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Mailchimp vs Convertkit – Which email marketing software is better?


This article will compare Mailchimp vs Convertkit to decide which one is the best for your business.

Many businesses have questions when it comes to email software.

  • Which one is better?
  • What has the best pricing?
  • Which offers time-saving email templates?
  • Which offers easy-to-use marketing automation and list-building features?

These are all valid questions that need answers!

I switched over from Mailchimp to Convertkit for my email marketing six years ago, and I haven’t looked back. I also appreciate that there’s no single software that will work for all small businesses.

So in this article, I’ll present various features of both tools here, and you can decide which will work best for your list management based on your current situation.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. This helps me pay to keep this site going and to bring all these free resources to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What is email marketing software used for?

Email marketing software is a tool that lets businesses and people create online campaigns. You can use it for everything from getting new leads or customers through lead-generation campaigns to promoting your products on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with retargeting ads.

Email software makes it easy for you to set up automated processes such as autoresponders – messages sent out when someone signs up on your website – so you don’t have to email them personally every time they subscribe manually.

You can also import contacts into the system if you’re importing an HTML form onto your site, which means less data entry in Mailchimp vs. Convertkit than doing this by hand in Excel.

7 things you can do with email marketing software

  1. Create a newsletter to send out every month
  2. Automatically add new subscribers to your email list
  3. Send targeted emails based on customer behavior or demographics
  4. Track the success of each campaign with detailed analytics reports
  5. Use templates for quick and easy campaigns  
  6. Schedule emails ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about sending them at the last minute
  7. Send automated follow-up emails after someone has opened one of your messages but hasn’t clicked on anything yet 

What is the best email marketing tool?

The answer to this question will depend on your specific business requirements and your current setup.

To help decide which email software is best for your business, take a moment to answer the following:

  • Why do you want email marketing software?
  • Do you care about segmenting your email list?
  • Do you want to send automated email nurture sequences?
  • Do you wish to engage customers with targeted emails that are more likely to drive conversions than generic marketing messages?
  • Do you run an e-commerce business and require integrations with specific tools?
  • How much are you willing to spend per month?

Introducing Convertkit – What’s the story behind the software?

Email list clean convertkit

Convertkit was started by a developer and entrepreneur named Nathan Barry.

Nathan Barry grew his audience through blogging about email marketing.

He soon realized that the email service he was using to send his blog posts also managed email newsletters for him and his readers.

Barry thought it would be better if bloggers could directly connect their blogs with their mailing lists or customers without going through an intermediate company.

So in 2013, Nathan Barry started Convertkit, and he’s built it into a successful company with over 100,000 customers to date.

In a sense, Convertkit is the opposite of Mailchimp in that it’s designed for bloggers who need custom email features not found on other email services like Aweber and Constant Contact.

This makes ConvertKit an appealing choice for anyone looking to get started with email marketing.

Nathan’s also created several successful online courses that have been taken by hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

Through these ventures, Nathan has generated well over $20 million in revenue for himself through eBooks alone! And this was all accomplished using his email list from day one – starting with only 20 subscribers to his blog and building it up until it became an unstoppable force (over 100k users today).

Convertkit was started as an email marketing service to help creators, bloggers, podcasters, social media influencers, etc. to grow their businesses by capturing emails and sending email campaigns.

It has since grown into a robust tool for anyone who wants to market directly through email while creating meaningful relationships with subscribers.

Convertkit is best suited for those looking to create lists of engaged audiences rather than simply sending automated broadcast messages as Mailchimp does. However, Convertkit also offers the latter option if desired.

ConvertKit’s philosophy revolves around four core principles:

  • Relationships Matter;
  • Marketing Is About People Not Machines;
  • Make Technology Your Slave Not The Master;
  • Build A Business That Lasts

Related podcastHelping Creators to make a living doing work they love with Nathan Barry of Convertkit (This is an interview that I did with Nathan Barry in 2020 for the Bean Ninjas podcast)

Who uses ConvertKit?

Users of email tools like Convertkit are usually bloggers, creators, and people looking to increase their email subscriber list.

This software is also often used in marketing because it can be pretty inexpensive and easy to use.

Users are typically small companies that don’t need a large customer base or an expansive budget for email software like Mailchimp and other options on the market.

Convertkit offers various packages you can purchase as your business grows, so you won’t have to switch over entirely from this tool when it’s no longer enough (which happens more with Mailchimp).

What is ConvertKit used for?

Convertkit is commonly used for creating automated emails, segmenting lists to send different newsletters to different groups of subscribers, and using a customer tagging system that helps with digital shopping cart abandonment emails.

Which email marketing service is the best?

“Best” is subjective – there are many email marketing services out there.

Questions to ask when considering an email marketing tool

  1. What is the cost of the software, and how does it compare to other similar products on the market? What is your monthly budget for email marketing?
  2. How easy is it to use – do you need training or a tutorial before you can get started?
  3. Does it offer any integrations with other software programs necessary for your business needs (e.g., CRM)?
  4. Is there an online community that you can join for support and feedback from other users? 
  5. Do they have any integrations with social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? 
  6. Can you customize your templates for different clients without having to learn HTML code?
  7. Do I need marketing automation features?
  8. Does the software allow you to create professional-looking forms and landing pages?
  9. Do you need the ability to keep track of open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, etc.? 

10 Do you want to be able to create custom templates or use a drag-and-drop editor?

11 What’s the number of subscribers you’ll need to start with? Will you be importing from an existing email list from another email tool or database?

What is the best alternative to Mailchimp?

There are many email marketing platforms, but we recommend ConvertKit.

ConvertKit has a much more intuitive interface and a responsive email editor, unlike Mailchimp’s, which often leaves you with horizontal scrollbars at the bottom of your browser window.

In addition to this, they’ve also added some cool features like automation rules (e.g., if someone doesn’t open my emails for three days, then unsubscribe them) as well as those lovely automated welcome campaigns that Mailchimp charges $80+ per month for!

On top of all these fantastic perks, Convertkit still offers unlimited storage, so you can keep adding new subscribers without worrying about running out of space!

Other popular email marketing tools you might want to consider include Mailerlite, Activecampaign, and Constant Contact.

Is ConvertKit better than MailChimp?

In my experience, Convertkit is a better option for small businesses due to the following reasons:

  1. Mailchimp doesn’t have the same features as Convertkit
  2. Convertkit has more integrations with third-party apps than MailChimp 
  3. Convertkit offers better customer service than Mailchimp 
  4. Mailchimp’s pricing model is too expensive for most small businesses

Mailchimp’s pricing is confusing and not transparent enough, while Convertkit’s pricing is clear and easy to understand.

“Convert Kit claims their average customer saves $667 annually due to automation.” – source: Convertkit blog post on “The Cost Savings of Automation.”

  1. Mailchimp doesn’t offer A/B testing as Convertkit does 
  2. Convertkit offers email templates for different types of businesses

Why I prefer Convertkit over Mailchimp

Here’s a short video where I run through the main reasons why I prefer Convertkit over Mailchimp:

Convertkit features 

With Convertkit, you can easily create:

  • Forms using the Convertkit form builder
  • Landing pages using the Convertkit landing page builder. I’ve been able to create a landing page with a high conversion rate literally within 15 minutes.
  • Autoresponder sequences and messages – not everyone knows HTML code, so the in-built visual workflow tool and sequence templates make building these super easy.
  • Email courses. This is great for anyone who wants to start an online business or blog because they will create all of the content from scratch with Convertkit’s tools.
  • Unsubscribe options for those people who don’t want your emails anymore
  • Labeled segments and tags (a beneficial feature if you have multiple lists)
  • Join their affiliate program and earn commissions for referring people you know to Convertkit

Other excellent Convertkit features include:

  • Visual workflow tool that makes designing automated sequences so much easier.
  • Built-in social media integration
  • A variety of email newsletter templates, subscriber forms, and landing page templates to choose from. These templates allow you to put something unique together in a matter of minutes!
  • Ease of use
  • High deliverability rates
  • Set up a public newsletter feed on a landing page (See Nathan Barry’s example below or check out my live newsletter feed here)

Now if that wasn’t enough, you can also set up a paid newsletter…

and even set up a referral program with a Creator Pro account.

Pricing: How much does ConvertKit cost?

How much is ConvertKit monthly?

Convertkit’s pricing starts at $29/month for the basic package and goes up to a maximum of $299. Mailchimp prices start at just under $30 per month but depend on how many contacts you have in your mailing list.

At the time of writing for up to 5,000 subscribers Convertkit

Mailchimp’s pricing is confusing and not transparent enough, while Convertkit’s pricing is clear and easy to understand. “Convert Kit claims their average customer saves $667 annually due to automation.” – source: Convertkit blog post on “The Cost Savings of Automation.”

Is there a free version of ConvertKit and Mailchimp?

Both companies offer a free plan for easy list management. This is essentially their free trial offer.

Convertkit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. The limitation of the free plan is that it doesn’t allow you to create any email automation.

On their free plan, Convertkit allows you to:

  • Manage up to 1,000 subscribers
  • Create unlimited landing pages & forms
  • Send email broadcasts
  • Sell digital products & subscriptions
  • Access email support

Mailchimp also offers a free version, but the downside of this option is advertisements in your email content, and your contact list can only have up to 500 contacts (if they’re not connected with an account).

If you’re serious about using email marketing to grow your business, I’d recommend upgrading to a paid pricing plan with Convertkit.

Who is Mailchimp ideal for?

Mailchimp is a great email marketing platform for beginners with an easy-to-use interface and drag-and-drop editor. Still, it’s not as affordable or effective in generating sales compared to Convertkit.

It’s much easier for beginner marketers using MailChimp because the design layout is more straightforward, less cluttered, more streamlined, and has built-in templates which are responsive on mobile devices making everything super intuitive.

There are some drawbacks, though: there aren’t any automation features like drip campaigns or A/B testing capabilities (unless you upgrade your account at $150 per month).

Mailchimp also doesn’t offer segmentation of lists by tags, so targeting potential customers based on their interests can be very difficult without upgrading.

Can you use ConvertKit as a CRM?

If you’re looking for CRM software that’s more than just email marketing, ConvertKit is a great option. It has all the features of Mailchimp, like segmentation and automation, without any complicated design or technical glitches.

Convertkit starts at $49 per month, which includes unlimited emails sent each month plus access to their support team when you need it – this makes Convertkit much less expensive than Mailchimp ($240 monthly). The downside: there isn’t an app for iPhones, so if your customer base uses iPhones exclusively, then they may not be able to get on board with ConvertKit unless they use another device.

MailChimp doesn’t offer enough functionality out-of-the-box for many people in terms of CRM integration, automation, and advanced features.

How do I convert MailChimp to ConvertKit?

To convert Mailchimp to Convertkit, you will need to export your Mailchimp subscribers and import them into ConvertKit.

When importing into ConvertKit, we recommend doing a separate import each time you want to convert new batches of contact data to ensure that everything is importing correctly. **

ConvertKit offers a one-time free conversion of your Mailchimp list, but after that, you have to pay for the service separately. MailChimp does not provide any kind of migration or import tool from another email platform.

If you are budget conscious and don’t want to spend money on mail software, then it will be cheaper, in the long run, to stick with Mailchimp rather than paying monthly for ConvertKit’s premium plans.

You can also use several different apps such as Zapier (no cost), ifttt ($0-$50/mo.), or IFTTT, which allows you to connect two different digital services without needing technical skills.

Is Mailchimp good for e-commerce?

If you’re running an e-commerce business and your email campaigns are essential to gaining more sales, MailChimp has integrations with tons of e-commerce platforms.

ConvertKit doesn’t have any integration with major e-commerce stores such as Shopify or WooCommerce. You’d need an expensive developer if you wanted to integrate ConvertKit into those sites.

In addition, MailChimp offers a beautiful WYSIWYG editor that’s perfect for creating shopping campaigns on the fly without needing software skills.

Is Convertkit good for e-commerce?

Convertkit recently released an e-commerce integration that’s both powerful and easy to use, so it looks like they’re catching up.

It integrates with major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Big Commerce.

Mailchimp offers a WYSIWYG editor but doesn’t have any integration for your site, which means you would need expensive developers if you wanted Mailchimp integrated into those sites.

In addition, Convertkit has email templates with visual design tools built-in. You can easily edit colors or change fonts without needing an outside program.

ConvertKit also released integrations that integrate seamlessly within their email app, while MailChimp requires third-party software to accomplish the same thing (iContact). One of these integrations is offline access.

How do Convertkit deliverability rates compare to Mailchimp?

Deliverability is a big deal. Mailchimp and Convertkit both offer excellent deliverability rates.

Mailchimp has an email delivery rate of 98%. Convertkit’s is at 99% (almost perfect!)

So which one should you use? The answer depends on: 

  • The type of content sent through your emails, 
  • How many subscribers are on your list, and 
  • What features you need to work with. 

Both services work great for most people, so it comes down to personal preference.

Can you blog on Mailchimp and Convertkit?

While both tools are better utilized for email marketing, it is possible to use them for blogging. Some bloggers prefer Mailchimp for its simplicity and ease of use. On the other hand, Convertkit has a more advanced email editor, which comes with built-in design tools that make it easier to create beautiful emails without needing an expensive developer or outside the program.

On top of this, there are some features exclusive to ConvertKit, such as offline access, where you can read your newsletters when not connected to the internet and filter out unwanted subscribers who have unsubscribed from your mailing list.

Integrations on both platforms allow seamless integration within their respective app, so even if you’re only using them for blogging purposes, they still offer something different compared to each other.

Another neat feature of both tools is creating newsletters from your blog RSS feed, which works well for those who are using Blogger or WordPress to publish their content.

Copywriting Software: 13 Tools for Writing Better and Faster Content

Does ConvertKit have an app?

At the time of writing, ConvertKit did not have a mobile app.

Instead of having to subscribe or unsubscribe from email lists on your phone, you can now sign up for Mailchimp directly through its respective iPhone/Android apps and access all features via these platforms as well.

The only downside with this method is that you’ll need an internet connection to use it, which might be problematic when traveling abroad since data roaming charges could rack up quickly!

However, if you’re using either platform exclusively, then there’s no reason why you should ever find yourself without connectivity, so make sure to plan before taking off across the world!

Can you switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit?

Yes, you can!

If you want to switch from Mailchimp, it’s not a complicated process, but be aware of the following.

To begin with, your subscribers won’t be automatically transferred over when you make the switch. So if you have more than 500 subscribers on Mailchimp, this needs to be dealt with asap! 

You’ll need to export them (which can take up quite a lot of time) before switching software, or else they will disappear forever.

Should I use ConvertKit?

Convertkit allows you to do a lot more than Mailchimp does, but to take advantage of its powerful features, it’s best to start with the Creator plan, which starts at $29/month.

Convertkit’s automation features are also top-notch, and you can create email sequences for people who don’t open your emails often, which is something that Mailchimp doesn’t offer on their free plan.

How many audiences can I have in ConvertKit?

Convertkit allows you to have up to three different email lists, which can be created and managed from the My Subscribers page.

The admin console where you manage your list memberships is called ConvertKit’s “My Subscribers” page. You’ll find this on the left-hand side of any screen in their dashboard after logging in.

This section will allow you to:

  • create new subscriber records, 
  • add or remove subscribers from a particular list,
  • segment them based on specific criteria (e.g., they live in North America), 
  • update unsubscribe links and preferences for that particular list, 
  • send personalized emails to those subscribed with tracking data about open rates, click rates, etc., 
  • export all contacts or just select groups of them to import them to other platforms, and more.

What does ConvertKit integrate with?

Convertkit offers integrations with tools such as Zapier, as well as a variety of e-commerce tools like

  • Shopify

Does Calendly integrate with ConvertKit?

Calendly is a tool that helps businesses schedule meetings with prospective clients. 

Whilst there isn’t a native integration available, you can set up automation via Zapier (or a similar tool). For instance, you can configure automation for when somebody schedules a meeting with you in Calendly. That will trigger an automated email or series of emails to go out from Convertkit to the person who scheduled the appointment.

Here’s a video of how to set up this integration. 

Mailchimp vs Convertkit – Which is the best email marketing tool?

In conclusion, we believe the benefits of Convertkit outweigh MailChimp’s disadvantages when it comes to selecting an email software platform; however, both are great options for businesses primarily focused on email marketing. landing page

We recommend using MailChimp if you’re just looking for something simple with basic features. At the same time, Convertkit is better suited for those who want more advanced features than other tools offer without paying for a tonne of unnecessary extras. landing page

Both tools offer a free plan, so you can give both a test drive to see which you prefer. Sign up for a Convertkit free plan today, and you can manage up to 1,000 subscribers. drag and drop

Do you have any more questions about these two email marketing software providers? Ask me anything in the comments. I’m happy to help out as much as possible!

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