ConvertKit vs Mailerlite: Which Should You Choose?

  • June 15, 2023

ConvertKit vs Mailerlite, these are the two email platforms that are very commonly used amongst bloggers. But how do you choose which one is best for you?

Well, I actually use both, one for each of my primary blogs. They’re both extremely good email marketing platforms, but depending on where you are in your blogging journey and how your blog is structured, one may be better than the other for you specifically.

Here, I’m going to break down the differences between the ConvertKit vs Mailerlite plans and features to help you finalize your decision.

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own

ConvertKit vs Mailerlite: Free Plan

Thankfully, both email marketing providers offer free plans. However, the features that are included in the free plans vary so let’s take a look at what’s included in each.

ConvertKit Free Plan

If you want to stick to the ConvertKit Free Plan, here are the key features you’ll get:

  • Up to 1000 subscribers
  • Unlimited pages and forms
  • Unlimited email broadcasts to subscribers
  • Allowed to sell digital products and subscriptions
  • Instant lead magnet delivery
  • Ability to tag subscribers
  • List growth reporting
  • Basic email support

Now some of these are pretty self-explanatory but for the ones that aren’t, we’ll cover them in detail a bit further down.

What’s Missing From the ConvertKit Free Plan

The key feature I want to point out that isn’t included in this free plan is automations, which is a pretty big part of email list building.

Personally, this is where I drew the line on the free plan as this missing feature would mean I’m unable to set up an email series for my lead magnets or paid products.

The good news is that if you have less than 300 subscribers, you can upgrade to the Creator account for only $9 per month (paid annually) and get access to the automations feature.

Mailerlite Free Plan

Now, if you want to stick to the Mailerlite Free Plan, here are the key features you’ll get:

  • Up to 1000 subscribers
  • 5 landing pages
  • Unlimited forms
  • 12,000 emails to subscribers per month
  • Instant lead magnet delivery
  • Email automations
  • Ability to tag subscribers
  • Email campaign reporting
  • Basic email support

Many of the features included are similar to ConvertKit, with the big exception of the automations, which Mailerlite includes for free.

What’s Missing From the Mailerlite Free Plan

With Mailerlite, you don’t get unlimited landing pages or unlimited emails.

Now 12,000 emails per month may sound like a lot, but it’s not referring to the number of emails you write. It’s referring to the number of actual emails that get sent from your account per subscriber, including automation emails.

But if you’re not sending multiple emails per week and don’t have many subscribers going through automation emails, this isn’t something to worry about.

And if you instead wanted to add unlimited landing pages to this free plan, you can do so for $10 per month. However, you could also build your own landing pages on a subdomain for free.

Which free plan is better?

Since Mailerlite includes the automation feature in their free plan, it makes it a better option as email series and visual automations play a big part in nurturing your email list.

ConvertKit vs Mailerlite: Pricing

Now, I know budget will play a huge role when selecting your email service provider. That’s actually a reason why I have one list on each LOL. Here is the current pricing structure based on subscribers for ConvertKit vs Mailerlite as of Dec 2021.

ConvertKit Pricing

To make it a bit more equal to compare, this pricing example will be for the Creator account which includes automations.

These are the pricing structures based on the number of subscribers you have:

Up to 300 subscribers – $15/month or $108/year

Up to 1,000 subscribers – $29/month or $300/year

Up to 3,000 subscribers – $49/month or $492/year

When you pay annually, you’re essentially getting a savings of two free months. And of course, as your subscriber count rises, so will the price.

Mailerlite Pricing

Now Mailerlite has a similar pricing structure but their free plan doesn’t include unlimited emails. So for the comparison below, we’ll base it off of unlimited emails allowed.

These are the pricing structures based on the number of subscribers you have:

Up to 1,000 subscribers – $10/month or $84/year

Up to 2,500 subscribers – $15/month or $126/year

Up to 5,000 subscribers – $30/month or $252/year

As you see, the annual price provides a significant 30% discount compared to the monthly cost. So besides already being cheaper monthly, it definitely provides you with annual savings if you go that route too.

ConvertKit vs Mailerlite: Pros & Cons

Now of course no tool is perfect. This means that each platform will have their own unique set of pros and cons.

These are additional things you should consider when debating between ConvertKit vs Mailerlite as pricing isn’t the only factor.

Below I’ll share some of the most noticeable pros and cons I’ve encountered myself as a user for both platforms.

Though note,I have paid plans on both so not all pros and cons below are relevant to the free plans and are based on the platform overall.

ConvertKit Pros & Cons

First, let’s talk about the pros and cons of ConvertKit as your email service provider.

ConverKit Pros

I’ll be honest, ConvertKit definitely has a bunch of pros so it’s no surprise that they’re the leading email marketing platform out there.

Here are some of the benefits I love about ConvertKit:

1) Nice reporting dashboard with lots of detail

Their dashboard provides lots of useful information at a glance so you know exactly how you’re performing. This includes how many new subscribers per day, average open rates, average click throughs, totals and subscriber engagement scores.

2) Easy segmenting and tagging features

This is the primary reason I decided to move over one of my email lists to ConvertKit’s paid plan. They make it super easy to tag and segment your subscribers so that you’re not annoying them with newsletters that aren’t relevant for them.

3) Known for better open rates

Now I’ll be honest and say that I’m not too familiar with the technical side of why ConvertKit emails seem to have better open rates than other email platform providers LOL. However, it seems as if ConvertKit has a better way of helping your emails land in the primary inbox instead of the promotions / spam folders.

4) Easy A/B testing

ConvertKit makes it super easy to A/B test your email subject lines. They also don’t send the email to your full list at once.

Instead, they’ll send each email subject line to 15% of your list (30% total), then after testing for 4 hours, they’ll send the remaining emails with the winning subject line.

5) Resend to unopens

You can also resend your emails to unopens with or without changes. These changes could be on your subject line or email itself. Then, ConvertKit will group both together to provide you with a full report.

6) Stores lead magnet on platform

This prevents you from having to use a cloud host like Google Drive or DropBox to store your lead magnet downloads. You can simply attach it to your opt-in email and your new subscriber can download it directly once clicking the confirm button.

7) Ability to sell digital products

ConvertKit also released a new feature which allows you to sell your digital products directly from the platform. It may be a good option if you’re just starting out, however, I’ll be honest and say I haven’t used this feature myself as I sell my digital products on a different platform.

8) Great customer service

I haven’t had issues with ConvertKit, but they make it super easy to reach out to them whenever you have any questions. The times I have needed help with something, they responded back within minutes via their chatbox.

9) Integrates with multiple platforms

Because they’re one of the leading email marketing platform providers, they integrate with so many other sites with the need of a tool like Zapier.

Now I’m sure there may be more pros, but these are the main ones that stand out for me as a ConvertKit user.

ConvertKit Cons

Okay, so like I said… No provider is perfect and won’t appeal to everyone.

Here are some of the cons I’ve noticed from ConvertKit:

1) Emails not as pretty (less design features)

Compared to some other email providers, ConvertKit doesn’t come with many options to make your emails stand out. They like to keep the emails pretty basic, however I believe this is also what helps increase your chances at landing in the primary inbox versus the promotions folder.

2) Opt-in forms and landing pages not very customizable

Although they do provide you with lots of opt-in and landing page templates, once you’ve chosen one, it’s not very customizable.

This can be a bit annoying for someone like me who likes to have a “pretty brand” LOL. The good thing is that you have alternative options for your landing pages (like making them elsewhere).

And by limiting the design options on the opt-in forms, it actually helps get them done a lot quicker too haha.

3) Pretty pricey 

Obviously, ConvertKit isn’t a cheap option as their plans are pretty pricey. However, they do provide the benefits to back it up and thankfully added a new affordable plan for users who have less than 300 subscribers.

And if making money blogging is one of your main goals, ConvertKit can help you get there a bit faster with their easy automation features. This means your list will hopefully pay itself off each month.

Mailerlite Pros & Cons

I also love Mailerlite which is why I use it for another list, even though there are times where it can frustrate me LOL.

Mailerlite Pros

But let’s start with the Mailerlite pros as your email service provider below.

1) Easy drag-and-drop design features for emails, opt-in forms and landing pages

I absolutely LOVE the fact that they let me make my emails, opt-in forms and landing pages as pretty as I want LOL. Plus, it’s easy to create them with their drag-and-drop features.

And since you should have an opt-in form on your blog post, this really helps make them stand out even more.

Related Post: How To Make Landing Pages with Mailerlite

2) Simplified home dashboard with most important stats

Sometimes too many stats can be overwhelming, especially when you just want to see the most important details. Their simplified dashboard lets you easily see how your recent campaign is performing, average open rates, average click rates and your totals.

Their paid plan even provides a click map to show you which specific links were clicked in your email.

3) Integrates with multiple platforms

Because Mailerlite is so popular, it also integrates with multiple other sites without the need of a tool like Zapier.

4) Allows A/B testing

A/B testing can be super helpful in helping you improve your email marketing strategies. Mailerlite’s paid plan allows for A/B testing on your subject lines or email content to see which got better open rates or higher clicks.

5) More budget friendly

This one is pretty obvious as they’re significantly lower than the leading competition. This is also why I continue to have one of my lists on their platform.

Mailerlite Cons

Depending on what you need for your list, these Mailerlite cons make be the deal breaker for you, so let’s take a look at what they are.

1) Cannot upload files directly to platform 

This one isn’t that much of a big deal if you already have a cloud server for your blog or if you only have a few files to store.

If you don’t already have a cloud server, you’ll need to sign up and create an account. You can create a free account on Google Drive or DropBox, where each will have their own storage limits.

2) Automation and funnels aren’t as easy

To be honest, this is what drove me to move over one of my lists away from Mailerlite. Although they do allow you to create automations and set up email funnels, it’s not very easy to do.

The tagging and segmenting takes time which is what is needed for your automations. If you’ll be having several “tags” for your subscribers, then this might not make it simple for you.

To learn more about tagging and segmenting your list, I highly recommend the Love Your List Course, although it only opens up a few times per year. Meanwhile, you can gain some great tips by watching the free masterclass here.

3) Can be very glitchy too often

This one is by far the worst con Mailerlite definitely needs to work on. Their platform does come with a lot of glitches, especially when writing your emails.

For example, it’ll constantly change my email formatting or remove links I’ve added which causes me to do double work as I go back and fix it. However, Mailerlite is working towards improving and adding more updates so hopefully this issue also gets resolved.

4) Not easy to resend to unopens

Although their platform does allow you to resend your email to unopens, you have to do a lot of clicking around to get to this point. However, they do have a tutorial on how to resend emails that can walk you through the process if needed.

Which is best for you?

So ConvertKit vs Mailerlite, which should you go with?

Obviously, this is going to depend on several factors including your budget and what features are most important for you. The good thing is that both offer free plans so that you can test them out.

However, keep in mind that having automations in place is a super important feature you definitely need to consider having.

For this reason, I would recommend only comparing the ConvertKit Creator Plan to the Mailerlite Free and Premium Plans when making your decision.

If you can invest a bit, ConvertKit may be for you. If you have no budget, Mailerlite may be the way to go.

But hopefully this ConvertKit and Mailerlite comparison review made your decision making a bit easier.

Any final questions regarding the two? Leave them in the comments below so I can help.

And remember, there is always something to be happy for… Cheers to blogging! What are you cheering to today?