Both of these pride themselves on offering different features at different price points.
People still pick Apple phones even though there are more economical phone options out there. Pricing may be a factor, though, for bloggers who are just starting out with email marketing.
We will cover many more features throughout this comparison which may help you come to a better decision about which email autoresponder is better for you.
Free Plan Vs. No Free Plan
One of MailChimp’s perks over ConvertKit is their Forever Free plan.
With MailChimp’s Forever Free plan, you can have up to 2,000 subscribers without ever paying a penny to the platform.
Forms & Landing Pages
Luckily, you can use both with sites like LeadPages to create more beautiful email collection forms and landing pages.
When it comes to forms and landing pages, ConvertKit offers a couple of standard options.
Three forms, three popups or modal forms, and three landing page options. Each of these options is pretty basic, but they all get the job done.
MailChimp offers a few different embedded form options and popup form options.
One of MailChimp’s best features is their landing pages builder.
For many bloggers and businesses, this landing page builder is exactly what you need to get your audience interested in signing up.
MailChimp’s landing page editor is drag and drop which makes it easy to use for most bloggers.
MailChimp takes a very picture forward approach.
They want you to use templates that focus on images as a way to tell your brand’s story. For companies like Target or Walmart, this works.
Their emails may end up in the promotional folder or the spam folder of your email, but overall that’s okay to them. They still have people going into their stores every single day, and they have other ways to reach customers.
For most bloggers, though, taking a picture heavy approach may be difficult.
For starters, you may not have enough pictures to create a beautiful email, and you may not want the deliverability issues that come along with that.
ConvertKit takes a different approach to email templates.
They want you to write an email like you’d write an email to a friend.
So, their templates are very bare.
You won’t see much of anything when it comes to ConvertKit templates.
Yes, you can add pictures to your emails, but that’s not really what ConvertKit wants you to do.
The email editor for ConvertKit is quite simple; there isn’t anything in the way of a drag and drop editor, it’s a screen far simpler than your average word processor.
The focus is on you writing stellar content for your audience.
When it comes to any email autoresponder, deliverability is critical.
If your emails don’t make it to your audience, they won’t do much good in the grand scheme of things.
Using an autoresponder with high deliverability will get you the best results in the long run, even if it may cost more to use that service.
This is especially true if you use email marketing to sell your products or affiliate products.
When more people see your content, you have a higher chance of converting people to purchase products.
Well, the truth has a lot to do with what we just talked about with email setup and templates.
The other side of picture-heavy content is that it has a higher chance of being dinged.
This doesn’t always happen, but you don’t send emails to your friends with tons of pictures, so should you send your audience those same emails?
MailChimp doesn’t focus on text-heavy emails.
The templates revolve around at least sharing one or two pictures and sometimes many more.
This may work for stores, but bloggers may want to bring down the number of images that they send, especially if you have a smaller audience, that way more people see your emails.
ConvertKit touts their high deliverability rates as one of their features.
Their focus is on being an email marketing platform, and with that focus, they can zone in on things like deliverability.
ConvertKit wants to make sure you land in email inboxes so that more people can read your amazing work.
You never know how many emails you may end up sending, especially when it comes to product launches you may have as a blogger.
It’s essential that the email autoresponder you choose gives you the ability to send as many emails as you need to send.
MailChimp does not offer genuinely unlimited email sending. First off, the Forever Free plan is limited to 12,000 emails sent per month. Secondly, MailChimp has a limit to their higher tiers because they call specific users “high-volume senders.”
This label applies to anyone with more than 50,000 people on their list.
What does this mean?
It means that you are only able to send 12x as many emails as the highest number your tier accepts.
This means if your tier is capped at 100,000 subscribers you can only send out 1,200,000 emails.
That number is not unlimited, especially if you are regularly emailing all 100,000 subscribers.
ConvertKit, on the other hand, is truly unlimited.
It doesn’t matter if you have 500 or 100,000 subscribers, you can still send out unlimited emails.
As we’ve stated earlier, this is great during launch times when you may need to send out more emails than usual.
A/B and Multivariate Testing
For many bloggers and business owners, A/B and Multivariate Testing is essential.
Being able to get a better understanding of how your audience perceives your emails becomes valuable knowledge.
MailChimp allows for extensive A/B and Multivariate testing, depending on the plan that you have.
Everyone can access MailChimp’s limited A/B testing capabilities which allows you to test up to 3 combinations of your email.
If you decide to spend more money, you can access Multivariate testing which allows up to 8 combinations.
With MailChimp’s testing options you can test subject lines, from names, content, and send times.
With ConvertKit, A/B testing is minimal.
You can do some limited A/B testing when it comes to your email subject line, but nothing else about your emails can be tested.
This won’t be very helpful for bloggers who want to meticulously test various parts of the emails they send to see what works best.
Overall, if you are looking to test your emails and get better data through those tests, MailChimp is a better option.
Now that we’ve talked about A/B and Multivariate testing let’s chat about reporting as a whole.
Data drives email marketing, and you want to make sure that your email autoresponder focuses on that too.
You may not see much more reporting on the MailChimp side when it comes to their smaller plans.
When it comes to ConvertKit, what you see is what you get.
Subscriber Counts (List-Centric vs. Subscriber-Centric)
Subscriber counts are essential when you are paying per subscriber. If you pay for everyone on your list, you want to know that they are being counted fairly.
So, for example, say you had three different opt-ins on your website.
Each of those opt-ins were relevant to your subscribers, and they all feed into three separate lists to help you organize things easily.
This organization would make sense so that you could create automations for each separate opt-in.
Your readers see three different offers, your cookbook, shopping list, and kitchen equipment care guide.
Your readers may see your amazing opt-ins and decide they want all three.
Little do they know, MailChimp will count them three times on your mailing list because of this.
On the other hand, we have ConvertKit, who follows a subscriber-centric model.
The same reader opts in to all three of your lovely freebies, and if they use the same email address for each subscription, they are only counted once.
This is because ConvertKit looks across lists to determine duplicates.
This way of counting subscribers helps you when immensely when it comes to paying for subscribers.
So, when it comes to this part of the debate, ConvertKit is the clear winner here.
You will save more money and time by counting subscribers across lists versus within lists.
Segmenting & Tags
If you ever want to create separate lists for your audience, you could be paying for subscribers again and again.
Double paying for subscribers is not fun and it negates what segmenting your list can do.
You can add specific tags to subscribers with MailChimp, though.
You can also create some segments with MailChimp in other ways, but those segments are harder to build than just segmenting by a list.
ConvertKit offers much more when it comes to segmenting your list.
ConvertKit wants you to segment your list as much as possible so each message you send can reach the best audience, and this doesn’t always mean sharing a message with everyone on your list.
You can also tag subscribers too.
Support & Knowledge Database
When it comes to email marketing, you may have a few questions that need to be answered. So, how do these two stack up when it comes to support?
These are all broken down into useful sections. Both offer a search feature so you can quickly see if they have already answered your questions.
Now, let’s move into the support part of this section.
Well, if you have a free MailChimp plan, it’s worth noting right off the bat that you don’t have access to as much support.
With a free account, you only have access to MailChimp’s email support for your first 30 days.
This means you need to move quickly when it comes to understanding this platform.
You may not even know about this right away unless you are paying attention, so if you are starting a free plan with MailChimp, don’t wait to learn the platform.
If you are on a paid version of MailChimp, though, you get access to email and live chat support.
ConvertKit offers live chat and email support for all of their customers.
It is worth noting that neither of these companies offers telephone support.
You likely won’t find that in many email marketing platforms, although I am sure some of them provide this service. Telephone support is costly, and that cost could be passed on to you.
Plus, with email and chat support, you can easily share visuals with customer service representatives, so they know exactly what you are having issues with.
MailChimp vs. ConvertKit: Conclusion
That’s entirely up to you.
We understand that ConvertKit can be quite pricey, but for many bloggers, it’s honestly a service that works well.
MailChimp is best for bloggers on a budget.
They have many features that are more robust than ConvertKit such as landing page creation, reporting, and A/B testing.
If those features are important to you, then MailChimp would be a great option.
ConvertKit excels at many of the things that are important to email marketers.
What do you value when it comes to email marketing?
Only you can answer that question.
Each of these platforms has something valuable, and it’s a matter of what you are comfortable giving up or what your focus is at the time.
When you are beginning blogger, your sole focus may be on creating a list for as cheap as possible; then you may want to start segmenting your list or getting more eyes on your emails.
The great thing about email marketing is that the list belongs to you.
You can always decide that you want to take your list elsewhere. Your list can always be downloaded and imported somewhere else!
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