
The Core plan is for users looking for basic email marketing features without any automation. Its price starts from $9/month for 500 contacts.
Constant Contact’s Pro plan has several automation features, additional marketing tools, landing pages, A/B testing, and a lot more. It starts from $45/month for up to 500 subscribers.
|Excellent user interface and easy to use options||Offer minimal automation features|
|World-class customer support and customer education program||Its Pro plan is expensive considering its limited features|
|Drag & drop email builder and landing page designer||Not designed for advanced users and high-growth businesses.|
|Integrates with Canva and many other marketing tools|
Free Plan: Yes, free plan for up to 1000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month.
Paid Plans Start From: $10/month for up to 1000 subscribers and unlimited emails.
Best For: Creators, digital product sellers, small businesses, and coaches
MailerLite isn’t talked about as often as it deserves. It’s one of the more affordable email marketing platforms, with all the right features to help you grow an email list and sell digital products.
It comes with a drag & drop email builder, landing page builder, opt-in forms, and Stripe integration for processing product payments.
Its email marketing and automation features are also quite impressive. You can use it to create automation workflows, triggered campaigns, and schedule drip content.
MailerLite also offers dedicated digital product selling features that allow you to quickly set up high-conversion landing pages to sell your products.
Overall, MailerLite is certainly worth trying if you’re exploring different email marketing solutions.
MailerLite has a straightforward pricing model based on your subscriber count. It offers a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers with a sending limit of 12K per month.
The premium plans start from $10 for up to 1000 subscribers with no sending limit. From there, the rate increases with your list size. For example, MailetLite charges $30/month for list size 2500-5000.
|Beginner-friendly pricing plans||Limited subscriber and list management features|
|Intuitive user interface||No stock library or images for|
|Offer landing pages, surveys, and quizzes||Doesn’t directly integrate with several mainstream business applications.|
|Has impressive marketing automation features|
Free Plan: Yes, free plan for sending emails to up to five subscribers
Paid Plans Start From: $9/month (billed annually) for up to 500 contacts
Best For: All types of online course creators and digital product sellers
CampaignMonitor is another world-class email marketing and automation tool perfect for online course creators, digital product sellers, coaches, and membership site owners.
It is a beautifully designed product ideal for beginners and experienced email marketers alike. It provides you with core email marketing features such as campaigns, email builder, broadcasts, autoresponders, and list segmentation.
Plus, it has impressive marketing automation capabilities which allow you to create different email sequences, automation workflows, customers journey maps, and behavioral campaigns.
These features are ideal for digital product owners looking to create different lifecycle email sequences such as welcome emails, educational emails, launch emails, re-engagement sequences, etc.
You also get access to other marketing tools such as landing pages, dozens of templates, opt-in forms, and A/B testing features.
Campaign Monitor comes with in-depth reporting and analytics that allow you to identify your most active subscribers, profitable products, and user behavior.
Overall, Campaign Monitor’s intuitive user interface and robust automation features make it one of the best email marketing software for online course creators.
You can freely use Campaign Monitor’s email marketing features for up to five subscribers. This would allow you to play with its product features and decide if it’s the right fit for your business.
But to use its core marketing and automation tools, you’ll need to subscribe to its premium plans that start from $9/month for up to 500 subscribers.
|Very easy to use for beginners and experienced users.||Limited email customization options|
|Offers excellent email and landing page templates||Limited subscriber management options|
|Has advanced automation features to create behavioral sequences||It counts duplicate contacts from your subscriber quota|
|Has excellent deliverability|
The email marketing software I’ve shared in this article are world-class products that thousands of online course creators, coaches, and digital product sellers already use.
However, based on my experience and analysis with these email marketing tools, here’s my priority list.
- ConvertKit – The best overall email marketing solution for creators
- ActiveCampaign – The best email marketing automation tool
- MailerLite – The best free email marketing tool
- Mailchimp – The best email marketing tool for beginners
- GetResponse – The best email marketing and lead generation tool
Since most of these email marketing platforms offer free trials or free plans, I suggest you sign up for all of them and play with their features for a few days before making the final purchase decision.