MailerLite vs. MailChimp vs. ConvertKit

By January 7, 2017Email Marketing, Technology
MailerLite vs MailChimp vs ConvertKit

In the past two or three months, I've Google'd "MailerLite vs. ConvertKit" more times than I care to admit. And while no one is debating about whether you should start building an email list, there's still debate about which email service provider is the best one to use to do so.

If you're a new blogger and looking for a free option, there's a good chance that someone has recommended MailChimp to you. And if you've been blogging for a bit longer and you're looking for something with more features, you're probably considering ConvertKit.

Either way, I can honestly tell you I've been in your shoes. I started an email list for the first time this year and I started with MailChimp. Then I switched to MailerLite. And lately, I've heard so many good things about ConvertKit that I seriously considering changing again. But, I'm not going to switch. Let me tell you why.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

1. MailerLite has 24/7 customer support by email and chat, even on the free plan (unlike MailChimp).

As a blogger, there are always new things to learn and new challenges to overcome. In order to stay focused on things that add value and minimize time spent on troubleshooting, I always try to use products that have great support.

One of my favorite things about MailerLite is their highly responsive customer support. Chat support is a "must have" for me and MailerLite has amazing customer support via chat that is both extremely responsive and extremely helpful.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, has no support on the free plan. Paid plans offer email and chat support from 8 am - 6 pm ET.

2. MailerLite has autoresponders, even on the free plan (unlike MailChimp).

Autoresponders allow you to automatically send a sequence of emails over time and Mailerlite includes autoresponders even in the "Forever Free Plan." Copyblogger has two great articles to learn more about autoresponders and how to write good ones.

Meet the Lazy Marketer’s Best Friend: The Email Autoresponder

How to Write a Heroically Effective Email Autoresponder Series 

3. MailerLite has landing pages (unlike MailChimp).

MailerLite allows you to create customized stand alone landing pages using their landing page editor and templates. There are stand alone products for creating landing pages, like Leadpages, ClickFunnels and Instapage, but depending on your specific requirements, you may be able to create all the landing pages you need with MailerLite and avoid yet another blogging expense.

As with all MailerLite features, landing pages come at no extra cost and are included in the Forever Free plan as well.

To see an example of a Mailerlite landing page in action, click on the link or image below. It will take you to a landing page that I built to collect email addresses from people who are interested in learning where to promote a giveaway.

20+ Places to Promote Your Next Giveaway!

4. MailerLite has an unsubscribe page builder (unlike MailChimp).

Although it's never fun when someone decides to unsubscribe from your list, MailerLite even has an unsubscribe page builder, letting you brand and customize your email subscriber's entire experience from beginning to end.

5. MailerLite has an auto resend feature (unlike MailChimp).

The MailerLite auto resend feature allows you to resend a follow up message to subscribers who didn't open  your email or didn't click on a single link. You can do it in one of three ways.

1. Resend your email with just a changed subject. This is the easiest way.

2. Change the subject and add a personal message above the body of the original email text and resend. This can be very effective as it looks like a personal follow up email.

3. Change both the subject and the content and resend a follow up to those that didn't open or click.

This feature saves you time because you don't have to manually pull the non-opener reports and save them to a new group to follow up with them.

6. MailerLite has a LOT of features that ConvertKit just doesn't have.

You may not need all of the features listed below, but if you choose an email service provider that doesn't have these features and you do need one of them.. Well, that's just frustrating, isn't it?

  1. Drag-and-drop Editor
  2. Mobile preview
  3. Video block
  4. RSS Campaigns
  5. Click map
  6. Tracking and campaign reports
  7. Automated A/B Split Testing
  8. Unsubscribe Page Builder
  9. Webforms
  10. Popups
  11. iPhone App
  12. iPad App
  13. 24/7 Support by Chat

7. MailerLite is free up to 1,000 subscribers (unlike ConvertKit).

I'll be honest. I've signed up for ConvertKit's free trial not once, but twice. And if you still think that ConvertKit is the right choice for you, I would definitely understand. After all, there are a ton of bloggers that are extremely happy with ConvertKit and highly recommend it.

But if you're a new blogger (or even if you're not) and you're trying to make money with your blog, one of the main challenges is keeping expenses down. MailChimp has a free plan, but lacks some important features for optimizing your email marketing efforts. ConvertKit is a robust platform designed for bloggers, but it costs $29 per month to start just to get started (although they do offer a free trial). The table below shows how MailerLite's prices compare to ConvertKit.

For a blogger with less than 1,000 email subscribers, that's $348 per year. A blogger with less than 5,000 subscribers, but more than 1,000, would save over $700 per year by using MailerLite instead of ConvertKit! And even if you can afford that expense, just think about all the other ways that you could invest in your business instead, such as training, branding or website development expenses.

But what about tagging?!

Now, you may be thinking... "What about tagging? ConvertKit has tagging and everyone raves about it. Don't I need tagging?" Well, I have good news for you. 🙂

MailerLite just announced "What's coming in 2017" and tagging will be available in March of 2017. Tagging allows you to better target subscribers with specific emails and can also be used together with the new automation feature that will be released this month and which includes a visual workflow builder.

Final thoughts...

There are many, many options for email service providers, but as a new blogger trying to get started quickly, lots of people tend to choose MailChimp based primarily on the fact that it's free to start. And if you're active in any blogging communities or if you read blogs about online business, email marketing and so forth, most likely you've come across someone that is singing the praises of ConvertKit

Fortunately, MailerLite is an great alternative that is both free to start (like MailChimp) and has advanced features (like ConvertKit).

Click here to check out MailerLite today!

No matter what you decide, be sure to do your own research and choose the tool that is right for you.

If you use either MailerLite or ConvertKit, I'd love to hear about your experience. If you're using another email service provider that you love, I'd love to hear about that too.  Leave a comment below and let's chat!

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Author Chantel

More posts by Chantel

Join the discussion 67 Comments

  • e-courses says:

    Chantel, this is a good comparison of these three providers. I just recently switched my new blog over from MailChimp to MailerLite as well because there are many more features that are available for free there where you would have to pay for on other services such as ConvertKit or Aweber. I think that anyone starting out with a new blog should learn the ropes with a provider like MailerLite… at least until they get the hand of using autoresponders, webforms, and landing pages. And, by the time they reach the 1000 subscriber threshold, they should be earning enough to try out any premium services.

  • I was just trying to figure out about my email subscriber service! Literally 5 mins ago and I was like I really want to change from Mailchimp. Thank you so much for this helpful article!

    Isaly Holland |

  • Bren Pace says:

    Hey girl!

    I love your comparison! I tried MailChimp in the past and quite frankly, I didn’t like it. MailerLite is more user-friendly, I believe and has more functionality. I also use MailPoet for my lifestyle blog. Passing this along!


  • Michelle says:

    Does Mailerlite’s landing pages work with multiple content upgrades on one subscriber list? I am using mailchimp now and to create content upgrades, I need to create a separate email list for each one. Is it the same with Mailerlite?

  • Nicole says:

    Hey Chantal!

    Nicole here from the Blog + Biz BFFs Facebook Group. Thanks so much for this informative post! Really loaded with value! I checked MailerLite out after reading your post and am making sure to sign up through your links (a lil’ affiliate thanks!)

    Thanks again and all the best,
    Nicole |

  • Juli says:

    Chantel, while I do use MailChimp in my business as well for my clients, this is a great post. I will try your suggestion later in the year and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gretchen says:

    Very timely, thank you! I was just trying to google these exact things over the weekend and sort of, for now settled on MailerLite. Your post definitely helps me feel more confident in my decision!

    • Chantel says:

      That’s awesome, Gretchen! Hit me up if you have questions I can help with. Be sure to join our Facebook group too if you haven’t already. 😀

  • Brenda says:

    You’re definitely right, I’ve only heard about Mailchimp for a free service for starting out. That’s what I’m using right now. I never heard of Mailerlite. I will have to look into it, thanks.

  • Gwen says:

    This is so helpful to me! I’m goin. To switch from Mailchimp to Mailer Lite. Thank you so much!

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been researching on which one of these services is better.

  • Kristie Hill says:

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about mailerlite this month. I’m definitely going to have to check it out.

  • Lisa says:

    This is really helpful! Thanks for sharing. I just started using Aweber. So far, I’m pretty happy except that it doesn’t really integrate with WordPress (even though they say it does). Have you reviewed Aweber before?

    • Chantel says:

      Lisa – thanks for taking time to let me know this post was helpful. I haven’t reviewed Aweber before, but I’ll keep it in mind if I do any more email service provider reviews. 🙂

  • Love, love, love this. I was planning on Mailchimp (having never heard of MailerLite) when you convinced me to try ML instead via a FB post. I was an Aweber fan back in the day (when none of these others existed!), but just can’t afford it nor ConvertKit. Based on this post, I think I’ll be able to grow with MailerLite and not have to stress over the potential need to switch! Thanks for taking the time to seriously compare/contrast the three services.

  • Amber says:

    Amazing thank you! I also started with mailchimp – I literally have 5 subscribers and already unhappy. Tried using them with Leadpages and had problems with integration, I’ve had problems with the sign up forms generating correctly, etc. I’m going to sign up with mailerlite today!

  • Laura says:

    Hi Chantel, I’ve been wondering which is better for a while. To be honest I didn’t know that MailerLite had a free plan. Thank you for giving me some points to consider!!

  • Sarah Prince says:

    Does MailerLite have the ability to set up email courses or nurturing campaigns that run automatically pre-scheduled? That’s one thing I like about ConvertKit because it’s so easy to do that too.

  • Dana Clausen says:

    Hey there,
    I just switched from ConvertKit to Mailerlite also! What a great and easy to use platform.
    All my best,

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for this great recommendation! My main frustration with my current email plan is that my subscribers aren’t able to opt-in for multiple lead magnets. I’ve created a work around with a “resource library” but I’d rather them be able to just enter their email again, but not end up as a duplicate on my list. Do you know, does MailerLite do that? Thank you!

    • Chantel says:

      Yes, you can create separate webforms directly in MailerLite and depending on which form they use to opt-in add them to different lists and send them different emails with different links. 😀

  • Very interesting! I’m using Mailchimp now – but had heard plenty about the other two…Lots to think about! Now…finding the time to make the switch, ugh! (And replace all those links to my subscribe form in past blog post…double ugh!) Thanks for the info!

  • This is so timely! Thank you!

    • Chantel says:

      Angela – you are most welcome! Would love to hear how it works out for you. The more I learn about MailerLite’s features, the more I like it! Just today, I noticed that you can see where your email subscribers clicked on links in your emails in a visual format! 🙂

  • This article truly convinced me why I NEED to switch to MailerLite. Thank you so much Chantel! This is incredibly helpful!

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am signing up for MailerLite because I was looking for ways to expand my blog reach. 🙂

    • Chantel says:

      Amanda – you are most welcome! If you’re working on expanding your blog reach, you might want to sign up for Mariah Coz’s free challenge – “Write Your Free Email Course”. This is my affiliate link, but the challenge is totally free to participate. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for this post! I need to figure this email list thing out! I’ll check out mailerlite!

    • Chantel says:

      Hi, Sarah. Definitely check it out and let me know if you have questions that I might be able to help with. Also, their 24/7 chat support is amazing! 🙂

  • I might have to check Mailerlite. I have mailchimp, but Mailerlite has a lot of free features. I might try it for my giveaway mailing list and if that fits in well I will switch it out for good.

  • Ruthie Gray says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am so over MC and ready to move. Still in the investigative mode but this was very helpful!

  • Roxy says:

    Ah thanks so much for this post! I don’t have a mailer list set up and my head was spinning with the options!

    • Chantel says:

      You are most welcome. Hope it made the decision making process easier. 😀

      • Roxy says:

        So I signed up for mailerlite and created a web form but I’m not approved yet, do I need to wait for approval to see the web form on my site?

        • Chantel says:

          Roxy – you’ll have to add the webform to your site, but I would wait until you are approved. If the form is live on your site before you are approved, someone might sign up and not get the emails that they should get after sign up. If you need more help, MailerLite’s chat support is 24/7 and they are super helpful!

  • This post makes me want to try Mailer Lite for one of my sites! I have two questions, though. The main one is open rate. I’m moving away from Mad Mimi because of horrible open rates. And Convert Kit open rates are amazing. How does Mailer Lite compare?

    My second question is, if I have multiple optins and multiple freebies, am I able to have separate lists to keep track of interests without being charged twice or three times for the same person? I need someone to be able to unsubscribe from one drip or list without removing them from the whole list, if possible.

    Thank you!

    • Chantel says:

      Gretchen, my open rates have been 33% to 44% this month for emails sent to my entire list (not individual segments). MailerLite definitely lets you add people to separate lists and even multiple lists and doesn’t charge you multiple times. They also won’t send the same email to one person twice just because they’re on more than one list that gets the same email.

  • Hi Chantel,
    your blog that I found at Femtrepreneur inspired me to check out MailerLite again. Fingers crossed that it’s a keeper. Been sitting on the fence which platform to use as I switch over from sending my newsletter via Outlook. Lots to learn, but ml seems very accessible for newbies.

  • we love mailerlite since we started using it. looking forward to the new features!

  • I’ve been sitting on the fence with MailerLite, Active Campaign, and Convert Kit (I’ve been with MadMimi for a long time). So many email services have affiliate link policies that are really hard to understand. Do you use affiliate links in your emails with ML? Are you able to link directly to an affiliate product, or do you have to send your subscribers to a blog post that points them to something you’re sharing or promoting?

    • Chantel says:

      Amy – I do use affiliate links in my emails with MailerLite. I actually reached out to them to get clarification on their policy and this is what they said… “To make everything short, affiliate links are ok within our service, as long as they match your blog/site content, you clearly inform your subscribers that this is a special offer etc. We do not see any problems here, and you can recommend our service without any doubt :)” Hope that helps!

  • Loren says:

    This was absolutely the best post ever! I had started with the chimp, and wasn’t sure about moving over to MailerLite (but, had signed up for it) and just got my logo done today so as I was updating everything I found your link to this post. I just moved everything over and am so happy at how easy it was! Thank you!

  • Charlie says:

    I just switched from GetResponse to MailerLite and also signed up for the free trial of Converkit (because I’ve heard about so many people loving it). I’m not totally in love with Convertkit and wasn’t sure if it was just me. I’m going to stick with MailerLite now becasue it has features I need, is pretty easy to use and it is a great price. Thanks for helping me with that descion!

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