I have access to, and influence over, a pretty large audience. With that responsibility comes the importance of email marketing, as that audience provides plenty of opportunities to turn visitors into customers. This is my story: MailChimp to ConvertKit, and why I made the switch.
I have been working online and producing content for close to ten years, and built a multi-million dollar software company and a lifestyle brand with more than 100,000 fans on Facebook. I am also the Chief Product Officer of a company that runs one of the most popular content marketing blogs.
For the past 7 years, I have exclusively used MailChimp—and for the most part have enjoyed them. However, seasons are changing, and I am switching my email marketing over to ConvertKit.
Is ConvertKit Better Than MailChimp?
Let’s cut to the chase, and I’ll answer this quickly: Yes, I believe that ConvertKit is better than MailChimp, and that’s plain and simple why I am moving all of my email lists their service.
But not so fast, right? After all, “Is ConvertKit Better Than MailChimp?” really is a subjective question, right? I mean, not all things are equal, and everyone has different business models with varying goals.
My point here is this: ConvertKit is better than MailChimp—because it helps me do what I need to do, and what is right for me and my business.
With that said, everything you read below is my opinion, as it pertains to my objectives as a creative entrepreneur—and why I think you should also consider making the switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit.
Is ConvertKit Cheaper Than MailChimp?
Price is usually one of the first things to consider when trying to decide which email marketing service to go with. At the very least, it is a really important factor, don’t you agree?
MailChimp and ConvertKit are both great options for small businesses, professional bloggers, and marketers. Honestly you can’t go wrong either way.
Here’s a price comparison table between both email services per subscriber.
Note: This table is a price comparison per subscriber, which you can’t take at face value. ConvertKit and MailChimp have varying definitions of what a subscriber is, and how they count in your account.
I’ll get into that below, and will illustrate why ConvertKit has better value when it comes to pricing email subscribers. Don’t worry, you’ll see the light.
Why I Switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit
Ok, so enough of the statistics and arbitrary pros/cons of using ConvertKit for email marketing. For me, specifically, there were 5 main reasons I made the switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit. (There are plenty more reason to switch, but these were the “deal makers” for me.)
1. Custom email templates.
As a designer, I want to be able to control the way my content looks at all times. This is true of my websites, but also true of the emails that I send.
I love that ConvertKit highly encourages their customers to send emails that look personal—like you just opened up Gmail and sent them a note. They also realize that some customers, like me, want a more advanced style so they include the option to customize email templates—and boy is it simple.
ConvertKit provides 3 basic templates to get you started: text, classic, and modern. You can use any of those as a foundation for your email template, and simply customize the styles to match your brand. It’s pretty much HTML and CSS, with a few variables to make your email more personal.
Here’s a screenshot to show you how simple custom email templates are:
2. Payment structure with subscribers.
As I mentioned above, there is a significant benefit to using ConvertKit over MailChimp. ConvertKit is a subscriber-based serviced, while MailChimp is a list-based service. So you might be wondering, “What exactly does this mean?”
Well in short, it means that with ConvertKit, you are only paying for a subscriber once, no matter how many forms (or offers) they may have signed up for. With MailChimp, if they have signed up multiple times for whatever reason, you are paying for each one of them.
Here’s a good example to illustrate the point:
I have more than 25,000 email subscribers at No Sidebar, a blog that has been around for 3 years. This past summer we launched Simplify Magazine, which has a list of its own. That list has more than 50,000 subscribers, and I’m presuming that many thousands are on both lists.
With MailChimp, I was paying double (as in twice as much) for every one of those subscribers, which in this case could very well be more than 10,000 duplicates. Thanks to ConvertKit, I am only paying once for them, which is a huge (yes, I mean huge!) savings.
3. One-click resend to unopens.
Here’s another benefit you receive when you switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit—and it’s a brilliant one.
There are many reasons why people don’t open emails they receive, but often when they receive a follow up one, it gets opened. (On average, my “resend” emails get a 20% open rate, and some get as high as 30%. With a list size of 50,000, that’s an extra 10,000 folks laying eyes on an offer I am sending.)
With MailChimp, the process for doing this is much more cumbersome. You need to open your list and create a segment with a filter that targets folks who did not open an email you sent. There is some logic involved, which can be confusing, and ultimately is open to making a mistake—and if you resend to the wrong group of people, could be a costly one.
ConvertKit offers a “Resend to unopens” button on the Broadcast screen, which makes sending an email to those who didn’t open a particular email literally a one-second task. It’s so nice, so very nice.
4. Visual email automations.
Back to No Sidebar: I run an email course called 30 Days to a Simpler Life. When someone signs up for the course, they are added to an automation that will trigger an email each morning for 30 days.
Automations are a highly effective way of sending email to your visitors based on specific actions. At No Sidebar, that action is the purchase of my course. With ConvertKit, it was exceptionally easy to build the 30 day sequence of emails using their visual automation tool.
Here’s a screenshot to show you what that looks like:
The visual automation tool is one of the main reasons I decided to switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit. I never have to worry about the journey my customers will go through, because once I setup the 30 day sequence, the automaton takes over and send the emails each day.
Automations are a great tool for building your creative business, and can be used in many ways: if you are selling a service, launching a product, hosting a webinar, or surveying your audience.
5. Individual form statistics.
As I mentioned earlier, email marketing is one of the most effective methods of generating revenue. After all, it allows you to communicate with your readers in a more personal way, in a more personal environment—the inbox.
When you deliver good email content, you have the opportunity to deepen the relationship you have with your potential customers. You are exchanging your valuable information with their valuable time.
None of this matters, though, unless you are actually successfully collecting those email addresses—and that brings us to conversion.
I have always said, “A well-designed website that receives no traffic, is a well-designed website that receives no traffic.” With email marketing, it’s no different: A highly-trafficked website with poor conversion rates is a highly-trafficked website with poor conversion rates.
There are plenty of reasons why I made the decision to switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit, and individual form statics is a pretty significant one. I’ve never been much of an “analytics” and “conversion” person, but ConvertKit makes it so easy so see the statistics that really do matter when it comes to email marketing: Visitors, Subscribers, Conversion Rate.
Here’s a screenshot to show you the power of form statistics:
For the typical small business owner, this can be a really powerful thing. With just one click inside your ConvertKit account, you have access to a wealth of knowledge—which of your email forms are working, and quite possibly which ones aren’t. And that knowledge is pure gold.
Unfortunately, while being a MailChimp customer, I was completely in the dark—which made the switch to ConvertKit a total no-brainer for me.
Why You Should Switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit
I have listed the top 5 reasons why I personally made the choice to switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit. There are plenty of other reasons, but these were the ones that made the most impact on the way I conduct my business.
If you are wondering if ConvertKit is the right choice for you, consider these:
Communication—you want to make sure you are sending the right messages to the right people. Basically, you want to serve your valuable knowledge to a reader, with the hope that you can convert them into a paying customer.
Automation—you want to make it really easy to deliver that knowledge to your reader, in a way that makes sense and is timely. (Not to mention requires very little of your time once you have it setup.)
Conversion—let’s face it: time is money, and you want to make sure that you are maximizing your online marketing efforts in a way that minimizes your time, but moves the financial needle.
Simplicity—there is nothing wrong with a system that is easy to use. In fact, there is more benefit to using a system that gets out of your way so you can focus on building your audience, and converting them to customers.
What’s the bottom line?
ConvertKit just works, and it works well. I have noticed a significant growth in my business, while reducing the overhead and time it takes to get there.
Click here to signup for ConvertKit—you (and your business) won’t regret it.
*Note—This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you sign up with ConvertKit. Not only do I highly recommend using their email service, I also use it—for the many reasons I’ve listed above.