ConvertKit vs Mailchimp: A Review

Dana NicoleBlogging Tips, Entrepreneur TipsLeave a Comment

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Last updated on May 17th, 2020

Today I’m going to be comparing ConvertKit vs Mailchimp: side by side so you can easily see which email marketing software is the best for you!

So let’s get right into it!

PS this article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links within this article, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When I first started my blog/business (and my email list-building efforts) I started with Mailchimp as my email marketing provider.

Like many startups, I was on a budget and in my mind, it didn’t make sense to pay for an email marketing service when I could use Mailchimp for free.

That’s a big point when comparing ConvertKit versus Mailchimp is that Mailchimp is free up to a certain number of subscribers.

Initially, I told myself “when I hit 1,000 email subscribers, I will invest in something a little more robust and move on over to ConvertKit” however, after a few months of getting serious about growing my email list, I realized that I had already outgrown Mailchimp even though I hadn’t even come close to 1,000 email list subscribers.

It was a big decision, but I decided that switching to ConvertKit was going to be an investment for my business that I needed. And so I bit the bullet and made the switch.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about the difference between the two providers and hopefully help give you a better understanding of what email marketing software is right for you!

While discussing Mailchimp versus ConvertKit, I am going to compare the following areas:

  • price
  • support
  • usability
  • features

You’ll also get my honest ConvertKit review on what I liked and what I think needs improvement.

Pricing of Mailchimp vs ConvertKit

Mailchimp Pricing

Mailchimp is a pretty popular email marketing service for bloggers and small businesses because of their free option.

Mailchimp has 3 levels of pricing: free, $10/month, and $199/month. The free option is available to anyone who has less than 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send out a maximum of 12,000 emails per month.

However, once you hit 2,000 subscribers you will need to move your plan to the Essentials plan listed above (or the Standard Plan or the Premium Plan). If you have 2,001 subscribers on the Essentials plan, you’ll be paying roughly $20 per month. You can use Mailchimp’s calculator for the Essentials plan to see how much

ConvertKit Pricing

ConverKit on the other hand, doesn’t have a free tier for their customers, which is why I think so many people are hesitant to give them a try.

Here is a comparison table of ConvertKit monthly prices versus Mailchimp.

 ConvertKit $/MonthMailChimp $/Month (Essential Plan)
0-1K$29Free
1K-3K$49Ranges from $20-$50
3K-5K$79$50
7.5K$99$75

Now, one thing to make note of is that ConvertKit only charges for your subscribers once, meaning that if someone signs up for freebie A but also freebie B, they are just counted as one subscriber.

Mailchimp counts them twice, and will charge you twice.

Mailchimp also charges you for any subscribers that don’t confirm through double opt-in. Let’s say that someone enters their email in incorrectly, and so they don’t actually end up getting any of your emails and don’t confirm to be on your email list.

ConvertKit doesn’t charge for these types of subscribers, but Mailchimp does.

So while ConvertKit is slightly pricier than Mailchimp, Mailchimp might actually end up being pricier in the end as they charge for more types of subscribers.

Support for Mailchimp vs ConvertKit

A big pet peeve of mine is when I’m not able to hop on some type of support channel and get an answer (preferably right away).

ConvertKit offers a chat system for support that has limited hours, as well as email support. I’ve always got a fairly quick reply from support and their support team has been great in answering all my questions.

Mailchimp offers no support for their free plan. That’s a big no in my books. They do offer 30 days of support for new accounts, but after that, you’re on your own.

ConvertKit boasts an average of 1 hour and 14 minutes for a support response time.

It depends what you prefer for support and if you are ok with waiting a little longer with Mailchimp. Personally, I don’t mind waiting for support when it comes to email marketing. Usually the questions I’ve had can wait, but if support is a huge component for you, ConvertKit wins.

Usability of Mailchimp vs ConvertKit

I found Mailchimp to take me a good day to wrap my head around and figure out. I didn’t feel Mailchimp was as user-friendly when it came down to creating a campaign.  Setting up automations and anything beyond a simple newsletter always required me to go back in and try and remember what I needed to do, which is a huge waste of time. I never felt like Mailchimp was very “intuitive” to use.

I found ConvertKit much easier to use, on the other hand, which could possibly be from the library of training videos that they have readily available to their members.

In terms of usability, ConvertKit was more user-friendly and provided a better user experience overall.

Features of Mailchimp vs ConvertKit

ConvertKit blows Mailchimp out of the water in terms of features. As your email list can be one of your most valuable assets, you obviously will want an email marketing platform that delivers a high-quality service.

Forms

With ConvertKit, you have opt-in forms that people sign up for and once they sign up, they are brought onto your list. You only have one list (we will talk about how ConvertKit segments lists in a second). Below is an example of a ConvertKit form that I use for one of my freebies, my free media kit:

With each form, you can then dive into different metrics such as the subscribers that particular form has, the conversion rate and how many people have viewed that form.

Those are some pretty helpful metrics to have!

The great thing about this, is say I have a subscriber who signs up for my free media kit. Then after a couple days, that same subscriber signs up for another freebie of mine. With ConvertKit, that subscriber doesn’t get added again onto my list. This is because ConvertKit is subscriber based. ConvertKit doesn’t really use the word “lists” since your subscribers don’t get put onto any lists. They all just get put in one spot and get labelled based upon various actions they take (more on that later)!

However with Mailchimp, you can only have one list per form. Mailchimp is “list-based”. So if someone signs up for one of my freebies and then decides a few days later to sign up for another one, they get counted twice and get put on two different lists.

Being counted twice also adds up for your subscriber count. With Mailchimp, if I had one subscriber who opted into 10 different freebies, they would count as 10 subscribes.

This might not seem like much, but if I were to have 500 subscribers who opted into 5 different freebies each, thats 2,500 subscribes and guess what? If we refer to our pricing tables up above, I’m now paying around $20-$50 a month with Mailchimp because they count each individual subscribe (not each individual person).

ConvertKit, however, only counts each subscriber one. So those 500 subscribers above can sign up for as many freebies as they want without you having to pay additionally.

Now, seeing as I have over 20 freebies on my website, it didn’t make sense to have 20 different email lists with subscribers being counted more than once.

I was finding that my free account with Mailchimp was filling up because of people who wanted to download more than one freebie.

ConvertKit is much better than Mailchimp when it comes to creating forms and organizing your subscribers based upon what they have signed up for.

Segmentation

ConvertKit has something really handy called “tags”. Tags are something you can add to a user’s profile (in order to segment them) after they take action on something. For example, if someone signs up for my free media kit I can tag them as a “blogger”.

Or, if I’m sending out an email newsletter and I’m linking to a blog post I wrote on Instagram, I can tag users with “Interested in Instagram marketing” if they click on the link to my blog. You can create however many tags you want and title them whatever you want! It makes organizing your subscribers a breeze.

And because segmented email lists get 60% more clicks, you definitely want to try and segment your list somehow.

Unfortunately, Mailchimp doesn’t offer anything as easy to use as tags, so ConvertKit comes out ahead in regards to segmentation.

Automation

Both Mailchimp and ConvertKit offer automation. You can do things such as:

  • Initiate an on-boarding/welcome sequence
  • Send out automated emails for your newsletter
    • Send a specific email if a link hasn’t been clicked
    • Send a specific email if an email hasn’t been opened
  • Manage subscribers/unsubscribers

That’s all fairly basic stuff, and great to be able to do, but ConvertKit takes it up one step further with some really helpful automation.

For example, if you are about to send out a bunch of emails promoting a new ecourse you have, you can include a little line at the end of each email that says “Don’t want to get emails about my course anymore but still want to remain on the list? Click here and I won’t notify you about my course!” When the user clicks, you can set it up so they leave that particular string of emails, but don’t leave your entire list.

There are many other awesome things that ConvertKit can do with automation.

ConvertKit is the clear winner for automation!

Integration

Both Mailchimp and ConvertKit can integrate with nearly any piece of software or plugin as they are both widely recognized.

My one complaint is that as of now, ConvertKit does not have any system in place that allows you to send emails to people who have items in their shopping carts in your e-commerce store, but didn’t follow through with payment.

With Mailchimp, you are able to send reminder emails to anyone who was about to pay, but didn’t get as far as entering in their payment info (also known as an abandoned cart email).

If you have a big e-commerce store on your website, this is a pretty nice feature to have.

Because ConvertKit doesn’t have this, Mailchimp wins this round!

Address

ConvertKit gives all their users a free P.O. Box address to use in their emails. With Mailchimp, you need to purchase your own PO Box address, so while Mailchimp looks like it’s free, you actually do have to incur some costs.

You can use your personal home address if you wish, but I personally wouldn’t want to have my home address on every single email I send out (and by law, you must have an address).

My Personal ConvertKit Review

One of the reasons I didn’t invest in ConvertKit right away (even after hearing glowing reviews) was that I didn’t know how I could justify the cost.

I think this is probably a pain-point for a lot of you who are reading my ConvertKit review.

Let me say this: I was a little scared about the $29 per month price tag but if you sign up with the monthly subscription, you can cancel whenever.

I figured that I might as well give ConvertKit a try for free, and then afterward, I could always just cancel my subscription if I found that it wasn’t worth it to me!

I also read a lot of ConvertKit reviews myself to try and see what I could find wrong with ConvertKit and that maybe someone out there would tell me that ConvertKit wasn’t worth the money.

But I didn’t find any ConvertKit reviews that were able to convince me otherwise.

That’s not to say I didn’t see any reviews of people who didn’t like ConvertKit (because I did), but I just couldn’t see any who had concrete reasons as to why they didn’t like ConvertKit.

I actually read one review where the reason they didn’t like ConvertKit was that all the people they met who used ConvertKit were bloggers who were trying to earn an income off their blogs…well yah! The reason I went with ConvertKit was so that I could have the best chance at succeeding and I felt that ConvertKit was right for me.

Knowing this, and knowing that segmented email lists are more profitable and convert better, I knew that it would be $29 per month well spent.


In the ConvertKit versus Mailchimp debate, ConvertKit comes out on top in many of the areas for bloggers and businesses who would like to be able to segment their lists and have more flexibility with their email marketing including:

  • support
  • usability
  • features

Mailchimp is a starting point for those who are just getting started with email marketing and want to see if it’s something they will continue to incorporate into their business, but ConvertKit is an investment that I would hands-down recommend!

If you are still on the fence, use my link below to get yourself a free 30 day trial of ConvertKit!

This post contains my affiliate link to ConvertKit. I use ConvertKit for my own business and would not recommend it otherwise!



This article may include affiliate links. www.dananicoledesigns.com is a participant of Amazon.com Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchase. www.dananicoledesigns.com participates in other affiliate programs, and recieves commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

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About the Author

Dana Nicole

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Dana Nicole is a freelance content marketer. She has a Bachelor of Business with a major in marketing and has over 10 years of experience in marketing. She's passionate about Instagram marketing, blogging and SEO. Dana currently works with B2B and SaaS clients and uses her blog to help small businesses and bloggers learn online marketing!

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