Email subscription using Netlify Functions and ConvertKit

31 May 2020

This tutorial is strongly inspired by the work of people behind They deserve all the credit.

If you want to learn more about serverless functions provided by Netlify I recommend Netlify Lambda Functions Tutorial and AWS (?) made simple: What is a Netlify function? blog post.

Create ConvertKit account and get the API key

I find ConvertKit the most developer-friendly transactional email service since they allow you to put their physical address in your messages (CAN-SPAM requirement to have a physical address in every email you send). For details please refer to (Alternatives for your physical address)[]

Create a serverless function

Create a folder for functions in your root directory and put a .js file inside

touch /functions/subscribe/subscribe.js

Let's include subfolders in case later we'll be using more than one serverless function.

Let's also use the fact that Netlify can install packages during its build process and in the subscribe folder initiate package.json:

npm init -y

This will setup package.json just for the /subscribe and will enable us to install packages in a subfolder:

npm i axios

We'll be using this package in our subscribe.js function, which is following:

const axios = require('axios');

const { CONVERTKIT_API_KEY } = process.env;

exports.handler = async (event, context) => {
  const { email } = JSON.parse(event.body);

  const subscriber = {
    api_key: CONVERTKIT_API_KEY,
    email: email,

  try {
    return {
      statusCode: 200,
      body: 'Email subscribed',
  } catch (err) {
    return {
      statusCode: err.code,
      body: JSON.stringify({ msg: err.message }),

Configure Netlify boilerplate

Install Netlify CLI

npm i -g netlify-cli

Next in project root run:

netlify init

In project root create netflify.toml:

  publish = "dist"
  functions = './functions/'

Then, again in project root install:

npm i netlify-lambda

And add postinstall script in your root's package.json

  "scripts": {
    "postinstall": "netlify-lambda install",

Lastly, run:

npm i

Set up environmental variables in Netlify

In your project's panel on Netlify, in the Settings section fill in your environmental variables.

And you're all set to collect emails from visitors kind enough to provide it to you!

P.S. To locally test that function run:

netlify dev

This will spin up the project connected with Netlify including your functions and API keys.