Psst! This page contains affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. By doing so, you’re helping me pay my biz bills (and to drink coffee; lots of coffee, & to keep buying design books and art supplies, which I love). Learn more in my Affiliate Disclosure.
There are many different platforms to sell your digital products, online courses, and bundles. But which one is the best for your online business?
In this blog post, I’m going to write about one of the best platforms to sell online: SendOwl, which has a free plan available (during the first three months), so if you’re just starting your business, it’s a way to leverage your first costs in business subscriptions.
I’m going to compare the free plan (for three months) vs the paid plans (with a 14-day free trial) in SendOwl, so that you can choose which one is right for you at the moment.
Disclaimer: When I originally wrote this blog post in 2022, the free plan was a forever free plan. At that time, there were only two plans available: the Free plan and the Growth plan.
But now SendOwl plans have changed and you get the first three months for free in the Starter Plan. After that, it’s $9 per month.
SendOwl is a platform that allows you to sell your digital products online easily. You can sell and deliver ebooks (with PDF stamping for security), audiobooks, stock photos, software, memberships, license keys, digital product bundles, online courses, and more. You can also create your own affiliate program with SendOwl.
This is the platform that I used for the first two years to sell my Canva templates and styled stock photography in my shop for entrepreneurs.
Now I have my shop on Payhip. I’ll tell you more about it in the alternatives section at the end of this blog post.
In my opinion, SendOwl is good for writers, photographers, coaches, infopreneurs, artists, bloggers, and creative entrepreneurs.
For example, if you’re a writer, you can create your own shop to sell your ebooks and audiobooks directly from your website in connection with SendOwl, and also sell your books in different marketplaces.
You could offer an extra short story, bonus chapters, or behind the scenes of the story, as a gift to anyone who purchases two or more books directly from your shop (SendOwl allows you to add different products to the cart before checkout).
There are two ways to use SendOwl:
You receive the payment directly in your Stripe or PayPal account whenever a customer makes a purchase.
If you’re on SendOwl’s Starter Plan (free for the first 3 months), they discount a 5% transaction fee.
Yes, it does! You can create your sales page in WordPress and embed SendOwl’s button by searching for “custom HTML” in the Gutenberg editor and adding it to your page. Just copy and paste the button that you want from SendOwl (“buy now”, “add to cart”, or “view cart”).
Your audience will click on the button and SendOwl will take care of the rest (payment, email, and product delivery).
Yes, it does! A prior version of this website was an example of that for the first two years (now it runs on WordPress). You can embed buttons by adding a code block in your sales page in Squarespace.
Now, I didn’t really like the way SendOwl’s buttons looked (#sorrynotsorry SendOwl team) so I created my own buttons with my color palette, and then I added them as png files in the custom CSS section in Squarespace.
Once I uploaded the images on my website, I replaced the button image location in the button code provided by SendOwl.
If you want to do this, look at the section of the code that starts with “img src” and add your image location between the quotation marks.
<img src=“button image location goes here”/>
Yes, it does! You have to search for SendOwl in the Shopify app store and install it (make sure that you have at least one product in Shopify before you do that, or you will get an error message).
Then configure an account in SendOwl. You will create your products in SendOwl, and they will be linked to your products in your Shopify store. You can find more information and tutorials about this in SendOwl’s help center.
Yes, it does! You only need to embed a button from SendOwl in your sales page in Wix. Go to the editor in Wix, and click on:
Add to site | Embed code | Embed HTML
Copy and paste the code from SendOwl to display the button that you want in your sales page (“buy now”, “add to cart”, or “view cart”).
Yes! There are two ways for you to use SendOwl for free:
Yes, you can! When you are in your SendOwl account, go to:
Products | Add a product | Sell a digital or physical product | Physical
When you sell a physical product, you will receive an email from SendOwl detailing which product was purchased and your customer’s address.
Once you ship your product, go back to that email and click on the link to mark the product as “dispatched”, and enter the tracking number. Your customer will receive an email with this information.
Have in mind that in the case of selling physical products, there are other platforms with more options, like Shopify.
Yes, you can! (Unless you’re integrating SendOwl with Shopify. You’ll have to find a Shopify plugin to create your affiliate program.)
Settings | SendOwl checkout | Affiliate program | Program settings
In that page, you will be able to connect with your email service provider (so your new affiliate will be added to your email list), add your affiliate program’s name, support email address, affiliate pay delay, site link URL, cookie precedence, lifetime, and expiry; and affiliate terms.
Once you enter all the information, click on “Update”.
In the next page, you will have the option to choose a default affiliate commission rate for all your products.
If you want to select different rates, or exclude some products from the program, click on “Skip this step” and then proceed to edit your products individually with the different affiliate rates.
IMPORTANT: SendOwl doesn’t generate affiliate payments. You’ll have to do it yourself. At the beginning of the month, they will send you two files: a PayPal MassPay file, which you can upload to your PayPal account to pay all your affiliates, and a CSV file with the email address and the amount that you have to pay to each affiliate.
In the tables below, you can read the differences between SendOwl’s Starter Plan (first three months for free), Growth Plan, and Pro Plan.
✅ First 3 months for FREE. After that, it’s $9 per month.
✅ 5% per order fee (minimum order values apply).
✅ 10 GB storage.
✅ Receive payments with Stripe and PayPal.
✅ 14 day free trial.
✅ $0.33 per order fee.
✅ 100 GB storage.
✅ Receive payments with Stripe and PayPal.
✅ 14 day free trial.
✅ $0.17 per order fee.
✅ 200 GB storage.
✅ Receive payments with Stripe and PayPal.
✅ Unlimited products.
✅ Unlimited subscriptions.
✅ Checkout templates.
✅ Shopping cart and checkout (on-site checkout, payment links, embedded buttons, flexible payments, pay what you want, gifting, multi-language and multi-currency).
✅ Secure digital delivery (automated delivery, download restrictions, PDF stamping, code and license key generator).
✅ Marketing workflows (affiliate marketing, product update emails, 1-click upsells, email marketing integration, cart abandonment, drip content).
✅ Business tools (analytics and reporting, tax management, EU VAT rules, fraud filtering).
✅ Customization (custom branding, custom checkout fields, custom email templates, send HTML or text emails).
✅ Discounts and promo codes.
This is my personal opinion about the pros and cons of SendOwl, and it comes from my experience using the platform to sell my digital products during the first two years of my business, when my website was on Squarespace.
Even though you have customization options, I feel like there could be a bit more options (I’ve been spoiled by Flodesk for sending my emails, and by Payhip for selling my digital products, LOL). Other than that, I was really happy with SendOwl while I used the platform.
After two years of using SendOwl to sell my digital products, I decided to change to Payhip. I was looking for a platform that would manage and pay EU VAT for me, and that’s how I found Payhip.
Prior to that, I was using Creative Market to manage sales with VAT, but they’re now charging a 50% commission to creators (they went gradually from a 20% commission at the beginning, to finally 50% in 2022), so I needed to find another platform ASAP.
That’s why I deleted all my products from Creative Market (and from SendOwl too), and moved my whole shop to Payhip, so now I manage everything from just one place.
With Payhip, you can create your own shop with an affiliate program, coupon codes, and upsells for free, and customize it to look similar to your website.
If you don’t have a website yet, you can purchase a domain, connect it with Payhip, and start selling your products and services for free today. You can also sell online courses and memberships.
If you collect payments with Stripe and/or PayPal, you can start with the free plan, with a 5% commission for every sale that you make (plus the usual fees from Stripe or PayPal). There are also other plans with a 2% commission or a 0% commission available too. Take a look at their website, and decide which one is better for you.
You can use my Payhip coupon code SOULFULGIRLS10 to get 10% off on all paid plans.
Podia is a platform that allows you to sell your digital products, online courses, memberships, communities, webinars, workshops, bundles, coaching and consultations. It also includes a website builder, and an email marketing platform, all in one place.
There’s a free plan available now, so if you want to see if you like the platform, you can sign up to the free account and see if it’s what you’re looking for. And if you like it, you can upgrade when you’re ready.
Teachable is a platform where you can sell mostly online courses, memberships, digital downloads, and coaching consultations.
If you’re just starting to create courses, there’s a free plan that allows you to sell one course (the paid plans have unlimited courses), so you can sign up to the platform, see what it’s like building your course there, and decide if you want to upgrade later.
Flodesk is an email marketing platform that now has the option to sell your products online, even without a website. You can build a beautiful sales page, checkout page, and delivery page with Flodesk, and connect directly with your Stripe account to receive the payments.
You can sell digital products and services, and offer discounts and upsells, for a flat rate. There are no platform fees, which means that you only pay Stripe fees for processing the payment (3% + $0.30). And you can sell unlimited products, so you can grow your business without having to pay more.
IMPORTANT: At the moment, you can only accept payments with Stripe, which isn’t available in every country to receive payments yet (like in my country). I’ve already submitted a feature request to Flodesk, so that they may add PayPal as a payment option too. Let’s hope that they get enough requests to prioritize that feature. I’ve been sending emails to my subscribers with Flodesk for three years, and they’re always adding their most requested features.
The good thing is that there’s a plan available in Flodesk to use email + checkout, so in that way, you can sell your products, add your customers automatically to your list, and send beautiful emails, all in one place. Or you can select the checkout plan only. Your choice.
If you use my affiliate link or my Flodesk discount code SOULFULGIRLS at checkout, you will get 50% off in your Flodesk subscription during the first year.
I hope that was useful to you!
With all my love,