Hello, people of the internet. Welcome to the biggest email marketing battle of 2020.
The internet has seen many businesses move their marketing efforts online via social media and email marketing. While the former is almost free and may reach more people, email marketing is more targeted and reaches people who are actually interested in what you are offering.
In this battle of the century, two giants go head to head. On one side is the godfather of email marketing, and on the other is the feisty new kid on the block.
The two players are famous for their simple, easy-to-use interface and massive integration with ecommerce, social, and CRM apps. Both tools have a lifetime free plan and a flock of loyal followers who would go up in arms to defend them.
Smart branding and diehard fans aside, which of these tools is better for your business?
Let’s dig deeper into what really counts in this ConvertKit vs MailChimp comparison.
Which Tool Has The Better Email Builder?
Being the primary feature for any email marketing tool, it’s only right that we begin with the email builder.
MailChimp’s Email Builder
MailChimp’s email editor is as good as they get. It allows you to drag and drop anything you want easily from text, images, video, logo, and footer.
The tool comes with over 100 themed templates to choose from and 14 blank layouts for your creativity. The templates are thematic, so you can find any theme you are looking for and simply add your message. You can also make plenty of edits ranging from image change, styles, undo, and remove items.
The tool’s email builder walks you through the process and allows you to decide whether you want to start by creating the email or choosing the recipients.
ConvertKit’s Email Builder
ConvertKit’s email editor is also incredibly easy to use. As a tool that is primarily made for content creators, it only comes with three templates to choose from, all in text form. According to ConvertKit, plain-text emails convert better and also improve deliverability.
You can edit the font, color, and a few other things, but there is no much flexibility.
Email Builder Winner
In this first round, MailChimp takes the cup because it allows more flexibility in terms of editing and has more email templates.
Which Tool Has The Better List Management?
The most significant distinction between these two giants is list management, and it’s one of the areas where ConvertKit excels. When your list of subscribers comprises of only your relatives and friends, it doesn’t really matter which tool you use. As your list grows, however, things start to get complicated in MailChimp.
The list-based tool works by categorizing subscribers in lists, depending on where they came from. For example, if you have three products. Let’s say lipstick, shoes, and dresses; you have to create a list for all the three products.
This means you will have one subscriber appear in two or all of the lists, and they will be counted multiple times. You also risk sending the wrong emails to the wrong people.
You know what happens when you start sending people the wrong emails, they unsubscribe.
On the other hand, ConvertKit only has one list to work with. You can segment your subscribers using tags to match them with whatever product or service they are interested in. Besides removing redundancy, ConvertKit makes it so much easier to segment subscribers and track their behavior.
List Management Winner
Round 2 goes to ConvertKit because no one wants to pay double for each subscriber or make their life harder.
So far we have a tie, let’s see if we can break it.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is the holy grail of every ESP. Every company from GetResponse, InfusionSoft, ActiveCampaign to ConvertKit has worked extra hard to include marketing automation in their platform. Unfortunately, MailChimp has been left behind by this cool train.
ConvertKit has outdone themselves with visual automation features that allow you to build a sequence of emails as you go. They provide you with thematic templates that cover everything from welcome messages, product launch emails to abandoned cart campaigns.
When you choose a template, ConvertKit will show you how to set conditions and triggers to start your email sequence.
While MailChimp supports automation, you have to dig through a pile of junk to find the starting point, which is under Campaigns. It also lacks a visual flow, so you can’t really see how the workflow is coming along and what it looks like. Email sequences are also not available on the free plan, so you have to upgrade to enjoy advanced automation.
Marketing Automation Winner
ConvertKit takes this round with a large margin because automation is hard enough without a tool making it more complicated.
Who Has The Best Forms?
Perhaps we should have started with this because email marketing means nothing without subscribers. ConvertKit is nothing if not consistent as they only give you four form templates to choose from. This makes it easy to design forms, and you can easily add drop-down and checkbox field values.
ConvertKit also has a feature where you hide forms from return visitors to avoid double subscription.
MailChimp’s form builder is also pretty straightforward, once you figure out where to start. When you get to the editor itself, all you have to do is drag and drop the custom fields that you want. The only problem is that you get a different editor depending on the type of form you choose. Frankly, it’s a lot of work trying to figure out what goes where.
ConvertKit is much simpler, but the drag and drop feature in MailChimp makes for a refreshing time. Let’s call this a tie.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp Pricing
To some people, price is the ‘be all end all’ factor, so let’s see how the two compare. Both platforms have a free plan although MailChimp is a bit more generous with 2000 subscribers compared to ConvertKit’s 1000. That said, their paid plans are quite different.
Let me say that the ConvertKit pricing system is very clear and straightforward, while MailChimp’s can be quite confusing. MailChimp’s standard level begins at $10 per 500 subscribers, and you pay an additional $5 for every 500 subscribers you add.
While ConvertKit may look more expensive, it’s important to remember that MailChimp counts a single subscriber on multiple lists as different people and charges you for that. MailChimp’s mode of calculation can also be quite a headache. You have to keep a very close eye on your list to make sure you have not closed over to the next tier. In a nutshell, I think ConvertKit offers better value for your money.
Who Has The Better Landing Pages?
Inbuilt landing pages is another thing ConvertKit and MailChimp have in common. As usual, ConvertKit stays true to their mantra with only four landing page templates. I am sure it won’t surprise you that you can’t do much editing, but their reporting is top-notch. You can see how many visitors you’ve had, conversion rate, and the number of subscribers.
Surprisingly, MailChimp’s landing page editor is as easy to use as ConvertKits. However, MailChimp takes this round because they provide more templates and allow more flexibility in terms of design and editing.
The only thing that ConvertKit does better in this category is allowing you to host the landing page on your website if you want, while you need to pay $99/ year to do the same with MailChimp.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp Extra Features
Deliverability may be an extra feature, but it’s just as important as crafting the email. Your goal is to have the email delivered in your subscriber’s primary inbox, not promotion or spam. So, how do our two rivals rate in this area?
Well, both tools have an average deliverability rate. If you want a perfect score, go for premium tools like ActiveCampaign. However, ConvertKit seems to do better than MailChimp, thanks to their simplistic emails. On the other hand, MailChimp has some great recommendations on how to improve your deliverability rate, but you have to do them yourself.
Word on the street is, MailChimp’s support is non-existent, at least for the free plan it is. To make up for this, the tool has a rich resource of information to guide you throughout the process. If you need any technical help, though, paying customers can reach their support via live chat or email during working hours.
ConvertKit, on the other hand, prides itself in always being there for their customers. It’s a small, growing company compared to MailChimp, so they are still trying to build their portfolio. Their support time is available via live chat and emails all the time, and they take time to listen to your issue and help you the best way they can.
This round of ConvertKit vs MailChimp clearly goes to ConvertKit.
ConvertKit & MailChimp Integrations
Both ConvertKit and MailChimp shine in different areas when it comes to integration. While MailChimp integrates with every app under the sun, it currently excludes Shopify from that list. As an ecommerce shop owner, Shopify is an integral part of the business.
Luckily ConvertKit integrates well with Shopify and other major Ecommerce platforms. The only downside is they don’t offer integrations with CRMs.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp: Who Won The Comparison?
So, what’s the score?
And the winner in this ConvertKit vs MailChimp comparison is…… ConvertKit.
Ease of use, advanced automation, easy list management, and fantastic support. The fact that it integrates seamlessly with Shopify and Zapier also gives ConvertKit some extra points for e-commerce businesses.