Stuck deciding between ConvertKit and MailChimp for your email marketing software?
I’ve been in that situation too, and after testing both out, one of the options is far superior than the other…
We’ll be covering everything you need to know about ConvertKit vs MailChimp so you can make the best decision for your online business!
Here's what we'll cover...
ConvertKit was founded by Nathan Barry in January 2013. Since then, it’s grown rapidly and has become one of the most popular autoresponders online.
Their target audience is mainly bloggers and digital creators, but its features can also work well for various other businesses.
Today, ConvertKit helps over 30,000 creators and bloggers connect with their audience!
MailChimp is a lot older than ConvertKit and was founded by Ben Chestnut, Mark Armstrong, and Dan Kurzius. It was originally meant to be a little side project for their web design agency clients to offer an alternative to the more costly email marketing software on the market.
It aims to provide an affordable email marketing solution for small businesses.
But, since then it has grown into the leading email marketing software with over 20 million customers.
Which Has Better Features?
Now, let’s take a look at the features both of these platforms have to offer.
ConvertKit’s core features are designed to help creators not only connect with their audience but also to sell to them.
Email Designer + Templates
ConvertKit’s first core feature is the email designer, alongside the templates.
The email designer is incredibly easy to use, despite it not being drag & drop. You can select a template, then edit it extremely easily.
The templates inside of ConvertKit are beautiful, colorful, and bright. They also have a good range of templates to suit pretty much any niche or category.
ConvertKit has some pretty simple, yet powerful email marketing features. You can easily send beautiful broadcast emails or choose to build powerful email automations.
The email automations also come with advanced tagging and segmentation features to help you send more targeted emails.
Something that I also like about ConvertKit is their email automation templates, as they have a good range of them. They’re designed to help creators meet specific goals such as welcoming their new subscribers or sell a product.
Another thing that I like about ConvertKit is their email analytics. They’re advanced, but also extremely visual so it makes it easy to see how your campaigns are performing. It also has a built-in split-testing tool to help you not only split-test but also automatically choose winners based on percentages you configure.
Email Sign Up forms
ConvertKit also helps you collect email addresses through sign up forms. These are pretty standard for most autoresponders, but there is something that I like about ConvertKit’s sign up forms in particular.
It’s the form being able to deliver your lead magnet. That makes the whole setup process much easier for you. They’re also fully responsive and GDPR compliant which is always good, as some autoresponders’ forms aren’t.
You can also collect data from custom fields which is also nice in case you would need it.
Other than that, ConvertKit’s forms are pretty standard as you would expect.
Landing Page Builder
ConvertKit also has a pretty advanced landing page builder. The process is simple, and you don’t need to have any coding knowledge to create them. All of the templates are also fully responsive, meaning they look good on all devices without formatting issues.
When using ConvertKit’s landing page builder, you’re also only one click away from 100,000 stock photos to use. And just like with the forms, they also let you deliver your lead magnet which is pretty cool. They can also be connected to your automations extremely easily, as well as to integrations which we’ll talk about later on.
Plus, you can also connect custom domains.
Last but not least, ConvertKit has quite recently added a Commerce feature. This lets you sell your info products, services, and similar products directly through ConvertKit. This means you won’t need external software like SamCart to sell your products.
This is great, as it can save you a lot of money and also makes it much more efficient and easy to manage your campaigns. The commerce feature is built for creators, so it is mainly for digital products.
Now that we have seen what ConvertKit has to offer, let’s take a look at MailChimp.
Their features are incredibly similar. Take a look below to see what the differences are.
Email Drag & Drop Editor + Templates
First of all, is MailChimp’s drag & drop editor and templates.
The templates also look incredibly good, just like with ConvertKit. However, the difference is in the editing.
While MailChimp has a drag & drop editor, ConvertKit does not and you can only edit each template with the elements they already have. And, MailChimp also has a countdown timer which ConvertKit doesn’t have.
These two differences aren’t too big of a deal, as ConvertKit makes it extremely easy to build nice emails too. But, they were differences worth mentioning.
Other than that, they are both similar in this aspect without any other major differences.
MailChimp has some decent email marketing features, such as:
- Broadcast emails
However, there is one big difference between MailChimp and ConvertKit’s automation sequences. ConvertKit comes with advanced automation sequences and workflows, with extensive tagging and segmentation functionality.
MailChimp’s automation sequences on the other hand are extremely basic, and also not visual at all. They make it hard to visualize how your customers will go through the workflow, so that’s something that can be quite annoying.
There are some advanced segmentation features like what ConvertKit offers, but these are only available in the $299 per month plan.
Next, is MailChimp’s forms.
MailChimp has a form builder that lets you build forms for the websites you want to use them on. It lets you create a variety of forms such as sign up forms, thank you page forms, and even CAPTCHA confirmations.
But overall, they are also quite similar to ConvertKit’s. Although they don’t have that feature that lets you automatically deliver a lead magnet.
Just like ConvertKit, MailChimp has a landing page builder.
The landing pages you build are also fully responsive, so you won’t have to worry about which devices your visitors are using. Plus, it also lets you add custom fields but I find that sometimes adding elements like this can be quite confusing, as there seem to be a few more steps involved than with ConvertKit.
You can also sell products similar to ConvertKit’s commerce feature.
As you can see, they are both very similar when it comes to landing pages. There aren’t any major differences as it’s more of a secondary feature for both of them, while email marketing is their primary offer.
Advantage: ConvertKit. Mainly because of the advanced and visual automations which MailChimp lacks.
How Much Does Each Cost?
Let’s take a look at the costs of both platforms.
ConvertKit has three plans currently available:
- Creator Pro
Take a look below to see what they come with.
ConvertKit has a limited free plan, which might be enough to get you started depending on the needs of your business. It lets you manage up to 1000 contacts, and send broadcast emails. What’s cool about it though, is that it lets you build unlimited landing pages without any limits on traffic.
This means if you’re just trying to build a list to send out a newsletter now and then, ConvertKit’s free plan might be enough.
ConvertKit Creator – Starting at $29 Per Month
The second plan is probably the most popular, which is the creator plan.
This plan starts at $29 per month for 1000 subscribers and comes with most of ConvertKits features such as automation sequences. It even comes with a free migration if you are currently with another provider.
The price of this plan grows as your list grows. Other than a few features to help you run advertisements, this plan has all of ConvertKits features.
ConvertKit Creator Pro – Starting at $59 per month
ConvertKit Creator Pro is the most advanced plan and comes with these additional features:
- Facebook custom audiences
- Deliverability reporting
- Invite your team
- Redirect links in email broadcasts
- Subscriber engagement scoring
- Newsletter referral system
- Priority support
It starts at $59 per month for 1000 subscribers.
Now let’s take a look at the Mailchimp pricing plans.
MailChimp has a pretty good free plan, here’s what you get in it:
- Up to 2,000 contacts
- 1 audience included
- Marketing CRM
- Creative Assistant Beta
- Website Builder New
- Mailchimp Domain
- Forms & Landing Pages
As you’d expect, this plan is entirely free to anybody!
In the essentials plan, which starts at $9.99 per month, you get everything in free plan plus the following:
- All Email Templates
- Multi-Step Journeys
- Custom Branding
- A/B Testing
- 24/7 Email & Chat Support
And, up to 50,000 contacts with 3 audiences.
In standard plan, which costs $14.99 per month, you get access to:
- Up to 100,000 contacts
- 5 audiences included
- Everything in Essentials, plus:
- Customer Journey Builder + Branching Points New
- Send Time Optimization
- Behavioral Targeting
- Custom Templates
- Dynamic Content New
Last but not least there is also the premium plan, which costs $299 per month.
In this plan, you’ll get the following features:
- 200,000+ contacts
- Unlimited audiences
- Everything in Standard, plus:
- Advanced Segmentation
- Multivariate Testing
- Comparative Reporting
- Unlimited Seats & Role-Based Access
- Phone Support
I find it quite annoying that you have to be on the premium plan to get access to advanced segmentations. That’s a big blow in my opinion.
Advantage: It’s a tough choice. MailChimp has pricing plans starting at a low price, but some of the most advanced features like Advanced segmentation is locked behind a $299 plan. With that in mind, I’d have to lean towards ConvertKit!
Everything Else You Need To Know About ConvertKit and MailChimp
Let’s take a look at all the other details of these platforms.
Which Is Easier To Use?
They are a bit different, because MailChimp mainly works through drag & drop, while ConvertKit simply lets you edit templates. But both options aren’t exactly hard. The only major difference is the automation sequences where ConvertKit’s visual editor makes it much easier.
Plus, I would also say that ConvertKit’s dashboard and reporting are slightly easier to use.
Which Has Better Support?
They both have solid support. The main difference is MailChimp has a live chat, while ConvertKit doesn’t. But it can be pretty slow at times, and Convertkit has a better knowledge base, plus workshops. So, I would have to consider this one a tie!
Which Has More Integrations?
MailChimp appeals to a broader audience, is older, and the most popular email marketing software on the market. For this reason, it’s natural that it has more integrations. ConvertKit has around 93 integrations, while MailChimp has around 190.
Which Has Better Templates?
They both have beautiful templates that are incredibly easy to edit. I find that MailChimp has nicer templates for landing pages, while ConvertKit has better-looking templates for emails.
But, I find that ConvertKit has better templates for the automation sequences and workflows, so it’s just ahead.
Which Has Better Deliverability?
Deliverability always varies a little based on who is sending the email. But in most tests I’ve seen, ConvertKit has performed at near perfect deliverability, while MailChimp was slightly behind.
This means it’s another slight advantage to ConvertKit!
As you have seen throughout this article, it’s another extremely tight race between these two platforms. Their features are incredibly similar, as they both offer landing pages and some solid email marketing features.
One thing to note is MailChimp is very strict on what they allow and don’t allow, and will ban you without any notice – leaving your emails, lists, and data ALL BEHIND! (This happened to me when I first used MailChimp, so I don’t recommend them.)
Below, I’ve explained the reasons why you might want to choose ConvertKit over MailChimp and vice versa.
Why You Should Choose ConvertKit
The biggest selling point of ConvertKit over MailChimp is the automation sequences and workflows. They are more advanced, visual, and will help you send more targeted emails.
With MailChimp, you simply don’t have the same amount of options.
Another big reason why you might choose ConvertKit is that it is tailored towards bloggers and digital creators. If you fall into this category, you’ll benefit from their service a lot. For example, through their automation templates.
Last but not least, if you sell any affiliate products or anything similar, MailChimp is really strict and don’t allow that, so you should go with ConvertKit.
Trust me, you don’t want to lose your entire list and emails like I did…
Why You Should Choose MailChimp
MailChimp might be a good option if you have a large list of contacts as their pricing might be more suited.
Pricing plans are pretty much the only selling point compared to ConvertKit, as there aren’t really any aspects in which it performs overly well in the comparison.
MailChimp does have a drag & drop email builder which you may prefer over ConvertKit’s simple editor. But that’s about it.