ConvertKit and MailChimp are two email marketing service providers that are some of the best options to choose from. CovertKit has earned itself a reputation as the content creators email marketing software, and MailChimp is the leading email marketing platform that everyone seems to be using.
Both of these services have lots of features and benefits on offer that can help you when it comes to email marketing strategies and campaigns, and a lot of their features are quite similar, but is one of them better than the other?
In this article, we are going to be comparing CovertKit and MailChimp with one another to find out if one of them offers a better service than the other. You can check out our detailed comparison below to find out everything that you need to know about each of these companies and what they have to offer their loyal customers.
ConvertKit Vs MailChimp: What You Need To Know
To summarize, you should know that neither of these options are necessarily considered to be budget-friendly, as they are not cheap. When it comes to the level and number of features on offer, MailChimp is certainly in the lead, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the better option.
However, even with that being said, there are lots of things that make these two services very different, even if they share some of the same features. This is why it is really important to know your stuff before you decide which company is right for you, so you don’t end up missing out on anything.
See our full comparison to find out everything that you need to know about ConvertKit and MailChimp below.
Usability And Editor
Both of these email marketing services claim that they are easy to use. MailChimp has an interface that is easy to navigate, and it adopts a more flexible and step-based approach when it comes to building your email. The process is very guided, which makes it very easy to follow along with.
You will be able to choose if you want to go straight into designing the email, which is what most people seem to do, or if you want to select recipients and add in your sender details first. No matter what you decide to do first, once you are in the editor, the process itself is very intuitive when you want to add or remove elements.
There is a simple drag and drop editor that you can use for this, as well as editing text and changing the images or the overall style. There is also a handy undo button that you can make use of when you are editing text, to easily undo any mistakes or bad choices.
ConvertKit is also really easy to navigate and simple to use, but their interface is not as exciting. Their email builder can be found under broadcasts. You should be aware of the fact that you will need to specify the sender details and subscribers before you get to creating your email, unlike with MailChimp.
However, just like MailChimp, the editor itself is very easy to use, which is mostly down to the fact that there are not as many options available for you to use. When you are using the editor, you will not be using a drag and drop editor, as you can instead use the available email templates that are on offer.
These are text based, but this means that your editing options are quite limited to things like formatting text, changing the color or size of your font, and adding images. Although this is really simple and straightforward to use, it would be beneficial if there was an undo function that allows you to go back a step.
Neither is easier to use than the other, as both of these platforms offer simple and straightforward navigation and design editing. Neither of them are difficult to use, and pretty much anyone can get the hang of it with some time.
How Much Flexibility Is There With Designing?
This is something that makes both ConvertKit and MailChimp quite different, and this is because they both have very different ideas when it comes to design. MailChimp has more than 100 themed templates for you to choose from, and these can range from newsletters, to event invites, ecommerce promotions, and much more.
As well as this, there are 14 blank layouts that you can browse that allow you to apply your own designs. On the other hand, ConvertKit only offers 3 different templates for their email designs, which are text only, classic, and modern.
All 3 of these options are essentially text emails with different fonts. If you choose the classic or modern template, then you can apply text formatting and images, which is something that you cannot do with the other option. If you were hoping for a wide variety of fully designed templates to choose from, then you will be disappointed.
ConvertKit haven’t claimed to be centered around designs and templates, but this is surely an area that they could improve upon if they wanted to catch up with their competitors.
Although, the reasoning behind this is that their research has shown that plain text or simple emails will perform better than emails that have been heavily designed. It is up to you to consider this and think about what you want.
There are some people that prefer the simpler designs, and there are other people that want their emails to be fun and eye-catching. The type of email design that you are looking for will help you to decide between these two companies.
Although we can understand the reasoning behind the lack of options that are available with ConvertKit, it is nice to have a wider choice available to you than no choice, so MailChimp takes the cake with this one.
Managing Of Lists
ConvertKit is not the biggest fan of lists, and when you upload your contacts, they will all head off to the same place. However, there is the option to assign contacts to a certain form, sequence, or tag, and this is an alternative way to organize your subscribers.
You could also choose to create segments of contacts that have similar characteristics, no matter where they belong. MailChimp has a very different approach when it comes to list management.
They will allow you to create your own lists and this will help you to keep your contacts organized and in separate lists from one another. This can be really helpful if you are managing emails for different clients or businesses. Although, you should know that if you are using multiple lists, you will be charged for this accordingly.
MailChimp will charge for contacts that are seen more than once across multiple lists. Instead of paying per subscriber, you are paying per email. So, if you have one subscriber on three different lists, then you will be paying for them 3 times. This is just something to keep in mind.
However, if you are only working on one business project, then you could also upload all of your contacts onto the same list, and then simply organize them by using tags. An example of this would be to create different tags that are based on whether your contact comes from a sign up, or from another source.
There are also lots of options that you can utilize to create segments by using contact field criteria. You could even create groups that allow your contacts to be self-categorized when they sign up by using your forms. By doing this, they can be categorized based on their own interests and preferences.
ConvertKit definitely offers a much simpler way to manage your contacts, but MailChimp does have more options available for you to use. Both of these methods can be really effective, but often simpler is better, and MailChimp can become a bit over complicated at times.
For this reason, we think that ConvertKit is the better option for this round of comparison, especially if you are looking for simplicity.
ConvertKit is really putting a lot of effort into this aspect of their service, and they pride themselves on their visual automations feature that has recently been introduced to their plans. Smack bang in the center of their automation system is a sequence feature that will allow you to build a sequence of emails.
Something that is pretty great about this feature is that you will be able to create and edit the emails as you are building the sequence, which means that you don’t have to click off to another section of the tool. Instead, you can get it all done in one place, making the process much more convenient.
‘Visual Automations’ is the workflow editor that has been created by ConvertKit, and this will allow you to define how someone should enter a sequence, like when they make a purchase, are assigned a tag, or sign up to a form.
Just like with lots of other advanced automation editors, you will even be able to add steps that are based on actions, conditions, or events. You could also add multiple sequences to one automation.
Something else that you will be able to do is set up universal automation rules, and this will mean that you can add or remove contact tags or subscribe them to a different form or sequence when they perform a certain action.
So, when it comes to ConvertKit, there are lots of different options available when it comes to automation. This might be a little overwhelming at first, but it will all begin to make sense once you get used to using the service.
Alternatively, MailChimp do also offer automations and a visual editor, and this has been a recent update. Something that they are able to do better than ConvertKit is to provide a wider range of automated campaigns.
When you use MailChimp, you can choose to set up campaigns that are triggered by webpage visits. There isn’t too much of a difference between MailChimp and ConvertKit’s automation, and they are both pretty equal in this aspect.
Forms And Registering
One of the most important things that you will need to consider when you are deciding on any email marketing software is the forms that are on offer. The good news is that ConvertKit has now chosen to move away from their old and inefficient method of having to add new fields through the use of code.
Instead, you can now insert new fields by using the visual editor, which is much easier. By using the visual editor, you will be able to add dropdown or checkbox field values as tags, and these will seamlessly link up with their list management system.
As well as this, you will be presented with the option to add your form as an embedded, pop-up, or slide in form. You can even adjust some of the design elements, like the color, images, and custom CSS. The forms are even smart enough to allow you to hide forms from return visitors in order to avoid multiple subscriptions.
There are very similar options available with MailChimp, who also allow you to build an embedded or pop up form. The new sign ups will go to a list that you have specified.
However, the form feature can be a little confusing in the sense that it seems as though a different editor will appear, depending on the type of form that you want to build, and whether you choose to enter it from either campaigns or lists.
However, the actual form builder in itself, where you will be able to define different form fields, is really easy and straightforward to use. It will allow you to drag and drop additional fields into the form, and even edit field values.
You will get pretty much the same amount of design customization options available to you with MailChimp as you would with ConvertKit.
Although, the editor that is used for the embedded form can be slightly confusing at times, as it doesn’t really look like the other visual editors that you can use with MailChimp. As well as this, the pop up form editor is something entirely different again. It is much more modern, and it might make sense for all of the editors to be like this one.
There are lots of options available to you with both of these companies, but due to the fact that ConvertKit sticks to one easy to use editor, they are the winner here. MailChimp can be difficult to get your head around at first.
Landing page builders are still something that is not always available through email marketing software services. Although, you can make use of landing page builders with both ConvertKit and Mailchimp.
ConvertKit offers more than 50 different templates for building a landing page, and they are all very well designed. The editor for this is exactly the same as the one that is used for creating forms, and it is quite simple to put everything together. You will even get reports about the number of visitors, subscribers, and conversion rates.
However, just like with their forms, there are not a tonne of options when it comes to adjusting the design of the landing pages. You will be able to change colors or add CSS if this is something that you know how to do. Although, the landing page can be hosted directly on your website if you do not want to use the ConvertKit domain, which is great.
On the other hand, MailChimp has 10 different landing page templates for you to choose from, as well as some blank templates that you can add your own design to. They also provide their customers with more flexibility when it comes to design, and you can drag and drop content blocks to make things even easier.
The landing page is also much easier to come to terms with than the form editor. Although, you should know that there is an extra step involved when you want to add more fields.
This will need to be done separately in the form builder that is linked to your list, and this is simple enough to do. Just like with ConvertKit, you will also receive reports that are based on your visits, clicks, subscribers, and conversion rates.
You should also be aware of the fact that publishing a landing page on a website that is on a connected custom domain will require you to have a paid for websites and commerce plan. There are upsides and downsides to both of these options, which means that they are on pretty even ground for this one.
Spam Testing And Design Testing
With MailChimp, you will be able to preview your designs on both desktop and mobile previews. There is also an inbox preview that will allow you to view how your email will look in various email clients. However, each preview will cost a token, and you get 25 inbox preview tokens per month. So, if you run out, you will need to buy more.
There is also a push to mobile apps that can be used to preview the email on your phone, and a link checker will work to highlight any missing links. The only downside to MailChimp is that there is no official spam testing.
ConvertKit, as you are probably aware of by now, are more centered around text based emails, and they do not offer any spam or design testing at all. The only preview tool that you can use is the one that allows you to view emails as your subscribers would see them.
So, MailChimp is definitely the better of the two when it comes to design testing, although none of these companies have spam testing.
ConvertKit offers very basic reports, and there isn’t even a dedicated section in which you can find these reports. Instead, you will have to go to the individual email or sequence if you want to be able to view them.
Even then, the reports themselves are not the best. You can view your stats on open rates, click rates, links clicked, and unsubscribes, but that’s about it. There is no bounce rate, geographical data, or anything else of importance. So, you don’t really get many additional insights from this email marketer.
On the other hand, MailChimp offers an extensive range of reports for you to look at. As well as their basic performance reports, you can also receive hourly performance, social stats, opens by location, performance by domain, click maps, ecommerce sales, and more. It is harder to tell you what reports they don’t provide, as they pretty much cover everything that you will need.
As well as all of this, you will get some helpful extra data that can show you how your campaigns are performing against industry average open and click rates, bounce raes, and even complaints received. So, MailChimp is certainly the best option when it comes to reports.
Of course, one of the main things to think about is how well your emails are being delivered. While MailChimp do have fairly stable results when it comes to deliverability, ConvertKit has averaged the highest score multiple times in deliverability tests, so this is the better choice.
ConvertKit and MailChimp will both offer a generous number of integrations, and they will both allow you to set up API’s. However, MailChimp has been known to take things one step further. ConvertKit has close to 90 different integrations that have a wide range of tools and applications.
All of the big names, like Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and more can be integrated, and they even have integrations with Zapier, which allows you to connect even more apps. However, they do not offer integrations with any of the major CRM’s, which doesn’t make much sense as an email marketing tool.
MailChimp is pretty difficult to beat when it comes to their level of integration, and there are more than 180 different integrations that you can use. As well as this, all of the biggest CRM, ecommerce, CMS, lead capture, and social tools will be among this extensive list. The only thing that you won’t find there is Shopify. Essentially, MailChimp has more than double the integrations that ConvertKit does.
There are various customer support options available with ConvertKit and MailChimp, but MailChimp is only available during business hours. You can get helpful and detailed responses with both companies, but the wait times for a response can be a little slower with MailChimp.
Although they both offer helpful knowledge bases and tutorials, MailChimp’s are known for being more extensive.
How Much Does It Cost?
As you now know, both ConvertKit and MailChimp are great tools to use for email marketing purposes, but that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. If you are still unsure which company to choose, perhaps the pricing of the available plans can help to give you a nudge in the right direction.
We are going to look at the prices of each of the plans that these two companies have on offer below, so you can find out how much they cost for yourself. Something that you should know before we get started is that both of these services will charge you based on the number of subscribers that you have, but MailChimp do also offer pay as you go options.
|Free Plan||Up to 1,000 subscribers / unlimited emails||Up to 2,000 subscribers / 10,000 emails|
As you can see from the table, MailChimp will cost slightly less than ConvertKit, so if you are looking for the cheapest option, then MailChimp is what you are looking for. Their free plan is also slightly more generous in terms of how many subscribers you can have.
ConvertKit Vs MailChimp – Full Comparison Of Major Features
|Ease of Use||Yes||Yes|
|Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs||Varied||Limited|
|Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process||Simple||Flexible|
|Reports and Analysis||Excellent||Basic|
|Design Testing||Preview Available||No Testing|
|Different Levels of Account Access||Yes||Yes|
|Landing Page Editor||Yes||Yes|
|Support||Knowledge Base||Email or Live Chat|
|Prices||Up to 2,000: $0/mo|
Up to 2,500: $30.99/mo
Up to 10,000: $78.99/mo
Up to 15,000: $135/mo
Up to 20,000: $170/mo
Up to 25,000: $200/mo
Up to 30,000: $230/mo
Up to 50,000: $270/mo
|Up to 1,000: $0/mo|
Up to 300: $15/mo
Up to 1,000: $29/mo
Up to 3,000: $49/mo
Up to 5,000: $79/mo
Up to 10,000: $119/mo
Up to 25,000: $199/mo
Up to 50,000: $379/mo
Up to 100,000: $679/mo
ConvertKit Vs MailChimp: Summary
There are lots of things to consider when you are deciding which email marketing tool will suit your needs, but ConvertKit and MailChimp are both two great options to choose from. You will need to think about the features that they have on offer, as well as how much each plan costs to decide which one would be the best solution for you.
MailChimp is packed full of great features, but perhaps have neglected some of their older features while concentrating on the newer ones. They also have a lot of confusing options that could definitely be simplified to create a more streamlined experience.
However, if you are looking at just the features alone, then MailChimp is the better option. Alternatively, if you are focussed more on specific features, like list management and support, then ConvertKit may be the better option for you.
Something that often sways the decision for most people is the overall price of the service, but neither of these options are considered to be budget friendly. There are cheaper alternatives on the market that can be just as good, and it is up to you to decide which companies can offer you the best value for money when you consider the features that you will make the most use of.
If you are still undecided, you might want to make use of the free plans that both ConvertKit and MailChimp have on offer, so you can try them out before you commit to a plan.
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