Need an email marketing tool? Of course you do! And if you don’t think you do, you might be missing out on a huge opportunity. The latest research from McKinsey suggests that email marketing is up to 40x more effective than social media. And email can facilitate the buying process up to 3 times faster than other channels.
Email is and will likely continue to be one of the most effective marketing channels. With this in mind, what tool should you be using to reach your customer’s inbox? We take a look at two of the most popular email marketing tools on the market: Mailchimp vs Convertkit.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular (and affordable) tools on the market. While Convertkit is a younger platform, it has some standout features that make it a bona-fide competitor of Mailchimp, and a great choice for certain types of business (we’ll explore which in this article).
So, without further ado, let’s jump into our comparison of Mailchimp vs Convertkit.
Mailchimp drip campaigns aren’t as powerful as some services. But it does offer some basic marketing automations and triggers that can act as a great starting point if you’re just dipping your toes into marketing automation.
Drag and drop email editor
A lot of email editors can be… rather clunky, for want of a better word. THis isn’t the case with Mailchimp. It actually has one of the best (if not the best) email editor in the world. It’s very simple to learn and use. After a small learning curve you’ll be building killer emails in no time.
Connect your social channels
Want to expand your reach beyond email? Mailchimp has you covered. From the UI you can send messages directly to your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels, without ever having to leave your Mailchimp account, nice.
Mailchimp landing pages
Another cool bundled feature of Mailchimp is the landing page builder. Landing pages are dedicated web-pages allow you to highlight specific offers, and capture new business leads directly from these pages. The correct use of landing pages can significantly increase your conversion rates and ROI from your marketing campaigns.
Mailchimp allows you to publish as many landing pages as you want, for free. While it doesn’t have the customizability and feature-set of dedicated tools like Unbounce or Leadpages, it’s a nifty feature to have bundled with your email tool. These landing pages are also tightly integrated with Mailchimp’s lists, so there’s no need to pipe data around using Zapier or custom code.
Mailchimp mobile app
Out on the town? On the bus? In an uber? Having dinner with your spouse? That’s no excuse not to be working on your email campaign! Luckily, Mailchimp offers a fully-featured mobile app.
It doesn’t have all the features of the Mailchimp web app, but it allows users to quickly get a handle on reports, audience growth, and campaign content. You can even create, edit and publish campaigns from the mobile app itself. It’s a great tool if you need to manage your email marketing on the go.
Mailchimp email templates
Mailchimp comes packed with over 100 gorgeous email templates. And, if that’s not enough, there’s plenty of paid templates available to purchase online.
Mailchimp plans are based on both features and number of subscribers. Once you’ve outgrown the Free plan, there are 4 additional tiers with the Essentials, Standard and Premium plans.
- Essentials plan gets you 500 contacts and 500k emails per month.
- The Standard plan adds automations, retargeting ads, custom templates and advanced audience insights.
- Premium plans give pros access to all the features Mailchimp has to offer –– advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, unlimited seats, role-based access and white-glove phone support
Each of these plans listed below show the ‘Starting price’ but can scale up depending on the amount of contacts in your database. Mailchimp offers calculators for each plan on their pricing page that can help you figure out your exact monthly cost.
Mailchimp offers two unique discounts if you meet certain conditions: Mailchimp nonprofit pricing — a 15% discount for verified charities and nonprofits — and a Security discount for users that secure their accounts with two-factor authentication.
Does Mailchimp have a free trial?
Yes, Mailchimp actually has a free plan! It includes a generous 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails sent per month, with daily sending limit of 2,000 emails. As long as you stay within those limits you won’t have to pay any additional fees. It’s a great offering to figure out if the platform is a good fit for your marketing workflow.
Benefits of using Mailchimp
Centralize your marketing
Offers landing pages, signup forms, email marketing, social media marketing, physical mail in the form of postcards and much more
Data and reporting
Mailchimp allows you to get to know your audience via in-depth reporting and analytics features.
It’s really easy
Mailchimp offers easy flows to get your first campaigns sent in minutes. The drag and drop email builder is simple and allows you to quickly customize emails to fit your brand.
Convertkit comes bundled with attractive, easy-to-embed opt-in forms to grow your email list. The forms are fully customizable, so you can leave a great first impression with new email subscribers.
Convertkit landing pages
Need to spin up a landing page to quickly convert site visitors? Convertkit has you covered. With a native integration to Unsplash, mobile responsiveness as standard and loads of gorgeous templates, Convertkit has a killer offering here.
A well-timed, targeted email can boost sales. Convertkit boasts a visual automation builder that allows you to easily send subscribers on customized journeys. With this tool you can easily move prospects down the funnel and segment audiences to serve them the most relevant content.
Convertkit email templates
If you’re looking for elaborate templates, Convertkit might not be the option for you. Convertkit is based on the idea that simpler templates perform and convert better than those that are more ‘designed’. It’s a different approach, but it’s based on actual tests that Convertkit ran, finding that simpler templates perform better.
Unlike many email marketing tools, Convertkit offers the same product functionality at all pricing levels. Increases in price are instead based on the volume of subscribers you have in the system, with plans for up to 1000, 3000, 5000, and custom pricing beyond 5k subscribers.
Monthly Convertkit pricing
Annual Convertkit pricing
Does Convertkit have a free trial?
Yes, Convertkit offers a fully-featured 30-day trial. So you can kick the metaphorical tires of the product before committing to a paid plan. After thirty days you will automatically be billed based on the number of subscribers in your database.
Benefits of using Convertkit
Easy to customize and embed forms
You can literally set up a form in 5 minutes with Convertkit that is customized to your brand. In our experience the templates they provide convert really well too.
It’s ideal for bloggers
Convertkit is built from the ground-up as a tool for bloggers. It has the exact feature-set that you need to engage your audience and build a business.
Easy audience segmentation
You can easily segment your audience with tags based on their activity, interest and much more. If you’re trying to move prospects down the funnel, Convertkit offers intuitive tools to make this process simple and manageable.
Which has better integrations?
As you’d expect from an email marketing tool. Both platforms have extensive integrations, with each integrating with over 1000+ other tools, from lead capture apps, to CRMs and content management systems.
And, if either tool lacks integrations, most systems can now be connected with the use of the ever-awesome Zapier.
Convertkit integrates with ecommerce tools like Shopify and WooCommerce, landing page tools like Leadpages and a handy Zapier connection to connect to thousands of other services.
Mailchimp has some notably cool integrations – such as an integration with Canva that enables you to publish beautiful graphics directly to your email campaigns.
Mailchimp is more list-oriented, while Convertkit is subscriber-oriented.
What does this mean, exactly?
Well, if you have a Mailchimp account, you can have duplicate subscribers in different lists, and even campaigns for several different businesses from one account. Since Convertkit is subscriber-based, lists are blended, and are instead differentiated by different tags and segments.
So which is better? This depends on your circumstances, if you’re a product company or a sole-blogger or small business, Convertkit has ideal list-management capabilities. However if you’re an agency or want to run campaigns for multiple businesses from one account, Mailchimp might be the better option.
Mailchimp vs Convertkit: Conclusion
Both of these email platforms are great tools. You can’t go too far wrong with either. The better choice for your use-case will come down to 2 factors: 1) what type of business you’re in and 2) which list management and user interface you prefer.
Convertkit is positioned as an email tool for bloggers and content creators, and it has the feature-set to back it up. It does what it says on the tin. Mailchimp is well suited to both early-stage and established companies, with the Free tier ideal to get started with, while the more expensive plans pack a bunch of features that make it competitive with even enterprise-level offerings.