If you are looking for an actual, hands-on review from an operator actually using ConvertKit (but not terrible loyal!), you are in the right place.
I’ve used ConvertKit off and on for various brands over the last 5+ years, but hadn’t used it much beyond the free tier in the last 2 years.
Why I was Interested in Trying ConvertKit (again)
We operate dozens of digital brands, content sites, e-course businesses, ecommerce brands, personal brands, and newsletters. I’ve always wanted to try ConvertKit, but felt it was too expensive for start-up brands (in the past).
We recently had a few lists exceed 10,000 subscribers and this “felt right” given some of the advanced features ConvertKit has at scale.
ConvertKit’s recent acquisition of SparkLoop AND new programmatic ad solution for lists sort of pushed me closer. This was a key consideration for one of our music learning focused sites as we had previously been with ActiveCampaign (which has neither equivalent and was getting pricey).
I’ve also been very interested in adding digital products (courses, info products, paid guides) to some of our businesses, so the new ConvertKit Commerce suite finally seemed like the right option.
Finally, when I acquired this business (Niche Media Publishing), it was already built on ConvertKit!
What is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is an email marketing software that targets content creators—bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, course creators, and more.
Its goal is to empower creators to connect with their audience and monetize their work through efficient and effective email marketing. It has gained popularity for its ease of use, robust features, and focus on helping you convert casual readers into loyal fans and repeat customers.
Key Features of ConvertKit
ConvertKit offers a wide array of features designed to help creators grow their audiences, automate their email marketing, and monetize their content. Let’s explore some of the most significant ones:
Landing Pages & Forms
ConvertKit’s landing pages and forms are your gateway to growing your email list.
The platform offers an array of templates for different use cases, such as promoting digital products, collecting webinar registrations, or creating Instagram bio link pages. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes designing your landing pages a breeze.
Email Broadcasts & Sequences
At the heart of ConvertKit lies its powerful email broadcasting and sequencing capabilities.
Whether you want to send out a one-time email blast or create an automated email sequence to nurture your leads, ConvertKit has got you covered.
ConvertKit’s automation features allow you to build complex marketing workflows using simple ‘if this, then that’ logic.
This means you can automate actions like sending a series of welcome emails when a new subscriber joins your list or promoting a product when a subscriber clicks a specific link.
ConvertKit isn’t just about email marketing; it also provides tools to sell digital products and subscriptions, thereby opening up a new revenue stream for creators.
This is one of the unique, stand-out features of ConvertKit as it currently sits in the market. It’s certainly one of the compelling reasons for me to use ConvertKit as a pathway to easily selling digital products, courses, and even software (all with flawless attribution from email signup to sales).
Best ConvertKit Integrations
ConvertKit integrates well with a variety of platforms, enhancing its functionality and usefulness in different domains.
For online educators and course creators, ConvertKit offers seamless integration with Teachable and Mighty Networks, which are popular platforms for membership and courses.
For e-commerce businesses, ConvertKit can be integrated with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Gumroad. These platforms allow for efficient automation of email marketing campaigns and customer engagement, which can greatly benefit online stores.
In terms of customer experience, ConvertKit can be integrated with apps like Jotform, Typeform, Hotjar, Thryv, Involve.me, Retently, Survicate, and Capacity. These apps help collect customer feedback, analyze user behavior, and improve overall customer experience.
Here’s a full updated list of current ConvertKit integrations.
I personally don’t use many of their integrations, except for WordPress and OptinMonster (for email collection).
ConvertKit does lean more into the landing page, funnel building, and now ecommerce space, so there’s few MUST HAVE integrations (and that’s sort of the point of ConvertKit!).
ConvertKit offers a tiered pricing structure based on the number of subscribers. Here’s how it shakes out:
- ConvertKit Free: starting with a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers.
- ConvertKit Creator: The paid Creator plan offers more advanced features and starts at $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers, but then breakpoints of 5,000, 10,000, etc…
- ConvertKit Pro: If you need more advanced reporting and customization options, the Creator Pro plan starts at $59 per month.
Obviously what matters a LOT is how this translates to an existing list, so these breakpoints are important to understand (unless you are well under the free tier).
Here’s what the escalation pricing looks like based on the number of subs you have:
Once you exceed 95,000 subscribers (as of this writing in late 2023), ConvertKit encourages you to opt for the Creator Pro plan.
All of ConvertKit’s paid plans offer a 20% discount if billed annually (or 2 months free over a 12 month billing period).
Pros and Cons of ConvertKit
Like any tool, ConvertKit has its strengths and weaknesses. These are the high level advantages and disadvantages I see.
- User-friendly interface
- Solid signup forms and integrations with WordPress
- Strong automation features
- Creator-centric design
- NEW: Ecommerce selling and landing page capabilities (ideal for info products)
- Newsletter friendly ecosystem
- NEW: Acquired SparkLoop, a list growing / monetization service for newsletters / lists
- Limited email template customization
- No A/B testing in automated series
- Pricing can get expensive for larger lists (and is one of the more expensive cost per subscriber tools)
So Who is ConvertKit Right for?
As you’ll see in the section below, this isn’t a puff piece for ConvertKit. For a few of our businesses (including this one) I DO use ConvertKit.
For the RIGHT business, ConvertKit is incredible.
When would I go with ConvertKit?
When you have a pretty good idea of what an email subscriber is worth to your business and/or you have digital products, courses, or downloads, ConvertKit is the clear choice for me. The premium pricing makes sense when you can build landing pages, automations, grow your list with SparkLoop and sell high value rejects, all without having to leave the ConvertKit dashboard.
If this sounds like where you are at, stop everything and go sign up for ConvertKit here.
Just kidding, it’s not that serious…. but ConvertKit is probably where you’ll settle eventually.
Who Shouldn’t Use ConvertKit
Just Starting out?
I wouldn’t recommend ConvertKit for those just starting out. Here’s why. Since ConvertKit is among the most expensive email marketing solutions, if I were to start with the Free plan (and I have), I’d need to figure out the economics of my list (and have the math pencil out) the second I hit 1001 subs. I know in some markets people can make that work, but for most markets we’ve entered, 1000 subs is still “figuring it out” territory. SO, that paid plan transition point will hit you like a ton of bricks, At least compared to other services like MailerLite, Beehiiv, and even a more advanced system like ActiveCampaign.
Following a newsletter growth playbook?
If you are leveraging a “newsletter first” strategy, I would personally lean more towards a Beehiiv solution here. Beehiiv is just cheaper per subscriber at every paid tier, plus the free plan is good up to 2,000 subs. Beehiiv also has a more newsletter focused tool set and with the acquisition of Swapstack, now has a similar growth and monetization network.
The only distinction here is if you have a library of digital products planned or selling already, in which case there’s some synergies with sticking to ConvertKit Commerce here.
Selling on Shopify or physical products?
ConvertKit ceded the shop for most ecommerce operators a long time ago. While I think there could be a lane for an ecom brand looking to embrace storytelling with ConvertKit, it’s not really the pureplay transactional email service you need (something that services like Omnisend, Klaviyo, or Moosend seem to have figured out).
ConvertKit Competitors I Considered (or have used)
I’ve mentioned a few of these names already, but here’s a more organized list of the top ConvertKit alternatives I strongly consider in the same caliber for various use cases:
- Beehiiv: Better for pureplay newsletters and starting to encroach into ConvertKit’s territory with automations, their acquisition of SwapStack, and more affordable pricing tiers.
- MailerLite: Great for their robust FREE plan and my preference for getting started affordably.
- ActiveCampaign: For advanced automations and EVERGREEN email marketing, it’s hard to beat ActiveCampaign. A good option for set it and forget it (or tweak and optimze) evergreen sales funnels.
- Omnisend: For pureplay ecommerce brands, Omnisend is one of the best new transactional commerce engines. A great, more affordable and flexible alternative to Klaviyo.
- Moosend: A good free option for ecommerce sellers and service businesses to start. Pricing tiers are affordable for much of the same functionality as the big players.
- TinyEmail: AI email tools are still evolving, but TinyEmail is one of the most interesting options I’ve tried recently. This platform quickly builds email campaigns and even full on automations based on industry best practices. A good option for relatively established models like ecommerce, newsletters, etc…