I Invested in This Paid Email Marketing Tool as a New Blogger

If you’ve been on my blog for a while, you’ll probably remember my MailChimp days. But I recently made the switch to Convertkit on – get this – this relatively new blog. (Yep, that means I invested in Convertkit even with no consistent means of income!) But with my Convertkit vs MailChimp dilemma?

It took all but 3 months to realize the Chimp wasn’t for me.

So you might currently be on the fence about making the investment to Convertkit (because $20-something a month isn’t a walk in the park). You might be scouring through Convertkit review after Convertkit review. Don’t worry, I was on the same boat too.

So I hope this review of my own will shed some light on exactly why so many bloggers are in love with Convertkit.

Don’t worry, I also note the things I absolutely loved about MailChimp and wished Convertkit had too. (Because, hey, this Convertkit vs MailChimp comparison has to be fair!)

Convertkit vs Mailchimp: one of the biggest questions every blogger and business owner asks themselves. Find out the pros and cons of Convertkit and MailChimp if you want to know the best email marketing tool for bloggers!
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Convertkit vs MailChimp: The Basics

Both MailChimp and Convertkit are email marketing providers. I outline exactly why you need an email list and how to start growing one from scratch in this post over here.

And if you’re still on this page, then you’re probably wondering which one will be best for you.

When it comes to functionality, both providers have been fantastic. I scarcely had any trouble using either of the two, and I haven’t ever run into big issues or bugs that had me tearing out my hair.

As far as features are concerned, both Convertkit and MailChimp allow:

  • broadcasts/campaigns (or, say, a monthly email you send to subscribers)
  • automations (or auto-responders or sequences, however you want to call them).
  • sign-up forms (but Convertkit lets you have create more than one per list – more on that soon!)
  • tagging and segmenting

So from that veryyyy basic perspective, they’re both great. Later on in the post, I’ll tell you my personal take on who’d benefit most using either MailChimp or Convertkit, especially since I’ve used both myself.

But if MailChimp could do all these things Convertkit could, why did I make the switch? Here are 7 reasons that made me tip over to Convertkit.

Related: How to Start a Blogging Side Hustle

Convertkit Features that Made Me Switch

Wondering what 7 features could have possibly lured me into investing nearly $500 on Convertkit this year – even on my new-ish blog? I hope this clears up the little fog in your head!

Multiple Opt-In Incentives, One List

aka the holy grail.

This is by far the biggest reason I decided Convertkit was for me: when I realized that the platform was more subscriber-centric than it was list-centric.

What this means is you can create multiple opt-in forms (literally as many as you can imagine) and then keep every subscriber to every form in just. One. Freaking. List.

Why is this amazing?

Here’s a quick scenario for you.

On MailChimp, if you wanted to make multiple forms (or opt-ins), you’d need to create a whole new list. So, say, you have 2 opt-in freebies on your fitness blog: the first is a workout guide, and the second is a meal planner.

Imagine someone subscribes to both those freebies (which is great!). On MailChimp, that subscriber is immediately added into two separate lists. Meaning they appear as a subscriber in your account twice. Meaning?

You pay for the exact same subscriber – yup, you guessed it – twice!

Not very ideal, no?

But on Convertkit, there’s this magical thing that happens: a single subscriber can opt-in to 1, 2, even 10 of your forms, and they only appear once in your list.

Life. Changing.

Here’s a quick looksie at all the forms and freebies I have on this blog. (Crazy how many I have, right?!)

Look at aaaall my opt-in forms on Convertkit!

If you like the sound of this and want to give those cool ol’ Convertkit forms a spin, you might want to consider clicking on my link here to get a special Convertkit trial.

(By using my affiliate links, you’d be helping me keep this blog up and running. Thank you so much!)

But wait, hold up!

Is it really impossible to keep MailChimp subscribers in just one list, even if they subscribe to more than one form or opt-in freebie on your blog?

Not necessarily. Take a look at this super amazing, super valuable MailChimp course that teaches you how to achieve the holy grail!

But, really though. When it comes to Convertkit vs MailChimp – the multiple opt-ins part? Convertkit is a sure winner.

Related: How I Got My First 1,000 Subscribers in 3 Months of Blogging

Easy Segmenting

When I first got on MailChimp, I saw all these labels for Groups, Segments, and even Tags. But let me straight with you. I didn’t really know how all these…worked.

These things were pretty confusing to me as a new blogger, so I pretty much left all these features untouched.

Huge mistake.

I’d later learn that segmenting and tagging and things are extremely useful features in email marketing. The problem was I didn’t know how to make the most of them!

Luckily, when I signed up for Convertkit, the platform comes with an incredibly valuable knowledge base that walked me through exactly what segments are as well as how to make the most of them.

Take a look at the short but sweet segments I have on my Convertkit account:

Segments let you organize your subscribers and tags and forms easily on Convertkit!

I love how I can organize subscribers by tags, forms, even products – then segment them into broader categories.

Since my blog focuses on handing out biz tips, blogging tips, and even productivity tips, I like to segment my subscribers that way. So depending on which freebie they signed up for on my blog, I can put them in a particular segment and focus on delivering highly relevant content to their inboxes.

Okay, so when it comes to easy, intuitive segmenting? Convertkit vs MailChimp – Convertkit still wins.

Inbox-Friendly Broadcasts and Deliverability

I run my blog as a very personal brand. After all, it’s freaking called Mind of Mica, so who else does this blog represent other than me?! 🙂

So that means I want to reach my readers and subscribers in one of the most personal places too:

Their inbox.

And it’s no secret that a whole bunch of people use Gmail. (Fun fact: they hit 1 billion users in 2016!)

But with Gmail? There comes the dreaded Promotions tab. Yikes.

While there are worse things than ending up in that tab – like, you know, landing in Spam folders or not having your emails delivered at all – Convertkit makes sure your emails are as inbox-friendly as possible.

So that means no frills. Just regular ol’ emails that look like a friend could’ve sent it. Perfect for bloggers like me, I figured!

Do you want to see what I mean? Go sign up for a free Convertkit trial here, and try sending a super inbox-friendly broadcast!

Related: How I Got My Life Together with These Amazing Free Apps (Spoiler alert: an email-related productivity app?)

Beautiful Opt-In Forms

One of my fears in my Convertkit vs Mailchimp dilemma used to be in opt-in forms. I was pretty much just starting out on my blog, so I definitely wasn’t looking to buy too many third party leads or form providers.

MailChimp had a great form-builder – very simple and straightforward. But somewhere along the way, I realized that maybe it was a little too simple. And, again, I couldn’t make more than one opt-in form!

So when I saw that Convertkit had these built-in opt-in form options? Boy, did I fall head over heels.

I absolutely adore Convertkit’s entire look for its forms and landing pages. I think that any blogger who doesn’t want to buy too many tools all at once can make use of the built-in builder just fine. Pretty nifty, eh?

Here’s a look at one of my more recent forms:

Honest disclaimer: Convertkit’s built-in form builder wasn’t its strongest pull for me at the end of the day. When it comes to opt-in form aesthetics, the Convertkit vs MailChimp game is pretty toe-to-toe.

(You also need to know how to code if you want to fully customize Convertkit forms, so there’s also that!)

Easy Subscriber Exclusions

When I was on MailChimp, I had to learn how to manually create segments for my newsletters. Now, it wasn’t too hard, but I admit that the wording and format of everything made things a little confusing.

Here’s a peek to see what I mean:

The slightly confusing segment toggle-r on MailChimp

You see, you needed to do a lot of logic-thinking. Which isn’t terrible. I mean, again, it’s not hard – but honestly? Could have been way easier.

With Convertkit, I found that segmenting was super simple. And to take things up a notch, they also have subscriber exclusions for specific sequences and broadcasts.

For example, I like to use this easy segmenting feature when I’m sending a pitch for my goal-setting planner, The Goal-Getter Playbook, to my subscribers.

I don’t want this email to send to anyone who’s already made the purchase, so Convertkit made it ridiculously easy to exclude anyone who bought a copy.

Subscriber exclusions are soooo easy on Convertkit!

Psst… Curious about what my inspiration behind The Goal-Getter Playbook was? See exactly how I pre-sold it to my small email list in this step-by-step guide!

You can also read more about the planner here.

Smart Sequences

Sequences are basically a series of automated emails on Convertkit. Some people might call them auto-responders or automations. Either way, as long as they’re a bunch of emails that send after a trigger or condition, then you’ve pretty much got a sequence.

When I was on MailChimp, I had no or few problems with running automated email series. But I did remember a few problems I encountered, especially when running sales emails.

For example, I was never completely sure that my segments could be automatically updated in the middle of a sequence.

So say I had a series of 10 emails in my sales sequence. And I want to be sure that, if anybody purchases what I’m selling after maybe the fifth email, they don’t get the rest of the emails pitching the thing they just bought.

Yikes.

But with Convertkit, the “Exclude subscribers” setting on individual emails in a sequence were an absolute dream. I no longer had to guess if people were still getting pitched a particular product after they bought.

So when it comes to Convertkit vs MailChimp in the “peace of mind that my sequences are reaching the right people in the right context” department? Convertkit wins.

Want to try out this feature yourself? Go get a free trial of Convertkit here.

Integrations with E-Commerce

I saved this feature for last because it’s probably one of my favorites, but I absolutely adore Convertkit’s many integrations with e-commerce sites and services.

I’ve got integrations with Gumroad and Teachable, and you can even integrate with big e-commerce sites like SendOwl or Shopify. It’s amaaaaazing.

Whenever anyone makes a purchase with any of my integrated sites, they immediately get added to a special tag under the Purchases segment in Convertkit.

That makes it super easy to send follow-up emails, nurture emails, or educate emails for people who might need help making the most of their purchase from me!

So thanks, Convertkit!

Want to see all the other cool integrations you can do with Convertkit? Check them out by dropping by the official Convertkit website.

MailChimp Features I Wish Convertkit Had

In the spirit of helping you slammin’ solopreneurs, I want to make to be fair to MailChimp. Because the honest truth is this:

There are definitely some features from MailChimp I wish were present in Convertkit.

If you’re wondering what they are, I’ll run through each one by one. So I hope it’ll help you make a more informed choice in your Convertkit vs MailChimp hunt!

Newsletter templates

Admittedly, I’m a sucker for a beautiful newsletter template, especially from media brands and companies I follow.

On MailChimp, you have complete control over how your newsletters or emails can look, so I found that pretty great.

Convertkit, on the other hand, doesn’t have templates like MailChimp’s. Like I mentioned in one of the points above, Convertkit prefers to keep emails looking simple and very inbox-like.

So if you’re looking for professional-looking newsletters because it’s more on brand for you (and don’t want to have to code anything), then maybe Convertkit’s not the one for you!

Flexible landing page builder

I’ve tried creating landing pages on Convertkit. And I’ve found that there are very few ways to customize them.

There’s only one function for Convertkit landing pages, and that’s to gather email addresses. I mean, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if you wanted to create a landing page for building your email list.

But I tried MailChimp’s landing page builder back when this feature was still relatively new. I thought it’d be exactly like the sign-up form page they let you create, but I was wrong. MailChimp lets you build beautiful landing pages that have never everything you need for conversions.

You almost don’t need a third-party landing page builder anymore. Almost. 🙂

So that includes adding sections, creating columns, featuring buttons – the works!

Want to see a MailChimp landing page in action? Before I’d made the switch to Convertkit, I was actually using MailChimp to host my sales page for The Goal-Getter Playbook. You can check out the fully-functioning page – yes, complete with check-out buttons – here.

Separating lists

Say you’re a marketer or freelancer who handles email marketing for multiple clients. So that means managing different lists, different templates, different whatever-else-have-yous. Or maybe you manage multiple blogs (because, hey, nothing wrong with the blog bug!).

And while Convertkit thrives on keeping all subscribers on a single list, this isn’t a helpful feature if you need to handle more than one list from one account.

The only way I imagine doing this is creating tags and segments to serve as separate lists. Or creating different Convertkit accounts per client or list – but that’s not very cost-effective either, considering the hefty price tag that comes with Convertkit.

On MailChimp though, this is ridiculously easy and simple to do. You just need to create a new list, and you can make new sign-up forms, segments, and groups. Then start collecting subscribers the usual way, easy-peasy.

Bottom line? In the battle between Convertkit vs MailChimp, managing multiple lists for multiple sites has MailChimp emerging as winner.

Toggling VIP and cold subscribers

One thing I miss about MailChimp is the VIP feature. This basically lets you mark certain subscribers as VIP or “very important” subscribers.

I quite liked this feature. It made it easy to send exclusive deals and content to my most engaged subscribers, because all I needed to do was filter in subscribers who opened, clicked, or replied most to my newsletters.

Same goes for cold subscribers. I could set my own parameters or conditions for what I believed a cold subscriber was (or when they should be removed).

With Convertkit, I don’t see anything that remotely resembles MailChimp’s VIP contact feature. And Convertkit seem to have their own default condition for when a subscriber becomes “cold.”

That’s not too handy if I want to be able to prune out cold subscribers more often than they dictate.

Who would benefit most using Convertkit?

This post was loaded with information, but I’m sure you still have one question you want answered: should I use Convertkit?

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for whom I think would jive best using Convertkit.

Bloggers

If you run a blog, you might want to use Convertkit. After all, you can offer a ton of freebies to get people on your list.

You’ll also benefit most from the easy sequence-building and subscriber exclusions when sending emails.

Personal brands

If you are or want to be a more leveled-up version of a blogger but still retain your personal brand – think celebrity icons who are practically businesses in themselves – then Convertkit works great.

You can send email newsletters to your list and appear just like any other person in their inbox. That’s a great personal touch and can let your readers trust you more.

Who would benefit most using MailChimp?

Don’t really fit in one of those criteria above? Then give this list a look-see – you might be better off with MailChimp.

Online shops

Do you run an online store? If you sell loads of products online, then MailChimp is great for you.

From newsletter templates to e-commerce integrations, it’d be a lot easier to run your email marketing with MailChimp. You barely need to code or hire someone else to do the coding for you too.

Companies

I know a lot of big and small companies alike who use MailChimp. (If anything, they’re the reason I heard about it!)

And one reason they use MailChimp is because it’s easier to remind subscribers about the brand. You know, brand assets like logos and colors and fonts are always present, so that makes their emails look very professional.

If you’re a company, you might be better off with MailChimp.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Give them both a spin if you really want to dive in and see what will work best for you.

Try out Convertkit for free here and sign up for a free MailChimp account here.

What if I’m a blogger on a budget but want to use MailChimp?

I get it, I get it. MailChimp’s free tier is hard to beat.

In fact, that’s probably one of the strongest factors you’re considering in the whole Convertkit vs MailChimp brawl.

I mean, I was actually on MailChimp for the good first quarter of my blogging journey – I couldn’t spend too much since I was still figuring out how I’d earn money from this new blog.

So despite needing multiple opt-in incentives and all that good stuff I wanted from Convertkit, I stuck with MailChimp.

Luckily, I found this amazing online course that taught me how to create multiple opt-in freebies on MailChimp while keeping on them on one list. The holy grail!

I was able to grow my list to 1,000 subscribers in less than 3 months because of the course. Fun fact: I had a grand total of about 7 opt-in incentives on my blog back then.

And, yes, all those subscribers I gained were unique subscribers – meaning no duplicates, no second lists. So when the time came to launch my first blog product, I had a list of over 1,000 people to pitch to.

(Another fun fact: the money I raised from that pre-sell launch was the money I’d use to switch to Convertkit!)

Want to learn more about the course I took that got me those results? Check it out here.

Related: How I Got My First 1,000 Email Subscribers in 3 Months of Blogging

The Verdict: Why I Wish I Switched to Convertkit from MailChimp Sooner

I honest-to-goodness wish I’d switched to Convertkit sooner.

And the reason I say this is because I know that Convertkit had all the features and functionality I needed as a blogger who was building a personal brand.

Should everyone be on Convertkit? Definitely not.

You need to know what you need from your email marketing provider so you can choose the best one. After all, maybe you’re after the budget-friendly Mailerlite, or the industry-favorite Aweber.

Either way, know what kind of brand and business you want to run before you decide which tool can help you reach your goals faster. Each provider has their own strengths, and if you know which strengths you want to leverage more, then you’ll be able to pick the right one for you.

Did you find this review helpful? If you’re a blogger itching to see the power of Convertkit, then I invite you to try it for free here.

Are you focusing on your email marketing? What are you using or want to use? Let me know your email marketing thoughts in the comments!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase through my links at no extra cost to you. The commission helps me keep me doing what I do, so thank you very much!

Mica is the face behind everything you see at her blog, Mind of Mica. She champions the goal-getters, the dream-chasers, and the unapologetic hustlers who are out to make a difference – even if it’s in their own lives.