Convertkit vs Mailchimp For Bloggers: How To Choose The Best Email Marketing Service (In-depth Guide)
Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Nicky Johnson
Convertkit vs Mailchimp For Bloggers
Your email list is the most important asset you own as a blogger. So that’s why it’s important to pick an email marketing service that makes your life easier as a blogger, not harder.
This post is a showdown of Converkit vs Mailchimp vs some other email marketing services to see which service will help your blog blossom.
If you’re new here then welcome to CBA where I share tips and knowledge on how to build a blogging business that glorifies God and serves others.
Today’s lesson will give you answers to some of life’s most important questions.
Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration.
But it will answer some of the most important questions (which one is better Convertkit vs Mailchimp) that will help you choose an email marketing service that will help your blog and business grow.
You already know how important email marketing is to your business’ growth right?
But you may be on the fence about which email marketing service to choose.
And perhaps you’ve heard other bloggers extol the virtues of one email marketing service more than others but they were a little vague on details…
“ oh man Convertkit is awesome”
“ Convertkit is the best email marketing service for bloggers “
“ my email list grew so much using Convertkit “
Ok yeah, those are great compliments but if you’re trying to make a decision you kinda need to know a little more than that.
So in today’s lesson, I’m going to answer frequently asked questions about email marketing services like Converkit and Mailchimp and others to help you.
I scoured the Internet (or at least some of it) for questions people asked about Convertkit.
And I’m going to answer them for you all in one place so you don’t have to search high and low for answers.
So much more convenient.
Before we get started, I have a free email marketing guide that lays out every step you need to get started with email marketing.
I also have a free Christian Blogging Roadmap that lays out an action plan to help you start, grow, and monetize your blog.
Just enter your email below and the link for both will be sent to your inbox!
This post may contain affiliate links which means I get a commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of those links. But don’t worry. I’m not going to recommend something I don’t really believe it because that would just be wrong.
Alright now let’s get started
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Convertkit VS Mailchimp For Bloggers: Read These FAQs To Help You Decide!
1. What is email marketing?
Short Answer: Email marketing is the sending of an email to a group of people with the intent to sell that group something at some point. You may not sell them something in every single email but at some point in time, you intend to persuade them to buy something from you.
So let’s illustrate this.
Earlier in this very post, I told you about my email marketing guide.
It can be downloaded for free by entering your email above. Once you do, the link to the guide is sent to your inbox.
This is called opting in.
The guide you are receiving is called a freebie or lead magnet.
And now I’ve collected your email address to a list and I will send emails to you periodically about things that you will actually care about like blogging tips, resources, and products that you help you be a better blogger.
These emails I send you are considered to be email marketing or marketing emails.
One individual reader who signs up is called a subscriber.
The group of subscribers that sign up for the same lead magnet is called an email list.
Now, do you imagine that I’m just sitting in front of my computer waiting patiently for someone to sign up?
And then when they do sign up I’m like yes, do a little dance of joy and compose an email with the link to the free guide inside?
Ummm no. Not even.
This is where an email marketing service comes in and does the heavy lifting for you.
So what really happens is when you enter in your email address to get the lead magnet the email marketing service will automatically send you the email with the link to the guide.
It can be in the middle of the night, while I’m at work or whenever.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Yeah okay, but why do I need to worry about lead magnets and email lists or whatever?
I’m glad you asked.
You NEED to build an email list and this is why
Writing blog posts and social media is great.
I highly recommend being involved in all of that.
However, if you’re trying to build a business using your blog as a platform (or even if you’re not trying to make money but you want to grow a ministry), you need to build trust with your potential customers or audience.
And one of the best ways to do that is through…you guessed it…your email list.
Your email inbox is more personal and intimate than a blog post.
Plus if your emails are in your customer's inbox on a consistent basis then some majorly important things happen:
Plus if your emails are in your customer's inbox on a consistent basis then some majorly important things happen:
1) You build trust (I already said that but it’s worth repeating)
2) You become memorable for your subscriber. How many blogs have you visited over the years?
Tons probably right but how many of them do you remember?
The ones that probably stand out the most are the ones that you signed up to be a subscriber.
3) Your subscribers get comfortable with you.
4) They learn your name.
5) They learn your story
6) They begin to see you as an expert.
7) They buy things from you because they feel like you are honest and trustworthy.
Basically, some majorly awesome things happen when you build an email list.
2. What is Convertkit?
Short Answer: An email marketing service used by bloggers built by bloggers especially for bloggers.
So remember all the way back in paragraph 3 (I don’t really know which paragraph lol) when I talked about how your lead magnet can get sent in the middle of the night to a new subscriber?
Well, it’s not the blogger sending the email to the subscriber but instead an email marketing service doing it for them.
Convertkit is an email marketing service.
They even have a free plan which is something I wish they’d had when I first signed up!
Think of Convertkit as your email marketing personal assistant.
You tell it to do something (email marketing related of course) and it does it.
For instance, you can tell Converkit to send an email with your lead magnet attached to it every time someone fills out a certain form on your blog post.
For an even more specific example, if you entered your email into the form above that talks about (pictured above) a Christian Blogging Roadmap, Convertkit will send you an email.
In that email, you will find the link to the freebies that were promised to you.
And why does this happen? Because I told Convertkit to do it and like a faithful servant, he did.
But of course, Convertkit does more than just send emails when you want it to.
It does more than that of course but we will get to that later.
3. What is MailChimp?
Short answer: An email marketing service…my least favorite out of the 5 email marketing services that I’ve used.
MailChimp is also an email marketing service, just like Convertkit…kinda. MailChimp will also send emails to your new subscribers…maybe.
Ummm, more on that later.
4. Why are Mailchimp and Convertkit pitted against each other?
Short Answer: MailChimp is probably the most popular free email marketing service and Convertkit is probably the most popular email marketing service (I say probably because I have no data on this because I could find none.
I can only go by what I’ve seen online, in forums, Facebook groups, etc over the years.
Not a lot of mentions of Constant Contact although it’s probably good.
Not many of Mailerlite but lots on Convertkit and Mailchimp.)
Update: Convertkit now has a free plan. So now the choice between Convertkit vs Mailchimp has been made even easier.
Click to read more about Convertkit’s free plan!
So if you are a regular Pinterest user and your in the market for an email marketing service you may have used Pinterest to search for Convertkit or Mailchimp.
If you have done that then you probably saw that Convertkit vs Mailchimp came up in the search results.
The two email marketing services are constantly being compared even though there or plenty of other options for this kind of service.
So why are they always being pitted against each other?
This is what I think:
The thought process of bloggers, business owners, authors and other creatives who need to build an email list probably goes something like this:
Beginner: “I keep hearing I need to build an email list.”
Beginner does an internet search…
Beginner: “Most people mentioned MailChimp or Convertkit. Some people who recommended Convertkit had used Mailchimp at one point.
Now they recommend Convertkit and say they would never go back.
Many creatives said they hated Mailchimp.
However, MailChimp is free and I’m not making any money yet. Convertkit is not free. (Update: This is no longer true…Converkit has a free plan.)
So should I start out with the free email marketing service that some people hate or should I bite the bullet and go with Convertkit even though I’m not making enough money to cover the monthly cost?”
Can you tell I had this same dilemma at some point in my life? lol
I am one of the creatives by the way that hated Mailchimp, in case you were wondering.
With every click of the mouse, I would get more and more frustrated by….well…anything I had to do on Mailchimp.
Probably because every task seemed to take too many clicks of the mouse to accomplish.
Well, remember when I talked about how Mailchimp will send emails to new subscribers like Convertket…kinda?
Well way back in the day when I used it (and it may be different now), I could not figure out how to get this service to work at least with the free version.
I think that’s why I started paying for Mailchimp in order to get that feature but even then it was too cumbersome and clunky to use so I eventually gave up on Mailchimp and went to Aweber.
A little more on them later.
So I think the reason why Convertkit & Mailchimp are often compared is as stated above:
“Should I start out with the free email marketing service that some people hate or should I bite the bullet and go with Convertkit even though I’m not making enough money to cover the monthly cost?”
Or put another way:
Is free good enough even though it might cause me to bang my head against the wall or should I invest in a higher quality service and save time since I do want to pursue blogging as a business?
Or put an even shorter way:
Which one do I value more: time or money?
Yes, MailChimp is free but I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to use those free features. (Convertkit now has a free plan as of this update 5-6-20)
costs money but I don’t spend nearly the time I did trying to figure out how to use it because it’s so user-friendly and of course has more features than Mailchimp’s free version.
Now, of course, Mailchimp has more features on their paid plans but if you’re willing to pay money then there are some better options than MailChimp.
5. What is Mailerlite?
Short answer: An email marketing service that seems to be a somewhat decent option with a free plan (with at least one major drawback).
Now we are introducing another email marketing service into the mix.
Mailerlite is another email marketing service that I tried (I’ve also used Aweber and Mad Mimi).
Although I highly recommend Convertkit, I understand if it’s just
not in the cards for you to pay $29 (or more depending on the number of subscribers you have) per month for email marketing. Mailerlite Convertkit would be my top pick for a free email marketing service. (see more updates about Convertkits free plan above.)
On the surface, it has a somewhat similar feel to Convertkit. I considered canceling Convertkit to use it but I’m glad I didn’t.
The deeper I dove into the world of Mailerlite, the more I realized how deceiving looks can be.
The more I used Mailerlite, the more I realized that it wasn’t going to work for me.
I tried setting up an autoresponder to welcome new subscribers and it too seemed more complicated than it had to be.
And then I did research for this post to discover other blogger’s experiences with Mailerlite.
A huge complaint that I read from more than one blogger was in the By His Grace Facebook group.
It was about how Mailerlite has problems with deliverability meaning sometimes the emails they send to their email list go to their subscribers’ spam folder.
This is a problem with Mailierlite in general and not specific to just the complaints in that group.
A study was done to show the rates of deliverability of different email marketing services.
Your emails going to your subscriber’s spam folder is just as bad as them not getting them at all.
Mailerlite is not as complicated to use as Mailchimp but it’s not as user-friendly as Convertkit.
The differences between all of these email marketing services are like the differences between iPhones, Androids, and flip phones.
They are all cell phones, they all have apps, they all make phone calls and text messages but they all vary wildly in the level of user-friendliness.
Convertkit is an iPhone (the most user-friendly and best interface),
Mailerlite is an Android (2nd most user friendly/2nd best interface),
MailChimp is a flip phone (least user-friendly and worst interface).
6. What are the features of Convertkit?
Here are some of my favorite Convertkit features:
1.Easy to set up opt-in forms that help you build your list of email subscribers
2.Easy to set up landing pages that help you grow your email list
3.Easy to set up email sequences that help you build trust with your email subscribers
4.Because most things are easy to set up you save a lot of time.
5. You can easily duplicate any form or email sequence all within the same window so you don’t have to toggle back and forth
6. Forms are easy to customize so you can make it look good with the design of your website. For instance, I’m able to make the buttons on my opt-in forms the same color as my blog’s brand colors so it looks seamless.
7. You can segment your email subscribers. For instance, I have to email lists on Convertkit for two different blogs and I’m able to tell which blog any new subscriber has signed up for
8. You can create separate landing pages and forms based on your subscribers’ interests.
On my blog Healthy As You Can, I have several different opt-in freebies because I have several topics that I discuss on that blog.
I can create as many forms as I need so I can know what each subscriber is interested in the most.
9. You can set up an RSS feed (RSS=Real Simple Syndication) to go out to your email list based on your specification.
This way your subscribers get alerted when you have new blog posts published.
10. They have visual automation so you can really picture how an automation process really works.
All this and more are just a few of the reasons why I love Convertkit. You can check Convertkit out for free for 14 days risk-free.
You can try it out and take a look around and see what you think. Just cancel before the 14 days are up and you don’t pay a penny.
7. Which email marketing service do you recommend?
This is a question that I saw asked of just random people so I’m going to give my own recommendation.
If you’ve read my answers to any of the previous questions then you know the answer is Convertkit if you have the money. This is why.
I stuck with Mailchimp for quite a while because it was free.
Then I signed up for Aweber and it’s pretty good as well. Not my favorite service but not bad.
But then I signed up for Aweber again because at the end of the day I just wasn’t in love so I went back to Mailchimp.
Then I remembered why I left in the first place and went back to Aweber but something was still off for me.
They both seemed unnecessarily complicated for things that should be simple.
I didn’t quite understand how they would name their features which would make it hard to figure out which tasks I wanted to perform or to even search for tasks in the help guides.
Then I signed up for Convertkit’s free trial.
I just wanted to see what the fuss was about. I really had no intention to stay.
I was certain I would cancel after the first month.
A year and a half later, I’m still with them even though I so wanted to hate them and then go back to the free plan on Mailchimp.
You know those Hulu commercials that say not to try Hulu Tv because it will ruin tv for you forever?
Meaning once you try Hulu TV you won’t be able to go back to cable or any other kind of tv.
That’s how I feel about Convertkit. It ruined other email marketing services for me that I’ve tried so far.
I so wanted to hate it so I could justify going back to Aweber but I couldn’t deny how easy, streamlined, simple, and intuitive building a form, landing page, and sequence was.
8. What Have Other Bloggers Said About These Email Marketing Services?
Here are some paraphrased comments from bloggers about various email services they've used:
– I wouldn’t switch back to Mailerlite after using Convertkit. It’s amazing…simple, faster, better deliverability.
– Mailerlite was a nightmare
– Switched from Mailerlite to Convertkit…big mistake
– Mailerlite=big mess with regards to deliverability
– Used Mailerlite and switched to Convertkit and I love it
- I’m paying people to help with Mailchimp because I don’t understand it
– It’s easy to segment my audience with Convertkit
– Easy to implement content upgrades with Convertkit
– You can easily tag subscribers based on their interests
– Aweber drove me mad
– I used MailChimp for years and wish I had switched sooner to Convertkit
– Did a split test on Mailerlite and Convertkit and I got a 13.4% higher open rate between the two
– I found the Mailchimp interface to be confusing
-My email list grew faster with Convertkit
9. What are some of the cons of Convertkit?
One obvious con is the price.
They don’t have a free plan. (note: They do have a free plan now in case you didnt see my other 20 updates).
They do have a free trial which you can sign up for right here.
But after the free trial, you have to pay $29 or more based on the amount of subscribers you have.
I think it’s important to also be straight with you about a few issues I’ve had with Convertkit.
When I first started using Convertkit setting up a sequence was really easy as was setting up an opt-in form.
This is right around the time when Convertkit was going to change their name to Seva (why I do not know).
They started changing a few things but I didn’t know that things had changed so I went to try and set up forms and sequences like I had done in the past.
And it didn’t work. I was not happy.
It had been so easy before and all of a sudden I was struggling again like it was Mailchimp 2.0.
I sighed inwardly “Not again”.
I contacted customer support.
I can’t lie, they were slow to answer compared to how quickly they had answered before.
Eventually, the issues got worked out.
Turns out I needed to use forms in a different way and use automation instead of sequences for what I was trying to do.
But still, I didn’t like that chat support seemed to be going by the wayside in favor of email support which is a lot slower.
As much as I don’t like that, I still stay with Convertkit because it is so much easier to use that it’s rare that I need customer service.
And whenever, I need to use them they are super nice.
But it needs to be faster no doubt.
Which Email Marketing Service Would I Recommend Overall: Convertkit!
There was little to no suspense in this announcement…I realize this :).
If you’ve read at least two words in this post then you know I highly recommend Convertkit.
It’s easy to use.
It saves me time because it’s easy to use.
It’s made specifically for bloggers by bloggers and it shows.
I can understand how to navigate the interface.
It doesn’t have the same high frustration factor that other email marketing services had like MailChimp, Aweber, and Mailerlite.
It’s reasonably priced compared to similar email marketing services.
It’s great for beginners because it’s easy to learn how to use.
It has a free trial (and free plan) so you can try it out and see if you like it (sign up for the free trial by clicking here).
If you don’t you have nothing to lose and at the very least you got to see if it’s worth the hype.
In my opinion, that’s a definite yes.
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