ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp — Which One is Right for You in 2024? 

ConvertKit vs MailChimp cover image with two one way signs

If you’re serious about growing your business, you need an email marketing platform that fits just right. The right platform will give your business room to grow, make it easy to connect with your audience, and manage your campaigns, without turning it into another full-time job.

Mailchimp is a big name in email marketing and has been around since 2001. It started small but has grown into an all-in-one marketing tool with lots of features. However, people have been criticizing its half-baked features and unfair pricing. 

ConvertKit is a younger competitor, which targets a specific audience: content creators and bloggers. It’s user-friendly and comes with native features to monetize your audience. But its biggest drawback is the restrictive pricing

So, which one is the best choice for you? ConvertKit or Mailchimp? Let’s help you figure it out. 

We’ll also share a third option that might just knock both out of the park, especially if you’re sending emails at a high volume. 

ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp — Which Option is Better? 

ConvertKit Homepage
ConvertKit Homepage

ConvertKit and Mailchimp are email marketing platforms. You can use them to automate email marketing, manage your email list, and nurture leads. They both have user-friendly drag-and-drop editors with various email templates and integrate with many platforms. 

But the difference comes down to their target audiences and the specific features tailored to those groups.  

The takeaways are:  

  • ConvertKit is better for selling digital products, while Mailchimp has better support for physical goods. 
  • Managing and segmenting your list is more efficient with ConvertKit. 
  • Both platforms have decent deliverability, but leave a lot to be desired. 
  • Mailchimp gives you more in-depth analytics and insights. 
  • ConvertKit and Mailchimp charge users based on contacts, but Mailchimp may count the same subscriber multiple times. 

Now, let’s get into the specifics.

Mailchimp Homepage
Mailchimp Homepage

Monetizing Your Audience 

Winner: ConvertKit 

Managing an email list is hard work. It’s only worth it if you see positive ROI. And your email marketing platform is key because it gives you the tools to turn your audience’s engagement into revenue. 

Here’s what you’ll get with ConvertKit and Mailchimp: 

Monetization methods ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Visual customer journey builder ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Online store⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Payment processing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing ConvertKit and Mailchimp’s monetization features

Monetization methods: ConvertKit has more ways for you to make money from your email list. You can sell digital products, run paid newsletters, and ask for donations. If you go on the paid plans, you can promote other newsletters to your audience and get paid or find sponsors through ConvertKit’s platform. 

Mailchimp doesn’t have built-in monetization features, but it lets you optimize your sales revenue through automation, funnels, and advanced analytics. 

Visual journey builder: Mailchimp’s star feature for monetization is its customer journey builder, a visual tool that lets you map out and automate the steps customers go through before making a purchase. 

The journey builder is a nice tool for e-commerce businesses who want to do email marketing. You can use it to build sales funnels and run drip campaigns. It works with different marketing channels, like email and social media, and lets you implement conditional logic. 

ConvertKit’s journey builder is on the simple side. It only supports email lead generation and selling digital products. You can create a landing page or opt-in form and connect it to an automated email sequence.  

Online store: ConvertKit has a native functionality called “Commerce Store,” which lets you showcase your work, collect payments, and deliver your products. Mailchimp, on the other hand, integrates with Shopify, allowing you to centralize your data tracking and send abandoned cart emails or dynamic content, such as personalized product recommendations. 

Payment processing: ConvertKit uses Stripe to handle payments. ConvertKit doesn’t take a cut of your revenue, but there’s a 3-4 percent processing fee. With Mailchimp, you’re actually using Shopify’s feature. So, the platform’s processing fees apply. 

At Campaign Refinery, we don’t limit you to one type of product. Our built-in tools let you create automated sequences for both digital and physical products. Plus, you can add genuine countdown timers to create urgency and boost email conversions rates

Managing and Segmenting Your Email List 

Winner: ConvertKit

Your email list is your most valuable asset. You need to choose a platform that helps you handle it effectively and maximize its potential.

Let’s look at how Mailchimp and ConvertKit measure up in helping you do that:

List segmentation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tag-based segmentation⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duplicate contacts⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Subscriber consent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Subscriber caps⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing ConvertKit and Mailchimp’s list management features

List segmentation: Mailchimp makes list segmentation way more complicated than it needs to be. You need to learn the difference between tags, groups, and segments to use the system efficiently. And there’s a huge list of conditions you can pick from — but only up to five for each segment. 

ConvertKit’s segmentation is easier. You can categorize your subscribers based on different criteria, such as when they join, and then label each subscriber based on their interactions. 

Tags: You can add tags to individual audience members on both platforms. ConvertKit treats tags as one way of segmenting your list. You can add them manually or automatically after a condition is met. Mailchimp treats tags as internally stored information that you learn about users. 

Duplicate contacts: Mailchimp lets you manage multiple “audiences” from the same account. So, if you upload the same contact across multiple audiences, you’ll be charged multiple times. In contrast, once you upload duplicate subscribers to ConvertKit, the system will automatically merge them and add the relevant tags. This behavior is standard across almost all Mailchimp alternatives

Now, imagine a platform where you can organize your contacts just the way you like, with no limits on how many you can have. Campaign Refinery is just the platform. You can keep all your contacts with us, and thanks to our tag-based system, you can personalize how you interact with each subscriber based on their own unique journey.

Landing in the Primary Inbox — Deliverability 

Winner: Tie

Proper list management is a core component of deliverability. A platform that gives you better ways to manage your list naturally has the upper hand. But getting your emails to land in the primary inbox involves more than just good list management.

According to research, Mailchimp and ConvertKit’s deliverability rates have been bouncing between 82 and 95 percent over the last four years. That means, on average, 1 out of every 10 emails you send won’t make it to the inbox. 

Take a look at the table below to compare how Mailchimp and ConvertKit stack up:

Automatic list cleaning ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
IP reputation management ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Monitoring sender behavior ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Domain authentication⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Subscriber consent ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing ConvertKit and Mailchimp’s deliverability features and practices

Automatic list cleaning: Both platforms help you identify inactive subscribers, launch re-engagement campaigns to win them back, and remove those who remain unresponsive. You can handle these tasks yourself or automate them. 

Mailchimp also moves bounced email addresses to another list. However, neither platform automatically weeds out problematic emails, such as spam traps or role-based addresses

IP reputation: Both platforms carefully manage their email-sending IP addresses. However, since they’re open to all users, the shared IPs might not offer the highest possible deliverability. Both offer the option to buy dedicated IPs, but we believe a dedicated IP is overkill in almost all cases and may cause more harm than good. 

Monitoring sender behavior: ConvertKit checks for harmful sending habits like high email bounce rates, spam complaints, and unusually high unsubscribes to protect deliverability. Mailchimp has a similar strategy. They have rules against spam and sending unsolicited emails. 

Domain authentication: ConvertKit and Mailchimp add default authentication to marketing emails sent from their domains. But when you want to use your own domain, they only “recommend” domain authentication protocols. Beginning in February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo have updated their policies. So, setting up domain authentication is a necessity. 

Subscriber consent: ConvertKit and Mailchimp have rules against purchased lists and cold outreach. But, with Mailchimp, you can still add contacts who haven’t agreed to marketing emails and send them transactional messages or confirmation emails. Also, getting double opt-in forms up and running is easy on either platform.

At Campaign Refinery, we’re all about quality over quantity. We only team up with vetted senders, which means our IP reputation is top-notch. When you join us, you’re getting the benefit of everyone’s good behavior. Plus, we don’t hesitate to remove anyone breaking our rules, so our IP pool stays sparkling clean.

Insights into Engagement and Conversion 

Winner: Mailchimp

To really get a grip on what your audience loves and polish your strategy, you need a platform that shows you the right email marketing KPIs and tells you whether your emails are boosting your business.

Here’s a quick comparison: 

Email marketing analytics⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A/B testing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sales analytics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing ConvertKit and Mailchimp’s analytics features

Email marketing analytics: Mailchimp and ConvertKit use tracking pixels to track standard metrics. ConvertKit has a simple dashboard with a clean interface that displays opens, clicks, bounces, and conversions for each campaign with numbers and charts. 

Mailchimp’s dashboard is fancier and comes with lots of bells and whistles. You can mix and match data from multiple sources with your campaign stats to discover trends. 

For example, you can see if the people who downloaded your PDF lead magnet also ended up making a purchase from your online store. This helps you tweak your content to better match what your audience likes.

Business and sales analytics: ConvertKit’s sales dashboard keeps things straightforward. It lets you track your earnings from various sources and check out how your sales funnel is doing. Plus, you can integrate data from other places where you sell things like courses, products, memberships, or merchandise to get a comprehensive look at your whole business. 

Mailchimp’s analytics models go through your sales data, providing reports on revenue, an estimate of how much a customer might be worth over time (aka, customer lifetime value), and the chances they’ll buy from you again.

A/B testing: ConvertKit offers A/B testing, but only for the subject lines of your emails. This is pretty barebones compared to many ConvertKit alternatives. Meanwhile, Mailchimp provides a broader range of testing options, including subject lines, content, and send times, to help identify what yields better results. 

You can set up your tests by changing these elements and then select a metric for success, such as click rates, open rates, or revenue, to identify the winning version.

At Campaign Refinery, we’re dedicated to giving accurate, up-to-the-minute insights into your campaigns. 

We know some platforms might give you inflated numbers because of loosely defined metrics, but we’ve built our platform with precision. Our sharply defined engagement metrics give you the real picture of your campaign’s impact — no mistakes or misleading vanity metrics.

ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp Pricing — Crunching the Numbers 

Winner: Tie

Mailchimp and ConvertKit both have pricing structures based on the number of contacts in your list, and both services have been subject to criticism for being expensive.

Mailchimp offers four pricing tiers, starting with a complimentary tier for those with up to 500 contacts. When the subscriber count exceeds 50k, you only have two options. 

If your list is under 10k, Mailchimp tends to be a bit more wallet-friendly than ConvertKit. However, once you cross that 10k line, ConvertKit becomes the more economical choice. 

Here’s what you’re looking at for a list with 25k contacts: 

TierMonthly commitment Annual commitment 
Essentials $270Not available
Standard — extra features for content optimization, personalization, and A/B testing $310Not available
Premium — Better support, personal onboarding, and larger utilization caps. $620Not available
Overview of Mailchimp’s pricing for 25k contacts
mailchimp pricing 25k users
Mailchimp’s pricing page for 25000 users

ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 contacts, which includes basic features. After that, you have two main options. If you commit to ConvertKit for a year, you’ll end up paying less each month than you would for a similar plan over at Mailchimp — even when your list is smaller than 10k.

Here’s an overview of ConvertKit’s pricing for a list of 25k contacts:

TierMonthly commitment Annual commitment 
Creator $199$166 per month
Creator Pro — adds advanced reporting and subscriber scoring$279$233 per month 
Overview of ConvertKit’s pricing for 25k contacts

converkit pricing 25k
ConvertKit’s pricing page

ConvertKit vs. Mailchimp — The Verdict  

We’re not here to pick absolute winners or losers; each tool shines in its own way and caters to different needs. So, it all boils down to what you’re looking for in a tool.

If you’re a small business owner who needs an all-in-one marketing platform with a focus on email marketing and deep e-commerce integrations, Mailchimp could be the right choice for you.

On the flip side, if you’re a solopreneur focused on making a living through your content and selling digital products, ConvertKit is likely a better fit. 

To help you understand the differences between Mailchimp and ConvertKit, we’ve put together a comprehensive comparison table:

Email marketing automation Simple Complex
DeliverabilityBetween 82% and 95%Between 82% and 95%
Email editor User-friendly and simple Versatile and advanced 
Email monetization methods Diverse E-commerce-centric
Customer journey builder SimpleComplex 
List segmentation EfficientCumbersome
Dynamic content ComplexComplex
Analytics and reportingBasic and intuitiveComprehensive and advanced
Supported marketing channels EmailEmail, SMS, Social 
PricingBased on contacts, starts at $29Based on contacts, starts at $26
Comparing ConvertKit and Mailchimp’s features

If you’re looking for an email marketing platform that boasts five-star deliverability and wall-friendly pricing, it’s time to meet Campaign Refinery!

Campaign Refinery: Top Deliverability and Friendly Prices

Imagine how you’d feel if 300 of your most loyal fans stopped receiving your emails — totally bummed out, we’re sure. That’s what it means to have 95 percent deliverability with a 6k list. 

So, don’t let numbers above 90% fool you. Your deliverability must be as close to 100 percent as possible. 

And that’s what we offer at Campaign Refinery — sky-high deliverability rates you can’t find anywhere else. 

Why Choose Campaign Refinery over ConvertKit and Mailchimp 

Here’s why we’re better than ConvertKit and Mailchimp when it comes to email marketing: 

  • Your sender reputation matters. All our senders set up domain authentication from day one. 
  • We only work with the best. No shady senders allowed. 
  • We automatically scrub your list — no spam traps, bounces, invalid addresses, or sneaky addresses. 
  • Our clever tools help you grow. More visibility. More engagement. More conversions. 
  • Turn campaigns into revenue engines. Set up each campaign once, and let it run indefinitely to bring on more revenue. 

Is Campaign Refinery Affordable?

We have a transparent email-based pricing system. That means we don’t overcharge you for contacts or cap your size list. You only pay for sending emails and keeping your list clean. 

Let’s assume you want to send weekly emails to your audience. If you’re a high-volume sender, you can save up to 60 percent with Campaign Refinery each month! 

Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself: 

Number of contacts (4 campaigns/month)Campaign RefineryConvertKit — Creator ProMailchimp — Standard
200,000$1000$1419 $1600 
Comparing Campaign Refinery’s pricing to ConvertKit and Mailchimp

Is Moving to Campaign Refinery Complicated?

When you decide to migrate to Campaign Refinery, the first step is to fill out our admission form and have a discovery call with one of our experts. We’ll assess your specific situation and give an optimal solution to move your data to our platform. 

The complexity of the process depends on your list and previous email marketing platform, among others. 

But there’s no need to worry. Our team will support you throughout the process to add you to our community of reputable senders. 

Apply to get started with us now and transform your email marketing into something extraordinary!

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