Are you planning to grow your business soon? If you answered “yes,” you’ll need to get serious about choosing an email marketing platform. The right email marketing platform helps businesses convert more customers, boost sales, and build a brand.
When deciding which email marketing tool to use, consider ConvertKit and MailChimp. These two are frontrunners and have gained different reputations across industries.
We’ve compared ConvertKit and MailChimp based on several features to help you choose which one is the best option for you.
ConvertKit: An Overview
ConvertKit has grown significantly since it was released in 2013. As of this writing, more than 561,000 content creators use the tool to reach millions of their fans.
ConvertKit doesn’t have too many bells and whistles compared to other email tools but has powerful automation, contact management, and page-building tools. Experienced marketers might feel confined due to ConvertKit’s simplicity, but beginner and intermediate users will definitely love this tool as it gets the job done.
MailChimp: An Overview
Since its launch in 2001, MailChimp now has 13 million users globally. This tool has become the preferred platform among many small and established businesses, as its paid plans offer many templates, customization options, and integrations.
For small businesses, MailChimp might feel a bit too much. But for experienced marketers in need of premium email marketing tools, MailChimp is their best option.
ConvertKit vs. MailChimp: Comparing Features
ConvertKit and MailChimp can improve your email marketing campaign but in different ways. At a glance, these tools have similar features, but when you go in-depth, you’ll see that they’re actually different — one tool bests the other when it comes to certain features.
- Customer Support
- Design and Flexibility
- Ease of Use and Editor
- Integration and Extras
- List Management
Customer support is an important deciding factor as it impacts how easily your team adapts to the tool and how fast the business benefits from it. Even the simplest tools can cause problems if you don’t have access to the provider’s customer service.
Fortunately, ConvertKit and MailChimp offer excellent customer support. If you have any questions about the platforms, you can send them through email and chat. They also have knowledge bases and tutorials, which are accessible through the platform.
The winner: ConvertKit because MailChimp’s email and chat support is hard to access. You need to go through its knowledge bases first, whereas ConvertKit’s customer support is accessible from any screen within the platform.
Design and Flexibility
ConvertKit and MailChimp differ significantly in terms of this feature. Each tool follows a different principle when it comes to design.
ConvertKit offers three options for email designs, namely text only, classic, and modern. The classic and modern templates allow you to apply text formatting and images. But don’t expect to access an array of fully designed templates from ConvertKit, as its options are very limited.
MailChimp offers 100-themed templates, including e-commerce promotions, event invites, holiday emails, and newsletters. It also comes with 14 blank layouts, which you can customize based on your business’s brand and message.
The winner: MailChimp wins this round because of the number of templates it provides. Besides, having more options is better than being restricted, right?
Ease of Use and Editor
ConvertKit and MailChimp claim they’re easy to use — but are they? Let’s compare the user-friendliness of each tool by looking at what’s involved when creating an email.
ConvertKit’s editor is easy to use as its interface is simple and straightforward. It doesn’t have a drag-and-drop editor but features text-based email templates. With this option, you can format texts, add images, change font color and sizes, and more.
Aside from being easy to navigate, MailChimp offers a flexible approach when you want to build your email. You can select recipients or design emails first. Once you’re in the editor, you can easily add and remove elements, thanks to its drag-and-drop feature. An undo button becomes available once you start editing texts.
The winner: ConvertKit and MailChimp win this round because both deliver their promise of being easy to use.
Integration and Extras
Looking for extras? Fret not because ConvertKit and MailChimp have a generous amount of integrations and support different APIs. But one platform does more than the other.
ConvertKit has almost 90 integrations, including Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Stripe, and many others. It also has integrations with Zapier, allowing you to connect to more apps. Unfortunately, ConvertKit doesn’t offer integrations with any major CRMs, which is a deal-breaker for many marketers.
MailChimp is superior when it comes to integration. It has many integrations — too many to keep track of — but you’ll have peace of mind knowing it supports the biggest e-commerce, CRM, web builder, and lead capture tools today.
The winner: You probably guessed it — MailChimp. It has more than double the number of integrations, giving you more flexibility in customizing your campaign.
ConvertKit doesn’t do list management. Instead, it stores contacts in the same place once you upload them. You can organize contacts by assigning them to a form, sequence, or tag. Additionally, the tool allows you to create segments of contacts with similar characteristics, even if they don’t belong to the same form, sequence, or tag.
MailChimp’s list management feature works differently. With the tool, you can create lists that will keep contacts in different lists separate from one another. You can organize contacts using tags and create segments using groups or contact field criteria. This allows contacts to self-categorize once they sign up using your forms.
In short, ConvertKit has a simpler method of managing contacts. MailChimp provides too many options, which can make the feature too complicated. This also increases the risk of errors.
The winner: ConvertKit because its simple way of managing contacts is just as effective as MailChimp’s but in a more straightforward, less confusing way.
ConvertKit and MailChimp are decent tools but keep in mind that they’re not perfect. They offer free plans but expect that their paid plans will cost you significantly more.
ConvertKit and MailChimp offer a free plan. ConvertKit’s free plan allows 1,000 subscribers and allows you to send unlimited emails. However, it doesn’t come with automation or reports. MailChimp’s free plan allows 500 subscribers and lets you send 2,500 emails, but it doesn’t include email scheduling.
Both tools charge users based on the number of subscribers — as the number of subscribers increases, the cost of each tool increases. Here’s a quick look at the pricing of ConvertKit and MailChimp:
|Up to 1,000 subscribers / unlimited email sends
|Up to 500 subscribers / 2,500 email sends
The Winner: MailChimp because it leaves a smaller dent in your pocket.
ConvertKit’s reporting features are very basic. They don’t have a dedicated section for reports, meaning you must go to the individual sequence or email to view them.
The reports ConvertKit provides are scant — they only cover open rates, unsubscribes, click rates, and links clicked. It doesn’t give you any data on click heat maps, bounce rates, or even geographical data. In short, ConvertKit doesn’t offer a wealth of insights, which are crucial for email marketers.
In contrast, MailChimp offers the complete opposite — it has an endless range of reports. Aside from the basic performance reports, the tool also gives you reports on social stats, hourly performance, click maps, opens by location, e-commerce sales, and many others.
Additionally, MailChimp gives you useful data, like how your email campaigns perform against industry average click rates and open rates.
The winner: MailChimp wins this round because of the quality and quantity of its reports.
Do you want to know which of the two beats the other in terms of certain features? The table below will give you answers fast.
|Design and Flexibility
|Ease of Use and Editor
|Integration and Extras
ConvertKit vs. MailChimp: The Bottom Line
Neither ConvertKit nor MailChimp is the “better” option, and neither is so limited as to be fully disqualified for any business. In short, there’s no right or wrong choice here.
If you’re a small business owner or trying email marketing for the first time, ConvertKit is your best bet. Its free version already comes with a full suite of tools essential for making, sending, and automating emails to cater to smaller audiences.
If you’re launching an email marketing campaign with a wider reach or more complex requirements, MailChimp will give you value for your hard-earned money. Thanks to its greater design flexibility and ability to support more integration, MailChimp enables you to customize and scale your campaigns faster and easier compared to ConvertKit.