ConvertKit Review 2021: Is it Worth the Cost?

by Ashley Barnett
*Some of the links below may be from our sponsors. My full disclosure statement.*

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice blogger who’s new to email marketing or a seasoned pro; you’ve probably heard of ConvertKit.

With over 100,000 users and a focus on bloggers and content creators, ConvertKit is one of the most popular email marketing software options out there. Plus, when you compare ConvertKit to other email marketing options like MailerLite or Mailchimp, it’s clear that ConvertKit has a more modern feel.

Now, ConvertKit isn’t the cheapest email service around. However, many feel the price is justified as they make sequences, automations, and list management so functional. Plus, the free trial lets you get started and then switch to a paid plan when you can afford it.

Time to examine the features, prices, pros, and cons in this ConvertKit review.

ConvertKit’s Features

An email list is one of the most valuable assets you have as a blogger. After all, readers who choose to subscribe to your blog are likely your most dedicated ones, and a properly utilized email list is an excellent source of revenue and traffic.

To make the most out of your list, an email service needs to have the right features. ConvertKit isn’t an exception, but thankfully, this email provider has an impressive number of features that help simplify email marketing,

1. Email Campaign Builder

ConvertKit was built with bloggers in mind, and this is apparent when you look at how easy creating email campaigns is.

With ConvertKit, you create broadcasts — which are one-time emails you immediately send to your subscribers or schedule for later.

It’s easy to choose which subscribers receive a broadcast, and you can quickly add recipient filters when creating a broadcast. Once you’re ready to write your email, ConvertKit lets you start from scratch or choose an existing email template to work with.

Overall, ConvertKit’s email builder makes it easy to style emails to match your vision. You can also create content snippets that are reusable blocks of content you insert into future emails to save time. 

It’s worth noting that templates are pretty minimalist in terms of design. This means ConvertKit is ideal for avid writers and bloggers and is less appealing if you want email templates that look pretty.

Ultimately, ConvertKit has one of the most beginner-friendly email builders around. The closest competitor is probably MailerLite, but ConvertKit’s content snippet feature is a massive, time-saving plus.

2. Tags and Segments

Many email providers have a linear process for grouping subscribers into distinct segments. In a nutshell, you build one massive email list and then create specific segments based on criteria, like when someone signed up or what signup source they came from.

ConvertKit is slightly different. You still have a central email list of subscribers. However, you can divide subscribers into tags and segments.

Tags help you organize subscribers any way you want. You can tag existing subscribers who have purchased from your website, clicked specific links, attended a webinar, or have certain interests. 

Segments let you organize tags, almost like creating a folder on your computer. The advantage of using segments is that you can use them to quickly filter your subscribers to only send content to relevant readers.

For example, you could create a segment that contains subscribers who signed up from a specific form and have purchased a product from you, narrowing down that segment to the readers with high purchase intent.

Similarly, you can segment to exclude certain subscribers, which is useful if you’re promoting a product but want to remove subscribers who’ve already purchased.

This two-step system is slightly different than most email services you’ll try. However, once you get the hang of it, ConvertKit’s tag and segment system offers an impressive amount of control over your email list.

Related: What You Need to Know Before Starting an Email List

3. Sequences

While Broadcasts are emails that go out once, Sequences send the same content out over and over to each new reader who triggers an event — such as subscribing to your newsletter or making a purchase.

On ConvertKit, you can create sequences to make your life easier. A sequence is a set of automated emails. Common examples of sequences include:

  • Welcoming new subscribers
  • Promoting an evergreen product or service, like an ebook or coaching
  • Taking subscribers through multiple pieces of content, like a seven-day challenge

Sequencing helps save time, and automation as a whole can be extremely profitable if you do it right. I mean, think about it: once you write a single sequence, you can use it to funnel the right readers to your best content or products for years to come!

You can manually add subscribers to a sequence once you create it. Alternatively, you can automatically add subscribers by setting up automations with the visual automation tool.

ConvertKit’s visual automation tool lets you create custom paths that subscribers follow to end up in the right sequence. You can create multiple entry points to start your automation, like adding signup forms, interests, or tags. Once you define the entry points, you can add three other parameters to your automation:

  • Events: Pull subscribers forward to a point in your automation regardless of where they were. For example, you can pull subscribers who complete a purchase to a thank you email.
  • Actions: Direct a subscriber to the next automation step once a previous step is complete. For example, an action can add subscribers to a welcome email sequence if they use the signup form on your website.
  • Conditions: A condition asks a yes or no question and decides where to send subscribers. For example, you can use conditions to check if a subscriber has a specific tag or not, like being a past purchaser.

This might sound complex on paper, but once you play around with the visual automation tool, it’s incredibly intuitive. 

4. Forms and Landing Pages

To send emails you need subscribers — and subscribers come from Forms and Landing Pages.

With ConvertKit, it’s easy to convert readers to subscribers by embedding signup forms on your website. Currently, you can use four different display formats:

  • Inline
  • Modal
  • Slide-in
  • Sticky bar

ConvertKit has eight design options for forms. Forms are generally lightweight, and you edit colors, text, and add your own images to create a form that matches your blog’s style. Eight designs is admittedly quite sparse, but with some editing, you can create a form that gets the job done.

ConvertKit also lets you create landing pages that are hosted by ConvertKit or your own WordPress domain. Landing pages are useful for capturing emails. However, landing pages have more room for creativity, and are useful for promoting events, product releases, and building waitlists.

ConvertKit has over 40 landing page designs, all of which can be edited. This depth is nice considering the lack of form options, and if you sell products or want to promote an event, ConvertKit landing pages are a must-try feature.

5. Reporting

Monitoring how readers engage with your broadcasts and sequences is an easy way to track how captivating your emails are. With ConvertKit reports, you can view:

  • Open and click rates
  • Total recipients and unsubscribers
  • Link clicks, as well as who clicked them, which helps with tagging
  • Number of subscribers who completed a sequence

This is incredibly basic reporting. Link click tracking is the most powerful feature since it lets you tag subscribers for future email blasts. 

If you’re looking for more granularity, ConvertKit definitely isn’t for you. If you’re a blogger who doesn’t require extensive reporting, ConvertKit will give you what you need.

6. Integrations

For basic email marketing, you probably don’t need to worry about what third-party platforms integrate with ConvertKit. However, if you’re serious about email marketing or dabble in ecommerce, integrations are an important consideration.

Unsurprisingly, ConvertKit doesn’t drop the ball when it comes to integrations. There are hundreds of possible integrations across categories like:

  • Lead capture
  • Ecommerce
  • Affiliate programs
  • Memberships & courses
  • Surveys
  • Giveaways
  • Email verification

In other words, if there’s a popular integration you have in mind, there’s a pretty strong chance it works with ConvertKit.

These integrations are critical if you sell products. For example, when someone purchases one of my courses it automatically adds them to my email list and sends out a series of emails that helps guide them through the process of taking the course.

ConvertKit Pricing

It wouldn’t be a fair ConvertKit review without tackling the slight elephant in the room: pricing.

ConvertKit has recently gone freemium, meaning you can try out the platform for free if you have under 1,000 subscribers. The free plan also has every feature you need, minus automation and integrations.

The lack of automation in a free trial is unfortunate, especially since MailerLite offers basic automation for free users. However, the free plan has enough functionality to test if you enjoy using ConvertKit.

For paid plans, ConvertKit Creator starts at $29 per month, or $25 per month if you pay annually:

Creator Pro starts at $59 per month and offers more advanced reporting, priority support, and a few other features. For most bloggers, this is probably overkill.

A downside of ConvertKit is certainly pricing. At 3,000 subscribers, you’re looking at $49 per month. At 5,000, you’re paying $79.

The bottom line is that ConvertKit is slightly more expensive than email services like MailerLite. This is probably the biggest hurdle for beginner bloggers to accept, and it’s why some bloggers choose cheaper ConvertKit alternatives.

However, research shows that email marketing returns $42 for every $1 spent. If you learn how to leverage your email list, it’s actually a revenue source, not a cost.

My advice is to start with ConvertKit’s free plan to see if you enjoy it. When you’re ready, you can always upgrade your plan and add in automation to take your email marketing efforts to the next level!

Pros and Cons of ConvertKit

If you’re still struggling to decide if ConvertKit is right for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

ConvertKit was built by bloggers for bloggers, and this shines through when you consider ConvertKit’s pros:

  • Beautiful and intuitive email builder
  • In-depth tagging and segmenting options
  • Robust landing pages
  • Comprehensive automation features for paid users

As for the downsides, most of ConvertKit’s weaknesses relate to cost and design depth:

  • Expensive monthly plans
  • Lack of design options for forms and email templates
  • Extremely basic reporting

ConvertKit Alternatives

If you decide against using ConvertKit, that’s totally fine. However, you should still use some form of email marketing or start building your email list. Trust me, your future self will thank you!

Some viable ConvertKit alternatives worth considering include:

  • MailerLite: One of the most affordable email options around. Plus, the free plan includes automation!
  • MailChimp: Ideal for serious email marketers who want in-depth reporting and more e-commerce functionality.
  • ActiveCampaign: One of the best email services for automation. Pricing starts at $9 per month for 500 subscribers.

Hopefully, one of these options will help you make the most out of your email list if you don’t stick with ConvertKit!

Related: ConvertKit vs MailerLite vs MailChimp: Which is Better?

Summary

If you’re a blogger who feels intimidated by email marketing, it’s hard to find a better option than ConvertKit.

With an intuitive email builder, genius segmenting system, and powerful automation, ConvertKit lets you create email campaigns that grow your blog’s bottom line and readership. There’s also a wealth of tutorials on their website and an incredibly responsive support team if you need a helping hand.

A lack of templates and slightly pricey plans are downsides. If you can afford the price and don’t mind a more minimalist feel for your emails, these cons are easily overlooked. Plus, you might find that ConvertKit helps you unlock profitable email marketing, making the monthly cost money well spent.

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