convertkit vs mailchimp vs birdsend - who wins

ConvertKit and Mailchimp are two popular email service providers that need no introduction to those who are familiar with email marketing.

While these two are no doubt good tools, I noticed there was a gap in both offerings — an affordable (yet good) email marketing tool for content creators.

And that’s why my small team and I built BirdSend — to cater to budget-conscious content creators who want good email opens without breaking the bank.

If you don’t have much time and just want an email tool that can save you 80% in expenses every month, yet still achieve good results in terms of deliverability, give BirdSend a free try here.

Table of Contents

Major differences between ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend

BirdSend

BirdSend is an email service provider specifically for content creators who don’t have a huge budget, but still want to enjoy high email opens / deliverability.

Before you scream, “What!? That doesn’t make sense. How can budget-friendly and good email deliverability coexist!?”

We’re able to deliver high email opens at an affordable rate because we don’t do any kind of paid ads or promotions. We mainly get customers via word of mouth — existing customers enjoy their experience with us and tell us to their friends and peers.

That’s how we grow. And we’ve been relying on this method since the very beginning.

That’s how we’re able to pass the acquisition cost savings to our customers → make BirdSend affordable.

BirdSend is also for folks who don’t have a need for “beautifully designed” emails because they understand — ultimately — it’s their content that matter. They know subscribers want helpful content, not “beautifully designed” emails that lack substance.

It’s also for people who don’t need a landing page tool inside an email marketing tool. They know that a Jack of all trades is a master of none, and would rather use a separate landing page tool to create landing pages.

Finally, BirdSend is suitable for tiny businesses — solopreneurs or teams of less than 10 members.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit, on the other hand, is for more affluent creators who don’t mind paying a premium price for their email marketing needs.

It outsources its deliverability (the sending of emails) to 3rd party vendors.

This could be a cause for concern when deliverability issues happen (and it will happen — it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when).

When you use external vendors, the time to respond to issues is slower than if you were to handle the deliverability with an in-house team. With an internal team, you have more control → things move faster. Not so much for outside vendors when you’re not the only client they have.

ConvertKit is also for those who want a landing page tool inside an email marketing tool. Though you can’t create advanced landing pages in ConvertKit, it does offer you the capability of creating simple ones.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp’s target audience is everyone and anyone, no matter the type and size of business.

From local business shops, e-commerce stores, coaches, course creators, bloggers, restaurants, agencies, to big organizations with tons of salespeople — if you have a need for email marketing (and then some)… Mailchimp welcomes you.

It has a complex UI (user interface) — you can’t really fault it though because it’s all-in-one marketing platform that can do a lot of things apart from email marketing. Things like SMS, CRM, postcards, social media scheduling and management, Facebook and Instagram ads management, online store builder, domain registration, etc.

If you’re a content creator, Mailchimp is an overkill for you.

Mailchimp also has a history of not taking data privacy seriously. Some time ago, it was about to disable double opt-in for all its users. But when many EU users protested, they canceled the decision.

How content creators send 30 million emails each month while saving 3 – 5X every month

Content creators = bloggers, course creators, writers, podcasters, YouTubers, coach, consultant, agencies, authors, educators, etc.

Basically if you share or teach your knowledge to others (whether it’s text, audio, or video), you’re a content creator.

Collectively, they send 30 million email per month via BirdSend, to get high email opens. And the best thing is it doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg.

review from BirdSend user about email open rates
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optin conversion & deliverability review from Amy
(click for full image)

These savings could be used in other areas of the business or for a vacation with your family.

You’ve probably heard of the phrase “money is attracted to speed”.

BirdSend is the fastest at setting up email series / sequences / drip emails. If you can find a tool that’s faster, I’ll give you paid BirdSend account for free. Contact me by clicking the icon on bottom right of this page.

what customers say about BirdSend’s email sequence builder
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Now let’s put this ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend showdown under scrutiny with 20 email marketing-related questions.

So that you can get a better understanding of which tool is more suitable for you.

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend: feature comparisons

BirdSend

Does it move over your data (i.e. provide free migration)?

Yes. We’ll move over all your data like contacts / subscribers, sequences, automation, integrations, forms, etc. for free.

To ensure a quality migration, we do the entire migration manually by hand (no script or software).

free migration service provided by this ESP
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Can subscribers select the types of emails they want to unsubscribe from (and which ones to stay subscribed to)?

Yes, with The Subscriber Preferences Page (which you can customize), they can easily do this.

let subscribers choose which email topics they want to unsubscribe from

Can you change the (internal) name of broadcast emails?

Yes. This is important because over time, you’d have sent a lot of broadcast emails. If there isn’t a way to customize the name of the emails, it’s hard to understand what a particular email is about.

Purely looking at subject lines has 2 flaws:

1/ Sometimes the subject line is used as a teaser to boost open rates — it doesn’t tell you the purpose of the email

2/ If you send the same email multiple times to different segments, you’ll be confused which one is sent to which segment

Is the same contact charged multiple times?

No. We only charge a unique contact once, regardless of how many sequences he is in or how many tags he has.

What about unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts? Do they get charged?

No. We only charge you for subscribed contacts.

Is there an easy way to resend to people who didn’t open an email?

Yes. You can do it quickly in 1-click, and it’s “set it and forget it” — i.e. you can set it up beforehand.

1-click resend to unopened

Does it have email series / drips / sequences / autoresponders capability?

Yes. If an email marketing tool doesn’t have this feature, I’d argue it’s not an email marketing tool.

With BirdSend’s 1-Page Sequence Builder, setting up email series is super fast. If you can find a tool that’s faster, let me know (contact button on bottom right) and I’ll give you a paid BirdSend account, on the house.

ultra quick email sequence builder
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Can you set up automations based on subscriber behavior?

Yes. For instance, if subscriber opens an email or clicks a particular link →

  • tag subscriber with X
  • untag [Y] from subscriber
  • subscribe to sequence X
  • unsubscribe from sequence Y
  • etc.

What about one-off broadcast emails?

Yes, BirdSend can easily do this in 3 simple steps.

  1. Select recipients
  2. Write email message
  3. Send immediately or schedule to be sent at a later date and time

How is the ease of setup?

BirdSend’s focus is simplicity and speed.

As such, setting things up is quick and easy. Especially with The 1-Page Sequence Builder I mentioned previously. As far as I know, there’s no tool that can set up email sequences faster than BirdSend. If you know of one, let me know (contact button on bottom right).

Who is the target audience?

Budget-conscious content creators (with 1 – 10 team members) who want good email deliverability and speed.

Can it do A/B (split) testing?

Yes, and you can specify the email ratios that go out for the original, variation, and winner email.

You can also set the winner criteria — higher email open rate, click rate, or revenue.

You can even resend the winner email to non-openers.

a/b testing emails

Can it create forms and landing pages?

Forms like popups, in-content opt-in forms, widget sidebar and bottom forms, and full-page welcome screens — yes.

We don’t have dedicated landing page features inside our email marketing tool though. But you can use our “welcome screens” (which fills the entire screen of the window) to create a simplistic landing page.

this welcome screen can be used as a simple landing page creator

We’re a dedicated and focused email marketing tool, not a partial landing page tool that can also do email marketing.

How is the email editor? Can you create emails quickly?

You can easily insert images / banners / logos / buttons inside your emails.

But we don’t use a drag and drop editor (like many ESP do) for creating emails because we believe in “plain-text” style or minimalistic style emails as opposed to “fancy-designed” emails.

Because:

  • the backend html code is much cleaner and lighter → better deliverability
  • friends write to friends without any design; beautifully designed emails look like they come from a corporation, and people don’t want to open emails from corporations
  • subscribers want to receive your emails because of how your CONTENT is going to help them, not because of how “good looking” your emails are
  • these are email messages we’re talking about, not web pages (if you want pretty design, by all means apply that to your web pages)

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes. You segment quickly using tags.

Specific tags can automatically be applied to subscribers right when they opt-in to a specific form, or when they opened / clicked a particular email link.

You could also manually tag subscribers.

What kind of reporting / stats does it provide?

The usual suspects are available— open rates, click rates, bounce rates, spam rates, unsubscribe rates.

Plus, you can easily know who opened which email / clicked which link / purchased which product when.

Additionally, if the same subscriber buys multiple products from you in the future, their “order value” will be accumulated in the form of a Lifetime Value for that subscriber.

We also give you the Average Lifetime Value (ALTV) based on your entire account or based on a specific campaign / tag. This ALTV is useful because you’ll know how much, on average, a subscriber gotten from a particular traffic source and campaign (e.g. free book giveaway via Google Adwords) spends money on your business.

know your subscriber’s average lifetime value
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Can you send emails to people who abandoned your cart?

Yes. At this time, we natively integrate with the following shopping carts: WooCommerce, ThriveCart, SamCart, SendOwl, Thinkific, Shopify, Teachable, aMember, and MemberPress.

More native cart integrations will be added.

For other carts, you can use Zapier to connect them with BirdSend.

Is there a spam-score tool to check your email content?

Yes, right in the email editor, there’s a button you can click to quickly check the “spamminess” of your email.

tool for checking spam score

Is the customer service good?

We have an extensive help center filled with tutorials that we constantly update.

You can also easily get in touch with one of our team members by clicking the bottom right icon on our every page.

BirdSend customer service review
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what this customer has to say about BirdSend’s customer support

Does it have a free plan?

We don’t have a free plan because we want to fully focus serving our paid customers only. These people have already paid us money, we don’t want to dilute our resources by serving free users.

We do have a free trial and a no-questions-asked money back guarantee though.

How is the value for money?

I leave you with these:

good value for money for this ESP

this email marketing software is super affordable considering what it can do

is this email marketing app worth it

Pros

  • Know the reason why someone unsubscribed

    discover whey people unsubscribe
  • Very affordable pricing (save 80% every month)
  • Good email opens (deliverability)
  • For a subscriber-centric email tool, BirdSend is the only one that has the Subscriber Preferences Page — where subscribers can choose certain types emails they want to unsubscribe from (instead of unsubscribing completely)
  • The 1-Page Sequence Builder lets you set up email series / sequences super fast — as you probably already know, money is attracted to speed

Cons

  • Not for folks who want to create fancy-designed emails
  • Relatively new player in the email marketing space (has only been around since 2018)
  • Small nimble team of only 7 team members
    • This could go both ways: you’re put off because you want a big company with hundreds of employees, or you like it because we’re such a tiny team, we’re able to move fast and provide personalized customer support.

ConvertKit

Does it move over your data (i.e. provide free migration)?

Yes, it does offer a free migration.

Can subscribers select the types of emails they want to unsubscribe from (and which ones to stay subscribed to)?

No. For ConvertKit, it’s like a “love me or hate me” situation where subscribers are forced to receive all types of emails from you or unsubscribe completely.

This means losing more subscribers than you should have.

Why?

Because some subscribers want to have more control of the types of emails they receive. But since there isn’t a way to do this in ConvertKit, they end up unsubscribing completely from you.

Can you change the (internal) name of broadcast emails?

No. There isn’t even an internal name that you can set. It just shows you the subject line of the broadcast email.

I covered why this is a problem in the above section, but basically:

  • when you do the same broadcasts multiple times to different segments, it’s hard to distinguish which one is which
  • over the years when you have a lot of broadcasts, looking at just the subject line is not indicative of the purpose of the email — which again, is inconvenient when you’re trying to see patterns for potential growth

Is the same contact charged multiple times?

No.

What about unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts? Do they get charged?

No.

Is there an easy way to resend to people who didn’t open an email?

You can quickly set up a resend beforehand for broadcast emails, but not for sequence emails.

Does it have email series / drips / sequences / autoresponders capability?

Yes, and it’s quick to set up.

Can you set up automations based on subscriber behavior?

Yes. You can tag or subscribe contacts based on email opens or link clicks.

What about one-off broadcast emails?

Yes, it can do this.

How is the ease of setup?

ConvertKit is pretty easy to use, and because it uses a “plain-text” style editor like BirdSend, it’s very straightforward and quick to create emails.

Setting up sequences and automations is also simple and quick.

Who is the target audience?

More affluent creators who don’t mind paying a premium price.

Can it do A/B (split) testing?

A/B testing is available but it’s flawed in the following ways:

  • Can’t customize the email percentages for the original, variation, and winner email
  • You’re not able to customize the winner criteria (it’s set as higher open rate)
  • Resending the winner email to non-openers is not available

Can it create forms and landing pages?

Yes for both. The landing pages are simple and minimalist in the sense that you can’t “drag and drop” elements. But they look good. You can, however, change the font style, size, color, and images.

How is the email editor? Can you create emails quickly?

ConvertKit, like BirdSend, keeps simplicity as its focus. Because of this, the email editor is minimalistic and uses a “plain-text” style design. You can still insert images and logo though.

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes. Via tags, you can easily segment contacts.

What kind of reporting / stats does it provide?

Only open rates, click rates, and clicks are provided.

It doesn’t tell you your bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and spam rates. These are indicators of how healthy your email list is, so not sure why it’s not giving you these important stats.

Additionally, ConvertKit does not present the stats in an easy-to-read fashion — i.e. it’s randomly sorted, which makes it hard to review:

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp: ConvertKit’s stats are randomly presented while Mailchimp’s are neatly sorted

Can you send emails to people who abandoned your cart?

You can use Zapier (a 3rd party “connection” app) to achieve this.

Is there a spam-score tool to check your email content?

No.

Is the customer service good?

Generally, the sentiment for its customer service is good. Though it doesn’t provide 24/7 support, they typically get back to you in a few hours. They also provide a self-serve knowledge base where you can search for answers yourself.

You can get quicker support for more money by upgrading to their “Creator Pro” plan.

get faster customer service by upgrading your ConvertKit plan

Does it have a free plan?

Yes it does, with the following limitations:

  • their clickable logo / branding on every email
  • no free migration
  • sequence feature is not available
  • automation capabilities are also disabled
  • max 1k subscribers

How is the value for money?

As can be seen from its pricing page, ConvertKit has a premium pricing for more well-to-do creators. While it’s a good email service provider, when it comes to value for money, there are other tools that fare better.

Pros

  • Easy segmentation via tags
  • Good customer support
  • Quick to set up email sequences

Cons

  • Premium price tag
  • Outsources email deliverability to 3rd parties
    • Slower response time when issues occur
  • Subscribers can’t choose the types of emails they want to receive and which ones they don’t → most likely they’ll just unsubscribe completely from you
    • You lose more subscribers than you should

Now let’s move to the last part of this ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend comparison…


Mailchimp

Does it move over your data (i.e. provide free migration)?

No. You have to migrate everything yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Can subscribers select the types of emails they want to unsubscribe from (and which ones to stay subscribed to)?

Yes, being a list-centric platform, subscribers can easily do this.

Can you change the (internal) name of broadcast emails?

Yes.

Is the same contact charged multiple times?

Yes. Being a list-centric platform means subscribers are put into different buckets called “lists”. This means if the same person subscribes to 5 different lists, you’ll be charged for 5 contacts.

What about unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts? Do they get charged?

Yes. Even though you’re not able to send emails to them, you are still charged.

Is there an easy way to resend to people who didn’t open an email?

You can resend to non-openers, but:

  • You can’t set the resend beforehand
    • You’d need to login to your account after the email has been sent, and set it up manually
  • The setup is not 1-click
    • You’d have to replicate the original email, and then configure some filters / segments

Does it have email series / drips / sequences / autoresponders capability?

Yes. However, like almost every email marketing tool, a lot of back and forth loading multiple pages is required.

E.g. You have 7 emails in a sequence → you’d need to go back and forth to load (7×2) 14 pages while navigating the “sequence” page and “compose email” page.

Can you set up automations based on subscriber behavior?

Yes.

What about one-off broadcast emails?

Yes, it can do this.

How is the ease of setup?

Mailchimp is an all-in-one tool that can do perform a lot of marketing tasks, apart from email marketing. Hence the UI is confusing with tons of different options to choose from.

A steep learning curve is required to efficiently use the software.

Who is the target audience?

Mailchimp doesn’t have a defined target audience — it targets everyone and anyone who wants to do all types of marketing activities, including: email marketing, SMS, postcard marketing, domain registration, social media posting and scheduling, e-com store builder, Facebook and Instagram ads management, etc.

It also serves businesses of all sizes — no matter if you’re a solopreneur or have a small team or work for a large organization, Mailchimp welcomes you.

When it comes to business types, it also serves everything you can think of — local offline businesses, course creators, coaches, e-com stores, restaurants, teachers, writers, etc.

Can it do A/B (split) testing?

Yes. You can test the subject line, email content, send time, and from name.

Can it create forms and landing pages?

Yes, for both. The landing page UI is better than the form UI though (which is confusing and inconsistent).

How is the email editor? Can you create emails quickly?

It uses a traditional drag and drop editor and provides some 100 email themed templates based on email types like newsletters, events, ecom stores, etc.

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes, though it can be somewhat cumbersome and confusing.

The reason is because its primary way of segmenting subscribers is based on lists, yet it can also do tags.

When you use lists, you’d need to create a separate list for every interest, including customizing the settings. Imagine having to do this for 10 lists!

And then you have tags — people, especially new users, could be confused as to which one to use to segment — should they use tags or lists?

What kind of reporting / stats does it provide?

Apart from providing the typical stats like open rate, click rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and spam rate… it also provides comprehensive reports like click maps, hourly performance, and even shows how your stats compare against the industry average.

Can you send emails to people who abandoned your cart?

Yes, but mostly for e-com online stores only. If you don’t run an e-com shop, chances are you’ll need to use an external tool like Zapier to achieve this.

Is there a spam-score tool to check your email content?

No.

Is the customer service good?

Mailchimp is a billion dollar company with 1,200 employees.

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp — Mailchimp has thousands of employees while ConvertKit has much less team members

As can be expected with a huge corporation of this size, getting personalized and helpful assistance is difficult.

what this customer said about Mailchimp’s customer support

Does it have a free plan?

Yes, with the following caveats:

  • Their clickable logo / branding on every email you send
  • No automation
  • Max 2k emails/day and max 10k emails/month
  • Support is only available for 30 days

How is the value for money?

It can get expensive very quickly with Mailchimp because it charges you for:

1/ Unsubscribed contacts

2/ Unconfirmed contacts

3/ The same contacts in different lists

Plus, none of the paid plans support unlimited sending (even the highest tier).

convertkit vs mailchimp - all Mailchimp plans have a sending cap while ConvertKit doesn’t limit the number of email sends

Furthermore, each plan has a maximum number of contacts you can store. So even though the features of a particular plan might be enough for you… if you go over the maximum number of allowed contacts, you’d need to upgrade to a higher plan.

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Comprehensive stats provided
  • Lot of email themed templates

Cons

  • Has a history of not taking data privacy seriously (see above)
  • Poor “large corporate vibe” and “robotic” support
  • Confusing UI with tons of options and menus
  • Can accidentally send the same email multiple times to a contact, since it doesn’t check for duplicates before sending the email

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend Price Comparison

(price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k Contacts5k Contacts10k Contacts25k Contacts50k Contacts100k Contacts
ConvertKit (Creator)$29$49$79$119$199$379$679
Mailchimp (Standard)$51.99$51.99$79.99$105$230$320$540
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

TL;DR — ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend — which is better?

Many people think the more features a tool has, the better it is.

The reality is that you need to take these 2 things into consideration:

  1. Your needs So what if a tool has 50 features. Do you need all of them? Or do you only need 10? Choose a tool to serve your needs, instead of choosing one that has tons of features that you don’t need.
  2. Do you have the necessary resources (time and money) to implement what you want?

With that said…

If you’re a content creator looking for an affordable email marketing tool that can deliver high email opens, go for BirdSend.

Or maybe you’re a more affluent creator who doesn’t mind that your subscribers can’t choose to unsubscribe from certain types of emails (and instead unsubscribe completely), go for ConvertKit.

Should you have more complex needs and hence want more features like Facebook and Instagram ads management, social media posting and scheduling, or you run an e-commerce store, or you want fancy-designed emails, then go for Mailchimp.

Welly Mulia

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

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Try BirdSend Free Now!

Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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