Today in this post I am going to compare MailChimp vs ConvertKit and help you decide which is the best bet for your business.
It’s amazing that even in 2020 humble old email trumps Instagram and Facebook in CRO. Believe me, lots of conversions happen through emails. No wonder businesses still prefer to use emails to engage and keep their customers informed.
|Starting price||$9.99/mo||$29/mo for up to 1,000 contacts|
|Free plan available?||Yes||No|
|Split testing||You can A/B test the subject line, name,|
content of your email campaigns.
|You can only test Subject lines|
and only on with broadcast emails.
|Landing page builder||Responsive drag and drop builder||Responsive drag and drop builder|
|Explore more||Explore MailChimp||Explore ConvertKit|
Well, we all know MailChimp as the granddaddy of email marketing. You can’t google ‘email marketing solutions’ and not find this champ on the list.
Simplicity has been the major driving force behind its popularity. And over the years, the platform has seen massive improvements.
MailChimp has moved from only sending emails to being an evergreen autoresponder campaign tool.
And now the pretty youngling, ConvertKit. This young babe got into the market in 2015 thanks to Nathan Barry.
Thanks to marketing influencers Pat Flynn and Joanna Wiebe for popularising it. Oh! And having the boldest tagline in the email marketing arena; “The power of Infusionsoft, but easier to use than MailChimp.”
Honestly, you can’t get any bolder.
I have done an in-depth review of ConvertKit and MailChimp. If you have to make a choice, you’ll definitely find your winner.
MailChimp vs ConvertKit
Let's have a quick look over the pros and cons of MailChimp.
- The interface of Mailchimp is very simple, you won't face any problem working with it.
- You can access detailed reporting data.
- Mailchimp provides you with a lot of integration options.
- It provides you with numerous built-in newsletter templates, it also gives you the ease of modifying the templates.
- The CRM feature in MailChimp, allows your business to grow proficiently. Especially the eCommerce features and integrations.
- MailChimp provides you with a photo editor, assisting you to manage the photos
- You can have a problem with cumbersome and incompetent interface sometimes
- The built-in landing page templates are very basic.
- The subscription plans for larger businesses can be very costly. Also, if you need to benefit from all features, you’ll need the PRO plan.
- WordPress integration is exceptionally simple while using the codes and forms as ConvertKit is extraordinarily made for bloggers
- It is very easy to use
- It provides you with the option of integration with social networks
- It provides you with a tag-based listing management function giving room for highly-targeted emails to very specific groups.
- The visual workflow builder for automation is a steal helping you run laser-focused campaigns.
- It gives you access to more than one way to deliver the email to the customer
- ConvertKit provides you with live chat and support 24 hours a day and 365 days a year
- You need to have a heavy budget to choose ConvertKit. It’s created for creatives and bloggers but priced for large businesses.
- It only provides you with limited serviceability of A/B testing
Who can deny that the soul of a marketing platform lies behind its interface?
If an interface is easy to use and provides all the features at just a click, then isn't it a golden opportunity for you?
ConvertKit is designed to be the Swiss army knife for email marketing functionality. Simplicity is highlighted all through its interface. It’s all about drag and drop functionality. Things can’t get easier than that!
Uploading contacts and getting started is easy peasy. You’ll find everything you need at a glance. The interface loads fast and I have to say they’ve got a bit more color than Mailchimp. Moving from point A to B is a breeze.
The only limitation is the functionality. But hey, that’s the whole point with ConvertKit. Sign up subscribers, and email them. Period.
Another downfall is that you need an email list to get started. As in its part of their approval process.
Mailchimp provides you with an easy to understand the environment. It has a drag and drop features. With the help of an editor, you can easily add or remove elements. If some styling changes go wrong, don't worry, it’s got the undo button!
The setup and getting started is a breeze. Navigation is on point with a sleek UI. You’re also able to see everything at a glance and start your campaign on the get-go.
If you have used tools like MailerLite, then you’ll be fine and dandy here.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms are big on usability and simplicity. Sleek designs and easy navigations. Basically, you hit the ground running. No learning curve.
Importing your list is pretty easy with ConvertKit.
I got to admit, ConvertKit list management is a gem. You’ve got segments and a state-of-the-art tag-based system to run with.
You have an efficient way to segment your contacts and tag them based on their behavior. For instance, you can apply a tag for people who click a particular link for you to target them later.
I loved the ‘merge tags’ feature that allows you to send dynamic emails. And guess what? ConvertKit goes further!
They have a ConvertKit WordPress Plugin that tracks your website visitors, monitoring their activity, and applying tags accordingly. How cool is that? This WordPress plugin takes lead scoring a notch higher.
In Mailchimp, the listing management is a bit more laid back. You can also create segments of contacts and put them in different groups based on their behavior. And that’s all you got.
No tags, no diving deeper into individual contact website activity. In short, lead scoring is on the down-low.
But you have a MailChimp for WordPress Plugin that helps you get contact data from your site.
And another kicker is how MailChimp counts each person on your lists. Whether you have the same contacts appearing on different lists, they are counted separately. So, you might end up paying more than you should pay.
Winner: ConvertKit. Got to give thumps where it’s due. The tag-based system and WordPress plugin make ConvertKit a winner hands down.
What will you be looking for in an email marketing platform if you overlook automation?
ConvertKit has a state-of-the-art automation manager. Considering the simplicity of ConvertKit, this feature was a total surprise.
A little history. A few years back I decided to give ConvertKit a shot. I needed to create complex automation and it was a nightmare!
You couldn’t group automation into folders so everything was jumbled up in a cocktail of triggers and actions. Making any edits to your workflow was basically a pipe dream.
Fortunately, they heard the cries of the public and came up with a visual workflow builder. It’s a JACKPOT. It’s faster, more streamlined, and very similar to Drip or ActiveCampaign.
You get to build everything inline – as in like inside the workflow. You can add your emails, forms, and etcetera. In this alone, it puts ActiveCampaign to shame. Plus it’s not as sluggish as ActiveCampaign.
That being said, automation is not built with the serial marketer in mind. For the average blogger, it’s paradise.
Nathan Barry says it best, “Visual automation has been deployed to all customers for just a few weeks now. There are more advanced options coming—though still without the bloat of Active Campaign.”
Well, we’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth.
The automation in Mailchimp is quite old Fashioned. No visual workflow but the price tag and the automation function is a steal. It has a few inbuilt automation workflows so that’s a plus.
And you got several triggers and actions based on different campaign activities, workflow activity, eCommerce activity, or date-based activity.
Plus I love that they have awesome website tracking features to help you send highly-targeted emails to your contacts based on their stage on the buyer’s journey.
Winner: ConvertKit has a powerful workflow visual builder. If you are looking for better marketing automation, what’s not to love? The marketing automation features by Mailchimp are so simple and basic.
ConvertKit comes with built-in templates. They are basic yet modern. You can customize the templates.
Have you read those three sentences? ConvertKit email templates are as boring and lazy as the sentences. Come on!
I know ConvertKit is for bloggers and I will even go further to say fancy isn’t their style. But, with like 5 templates that almost look the same… This is lazy even for bloggers. Moosend and Mailerlite have so much to choose from and they come at lower costs.
It’s a disappointment in terms of email templates and customization.
The good news is you can go hard and come up with your own HTML template. Also, there are ConvertKit email template variables that help you create more dynamic emails.
Now, let’s talk about MailChimp.
Here, you have got hundreds of templates to go with. They are sleek and beautifully designed. You’ll literally fall in love with MailChimp if you have come from ConvertKit templates corner.
The templates are easy to use, responsive, and they have an intuitive drag and drop builder that allows you to customize your newsletter as you see fit.
You can also build yours from scratch or go hard and code.
Winner: Mailchimp. Hundreds of stunning templates and the intuitive drag and drop builder giving you numerous customization options. What’s not to love?
ConvertKit is outlined particularly for email marketing mechanization, which suggests there's no CRM framework or e-commerce tools.
However, the WooCommerce and Shopify integration helps you to keep track of your online store activities.
Mailchimp provides you with CRM. It’s got a pretty handy eCommerce platform.
With the pre-built eCommerce automation workflows, you can track your abandoned carts, order notifications, cancellations, purchases, and shipping confirmations.
As a result, you can easily track customer positions in the buying journey and send personalized emails. The bonus, you can also send product retargeting emails.
Pretty decent for the price tag. Right?
The only downfall is their fallout with Shopify. But you got WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and ShopSync.
The reporting feature of ConvertKit is pretty basic. Got to say they’re true to their simplicity approach.
You’ve got the open rates, clicks, and unsubscribes. No bounce rate which is strange. No heatmap, social media report, eCommerce tracking, and not even possible to integrate Google Analytics.
In short, nothing much to write about.
MailChimp provides you with an uncountable series of reports. It provides you with detailed information about social stats, domain performance, eCommerce sales, etc.
And it does this with MailChimp’s simplicity. Every basic industry metric you might need is available at a glance. From opens to clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, you’ll find it. It’s definitely not ActiveCampaign but it’s better than ConvertKit.
Winner: Of course Mailchimp! The reporting is so diverse. It’s a simple yet pretty decent solution.
A/B testing is an integral of email marketing.
Like the reporting, ConvertKit A/B testing is blunt. You can only test Subject lines and only on with broadcast emails. Unfortunately, it does not provide other A/B testing capabilities.
No email content split testing.
No delivery time split testing.
And definitely, no automation and landing page split testing.
With Mailchimp, the split testing feature is robust. You can A/B test the subject line, name, content of your email campaigns. The only difference comes with the premium plan that allows you to do multivariate testing.
Well, you can’t A/B test automation or landing pages.
Winner: Mailchimp. It gives you a robust A/B testing feature and allows you to sit at the driver seat of your campaigns.
ConvertKit has a landing page editor that allows you to create responsive landing pages.
You’ve got very limited templates to play around with but they’re easily customizable. But don’t get your hopes so high, you’re not dealing with the GetResponse like landing page editor that’s more modified.
It’s also easy to create forms on ConvertKit. From inline to modal, sticky-bar, or slide-in form. The catch, their lackluster designs.
No offense but it’s super basic.
In fact, if you want to change the form or landing page template design, your only option is custom CSS. Even something as little as color.
In Mailchimp, you are given 10 templates to create the landing page with an incredible design. Well, its competitor Mailerlite has way more options at the same price tag and you’re even able to custom HTML your pages.
The editor for the landing page is clean and easy to use. The drag and drop landing page editor is responsive to several customizable options. You can add images, social share buttons, videos, etc.
The form builder is also pretty basic. The design customization is just as same as ConvertKit. At least you can still create your pop up subscription forms.
Winner: Tie. Honestly, they both have amateurish landing page and form builder. Even Moosend and Mailerlite do better.
ConvertKit is pretty much a baby in the field.
They don’t have so many integrations but they have the super important ones. If you’re big on app integration then you’ll run into issues with ConvertKit. It integrates with Google sheets, Facebook Leads Ads, Squarespace, and ClickFunnels.
However, Zapier rocks up to save your day. It opens doors to a world of possibilities.
Well, the granddaddy MailChimp has had years to accumulate integrations. It’s got hundreds. Plus Zapier opens doors to more than 2000 apps.
It offers integration with CRM, social tools, and eCommerce tools like Facebook, Instagram, Magneto, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
Winner: MailChimp. It’s more than handy with everything you need.
I did an email deliverability test for both ConvertKit and MailChimp. The good news is that they both provide the features of SPF and DKIM.
The test on the top five popular email clients we tested showed that only 69.5% of ConvertKit emails landed in people’s inboxes while 82.31% of MailChimp did.
Looking at only Gmail accounts, ConvertKit delivered 63.16% while MailChimp delivered 89.66%.
ConvertKit provides many customer service options. It provides you with quick email support. It has Facebook pages and a dedicated Slack channel to offer feedback to clients.
Also, I was surprised by the somewhat freaky welcome video with my name inserted. It’s almost like voodoo coz you get it immediately you get on board. I learned it’s a tool called Bonjoro that helps create personalized welcome videos.
You can ask questions on Twitter also as ConvertKit offers support service on Twitter. I love the live chat support available on business hours. It’s also surprisingly responsive.
ConvertKit provides users with 100+ articles that are rich in information for customer support. It also provides live workshops for customer service.
In MailChimp, customer support is according to the pricing plans. For the free plan users, guided tutorials and snail-mail support are provided.
In both standard and essential plans, chat support is added.
But the premium plan holds all the customer service benefits including email support, self-service, Chat support, and phone support. It provides tutorials and stepwise videos for customers.
One of the amazing features in MailChimp is that you can ask the experts for help according to your location, category, and language. It allows live chat with the experts to resolve your issues and problems.
Winner: ConvertKit. They take support seriously giving you quality support channels. I think MailChimp is pretty crowded so it’s hard to get quick feedback if you’re not on the premium plan.
If you’re on a budget, say goodbye to ConvertKit.
Am happy they have a free plan for less than 1000 subscribers. And you get almost all features even with the lowest plans. The only thing you don’t get is free platform migration. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
Their lowest paid plan is $29/month for 1000 subscribers. You’ve got to use their calculator to find out what it’ll cost you for more than 1000 subscribers. But up to 3000, you dish out $49 and $79 for up to 5000.
MailChimp’s pricing is pretty much straight forward.
Free for up to 2000 subscribers so woo! The only catch is that you lose out on the automation and A/B testing which you got to pay for.
Winner: MailChimp. It’s way… way pocket-friendly. And for the features it packs, it’s a steal. Team MailChimp all the way.
I found these two platforms to be like mangoes and oranges. MailChimp gives you design flexibility, ConvertKit has unbeatable workflow automation.
MailChimp has advanced eCommerce functionalities, ConvertKit has … nothing to talk about.
So, go for ConvertKit if:
- You’re a creator or blogger not big on eCommerce.
- Do you want simple and easy listing management? Yes. ConvertKit is just made for you
- If you are after better marketing automation, you should go for ConvertKit
- Customer support is something that matters a lot. ConvertKit provides you with the best customer service.
And go for MailChimp if:
- You’re a small business or an online marketer big on eCommerce.
- You need pocket-friendly prices.
- You are looking for vast networks of integrations, Mailchimp is best then.
- You want to have more options with A/B testing, Mailchimp has your back.
Otherwise, try the two tools for free and have the first-hand experience.
Let me what you’re going for and why?