Email marketing is no easy task. Everyday, people wake up to dozens of emails from brands and companies they’ve subscribed to over the years. When a user opens his email inbox, the bold, unread emails are like a checklist begging for attention. More often than not, these emails remain unopened and unread for weeks, or even years (guilty!), until you decide to Select All Unread and send them straight to Trash.
An email has to stand out and provide value to get a reader’s precious attention. No wonder there are dozens of email marketing services claiming to be THE solution to a brand (or content creator) ‘s email marketing woes. One of them is ConvertKit.
ConvertKit Review Summary
Convertkit calls itself “the email marketing platform for creators.” From that alone, its easy to see that its aimed at people who view themselves as online creators, such as bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, basically any personality or brand who wants sell anything online, whether physical or digital products. You will not find many multinational companies using Converkit, and this is by design. ConvertKit targets individual content creators and online brands that don’t need all the bells and whistles of more complicated platforms, and just want an easy to use, reliable email platform.
This email marketing service is a very effective tool for what it is, and who it is made for – ConvertKit aims to get you started with email marketing as quickly and as pain-free as possible. No doubt about it, ConvertKit is a gem for smaller entities who want to hit the ground running and start sending out emails at once. If you fall under this category, ConvertKit is for you.
Of course, this is not a perfect platform. One, ConvertKit pricing is higher compared to its competitors. Other platforms offer similar features for less. Another major flaw is that email design flexibility is limited. The email editor that ConvertKit offers is basic and the email templates available are limited and cannot be customized as much as other services. These are among the common flaws that are often brought up in ConvertKit reviews.
If you can live with these flaws and you’re a smaller online creator or a medium-sized online store, then yes, you can definitely use ConvertKit, or at least it should be at the top of your shortlist. It’s a great option for those who want an easy and effortless way to start building your email list or making the most out of your existing email list. Let’s take a closer look in this ConvertKit review and what the platform offers.
ConvertKit has many features of the features expected from an email marketing tool, such as:
- Unlimited landing pages and forms
- Unlimited traffic
- Customizable domain
- Ability to send email broadcasts
- Subscriber tagging
- Automated funnels and email sequences
- Premium support
In terms of features offered, ConvertKit is on par with, or at least very close, to its competitors.
Ease of Use
More than anything else, ConvertKit stands out because it is extremely easy to use. Even a person with zero background in email marketing can begin using ConvertKit almost immediately. There is no need to “study” the email platform and how to use it. The makers have taken visual automation to heart and make this email marketing platform easy to use for anyone.
When I tried ConvertKit, the first thing I tested was making my own landing page. This is exactly all I had to do to make one:
1) Click on Landing Page.
2) Choose my template – It’s good to note that although the lack of templates is often mentioned in a ConvertKit review, I had a few dozen to choose from.
3) Customize the images, copy, and colors all in one page.
4) Save and publish.
In 4 easy steps, I was done with making my very first landing page and I was ready to start adding subscribers. It took me just a few minutes from start to end. Based on my experience, “ease of use” is definitely always the top priority of ConvertKit.
- Easy to use
It can’t be said enough – ConvertKit and all its features is very easy to use.
- Great support
Live chat and a responsive support team are definite pros for ConvertKit. It’s easy to find someone to answer the questions you might have.
- Simple set-up for automations
Everything about ConvertKit requires simple set-up, including automations.
- Limited email templates
Again, email templates are not as customizable as some creators or brands would like them to be.
- Basic reports and analytics
ConvertKit offers analytics give basic reports such as click through rates, open rates, and unsubscribes but don’t go much deeper than that.
- High price
Compared to other services that offer similar features, the ConvertKit price structure is expensive.
What is ConvertKit Good For?
Who should use ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is good for people who want to use an email service that allows them to start creating email content immediately. Unlike other email marketing software that has a steep learning curve, ConvertKit can be used by almost anyone and the website itself already contains lots of helpful information to get you started. Other email software even have online courses offered by 3rd parties that teach you how to maximize its use, like Mailchimp. Not exactly a sign of being simple and easy to use.
Creators and brands who also want to run targeted campaigns will also benefit from using ConvertKit. The tagging and segmentation system that ConvertKit offers is great for sending very specific and well-crafted content to very specific groups within your subscriber base.
The free plan of ConvertKit is also good for content creators who want to get started already even without having a full website yet. With the free plan, you can easily make a landing page and start gathering subscribers and testing out emails.
Lastly, ConvertKit will also work for people or brands who want to make sure they have access to great support. The ConvertKit support team is very responsive and live chat is available.
What is ConvertKit Not Good For?
ConnvertKit is great but it is not for everyone. For those who want to send out very customized emails or have a very specific look in mind for their emails, this is not the product for them. ConvertKit has a limited number of email templates that are not highly-customizable and also has a basic email editor. Other email marketing platforms offer more options in terms of customization.
Companies and brands who want do to extensive A/B testing will also find ConvertKit lacking in this department. It does allow A/B testing, but only for subject lines. If you want, or need, to do more extensive testing in terms of copy and images, ConvertKit is not for you.
Also, if you are working on a tight budget, then you should probably look elsewhere. ConvertKit charges a higher monthly fee compared to other email services that have similar features.
ConvertKit Review In Detail
The first thing that came to mind when I was writing this review about ConvertKit is ease of use. This is one of the easiest email marketing tools I’ve ever encountered. From the get go, you can tell that ConvertKit works hard to make sure that this is the first impression you get from using its product.
On your first visit, ConvertKit wants to know exactly where you are in terms of email marketing to help give you exactly what you need. During the sign-up process, you need to answer a few questions to give them the following information:
- If you’re switching from another email marketing platform
- If you’re a beginner in email marketing
- If you already have a website you’re working on and what platform it uses
After entering your email address and a few easy clicks, you’ve created your ConvertKit account and you’re ready to start.
Landing Pages and Forms
Let’s start the website review with the site’s Landing Pages and Forms section. ConvertKit will ask you to choose between creating either a landing page or a form. It can embed a form anywhere on your website, on a sales page, or on a landing page that you already have. Your other option is to create a completely new landing page hosted by ConvertKit or on your own domain hosted by WordPress.
If you decide to make a form first, you have 4 options of how the form will look – Inline, Modal, Slide In, or a Sticky Bar. We must say that ConvertKit really means it when it says that it’s a leader in visual automation. Everything that needs to be done has an image to go with each option, living up to its promise of being beginner-friendly. Even the most low-tech person will be able to work with this email marketing software.
After deciding what kind of form you want to use, ConvertKit offers you several templates to choose from, again, in a very visual manner. When you choose a template, you’ll see exactly how it will look on your website. Editing the form is easy – with just a few clicks you can tweak the form to your liking. On the Styles section, you can change the text, the image, the colors, and even the image opacity.
After you design and edit your form template, Settings is next – this is where you can customize the message that visitor receives after subscribing via your form and when to show this form to visitors. Choose between Exit Intent, Scroll Percentage (you decide how much percentage of the page the visitor has scrolled to before showing the form), and Timing, where you also choose how many seconds the visitor is on your page before the form is shown. You can also decide if you want to show the form only to users on mobile or on a desktop. Talk about easy to use!
Customizing email templates is as easy as editing a regular email with their email editor. It only takes a few minutes to design and set up your confirmation email. This is also where you decide where your new subscribers will go after confirmation. ConvertKit also offers advanced settings where you can choose where to send and what to show visitors who are already existing subscribers.
If you decide to make a landing page instead, the experience is exactly the same as creating the form. You choose a template and customize it to your liking. You can change images and text with a few simple clicks. One thing that I liked about ConvertKit is that you can make a landing page even without having a full website. This is a great option for brands and online content creators who may want to just focus on social media campaigns.
This tab also has a SEO and Analytics tab where you can put in a meta title and description tags to help with SEO. You can also link the landing page to Google Analytics, Facebook Business, Segment, and Pinterest, allowing you to include your new landing page in your data analytics. Previous reviews have mentioned that ConvertKit doesn’t link to Google Analytics but this has been changed recently. Another plus point for ConvertKit.
Next up is subscribers. ConvertKit, like other email marketing software, allows you add subscribers individually, import from an existing email list, or import from another provider. After adding subscribers, you can easily classify them by adding segments and tagging them based on specific criteria you choose.
ConvertKit is known for being able to tag your subscribers, which is a feature that more expensive and sophisticated email marketing services also offer. Tags allow you to organize your subscribers and include or exclude them from specific workflow emails. This is a great way to organize your subscribers and to ensure that only content that your subscriber will find relevant reaches his Inbox. As we all know, this is crucial in getting them to open, read, and respond positively to your email.
After tagging your subscriber, you can further group subscribers into segments depending on different conditions like location, date of subscription, or first name. This lets you broadcast specific emails to unique groups within your subscribers and create an email list that will be more responsive to your content.
ConvertKit also offers a Purchases feature. In the automations you set, an entry point can be when a customer purchases a specific product, or any product, from you. After the purchase, they can go through a post-sales funnel that you set up. This feature gives you information on how much revenue this specific subscriber has generated and from what products. This is another great feature that allows you to further classify your subscribers. According to ConvertKit, “Purchases allows you to easily segment, identify, and communicate with your Customers” – everything all brands and creators, big and small, would definitely want to do.
Broadcasts allow users to send one-time emails that are sent to all subscribers, or certain groups of subscribers, filtered based on tags, segments, or custom fields, such as date subscribed or country located. This also allows you to craft extremely targeted emails to groups within your subscribers. Note that these emails will look like a regular email and not an email newsletter. According to ConvertKit, this type of email have a higher chance of being opened and read by a subscriber. You can also schedule these emails in advance.
Marketing automation is also very important in sending targeted emails. In ConvertKit’s Complete plans, visual automation funnels allow you to create custom paths for your email lists. These automatically send your subscribers custom content right when they need it, without you having to schedule campaigns or broadcasts all the time. ConvertKit calls their automation tool “simple but powerful.” With this tool, you can create automations as simple or as complicated as you want to be – you can stick to basic “if this, then that” individual automation rules or full funnels that connects events, actions, and conditions. The user interface for automations is also easy to use – you can edit your workflow in the same window. No need to switch from window to window to fix your funnels. I found this easy to do as well.
A relatively new offering of ConvertKit is the Learn section. Here, its goes beyond simply teaching users how to use the software, but aims to help users grow and develop their brand and online business. For example, it offers courses on developing your brand’s missions, vision and values. It also has courses called “Why Email Marketing Matters” and “Pick a Website and Platform.” From seeing the online courses offered, it seems that ConvertKit wants to become a partner of the user, and give more value to its customer. It doesn’t just offer the usual Help and How-To courses, but courses that aim to help users with their whole business, from from start to end.
That basically sums up what you’ll find on the ConvertKit website. Of course, there’s much more to explore than what this ConvertKit review can tell you. Personally, I think it has a lot to offer and the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It’s a great email marketing service, especially for who it is made for – content creators like bloggers, YouTubers, and those with small-to-medium online stores. If you want to use email to start reaching more people, and you haven’t yet before, ConvertKit is probably the right product for you.
ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. This plan offers the same features as its Complete packages except for automated funnels and email sequences, premium support, and integrations. This is a great option for users who just want to see what ConverKit is all about.
It offers a 14-day free plan for all new users to try. When your 14 days are up, the pricing tiers differ depending on the number of subscribers (like other email marketing software). The same features are available for all tiers.
Pricing is as follows:
0 – 1,000 subscribers – $29 per month
1,000 – 3.000 subscribers – $49 per month
3,000 – 5,000 subscribers – $79 per month
5,000 – 8,000 subscribers – $99 per month
8,000 – 10,000 subscribers – $119 per month
10,000 – 15,000 subscribers – $149 per month
If paid annually, users get 2 months free. On the ConvertKit website, you can compute how much per month you’ll spend all the way until 900,000 subscribers – $3,999 per month, in case anyone is interested. However, a huge company with 200,000 email subscribers is not the target of Convertkit. It’s important to remember it is aimed primarily at content creators like bloggers, YouTubers, and brands with online stores.
As seen above, ConvertKit prices are not the cheapest in the market. They are definitely not competing in terms of price.
The email marketing space is full of different players, from Campaign Monitor to Constant Contact to Mailchimp. When it first launched, ConvertKit used the tagline “The power of Infusionsoft, but easier to use than Mailchimp.” It’s no wonder that comparisons to Mailchimp are inevitable and often the brand most compared to ConvertKit.
Mailchimp vs. ConvertKit
Both platforms are visual builders and have similar features. Most people who are considering ConvertKit are probably also considering Mailchimp. Both platforms offer free plans for users to try out what they have to offer. Mailchimp’s free plan can be used until 2,000 contacts, while ConvertKit’s free plan is for up to 1,000 subscribers. Both free plans offer tagging and segmentation features.
One difference is that ConvertKit offers the same features to all its users with its Complete plan, with pricing just depending on the number of subscribers. Mailchimp offers a number of plans – Premium, Standard, and Essentials packages, all with varying features.
Another major, and probably deciding, factor for most people is the price difference between the two. To compare, Mailchimp’s Essentials package costs $49.99 per month for 5,000 subscribers, while ConvertKit’s costs $99 for the same number of subscribers. Even when you compute with the annual discount, Convertkit is still significantly more expensive than Mailchimp.
Mailchimp also offers more sophisticated email building templates and tools compared to ConverKit. Although ConvertKit explains that simple emails are more likely to be opened and read, this is another deciding factor for people choosing between the two platforms. Overall, our ConvertKit review gives it a slight edge over Mailchimp, primarily because of ease of use and support available.