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ConvertKit Review - The Newsletter Tool for Bloggers Coders

josep garcia

Nov 7, 2022

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!

You might have checked out the ConvertKit reviews offered by users online, only to find a bit of a mixed rating. Our review of ConvertKit is based on a methodical approach and uses our practical experience and knowledge of dozens of other simple and advanced marketing automation tools.

ConvertKit Review: Summary

Though ConvertKit does offer a freemium plan for those with under 1,000 subscribers, it is quite limited feature-wise. Their cheapest paid package starts at $15, though this is for marketers with fewer than 300 subscribers. 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 automation templates, 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.

300 SUBSCRIBERS

$15/MO

Includes unlimited emails. Discounts available for yearly plan.

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.

100,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$679/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:

ConvertKit lets you create simple landing pages, even if you don’t have your own website. This can be very convenient for social media campaigns. There are plenty of attractive landing page 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. This feature won ConvertKit a place on our list of the best email marketing services for Shopify.

Good deliverability:

Their deliverability rates have been consistently very good in our tests.

Offer paid newsletters:

ConvertKit helps you to monetize your newsletters by charging your readers for a copy of your newsletter. This can be a good way to add another revenue stream to your business. They also offer a “tip jar” feature, which gives your audience the chance to tip your content, which we think is a pretty cool feature!

It's pricey:

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

Poor design options:

There are a total of 9 email templates on offer and they’re all text-based. They should offer more design options to achieve better visual results.

Limited reporting:

Their reports cover 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 a 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 limited 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

There are 9 templates available and they are very 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, so we’d recommend taking a look at these email template builders.

Email Marketing Automation

You can create email sequences and workflow-based visual automations even on their most affordable plan ($15/month). After the user triggers an event (e.g. subscribes to a form, makes a purchase), 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 consistently very good in our 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.

Blocklist

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 Builder

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.

Customer 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

3.7/5

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, and products. Unfortunately, it gets pricey quickly.

How to use ConvertKit

ConvertKit is well known for its extremely user-friendly nature. So easy that once you sign in to your ConverKit platform, you are instantly presented with a “quick actions” toolbar on the right-hand side. Here you have the option to create a broadcast, form, landing page, snippet, or email template. Within Convertkit the term “snippet” refers to a reusable block of content designed to help you save time when your creating email campaigns.

To create an email campaign, select the “Broadcast” option. From here you are taken to a very basic email editor, which, as we mentioned earlier, could easily be mistaken for a basic plain text editor. Within the email editor, you will have the option to switch between the legacy editor and the new editor, although there’s no big difference between the two. In terms of email templates, it’s safe to say Converkit is very limited. You only have a total of 9 templates to choose from, one of which is a ‘text only’ option, the rest of the email templates are on the basic side. Alternatively, if these templates don’t suit your email marketing needs, you can import your own custom HTML. You can edit email templates from the dashboard, by clicking ‘email template’ from the quick actions tab.

ConvertKit’s landing page editor

How to create a landing page with ConvertKit:

      1. Click on the “Landing Pages & Forms” tab within the ConvertKit dashboard.
      2. Next, you’ll see a “create new” CTA, once you’ve clicked this you’ll be asked how you want to gather your subscribers, here you’ll be asked which landing page template you want to use, and luckily for you, there are over 50 templates for you to choose from.
      3. Now you can choose the landing page design that suits your marketing needs, whether that’s for Newsletters, Webinars, Profiles, etc.
      4. Then once you’ve found the landing page template you like, click “Choose” to start editing the design. Now you can add your content, branding, imagery, etc.
      5. You can preview your landing page before publishing it to make sure you’re happy with the overall layout and design.
      6. Once you are happy with the overall feel of it, click “Save & Publish.” Then you’ll be able to choose your domain name for your landing page.
      7. Later, if you need to go back and edit your chosen domain, landing page URL, or SEO settings, you can access and update all of this within the “Settings” tab.

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 (hence why we listed it as one of our Mailchimp alternatives).

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 only really effective when you are using the paid option, therefore it can get expensive pretty quickly. For this reason, we’d strongly suggest that you check out some ConvertKit 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

ConvertKit is a legit email marketing service for small businesses and creatives. It safely stores your customer data and offers a secure way to manage your subscribers and send out email campaigns.

Arrow Up

ConvertKit’s deliverability is consistently very good according to our bi-annual deliverability tests. It currently sits among the top 3 providers.

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.
07 Nov 2022 - General update
17 March 2022 - Added note about legitimacy
15 Nov 2021 - Added lower tier pricing for up to 300 subscribers
07 Oct 2021 - Score increased due to excellent deliverability rates
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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