Convertkit Free Trial or Free Plan? PLUS Free Broadcasts to 100+ Subscribers!

ConvertKit Free Trial vs. Free Plan + 100 FREE Subscribers
Learn what is and isn’t included in ConverKit’s new FREE plan, and how it differs from a paid plan free trial. Can you use both? Plus, how to unlock free broadcasts + more for 100 subscribers on the free plan now!

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate or referral links, which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission or “store credit” for referring you :)

Get FREE Broadcasts to 500 Subscribers instead of 100

In an effort to help creators during this trying time, Convertkit has decided to offer extra free subscribers until April 30, 2020. They may decide to extend the offer longer, but for now that is the deadline so grab it now!

It’s finally happened: Convertkit announced a new free plan in early 2020 (technically I think it was the end of December…)! But what’s actually included in the free plan? And should you choose it over a free trial? Keep reading to learn more about the differences, and how to unlock free email broadcasts for up to 100 subscribers with NO TIME LIMIT when you use my referral link to open a new Convertkit account on the free plan!

Plus, you can earn additional free subscribers (up to 1000 total, including this 100) by referring others through your link.

TECH UPDATES DISCLAIMER: Tech is always changing, and features included in various plans often change as well! As of February 2020, ConvertKit’s Free plan is still very new, and it can be a little confusing to understand what is and isn’t included. So, I’ll do my best to explain the ConvertKit free plan to the best of my knowledge based on researching what’s currently available, asking CK questions directly, and poking around in my own free testing account(s). If you notice any updates I missed feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to look into it and keep this post updated. When in doubt you can always reach out to CK yourself – they’re very helpful in the chat! 🙂

Convertkit Free Plan Overview

It’s important to realize that there are limitations to the ConvertKit free plan, and I have to admit I was pretty disappointed when I first scanned over the included features, especially when comparing them to other services that offer generous free plans such as MailerLite and MailChimp.

What’s NOT Included in the ConvertKit Free Plan

You might be taken aback (as I was) to realize that ConvertKit’s free plan doesn’t actually include any automations, sequences, or sending of emails at all. (GASP!)

My initial reaction to this was something like “duhhhhh… what the heck am I gonna do with a free plan from an email service that doesn’t doesn’t actually allow me to send any emails??”

Still, any free plan is better than nothing, especially if you’re already drooling over ConvertKit but aren’t ready for a financial commitment. And if you have access to a special referral link like mine, you can sweeten the pot a little more by unlocking one-off broadcasts for up to 100 subscribers, and there’s no time limit on this:)

Basically, the main point of ConvertKit’s free plan isn’t to give away the farm for free. It’s a way to give those who are pretty much already set on ConvertKit but are nervous about committing to the $29/month before they’ve collected a single email address an affordable way to start collecting emails for future promotions.

OK, So What IS Included in the Free Plan?

  • You can set up unlimited forms or landing pages to start collecting emails. This means you can quickly throw out a freebie or product idea to gauge interest, and if an idea takes off you’ll already have a launch list ready and waiting.
  • While you can’t start sending broadcast emails until you upgrade (OR unlock free subscribers + features… see below!), you can give access to a free download when someone subscribes through one of your forms or landing pages.
  • Technically, you can collect an unlimited number of subscribers! Just know that unless you earn free subscriber credits (keep reading for more info), you’ll have to start paying at ConvertKit’s standard rates to start sending emails to those subscribers. And to use fancier features like automations, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan either way.
  • You can customize an account domain and set up a custom domain.

Unlock Free Broadcasts + Tagging for 100+ Subscribers!

If you decide to give the free plan a try, you may as well unlock free email broadcasts for up to 100 subscribers with no time limit! I’ll get 100 free subscribers too if you’re one of the 1st 10 people to use my link, for which I’ll be super appreciative! 🙂

You’ll see that your broadcasts tab will be unlocked, and you’ll be able to send virtually unlimited newsletter emails to your first 100 subscribers, you just won’t be able to set up automations or sequences yet.

Broadcasts will be Unlocked for up to 100 Subscribers when you use my link!
Broadcasts will be Unlocked for up to 100 Subscribers when you use my link!

*NOTE: You may not see any kind of obvious notification that your free 100 subs have been applied to your account (I didn’t), but basically if you are able to send a broadcast on the free plan, it worked:)

Refer People Yourself to Earn MORE Free Subscribers!

If you want to unlock even more free subscribers, you can use your own referral link to earn up to 1000 free subscribers! And when you upgrade to a paid plan, those 1000 subscribers will be IN ADDITION to your paid number of subscribers, which essentially means you could have up to 2000 subscribers for $29/month, instead of only 1000!

Actually, even if you’re already on a paid ConvertKit plan, you can still share your referral link to earn free subscribers!

Share ConvertKit and Unlock Broadcast Sending for Up to 1000 Free Subscribers
Share ConvertKit and Unlock Broadcast Sending for Up to 1000 Free Subscribers

How’s the Convertkit Free Trial Different from the Free Plan?

The main reason to go with a ConvertKit free trial over the free plan is that you’ll have full access to email broadcasts, automation and sequences for 14 days, but if you collect any emails you’ll have to start paying after the 14 days to keep using your account.

Which Should You Choose?

In a nutshell, if you need to be able to test-drive all of ConvertKit’s features to decide if it’s right for you, you’ll have to go with the free trial. Note that you’ll still be able to earn free subscribers by sharing your own referral link.

If you’re ok with holding off on testing all the bells and whistles in favor of locking in some free subscribers and features for an unlimited amount of time, you’ll use a referral link to unlock the broadcasts and tagging features for up to 100 subscribers on the free plan.

If you need the best of both worlds, you could always open up a free trial testing account, and then start over with a free plan account and 100 free subs.

FAQs About the ConvertKit Free Plan + Earning Free Subscribers

NOTE: Most of these are based on my own questions to CK chat and answers from Olyvia, who was super helpful! 🙂

Q: Can I try the free plan AND the free trial on the same account? And what happens when the free trial runs out?

In short no… but also somewhat yes.

You could not say, use my link to get 100 free subs on the free plan and also use another link to get a free trial of all the paid plan features. However, if you start with the free plan and really want to try all the paid features, you could ask CK nicely and they might bump your account up to a temporary trial 😉

If you start with a free trial and it ends, you’ll be locked out until you upgrade to a paid account or request to downgrade to a free account. You can’t then click a referral link to unlock 100 free subscribers, but you could still refer others using your own link to earn free subscribers.

Q: Can I segment and tag subscribers I collect on the free plan?

I’m still a little unclear on how this works myself and plan to do some testing soon. In the meantime, here’s a quote from ConvertKit’s own free plan FAQs:

You can start adding tags to your forms and landing page to eventually help you organize your email list, but you won’t be able to put them into use until you’ve unlocked email list management either by referring a friend or upgrading your plan.

– ConvertKit

Q: If I use your link to unlock broadcasts + tagging for 100 free subscribers, can I still earn 1000 additional subscribers (1100 free subscribers total), or can I earn a max of 1000 free subscribers?

Currently, you can earn a total of 1000 free subscribers.

Q: If I’ve already earned my 1000 free subscribers by sharing my referral link, can I keep sharing the link to give away free subscribers to my referrals?

Yes, you can, but you may want to swap it out for an affiliate link (see below).

Q: Once I’ve earned 1000 free subscribers myself, can I share the free plan using an affiliate link instead of a referral link? And will new users still get 100 free subs?

Yes, you can set up an affiliate link to share the free plan WITH 100 free subs for new users, you just won’t get anything unless they decide to upgrade to a paid plan. Here are the instructions Olyvia from CK gave me to set this up:

If you’d like to promote the free plan using your affiliate link (different than the referral link, as you mentioned), here’s how:

This is the core link to the free plan + 100 subscribers to manage/broadcast sending unlocked:

You just need to add your LinkMink affiliate ID “&lmref=INSERTAFFILIATECODE” at the end of the link above. 

So the full affiliate link would look like:

Or, you can login to your LinkMink account and use the custom URL builder. Just copy and paste the free plan link above into the link builder in your dashboard and it will create your affiliate link for you.

Further Reading

As I mentioned earlier, even CK’s own info about the free plan still seems a bit scattered and vague as I write this, and they even state on their pricing page that they are working on updating it. But if you’d like to do some more research here are a few posts that helped me piece together mine!

>> Don’t forget to get your 100 free CK subs!

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