Why I switched from Mailchimp to Kajabi to send my emails

Not-so-humble brag moment: my email open rate is ridiculous. How ridiculous? 38%.

I spend more time on emails than any other part of my business for two reasons: first- emails are the most fun for me, and second- it’s where the money gets made.

Emails are my numero uno favorite part of running my business for a lot of reasons. It’s where I get to show up as “me”, it’s where I get to have genuine conversations with you guys, it’s where I see the most proof that things are landing well (or not) with you, and it’s often where I can offer the most help to anyone feeling intimidated about an element of their online business.

And yeah, Emails are also where the moolah gets made. Don’t believe me? Here are some nerdy statistics:

  • For every 1$ spent on email marketing, you get an estimated $44 return

  • Every name in your email list is equal to about $1 of revenue per month

  • LESS THAN 6% of the people who follow you on social media see your posts at any given time

  • A message is 5X’s more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook

  • 72% of people PREFER to be sent promotional content via email

I say it in Copy Class – my signature copywriting course for non-writers – over and over and over:

Sales don’t happen on your website. They happen IN YOUR INBOX.

For all these reasons, it’s super important to me to have an awesome email provider that allows me to stay organized and informed about what’s working (and what isn’t) in my email campaigns.

By the way, if you’re reading this and going, “damn, maybe I should put more effort into starting or growing my email list” I’ve got you covered. Definitely download this free guide on, you guessed it, starting and growing an email list!

Okay, so now to the main event…

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Why I switched from Mailchimp to Kajabi for emails (and which one is better for you & your business)

First thing’s first: I used, and loved, Mailchimp for 2 years. It’s the perfect platform to start if you’re (relatively) new to having an email list. It’s simple, it’s got way more free features than “the other guys”, and it’s easy to see your reports.

So if Mailchimp was so great, why did I switch? Because my income source switched.

I went from being a high-ticket freelance copywriter to a copywriting educator. I was making plenty of money as a copywriter, but I hated only being able to help a handful of business owners each month. There are only so many hours in the day and so the only way to grow my business was to raise my prices, which I didn’t want to do. Plus, every time I delivered copy to my clients they’d be so happy…but then they’d be completely lost when it came time for them to write their own copy. All this led me to create my signature course Copy Class and my new business model was born.

I now make 100% of my income from online copywriting courses and downloads. Because I now run all my sales through Kajabi (more on why I chose Kajabi vs. Teachable later!), I need to be able to keep track of which subscribers in my audience have what courses so I can send them content that’s relevant to them.

Cool, but can’t you just connect your Kajabi account with Mailchimp?

Yes, Kajabi has an integration with MailChimp- BUT when you auto-import your Kajabi contacts into Mailchimp, you can’t automatically tag those contacts as students. Here’s what happened when I tried to connect my Kajabi account with my MailChimp account…

When someone bought my course and opted in via Kajabi, that new contact would be sent to my Mailchimp subscriber list. But it would only appear on my MailChimp list as “API Import”- I had no way of knowing which course they had bought, or even if they had for sure come from Kajabi. So I would have to manually go through the list of my Kajabi students and tag them in my MailChimp list as “students”, one by one.

It just wasn’t sustainable to tag each new contact manually, and have to keep track of them if anything changed (like if they bought a second course or watched a webinar, for example!).

The nail in the coffin: the extra $180 per year

The other thing was that my Kajabi course got super popular (an excellent problem to have!) and I got flooded with almost 2,000 new email subscribers (holy guacamole!). When you reach 2,000 subscribers, Mailchimp is no longer free & ya gotta start paying up a monthly fee (totally fair, Mailchimp!). Mailchimp’s “essentials” plan is $10/month ($120/year) and the Standard plan (the one I would have needed) is $15/month ($180/year).

I would have happily paid the monthly fee, however, the need for manual tagging plus the fact that I already pay a monthly fee to host my courses on Kajabi ($150/month) made the $180 per year an extra cost I didn’t want to take on. Every penny counts when you run your own business, right?

What I miss about Mailchimp: The analytics

Full transparency: I really miss the analytics and reporting features in MailChimp. I loved being able to see my overall open rates (38%!!), click-through rates, how my stats compared to others in my field, what sign up page a contact had come through on, when their status last changed, how often a contact engaged with email campaigns, etc.

Kajabi does offer analytics, but only on a per-campaign basis. You can see the info you need inside each email report, but you can’t see an overall report of how your campaigns are doing on the whole.

To be fair, I’ve only been on the new email platform for two weeks, so I know I still have a lot to learn!

Which platform is right for you?

Even though I really miss the analytics of Mailchimp, I’m already SO happy I switched to Kajabi for the simple reason of being able to target my audience by which products they own and which events they attended. It’s not relevant to send emails about signing up for Copy Class to those who already own it – it’s annoying and it prompts people to unsubscribe. No bueno.

Kajabi’s email platform also lets you do more in the way of live promotions, announcements, webinars, countdown, etc. where Mailchimp kept it pretty simple with its widgets.

So here’s my final thought:

New to business, or have a business that doesn’t involve Kajabi? Start with MailChimp. It’s an amazing platform for building your list and learning how that list likes to be communicated with. It’s the easiest email platform to use for integrations on website builders as well; Squarespace, WordPress, and Shopify all have MailChimp integrations built-in and ready to go. It’s also easy to see your analytics and trim your subscriber list of inactive subscribers.

However: if you’re a course creator or you already run part of your business on Kajabi, I highly recommend going with Kajabi’s built-in email service. It will make your life so much simpler, and your subscribers so much happier! A huge part of being successful with your email list is the ability to send your subscribers content that’s relevant to them. If you’re sending people stuff they don’t want or need, they’re gonna hit that un-sub button. Plus, you’re already paying for it- why not take advantage or all the things Kajabi has to offer??

Wanna see inside Kajabi for free? I gotchu.

If you want to give Kajabi a try, you can use my affiliate link for a free 28-day trial. Yup, it’s an affiliate link, so if you end up signing up for Kajabi after the trial, I’ll make a small commission.

If you want to see inside Kajabi’s email capabilities, I highly recommend checking out their webinar on Kajabi’s email platform. Again, this is an affiliate link so if you end up signing up for Kajabi here, they throw me a couple dolla dolla billz.