Why did I switch from MailChimp to Convertkit you ask? Well actually, you probably don’t care that much why I decided to change. What you really care about it which one is best for you. Am I right?
I don’t blame you. Building an email list is a big deal for bloggers. You’ve probably read post after post telling you to build an email list. In fact, I’ve written a post about this myself.
I’ll start off by saying this – do what is right for you and your blog. Just because I chose Convertkit over MailChimp doesn’t mean that it’s the right decision for you. To help you make this decision, I’ll be outlining the pros of MailChimp before I go into the reasons for my decision to switch.
**This post contains affiliate links**
You may or may not have noticed that most of my blog posts about email lists, sending newsletters and basically anything relating to emails refer to MailChimp. All of my tutorials teach you how to do things in MailChimp. Why? Because I started out using MailChimp as my email platform.
When I first started blogging and made the decision to start growing my email list I did some research. At the time, MailChimp seemed like the right choice for me and my blog so I signed up and used it for a whole year. It did what I needed and, as an added bonus, it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers.
Before long, I needed to upgrade my account to the paid version. I’d got to the point in my blogging journey where I was ready to launch an email course as my main opt-in incentive. The free version of MailChimp doesn’t offer an email sequence feature. The paid version of MailChimp does allow you to set up email sequences, which is what I used when I first launched my From Idea to Launch email course. And it worked fine. It did what I needed.
The main thing that I loved about MailChimp (that I actually miss now I use Convertkit) is the drag and drop system for designing emails. It’s super easy to use and you can create some seriously good looking newsletters with it. MailChimp allows you to add images and buttons and dividers all at the click of a button (well, a drag and drop).
MailChimp really is great for bloggers just starting out, especially if you aren’t ready to part with any cash just yet. However, you can do so much more with Convertkit from a “subscriber management” point of view.
So…why did I make the leap?
Okay, so automated emails are possible on MailChimp once you’ve upgraded to the paid version. You can set up an email sequence that gets sent out to your subscribers once they’ve signed up which is great. It allowed me to launch my first email course. The problem was that not all of the emails in the sequence actually reached my subscribers.
In Convertkit you can set up automated sequences but with so many more options. This is the primary reason I chose to switch to Convertkit.
By creating rules, you can automate pretty much everything.
For example, when someone signs up to access my list of 201 Facebook Groups for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs, they automatically get tagged with a “Facebook Groups” tag and a “social media” tag so I know that they have an interest in Facebook Groups and, more generally, social media for bloggers. That way, I can target future emails about Facebook Groups and social media to those subscribers. Once they have confirmed their email address, the PDF is accessible immediately through Convertkit. Simple.
Rules also let you choose what your subscribers receive. For example, when someone subscribers to my From Idea to Launch course, one lesson per day is emailed to them automatically. Then, once they have completed the entire course, they are automatically added to my generic welcome sequence which highlights other features of my site and allows access to my resource library.
The options really are endless and, once they’re all set up, save heaps of time.
Tags and Targeting Subscribers
My second favourite feature of Convertkit is the ability to add “Tags” and “Triggers”. I covered this briefly in the “Automation” point above but there’s so much more to say about it!
By adding tags to each subscriber I can ensure that my emails only get sent out to those that want to receive certain information. It also means that each of your subscribers can have multiple interests (like real people do!). Tags mean that you can have a subscriber who has signed up via multiple forms but the system doesn’t double count them, thus avoiding them receiving your emails twice.
Tags also make sending updates to my freebies easier. So, when I update my List of 201 Facebook Groups for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs, I can send the updated version to just those who accessed it previously without clogging up everyone else’s inbox.
You can also make tags work in the opposite way to exclude people from your emails. For example, when people purchase your Blogging Course for Beginners you can tag them as such. Then, when you’re doing a sales drive on the course, you can exclude those that have already purchased. Again, reducing the amount of irrelevant emails your subscribers are receiving and making it less likely that they will unsubscribe.
Triggers work based on “clicks”. For example, when I add links into my weekly newsletter, I can set up automatic triggers based on who clicked each link within that email. So if someone clicks through to access my blog planner template from an email, they can be added to my “productivity” tag and start receiving my productivity email sequence. How cool is that?
MailChimp allows you to have one opt-in form per list. Convertkit doesn’t have this limitation.
Convertkit allows you to have as many opt-in forms as you like – one for each of your opt-in incentives (e.g. Google Sheets, PDF etc.). This means that, if you want to, you can offer a content upgrade on each and every one of your blog posts, with an individual form at the end of each post.
And, as I’ve mentioned, all of your subscribers go into a single list, defined by tags, and not duplicated.
Here you can see the forms I have for my different content upgrades.
Following on from the “tags” paragraph above, the next feature to mention here is the ability to have one subscriber listed under multiple tags, forms and sequences.
On MailChimp, in order to send a newsletter out, you have to choose between the lists you have. The problem? You might have the same person on all of your lists if, for example, they have signed up to different opt-in freebies. So, when you send out your monthly newsletter to all of your lists, some people will receive that newsletter 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. A sure fire way to get them to unsubscribe!
And one other thing, MailChimp charges monthly depending on the number of subscribers you have. So, if you have one person on, let’s say three lists, they actually count as three subscribers. As such, it’s easy to find yourself paying more than you need to!
As I mentioned above, a subscriber only has to be subscribed once in Convertkit but they can be added under multiple tags, forms and sequences without counting as more than one subscriber!
This was quite a big deal for me when I made the initial switch.
Whilst MailChimp offers some pretty cool sign up forms, it doesn’t offer landing pages. At the time I was using MailChimp, my WordPress theme didn’t offer a landing page template either. On top of this, I wasn’t in a position financially to be paying the $79 per month price tag that comes with Leadpages.
When I learnt that landing pages are available on Convertkit, I made my decision to switch pretty quickly.
Convertkit comes with 4 landing page templates to choose from, all of which are fully customisable.
You can read my tutorial on how to create amazing landing pages on Convertkit (as well as WordPress and Thrive Themes) here.
Different Styles of Sign-Up Forms
Convertkit gives you lots of options when it comes to creating your sign up forms. Here are three different sign-up forms that I have on my blog. They all do the same thing – collect contact information, automatically send out the opt-in freebie and add the relevant tags to the subscribers – but they all look different.
Why? Because I need different sign-up forms for different locations on my blog. There’s one in the sidebar, the one that pops up in the bottom right-hand corner when you scroll down a post and the ones that fit into the blog posts themselves.
For a lot of people, Convertkit doesn’t seem like the right choice because of the email templates available.
One of the great things about MailChimp is the drag and drop format for creating your emails. It allows you to make some seriously good looking emails with tonnes of pretty pictures and fonts.
Convertkit doesn’t offer this. Sure, you can make some changes with a little bit of CSS coding but not to the level of MailChimp. So, why did that make Convertkit the better option for me? Well, there’s actually two reasons.
Firstly, I’ve found that since I now spend less time worrying about the images and overall prettiness of my email newsletters, I’ve been spending more time on creating amazing CONTENT that my subscribers actually want to read and find valuable. And we all know that content is king.
Secondly, MailChimp emails often find their way into your subscribers’ spam folders. And one of the reasons for this is their complex, salesy appearance.
Statistics and Monitoring
I absolutely love the statistics that Convertkit provides.
On the homepage, you can see the conversion rate of every single one of your sign-up forms. This will help you decide which forms to keep and which ones to get rid of. For example, you might realise that your sign-up box in your sidebar isn’t converting whereas, the pop-up box is converting well. This might then lead you to removing the form from your sidebar and replacing it with something more useful for your readers.
Thinking of signing up to Convertkit? I’d love for you to use my link (by clicking on the Convertkit image above) which means that I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Do you use MailChimp or Convertkit? Do you use another provider altogether? Let me know which is your favourite in the comments.
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