Is it possible that a text-based email management system might be better than the leading feature-heavy programs? The answer is yes, if you're marketing text-heavy content to your blog subscribers. Convertkit fills a niche of individuals and small business owners seeking to monetize their blogs.
Mailchimp, meanwhile, is the most widely-known and used email management software in the industry. It's optimized for business marketing and increasing conversion rates. To understand how Convertkit operates, and to determine whether it's the kind of program that works for you, I've broken down how the features compare.
Overview of Convertkit and Mailchimp
Unique Convertkit Features
Unique Mailchimp Features
Email creation isn't the most prioritized aspect of Convertkit's setup. But the program does offer a basic email creation tool with an easily-navigated interface. The options are simple and take very little time to build.
Prior to creating emails, you'll need to specify your subscribers and sender details.
Rather than using a drag-and-drop visual builder, Convertkit has simple text-based email templates. Since the emails focus on text rather than visual aesthetic design, the editing tools you have available include:
Convertkit's text-based email system is based on market research indicating that text emails receive more recipient attention than graphics-heavy newsletters.
In addition to creating individual emails, Mailchimp is designed to let you create entire ongoing campaigns. Unlike the other option, Mailchimp's editor uses a visual drag-and-drop interface that lets you create uniquely formatted newsletters in real time.
There are more than one hundred pre-designed email templates that can be customized with marketing content. Rather than existing to draw subscriber attention to new content, they're used to follow up with users who interact with businesses.
As such, three of the top template categories are Subscriber Welcomes, Product Releases, and Sales Promotions. Customized templates can be saved and reused later, which is good if you want to promote visual brand cohesion.
It's an extremely different editor than Convertkit's because it serves an entirely different purpose.
Winner: Convertkit for Simplicity; Mailchimp for Customization
It's impossible to decide which editor is better, since each is built for a specific type of client. Mailchimp has staggering customization options, premade templates, and an intuitive visual interface. Convertkit does away with all that so you can focus on your content instead of your aesthetic.
One of the biggest selling aspects of Convertkit is the amount of ongoing customer support available. When you open the interface, you'll have access to a sticky button on the dashboard that lets you ask for help.
Email and live chat support are available on a limited basis for all plans:
Some limited live chat and email support is available during the weekends.
For peer-to-peer help, the online support forum is a place where the software's users discuss solutions with each other. Originally hosted on Facebook, the forum was moved to Slack to allow a greater degree of user access.
On top of that, the program has a Knowledge Base compiled of articles, answered questions, and user guides. Every feature page comes with an embedded demonstration video to teach you how to access the features.
Though it's such a popular service, Mailchimp's support features are geared more toward finding the solution yourself than getting professional assistance. Unfortunately, you have to pay for higher plan tiers to gain access to more individualized support.
People with the free plan can access the Knowledge Center and submit help tickets. Paid subscriptions all have access to 24/7 email support. If you want to get support over the phone, though, you have to pay for the most expensive possible plan.
The Knowledge Center does have a huge compilation of videos, screenshots, articles, guides, tips, and answered questions. Most of the time, your question will be answered in the existing resources.
Unfortunately, if you have trouble finding the answer, submitting a help ticket is difficult. You need to get the contact details by scrolling completely to the bottom of the page.
Convertkit is the customer support winner in terms of friendliness and helpfulness. Rather than withholding support based on payment plans, every subscriber receives the same options. It's easy to talk to an expert on the phone and solve your issue. And if you prefer self-help, the online resources give you a great starting point.
Subscriber management and email segmentation tools are Convertkit's bread and butter. This is the main function of the program. Upon signing up, you'll be given a checklist that walks you through how to create ongoing email campaigns.
Instead of having a "Create Email" button, you'll choose one of two options: creating an automated sequence or sending a one-off broadcast.
Automated sequences automatically occur for every new subscriber, while broadcasts include one-time information that wouldn't fit into an automation workflow.
Every feature in the program comes with a demonstration video upon your first use. This is a great help in ensuring that you understand how to use the features to get the most out of them.
Mailchimp's subscriber management is based in ease of use. The goal is for a person with no understanding of email marketing to be able to manage their contacts. Personalized tips appear based on whether you're an e-commerce user, use online scheduling tools, and measure conversions by sales or engagement.
The interface is super easy to use. You also get ongoing helpful information about how email marketing works, so it's a good onboarding tool for beginners.
Convertkit's subscriber management features are designed to help you target email recipients based on their interactions with your content. The software is capable of creating segmented lists based on user data, as well as autoresponder sequences based on different user actions.
Pros and Cons of Convertkit
Pros and Cons of Mailchimp
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Though both programs share the same email management purposes, they function in very different ways. Their email editors, automation processes, segmentation tools, and pricing setups are very different.
Convertkit is a software specifically designed for bloggers who want to send emails with a heavy text emphasis. The simple interface allows you to manage your contact lists, analyze data, and test different content variants. If you're more invested in what you're saying than how it looks, Convertkit makes that happen.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email services in the world. It's the option you want to choose if you're looking for a system that can help with business marketing, e-commerce solutions, highly customizable email builds, and complicated analytics.