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ConvertKit
3.5

ConvertKit Review - The Newsletter Tool for Bloggers Coders

josep
Professor

ConvertKit is a relatively new player in the email marketing software market. Their product targets professional bloggers as their goal is “to make email easier and more robust for professional bloggers like you”. Next to bloggers they also target  podcasters, course creators and YouTubers.

One of the things that stands out is their pricing. They don’t have a free plan and their cheapest package starts at $29, not low-cost at all. On paper, they appear to have really advanced features (e.g. landing page editor, email automations, etc.). And they claim to offer a really easy-to-use system, “easier to use than Mailchimp”, apparently.

But let’s take a close look at ConvertKit and its features to examine their system. Will it actually be as easy to use as they say?

Try ConvertKit: https://www.emailtooltester.com/out/convertkit Find a more detailed ConvertKit review here: https://www.emailtooltester.com/en/reviews/conver... ConvertKit Review - Find out its Pros & Cons 2017-07-04 https://img.youtube.com/vi/1LcBBLPwEWY/hqdefault.jpg

Try ConvertKit without risk for 30 days

1,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$29/MO

Includes unlimited emails

3,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$49/MO

Includes unlimited emails

5,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$79/MO

Includes unlimited emails

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$119/MO

Includes unlimited emails

25,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$199/MO

Includes unlimited emails

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$379/MO

Includes unlimited emails

> Compare prices with our cost calculator

Landing page editor:

Lets you create a simple landing page, even if you don’t have your own website. This can be very convenient for social media campaigns.

Flexible user-subscription management:

The tagging system makes it as easy as pie to add and remove subscribers from workflows.

Responsive support:

Their support team is helpful and (in our experience) they normally answer back really quickly.

It's pricy and there's no free trial:

There are more advanced tools (e.g. Active Campaign or GetResponse) that end up being cheaper. Also, there should really be a free trial, not just a 30-day refund.

Poor designs options:

Only 3 templates on offer and they look a bit outdated. They should offer more design options to achieve better visual results.

Registration forms are difficult to customize:

Adding fields requires messing with HTML code. This is certainly not beginner friendly and very unproductive.

Reports are lacking in depth:

They offer the basics: open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. They don’t even give you the bounce rate.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

Most features are easy to use and the navigation in the backend is logical. However, sometimes you need to mess with HTML code (e.g. to add extra registration form fields).

Newsletter Creation

Editor

Although the editor is fast and self-explanatory, it is very basic and abstract (i.e. no inline editing). We expected it to have more options, but you are limited to: regular text, bulleted and ordered lists, horizontal lines, simple images and file uploads. For example, we’d like to see additional visual display options, video and gif integration or social media buttons.

Personalization

yes

If/Then/Else logic is available but it is not easy to use as it’s coding based. However, if you get it, it’ll do the job.

Email types

Classic newsletters, sequences (autoresponders), automations, A/B testing (for subject lines only) and landing page creation.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

It only has 3 templates and they are too basic. For example, you can’t add CTA buttons, grouped images or get column-based layouts. In short, really limited when creating visual content. However, they are responsive. If needed, you can also add you own coded template.

Email Automation

After the user triggers an event (e.g. clicks a link or subscribes to a form), you can customize your communications by adding actions (e.g. add a tag, subscribe them to sequences, etc). But this process is not very visual, and creating complex email marketing workflows can be challenging.

List Management

The tagging system is really flexible when adding or removing users from campaigns and email sequences. This makes it easy to segment your subscribers. However, managing a large amount of tags can become difficult as it’s not very visual.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process

The registration forms are too simple and there are only 3 available designs. Adding more fields (e.g. phone number) to an existing form is complicated as you need to use HTML.

The forms are available in Javascript, HTML and there is a WordPress integration. Additionally, you can send users a ConvertKit URL where your form will be hosted.

Reports and Analysis

They aren’t mind blowing but it comes with the basics: open rates, clicks and unsubscribes. There is no heatmap, ecommerce conversion tracking or social media report. Google Analytics isn’t integrated either. Also, it’s rather strange that the bounce rate is missing.

Languages

Only available in English.

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

ConvertKit doesn’t have a spam testing feature, but they do test emails in the background and flag them if necessary. There is no design testing either, you’d need to use an external solution for that.

Bounce Management

yes

Hard bounces are flagged and no further emails will be sent to them. Soft bounces will eventually be classified as hard bounces if the email address can’t be reached after several attempts.

Blacklist

no

Not available.

Storage available for data and images

unlimited

There is no apparent limit. However, they don’t have a media database where you can manage your uploaded files.

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

SPF and DKIM are supported. Side note: ConvertKit uses external mail servers (Mailgun), which is not a very common approach in this industry, but in our tests everything worked perfectly fine.

Own Domain

no

Not available.

Different levels of account access

no

Not available.

Integrations

yes

ConvertKit has about 50 integrations (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce, SumoMe, ConvertPlug, etc.). Please note that some of the “integrations” they mention on their website need to be set up manually by copying and pasting HTML code.

Landing Page Editor

yes

Although it’s really basic, it is a nice add-on. However, it’s really feature-limited if you compare it with some competitors’ (e.g. GetResponse).

Support

4.5/5

In our experience, their support was always fast and came back with coherent explanations. You can contact them via ticket (email). Additionally, they also provide useful tutorials, but some of them could be more detailed.

Overall rating

3.5/5

ConvertKit is missing crucial features (e.g. a good template selection) and sometimes it can be hard to use (e.g. adding additional fields to forms). On the bright side, we really liked everything to do with list management. Unfortunately, it’s a bit pricy for what it offers.

There are several areas where ConvertKit does quite well. For example, support is quick, friendly and effective, we can’t complain here. We also liked the flexibility when managing subscribers via its tagging system. This is certainly something bloggers (and digital marketers) can take full advantage of whilst targeting communications to their audience.

ConvertKit ships with a landing page editor that will let you collect subscribers even if you don’t own a website, great for social media campaigns. However, we have to say that we are a bit disappointed by the available designs and the landing page system is also limited, feature-wise. Other tools such as GetResponse or MailerLite offer much more here, and by the way… they are even cheaper.

Moreover, ConvertKit has some flaws that you should be aware of. Creating registration forms is fine as long as you don’t need to add additional fields or want to tweak your design as you’ll need to use HTML & CSS – not beginner-friendly at all.

On top of it all, ConvertKit is actually pretty expensive. So we’d strongly suggest you check some alternatives before choosing them as your next email marketing platform.

 

Try ConvertKit during 30 days without risk

They use Amazon Web Storage (AWS), which has server locations in the USA and many other locations around the world. Their email servers they use are from Mailgun – they are based out of Illinois and Virginia.

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josep
Josep believes a good digital marketing strategy isn’t complete without emails, which is why he's glad to help businesses and individuals through EmailToolTester. If you can’t find find him testing newsletter tools, he's probably munching popcorn in front of Netflix.

Latest Updates

06 Jul 2017 - Added FAQ about server location
27 Jun 2017 - Initial Tests & Review
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  • Charlene Marsh

    Their support is not helpful at all. After assuring me that moving from mailchimp to convertikit was “easy” and that “We’ll get it working for you! :)” they refused to help when I ran into problems. They moved 171 subscribers but refused to move the whole list of 918 subscribers. Instead, they referred me to their so-called experts who want $500+ to develop a marketing strategy(which I don’t even want) after wasting a week of my time.

    • BarrettBrooks

      Sorry you had a poor initial experience, Charlene! That’s not at all how we want new customers to feel and it’s certainly not the kind of customer experience we’re known for.

      We’ve gotten you all taken care of and indeed have it working for you :). Switching between any two tools is bound to create kinks, but hopefully you feel taken care of now and from here on out with us.

      Josep — thanks for the review. The one thing I’ll add here about our pricing is that we’re an intentionally small team that will always stay independent. Having pricing that reflects the value our creators (customers) get from email is what allows us to continue building a great product and taking great care of people.

      – Barrett Brooks, Director of Marketing at ConvertKit