SendOwl: An Affordable Platform for Selling Digital Products (A Review)

6 min read

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Image shows an ipad showing SendOwl's dashboard.
Today I want to give you an overview of a platform for selling digital products—SendOwl—in case you’re searching for one for your online business.

In this post:

The Need for an Online Selling Platform

In recent years, we content creators have come a long way. We sell ebooks, workbooks, templates, online courses, and much more, and often make a full-time income with part-time effort. The biggest headache with this business, however, is this: how do we pick a platform for selling our digital goodies in, what appears, a sea of platforms with very similar capabilities, and a new one popping up almost every other day to rival the rest?

The answer isn’t always straightforward, but I’ve found a formula that works for me:

  • Choose a few platforms that are within your budget.
  • Check out all the available features and compare against what your needs are.
  • Shortlist a couple that fits your budget and feature requirements and also vibe with you. (The initial look and feel.)
  • Sign up for a free trial and test things out.

By this point, you’ll likely know which you prefer based on the interface and user experience.

Recently, I had a chance to try out SendOwl, one of the longest-running eCommerce platforms of its kind, made specifically for digital products, and well, I must say the experience was better than a couple of other, similar platforms I’ve tried (Gumroad, for example.) These are my initial thoughts:

SendOwl: At a Glance

Anyone who plans on selling digital products, be that a PDF or a paid newsletter (or any number of other digital products) should check out SendOwl. It is definitely one of the most affordable and easy-to-use digital product platforms for online creators.

On Sendowl’s pricing

At the time of writing this, Sendowl’s pricing starts at only $18 per month with a generous trial period. At this price point, you get 10GB of storage space for your digital products and only a 5% transaction fee.

Compared to a similar product such as Gumroad, this isn’t bad, not bad at all!

Gumroad’s best selling point is that it’s a free platform. As in, anyone can sign up and start selling right away. No monthly fees. However, Gumroad also has a whopping 10% transaction fee, and these add up quickly, especially when you start selling more and more products.

For example, if you sell $100 worth of product, with a monthly fee of $18 + 5% transaction fee, you’re giving SendOwl $23. Gumroad will be cheaper here because you’ll pay Gumroad only $10 for the transaction and no monthly fee.

However, say if you’re selling $1,000 worth of products. On Sendowl, you’ll pay a 5% transaction fee ($50) + monthly fee ($18) = $68. On Gumroad, however, at a 10% transaction fee, you’ll pay them $100.

As you can see, the more money you make, the more expensive Gumroad gets, even if the platform itself doesn’t charge a monthly fee.

So, for me at least, SendOwl is the clear winner between these two platforms regarding the cost of operation.

What’s more, if you happen to pick a higher-tiered plan, this transaction fee goes down further. So, let’s say that you really start going and your business is booming, bringing in 3k or more per month. Then, if you pick the Growth plan which is only $37 per month, your transaction fee goes down to $0.47 per order!!!

Basically, you get to keep almost all of your revenue, minus the monthly fee of 37 bucks.

That’s a WIN!

SendOwl pricing page screenshot.
SendOwl pricing page.

On SendOwl’s features

Sendowl is great for most digital product sellers. You can sell all sorts of products on SendOwl (PDFs, ebooks, music, codes, videos, coaching services, newsletters, dripped content, and more.) You can also sell online courses on SendOwl, collect tips, and set up recurring subscriptions.

I want to point out a few limitations to SendOwl features right now:

  • The storefront is limited to showing only 10 products (this will change soon; they’re working on revamping their storefront and product pages to address this.)
  • There are currently no community features available. If you need it for your online courses, you’ll need to use Facebook groups or Discord. (You can use Zapier to automate SendOwl and Discord.)
  • SendOwl allows you to create online courses with recurring payments. Some other companies have a simpler platform and interface for selling courses, however. For example, if you want to sell a course on SendOwl that doesn’t have recurring payments, you have to create a digital product, not a course. Also, it’s not intuitive as to how one would combine multiple file formats in a course.
What you can sell on SendOwl
What you can sell on SendOwl

A pretty cool feature is SendOwl’s numerous integrations. For example, you can easily add all your SendOwl customers to your newsletter platform of choice, and SendOwl has quite a few of these available, including ConvertKit (the newsletter platform I use), MailChimp, MailerLite, GetResponse, Active Campaign, Constant Contact, and more.

SendOwl integrates with ConvertKit
SendOwl integrates with ConvertKit

Last but not least, you can also set up affiliates for your products within SendOwl for no additional cost!

To be honest with you, what I love about SendOwl is how simple and easy it is to use the platform. It also has a straightforward pricing structure. No need for different pricing plans for different features. All features are available on all plans, you only pay for how much storage you need or how much you want to pay for transaction fees (the highest being 5% only!).

On SendOwl’s UI and UX

Sendowl has a simple and clean interface. The dashboard is easy to use and everything is intuitive, so you don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out how to create a simple product or a subscription.

After you create a Sendowl account, you can log into your dashboard and right away you’ll see a big button that says “Add your first product.” When you click that button, on the next page, you see a list of products such as a digital download, coaching service, a subscription-based newsletter, and much, much more!

When you select the product you’re trying to create, the interface will walk you through the rest of the process. All you have to do is fill out the requested information and follow the prompts.

Available products on SendOwl.
Available products on SendOwl.

Selling SendOwl products on your website

One of the current limitations of SendOwl is that you need your own website to sell the products you host in SendOwl.

SendOwl does allow a storefront, which technically can act as a “shop page,” however, this storefront is limited to displaying a maximum of 10 products of your choosing.

But there’s good news for SendOwl users. They’re doing major updates to their storefront and product pages in the next few months to address some of these limitations.

For now, however, the best way to use SendOwl would be to create a storefront on your website (self-hosted WordPress, for example) and simply link to individual products on SendOwl. You can either embed the Sendowl products on your self-hosted WordPress or use hyperlinks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is SendOwl better than WooCommerce

They have their pros and cons. For example, I sell a lot of Canva templates using WooCommerce because I'm already on WordPress; so it is easier to showcase all of my products in one place without having to embed them one at a time. However, if you have a handful of products and you do not want to bother with setting up WooCommerce, then SendOwl is a simpler option for you. Also, recall that you cannot sell things like coaching, subscriptions (unless you pay even more for specific plugins), or courses with WooCommerce, but you can sell those easily with SendOwl.

Can I sell SendOwl products on any website of my choosing?

Yes. Embedding is limited to platforms that allow using embed codes, so WordPress, Squarespace, and similar platforms. But you can hyperlink to any product on SendOwl from anywhere. So, for example, if you blog on Medium, you can simply hyperlink a product on Medium.

Between SendOwl and Gumroad, which do you recommend?

Gumroad is free to use, so there's that. But recall from what I said above, Gumroad has a 10% transaction fee which adds up to be a pretty big amount when you start selling more and more. Gumroad may be more attractive to brand new creators with a tight budget, but I personally would recommend SendOwl because it would be cheaper in the long run.

That is all for now.

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This blog post was sponsored by SendOwl; all opinions are mine.
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