Here’s when to use MailChimp or ConvertKit (based on your stage of business)
*You bet there are affiliate links in this post!
So you're on Squarespace and therefore the obvious choice seems to be to go with MailChimp for your email marketing platform because Squarespace and MailChimp have an integration right?
Well, honestly, not really.
Where you house your email list is really important and not a decision to make super lightly. (So job well done on reading this post and getting all educated on the topic!)
There are some pretty significant advantages/disadvantages to different email marketing platforms and I want you to know the facts before you settle on one for good.
I have two suggestions on which email platform to go with, for different situations, so keep reading to figure out which is the best fit for your specific situation!
Background: I’ve used both MailChimp and ConvertKit. I started with MailChimp and then switched over to ConvertKit after about a year I believe it was.
I've been on ConvertKit for a year now and have been a darn happy camper in that time. I've not once looked for another option since moving to ConvertKit, I'm super satisfied to say the least.
I suggest MailChimp for one reason only, it’s easy and free to get started, and to be completely honest, that’s pretty much the only reason.
Squarespace integrates with MailChimp meaning the set up in terms of your site is as simple as it could be. The issue with MailChimp is more what happens inside of MailChimp, the setup there is rather difficult for anything more than the bare bones basics.
MailChimp makes doing basic things very difficult or nearly impossible. (Sending an opt-in gift is harder than it should be, and tracking how well a certain opt-in in a certain place on your site is doing is near impossible.)
The benefit of MailChimp is its free up until the first 2,000 subscribers. The problem is, MailChimp double, triple, quadruple, etc. counts subscribers.
For example. Sally downloads your free opt-in gift, a month by month planner of what she should be doing in the months approaching her wedding, she’s put on the list of that opt-in gift. Sally also opts-in to your gift of a spreadsheet to estimate wedding costs and budget and is put on that list too.
Because Sally opted in for 2 different gifts, when you start paying for MailChimp after hitting 2,000 subscribers, you pay to have Sally as an email subscriber twice because she’s in 2 different lists (or more if Sally is a big fan an opts-in for more than 2 gifts.)
Yes, you heard that right, you could end up paying for Sally 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (you get the point) times every. Single. Month.
(Which raises the obvious question, what the heck kind of math is that MailChimp?)
MailChimps goal is to inflate your subscriber numbers to get you to 2,000 as soon as possible so you start paying, and once you do, your cost will be much greater than with, say ConvertKit, where you pay per subscriber, not per how many lists that subscriber is on.
So, why not just put all subscribers on one one list in MailChimp to avoid paying multiple times for the same person?
Know when you get an email that’s completely irrelevant to you? Someone’s trying to sell you on house insurance, meanwhile you’re renting and don’t even own a home? Unsubscribe!
When you separate your email list out into “sections” you can send them emails that are relevant to that specific subscriber. The more relevant emails you send, the better chance people will stay on your list, and you’ll have less unsubscribes over time.
This is especially important if you run a business which offers multiple services, provides info one more than one topic or has more than one target market.
You offer web design and copywriting? You’ll want to separate your email list.
You talk about Facebook Ads strategy and YouTube ads strategy? You’ll want to separate your email list.
You sell to both first time home buyers and people looking for an investment property?
You offer both high and low priced services?
You blog both about beauty and fitness?
You get the point.
Truly knowing your customers, knowing as much about them as possible greatly helps you provide them the content they actually need (and stops you from annoying them and them unsubscribing.)
So, 😂 bringing it back to what email platform you should pick!
There is massive value (and a lot of potential lost revenue) at stake if you can’t separate out your email list into different sections based on interest.
ConvertKit has you pay per subscriber. 1 subscriber truly equals paying for 1 subscriber.
Instead of doing multiple lists in ConvertKit, everyone is put on one master list and then tagged based on any information you’d like to gather on them.
You can then send emails to people tagged with a certain thing.
I’ll give an example to demonstrate.
In my business that might be, I now offer a course and have a whole bunch of students. If I want to give my past students discounts on future products, or tell them there’s been an update to the course which they get for free, I just make sure to tag them with “student” and then I can email my students and ensure that email only goes to past students, not my entire list.
Starting to see the benefit?
The downside of ConvertKit is it doesn’t have an automatic integration with Squarespace, so it’s slightly more effort to put on your site. The benefit is, using the back end of ConvertKit is wayyyy easier than using the back end of MailChimp in my opinion.
So honestly, MailChimp and ConvertKit are equal in effort of using I think. MailChimp is easier to set up, but more difficult to maintain. ConvertKit is more difficult to set up but easier to maintain.
Here’s the bottom line and my suggestion.
If you wanna be friendly to your budget to begin with, go with MailChimp and once you hit 2,000 subscribers, hop ship to ConvertKit. (At 2,000 you’re going to have to pay somewhere, and I’d rather you weren’t paying for Sally 4 times.)
If your business can handle paying for your email list from the start, and you want to set up on one system from the get-go and not need to move down the line, go with ConvertKit.
The downside to going with MailChimp and then switching is you have to transfer your email list over which is annoying and a time investment. I’d set aside about a day to do so.
(What’s involved with moving? You’ll need to move the list itself, find all of the opt-in locations on your site, take them down and put in ConvertKit opt-in areas, add in your free opt-in gifts to ConvertKit and then set up tagging subscribers based on interest.)
But, if you have more money than time, this is the way to go. No shame, that’s how I started.
I hope that helped y'all make your decision. If you have any questions on this one, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll get back to you!
*There's affiliate links in this post. If you click through one, I'll make a commission at no extra cost to you. My margarita fund thanks you, much appreciated!