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ConvertKit Review (2020): Features, Pros, Cons, Competitors & More!

ConvertKit Review

ConvertKit Review Summary

An email marketing software service that has the creators’ best interest in mind. Whether you’re looking for an advanced email service that has a/b testing, landing pages, segmenting, and visual automation features, or an easy to use email broadcast and sequence tool, ConvertKit has (almost) everything you could want from an email marketing service.

Are you looking to grow and nurture your email list without having to spend hours on the support page (because it’s just that simple)?

Then, you’re in luck. As someone who’s been using ConvertKit for the past four years, I’ve come to love everything about ConvertKit.

It’s simple to use and, surprisingly, has many advanced features, which they don’t charge an arm and a leg for.

If you’re interested to learn more, keep on reading and watch our ConvertKit review video below.

ConvertKit Pricing

convertkit free plan

The ConvertKit pricing model couldn’t be any more straightforward than it is.

There’s a free plan and two paid plans.

The paid Creator plan starts at $29 per month for 1,000 subscribers and increases based on the number of subscribers you gain. And the Creator Pro plan starts at $59 per month with more premium features.

As you can see, the more subscribers you have, the higher price.

The Free plan allows you to manage 1,000 subscribers, and this also includes:

  • Unlimited forms and landing pages
  • Access to their premium landing page templates (same ones you get on the paid ConvertKit Plan)
  • Unlimited Email Broadcasts
  • Tagging
  • And a lot more

However, their free plan does not include:

  • Visual Automation builder
  • Reporting (for broadcasts)
  • Automated email sequences
  • Integrations
  • Premium Support
  • Free concierge migration from other email service providers (great for migrating from MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Drip, Aweber, GetResponse, etc.)

This may or may not be a deal-breaker for you. If you’re just starting out and just want to collect emails and send out the occasional broadcast email, then this is a great option.

I can see the free plan being great for:

  • People who haven’t created a product just yet, but want to capture emails for when that day comes
  • People who know that capturing emails are essential but aren’t ready to send out automated email responders.
  • People who want to test out whether there email opt-in ideas work and which ones don’t.

The Creator Plans has every feature that ConvertKit offers.

It doesn’t matter if you have 1000 subscribers or 10,000, you get the same features, which, in my opinion, is fantastic.

Most other ESPs have you pay a lot more for certain features (e.g., segmenting features and split testing), regardless of your subscriber count.

This is one reason why ConvertKit prices stand out IMO.

Read our ConvertKit Pricing article for more details.

Rating Features and Benefits

Now let's cover each of the features that makes ConvertKit one of the best email marketing tools.

Ease of use

For 99% of the features in ConvertKit, you’re not going to have to look up any help documents or reach out to support.

Since its inception, ConvertKit has focused on ease of use and user experience. Once you use ConvertKit, you’ll notice that everything is just one click away, whether it comes to advanced features and simple features alike.

Every time they come out with a new feature, that feature is easy to use.

For example, embedding YouTube and Instagram videos and images is as easy as just pasting the link and ConvertKit will do the rest. More on this in a second.

The Email Editors

This is one of ConvertKit's best features!

First, let’s go over the editing options, then the Sequence editor.

There are two versions of the email editor, “Legacy” and “New.”

ConvertKit legacy editor
Legacy Editor
Convertkit new editor
New Editor

You can use either in for Broadcasts or Sequences.

The Legacy editor is what made ConvertKit popular in some ways. Before ConvertKit, most email editors were a pain to use.

ConvertKit is the complete opposite. It was and still is the most straightforward text editor for any email marketing software.

At the top of the editor, you have your tools.

You have all the basics editing tools and formatting options with the Legacy Editor:

  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Strikethrough
  • Ordered and Unordered email lists
  • Indents
  • Pictures
  • Files
  • Links
  • Dividers
  • Font Size and Color
  • HTML editing
  • And Personalization (more on this later)

Note: Unfortunately, you cannot use the new automatic embedding features with Instagram, YouTube, and Unsplash images with the Legacy Editor. It is only available on the new editor.

For the New editor, a couple of things change.

First, there’s no more top bar with the tools.

Instead, there’s an invisible floating plus sign “+” that pops up whenever you hover your mouse towards the left edge of the editor.

At first, I didn’t love it, but after months of use, I find it easy to use and helpful for focusing more on writing emails.

With the “New” editor, you get everything that the legacy editor offers plus:

  • Buttons
  • Blockquotes
  • Snippets (more on this later)
  • Automatic YouTube Embeds (more on this later)
  • Instagram Integration (only images, not videos)
  • Unsplash Integration (more on this later)
  • Media Library (more on this later)

We’ll talk a bit more about specific features of the new editor below, but let’s transition over to the sequence editor first.

Email Sequences

The sequence editor allows you to schedule out emails based on days or hours:

email sequence options

You can add as many emails as you want to the sequence, and the best thing about it is that you don’t have to open a new tab!

All your emails can be edited seamlessly, without leaving the page:

ConvertKit Email Editor

Such a simple feature, yet, other email software providers don't have this feature.

It's terrific for writing automated emails and email marketing in general. You can check out your previous emails and refine them without having to open a million tabs.

Another thing about the sequence editor is the filter option:

email marketing campaigns
Subscriber System Filtering.

You can exclude subscribers from individual emails within your sequence, based on tags, among other filter options.

It’s not a commonly used feature I use, but it is a helpful one.

Personalization for Emails

Personalization for emails works for both broadcasts and email sequences.

You have a couple of options:

new subscribers convertkit personalization

The only issue is that some of the logic may be confusing if you’ve never worked with if/else/then logic “code.”

tag based content marketing

Don’t erase anything within the bracket “{ don’t touch me }.”

You can send emails based on if your subscribers have (or don’t have) certain tags.

This can be powerful if you have a lot of tags and segment a lot.

Broadcast Emails & Split Testing

Broadcast emails use the same editor as the sequence editor.

You can use the Legacy or the “New” editor.

You also have a lot of options when it comes to which subscribers get your broadcast emails:

email newsletters settings

There are AND and OR operators as well, so you can dial it down to who gets your broadcast emails.

For example, you could have a broadcast sent to people who haven’t purchased your product and exclude those who have.

The possibilities are endless.

You can also add a broadcast description so you know what the intention of the broadcast was if you can’t tell from the subject line or if it’s been a while.

You can also split test headlines and resend to people who didn't open your email:

test subject lines

I’ll go over the reporting aspect of this down below.

Email Templates

ConvertKit comes with three templates.

  1. Text Only
  2. Classic
  3. Modern

You have the option to create your own, but you must have some HTML knowledge to add what you want (ie. fonts and text size).

Check out one of our Email Templates:

ConvertKit email template example
Live Chat Support Can Help Configure Your Template.

Email Snippets

email content feature set

ConvertKit Snippets are a new feature that uses shortcodes to add frequently used content in your emails.

It’s only available in the “New” editor, and you can use it in broadcasts and sequences.

Here’s how I use it:

use email shortcodes
P.S. Shortcode
small business PS email

Snippets are great for segmenting and tagging users in any email.

My Snippet has a lot of my best tools that my subscribers can use and some CTAs to my book and social media accounts.

Each link, if clicked, tags the email subscriber due to link triggers and rules, which we'll go over later.

Form Designs and Customization

Creating forms in ConvertKit is very easy.

You have the following options for forms:

  • Inline
  • Modal
  • Slide-in
  • Sticky Bar
ConvertKit form types

You also have seven options to choose from at the time of this writing.

ConvertKit form templates

As far as customization goes, you can:

  • Change the background image (you can use the Unsplash pictures thanks to their integration)
  • Change the background color
  • Change the border-radius
  • Add custom CSS
forms for content creators

You also get the following display options:

  • Exit Intent (only on Desktop)
  • Scroll Percentage
  • Timing
  • Devices to Show on
  • Frequency
convertkit’s automation display

You can also choose whether to send your new subscriber to a ConvertKit branded confirmation email page, your download (that you upload), or a thank you page after they confirm their email.

new email address contact settings

You also have the following advanced settings:

email subscribers advanced settings

And lastly, you have options on where to embed your form via:

  • Javascript
  • HTML
  • Share (basically a landing page with just the form on it)
  • WordPress (gives you shortcode – you need their plugin for it to work)
  • Unbounce (Via Integration)
email entry points

While the ConvertKit form builder is helpful, it’s not the best on the market in terms of full customization.

Landing Page Designs and Customization

Recently, ConvertKit added a TON of new templates to their Landing Page library.

ConvertKit landing page template library 2

It’s also easy to preview each template:

landing page builder

Once you choose a landing page, you can edit it using the same “New” editor that you use when writing emails.

You can also change a couple of things like:

  • Heading Font
  • Change the background image (you can use Unsplash pictures thanks to their integration)
  • Change the Opacity of the image.
  • Change the background color
  • Add custom CSS
ConvertKit landing page building options

You can also add SEO and Analytics information to the page via:

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook
  • Segment
  • Pinterest

Lastly, you can share your landing page via a URL that ConvertKit provides you, or you can embed it into your page via the WordPress ConvertKit plugin.

easy to use and share

User-Based Tagging

Something remarkable about both ConvertKit forms and landing pages is user-based tagging or segmenting.

Let me explain.

Check out this old form I created with ConvertKit:

form tagging system

As you can see, they can “check” whatever they want to learn more about from me when they subscribe.

This way, I can send out relevant emails to subscribers based on what they checked off in the form!

email service merge tags and more

The ConvertKit checkbox turns their answers into tags, and therefore, they tag themselves!

Imagine the power of this.

You can also do a dropdown menu that they MUST fill out before they can subscribe.

Lastly, you can change the name of the tag that displays on the form.

For example, if my tag were “interested in email courses,” I wouldn’t want to put that on the form.

Instead, I could just put “Email Courses” as one of the options, and ConvertKit will associate that option with the correct tag that you choose.

Workflow Automation / Automation Templates

I use ConvertKit Automations all the time. They can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.

Automations are where you can:

  • Connect forms to sequences
  • Create If / Then rules when subscribers get certain tags
  • Create rules if someone purchases a product (or doesn’t)
  • A lot more (The possibilities are endless)
email automation
The first step is to choose an event trigger.
ConvertKit's automation
Option 1: Choose an event
email marketing automation
Option 2: Choose an action
automation workflow
Option 3: Choose a condition

They also have an excellent selection of premade templates for commonly used “automations” such as:

  • Evergreen Newsletter
  • Evergreen Product Pitch
  • Host a Webinar
  • Product Launch
  • Follow Up With Customers Who Don’t Purchase
  • Personalize Content Based On Survey Results
Convertkit visual automation templates

Again, automations can be as simple or complex as you want them

It all depends on if you have products integrated with ConvertKit or are targeting users in certain cities, among many other possibilites.

Link Triggers / Rules

A different, but similar feature of ConvertKit is it’s Link Triggers and Rules.

The possibilities are endless for Rules:

ConvertKit link triggers and automation rules

You can also come up with these easily in sequences and broadcasts as well.

For example, for the link “Apple[dot]com”, I can set up a rule in the broadcast editor to tag anyone who clicks that link.

I can also set up a link trigger (beforehand) that tags anyone who clicks a link in general:

email marketing link triggers

Integrations

ConvertKit has hundreds of integrations; however, this is the list they have the most options for.

easy to use convertkit integrations

At the time of writing this ConvertKit review, I use Thinkific for my online courses, and although ConvertKit doesn't have an integration on their side of things, you can within Thinkific.

Make sure to check out their full list of integrations before buying.

Note: lot’s of integrations can work nowadays with Zapier.

Deliverability

According to ConvertKit, they sent over “1 billion messages (1,076,866,639 to be exact).”

In my experience, ConvertKit is usually great with deliverability (note: you can test emails by sending them to yourself in the sequence and broadcast editors).

Here are some stats from ConvertKit:

deliverability rates
ConvertKit deliverability rates

Reporting

Reporting in ConvertKit for both broadcasts and sequences is very similar.

The only difference is the A/B testing with headlines for broadcasts.

For example, check out this broadcast email I sent out with two different headlines:

  1. Protein Cookie Butter Review [Macro-Friendly]
  2. [New Video] Protein Cookie Butter Review
email marketing platform stats
Get higher open rates with ConvertKit!

As you can see, it tells me that the 2nd headline got a better open rate and clickthrough rate.

After sending a lot of broadcasts, I’ve noticed that “[new video]” right before the subject line results in more opens and clicks.

Also, you can resend to subscribers who didn’t open my broadcast email and change the subject line there too!

I got an extra 17 clicks just by doing this!

ConvertKit resend to un opens broadcast

Support

The customer service support team from ConvertKit is excellent.

They typically reply within a few hours via email or on their live chat support (in the ConvertKit dashboard).

In my case, they have always been very responsive, friendly, and most importantly, helpful.

I have yet to have a bad experience.

I cannot speak for everyone’s experience, but that has been mine.

Media Storage

In the past, you always had to re-upload images on ConvertKit.

Now, if you use the new ConvertKit editor, all your past images you uploaded into your emails will be readily available to re-use, should you need them.

One excellent feature, in my opinion.

easy to use social media integrations

YouTube-Friendly?

This feature is small, but it’s one I have not seen before.

Essentially, this is great for YouTubers (like myself).

You can send your videos more naturally than ever now.

All you have to do is copy your video link and paste it into the new editor, and it will “auto-populate” your thumbnail and add a “play” button to your thumbnail, so subscribers know where to click.

use convertkit for video tutorials

A small feature, but very nice if you use YouTube for content delivery as I do.

Instagram Friendly?

Another similar feature to the YouTube one, ConvertKit stores all your Instagram photos (not carousel or videos) in the Media Storage library:

If you post a lot of photos on Instagram, this can be useful.

Affiliate Marketing Friendly?

Yes, ConvertKit is one of the best email marketing autoresponders for affiliate marketers because they allow affiliates to include their links in emails!

Unsplash

If you want to make your emails POP, then sometimes, you may want to add some images.

Instead of taking them yourself, you can use images from Unsplash:

image customization options

Very useful if you want to add beautiful images. You can also search for them right inside of ConvertKit, and it will bring you the most relevant results.

Just click on the image you want, and it's in your email without having to download it.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Tagging and Segmenting is Easy and Simple
  • Templates for Landing Pages are Beautiful, Customizable, and You Don’t Need Your Website to Host Them
  • Automation Funnels Are Easy to Implement
  • A/B Testing Headlines
  • All Features Included in Paid Plan (Regardless of Subscriber Count)
  • Fantastic Support Team (on Paid Plan)
  • Free Convertkit Plan is Very Valuable for Beginners Looking to Get Started
  • You Can Include Affiliate Links in Email Content

Cons:

  • The ConvertKit starting price is higher than most other email providers.
  • Templates for Forms aren’t that impressive and not that customizable.
  • Reporting for sequences and broadcasts could be better.

Is ConvertKit Right for You?

Recommended If:

You want to segment and tag subscribers like crazy:

ConvertKit allows you to create forms where the user can self-segment and “tag” themselves based on what they choose.

This is great for segmenting subscribers to make sure they get on the right email list and get the right message.

For example, check out this form I created:

collecting email addresses
Email List Building Form

Below the typical “Enter your name” and “Enter your email” fields, there’s a dropdown menu asking them how much weight they have to lose:

  • 1-20 lbs
  • 20-40 lbs
  • 40+ lbs

They have to choose an option, and this way, I can create three different sequences to “speak” directly to each target audience and potentially produce better results.

This is SUPER simple to do in ConvertKit, and if you want to run forms and sequences like this, then you can right inside of ConvertKit.

You can do it on any form or landing page.

Not Recommended If:

You’re looking to send out e-commerce style emails that have a ton of visuals:

ConvertKit is a lot more focused on text-based emails.

While you CAN create visual emails, you have to create email templates that rely on HTML.

You’re looking for advanced pop-up features for forms:

While ConvertKit does offer things like Exit Intent, Scroll Percentage, and Timing options for form pop-ups, that’s about all they offer.

Yes, the ConvertKit plugin allows you to set a site-wide default form, but this means that for every page you DON'T want the form to show on, you have to hop into WordPress and manually change the setting on every post/page not to show a form. ConvertBox may be more fitting in this case.

This can take a while, especially if you have a lot of blog posts and pages.

Conclusion

ConvertKit has a ton of incredible features.

  1. You don’t need a website to use their landing page templates,
  2. Their new editor is easy to use & user interface is eleganty simple,
  3. And the amount of advanced segmentation and tagging rules you can implement

Are all reasons why I believe a ton of people will fall in love with ConvertKit.

While it’s not the cheapest email marketing tool out there, they provide all their advanced features on their paid plan, regardless of the number of subscribers you have.

Big shoutout to Convertkit founder Nathan Barry for creating an amazingly easy to use email marketing software and Pat Flynn for helping me discover ConvertKit!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ConvertKit have landing pages?

Yes! In fact, they have recently added a lot of templates to their library. Each are customizable (to an extent) and are all mobile-responsive.

How long is ConvertKit free trial?

Although it’s not clear on their ConvertKit pricing page, there is a 14-day trial. You can “Try all features free for 14 days” according to their pricing page, it’s just hidden under the paid plan text.

Is ConvertKit better than Mailchimp?

It's a subjective question, but having tried both email marketing software, I find ConvertKit to be much smoother sailing.

ConvertKit Logo Sidebar

Our Rating:

4.6/5
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