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You need an email list. End of story.
We all know that you need an email list to have a successful side hustle. In fact, I wrote all about it last week. In case you missed it, you can read about the 7 Reasons An Email List Is Critical To Side Hustle Success by clicking here.
At the end of that post, I also alluded to the fact that I recently switched my email service provider from Mailchimp to Convertkit. And also that I am totally loving life ever since I switched. Since I mentioned that, I figured that it’s important to explain to all of you just why I made the switch, and also why I can’t really recommend Mailchimp, even though it’s free for your first 2,000 subscribers, which sounds like an amazing deal.
More on that soon.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Better Deliverability
Deliverability is critical. What is deliverability? It’s basically the assurance that if you send an email, it will end up your recipient’s inbox, rather than the spam folder. Because no one checks their spam folder.
Convertkit boasts industry-leading deliverability rates. That was one of the main reasons why I switched to Convertkit, compared to the other options. It didn’t occur to me that my open rates were so low on Mailchimp because of deliverability. But as soon as I moved over, I noticed that my emails were getting significantly more opens than they were whenever I sent out an email through Mailchimp. If your audience isn’t seeing your emails when you send them, then they’re forgetting who you are, and aren’t actually your audience.
Now, Convertkit can’t do everything to ensure that your emails land where they’re supposed to (if your subject lines look spammy or you’re buying lists or any other naughty things, email services will still catch you), but it’s a clear leg up over most of the competition.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Unlimited Emails
One of the biggest draws people have for choosing Mailchimp, especially when starting out, is that you get your first 2,000 subscribers for free. That’s really awesome, and is pretty much the reason why I chose Mailchimp over Mailerlite (which gives you your first 1,000 subscribers for free).
But the drawback is that on this free plan, you can only send 12,000 emails per month. And that’s total emails. Meaning, if you have a list of 1,000 emails, you can only send 12 emails to them. Makes things tricky when it comes to launching, or if you want to email your list more than a couple times a week, or even to have a quality nurture sequence.
But with Convertkit, you get unlimited emails at all levels, which means you don’t have to worry about how many email you can send. Send emails to your heart’s content! Well, don’t do that, because too many emails will mean people will flee your list, but you know what I mean. It’s one less thing to think about.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Easier Opt-In Creation & Integration
I have to admit, that even after going through the tutorials for Mailchimp, I still struggled with creating an opt-in that would fit in seamlessly within my blog posts. Sure, it’s easy enough to create a simple form, and Mailchimp offers a WordPress plugin that makes it really easy to insert into your sidebar, but when it comes to actually including it in the body of the blog post, it just didn’t work out as well.
There are other plugins that you can download to turn your link into a form, but quite frankly, I don’t have time for all the hoop jumping.
On the other hand, with Convertkit, not only is it SO easy to create a completely customized opt-in form (including colors and images and custom thank-you page redirects), but it’s so easy to get them inserted into your blog posts. Instead of jumping through a ton of hoops, all I had to do was download the Convertkit plugin for WordPress, and insert the code for my form into my blog post. It’s seamless.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Landing Pages
I love Convertkit’s landing pages. Yes, I know Mailchimp has them too, but I’m just saying that I managed to create my landing page in about 10 minutes. It was SO easy, and now all I have to do is share that link with my audience, and even to people outside my audience. Once they’re in, they’re into my welcome sequence and that’s that!.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Easier Access To Personalized Templates
Whether it’s the same list of content you have in every email, or even just how you start your emails off, having an easy access to your template format is SO important. In Mailchimp, I would just copy an old email and plug in the new content, but with Convertkit you can go one step further and save the template formatting for easiest access.
That way, you only have to adjust your headers, your bolding, and your formatting once, and you’re done.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Tags
Tags are extremely important to email marketing. Sometimes you don’t want to target every single person on your list. Sometimes you only want to target the people who come to you from one opt-in or another. Other times you want to target someone who has purchased from you, or someone who hasn’t. Or, you want to make sure that you are only targeting people who have gone through certain sequences.
With Convertkit’s seamless automations, all you have to do is create your automation, which includes the ability to tag your subscribers at any point in the funnel. Automations can be as short or as long as you need them to be. Most of mine are just three steps. The opt-in, the funnel, and then it ends with a tag.
That way, you don’t have to worry about digging through your list for certain people, or go back to tag people after the fact and they’ve already been on your list for a while.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Copying Emails To Other Lists
And that brings me to something critical. Because Convertkit offers tags and other segmenting that I have not touched yet, I can tag one email address with multiple tags, all depending on what funnels they have gone through. That way, if I want to target just the people who have purchased one of my products, I can do that.
But in Mailchimp, in order to do that, I would have to make a whole other list and copy those email address over. And if I have the same email in two separate lists, then that counts as TWO separate emails toward that free 2,000. This is one of the ways that Mailchimp really does not offer a lot of flexibility when you’re trying to target certain portions of your audience.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Better Reports
Convertkit comes with an TON of reports, and for a numbers nerd like me (remember, one of my hobbies is doing sports stats), it’s a huge bonus.
Not only do you get the standard, “this is how many email subscribers you have” report, but you also have reports on your all-time average open and click rates. When you go into your forms, you see how many sign-ups you get per day, broken down by which form your audience opts into. You also get info on how these forms are converting, which is huge.
When you send an email (aka a Broadcast), you also get a breakdown of your open rate, click rate, unsubscribes. Not only that, but you also can pull up which links were clicked, in case you send out an email with a lot.
Conversely, with Mailchimp, you just get a few standard reports, including how many people are on your list, your open rate and your click rate.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Better Value
One of the other reasons why I love Convertkit is that the only tiers you have to worry about are how many subscribers you have. Meaning, you don’t have to pay more to get more out of Convertkit’s robust features. Whether you have 100 subscribers or 7,500, you get it all. The only thing you don’t get is free concierge migration, which you don’t need unless you’re taking an email list with over 7,500 subscribers from another service over to ConvertKit. So basically, it’s not something you’re going to miss.
Conversely, Mailchimp offers two different tiers outside of the free option, Grow and Pro. Pro, as you can imagine, is a lot more expensive than Grow (depending on how many subscribers you have, as well)l, and also comes with a number of more robust features that Grow doesn’t have. Those features include Advanced Segmentation, Comparative reports, and Multivariate Testing.
All of those things? Yeah, you can get them from Convertkit at any level.
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: A Couple Final Takeaways
I wanted to end this by acknowledging that there are costs involved with a program like Convertkit, and that may not always be in a new side hustler’s budget. And that’s totally okay.
But what I AM saying, is that when you can afford the investment (and remember, if you pay for a full year, you pay for 12 months for the price of 10), make the move. Your life will be so much easier and you will be able to make forms, landing pages, sequences and other automations in more than half the time.
So, if it’s not in the cards right now, then this post is all the things that you can look forward to, and motivate you toward getting your side hustle to the point where a service like Convertkit IS in the cards.
Get Started With Convertkit Today
Ready to make the dive into Convertkit? You can get started with a 14-day free trial by clicking my affiliate link. When you sign up, you’ll be introduced to the handy introductory checklist, which walks you through everything from setting up your forms, your sequences, your automations, and migrating any current list that you may have into the system.
And did I mention it’s fast? I got my email list moved over in minutes. Now, it may take longer depending on how big your list is, but the ease of it is what matters to me. All I had todo was click a few buttons and I was done.
Also, you get a free t-shirt. And they’re really cute too! (Fun fact, I didn’t know about that bonus until after I signed up and completed the full checklist. You have to admit, it’s a pretty awesome marketing ploy!)
Mailchimp vs. Convertkit: Ready To Start Your Side Hustle?
Have a lot to talk about, but don’t have the website to guide your readers to? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Now is the perfect time to take my free email course, where I teach you how to plan a year’s worth of blog content in just one day. This training takes away all the mystery behind figuring out what you’re going to write from week to week and helps you plan the ultimate in blogging content that your audience will absolutely love.
Don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground. You can read why I choose Siteground to host my websites in my post, 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too).