Kartra vs ConvertKit: Side-by-Side Comparison (2023 Guide)
Are you trying to decide between Kartra vs Convertkit for growing your business?
Kartra and Convertkit are two feature-packed and robust tools. But while they both aim to make it easy to run an online business, there are fundamental differences in what they offer, how they work, and whom they target.
Convertkit is an email marketing and funnel-building tool. With it, you can build landing pages, forms, and emails and build automated email funnels. Convertkit is currently developing a commerce functionality, but whether or not it will measure up to Kartra’s Checkouts is yet to be seen.
Kartra, on the other hand, is an all-in-one online creation, marketing, selling, and growth tool. Like Convertkit, Kartra can build pages, forms, emails, and funnels. But Kartra also has additional features that make it more robust than Convertkit. These include agency, affiliate management, memberships, quizzes and surveys, marketplace, checkouts, order bumps, upsells, and down sells.
In this article, we will compare Kartra vs Convertkit in depth by looking at the features found on both platforms.
Table of Contents
Kartra’s drag-and-drop page builder is easy to use, it’s intuitive, and it requires no code.
You can build pages from scratch or use Kartra’s ready-to-use templates by selecting from a category related to your industry.
To build a page, you only need to drag elements onto a canvas and edit them by resizing, adjusting fonts, changing colors, formatting text, adding your log, etcetera.
While designing your page, you can add popups, forms, and videos.
With pop-ups, you can capture leads, send welcome messages, offer discounts, encourage customers to checkout, or offer discounts if they are about to exit without purchasing.
Having videos on your pages adds visual interest. But if you want to add more than one video, this can be distracting and add visual clutter. With Kartra, you can have pop-ups in video format and still maintain visual appeal while keeping your pages clean.
With forms, you can increase conversions, capture leads, and build your email lists.
Kartra pages can dynamically adapt the content shown to visitors based on behavior and tags. Kartra calls this Behavior Adaptive Marketing. A good example of BAM in action is recommending a special discount offer to customers with a “VIP” tag.
Kartra pages allow split testing, a feature that lets you test the performance of different versions of a page.
If you want to build a website, you can convert pages into a website by adding a menu, footer, and global styles to each page. Check out these Kartra website examples for a look at what’s possible.
ConvertKit lets you build and host landing pages to grow interest in your brand, idea, or project, and grow email subscribers. You can start building your landing page with Convertkit’s customizable templates and be done in minutes since the templates are so easy to use. There are 10 categories of templates to choose from; so whether you want to promote a webinar, eBook, event, newsletter, profile, product, or video, you’ll find a template format to work with.
Templates go from very simple formats that only include text and a lead-capture form, to more detailed formats that include video, such as the below newsletter template whose design elements are designed to capture the essence of a product in a show-and-tell video, or of a brand in a creative niche.
ConvertKit’s clean editing interface makes working on the templates quite easy. If you’re working with the template above for instance, to customize any of the design elements, click on it and then choose the changes you’d like to make from the editing panel that loads on the right.
You can upload an image from your computer, Instagram, or Unsplash (Convertkit integrates with Unsplash giving you access to free images).
Uploading a video is also just a matter of adding a URL that will embed your YouTube video.
If you’d like to add text, click on the text element, add text, edit it, and your template is ready.
ConvertKit’s page builder is impressive and easy to use. But Kartra has more templates, and it supports addition of way more features.
You need forms to build lists. Kartra has dozens of stunning-looking, mobile-responsive forms for building your lists.
The forms autofill with information collected from previous visits.
The forms are customizable. You can add any field that will help you segment your lists with greater detail. The more refined your segmentation, the more relevant your marketing message will be to individual customers.
Here are some interesting Kartra forms features:
- You can customize forms to match your brand colors
- Customers are tagged when they submit a form, and these tags trigger further actions such as adding a customer to a mailing list
- Set your forms to pop up on pages or when a video is playing. You can also embed a form in your website
- Double sign-up forms confirm the email addresses of customers signing up, ensuring you get quality leads
- Kartra forms are GDPR compliant
The form builder in Convertkit is not all that different from the landing page builder. But while a landing page is like a complete web page with a lead generation form, a form only embeds on a webpage to capture leads.
The form feature, therefore, is useful if you have a website and you’d like to capture visitors’ information as they browse your website.
Creating a form is even simpler than building a landing page, and it begins with selecting one of the display formats shown below, then choosing a template and editing it.
All the editing styles load on the right of the page when you click on an element. Everything is accessible and easy to use, making it possible to edit a form such as this one in 10 minutes or less.
You can customize Kartra’s and Convertkit’s forms to capture any type of information you want. Customization is easy and the form templates are attractive.
Kartra’s segmentation feature falls under the “Leads” feature.
Leads are the biggest asset for any online business, therefore it’s quite convenient to have all your leads in one comprehensive view. With Kartra, you can see each customer’s entire profile on one page, including transactions and communication you’ve had with them.
Kartra logs a timeline of every action taken by your leads, leaving at your disposal a wealth of valuable customer journey information such as
- Behavioral patterns: how they found your site, links they interacted with when they exit your site
- Whether or not your sales funnel design is working. i.e., are customers navigating the funnel in the way you’d anticipated?
- Identify breaking points. i.e. points where customers seem to jump off the funnel the most
Lead tagging and lead scoring work hand in hand, allowing you better serve your customers.
Lead tagging with Kartra allows you to categorize your leads and customers. With leads categorized into subgroups, you can tailor your marketing messages to each group. For example, you can send free leads an email to upgrade to your starter package.
Lead scoring involves using a point system to categorize your customers. When used alongside the tagging system, lead scoring can help you transition your customers into different segments such as VIPs, first-time customers, repeat customers, etcetera. You can even assign a score to customers who have completed an action such as attending a webinar.
Transitioning leads from a competitor system into Kartra is quite easy. You can import leads into Kartra, along with lists and tags straight into Kartra.
Convertkit lets you organize subscribers by segmenting and tagging, and you can find this feature under subscribers, in the Grow tab of Convertkit.
If you already host your subscribers on another platform, you can import them directly from that platform, or add them to Convertkit in CSV format.
If you don’t have subscribers, you can create new subscribers with the “add a single subscriber” option.
While you can tag subscribers later, creating tags as you add your subscribers is more convenient as it saves you from having to do so in the future. You can also specify actions that you’d like the system to take for that subscriber as you’re adding them to the system.
For example, let’s say you’re adding one subscriber and you’ve tagged them “new subscriber”. You can choose to include that subscriber in a form or a sequence as shown below.
In the above scenario, the new subscriber would receive newsletters from the two forms you’ve selected, and would also be added to an email sequence.
Tags are labels that help you identify your subscribers. In Convertkit, tags play a more crucial role than segments. Convertkit uses tags (and not segments) to indicate subscriber interest, set up conditional paths in a customer automation sequence, and to trigger an automation rule.
You can use these labels as filters when you want to segment your subscribers into groups fitting certain criteria (determined by tags and other filters).
It would be impossible —or tedious when you attempt it— to group subscribers using tags when you want to send broadcasts to large groups that may fit multiple criteria, and that’s where segments come in.
But overall, subscriber grouping and organization depend primarily on tags. Tags are static groups. Segments on the other hand can change depending on the filters applied to them.
The segmentation system used by both tools differs, but it’s effective.
Kartra is an email automation platform. With Kartra email, you can:
- Set behavior-based email automation. For example, you can automatically unsubscribe customers who haven’t opened emails in 60 days or automatically send an email reminder when the previous email is unopened.
- Split test different parts of your email such as subject lines, and automatically switch the campaign to the better version
- Customize emails by selecting from a collection of templates and section components. For example, you can use try out different hero sections or different testimonials designs. To customize, drag and drop the components onto the template.
- Use custom tags to customize emails, by adding an individual customer’s details
Kartra automates your emails through the IF and THEN functions. The IF function is a trigger that sets off a condition (THEN), which is an action that Kartra takes. Predefining the triggers and conditions beforehand creates an email funnel sequence that runs with no effort at all.
Kartra email doesn’t just stop at sending emails, it also automatically tags, tracks, split tests, and optimizes emails.
Other messaging features include:
- Automatic SMS sending. Just like email, Kartra will queue and send text messages are queued and sent based on the parameters you set
- You can set a limitless number of triggers and conditions (conditions are set through TRUE/FALSE statements)
- Tag leads and manage lists by subscribing and unsubscribing people from lists or sequences
- Manage sequence timing
- Email analytics. Email performance is displayed on a dashboard. You can track emails sent, open rate, click rate, sales generated from clicks, and unsubscribed emails.
Convertkit has two types of templates: classic email templates, and starting points.
Classic templates are old template versions. While they are applicable across all email needs, they offer fewer options for customization. This is clear when you open a classic template in the email builder. in addition, the editing options are rigid and confusing.
Take the example below. Image 1 shows the original template. Image 2 shows the template as it appears in the email editor. The text elements shown in image 1 aren’t in image 2. Instead, you have “start of default content” which is confusing, and the explanation offered for it only adds to the confusion.
Although creating emails with the classic templates is user-unfriendly, but not so with starting points. However, the latest Convertkit templates, known as starting points, are the answer to this problem. Starting points are easier to edit and are more customizable. In addition, you can save any templates you customize and reuse it as many times as you want.
However, while you’d expect that starting points would be the answer to the classic templates, they aren’t at the moment, as you can only use them for broadcasts. Therefore, if you must use Convertkit to send any emails other than broadcasts, you’ll have to contend with the user-unfriendly classic templates.
Kartra is a full messaging system offering a more sophisticated SMS and email service.
Kartra interconnects all the different components in its ecosystem (such as pages, opt-in forms, checkout etcetera) to create powerful automated funnels to execute your marketing ideas and drive sales. Kartra helps you solve the HOW of marketing strategy execution.
With Kartra, you can interconnect multiple pages and emails into a funnel flow with a drag and drop sequence builder. The resulting sequence is an overview of your entire campaign strategy.
If/then, and yes/no rules allow you to create multiple scenarios for executing your campaign. You can also stack conditions/rules to create advanced funnels.
As leads advance through the funnel, you can control the communication they receive by tagging them into different groups.
As your campaign progresses, you can track each step and get an overview of how people are advancing from one step to the next in real time.
In case you are not a seasoned marketer or if you are simply looking for campaigns to execute with speed, you can profit from Kartra’s plug-and-play funnels made either by Kartra or by Kartra members. These ready-made funnels have been tested and proven to generate significant conversions.
You too can export your own funnels into Kartra (campaign marketplace) once you become good at creating funnel sequences, and sell or offer them to others for free.
Working with clients is also easy on Kartra. If you need to share a client’s creations with them, you can export the completed work directly to the customer’s account.
We’ve talked about creating emails in Convertkit. But after designing emails, you need an efficient method to send the right email, to the right person, and at the right time.
You can do this will email automation tools. Email automation tools help you manage your email load to ensure you stay focused on your business.
With Convertkit, you can:
- Create funnels and automate them by setting up rules
- Customize an email path for a subscriber based on the actions they take
- Anticipate a subscriber’s next move and plan ahead by creating and pre-scheduling the right content for them
Convertkit’s funnels are visual. This means that at a glance, you can:
- See and understand the journey subscribers are taking to the conversion point
- Learn how subscribers are interacting with your content
- View content performance for each step
Building a funnel sequence in Convertkit is quite easy, and begins with specifying an event that starts your automation sequence. For instance, signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product, or if a customer is added to a tag.
After that, you can add actions, conditions, or more events. Adding conditions branches your funnel into yes and no paths, on which you can build on more events, actions and conditions.
It’s quite easy to do, and you can build funnels that range from very simple to very sophisticated.
What’s more, you don’t have to leave a sequence to edit a funnel. Clicking on any part of a sequence, opens it within the same window, avoiding distractions and long back-and-forth processes.
Convertkit’s funnels are impressively simple to build. But Kartra’s funnels have more features such as plug-and-play funnels, direct export to the marketplace, and funnel sharing.
Kartra’s selling process happens through its customizable single-step checkout and multi-step checkout forms.
The checkout forms display important product information such as description, color, variant, and pricing.
Kartra Checkouts are built to improve customer satisfaction and increase checkouts. Some checkout features to note include:
- Checkouts and the warehouse are connected to make order fulfillment faster
- There is no limit on the products you can sell
- You can list products at multiple pricing
- Support for different pricing models (recurring, installments, and one-time payments)
- One-click checkout
- Support for order bumps and upsells
- Support for PayPal and credit card payments
- Leads are scored automatically
- Send follow-up emails automatically
- You can customize product trials and promos
- Support for 40 currencies and 12 languages
- Automatic tax calculation based on geographical location
- It uses 256-bit encryption protocol to protect transactions
- Real time analytics updates for all transactions
You cannot build digital products on Convertkit. But you can sell digital products —including eBooks, newsletters, music, coaching, and presets— with Convertkit’s commerce tools.
This feature is currently being rolled out and is therefore not accessible to all Convertkit users.
That said, even after it’s rolled out, you’ll still need to subscribe for a digital product creation tool to build your products.
Convertkit’s eCommerce feature is yet to be available to all users.
Kartra integrates natively with SMS gateways, payment processors and email.
Some of the applications it supports natively include:
Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal, Braintree, Plivo, Nexmo, Plivo, Elastic Mail, MailGun, Postmark and SendGrid.
It also supports membership platforms such as Kajabi and aMember.
If you use Google Calendars, you can automatically sync it with Kartra too.
If none of your apps are supported, you can code custom integrations with API and IPN
Convertkit integrates directly with a lot of tools to allow you to build workflows, manage affiliates, capture leads, hold surveys, plan giveaways, track analytics, etcetera.
It also integrates with Zapier to create even more integrations with Zaps.
You can also build your own integrations with Convertkit’s APIs if you have the skills or have an IT team working for you.
Both tools support multiple integrations natively and through API.
Kartra’s ecosystem is quite feature-rich. From email to funnels, pages, memberships, quizzes, agency, forms, calendars, helpdesk, videos, affiliates, and more.
Imagine having to track all these features in different tools.
Kartra cuts down all that work by tracking data for all these features and integrated tools and then presents it in one dashboard.
You can view the following performance metrics in Kartra Analytics:
- Email performance such as open rate, clicks, and conversions
- Landing page and web page metrics such as engagement (time on page, scroll time), transactions, and conversions
- Video metrics such as how much time someone watched a video and where they bounced off
- Membership subscription, including how many members unsubscribe per month
- Conversion for your Facebook or google ads
- Affiliate performance
- Product performance such as which products sell the most
- Such metrics can show a pattern in bounce-off, helping you to optimize different parts of your content to improve retention.
- Calendar analytics such as average meeting length
- Helpdesk analytics such as how long it takes to resolve customer tickets
Convertkit shows subscriber data in graphical format, giving you access to performance information such as:
- New subscribers in a day
- Subscriber growth over time
- Emails sent and average click rate and open rate
- Purchase data such as number of purchases, revenue, refunds, etcetera
Filters in the graphs make it easy to work with data and analyze it within a segment or time period.
While Convertkit’s reports give you something to work with, you’d still need an additional tool to perform detailed analysis.
Convertkit’s analytics feature only captures subscriber data. It doesn’t provide detailed data on email performance. You may have to rely on a third-party analytics app for such data. Kartra has more detailed analytics and doesn’t need to rely on a third-party app.
Bottom Line: Kartra vs ConvertKit. Which Tool Should You Choose?
Kartra and ConvertKit are both impressive tools. But you might prefer one over the other depending on your budget allocation and business needs.
If all you need is a landing page, email, and funnel builder, ConvertKit will do just fine.
Otherwise, go for Kartra if you want a tool that goes beyond building landing pages, emails, and funnels. Kartra will work very well for you if:
- You are a creator looking for a suite of tools
- You want to sell products locally and internationally
- You aren’t constrained by budget
- You are an agency or if you want to manage multiple clients with ease
- Your business model relies heavily on videos
- You want to offer an internal helpdesk
Kartra pricing options include four plans: Starter at $99/month, Silver a $199/month, Gold at $299/month, and Platinum at $499/month. See our Kartra review for even more info on this powerful marketing tool.
ConvertKit pricing options include three different plans: a free plan, Creator at $15/month for up to 300 subscribers, and Creator Pro at $29/month for up to 300 subscribers.