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ConvertKit Review - The Newsletter Tool for Bloggers Coders

josep garcia

May 17, 2021

Professor

ConvertKit is a relatively new player on the email marketing software scene. Their product targets professional bloggers, podcasters, course creators and YouTubers. They want to help creators connect with their fans, and earn a living through the use of email marketing.

It sounds like it could offer some pretty cool niche features that would appeal to such a target group. Let's find out if this is actually the case in this ConvertKit review!

ConvertKit Review: Summary

Though ConvertKit recently introduced a freemium plan for those with under 1,000 subscribers, it is quite limited feature-wise. Their cheapest paid package starts at $29, so not low-cost at all, which is surprising when their target is solopreneurs. An interesting niche feature is that you can sell digital products and subscriptions, not something available on other email marketing platforms.

On paper, they appear to have really advanced features (e.g. landing page editor, email automations, digital products online store, etc.), but how do ConvertKit actually perform? We’ll also see whether their claim that their system is “easier to use than Mailchimp”, is true.

Let’s take a close look at ConvertKit and its features!

Try ConvertKit for free: https://www.emailtooltester.com/out/convertkit Find our detailed written ConvertKit review here: https://www.emailtooltester.com/en/... ConvertKit Review: Is it worth it for you? 2020-08-19 https://img.youtube.com/vi/g3ty-VtaWj4/hqdefault.jpg

Try ConvertKit for free

1,000 SUBSCRIBERS

0/MO

Free plan doesn't include automations or reports.

1,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$29/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

3,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$49/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

5,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$79/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$119/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

25,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$199/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$379/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

When you purchase a paid plan, they’ll migrate your lists into their system at no extra cost.

You can always check our pricing comparison tool to see how ConvertKit stack up against the competition. Or check our pricing guide to find out how each plan’s features vary.

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. There are plenty of attractive templates, and it’s a big plus that you can use your own custom domain, even on the free plan.

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 really quickly.

Offer paid newsletters:

ConvertKit lets you charge readers for a copy of your newsletter. This can be a good way to add another revenue stream to your business.

It's pricey:

There are more advanced tools (e.g. GetResponse or Sendinblue) that end up being cheaper.

Poor design options:

Only 3 templates on offer and they’re all text-based. They should offer more design options to achieve better visual results.

Reports are lacking in depth:

They offer the basics: open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes. However, they don’t include click maps, geo-tracking, or 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 format emails).

Newsletter Creation

Editor

Although the editor is fast and self-explanatory, it is very basic (much like a text editor you’d use when sending regular email). 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. Though they’ve recently introduced an updated editor – which includes videos, Spotify songs and CTA buttons – we’d still like to see additional visual display options for creating columns, GIF integration or featured products.

Personalization

yes

If/Then/Else logic is available, but it is not easy to use as it’s code based. However, if you get it, it’ll do the job. The editor also lets you change email content using conditionals, giving your readers a more personalized experience

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 grouped images or get column-based layouts. In short, really limited when creating visual content. However, they are responsive. You can now upload HTML code to create your own templates, which is something.

Email Automation

You can create email sequences, and also workflow-based visual automations. 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).

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.

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

You can create embedded, pop-up and slide-in forms, as well as landing pages. Forms are easy to edit via their visual editor, and there are a handful of nice designs to choose from.

Deliverability

ConvertKit’s deliverability rates have been very good in our latest tests.

Reports and Analysis

It comes with just 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, there is no 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

yes

You can customize the domain for landing pages and contact forms but not for tracked URLs within an email.

Different levels of account access

yes

You can invite admins and team members to your account on the Creator Pro plan.

Integrations

yes

ConvertKit has about 90 integrations (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce, SumoMe, ConvertPlug, etc.). Please note that some “integrations” they mention on their website need to be set up manually by copying and pasting HTML code.

Landing Page Editor

yes

The landing page editor provides a wide selection of modern templates, and there’s no limit to how many you can create. However, the options to modify the design are limited, and the usability is very poor, especially when you compare the landing page builder to GetResponse’s or MailerLite‘s. One good thing is you can add your own domain, even on the free plan.

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) or live chat. 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 email template selection and spam and design testing). On the bright side, we really liked everything to do with list management, landing pages and products. Unfortunately, it is a bit pricey.

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 comes with a landing page editor that will let you collect subscribers even if you don’t own a website, which is great for social media campaigns. Their new commerce feature, which allows you to sell digital products and subscriptions, is pretty cool, and not something you’ll see in other email marketing tools.

However, ConvertKit is also pretty expensive and not the easiest to use, so we’d strongly suggest you check out some alternatives before choosing them as your next email marketing platform.

 

Try ConvertKit for free

You can see why ActiveCampaign is our top ConvertKit alternative in this detailed comparison.

Not sure that ConvertKit is right for you? Use our Smart Finder to see which newsletter tool matches your requirements.

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.

Arrow Up

Despite the claim, we wouldn’t say ConvertKit was better than Mailchimp. Their email editor lets them down, and they just don’t have as many features as Mailchimp. You can see our full ConvertKit vs Mailchimp comparison for more information.

Arrow Up

Yep! As long as you’re managing less than 1,000 subscribers, and you don’t need access to any of the features available in the Creator or Creator Pro plans, you can stay on the freemium plan for as long as you like.

Arrow Up
josep garcia
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 him testing newsletter tools, he's probably munching popcorn in front of Netflix.
17 may 2021 - General update
19 Aug 2020 - New video review added
15 Apr 2020 - Prices updated to include free plan
1 Feb 2019 - Review updated
7 Jan 2019 - Deliverability rating updated
20 Mar 2018 - Deliverability rating added
06 Jul 2017 - Added FAQ about server location
27 Jun 2017 - Initial Tests & Review
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