Eamil marketing tools

comparing 4 popular email list tools for coaches

You may have noticed that there are a lot of different email marketing tools out there, and working out which you should use can be mind boggling (check out my handy guide to what to think about when choosing your platform). To help you, here’s are 4 of the platforms most commonly used by coaches (in my experience), and what I think about them:


Probably the best-known, the free version of Mailchimp was widely-used across small businesses for many years. However, in May 2019, Mailchimp brought in some changes that significantly reduced the functionality in the free version – most notably for coaches the restriction to one email in a sequence (there is a workaround, but it’s a bit faffy). Despite this, Mailchimp continues to be the platform of choice for many coaches starting out.


  • user-friendly, with a drag and drop builder for emails
  • easy to build forms to embed or share via a link
  • free version includes a website-builder
  • you can tag your audience and segment them into groups, allowing for targeted marketing
  • integrates directly with most website builders, checkout software and membership platforms


  • very limited automations on the free version
  • the free package limits your audience to 500 people and the number of emails you can send to 2500 per month


I discovered Mailerlite in 2019 when I was looking for a free alternative to Mailchimp, and have been recommending it ever since. It has a drag-and-drop builder plus templates for your emails, which is perfect for coaches who are not yet working with a VA to create emails on their behalf!


  • user-friendly, with a drag and drop builder and standard templates to choose from
  • free version includes complex automations
  • audiences can be tagged (Mailerlite uses the term ‘groups’) and segmented
  • free version includes a website-builder
  • free version allows for up to 1000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month


  • there is a verification process to signing up, which is a pain if you don’t have a website
  • some web platforms and other software don’t directly integrate with Mailerlite, although this is rapidly improving and you can always use a third-party tool


I am a big fan of ConvertKit. My first coach client was using it and it was a very different tool to Mailchimp, but (in my humble opinion) it is super-easy to use – although they recently changed the navigation and it is less intuitive than it used to be (sorry CK, it had to be said). 

Although it doesn’t offer a drag-and-drop builder, ConvertKit recently added an email designer, meaning it’s much easier to design your emails.

At the end of 2019 ConvertKit free package, which has quite limited functions but is worth signing up to if you’re thinking about using one of the premium options.


  • premium options offer really intuitive visual automation workflows
  • free version allows for up to 1000 subscribers and unlimited broadcasts (ConvertKit’s term for emails)
  • free version includes landing pages
  • versatile tagging and segmentation
  • email builder with lots of options for adding content and media
  • landing pages and forms
  • excellent customer support
  • direct integration with most website, checkout and membership software


  • the free version offers no automation or sequences
  • less user-friendly to navigate than it used to be

Active Campaign

This email marketing tool is very popular among established coaches. It doesn’t offer a free option although there is a free trial. They have an excellent on-boarding scheme for new accounts and you get your own adviser to support you with set-up. Active Campaign also offers a service to transfer your subscribers from other platforms.

The platform offers a lot of functionality and is excellent for managing your subscribers – however you really need to make sure you understand the difference between lists and tags from the start as I have seen many accounts that are wildly out of control!


  • onboarding and customer support is excellent
  • visual automation workflows with a wide range of triggers and actions
  • flexible tools for managing your audience
  • direct integration with most website, checkout and membership software


  • doesn’t offer a free version (other than free trial)
  • no landing page builder

These are just four of the many email marketing tools out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking for support to set up the right systems for your coaching business, please check out how we can work together.