Over the years I’ve used a LOT of email service providers. I used Constant Contact to send newsletters to our subscribers when I started my farm in 2007. Constant Contact had tons of templates to use, which seemed valuable at the time. Today I frown on email templates. The graphics and styled text can significantly lower deliverability and open rates.
Since moving from Constant Contact over a decade ago, I’ve marched through a string of email platforms. Mad Mimi, MailChimp, AWeber, Mailer Lite, Emma, and more.
I’ve even used expensive automated marketing platforms such as Active Campaign and Infusionsoft. Those tools have impressive capabilities. But those capabilities come at a steep price. They are primarily used for “funnel marketers.” Farmers and small business owners generally need not of those capabilities.
Email Marketing Requirements
What farmers and small business owners need with their email marketing provider is a service that:
- Is low cost.
- Is minimal and easy to use.
- Makes it a snap to create automated sequences.
- Has excellent deliverability.
For the last few years, I relied on ConvertKit. It’s a good tool that many people use. And it met three of the four criteria I just listed. But it wasn’t low cost. Well, it wasn’t for me, anyway. By the time I left ConvertKit a few months ago, it was costing me $167 per month, or over $2,000 per year—that’s a lot of pork rinds!
In the scheme of things, two grand a year isn’t a big deal for a marketing expense. But I don’t like wasting money—it’s just my nature as a long-time bootstrap entrepreneur. So I searched for a better solution.
Birdsend Was a GodSend
I don’t even recall how I first came across BirdSend. No doubt I was searching for cheaper alternatives to ConvertKit, without losing the other functionality I valued. But find it I did. After reviewing their story, functionality, and pricing, I started testing them.
The first thing that struck me about BirdSend was their service. Honestly, I still can’t get over how helpful and responsive they are. I needed that service because I had LOTS of automated sequences and rules set up in ConvertKit. And I had many forms on my WordPress site that I created using Thrive Leads, Bloom, and other applications.
BirdSend did ALL the work for me. They copied my ConvertKit automated sequences. And they customized and integrated each of my website forms. Here’s what I had to do to switch: NOTHING.
How to Save a Bundle With Email Marketing
As I said, ConvertKit was costing me $167 per month! For the same number of subscribers, I paid BirdSend a lump sum of $384…but that was for 15 months! So, yeah, that’s $384 for BirdSend and $2,505 for ConvertKit over a 15 month period. Think about how much I’ll save over the next 5-10 years!
So, yeah, the $2,100 initial savings was a no brainer.
Now, of course, there is a bit of a learning curve with BirdSend. That’s true anytime you make a change. But, A) it’s intuitive to use and pretty simple, and B) their support team seems to always be there in the chat icon on the page. So when I needed help, I just asked. And they answered.
Now I’m saving a lot of money. Money I can apply to other marketing projects, like advertising, creating better lead magnets, graphic design, and so on.
I get all the functionality I need with BirdSend. Easy A/B split testing, automation, tagging, etc. But I get it without any of that other nonsense that I don’t need. Let’s face it…most farmers and small business marketers don’t need that other stuff. But we need something WAAAAY better than MailChimp.
Email Marketing Simplified
I understand why marketers of some products need sophisticated platforms like Ontraport or Infusionsoft. But I don’t. And I bet you don’t either.
On the other hand, I find free tools such as MailChimp harder to use than either ConvertKit or BirdSend. And I sure don’t care for their pricing change on how they count subscribers. But, I get why some people start with them or MailerLite.
As for me, I’m glad a great solution with BirdSend. It meets my needs for easy marketing automation, great deliverability, and vary affordable pricing. I should be happy with it for years to come.