For years, we’ve been recommending MailChimp as our preferred mailing list provider. There’s plenty of MailChimp benefits such as a free plan for small lists, their simple user interface and easy-to-use newsletter design tools.
However, lately we’ve been recommending ConvertKit to some of our clients instead of MailChimp for their email marketing needs.
When is ConvertKit a better solution than MailChimp?
When you want your subscribers put into multiple groups based on different forms they submit on your website so that you can send them different content based on their interests.
For example, say you have four totally different opt-in forms on your website:
- subscribing to your newsletter
- receiving blog posts via email
- getting a free ebook guide you’ve written about a particular topic
- registering their interest in an upcoming product or event
You want to put subscribers into different groups and send them different content based on the form(s) they have filled in.
#1: Use groups
This is what MailChimp recommends. It’s also the best cost-wise as subscriber email addresses are only in your MailChimp account once rather than possibly once per opt-in form and being charged for up to four times the number of email addresses you have on your list.
However, MailChimp don’t intend you to use separate different forms for the different groups. Their default is to add checkboxes in a single opt-in form so that people can choose which groups to sign up to.
Most people running setting up multiple opt-in forms don’t want all these checkboxes to be seen, so hide them and check the correct group you want associated with each form behind the scenes.
This all sounds like a good way to handle things, but here’s the problem: if someone comes to your website and subscribes to your newsletter and then later sees your free ebook offer and fills in that form too, they will get an error message saying they’re already subscribed to the list, and will need to click a link to go into their MailChimp preferences to change the groups they are subscribed to.
This is not the most user-friendly way to do things, and would likely result in less subscribers in your various groups.
#2: Use multiple lists in MailChimp
This is more costly and the problem multiplies up by the number of different opt-in forms on your website. For some bloggers, they’re having different opt-in offers at the end of every blog post – this doesn’t scale in MailChimp.
Imagine if you also wanted to send an email to everyone. People who are on both lists would get it twice.
Some people tried messy workarounds to this duplication problem by manually combining their lists each month and recreating the groups.
#3: Subscribe everyone to everything in MailChimp
If you’re automatically sending out different ebooks and information on subscription, this could end up with a flood of emails that your subscribers didn’t want. While they could opt-out, it’s not ideal for anyone (especially if people complain).
#4: Show checkboxes on all opt-in forms
For example, add “Also subscribe me to ….” with a list below the main option. If you have a lot of different opt-in forms, this is overwhelming for people and might stop them from subscribing to anything. The general rule is to make forms as simple as possible. This is not scalable, but could work for simple cases where you have two groups (newsletter and blog posts, for example).
The ConvertKit Solution
ConvertKit was specifically built because of this group problem in MailChimp. With ConvertKit, you can set up as many different opt-in forms as you like and only pay for the total number of emails on your list.
Then, you can automatically or manually send out emails to people in your various groups, or to people who filled in a particular form, or people tagged with a particular behavior.
Since we’re experimenting with various opt-in forms here on cre8d and wanted first-hand experience with this newer email marketing tool, we recently moved from MailChimp to ConvertKit too.
Please note the ConvertKit button is an affiliate link.
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