A few weeks ago we shared with you that we were leaving MailChimp (if you missed that post we recommend starting there). We also outlined the pros and cons of a lot of big name email marketing contenders such as InfusionSoft and Aweber. However, when it came down to it, we decided to invest in a brand new, small (but growing), relatively unheard of company called ConvertKit. Spoiler alert: it was the best decision ever.
First, let us reiterate that there is nothing wrong with MailChimp and we still highly recommend it to newbies and beginning business owners. We were on the free plan that MailChimp offers for about 7 months before upgrading to the paid plan (in order to unlock automation) and didn’t consider leaving until we had been with MailChimp for almost a year. To give you an idea numbers wise: we were at 0 when we first started MailChimp, about 2k when we upgraded to automation and about 4k when we left (not counting any duplicate subscribers).
Why We Left MailChimp
Let’s go into a little bit more detail about why we left so we can really highlight an amazing feature that ConvertKit offers. When you use email marketing to grow your business you’re not just worried about getting people on your list, but also the right people. You’re also concerned with talking with those people and offering them things in the way that best suits them. For example: if someone is on your list and also signs up for a workshop that you offer you might want to talk to that person about signing up for future workshops, however, if a person is on your list but never signed up for your workshop you might not want to continue talking to them about workshops (if they’re uninterested they might unsubscribe from your entire list). By being very clear in your messaging you are able to give people what they want….and not give them what they don’t want.
This scenario was possible to create in MailChimp, however, it was very cumbersome (lots of moving pieces) and it ended up giving us an inflated subscriber count (people would be counted as multiple subscribers if they were on more than one list, even with the same email). Personally we have at least one webinar per month, multiple opt-ins, and a membership program. We were getting a lot of lists and one single subscriber could be counted up to 14 times (no bueno).
MailChimp says they have “groups” and “segmenting” but it doesn’t work how you think it would. They make your subscribers do the deciding when they’re opting in to your list. For example: on your opt-in form you would have a checkbox for your subscribers to choose “interested in webinars” or “not interested in webinars”. Personally this didn’t work for our brand and it most likely won’t work for yours.
This is where ConvertKit prevails. This is what made us “give up” some features that MailChimp offers because it’s truly that valuable. Inside ConvertKit all your subscribers are technically on the same giant list, but they are organized by “tags” and per the form they opted in on. So for example: if you opt-in for our “Become a Pinterest Badass” webinar you will be on the “Become a Pinterest Badass” Form and “Interested in Webinars” tag all automatically. We can then send emails only to those who are on that form and/or tagged as “Interested in Webinars”. This way we don’t bother our main list who might be made up of a lot of people who are not interested in webinars.
ConvertKit also offers what’s called “Link Triggers”. These are amazing tools and can be used by every type of business. For example: if a subscriber opens an email then clicks a link to purchase your planner, but doesn’t purchase you can send an email reminding them about the planner or offering them a discount to incentivize buying. Whoa.
What We Gave Up
What about the features we “gave up”? We put those in quotes, because we don’t actually feel like we gave anything up, but it might seem like that to someone who is new to email marketing. One thing MailChimp has going for them are beautiful templated emails. We had a custom designed email that we sent out to our list and man, it was pretty. But here’s the zinger. It was never getting opened (well not never, but not that often). Because it had so much design in it Google saw it as spam or promotion so it got sent to the wrong tab nearly every time. We’re more likely to open and actually read (because we are human) an email that looks like a real email (like one from your mom) versus an email that has a lot of headers, images, lines or blocks in it. We’re all about higher open rates, baby.
Also, MailChimp’s dashboard is super pretty to look at and it’s easy to use. ConvertKit is a breeze to learn, but it doesn’t look as “nice”. This is irrelevant, however, with everything else we’re gaining.
Here’s What Else We Love About ConvertKit
- Amazing customer service: they email back within hours and have a private Facebook group for customers for you to ask questions
- We’re saving time: since we don’t have a template to fill in every time we send an email we actually spend less time typing one up (think 15 minutes instead of an hour)
- Higher open rates: we’re landing in the “Primary” tab on Google now so more people our seeing what we’re sending (novel idea!)
- More subscribers: we’re able to target our forms for each and every offer now since we’re not worried about duplicate subscriber count (in the 30 days since we’ve been with ConvertKit we’ve jumped 2k subscribers)
- More subscriber analytics: we can see where each individual subscriber is coming in from even if they have the same tag (i.e. our general list opt-in is on multiple pages on our website so now we can see which page is converting the highest). We can also see what other tags or forms they’re on and how active they are (are they opening emails)
How Much Does It Cost?
So let’s talk about the cost. When we were at MailChimp we were being charged $75/month because MailChimp thought we had about 3k more subscribers than we actually had (remember the multiple counting). We decided that the $79/month price tag for ConvertKit was a no brainer since we were actually getting more benefits with them. If you have less than 1k subscribers ConvertKit will only cost you $29/month.
Deciding to invest in email marketing was a big deal for us. When we upgraded to the paid version of MailChimp it was to unlock automation and we knew how powerful that could be for our business. For a while we felt stuck as to where to go next, because the big name people (InfusionSoft or Ontraport) are very, very expensive and kind of a pain to learn. We wanted something that was easy for us to manage (we are still a two-woman team), but robust enough for us to grow into. We found all of that with ConvertKit.
If you’re interested in making the switch we’d love for you to check out ConvertKit. If you’re ready to buy make sure you click this link because we love them so much we became affiliates. Basically when you buy through that you’re funding our Starbucks addiction so everyone wins.
If you’re on the brink of being able to switch, we’d love to cheer you on and help you get over the crest! Leave a comment and let us know what you need to happen to be able to make the switch.