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Why I Switched From Mailchimp To ConvertKit

If you are building your business online, then you know that email marketing is the cornerstone of your success. This means that you need to have a great email service provider (ESP) to help you carry out your email marketing strategy. 

I’ve been a Mailchimp customer for years but recently decided to make the switch to ConvertKit. There are two primary reasons I made the switch and one added bonus I didn’t know until I made it. 

As a coach, it’s important to have an email service provider that can meet your needs. What I wanted was a program that could do more advanced marketing segmentation but without the bells and whistles of a large CRM such as Infusionsoft. 

Without further ado, here are the 3 reasons why I’m glad I made the switch. 

1. Convertkit is a Subcriber-Centric Email Service Provider

First, you’ll need to know the difference between Subscriber-Centric and List-Centric ESP’s. 

List-Centric ESP’s like Mailchimp use lists as a way for you to automate giveaways. For example: if you want to do a webinar and you want to send automated messages to the people who sign up for it (which you will want to), then you need to create a new list in Mailchimp that is separate from the main mailing list you use.  Then you will create a separate automation sequence for those people on that new list.

Subscriber-Centric ESP’s like Convertkit do not use lists as a way for you to automate giveaways. In fact, they don’t have lists at all. They have tags and forms instead. To create a new automation for webinar participants in Convertkit you would create a new ‘form’ (which you would do from your new list in Mailchimp), then create a sequence that goes with that form (which Mailchimp calls Automation). Once you have those set up you would create a rule that says, ‘When some signs up for ‘Webinar A form’, enter them into, ‘Webinar A sequence’. 

Here’s why this is way better then using lists: 

 1. Save Yourself Money

Email service providers pricing structures work on the number of emails you have. The more emails you have the more you get charged. In Mailchimp if you have 100 people on your list then you will be charged for those 100 people. 

If you have 5 lists in Mailchimp with 100 people on each of them, then you will be charged for 500 people even if some of these people are duplicates because they signed up for multiple giveaways. 

---> THIS is the place where you are going to be charged more for using a list-centric ESP. <---

As you know, when using the internet to grow your business, you are always doing lots of giveaways such as webinars, free calls, challenges, free downloads and gifts, etc. When using a list-centric ESP like Mailchimp, you'll need a new list for every giveaway. This leaves you with a lot of lists!

Let’s say that Sarah is on your main list and Sarah loves the content you put out. Sarah signs up for your Webinar next week with the same email that she has on your main list. Even though Sarah is already on your main list and used the same email address to sign up for your webinar, you will be charged twice for Sarah because she is now on two of your lists. 

  2. Save Yourself Time

To combat this, after a webinar was over, I would download the list in a CSV file, upload it to my main list and use the ‘Groups’ feature in Mailchimp to designate who was on the webinar on my mail list. I would then have to go and delete the webinar list.  

This takes a lot of extra time. 

In ConvertKit the only thing I need to do is create a tag and tie it to the webinar form. Once that is done, everyone who signs up for my webinar (I use Leadpages to create webinar sign up pages), will be tagged, ‘Webinar A’ automatically, sent the sequence attached to that webinar and they will then be in my main database (no more downloading lists and uploading them). By removing lists completely, I can save the time of having to download and upload lists and delete them.

Let’s not forget that some giveaways (like on my website, blog or consistently promoted leadpages) are evergreen. Meaning, they are ongoing and therefore the list they are attached to will never be ‘done' like a webinar list.

So, not only would I have to check those lists periodically for new people on them, do the download/upload files again, but I would be consistently charged more because of the duplicates that would be created of having them on my main list as well. 

What a mess, right?  

I found it so frustrating! 

But now that I use ConvertKit and they subscriber-centric, I never have to do this again! Yahoo!!! 


Here's an example of how the tagging system works. When someone signs up to the form from my website called, 'The Ultimate Coaching Business Checklist', they get tagged with that same tag and put into a sequence that delivers them the Checklist and video series that goes along with it. There's no list to put them on, just a tag. If someone who signs up for this is already in my database then they aren't added twice, they just have the tag added to their profile and they are put in the sequence that I set so that I can deliver them what I promised.  

Tags & Sequences In Convertkit

2. It’s Easier To Do Advanced Marketing Segmentation

When you want to create a really personalized experience for your subscribers which helps them know, like and trust you faster because you are able to meet their needs, you need to be using segmentation in your email marketing. 

Here are a few examples of marketing segmentation in action: 

  • Sarah does not click the link to the webinar she signed up for, nor does she click the link for the replay of the webinar. Now you can email her (and others like her) specific messages to encourage watching the webinar before it is taken down. 
  • Sarah does click the link to check out your sales page but doesn’t buy. Now you can email her (and others like her) emails that answer objections and speak in more specific tone to the fact that she has a high level of interest. 
  • Sarah has been on Webinar A, Webinar B and in your most recent challenge. She is highly likely to become a customer or client as she is involved in a lot of your content. You can email Sarah (and others like her) to do a discovery call. 
  • Sarah has downloaded several opt-in’s related to a specific topic. You can email Sarah (and others like her) about a product (yours or someone else’s whom you may or may not be an affiliate of) that will help her in relation to the journey she is on. Nice!

You can see that when you track your email subscribers behaviours that you can gain powerful information that allows you to service them better which means they are happier and more likely to purchase from you when they decide they want to invest in solving that particular problem for them. 

If you are using a list-centric ESP then you are not able to collect all of that data because the lists don’t speak to each other. So if Sarah took certain action on Webinar A list, once I import her into my main list, it does not import the actions she took. I can’t track her past behaviour and mirror it with whatever happens on the main list. Therefore, the data is not conclusive and I can not serve Sarah the same way I could if I had all the data. 

Not to mention it's just a headache to be downloading and uploading lists constantly. 

3. It’s A Simple Layout 

Inside of ConvertKit it is a simple layout and I really like it. It is not overcomplicated and is very intuitive. It's important to note that ConvertKit is not set up for newsletters. Internet marketing has gone in the direction where people tend to open more 'real like' emails from people therefore they don't have newsletter type options like Mailchimp does. That means if having a newsletter is important to you, then ConvertKit is not the right match for you. 

This is the main header inside ConvertKit. Easy and simple. 

Convert Kit Header


Because I love Convertkit so much, I created a small course on how to use it strategically for your coaching business. If you want the course for free, invest in Convertkit through THIS LINK (yes, it's my awesome affiliate link). :) 

If you already have ConvertKit, you can grab the course here

Convert Kit Strategy Set Up For Coaches With Jennifer Trask

Happy Email Marketing, 

Jennifer Trask - First



Written by Jennifer Trask at 08:12

User Comments

Jennifer Trask

Diana Dee No, ConvertKit does not offer a free version. I would suggest switching right away should you want the criteria I spoke about in the blog because first, it will only cost you more time later when you are busy running your business to switch systems, second the benefits far outweigh the cost of the monthly system (meaning, you could probably make more money using the tagging right then not having it) and lastly, Mailchimp, if they are still priced the same way are not free when you want to use automation (which you should if you are building your list actively). It's only free if you are emailing not using automated messages when people sign up for something.

Also, fun addition, when you purchase ConvertKit via my affiliate link (in the post), you will get my ConvertKit Strategic Course For Coaches for free! Woo Hoo (See details here: https://jennifertrask.mykaj...

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Diana Dee

Does convertkit offer a free service up to 2000 subscribers like mailchimp? If not, would you suggest using mailchimp up to the 2000 point, then switch?

Jennifer Trask

@ryan All you need to do is use the tagging feature. As you build your list you will set a rule so that whenever people sign up for 'X' form they get tagged, 'X'. Then when you email out you can segment your list based on tags. You will only need 1 account for this, not 2.


What if you have two distinct audiences? In this incident would a list based email marketing company be better? The alternative is to have two separate accounts of ConvertKit, but that would cost more money overall than having one account with a company that can have separate lists, you think?

Jennifer Trask

Vanessa Grant Oltmann wonderful! I'm so glad it was helpful. I've had many clients make the switch and they love it!!

Vanessa Grant Oltmann

Thanks, Jennifer. This very useful video and blog posting saved me trying out both Mailchimp and Convertkit before making my decision. List-based vs. Subscriber decided me on Convertkit, and your examples were very helpful

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