ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp – Read This Before You Choose 2022
If you’re looking for a completely unbiased review for ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp, you’re in the right place. Since both platforms have referral programs, it’s difficult to find an honest take on them.
I’ve used these email marketing services over the years for NovumHQ as well as for my other businesses. And so, I can tell you all about their features, pros and cons, pricing, and many more.
After reading this post, you’ll finally know which provider is a better fit for your business.
Let’s get into it.
1. ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp At A Glance
Here’s a quick look at how ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp stacks up against each other through the quickest glance you can get. In the table below, you’ll see both’s most valuable features and pricing plans. I’ve personally ranked which one gets the lead and the according score for both platforms.
|Best Overall. Personalized email marketing and automation features for content creators. Starts at $29/month.||Best for accessibility. Intuitive platform for first-timers and eCommerce merchants. Starts at $9.99/month.|
|Try ConvertKit||Try Mailchimp|
2. Who Is ConverKit Best For?
ConvertKit is best suited for personal brands and creators such as bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, authors, chefs, musicians, etc. As mentioned above, it uses a plain style of emails, which if you want to change, needs the help of a developer.
Interestingly though, this has more open and clickthrough rates compared to HTML emails. This is according to 2017 statistics from Marketo.
When subscribers see this kind of email, they get a personalized feel for it. Unlike others, they ignore and delete it less since it just looks like a normal day-to-day email.
ConvertKit recently added a free plan, with restrictions, which lets you have up to 1,000 subscribers.
3. Who Is Mailchimp Best For?
Mailchimp is the largest email marketing service for good reason. It’s what most startups, small businesses, and mid-sized companies use.
It’s popular for its free plan that’s been around ever since it began. Of course, there are limitations to a free account but it’s pretty good and supports up to 2,000 subscribers.
It has newsletters with intricate visual designs making it a great choice for eCommerce stores, marketers, graphic artists, interior designers, and creatives.
Additionally, customizing email templates to reflect your branding is super easy. They have drag-and-drop functionality that requires zero coding knowledge.
Organizations and nonprofits can also benefit from its vast integrations, easy-to-implement A/B testing, segmentation, etc.
4. A Close Look At The Features Of ConvertKit and Mailchimp
In this section of my CovertKit vs. Mailchimp comparison, I’ll give you a glimpse of the important and unique features that these two providers have.
|Easy-To-Use Email Builder|
|Subscriber Category Through Segments & Tags|
|Forms & Landing Pages|
|A/B Testing Campaigns|
|Reports & Analytics|
|Get Started||Try ConvertKit||Try Mailchimp|
5. Key Features Of ConvertKit
ConvertKit has amazing email marketing features that can help you connect and grow your subscribers.
#1 Simplified Segments & Tags
Have you ever received an email that isn’t related in any way to you? It’s not about a product that you’d like or it’s not even remotely in your field of interest.
What did you do? Isn’t it that you deleted this email or clicked the unsubscribe button?
The same thing happens with your subscribers.
When you bombard them with generic messages, no matter how loyal they are to your brand, you’ll appear as a nuisance. This is where ConvertKit’s segments and tags come in.
I love this feature.
It allows you to send emails based solely on your audience’s interests, purchases, etc. Say goodbye to broad emails that will only lead to unsubscribers.
It also boosts your open rates as well as your conversion. And because you’re crafting a customized experience for them, you’ll understand their needs more thus resulting in better product pitches.
Isn’t that amazing?
But, what’s the difference between segments and tags? Simply put, what these two mean is that tags sort out your subscribers, and segments in return, classify your tags.
There are many ways for you to create tags. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Repeat referrals
- Their customer journey
- Downloaded or purchased products
- Products they like but haven’t bought
- Whether they attended an event or webinar
It’s awesome. But what makes ConvertKit special is that the whole process is simplified.
It’s confusion-free and clutterless.
There’s only one huge list for your subscribers. Unlike other services, you won’t get charged twice or more if they’re present in another list.
#2 ConvertKit Simple Email Builder
Speaking of tidiness, another streamlined feature from ConvertKit is their simple email builder. But, this doesn’t mean that your emails are going to be unattractive.
Far from it.
You can insert images to make them look appealing. Also, you can include clickable CTAs.
There are also email templates that you can use.
What’s more, is that you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of templates. So if you want to, you can make one for every kind of email you send.
This way creating emails is easy and you won’t spend too much time on design. Plus, if you want a more tailored layout, you can always do coding.
#3 High Deliverability & Open Rate
Since we’ve talked about email design, let me ask you something. How would you feel if you spent hours creating your templates but your subscribers can’t even read them?
It’s going to be a huge waste of time and effort. Not to mention, resources.
But, this happens in real life.
Sometimes your emails won’t reach their inboxes. It just lands in the spam folder.
There are many reasons why this takes place.
It can be due to the reputation of the following: domain, sender, and IP. It’s also because there are many spam complaints about that specific email.
This is why ConvertKit’s 98% delivery is so reassuring.
You’re sure that the energy you dedicate to your emails won’t be pointless. It’s another feature that I like about ConvertKit.
It’s a lifesaver.
Also, in the beginning, parts of this article, I mentioned the statistics of plain emails. I told you that they have more open rates than HTML ones.
This is an additional perk you get with ConvertKit.
Not only does it dodge the spam folder, but it also makes sure that the subscriber actually opens your emails. It has an average open rate of 30%.
#5 ConvertKit Forms & Landing Pages
After all this discussion about emails, let’s delve into how you get your leads in the first place. ConvertKit has two features for this: landing pages and signup forms.
Let’s explore how they’re different.
ConverKit’s landing pages are opt-ins that are self-hosted. You won’t need to make a website to use it.
It’s a great way to display information about a product or service you’re selling. It’s often the first stage of a customer’s journey.
Free templates are also available.
These landing page templates can be easily modified. And although a custom CSS option is present, you don’t need code to customize them.
A shareable link also allows you to share it to multiple channels.
Stock images, which are must-haves when designing them, are also at hand. They’re free of cost plus you can choose from 100,000+ options from Unsplash.
There’s no need to worry about device optimization.
ConvertKit’s landing pages are responsive. No matter what device you view it on, it’ll look great.
Now, let’s move to the topic of forms.
A form is where your subscribers fill out their information. In exchange, you give them a downloadable file, newsletters, etc.
It’s an element embedded in your site.
You can put it on the landing page, blog page, and anywhere on a website. ConvertKit’s signup forms are awesome.
You have many options, too.
You can create forms that are pop-ups, slide-ins, minimal, long, short, etc. The images, colors, and texts can be personalized to fit your brand.
ConvertKit forms are also GDPR-compliant.
#4 ConvertKit Automated Funnels
Now that we’ve scratched the surface of lead generation through ConvertKit, allow me to open your eyes to another feature. This one is called an automated funnel.
Think of it as a strategy.
With ConvertKit, you’ll be able to convert mere visitors into loyal customers. It consists of getting their attention, developing their interest, producing an irresistible offer, and then finally, making the sale.
How exactly does it work?
Here’s how. The first thing you do is come up with a lead magnet. It can be in the form of a free course, eBook, samples, etc.
Now that you have this, spread the word.
Social media is a good platform for this. You can inform your followers about it or generate ads.
When someone downloads it, you get their email address. But, don’t rush it.
Gradually build their interest in your product/service.
Don’t overdo it. Keep it to a maximum of three emails.
After this, it’s time for pitching.
First-time customers can be reluctant to buy. So, hit them with coupons, bonus offers, and discounted rates to get the ball rolling.
The fun part?
ConvertKit has other features that tie-up with funnels. For example, you can use the free landing page and signup forms.
You can also divide your subscribers into segments and tags.
This way you can send them offers directly related to their preferences. The more you know about ConvertKit, the better it gets.
6. Key Features Of Mailchimp
Let’s now explore Mailchimp. It’s the most popular email marketing platform in the world.
That’s very impressive.
But, what makes it one of the best in the industry? Here are the following features that set Mailchimp apart from the crowd.
#1 Drag-&-Drop Email Builder
As I told you earlier, Mailchimp is a go-to option for organizations and eCommerce stores because of its beautiful newsletters. They are incredibly stunning.
Plus, you get to use a drag-and-drop builder.
Through this intuitive tool, the creation process is made easy and fun. You won’t need the assistance of a developer.
This makes it perfect for startups and budding entrepreneurs.
You’ll have tons of options to choose from. Every single one is built to showcase your products or services.
With Mailchimp, you can also create plain-text emails.
You can enable this by selecting Plain Text when creating your campaign.
This company just loves innovation.
That’s why in addition to their traditional builder, they have a new one that you can play around with. Its interface lets you redo/undo and change the content by simply clicking on the elements in the email.
#2 Easy A/B Testing
It’s not just the drag-and-drop builder that makes Mailchimp a powerhouse for starters. There’s also it’s easy-to-implement A/B testing.
Here’s why it matters:
When you’re starting out, you want to know what type of content works best for your audience. A/B testing is a great way to find out.
With Mailchimp, you can create this effortlessly.
But first, let’s define what A/B testing campaigns are. In simple terms, this means that you can send out emails that are tweaked differently and measure which performs the best.
For example, you can change the subject line.
This small adjustment impacts the open rates. Another one could be that you modify the content of your email.
Mailchimp lets you make up to three versions of your email campaign. And if you level up to a Premium account, you can upgrade this to 8.
#3 Mailchimp Vast Integrations
Another benefit of using the biggest player in email marketing is its immense list of integrated services and applications. Their directory is so big you need to use the search bar to find your tools.
They’re connected to so many industries.
You name it. They’re synced to apps in the following categories: analytics, eCommerce, finance, payments, social media, and so much more.
Let’s view some popular apps.
For payment and commerce tools, there’s ShopSync, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce.
As for data sync and centralization, Reportei, Mixpanel, and Google Analytics are integrated into Mailchimp.
You can also embed your creations using Unsplash, Canva, and Adobe Photoshop.
Keep in mind there are still tons of integrations available. You can also manage your apps on your account by going to the Integrations page section.
#4 Mailchimp Powerful Analytics
Analytics can be intimidating for novices. But, this is exactly where Mailchimp shines the brightest.
They were made for beginners.
Their reports and analytics function are easy to understand. Navigating it is also simple.
You can see your stats in real-time.
Moreover, you can view reports on revenue, growth, and engagement. You’ll also see who downloaded, clicked, and bought from your campaigns.
They have a Click Map.
Through this tool, you’ll see what catches your audience’s attention more in your emails. This can be your CTAs, images, or texts.
Using this information, you can craft attention-grabbing messages.
You’ll also be able to view the unsubscribe and click rates of your competition. This way you can compare your stats and adjust your emails accordingly.
#5 Mailchimp Mobile App
Monitor your email campaigns with ease using Mailchimp’s mobile app. It’s available for download on Apple and Android devices.
Aside from tracking it has other amazing features.
To begin, you can make landing pages using your phone. You can do so in one click.
You can also craft emails and edit campaigns wherever you are. With this, you’ll get a detailed report on their performance.
Here are other things you can do with Mailchimp’s mobile app:
- Receive alerts on new sales
- Switch on abandoned cart emails
- Send emails again to non-openers
- Get notifications on subscriber activities
It’s no wonder why it has a whopping 4.9 ratings on Apple App Store and 4.6 on Google Play.
7. ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp – Pros And Cons
You’ve just learned all the good things that both platforms have to offer and so in this section of ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp comparison post, I’ll show you their pros and cons. Nothing is going to be perfect so it’s best to see the entire picture.
Let’s start with ConvertKit.
|Personalized plain text emails for subscribers||No mobile app to check campaigns|
|Ease of tagging for users data (Ex: preferences, purchases, likes and dislikes)||No drag-and-drop design functionality|
|Simple-to-use automation feature||HTML templates need code to customize|
On the other camp, here are Mailchimp’s pros and cons.
|Budget-friendly and simply interface makes it perfect for beginners||Complex features can be confusing (Ex: Group, segment, tag, etc.)|
|Integrations with page builders and websites (Ex: WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, etc.)||Billed twice for the same subscriber if they’re on two lists|
|No coding required for customization||Accounts cancelled and shut down mistakenly by Mailchimp|
|Has a mobile app||Not for businesses that don’t constantly send out emails|
|Constantly improves services||Difficult to switch to other email services|
|Allows you to schedule campaigns in advance||Limited support for lower tier plans|
8. Where Do I Get The Most For My Money?
Money is a crucial element for every business. In this part of ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp, I’ll show you how these two fits your budget.
ConvertKit Pricing Plan
ConvertKit’s pricing plan is customizable. It changes depending on the number of subscribers you have.
You can also choose whether to pay monthly or yearly.
Should you pick the annual payment plan, you’ll get two months free of charge.
There are also three types that you can select: Free, Creator, and Creator Pro.
- Free: This plan doesn’t cost anything to use but it can only accommodate up to 1,000 subscribers. You’ll get email support and unlimited forms and landing pages, sell subscriptions and digital products, as well as send email broadcasts.
- Creator: The starting cost for the Creator plan is $29. You’ll receive everything in the free plan plus automated sequences and funnels and free migration.
- Creator Pro: As for this one, the price begins at $59 for 1,000 subscribers. It includes all features in the Creator plan and you also get advanced reporting, a newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, and Facebook custom audiences.
Mailchimp Pricing Plan
Mailchimp, on the other hand, has four pricing plans. These are their corresponding prices for 500 subscribers.
Note: You can use the adjustable pricing bar embedded under the pricing section of their website to view the costs for specific subscriber counts.
Let’s start with the cheapest option and then move to the higher prices.
- Free: This plan is what Mailchimp is famous for. It lets you have up to 2,000 contacts and use their marketing CRM, forms and landing pages, creative assistant, Mailchimp domain, and website builder.
- Essentials: The Essentials plan starts at $9.99 per month. It contains up to 50,000 contacts, has everything in the free plan, and the following: 24/7 chat and email support, A/B testing, custom branding, email templates, and multi-step journeys.
- Standard: This one has a starting cost of $14.99/month. It includes up to 100,000 contacts, all features in the Essentials plan, Dynamic Content, custom templates, behavior targeting, customer journey builder, and send time optimization.
- Premium: As for the Premium plan, it starts at $299 for 500 subscribers. Its perks include 200,000+ contacts, every feature present in the Standard plan, phone support, unlimited role-based access and seats, advanced segmentation, and multivariate testing.
9. Conclusion – Which Is Better: ConvertKit Or Mailchimp?
In this ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp comparison, I give the crown to ConvertKit. This may come as a surprise since I rated Mailchimp as the winner for the At A Glance section.
Let me explain.
As you’ve noticed most of the features I mentioned with ConvertKit are email-focused. You have simplified tags and segments, high deliverability rates, a plain email builder, etc.
They’re fixated on the quality of their features, not quantity.
They promise email marketing tools. And so, that’s where they put all their efforts to.
And as their company name suggests, they’re built for conversion.
And that’s the entire purpose of an email marketing campaign, isn’t it? You want to convert as many visitors as you can into paying consumers.
Also, the fact that everything is made simple is a huge win.
As an entrepreneur/creator, you need to spend your time with other aspects of your business and not just on the email creation process. You need a straightforward system that won’t lead to confusion.
But, I can’t simply write off Mailchimp.
It’s still one of the best platforms out there. If your company requires visually appealing emails, go for it.
It won’t let you down.
If you visit their website, you’ll see that they aim to be an all-in-one solution. That’s great for people who don’t want to keep going back and forth to different services.
You can launch your site there, make advertisements, and many more.
With all things considered, both of them are awesome. But, ConvertKit comes first because of its top-notch email-oriented features.
10. ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp – FAQ
Is there a free version for ConvertKit?
ConvertKit’s free plan started early in 2020. It allows you to have up to 1,000 subscribers, get email support, send out email broadcasts, have unlimited forms and landing pages, as well as sell subscriptions and digital products.
Will Mailchimp emails go to spam?
Emails do not go to spam just because they were sent via Mailchimp. When this happens, it is due to the images and text contained, inconsistent design and content, lack of permission, code pulled from Microsoft Word, extra tags, and bad coding.
Is ConvertKit better than Mailchimp?
ConvertKit contains features that make it a better choice than Mailchimp. This includes their simple automation, high-deliverability rate, plain text emails that boost open and clickthrough rate, and ease of tagging.
Is Mailchimp really free?
Mailchimp offers a free plan that enables you to send 10,000 monthly emails with a daily limit of 2,000 and gain up to 2,000 contacts. It also includes 30-day email support, marketing calendars, surveys, mobile app, landing pages and forms, Mailchimp domain, Creative Assistant, and marketing CRM.