In this digital marketing era, email marketing is undoubtedly one of the most affordable and effective solutions to engage your customers and grow your business. But with tons of email marketing software and tools available in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which solution is the best for your business.
Below is an in-depth comparison of two such platforms—ConvertKit and Mailchimp—based on their features, pros, cons, and pricing.
- What is ConvertKit?
- What is Mailchimp?
- Major features in common
- Unique features of ConvertKit and Mailchimp
- How to choose between ConvertKit and Mailchimp
Read more: Email Marketing Best Practices That Drive Results
What is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is an emerging player in the email marketing industry that’s mainly aimed at creators like musicians, bloggers, podcasters, authors, and coaches. It allows you to manage your custom drip email marketing campaign with personalized content. You can also send emails to announce new product launches or invite your subscribers to sign up for a new service, for example.
With ConvertKit, you can easily create custom landing pages, opt-in forms, and automation workflows. It integrates with third-party tools to help you grow your email list and Facebook audience, monitor subscriber engagement, and sell your digital products from the same platform.
ConvertKit offers the following plans for up to 1,000 subscribers:
- Free plan with basic features
- Creator Plan at $25 per month for growing creators
- Creator Pro Plan at $50 per month with advanced reporting and subscription features for established creators
What is Mailchimp?
As an email marketer, you’ve most certainly come across Mailchimp. It’s one of the most popular all-in-one email marketing platforms on the market. Mailchimp offers customizable templates for landing pages and emails as well as an AI-powered creative assistant for custom designs that help you create your website, launch your online store, and boost your sales.
The platform also features a drag-and-drop editor as well as automated email segmentation capabilities to target customers based on geolocation and purchasing behavior.
Mailchimp offers the following plans based on the number of contacts on your list:
- Free plan offers all basic multichannel tools for up to 2,000 contacts
- Essentials starts at $11 per month based on 500 contacts; great for email-only senders
- Standard starts at $17 per month based on 500 contacts; includes automation & optimization tools
- Premium starts at $299 per month based on 10,000 contacts; includes advanced customization features
ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp: Major features in common
The top features ConvertKit and Mailchimp share are A/B testing and marketing automation.
ConvertKit offers simple A/B testing to compare how two subject lines perform with your audience. Each variation is delivered to 15% of the recipients and after four hours of testing them based on the highest open rate, it automatically sends the winning variant to the remaining 70% subscribers. It works best for 1,000 or more recipients.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, lets you perform tests on four variables: subject line, send time, content, and sender name. You can create up to three versions for each variable type, launch separate campaigns, and send them to different groups of subscribers. You can then determine how long you want the test to run and choose a winner based on open rate, click rate, or total revenue.
It’s worth noting that basic A/B testing is available for all Mailchimp packages except the Free plan, but more advanced multivariate testing is only offered in the Premium plan.
Both platforms offer a broad range of marketing automation functionalities including drip campaigns and lead generation.
With ConvertKit’s easy-to-use visual email automation tool, you can automatically send well-timed, targeted content to a segmented audience. You can also create strategic email sequences and build custom paths for your funnels by connecting events, actions, and conditions.
Prebuilt marketing automation in Mailchimp removes the burden of manual tasks and helps you focus on your core business. There are numerous pre-built workflows you can use as a starting point, such as welcoming a new subscriber or reminding customers about their abandoned carts.
Also read: Easy Automations That Save Time for Growing Businesses
Unique features of ConvertKit and Mailchimp
Both platforms differ in some features and the approach they take for certain workflows.
ConvertKit segments & tags
Compared to Mailchimp’s list-centric approach, ConvertKit follows the subscriber-first approach, meaning you don’t have to pay double for the same subscribers if they’re duplicated on different lists. With an intuitive and robust segmentation feature, you can segment your audience based on 10 filters such as first name, subscription date, purchase behavior, or other demographic data.
Tags allow you to track subscriber actions and then use the segment builder to combine tags into a list and send them specific emails. For example, you can tag all subscribers who signed up for your newsletter separately from those who opt-in for a back-in-stock notification.
Subscribers can also be tagged with multiple tags simultaneously. You can find the tags option in the ConvertKit dashboard by going to Subscribers under the Grow tab.
ConvertKit offers unlimited sign-up forms that are responsive, customizable, and GDPR-compliant. You can embed a form anywhere on your website, blog, sales page, or a landing page hosted on your own domain or the one hosted by ConvertKit.
There are dozens of pre-designed templates available that have fully customize fonts and colors to match your brand identity. You can configure incentive emails and double opt-ins, or you can auto-confirm subscribers that sign up for emails through a form.
Mailchimp templates & mobile app
Compared to ConvertKit’s plain-text emails and WYSIWYG editor, Mailchimp offers hundreds of themed templates that cover everything from newsletters to event invites. There are also 14 blank templates as well as an option to import custom HTML templates. With a drag-and-drop editor, even non-designers can create visually aesthetic emails to attract subscribers.
Unlike ConvertKit, Mailchimp offers a mobile app that lets you create engaging marketing campaigns, send emails to subscribers, and keep track of performance on the go. You can also use the mobile app to create simple, one-click landing pages that will drive conversions.
While ConvertKit has basic reporting capabilities, Mailchimp offers advanced reports and analytics. These reports include:
- Email campaign reports show click-through rates (CTR), open-rate, social engagement, comparison with industry standards, and more.
- Automation reports show individual email statistics as well as the performance of automated series of emails.
- Landing page reports show the success of your landing pages based on views, clicks, list signups, and revenue.
- Ad reports show ads performance based on acquired customers, views, clicks, and return on investment (ROI).
Also read: Best Reporting Software for Small Businesses
How to choose between ConvertKit and Mailchimp
Mailchimp and ConvertKit both offer intuitive user interfaces, a variety of significant marketing features, and good customer support. ConvertKit’s tagging structure helps keep costs low, and Mailchimp’s design tools make it easy to craft professional-quality emails.
Both tools are a bit pricey for beginners and could be improved in some areas. ConvertKit might be a little difficult to use for a non-technical person, and the template library is relatively limited. On the other hand, Mailchimp’s list management capabilities can be confusing and can drive up the cost for duplicate contacts.
ConvertKit is best for digital entrepreneurs and bloggers with more focus on simple email marketing and list management. Mailchimp is better equipped to handle the branding and reporting needs of larger organizations and e-commerce businesses.Ultimately, the right email marketing automation tool for your business depends on your business’s unique needs. If neither ConvertKit nor Mailchimp seems up to the task, you can compare other email marketing solutions on our list of the Best Email Marketing Software & Platforms.