ConvertKit Review 2017: Email Marketing Made Easy
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You’ve probably heard that the money is in the list.
As a matter of fact, investing in a tool that can help you grow this list is the best decision you can make as a blogger.
So, which tool am I referring to?
I’m referring to an email automation tool.
When email marketing is implemented properly, the return on investment (ROI) can exceed that of any other marketing strategy. According to Campaign Monitor, the average return for email marketing is $38 for every $1 spent.
For this reason alone, it is essential that you invest in an email marketing automation platform that is easy to use and critical for your blogging needs.
The email marketing automation platform I recommend is ConvertKit. ConvertKit makes it super easy to build an email list of subscribers and it was designed with the needs of bloggers in mind.
In this blog post, I will give you my unbiased review of ConvertKit. After this ConvertKit review, I hope you will realize just how essential it is to invest in an email marketing automation platform.
There are two types of emails you can send with ConvertKit: sequences and broadcasts. Both of these email types will be explained in this section.
A sequence of emails are emails that are automatically sent to a specific segment of the people that are subscribed to your email list.
For instance, you can set up a ‘welcome’ sequence, which will automatically go out to every person that subscribes to your email list. You can also set up a ‘bought’ sequence, which will automatically go out to every person that has bought a specific product you are selling.
For sequences, you write a series of emails, put them in a specific order, define a schedule of when you would like to have the emails sent, and ConvertKit will automatically send them out for you. You can schedule the time and the days of the week you would like your sequence emails to be sent.
Broadcast emails are emails that are only sent once. These emails are best used when you want to send the same message to every subscriber at the same time.
For instance, if you want your readers to know about a webinar you’re doing or if you want them to know about a special discount on a product you love, broadcast emails are the emails you want to be sending.
If somebody subscribes to your email list a day after a broadcast email is sent, they will not receive the email. You may have to create another broadcast email and send it out to them if you want them to receive it.
A certain percentage of your subscribers will not open the broadcast email you sent. Perhaps they were busy at the time the broadcast email was sent or the email headline just wasn’t appealing to them. ConvertKit has this amazing feature that allows you to resend a broadcast email to the subscribers who didn’t open the email the first time. This is a really useful feature to have because it will maximize each email you send to your subscribers.
Personalizing Your Emails With Tags
Segmenting your subscribers within emails is a very important feature to have. Many people may not understand why this is so important, so let me explain with an example. Let’s say that you are selling a newly released eBook and you want to offer a discount to those who have previously purchased from you before.
ConvertKit allows you to create a tag so that the subscribers you want to offer a discount to will see one version of an email, while the rest of your subscribers will see another version of the same email.
When you personalize your emails with tags, you don’t need to write two separate emails for two different segments of your email list.
ConvertKit also allows you to write a broadcast email in advance and schedule it to be sent on the date and time of your choosing. Scheduling a broadcast email is really useful when you know about a promotion that will be taking place sometime in the future. You can start crafting an email and have it sent on the date and time you schedule it for without having to worry about writing the email on the day a promotion starts.
ConvertKit automation is where the real magic happens. Automation is important in terms of email marketing because it allows you to segment your subscribers based on interests.
ConvertKit offers 6 triggers that can lead to 6 different actions.
With ConvertKit automation, you can trigger an event that’ll allow you to perform a specific action.
In order for your subscribers to receive any sequence from you, you would have to go into ConvertKit automation and select the ‘Subscribes to a Form’ trigger on the left and choose the action ‘Subscribes to a Sequence’ on the right.
If one of your subscribers clicks on a link you included in your email, you can tag them as showing interest. This is a really useful tool when launching a new eBook or eCourse. For instance, you can send out an email promoting your newly launched product to your readers and if they click the link in your email, you know they may be your target audience because they have expressed their interest in your product.
Since you’re targeting your subscribers based on interest, you’ll see more engagement and higher conversion rates from the emails you send.
You can also segment your subscribers based on whether they have purchased from you. To enable this trigger, you’ll have to integrate ConvertKit with a shopping cart. ConvertKit currently integrates with Gumroad, SamCart, Shopify, and Woo Commerce.
If your shopping cart is not included in the list of ConvertKit integrations, you can integrate ConvertKit with Zapier. This will allow you to integrate ConvertKit with other shopping cars, such as SendOwl, Stripe, and PayPal.
Gathering Subscribers Via ConvertKit
There are two ways you can gather subscribers via ConvertKit. The first way to gather subscribers is via a landing page. ConvertKit currently has 4 landing page templates to choose from. ConvertKit also integrates well with Instapage, which is an advanced landing page builder that is guaranteed to increase your conversion rates.
The second way to gather subscribers is by embedding a form anywhere on your website. ConvertKit currently has 3 form templates to choose from.
The headlines, images, and colors of the landing page and form templates can be edited. The one downside to using ConvertKit templates is that it’s impossible to move elements around.
The amount of customization you can do with ConvertKit landing pages and forms is very limited. If you want fully customizable options, I recommend using Thrive Leads to create forms and Thrive Landing Page Builder to create landing pages.
Email Template Customization
ConvertKit is the email marketing platform of choice for many bloggers and online entrepreneurs because of the simple emails it can send. ConvertKit focuses more on the message of the emails rather than the style of the email templates.
Email providers may tend to view emails with lots of designs as spam. For this reason, emails sent with fancy email marketing platforms are more likely to end up in your subscribers’ spam folder rather than their inboxes.
Despite this, you may still want to add a little bit of design to your email templates. ConvertKit allows you to customize your email templates with CSS and/or HTML. Even without this customization option, you can still send professional looking emails.
I mainly use customization to add social media icons to the bottom of my emails. If you want to grow your social media following, I highly suggest you do the same. Here is a link with a video of how to add social media icons to your ConvertKit emails: Add Social Media Links to Your ConvertKit Template.
Another customization I sometimes add to my email templates is a clickable button. This button can lead directly to a sales page or to an affiliate product you are promoting.
ConvertKit’s customer service did not disappoint. They provide all the resources and tools you need to succeed with email marketing. If you have any questions, you can email ConvertKit at [email protected]. ConvertKit’s customer service team has always responded to my emails in a timely manner (usually on the same day).
ConvertKit also offers some fantastic resources to get started with email marketing. If you don’t know where to find these resources, ConvertKit’s customer service team will point you in the right direction.
Here are just a few of the resources I’ve used:
- A getting started guide
- A checklist to setting up your ConvertKit account
- ConvertKit User Guide
- Migrating from your old email service provider to ConvertKit
- The Complete Guide to Email Marketing eBook
ConvertKit also has a Facebook group called “The ConvertKit Family.” This Facebook group is a fantastic place to ask questions, learn a few tips from other ConvertKit customers, and share your success stories.
The Price of ConvertKit
The amount of money you spend on ConvertKit depends on the number of subscribers you have on your website. The price of ConvertKit starts at just $29/month. Below is the pricing for ConvertKit:
The price of ConvertKit may seem to be a little higher than the price of its competitors. Here is a table that compares the prices of ConvertKit and its competitors:
Despite ConvertKit being more expensive at face value, ConvertKit can actually be the cheapest option to choose from. Here’s why: ConvertKit, unlike its competitors, does not charge for duplicate subscribers.
For instance, let’s say that 25,000 people subscribed to your newsletter and 15,000 of those people also subscribed to a product you are selling. ConvertKit will only bill you for the 25,000 people who subscribed to your newsletter. Aweber and Get Response, on the other hand, will bill you for 40,000 subscribers. So, the prices for each email marketing automation platform will look like this:
Don’t worry about the price of ConvertKit because it will pay for itself in the long run. ConvertKit really is the best money you can spend to grow your audience and increase your sales.
ConvertKit vs Its Competitors
If you search the internet, you can find a lot of articles from bloggers about why they are switching from their current email service provider to ConvertKit. The short answer to this question is that ConvertKit is simple to use.
Unlike many other email service providers, the learning curve for ConvertKit is very small. ConvertKit also requires very little technical knowledge to get started.
Before switching to ConvertKit, I used Mailchimp and it was not very user friendly to begin with. Mailchimp was able to create fancy email templates with their drag and drop newsletter builder; However, the emails sent by Mailchimp did not look very professional.
Mailchimp is free for your first 2,000 subscribers, which is why I was attracted to it in the first place. However, I soon learned that I had to spend a little to earn a lot. I switched to ConvertKit immediately after realizing that if I wanted my blog to succeed, I needed to get serious about building an email list of subscribers.
The Pros and Cons of ConvertKit
Here are the best things about using ConvertKit as your email service provider:
- Offers a simple, clean, and easy to use interface.
- Does not be charge for duplicate subscribers.
- Allows you to customize your email templates with CSS and HTML.
- Integrates well with Zapier.
- Allows you to do A/B split testing for subject lines in broadcast emails.
- Uses a tag based system as opposed to a list based system
- Switching from another email marketing automation platform is really easy with ConvertKit.
- No fees to setup or migrate from another email service provider.
- Great support with fast response time.
Here are the not-so-great things about using ConvertKit as your email service provider:
- It does not offer a free trial.
- You can’t send fancy template emails.
- It doesn’t exactly create the prettiest landing pages or forms.
ConvertKit is definitely an investment worth making if you are serious about starting an online business. When email marketing is done right, it can result in more conversions and more sales for your business.
As a matter of fact, my first affiliate sale was a direct result of my email marketing efforts. This shows just how powerful email marketing can be. This also shows why it is so important to start growing an email list of subscribers as early as possible.
One of my biggest blogging mistakes is that I waited a year before starting an email list. I left so much money on the table by not starting an email list earlier. Don’t make the same mistake I made. Get ConvertKit today and you’ll thank me for recommending it to you later. I, without a doubt, know that I made the right decision by switching to ConvertKit.