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Email marketing plays an essential role in customer outreach, customer retention, and business growth.
However, according to recent reports, only about 46 percent of small businesses are using email marketing to promote their products and services.
Are you looking to start sending marketing emails to help you generate leads and attract new customers?
If so, you’re probably wondering which email marketing service you ought to use.
Two of the most popular options on the market today are ConvertKit and MailChimp.
There’s a lot that these two services have in common, but there are some key differences as well.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about Convertkit vs Mailchimp so you can choose the right service for your business needs.
ConvertKit is one of many email service providers on the market.
This provider is geared specifically toward bloggers and podcasters. It also targets other businesses looking to build an online audience.
More than 25,000 creators currently use ConvertKit to send marketing emails and handle other aspects of their online presence, such as landing page development.
ConvertKit also integrates with many other online marketing and sales tools, including Shopify and ClickFunnels.
MailChimp is another well-known email service provider.
It’s one of the largest in the world with over 17 million users.
MailChimp also offers other tools designed to simplify the marketing automation process, including a robust customer relationship management (or CRM) tool and social media marketing resources.
One of the most common questions folks have when they’re looking into signing up for an email marketing service (or any online service or software, for that matter) is “How much is this going to cost me?”
Most business owners are dealing with limited budgets, and every penny counts.
Below is a breakdown of MailChimp and ConvertKit’s pricing models to help you figure out which one will be the most cost-effective:
Is MailChimp free?
It can be, depending on the features you want for your email marketing program.
MailChimp’s free plan allows for seven marketing channels and comes with basic templates, marketing CRM, and access to behavioral targeting, 1-click automation, and custom domains.
It’s a great option for businesses that are just getting started and don’t have a lot of money to spare.
There are also a few other paid plans for which you can sign up if you’re looking for a more robust collection of features beyond what the MailChimp free plan has to offer:
With so many different pricing options, MailChimp is a good option for businesses of all sizes.
ConvertKit’s pricing options are far less robust than MailChimp’s.
There are only two options: Free and Complete.
The Free plan provides a variety of features, including the following:
The Complete plan offers everything listed above, plus reporting, visual automation funnels, over 90 direct integration, API (application programming interface), premium support, and free migration from another email marketing tool.
This option starts at $29 per month, but the price varies based on the number of email list subscribers you have.
As with any email marketing program, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with choosing ConvertKit.
Outlined below are some of the key pros and cons of which you ought to be aware:
One of the greatest advantages of ConvertKit is that it was created by and for bloggers.
It’s designed with sales in mind and features tools to help bloggers and other users sell products and services using their online platform.
ConvertKit allows for easy A/B testing, too. You can do things like split testing subject lines to see which emails perform better.
This, in turn, allows you to make more informed decisions for your blog and business moving forward.
ConvertKit also only has one master list. This saves you from accidentally having someone who’s included on multiple email lists counted as multiple subscribers.
If this were the case, it could lead to higher monthly rates depending on the number of people to whom you’re sending your emails.
Even though it only uses one list, ConvertKit also makes it easy for you to segment your list to figure out how people found you and got signed up for your email newsletters or marketing emails.
Most users find ConvertKit to be intuitive and easy to use, too. It comes with a small learning curve and, in most cases, you can figure out how to create and send marketing emails right away.
You don’t have to spend hours or days learning a new system. This is especially advantageous for those who are coming to ConvertKit from another platform.
One of the greatest downsides of ConvertKit is the lack of pricing options.
There’s very little variety between the freemium option and the paid option, which makes it less flexible for those who need more than what the free plan offers but don’t have a very large budget.
Some folks have also complained about the lack of design options that ConvertKit has to offer, too.
It comes with basic options to change headers, add pictures, and adjust the font size and color. Beyond, that, though, it’s pretty limited.
Other email marketing services, such as MailChimp, offer more robust customization features.
They allow users to create eye-catching email newsletters and marketing emails that people might be more inclined to open and read.
A lack of customization options can have a significant impact on your business’s conversion rate.
It can also cause you to experience less of a return on your investment than you would have when using a different service.
MailChimp plans also come with their own pros and cons.
Here’s a breakdown of the most important ones to keep in mind:
Perhaps MailChimp’s greatest strength is its freemium plan.
Folks who use the free option have access to tons of resources. They can also create high-quality, attractive newsletters and marketing emails without having to spend a dime.
There are plenty of options available for small business owners who are just getting started, and they can start seeing returns right away.
MailChimp also helps business owners grow their following and improve upon their marketing efforts. It does this with its thorough reporting features.
It allows users to gain important insights into their subscribers’ locations, preferences, and social media usage.
MailChimp is also known for its template editor. You can create stunning email templates using MailChimp that are sure to catch people’s attention and get them interested in what your business has to offer.
This email service provider is a great choice for those who value lots of integration options, too.
It pairs with hundreds of online tools and helps to streamline the marketing and business management process. This way, you don’t have to jump from app to app to keep up with everything.
Because MailChimp’s free plan is so generous, the other plans can get expensive quickly.
This is especially true when you start dealing with very large numbers of subscribers.
The good news is that you can grow your business quite a bit with the free option before you need to worry about upgrading to a paid plan.
When you get there, though, you might experience a bit of sticker shock at first.
MailChimp’s automations are somewhat difficult to manage, too. Its autoresponder tool works very well.
However, other automation processes are tricky, especially since the program doesn’t come with any kind of workflow editor.
In addition to providing users with the tools they need to create email newsletters and marketing emails, ConvertKit also provides them with a new way to earn money through its affiliate program.
The ConvertKit affiliate program allows affiliates to earn a recurring 30 percent commission for every new creator who joins by clicking on their link.
Anyone can sign up to become a ConvertKit affiliate, and it’s not necessary for you to be a ConvertKit customer first.
When you become an affiliate, you also gain access to training tools.
They help you learn the basics of affiliate marketing and increase the number of commissions you earn each month.
MailChimp also has an affiliate program. However, it’s very different from traditional affiliate programs like the ConvertKit offers.
These programs allow you to earn a commission from those who join by clicking on your link. On the other hand, MailChimp’s program rewards users with MailChimp credits, also known as MonkeyRewards.
When you refer others to MailChimp through your affiliate link or through the MonkeyRewards badge shown in your email campaigns, you have an opportunity to earn credits.
Every time you refer a customer, you get $30 credited to your account. You can then spend that money on mailChimp subscriptions for yourself.
MailChimp sort of frowns upon affiliate marketing as a whole.
They also have strict rules about affiliate marketing links being used in emails sent through their platform.
With this in mind, it makes sense that they wouldn’t have a traditional affiliate program themselves.
The lack of opportunity to earn a commission can be off-putting to some.
However, getting $30 per customer credited to your account could help to offset the cost of a paid membership. There’s nothing to lose by signing up for the program.
However, it definitely isn’t going to get you rich the way other affiliate programs claim they will.
Now, the big question we’ve all been waiting for.
Which email service provider wins between ConvertKit and MailChimp?
At the end of the day, there’s not a one-size-fits-all email marketing service solution that every business should be using.
Some business owners prefer ConvertKit and others prefer MailChimp.
Based on our research and the information that’s available about these two services, though, it seems that more people prefer MailChimp.
For starters, MailChimp provides more options under its free plan than ConvertKit does.
Its email newsletter and marketing email formatting features are more robust.
This allows for more options when it comes to creating unique emails that people are more inclined to open and read.
MailChimp also comes with more variety in terms of its price points. This makes it a better option for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as larger companies.
As you can see, there’s a lot of information to sift through in the ConvertKit vs MailChimp debate.
There’s not one particular email marketing program that works best for everybody.
You must weigh the pros and cons of each to see which one seems like a good fit for you.
While you’re considering these two popular services, don’t forget about systeme.io, either.
Systeme.io's home page
Systeme.io is a great alternative all-in-one marketing software.
It helps you to handle email marketing, sales funnels, selling, dropshipping, blogging, and more. It does it all in one convenient location, too.
Systeme.io also has a very generous affiliate program for those wanting to earn commissions in exchange for promoting the platform.
Sign up for systeme.io today for a free 14-day trial.
There’s no credit card required, so you have nothing to lose!