ConvertKit vs Mailchimp – Which is Better for Lifestyle & Travel Bloggers?

by | Oct 8, 2022

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp are both popular and powerful email marketing platforms for bloggers and email marketers alike.

Both email marketing software tools have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, Convertkit offers more powerful automations than Mailchimp, but Mailchimp has better reporting capabilities than Convertkit.

So, which platform should you select? This post on Convertkit vs Mailchimp discusses the key differences between the two platforms so you can choose the best platform for you.

Keep reading to learn more.

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp: TL;DR

ConvertKit Pros:

  • Powerful visual automation builder.
  • Offers a landing page builder.
  • Allows creating dynamic emails using merge tags.
  • Tag-based subscriber system.
  • Allows creating different types of forms.
  • Offers paid newsletters to open a new revenue stream.
  • Great customer support through multiple channels.
Try ConvertKit

Mailchimp Pros:

  • Intuitive templates with a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Supports dynamic content.
  • Autoresponder feature available.
  • Drip campaigns are allowed.
  • Highly advanced statistics.
  • Responsive landing pages.
  • Supports A/B split testing of emails.
Try Mailchimp

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Detailed Comparison

Convertkit vs Mailchimp comparison breakdown by features

  • Setup & ease-of-use
  • Templates & design
  • Forms
  • List management
  • Automation
  • Deliverability
  • A/B testing
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Integrations
  • Customer support
  • Pricing

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Setup

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-interface

Convertkit offers a very simple sign-up process where the platform will ask which email marketing tools you use, your goals, and your website. Upon completion of the signup process, you will receive a welcome video.

You can then upload your contacts and start creating a campaign. Convertkit uses the term ‘Broadcasts’ for campaigns.

One small glitch is that when you create Broadcasts or campaigns, you first need to specify subscribers and sender details before you can create an email.

Apart from that, you will find Convertkit’s interface to be clean and user-friendly with clear navigation. This makes the platform easy for first-time users.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-interface

Signing up with Mailchimp is also very easy and you need to provide a few details to complete the signup process.

You can quickly create emails with Mailchimp’s interface and it will allow you to first create an email and later select the subscribers. However, you do have the choice of first selecting the subscribers and creating the email later.

This email marketing tool also provides clear navigation with a user-friendly layout. However, since Mailchimp is a complete marketing suite, there are too many menu options, which can be overwhelming for newbies.

Winner: It’s a tie because both have a well-designed and user-friendly interface.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Templates & design

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-templates

With Convertkit, before you can create your campaign or broadcast, you must create a new template from the Email Template settings.

There are only three basic designs available that allow small customizations but there are no drag-and-drop elements available for the Convertkit’s email editor.

The basic email templates are all text-based because that is what Convertkit focuses on. Convertkit will not offer many design customizations because this tool focuses on the content.

However, Convertkit offers 50 templates for building landing pages. Unfortunately, design customization is very limited. You can change the basic colors and use custom CSS.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-templates

For emails, Mailchimp has 100 themed templates that cover everything from holiday emails & promotions to newsletters & e-commerce. There are 14 blank templates available if you want to design a custom layout.

There is a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily add elements like CTA buttons, social share and follow buttons, video, etc. intuitively. You can change everything from colors to text and even add custom codes.

For landing pages, Mailchimp offers 10 templates and a few blank templates that are highly customizable and work with a drag-and-drop landing page editor.

Winner: Mailchimp because it offers a drag-and-drop email editor and customizable email templates.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Forms

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-form

Convertkit forms now allow adding fields using a visual editor. This email marketing platform allows adding checkbox and dropdown field values as tags.

You can use a Convertkit form as an embedded form. However, Convertkit also allows pop-up forms and slide-in forms.

Unfortunately, the form builder will not allow extreme customizations. You can use custom CSS to customize Convertkit forms, but the editor will allow only basic customizations such as color changes, image addition, etc.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-forms

Mailchimp will also allow embedded or pop-up forms and you can have different lists for each type. Depending on the type of form you want to build a different editor will show up.

That’s a bit confusing, but the form builder is very simple with a drag-and-drop feature that you can use to add fields and even edit field values. You can also customize the forms.

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-mailchimp-embedded-forms

However, the twist comes when you create an embedded form because you will notice a completely different editor with no similarity with other editors you find on the platform.

Also, the pop-up form editor is entirely different and the most modern among all the editors you will find with Mailchimp.

Winner: Convertkit because of the uniformity of the form editor for all form types.

Try ConvertKit

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: List management

Convertkit:

convertkit-list-management

Convertkit will not allow different lists. All your contacts will go to the same place. However, you can manage and organize your contacts using forms, sequences, and tags.

This email marketing tool will also allow you to create segments of contacts that have similar characteristics irrespective of whether they belong to the same tag, sequence, or form.

Mailchimp:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-mailchimp-list-management

The Mailchimp email marketing software takes a different approach. You can create separate lists, making it a valuable feature if you have contacts from different business streams or if you manage emails for different clients.

Mailchimp will charge you for the duplicated contacts across multiple lists. So, be careful. While the ability to maintain multiple lists sounds great, it is pretty complicated and useless for small businesses and individual lifestyle bloggers.

Winner: Convertkit because of its simpler and straightforward list management.

Try ConvertKit

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Automation

Convertkit:

convertkit-automation

Convertkit is known for its powerful marketing automation features. They recently introduced something called ‘Visual Automations.’

Sequence building is one of the most powerful features of Convertkit’s automation feature. It will allow you to create a series of emails such as onboarding or welcome emails, and even let you create and edit emails while building the sequence. You don’t need to jump to another section to create emails for the sequence you are building.

‘Visual Automations’ is a workflow-based editor where you can determine how contact will enter a sequence (such as, when a contact is assigned a tag or when a contact signs up using a form).

It will even allow you to add steps based on events, actions, or conditions. If you wish, you can add multiple sequences to automation.

You also have the option of universal rules for automation which will allow you to subscribe contacts to forms/sequences or add or remove tags based on actions your contacts take.

Mailchimp:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-mailchimp-automation

Mailchimp also offers powerful automation features, and there is an intuitive visual editor. You can quickly send automated emails based on events, conditions, or actions taken by your contact. What you will like about Mailchimp is that it provides more automated campaigns than Convertkit.

Winner: Tie because both email marketing tools offer equally powerful automation features.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Deliverability

convertkit-mailchimp-deliverability-rate

Convertkit:

Convertkit’s email deliverability rate is way better than Mailchimp. In recent tests by Email Tool Tester, Convertkit clocked a 93% deliverability rate and took the third position. MailerLite and CleverReach grabbed the first and the second spots, respectively.

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp’s deliverability rate is not that good. In the same test, Mailchimp grabbed the 7th position (out of 15) with an 80% deliverability rate.

Winner: Convertkit because of its better deliverability rate.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: A/B testing

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-a-b-testing

Convertkit does have an A/B testing feature but that is limited to the subject lines only. Changing a subject line can be helpful, but that’s not enough to understand the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

The ability to test everything from email content, colors, fonts, layout, CTA position, etc. goes a long way to devise highly effective email marketing strategies.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-a-b-testing

Mailchimp offers A/B split testing for email campaigns, but not on its free plan. This feature allows large, medium, and small businesses to discover important data and information that they can use to build an effective email marketing strategy.

With Mailchimp’s split testing feature, you can test multiple variations of emails and subject lines, and test different variables and combinations to see which ones have higher click and open rates, conversion rates, etc.

Once you know what your customers prefer, you craft your future email campaigns accordingly to maximize your profits.

Winner: Mailchimp because it is more powerful A/B testing capabilities and even allows multivariate testing.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Reporting & analytics

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-analytics

Compared to Mailchimp, Convertkit is a rookie in this segment. Reporting is scant and they provide only basic metrics. They don’t even have any dedicated section for reporting and analytics.

You must go to an individual sequence or email to see analytics data that is limited to only click rates, open rates, links clicked, and unsubscribers. That’s all. There are no click maps, no geographical data, and no bounce rate data.

There is no mechanism for internally renaming emails for analysis. This means that if you have sent the same campaign multiple times to different segments of the audience, you will find it very difficult to analyze them.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-analytics

With your Mailchimp account you will get an endless range of reports. Apart from basic performance reports like click rates, open rates, unsubscribes, etc. you will also find hourly reports, opens by location, click maps, e-commerce store sales, performance by domain, etc.

In fact, reporting and analytics are your criteria for choosing email marketing software, Convertkit cannot beat Mailchimp.

Winner: Mailchimp because it offers advanced analytics beneficial for any professional email marketer.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Integrations

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-integrations

Converkit offers more than 100 native integrations. Some of Convertkit’s native integrations include Shopify, Clickfunnels, Wix, Gravity Forms, Stripe, Thinkific, etc. If you cannot find a native integration, you can always use Zapier to integrate Convertkit with thousands of third-party services and apps.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-integrations

Mailchimp supports over 250 apps and each tool integrates natively. Some popular integrations include Squarespace, Drupal, Stripe, LiveChat, Zendesk, SimpleTexting, etc. It can even integrate with platforms like LinkedIn, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.

SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Formstack, and similar other integrations are also available for advanced analytical data.

If you need further integrations that are not natively supported, you can use Zapier integration.

Winner: Mailchimp wins because it gives more native integrations.

Try Mailchimp

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Customer support

Convertkit:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-support

Convertkit offers support via live chat and email from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM ET. Limited support is available in the evenings and weekends.

Unfortunately, they don’t have any telephone support available. If you prefer self-service support, Convertkit offers many detailed articles through its knowledge base that can solve most of the common issues you may be facing.

If you cannot access their support team for any reason, you can visit their online support forum to receive peer-to-peer support.

Mailchimp:

mailchimp-support

Paid Mailchimp users are entitled to 24×7 support through email and live chat. Mailchimp offers telephone support only to their Premium plan users.

However, free users get very limited support through email only, and that too, ends in 30 days, leaving them with no other option but self-service support using video tutorials and support articles.

Winner: Mailchimp wins because you can contact support through live chat.

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Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Pricing

Convertkit pricing:

convertkit-vs-mailchimp-convertkit-pricing-plans

Convertkit offers a free plan and two paid plans. However, the free plan is quite limited and doesn’t offer advanced reporting, visual automation, third-party integrations, and many more advanced features. Also, the free plan is limited to a maximum of 1,000 subscribers.

Here is what Convertkit offers:

Free Plan: $0 a month

  • Maximum subscribers: 1,000
  • Unlimited landing pages, forms, broadcasts
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Community support

Creator Plan: Starts at $15 a month for 300 subscribers

  • Maximum subscribers: 400,000 beyond which there is custom pricing
  • Unlimited landing pages, forms, broadcasts
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Live chat & email support
  • Visual automation builder
  • Free migration from other tools
  • Third-party integrations
  • Automated email sequences

Creator Pro Plan: Starts at $29 a month for 300 subscribers

  • Maximum subscribers: 400,000 beyond which there is custom pricing
  • Unlimited landing pages, forms, broadcasts
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Live chat & email support
  • Visual automation builder
  • Free migration from other tools
  • Third-party integrations
  • Automated email sequences
  • Advanced reporting
  • Newsletter referral system
Mailchimp pricing:

mailchimp-pricing-plans

Mailchimp has one free plan and three paid plans. Mailchimp’s free plan will not give access to all the features.

Free: $0 a month

  • Email contacts storage: 500 max
  • Number of emails you can send and the number of emails you can have: 500 max
  • Email support for 30 days only from the subscription date.
  • Access to pre-built templates.

Essentials: $11 a month

  • Email contacts storage: 50,000 max
  • Number of emails you can send and the number of emails you can have: 500 max
  • 24/7 chat and email support.
  • Access to pre-built templates.
  • A/B testing.
  • Basic automated customer journeys.

Standard: $17 a month

  • Contacts storage: 100,000 max
  • Number of emails you can send and the number of emails you can have: 500 max
  • 24/7 chat and email support.
  • Custom-coded and pre-built email templates.
  • A/B testing.
  • Enhanced automated customer journeys.
  • Predictive segmentation.

Premium: $299 a month

  • Contacts storage: Unlimited
  • Number of emails you can send and the number of emails you can have: 10,000 max
  • Priority support and phone support.
  • Custom-coded and pre-built templates.
  • Multivariate & A/B testing.
  • Enhanced automated customer journeys.
  • Predictive segmentation.
  • Dedicated onboarding specialist.

Note that though the contact storage may be much higher for paid plans, there is a limit to the number of contacts you can store or emails you can send. If you exceed that limit, overages will apply.

Winner: Convertkit because of a more generous free plan and all plans allow sending unlimited emails.

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Mailchimp vs Convertkit: FAQ

Is Mailchimp or Convertkit better?

Mailchimp is better than Convertkit in A/B testing, drag-and-drop email editor, and reporting & analytics.

Convertkit offers easier list management, has better email deliverability, and provides a uniform editor experience for landing pages and opt-in forms. However, both of them have equally powerful automation options and both have a user-friendly interface.

Which tool will give a better performance completely depends on your business needs and marketing budget. Both of them can become really expensive as your list grows.

Which is easier to use – Mailchimp or Convertkit?

Mailchimp is great for people who don’t have the technical knowledge to create campaigns using an HTML editor.

Their email editor comes with a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to visually create your emails using various templates so that you don’t spend much time creating campaigns. You can also visually create sign-up forms and landing pages.

Convertkit, on the other hand, is more suitable for people with technical knowledge of using an HTML editor.

They don’t have a drag-and-drop email editor and there is very little scope for customizing the looks of email campaigns. Anyone with CSS knowledge can beautify emails.

Convertkit does have a landing page builder and you can even create forms visually, but in both cases, customization options are very limited. You will need custom CSS for customizations.

Can I use Convertkit and Mailchimp for free?

Yes, both email providers have free plans available, but some features will not be available for free users. You can check the Mailchimp and Convertkit pricing comparison segment to understand which features will be available.

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Summary

Both Convertkit and Mailchimp are powerful email marketing tools and offer a lot of the same features. However, each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Convertkit’s list management system is much better than Mailchimp. But Mailchimp is more user-friendly because of its visual email builder, making Mailchimp a better choice for people new to email marketing with minimal to no technical background.

Also, Convertkit lacks in reporting & analytics and A/B testing, making Mailchimp a better choice for advanced email marketers because it will not only provide them with tons of data but also allow them to tweak their email marketing campaigns.

Mailchimp is a more complete marketing platform with many additional features like online store creation, marketing CRM, digital ads, social media ads, behavioral targeting, and more. Convertkit, on the other hand, focuses only on email marketing.

The one you select will depend on your business and marketing needs.

Try ConvertKit Try Mailchimp

 

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