MailChimp vs ConvertKit: Should You Switch? (My Experience with Both)Nov 17, 2017
Trying to decide between MailChimp and ConvertKit? You may be wondering which email provider is best for your needs. In this review, I'll share my own personal experience with both.
Let me share my own personal experience…
(By the way, some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you sign up through my link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. In fact, you will save money by getting a special deal only available to my users.)
For nearly 5 years, I was a loyal MailChimp customer. I was charmed by their free plan and beautifully designed newsletter templates, and we got along together… for a while.
However, when I got really serious about growing my email list, I started resenting our relationship. I had outgrown MailChimp’s features (even those offered in the paid plans), and was sick of hacking my way around their limitations.
I knew I could do better.
I looked into Aweber, but it had many of the same limitations that were driving me nuts about MailChimp. I also looked into various CRM (customer relationship management) systems, like InfusionSoft, Ontraport and the like, which were certainly more robust, but they also came with a high price tag.
I needed a solution with the features of a CRM that would be kind to my budget.
Then, I stumbled across ConvertKit… it was like love at first sight.
As soon as I saw their homepage with the headline, “Email Marketing for Professional Bloggers”, I promptly said goodbye to MailChimp and ran into the arms of ConvertKit.
And I haven’t looked back since.
Granted, ConvertKit isn’t for everyone. If you need visually beautiful newsletters, then stick with MailChimp. However, I believe ConvertKit currently has the most robust solution in it’s price range, and it is only getting better as they continue to add more features and improvements.
Ready to see if you and ConvertKit are a match made in heaven? Here’s how to determine whether you’re ready to break up with MailChimp…
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
1. You Have Multiple Lead Magnets
Have you ever tried to deliver more than one opt-in incentive (a.k.a. “lead magnet”) with MailChimp or Aweber? It’s ridiculously complicated, right?
Because these other email services only allow for one opt-in form per email list, you have to create multiple email lists just to deliver multiple incentives!
It’s crazy that something so crucial to email marketing (incentivizing people to get on your email list) is so darn hard with these solutions.
Not so with ConvertKit. ConvertKit allows you to create as many opt-in forms as you want, delivering all kinds of incentives (PDFs, mini courses, video series, eBooks, anything you want), easy peasy.
2. You’re Sick of Paying for Duplicate Subscribers
As a side effect of trying to deliver more than one incentive, you’ll inevitably end up with duplicate subscribers across your various email lists in MailChimp or Aweber. The problem with that?
They’ll charge you for each duplicate.
ConvertKit handles subscribers completely differently. Each subscriber is handled as one subscriber. If they opt-in to multiple different incentives, it only counts them once, so you only pay once.
Plus, you can view all the offers that a subscriber has signed up for, along with all of that subscriber’s activity, on one screen:
3. Creating & Sending Autoresponders is Giving You the Heebie-Jeebies
What if you wanted to send a general welcome series to all your subscribers, but you also want to send a specific autoresponder to each person, depending on where they opted in?
What if you wanted to send subscribers to a new email series after they complete the first one?
If you’re using MailChimp or Aweber, good luck with that. But ConvertKit makes it easy…
Here’s what the autoresponder series creation screen looks like (it’s easy to view the entire series at a glance):
You can also trigger these sequences to be sent according to certain events from the Automations screen:
4. You’d L-O-V-E a Built-In Landing Page Creator
Yes, you can create landing pages with ConvertKit.
Granted, it’s nothing super fancy, and there’s only one simple template. But, if you’re on a tight budget and you want your email software to multitask, this is a completely serviceable solution. You can even host the landing page on your own domain!
Here’s what the landing page creator looks like:
5. You Want to Check Conversion Rates & Track Ad Campaigns
While MailChimp has analytics on your existing subscriber activity, they don’t track the stats on your optin forms. Want to know how many people saw your optin form and what your conversion rate is? Sorry, you can’t.
Thankfully, ConvertKit excels at this: statistics for every opt-in form!
This information is critical for knowing what changes I need to make to improve my lead generation.
Another cool feature is the ability to track specific campaigns, such as an ad or social media campaign. Here’s what I mean…
Let’s say you are running Facebook ads to a landing page, and you want to know which ads are giving you the best results. To create a campaign, you can append the landing page URL with an extra string, like so:
Then, you can view the stats for each campaign. You can also view your top referrers:
6. You Want to Move Existing Subscribers Further Along Your Funnel
Here’s another cool thing you can do with ConvertKit: you can show custom content in place of your optin form if the visitor has already subscribed.
What could you do with this feature? Well, you could push those people who’ve already opted in further down your sales funnel.
For instance, let’s say someone opted in to my free mini course. Instead of seeing that same opt-in form again, I could show them an offer for a premium course.
Here’s what that feature looks like:
7. Your Paying Customers Deserve Special Treatment
ConvertKit has a large number of integrations that allow you to send autoresponders or one-off broadcasts specifically to people who have purchased your product. This can come in handy for thanking customers for purchasing, or pitching a higher-end product later.
Similarly, you can exclude customers from receiving sales emails after they have purchased.
While you can do some of this in MailChimp too, keep in mind that automation is only available with paid and pro plans.
You can check out the integrations that are currently available in ConvertKit here.
Yet Another Reason to Love ConvertKit…
If you’d rather support a small startup than a large company, it’s another reason to love ConvertKit.
ConvertKit’s creator, Nathan Barry, is very responsive and will often personally reply to your technical support questions and feature requests. I’m not sure how long that will last as the company grows, but for now it’s a nice personal touch, and it’s great to know that you are supporting a fellow entrepreneur.
Want to give ConvertKit a test drive? Click here to get a 30-day free trial!