Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Why We Moved to Convertkit

We’ve been using ConvertKit since October 2015. I moved from Mailchimp, which we had used for 4-5 years.  So why, after all that time invested in one platform, did we move from Mailchimp to ConvertKit?

It’s a good question, and if you’re anything like me you’re probably trying to make sure it’s worth all the effort to make the move.

I want you to know that I HATE moving to new applications. It’s the very last thing I will do. It’s more painful than moving home.

So, it has to be the right thing to do. I have to know that by putting in the time, attention and effort to move from Mailchimp to ConvertKit that it’s going to be worth it for the business going forward.

Why did we move? Here are all the reasons, and hopefully some of this will inspire you and give you the motivation to make the move from Mailchimp to ConvertKit too.

Did I have ‘Shiny Red Ball Syndrome’?

I observe many of my peers moving from application to application based on what ‘Thought Leaders’ are doing in the market. It’s possibly the biggest waste of time in business unless you’re getting paid for it.

My friend Mark Schaefer calls this ‘shiny red ball syndrome’.

The correct application will amplify your activities, increase your reach and make your processes simpler and easier, saving you time and effort.

However, an application will not save your business. An application is not a strategy.

This is where I’m a little different most.

I pretty much ignore what other people are doing, unless it’s from people I trust and I value their opinion…and the number of people on that list has reduced a lot over the years.

Why? Most people don’t have a clue what they are doing. I figured that much out.

I listen to people that I know for sure are doing something that works. That includes all my favourite peeps in the CMA and a very few selected ‘Thought Leaders’.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m interested in what’s new, but I’m not going to jump to it immediately. I’m happy continuing with my current application if I know these things are true:

  1. I’m not using the current application to its full capability; so it’s down to me to do that first
  2. It does what I need it to do right now and there are no issues for growth
  3. It makes my life easier

I’ll only look for something new when I’m seeing problems for growth, or if friction can be reduced.

I hope this helps you to get the right mindset when thinking about buying into a new platform or application.

What is an email marketing application?

Here’s the deal. All email marketing applications will allow you to do the main things required to build and manage your email list. Things like:

  • Build your list
  • Put opt-ins on your website
  • Segment your list
  • Automate your emails
  • Track metrics
  • Send emails to your list
  • Send out eBooks and resources

I don’t know how many email applications are on the market. I don’t care.

Here are the ones I know that Members in the CMA are using:

  • Mailchimp
  • ConvertKit
  • Active Campaign
  • Infusionsoft
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Aweber
  • Get response

They all do the main things I mentioned, and they have other advanced features that are slightly different.

If you are currently thinking:

  • I’m not currently using an email application and I need to find one that’s easy to use
  • I need to start building my email list
  • I hate the one I’m using and I need something better

Then perhaps it’s a good time to read this.

I will NEVER forget what Joe Pulizzi shared with me in January 2015:

Joe Pullizi quote re regretting not staring an email list

In other words, if you have a website, and there are people looking at your website, and you’re not doing something to build your email list, you’re losing out on building relationships with your audience in a big way.

Email marketing is not dead

Email is massively underrated. It’s not dead.

  • People still use email
  • People still read email
  • People still buy from email
  • People still need email

Do not dismiss it.

Here’s why:

  • Your email database is an asset for your business. It will help you sell stuff and put money in your bank.
  • It’s easy, cheap and effective. Example: ConvertKit costs $29 per month. If you send 4 emails to 100 people in that month, each email costs you 7p. 1000? Less than a penny. The reality is that you will send more than this every month. The cost becomes negligible.
  • Segmentation. This is important. You can send the right content to the right people at the right time. That’s what good marketing is all about!
  • Tracking data. You can see who’s opening your emails, clicking links, forwarding the email to their friends and unsubscribing. You can measure what’s working and what’s not!
  • It’s mobile out of the box. That’s right, it works on ALL devices without you doing anything.
  • Automation. You can set up sequences and workflows so you can build your relationship with people at scale.
  • It’s private. This makes it far more powerful than social media when it comes to having valuable conversations with people.

If you are thinking:

  • Email marketing is dead.
  • People will think I’m spamming them.
  • People don’t want my email.
  • I hate email.

You need to do two things: Get over yourself and change your mindset on what you think about email.

What you think about email isn’t what your customers think about email.

The facts are, that if you don’t have email as an integral part of your marketing and comms strategy, you’re losing out in a big way.

Why we moved to ConvertKit

The short answer is that it’s better. Here’s the long answer…

Email Marketing: The Right Way

This article from Nathan Barry (Founder of ConvertKit) inspired me in a big way.

He said that “Broadcast emails (or ‘campaigns’ as they are called in some tools) shouldn’t be used.”

You see, I had been doing it all wrong up until I read this article.

I had been sending campaigns, and I was wasting my time and not getting the most from my content.

I immediately started to change how I viewed email marketing. It’s was one of those moments when you slap yourself in the face. “You fool!”

If you are currently sending out weekly ‘newsletters’ to your list through broadcasts and campaigns, you need to change how you do this today. It’s completely ineffective. Please save yourself by reading this article today (opens in new tab).

In short, what was happening is that I’d send out an email today, everyone currently on my list would receive it, and everyone that was yet to subscribe would never see it.

That’s a complete waste of all my work! Years of content that I have been creating and sending out was not being seen by the majority of the people that have actually asked for it!

I was doing myself and my audience a disservice!

Safe to say I was feeling like a dumbass after finding this out.

Anyway, this revelation motivated me to move to ConvertKit.

Knowing that Nathan and his team built ConvertKit from the ground up using this philosophy of email marketing really gave me faith and belief that I was going to get more from my content and be able to add more value to those people on my email list.

My next step was to create a 10-day content marketing crash course.  One that would be delivered by email. I then changed the way I send out my weekly newsletter.

I set up email sequences for launches, competitions, events, courses, newsletters…everything is a sequence now, instead of a broadcast. And I’ve saved a tonne of time in the process.

Oh, and I made some money along the way too. YAY!

Managing Lists – Mailchimp is crap at this…

How your list is managed in ConvertKit is entirely different than how Mailchimp manages your list. It’s perhaps one of the major differences.

In ConvertKit there’s only one list. Yip, that’s correct. One list. Unlike Mailchimp where you can set up multiple lists. Mailchimp truly sicks at this!

You don’t actually want more than one list. It doesn’t make any sense when you see how ConvertKit is laid out. There’s one list, and then you use tags and segments to manage your list.

More here and in the video below:

When you look at the two applications side by side you can see how simple ConvertKit is in comparison. This was a moment of clarity for me.

Mailchimp was making my life very difficult!

A big mistake that people often make in Mailchimp is creating multiple lists, and it negatively impacts their ability to manage how people receive content. It can become complicated very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.

ConvertKit eradicates this problem with one list. That’s all you need.

Nathan explains it well in this video.

He talks about how ConvertKit makes things like list management, automation and subscriptions easier than Mailchimp. And he’s right. I used Mailchimp for years and moved to ConvertKit for these exact reasons.

Everything to do with my email marketing is simpler and easier because of ConvertKit.


Additional ConvertKit benefits:

Here are a few other things:

  • The user experience is better. ConvertKit is clean, simple and easy to use
  • Building sequences and email courses is incredibly simple
  • Landing page templates (I stopped using Leadpages and OptinMonster when I moved to ConvertKit, saving me $100s per year)
  • There’s a WordPress plugin to help with integration into your website
  • Segmenting and tagging your list is really easy
  • It’s way more personable – email is not about design, it’s about great content
  • There are some really cool simple tricks to help you improve how you communicate

I could go on…but this blog is long enough already.

Convertkit’s Affiliate Programme

Oh, I nearly forgot. ConvertKit also has an awesome affiliate programme for advocates and loyal fans.

Which means that, when you recommend ConvertKit to your peers, you are rewarded for the recommendation. Pretty cool, eh?!

Got a question? Email me at or jump into the comments section below.   I’m happy to take questions on moving from Mailchimp to ConvertKit and help where I can!



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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.