Mailchimp vs ConvertKit: Why I Switched Once and For All

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When I first started my blog, I did everything (and I mean everything) AS CHEAPLY AS POSSIBLE. I didn't want to spend too much money on any tools or courses.

Basically, if it wasn't free... it wasn't for me. 

I had three failed blogs before starting Thrive Lounge, which made me very skeptical of my ability to become a successful blogger at any point in my lifetime. There was...  

  1. - where I talked about the arts and crafts projects I did with my daughter. 
  2. StrategemDigital - where I shared all of my super legit marketing tips. (I literally created three posts before I quit.)
  3. One blog that I don't remember the name of but I totally meant to blog about my travel to India. (Then I got to India and... life.) 

    With Thrive Lounge, I knew I was committed to the topic and information I was putting out into the world. I was not nearly as confident about myself.

    I had already had several failed blogs, what would make this one different? 

    Now I know the answer to that. (Passion, duh!)

    But when I was starting this blog, I knew I didn't want totally sink my money pointlessly into a blog that I'd write 2.5 posts for like I'd done in the past.

    So that's how I ended up with Mailchimp. 

    It was free - and I could collect emails with it. #BOOM (That's all I needed, right?) 

    As time went on, I found myself more and more energized with my blog. I wrote post after post because I had so much to share on he topic of goal setting, mindset and vision boards.

    The second I realized this was something I wanted to continue with and pursue seriously, I knew it was time to upgrade to some real blogger gear, starting with my biggest pain point - Mailchimp. 


    Why was Mailchimp so painful for me? 

    I always knew that I wanted to use email marketing because:

    1. I hosted local events and wanted one central place where we could communicate upcoming events to our audience. 
    2. I wanted to be able to directly share our story with them in real time. 
    3. I wanted to connect with the readers that came onto the site and enjoyed my work.

    As far as I could tell, Mailchimp was not helping me to accomplish any of those goals and here's why:


    Designing The Email Content Was A Production

    Each time I sent out an email, it would take me about 2 hours. Two freakin' hours. 

    First I would have to think about the information I actually wanted to share, then I had to work with the drag-and-drop templates to create a corporate-looking design. Then I would have serious FOMO when I'd see all of the online influencers I love sending out these friendly emails that felt like a love note from a long lost bestie. 

    Meanwhile, it took me two freakin' hours to look like a corporate robot.


    Designing The Email Forms

    A few months into blogging, I wanted to try my hand at sending out printable freebies to go along with my blog posts.

    That's when I realized that there were limited options for adding a freebie to a follow up message to a new subscriber.

    Since my blog is on Sqaurespace, I would have to create a form, add a text box on top for the call to action. Then I'd have to link it to the right form in Mailchimp. Then I'd create a link inside the email that would let the subscriber download the freebie.

    Sound confusing? It was.

    In short, there was about 6 super annoying steps between creating a freebie to offering it to people... and the solution was FAR from pretty. 


    Mailchimp makes it harder for subscribers to get onto the email list. 

    Yes, you heard me. Mailchimp, my email subscription service, made it harder for people to subscribe.

    Each time a person signed up to receive something, they would have to go to their email and then go through a second level of opt-ins before they'd get on my list or receive the download.

    That added an extra step for anyone to take - and definitely lost subscribers along the way. 


    Based on those three alone, I was frustrated enough to give ConvertKit a try. 


    After trying Convertkit for a month, I was hooked...

    Have you ever tried something new and wonder how you ever got by without it (like your first car, avocado toast or your first iPhone)? 

    That's what it felt like after switching to ConvertKit.

    Related: Why ConvertKit Is Worth The Money (Even If Your Blog Isn't Profitable)

    A whole new world opened up for me - and there were 5 reasons I was never going back. 


    Simple Opt In Process

    There is no crazy double opt-in. Your subscribers won't have to prove they're human before signing up to your list. 

    All they have to do is enter their email (which is the way it should be).


    UNLIMITED FORMS, pop up boxes AND landing pages. 

    With Mailchimp, there was absolutely NO razzle dazzle.

    It's like the Spirit Airlines of email services - you get the bare minimum. Mailchimp does have it's version of a landing page, but it's far from beautiful, enticing or customizable. 

    ConvertKit allows you to create a super cute form, popup box or landing page with a couple clicks of a button (and you don't have to be tech savvy or do any coding!).


    Smart designs... even for the design challenged. 

    I'll be the first person to tell anyone I have ZERO design skills. Luckily with ConvertKit you really don't need it. There is a standard format that already looks good and you just have to drop in your brand colors and it all updates like magic!


    A/B testing for email subject lines. 

    Yup, ConvertKit has a simple method to making sure you get more than one shot at your email subject line by testing on a tiny fraction of your email list.

    With Mailchimp, you got one shot... so don't blow it! #Overrated



    There are a lot of ways someone could end up on your email list - and ConvertKit lets you add subscribers to the right emails for them. 

    For example, they could have: 

    • Entered their email into a general "subscribe for updates" form
    • Downloaded a freebie.
    • Purchased a product.
    • Gave you their email at an in-person event. 

    You may want to email your list about a sale you're having on your product, but you don't want to send that sale to people who already bought the product, right? 

    With ConvertKit you have the choice to mail your whole list or exclude whoever you want.

    In Mailchimp, there was no way to email your entire list and definitely no way to mail several different lists at once. 


    Mailchimp was great for me as a newbie just starting out and very unsure of myself as a blogger but I definitely made the switch at the right time for me. Now that I have ConvertKit, I couldn't imagine my professional blogging life without it!


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