ConvertKit vs Mailchimp? Mailchimp vs ConvertKit. Which is the best email service for bloggers? Here's a look at how the two compare, based on decades in the business.
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp for Bloggers
I've tried them all. I'm a blogger and I've been blogging and dealing with email lists for over 10 years. I know it's not an exciting topic (or at least, it doesn't excite me) and so I dread reading email provider reviews. I spend ages dithering back and forth.
- Should I switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit?
- What about Ontraport? Do I really need this sophisticated email marketing software?
- Should I pay to upgrade Mailchimp? Is it worth it? What's the ROI?
- What happened to the exciting parts of my life?!!!
My email and blogging history
Well, to save you ruminating through the same old email mill, I've condensed my thoughts here. I was with Mailchimp for years and years and years. When I came back from maternity leave, I switched to Ontraport and a few months after that, switched to ConvertKit. I've been with ConvertKit for 18 months now and have no plans to leave.
So while it's all fresh in my mind, let me share the ins, outs, ups, downs and twirls around. You can also read xx here.
Note: if you sign up using the link in this piece, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. That doesn't make any difference to my thoughts on which to recommend since they all have affiliate programs and, well, I'm not sleazy like that! Life's too short!
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp
The Quick Answer
If you want to cut to the chase, for professional bloggers, I'd recommend ConvertKit. If you're just starting out and don't have an aggressive plan to expand and sell, go for Mailchimp. If you have a more complex business that involves appointments and services then Ontraport may be a better fit for you with its appointment scheduling features.
Mailchimp Rating Summary
I'd always recommend Mailchimp to brand new bloggers because the free option is so versatile and the standard templates are easy to use. But with ConvertKit introducing a free option as well, Mailchimp may need to up its game.
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Free for the first 2000 subscribers, making it ideal for newcomers who are finding their feet with email.
Ease of Use
Templates are beautiful and easy to use but delving beyond a simple email into a complex campaign requires more attention.
You can connect your blog's RSS feed to Mailchimp and it will automatically email subscribers every time you publish a new post - with zero effort from you. Priceless.
What makes mailchimp worth it?
- The software provides forms which you can embed on your site to collect email addresses. It also has a (somewhat glitchy) RSS to email service, which is a colossal time and money saver for bloggers.
- Once you hit 2000 subscribers you have to pay, but the payment isn't all that straightforward (or at least I didn't find it that way.) It's done on number of emails sent rather than subscribers, which requires a bit more attention to detail than I want to give a product that's supposed to be running on automatic in the background.
Mailchimp is the first true love for most bloggers because, well, it's free and it has a cute monkey on it. More importantly, it's also easy to use and easy to understand for the beginning steps of blogging when you are still figuring out so many different things.
Mailchimp will always be a popular email marketing tool because of its generous free limit, email templates and intuitive drag and drop editor for composing emails. However, more sophisticated email marketing automation and for more traditional small businesses, it's worth looking elsewhere.
List or Subscriber Based?
Also, the feature you'll keep seeing in other reviews that pitch Mailchimp vs ConvertKit is that one is list based, the other subscriber based.
In email marketing, this is seen as crucial but to be totally honest, I'm not sure it is for travel bloggers. We rarely need extremely complicated systems and you can segment readers in different ways using Mailchimp, ConvertKit and Ontraport.
Mailchimp offers several different paid plans, with a generous free version.
Free - $0
Mailchimp's free version allows you to send emails up to 2000 subscribers, give or take. It depends how often you want to send emails but a monthly newsletter shouldn't be a problem.
PAID OPTIONS START AT - $9.99 per month AND SHOOT UP TO $299 PER MONTH WITH OPTIONS IN BETWEEN
You can find the full Mailchimp pricing table here. As I've mentioned before, I found it difficult to keep track of how many emails I was sending, which affected the price due and I'd rather pay per subscriber and not have my workflow interrupted.
Ah, ConvertKit. How I love thee.
ConvertKit Rating Summary
Convertkit is beautiful and easy to use right from the start, with sophisticated tools designed for bloggers and content creators. It's not trying to appeal to everyone - and as a result, does a great job for those it does try to cater for: creatives.
Ease of Use
Clear, minimal and easy to understand. Because it isn't trying to do too many things, it's very easy to use.
Convertkit finally has a free option but it is very limited. It's one of the pricier options out there for beginners.
Perfect for providing free downloads to readers and easily connects to allow the sale of digital products. A/B testing inbuilt.
What makes Convertkit worth it?
ConvertKit is designed with bloggers in mind. It is easy, easy, easy to use and constructing emails feels like sending emails from your normal desktop email client.
Like Mailchimp, it's quick and easy to set up subscribe forms but you can also easily use automations and landing pages as well.
What's an automation? Well, say you like the look of the "how to plan the perfect road trip checklist" over here. You sign up by email and ConvertKit easily delivers the checklist.
All three email marketing tools have a mechanism for doing this but ConvertKit has the easiest by far. You just upload the file as you would an attachment in an email and it's done.
ConvertKit offers plenty of pre-made landing page templates, which is ideal for instagrammers and youtubers who don't yet have their own separate websites. You can use ConvertKit as a landing page to capture email addresses and provide information so that you can sell before you even have a blog.
Alternatively, it's easy to create a pop-up form to embed on your own website or share on social media.
Spectacularly easy to use with mid-price entry level options. You'll save so much time, though, that it's cost effective.
Segment Your Readers Easily
But beyond that, you can set a tag and an automation so that you can easily send that reader more of what they want. Maybe you're interested in road trips but you're not bothered by packing lists (or blogging tips, ahem.)
Instead of sending out the same email to all your subscribers all the time, you can set up automations to send more focused material to your readers.
All three programmes let you do this. But ConvertKit makes it so easy to do.
Likewise with A/B testing (where you try out two different headlines to see which is more successful.) ConvertKit has it added in so that it's almost harder not to do it.
FREE - $0
ConvertKit finally brought out a free version, allowing newbies to play around with the interface earlier this year. It allows up to 1000 subscribers, as opposed to the 2000 with Mailchimp, but there's a catch. You can't use their automated welcome sequences and you can't integrate it with shopping carts and the like.
But it's a welcome addition and will allow you to play around with the dashboard and get a feel for it. Your time is such a valuable resource, you shouldn't be wasting it on software that doesn't make sense to you. Now with the free version, you can test out Convertkit a little more to see if its ethos is for you.
BASIC PLAN - $29/Month
It's quite a leap from the free version to the one you can use to sell - and that's only for the first 1000 subscribers. However, that does work as an incentive to keep your email list pruned and remove anyone who doesn't regularly open your emails. And cutting down on email spam can never be a bad thing.
PRICING SCALES UP
As you'd expect, the cost then increases with the number of subscribers. As a rough guide, around 100 000 subscribers will cost around $619/month.
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp FAQs
Which service is better, Mailchimp or ConvertKit? And why?
Both are excellent email marketing tools. Mailchimp is better for beginners because of its generous free plan, while ConvertKit is better for people selling digital products, like bloggers.
What are the advantages of ConvertKit over Mailchimp?
ConvertKit offers sophisticated subscriber tagging and automated sequences. It also integrates easily with several online shopping tools so that you can sell digital products easily. It is aimed at digital creatives (bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers etc) instead of tech people. Its interface is really easy to use and you won't get distracted by software you don't need.
For a person looking to make money from a newsletter, which is better? ConvertKit or Mailchimp?
ConvertKit. That's the purpose it's designed for, whereas Mailchimp tries to cover several different functions.
What other email marketing tools are there beyond Mailchimp?
Well, obviously I'm here recommending ConvertKit. But there's also Ontraport, which is good for small businesses that need to schedule appointments. There's also MailerLite and others.
What's the cheapest way to send bulk emails?
Mailchimp - the free plan allows for 2000 subscribers.
MAILCHIMP VS CONVERTKIT IN SUMMARY
Both are excellent ways for new bloggers to send emails. Mailchimp wins on price but ConvertKit wins on function.