ConvertKit Review 2019: Features, Pricing Tutorials & Comparisons

ConvertKit Review
ConvertKit is an affordable email marketing and automation platform designed specifically for creatives like bloggers, vloggers podcasters and online course creators. In this review you'll learn about all the features, pricing options and ultimately if ConvertKit is the right option for your business.
Free for 14 days

Pricing Satisfaction

4.7/5
4.7/5

Their prices are some of the most affordable on the market.

Product Satisfaction

4.4/5
4.4/5

Most people were satisfied with the features available

Customer Support

4.3/5
4.3/5

They offer high quality support and a moderately fast response.

pros-3
  • VERY easy to use platform
  • Comes with full marketing automation
  • Great email deliverability
  • Extremely affordable pricing
cons
  • Lacking some automation cababilities
  • Missing useful contact information

In this ConvertKit review, I'm going to do something a little different and attempt the impossible by convincing you to NOT sign up for an account!

It's not going to be easy, but I'll try my best.

After all, don't you just hate reading reviews that are clearly biased toward the product?

I know I do.

I'm also going to be upfront and tell you that we use ConvertKit, however that's not to say it's a good fit for everyone!

This review is perfect for you if:

  • You don't have an email marketing provider
  • You have an email marketing provider but it's not great
  • You have an email marketing provider but it's overly complicated

At the end, you'll have a chance to leave your own opinion of what you think of ConvertKit so stick around for that.

This is an extensive review, so feel free to use the navigation in the sidebar to skip to the parts you're most interested in.

Or if you're on mobile, use the table of contents below.

Is ConvertKit Right For Me?

When Nathan Barry first created ConvertKit, I believe he wanted to design something that was easy for everyone to use.

At the same time he wanted to have the same features seen in most CRMs (customer relationship management) at the time like Salesforce, Hubspot, and InfusionSoft.

So, keeping this in mind…

ConvertKit Is Right For You If:

  • You're a blogger, vlogger or podcaster
  • Your technical skills are beginner to intermediate
  • You sell your own products
  • Email marketing is important to you
  • You want a simple marketing automation solution
  • You already have tools that integrate with ConvertKit
  • You want to spend less than $100/month

ConvertKit Is NOT Right For You If:

  • Your technical skills are at expert level
  • You want an advanced marketing automation solution
  • You don't create any online content
  • Email marketing is NOT important to you

ConvertKit's Mission

I reached out to Nathan and this is what he had to say about his reason for starting ConvertKit:

Fast forward to today and this is their current mission:

If this mission doesn't resonate with you, there's really no need to continue reading this ConvertKit review.

Otherwise, if it lines up with who you are and the business you're building, then read on…

ConvertKit Features & Tutorials

Straight up, ConvertKit is an email marketing solution for content creators, with a few added extras.

Here is everything you can do with your ConvertKit account as of this year:

  • Create opt-in forms and landing pages
  • Send email broadcasts
  • Create automation sequences
  • See opt-in and email performance reports
  • Manage contact records
  • Integrate with e-commerce providers and take payments

If you're familiar with any of the available CRM's like Salesforce or InfusionSoft, then try to imagine ConvertKit as being a more affordable and simplified version of these.

ConvertKit Opt-In Forms

ConvertKit Forms

If there was ever an area ConvertKit could afford to spend more time on, it would be improving their opt-in form and landing page builder.

When creating a form, initially you have 2 choices:

  1. Inline (embed it directly on your site)
  2. Modal (popup)

Next up, you have 3 styles to choose from:

  1. Clean
  2. Full
  3. Minimal
ConvertKit Form Styles

Once you've chosen the style you like, the next step is to edit design and settings using the panel on the right-hand side.

The design editor is really basic and doesn't allow for a lot of customization. However, with that being said you can make further changes by using their built-in CSS editor as pointed to below.

Convertkit CSS forms

How To Embed ConvertKit Forms On Your Website

There are 4 main ways to embed a ConvertKit form on your website:

  1. Javascript (manual)
  2. HTML (manual)
  3. WordPress plugin
  4. Third Party Platform (eg. ClickfunnelsLeadPages)
How to embed a Convertkit form

Because most people reading this will use WordPress, I'll take you through a quick tutorial for adding a form to your sidebar.

How To Add A ConvertKit Form To Your WordPress Sidebar

Step 1: Install the free ConvertKit plugin 

Step 2: Connect your ConvertKit API key and API secret

Step 3: Add the Widget to your sidebar and select your ConvertKit form

Final Step: Check to make sure the form looks the way you want in the sidebar. Any changes you make to the design in your ConvertKit account will automatically appear on your website.

ConvertKit Sidebar widget

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to embedding and using ConvertKit forms.

In fact, most people tend to use third-party apps like Unbounce, LeadPages, and ClickFunnels to build landing pages that host ConvertKit forms.

Speaking of landing pages, ConvertKit also has those as well.

ConvertKit Landing Pages

Definitely not my favorite ConvertKit feature.

ConvertKit doesn't offer a great range of options, however the ones they do offer (3 versions) are simple and easy to edit.

ConvertKit Landing Pages

Landing pages follow the exact same setup steps, just with different editing options.

For example, by adding a background image and a picture of myself, I can turn this landing page…

ConvertKit Landing page

Into this…

Not bad for 1 minute of work!

Even still, that's about the extent at which you can edit ConvertKit landing pages, without having to custom code with CSS.

How To Embed ConvertKit Landing Pages On Your Site

When it comes to embedding, you have 2 choices:

  1. Host them through ConvertKit (like this one)
  2. Host them on your website using the WordPress plugin

Adding a landing page to your WordPress site is easy.

Step 1: Add a new WordPress PAGE (not a post).

Step 2: Select the landing page you want to use below the page editor.

Step 3: Publish your page and check to make sure it appears correctly.

Now you can start directing people towards your new landing page.

What I like About ConvertKit Forms & Landing Pages

  • Quick and easy to setup
  • Easy to embed on a WordPress website
  • They integrate with many third party landing page builders

What I Don't Like About ConvertKit Forms & Landing Pages

  • Not a lot of prebuilt options
  • Further customization requires CSS

Summary

I think this is an area that ConvertKit can afford to spend a little more time and energy on.

The reason why I think they haven't at this stage is because of the sheer number of existing landing page builders that do a better job.

Instead of competing against these other tools, it's probably easier to just integrate with them.

If you're looking for a more powerful solution to building landing pages, you're better off using a tool like ClickFunnels or LeadPages.

Even still, it's a very easy feature to use. I'm giving it a score of 8/10.

ConvertKit Email Broadcasts

ConvertKit Broadcasts

One feature that doesn't disappoint is the email broadcast editor in ConvertKit.

In other words the tool you use to send out emails to your list.

They got this right for 3 reasons:

  1. It's super easy to use
  2. It's easy to resend to anyone who doesn't open
  3. The emails look like what you would send to a friend

Other things you can do when sending broadcasts:

  • Advanced filtering of recipients
  • Clone broadcasts
  • Create custom email templates
  • Easily preview broadcasts
  • Personalization options (eg. insert first name)
  • Broadcast scheduling
  • And much more

ConvertKit & GDPR

One of the things ConvertKit jumped on nice and quickly was the whole debacle around GDPR.

There's an easy-to-use filtering option that allows you to leave out anyone located n the European Union, as shown below:

ConvertKit GDPR

This way, if you're worried about sending marketing emails to anyone in the EU, ConvertKit makes it easy to leave those people out.

What I Like About The Broadcast Editor

  • Easy to use
  • Large range of filters
  • Ability to send follow up to unopens
  • Decent deliverability (better than most I've tried)

What I Don't Like About The Broadcast Editor

  • I wish there were more prebuilt templates
  • Not a lot of personalization options

Summary

If you're looking for a simple broadcast editor that rivals MailChimp, then ConvertKit scores high marks.

The one annoying thing I had to do was design my own custom email template using CSS and so I wish they had more prebuilt templates to choose from.

Because it's an easy to use platform, I'm giving it a score of 8/10.

ConvertKit Sequences

ConvertKit Sequences

Next up let's talk about building email sequences inside ConvertKit.

In case this is the first time you have heard of this term, let me explain it in one sentence.

Email sequences allow you to automatically send out a series of emails to anyone subscribed to the specified sequence.

There are 2 ways to create sequences with ConvertKit:

  1. Under the Sequences dashboard
  2. Through the Automation Builder

This is how to create a sequence in the main sequence dashboard:

Create ConvertKit Sequences

And this is how you create a sequence in the Automation Builder…

ConvertKit Sequences

Creating a new sequence is easy and like most of the tools in ConvertKit, it's quite intuitive.

Below I've pointed to the 3 key options:

  1. Add Email (add a new email to the sequence)
  2. Status (set to draft or published)
  3. When to send (set a time delay between each email in the sequence)

You can also preview each email and set filters if you don't want certain people seeing certain emails…

After creating all of your emails for the sequence the next section to check out are the settings.

The settings allow you to:

  • Turn certain days off for sending emails
  • Set a default time to send emails
  • Choose a sender email address
  • Set an email template
  • Setup filtering options to exclude certain subscribers

And finally you have reports which allow you to see:

  • Unconfirmed contacts
  • Subscribers & unsubscribes
  • Email open rate
  • Email click through rate

What I Like About ConvertKit Sequences

  • Clean and easy to use interface
  • Intuitive email editor
  • Easy to read reporting
  • You can apply tags to links

What I Don't Like About ConvertKit Sequences

  • Only contains the bare minimum options

Summary

I've created sequences in almost every email marketing provider including Aweber, MailChimp, Ontraport and InfusionSoft and by far ConvertKit is the most intuitive, especially for someone who isn't very technical.

Although it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of an InfusionSoft or ActiveCampaign, I'm okay with that. Sometimes having too many options can cause unwanted confusion.

I'm giving it a score of 9/10.

ConvertKit Automations

ConvertKit Automations

The next feature that seems to be getting upgraded quite often is the Automation Editor.

This works by allowing you to set up rules that are automatically applied to any subscriber.

For example, let say someone joins your list to get a certain freebie/lead magnet and you want them to be sent a specific sequence of emails.

That would look something like this:

Now let's say you want to do something more complex like if someone buys a 4-week program from you and instead of sending them the first lesson right away, you want them to wait until the end of the month.

That would look something like this:

It's all quite easy to use and just requires a little creative thinking at first.

The first step is to choose 1 of 4 events that triggers the automation sequence:

  1. Joins a form
  2. Is added to a tag
  3. Filled out a custom field
  4. Makes a purchase

You're also able to select multiple starting triggers to run at the same time:

ConvertKit Automation

When you click on the “+” button, it will bring up a form with 3 options:

  1. Event (tag added/removed, product purchased, date occurs and custom field)
  2. Action (Email sequence, add/remove a tag, apply a delay, move subscriber, set a custom field)
  3. Condition (has a tag, filled out a custom field)

What I Like About The Automation Editor

  • Very intuitive
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Well laid out in a visual manner
  • Decent number of options

What I Don't Like About The Automation Editor

  • There could be more options although I'm sure they're coming

Summary

When it comes to creating marketing automation sequences, ConvertKit has done a great job in simplifying the process.

Although right now the range of rules you have available is small, it's easily enough for 90% of online businesses.

Because of this I'm giving it a score of 9/10.

ConvertKit Subscribers

ConvertKit subscribers

The last feature worth mentioning in this ConvertKit review are the contacts records.

This shows all the information for each of the contacts that have subscribed to your list.

When you open up a contact record, you can see the following:

  • All fields they've submitted
  • Location
  • Tags
  • Email history
  • Sequences (and the status)
  • Forms they've filled out
  • Purchases they've made

What I Like About The Contact Records

  • Easy to read
  • Easy to manage
  • You can see the status of each email
  • Easy to manually add new fields
  • I like how they display the contacts location

What I Don't Like About The Contact Records

  • Not as much information as other CRMs
  • No way to resend emails

Summary

Although you don't get to see a lot of information in the contact records, what you do see is nicely laid out and easy to manage.

Even still I would like to see this feature expanded upon some more.

For that reason I'm giving it a 7.5/10.

ConvertKit Comparisons

When I polled over 13,000 people inside our private Facebook group to ask them who they think are ConvertKit's main competition, these 3 tools came up most often:

  1. MailChimp
  2. Active Campaign
  3. Aweber

ConvertKit Vs MailChimp

Quick note: ConvertKit wrote a guide called 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Switch From MailChimp To ConvertKit, which is an interesting read when you get the chance.

To make the decision as easy as possible for you, I'm going to break down the pros and cons of MailChimp in relation to ConvertKit.

MailChimp Pros

  • Easy to get started
  • Drag and drop email editor
  • Decent customer support
  • Affordable for beginners
  • Better opt-in form and landing page builder

MailChimp Cons

  • A slow and clunky user interface
  • Limited marketing automation
  • Not very intuitive
  • Limited e-commerce options
  • Poor email deliverability

Who Wins?

MailChimp has one thing and one thing only going for itself and that's it brand.

As far as usability goes, it's not very intuitive. Maybe it's okay for when you first start your business but eventually, you're going want to do more.

So who wins this fight?

ConvertKit wins by a long shot.

ConvertKit Vs ActiveCampaign

After MailChimp, ActiveCampaign is the next tool most people contemplate choosing between it and ConvertKit.

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • Large range of features
  • Fast and intuitive user interface
  • Large range of opt-in forms & landing pages
  • Huge range of third party integration apps
  • Great live support

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • Can be overwhelming
  • More expensive (if you want everything)

Who Wins?

This is a tough decision.

On the one hand, you can do much more with ActiveCampaign than ConvertKit, but on the other hand, you have to pay more to get access to the main features.

The Lite version of ActiveCampaign isn't as good as ConvertKit.

If you want to use every feature, you have to pay 3 times more for the Plus version or 6 times more for the Professional version, both of which are priced higher than ConvertKit.

Weighing up all of this, I decided that ActiveCampaign wins this battle…with a caveat…

The majority of people will NOT require spending the extra money on ActiveCampaign Plus and therefore I would recommend ConvertKit instead.

ConvertKit Vs Aweber

Next up we have Aweber who I would say are MailChimp's biggest competitor.

Aweber was the first email service provider we ever used back in 2012, so I know a lot about how it works.

Aweber Pros

  • It's affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Some marketing automation options

Aweber Cons

  • Clunky user interface
  • Basic functionality
  • Poor email deliverability

Who Wins?

I think you probably already guessed who wins this one. Most businesses who use Aweber tend to be offline brick and mortar and so they sign up with the first one they see, which is either MailChimp or Aweber.

There's no comparison between ConvertKit and Aweber and so ConvertKit wins this battle.

CONVERTKIT VS ACTIVECAMPAIGN QUICK BREAKDOWN

ConvertKit

Starting At $29
  • Easy to use platform
  • Great email deliverability
  • Integrates with most tools

ActiveCampaign

Starting At $29
  • Most superior features
  • Great service and support
  • Most popular & trusted
Winner

ConvertKit FAQs

Short answer is yes. Long answer is email marketing is still a very important piece of the overall marketing strategy for any online business.

So whether you decide to roll with ConvertKit or some other email marketing tool, growing an email list still remains an important part of marketing to an online audience.

Not that we can tell. However, with that being said as your subscriber base grows, ConvertKit (like every service) will continuously charge you more and more.

That's why it's recommended that you cull your email list periodically so that you can be sure you are only contacting people still interested in what you have to say.

They do have a 30 day refund policy. Here's what they say in their billing FAQs:

“Our 30 day refund policy applies to all plans, including annual plans. We do not refund or pro-rate payments made more than 30 days prior to the request.”

Good question, yes you can and it's quite easy. They offer detailed tutorials on how to transfer email lists for every service provider, including:

– MailChimp
– Infusionsoft
– Drip
– Aweber
– Active Campaign
– MailerLite

Also if you have more than 5,000 subscribers, they will manage the transfer for you, free of charge.

We haven't tested this out thoroughly by comparing it to every other email service provider on the market, however after moving our list from InfusionSoft to ConvertKit, we did see an instant 20% rise in open rates.

We cannot confirm this will be the case for everyone, however we can say that it was true for our experience.

Should You Use ConvertKit?

Based on a number of different factors including: price, deliverability, available features, customer support and much more, we decided to score ConvertKit a rating of 4.4/5

Their service is affordable, easy-to-use and their customer support is normally quick to respond and a pleasure to deal with. If you're looking for a nice, simple solution to email marketing, then ConvertKit may be the best fit for you.

ConvertKit Review Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 1 reviews
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WAY better than MailChimp

★★★★★
5 5 1
After 3 years of using MailChimp I finally got fed up with their service and made the switch to ConvertKit after I heard about it on the Smart Passive Income Podcast. The transition was smooth and I can honestly say I'm so glad I made the effort to switch.