By now you’ve probably heard it through the blogging grapevine: there are a lot of Mailchimp competitors out there.
There are lots of things I love about Mailchimp: the free t-shirt they send you, their hilarious branding, the fact that their mascot is a monkey. But none of that stopped me from making the switch to ConvertKit.
Do the differences between platforms take some getting used to? Yes. Is it totally worth it? For me, SUPER YES. When it comes to the ConvertKit vs Mailchimp question, I’m sticking with ConvertKit. I’m sure there are other Mailchimp alternatives out there (Infusionsoft and Mad Mimi for starters) but I’m totally into ConvertKit.
ConvertKit newsletters don’t end up in the Gmail ‘Promotions’ folder
Whaaaaat? Yes. When I used Mailchimp, I had to charmingly, politely ask my subscribers to move me to their primary email folder. I am fairly sure most people ignored that request. Fair enough! But it sucks to pay hundreds of dollars each month to send emails that end up in a folder no one ever opens.
Through some sort of witchery, ConvertKit emails end up in people’s primary Gmail inbox. I’m not sure if it happens 100% of the time, but it happens when I send my test emails and I’ve seen a not-insignificantly higher open rate since I switched.
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp on deliverability? ConvertKit wins this one.
ConvertKit pricing won’t charge you for double listings
I have two email lists: my Yes & Yes list for travel-y, listicle-y, let’s-make-our-lives-better content and my small business list for blogging, social media, self-employment content. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of overlap between these two lists and Mailchimp charged me twice! If you subscribe to both newsletters, I got charged for two subscribers!
ConvertKit views one email address = one subscriber, no matter how many lists they’re on. I saved $20 a month when I switched!
ConvertKit pricing versus Mailchimp? Convertkit wins again.
3. ConvertKit makes it easy to see which content upgrades are bringing in the most subscribers
I’ve doubled my list this year by using content upgrades – which is fancy marketing speak for ‘I give people free ebooks in exchange for their email address.’ ConvertKit makes it very, very easy to see how many subscribers I’m gaining every day and which content upgrades are the most popular.
When I know which ebooks people like, I can do more to promote them and write more blog posts that complement them. Easy peasy!
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp on optimizing your email list? ConvertKit again.
4. ConvertKit makes sales funnel emails easy (and they show you how to write ‘em!)
What’s a sales funnel? Sometimes it’s called an email nurture chain, an auto-responder set, or a drip campaign. Whatever you call it, ConvertKit makes ’em super easy.
Still confused? A sales funnel is essentially a series of emails that bread-crumbs subscribers towards your offerings. If you’re selling a Pinterest ecourse, your sales funnels is a series of helpful, informative, lightly salesy emails that convince your subscribers you know alllllll about Pinterest and eventually (hopefully!) culminates with them buying your course.
I always knew, theoretically, that I should have email sales funnels for all my products. But how many emails? And when do I send them? And what sort of stuff do I include in those emails?
I’ve tried googling all this before, but between figuring what I should write and figuring out Mailchimp’s dashboard, I gave up and did nothing. Maybe Mailchimp has a great way to set up sales funnels! They probably do! But I could never wade through the backend and figure it out.
ConvertKit has a super easy, super simple email chain set up for you. They tell you how many emails you should include. They’ve already got them scheduled, spaced, and they even give you pointers about what information to include!
Of course, you can edit the chain they provide. You can send fewer emails, send an email every day for 10 days, or make every email you send a hard sell. The templates ConvertKit includes are a huge, huge help for those of us who’ve never created an email campaign before.
ConvertKit vs Mailchimp for making business less intimidating? Yup, ConvertKit.
Mailchimp vs ConvertKit – Where Mailchimp Wins
Of course, no platform is perfect for every user. Here are the areas where Mailchimp beats ConvertKit.
1. ConvertKit doesn’t allow you to A/B split test subject lines
One of the things I loved about Mailchimp was split testing my subject lines.
Which one’s going to work better, little monkey?
“I made my client cry (and not in the good way)”
“9 ways to improve your site with ZERO tech know-how.”
At the moment, ConvertKit doesn’t have an split testing option, but it’s apparently in the works.
2. ConvertKit doesn’t have an “Allow ConvertKit to schedule” option
If you have a paid Mailchimp subscription, they can look at when your subscribers usually open your emails and schedule your next one based on that information. If everybody’s opening your newsletters around 8 pm CST, Mailchimp will schedule them for 8 pm CST. ConvertKit currently doesn’t have that option.
3. ConvertKit encourages text-based newsletters rather than design-y, image-heavy newsletters
Emails with lots of images are more likely to trigger Gmail’s ‘spam’ filter or kick you into the Promotions folder. I suspect ConvertKit’s text-based templates are what helps them sneak into Gmail’s Primary folder! If you’re searching for pretty ConvertKit templates, you’re mostly out of luck.
If you’re incredibly attached to the design of your newsletter, it’s possible to format a ConvertKit newsletter to look the way you want, but it’s a bit harder than with other newsletter providers. Honestly, I gave up and now I just use my blog header in my emails and it hasn’t affected my open or click through rate.
In the spirit of full transparency, there are affiliate links in this post because I really like ConvertKit! I wouldn’t have figured out email chains without them! If you’re interested in ConvertKit but you’d prefer not to use my affiliate link you can sign yourself up at ConvertKit.com 🙂
Which newsletter provider are you using? Do you like it? What do you like about it?