ConvertKit market share is 0.22%, while Mailchimp holds 70%, according to Datanyze. ConvertKit claims to have 250k creators (their users), and Mailchimp counts 11M of active users.
So, it’s a bit like David and Goliath. But that’s the case with any tool that compares with Mailchimp.
If you put aside the statistics and dig deeper to make up your mind, you may find out that, in many aspects, ConvertKit is a better fit for you.
Let’s break down and compare the features.
ConvertKit’s editor is easy to use with no drag-and-drop option. The templates are text-based, which means that you only get to edit text. Also, there is no undo option, which is a bit of a drawback to me.
From ConvertKit, they explained this with the studies that proved that plain-text studies perform better than designed emails.
Everything you might be missing in the CovertKit editor, you can find in Mailchimp. What’s more, Mailchimp keeps it simple while providing everything you need to create amazing emails.
There is a drag-and-drop editor, basic layouts, pre-built designed templates that you can edit, undo options, and much more.
I agree with ConvertKit regarding sending simple text emails. If you are on the same page, you don’t need Mailchimp editor options, and you will decide based on other features.
However, some businesses may require more options for designing emails. This is where Mailchimp always beats the competition.
ConvertKit puts a lot of effort into providing great automation. In their automation, there is a feature ‘Sequences’ that allows you to send email series.
Also, you get to create an email as you are creating the sequence. With ‘Visual Automations’ you get to use conditions, actions, and events in automation.
Mailchimp automation has all the fundamental parts you can expect from automation features. There are no highly advanced automation options, but it’s intuitive and easy to get started. Also, you get to use pre-built templates.
With marketing automation, both ConvertKit and Mailchimp provide all you need to set up standard automated campaigns. If you want to go beyond this and dig into automation, ConvertKit is the tool to consider.
There is no list management. Instead, all the contacts you upload go to the same place. Then, you get to organize contacts by assigning them to forms and tags. Plus, you can make segments based on their characteristics.
Mailchimp allows you to create lists, so your contacts keep in separate lists, and you get charged for duplicate contacts. Also, you can create segments, groups, and use tags.
Mailchimp has more list management options, which caused this feature to be more complicated than ConvertKit. That’s why many users might find ConvertKit more suitable. I think it’s always a good idea to make it simple, so my choice for this feature would be CovertKit.
At the moment, reporting is something that ConvertKit keeps at the basics. You can see the statistics about open rates, click rates, links clicked, and unsubscribers.
There are also sequence, broadcast, and subscriber growth analytics.
In reporting, Mailchimp stands out in the variety of options.
You can see performance reports, performance per hour, click maps, and more. Plus, you can see the comparison to industry benchmarks.
The fact that ConvertKit doesn’t have a section dedicated to reporting tells that they are not focusing on providing detailed reporting.
On the other hand, Mailchimp gives you all the email marketing reports you need. Reporting is obviously on the Mailchimp side.
There are Free, Creator, and Creator Pro plans. The plans are based on the number of contacts and available features.
The pricing is on a monthly basis, and if you pick yearly billing, you get two months free.
A free plan is up to 1k of contacts. From 1k up to 10k contacts, paid plans are increasing for every 2k contacts.
For 10k contacts, the Creator plan is $119 per month, and Creator Pro is $167 per month. Then, it goes up to 400k contacts, where Creator plan is $2,299, and Creator Pro is $2,599.
For more than 400k contacts, you need to get in touch for a quote.
Why is ConvertKit so expensive?
Up until recently, there was no free plan. Now, you can use CovertKit for free if you have less than 1k contacts.
ConvertKit offers some cool features, and they have good friendly support. They claim to have 250k users, which means that they justify their pricing.
Depending on the contacts list size and the features you want to use, there are four plans: Free, Essentials, Standard, and Premium.
The free plan is up to 2k contacts, and then you need to switch to paid plans Essentials, Standard, and Premium.
Also, when the contact list increases, you need to switch from Essentials to higher-paid plans. If your list is bigger than 200k contacts, you need to contact them.
For 10k contacts, the ConvertKit Creator plan is $119 and Creator Pro is $167. For the same number of contacts, Mailchimp offers Essentials for $78.99, Standard for $105, and Premium for $299.
When you compare the pricing, you can see that ConvertKit is between Mailchimp Standard and Premium.
I can’t escape the feeling that value for money is on the Mailchimp side. Especially, considering the much cheaper offers from other Mailchimp alternatives.
On the ConvertKit dashboard, you can use the help button to access support options. Regardless of the plan you are using, you can reach out to live chat and email support.
From Monday to Friday you can contact them from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is also an online support forum, product videos, and more.
Mailchimp support depends on the plan you are using. For example, if you use a free plan, you can access the Knowledge Center or submit a ticket, while for a paid plan, there is available 24/7 email support.
If you are using a Premium plan, you get phone support. Other Mailchimp resources involve many useful articles, screenshots, and videos.
Both CovertKit and Mailchimp are offering great support, and there is no such a significant difference.
If I would have to highlight something, I’d say that is the fact that ConvertKit support does not depend on the plan you are using.
Ease of Use
Customer service (support)
It’s a bit hard to compare the Mailchimp ratings to any other solution, including ConvertKit. The reason is simple - the number of reviews.
Mailchimp has more than 10k reviews on Capterra, G2, and other similar websites. At the same time, ConvertKit and most others have hundreds of reviews.
Therefore, Mailchimp ratings are usually slightly lower than the competition, but that’s because their number of reviews is a lot bigger.
Who uses ConvertKit?
They call their users creators. On the ConvertKit website, you can see the use cases for Musicians, Authors, Podcasters, and Coaches. This aligns with a lack of design options in ConvertKit. These types of users don’t require heavily designed emails.
When CovertKit started in 2013, they offered an easy-to-use solution, with great support, and several cool features. They didn’t have a free plan, but that didn’t stop them to grow their clients base.
Over time, many other companies came up with a much better value for money. That didn’t disturb ConvertKit. They still hold their position as often chosen Mailchimp alternative.
On the other hand, Mailchimp is the leader in the industry. It’s almost like a default solution for anyone who starts email marketing. That is because of the generous free plan they offer.
When you get to Mailchimp paid plans, you will probably start considering the alternatives. The reason is simple - value for money. Whether you require some advanced features or you have more contacts, you need to pay more.
If you are considering Mailchimp alternatives strictly because of pricing, there are much more affordable options than ConvertKit.
If you are looking for more advanced automation, especially for email series with no design requirements, ConvertKit might be the solution.