Ever since I publicly switched email providers from MailChimp (my first love–you never forget your first love) to ConvertKit last fall, people have been asking me if they should switch too.
The answer is complicated, so I wanted to lay down my thoughts in a thorough review of ConvertKit and provide a sort of self-assessment for deciding if it’s a good move for you too.
Why I Switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit
I was a MailChimp customer for almost 7 years. I knew after the first year or so that I had outgrown them. It wasn’t that the service was bad–it’s phenomenal–it’s that what I wanted to do with email marketing couldn’t be done on MailChimp. The main feature I was lacking was advanced segmentation (the ability to send people the best content or offers for them based on their interests).
The other feature I was missing out on was easily being able to send out multiple opt-in incentives while maintaining a nice, neat list.
As the years went by, MailChimp added more and more features and more and more integrations (mostly Zapier and LeadPages) that allowed me to cobble together most of the functions I was looking for.
However, this just left my account even more bloated and unwieldy.
But the biggest problem of all was that I was avoiding emailing people because I was afraid that I could segment them properly so that they would only receive the email that was meant for them.
That meant money left on the table.
Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, phoned me up in September 2015. We chatted about the product, what they were working on next, and why it might be a good fit for a lot of my clients. He wasn’t trying to sell me. He just wanted me to mention ConvertKit when I talked about email marketing in classes and workshops.
But I was sold.
It was time to move on from MailChimp and I just didn’t want the hassle of a solution like InfusionSoft or Ontraport.
As I mentioned, the biggest reason I switched was the ability to send the right people the right email. It’s that simple.
What I Love About ConvertKit
ConvertKit makes highly targeted email easy.
The inside of my account is set up with no less than 43 different tags. Each tag tells me something about the people associated with it. I can mix and match those tags and create email that is specially formatted just for the people I’m writing to.
Another reason I love ConvertKit is just how easy it is to create Sequences. Sequences (or courses, autoresponders, or automated email) can be trigger by just about anything that happens in the system. It can set a new subscriber down a Welcome sequence, a new purchaser down an On-boarding sequence, or an old subscriber down a Free Course sequence.
Based on a subscribers activity in one sequence, I can move them on to another.
The possibilities are endless.
I also love the simplicity of the emails I’m sending. My goal is to be your business mentor-from-afar in your inbox a few times a week.
Would your mentor send you a color HTML email? I doubt it. They’d pen something simple, easy-to-read, and personal. ConvertKit makes that really easy.
Why You Shouldn’t Switch to ConvertKit
Now, just because I’m into ConvertKit and recommending it to many doesn’t mean that you should switch. Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t.
1. You want an all-in-one solution.
If you want an all-in-one solution that hosts content, takes payments, manages affiliates, etc… you should switch to something like InfusionSoft. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work. Yes, you’re going to pay a lot for it. But it’s worth it if your business is such that having this type of solution is going to make your life easier and add to your bottom line.
Our main ecommerce tool is WooCommerce and I have an affiliate management plugin that works well with it. While seamlessness is awesome, it’s not always practical and I’m happy with the balance we’ve achieved in terms of integration and customization.
2. You want to send pretty emails.
There are lots ($$$) of reasons to send plain-text or simple rich-text emails. There are also lots of reasons to send HTML emails.
If you want to send something with lots of images, a banner/logo, and columns, you’ll need to stick with a provider like MailChimp. It can be done with ConvertKit but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Just keep in mind that lots of email is read on a phone or other mobile device. My emails may not be as “pretty” as they used to be but I know more people who start reading them will read to the bottom. That’s important.
3. You’re not willing to commitment to a tagging strategy.
When I switched to ConvertKit, I tried to take my email taxonomy (such as it was) from MailChimp and transfer it over. That was a disaster. Luckily, one of my team members is a whiz with logic puzzles like this. She took what I wanted to be able to do with email and what we knew about individual subscribers and created the tagging taxonomy you see above.
Yours doesn’t need to be as complicated but, if you’re not willing to devote energy to figuring out a tagging system and then commit to using it successfully, don’t switch to a provider like ConvertKit.
This might be the biggest hurdle of all. However, you have to ask yourself whether you’re really committed to email marketing if you’re not willing to commit to figuring this piece out.
What’s Next for Your Email Marketing
In the end, whether you switch to Convertkit from MailChimp or Aweber or whether you choose something else entirely, the decision shouldn’t be based on where your business is at now.
You have to look ahead to what you’d like to be able to do with your email marketing, how you’d like to be able to communicate with customers, and how you’d like to prospect for new leads in the future.
The longer it takes you to switch to the solution that meets more of your needs, the harder that switch will be (trust me, I know!).
ConvertKit is probably the right choice for you if:
- You want to be able to send the right messages and offers to the right people.
- You want to start or accelerate automating your best messages so that sales start happening on their own.
- You want to on-board new customers easily and with minimal effort.
- You want to prioritize simplicity and clarity in your communications.
- You want to use multiple email opt-in incentives to grow your audience and track your progress.
If that sounds like you, click here to give ConvertKit a try.
(That’s my affiliate link–if you’d prefer I didn’t get compensated for providing this information to you, click here for the non-affiliate link.)