When I first started BforBloggers, I was using Jetpack’s native way to collect emails from my subscribers. It allowed me to collect emails, but I didn’t have much control over it.
It didn’t allow me to send emails manually, track the open rates, conversions, and clicks. So, the Jetpack’s “subscription” module does not have even the basic features.
I started using GetResponse after having a bad experience using Mailerlite. Over the last 4 years, I’ve used MailChimp, GetResponse, Aweber, and Mailerlite.
Back when I started using MailChimp, they didn’t have automation in their free plans. A lot has changed as of 2020.
Most of the email marketing services (EMS), including Mailchimp, have included full-featured automation in their free plans. A boon for many beginners.
However, for someone who takes email marketing seriously, you can’t rely on free services. They just don’t do justice to your business at all.
Lack of support, limited analytics reports, missing automation features, limited deliverability, and limited access to advanced features such as logical pipeline is prominent in all free EMS.
Before switching to ConvertKit, I was using Aweber.
And before Aweber, I was using GetResponse.
Both of them are powerful and popular email marketing services.
But the one thing they both lack is simplicity and easiness.
Neither of these two is built for bloggers.
With the launch of Autofunnel, GetResponse has taken a step to become more intuitive for bloggers, but still, they are far from competing with ConvertKit on that.
The moment I started to use ConvertKit, I realized this is exactly what I needed.
If you remember, I talked about how I used MailChimp’s group to send different lead magnets to different subscribers. It is a feature that pre-exists in ConvertKit.
Here’s a complete review of ConvertKit:
A Practical Workflow Automation
One thing I loved above all else is ConvertKit’s workflow automation. It’s so much more practical and easy to understand than Aweber.
You can check and analyze the workflow patterns in a glimpse. It’s clear, and you don’t have to go through a learning curve to start building new automation.
It’s exactly what I wanted and had a brief image of. I did have a couple of questions with their sales team before I signed up for a trial.
They made the following this very clear:
- ConvertKit is purely focused on bloggers and content marketers
- It’s made with a perspective of a bloggers needs
- It’s not competing with Drip and Infusion soft
The most famous automation email marketing services like Drip and InfusionSoft are not made for bloggers. Absolutely not.
Advanced marketers with skills that involve deep targeting and segmentation with multiple products and funnels use InfustionSoft or Drip.
ConvertKit makes it pretty simple to create automation.
You can simply go to the automation tab and create new automation within a few minutes.
You can not find any email marketing service, that is this simple. Everything is clear and concise right in front of your eyes.
Aweber has that old school design, nothing to help in making things easier or faster. The workflow templates are missing; the action placement is not apparent, which makes me sick. You’ve got to give a lot of time to figure out Aweber.
ConvertKit’s report dashboard is also quite simple. On the home dashboard, it shows you how many subscribers you’ve gained in a chart, there’s also a growth graph that you can toggle by clicking on total subscribers.
To check each broadcast’s report, you’ll have to click on broadcasts and select the email you would like to see the report for. It shows you the number of clicks, open rate, bounce rate, numbers of unsubscribers, and recipients.
Emails & List Size Logic
This is an important topic, and you should pay close attention to this one. Because this is where the money comes in, and many users often lose a lot of money in email marketing services due to this particular problem.
A lot of email marketing services, including Aweber and Mailchimp, count one email address in multiple lists or groups as different email subscribers.
In layman terms, duplicate emails are not automatically identified and counted as one in most of the email marketing services.
Well, Convertkit does it. When you create multiple email lists in the same account and if anyone subscribes to all of them, then that email address will be treated as one. There is no double-counting the same subscriber.
It is a substantial money-saving factor, and it is really the way it should always work. Not only it helps you save money, but it also allows you to understand how many unique emails address you have on your list.
This gives a clear picture of your audience’s size and helps create segments without hesitation.
Simple Email Templates
Convertkit doesn’t have a drag and drop email editor. Their ideology behind keeping the simple text editor is the effectiveness in a plain text email.
When you write an email to a friend, colleague, or family, you don’t design a border, add bold colors and icons, etc. You simply write the way you speak and send it.
That’s precisely what ConvertKit emphasizes on. They say when an email is sent with fewer design elements, they tend to get more click-throughs and conversions.
I would agree on that too. While using GetResponse, I came across more than 50 different email templates. Some had bold headlines with social media footers, and some had pictures and cool header elements.
But the problem I faced was a lot of time the emails I sent would go to the promotional tab. Optimizing the headlines helped in some cases, but mostly it still went to Gmail promotional tab despite being very personalized with a compelling headline.
Using ConvertKit, there is no option to design an email using a drag and drop builder. This means even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t be able to send any emails that looked like they are coming from social media networks and e-commerce websites.
However, if you want to create a specific design for your emails, you can do so using the HTML editor. You can go to the email templates section like this: And create a new custom template the way you want. It does require HTML skills, so if you don’t know how to do it, you can hire a freelancer from Fiverr.
You can still add bullet points, headlines and affiliate links to your emails without any problem.
Multiple Lead Magnet Management
If you focus on building your email list, you should utilize strategies like content upgrades and lead magnets.
Lead magnets are incentives in the form of PDFs, free service, a trial to a tool for free, etc. which dramatically increases the conversion rate for optin forms. When compared to usual “subscribe to the email list” call-to-actions, lead magnets are more compelling and give users a good reason to provide you with their email address.
There will be a lot of times when you’ll realize you need multiple lead magnets. Especially when you are writing about multiple topics on your blog, you’ll notice one lead magnet doesn’t work for different audiences.
In such cases, ConvertKit is the best option, there’s no doubt about that. You can create multiple segments for a single list and assign different incentives to each segment.
No other email marketing software has such a feature that allows you to create segments and send subscribers in a single list.
You can create multiple tags and segments to classify your subscribers into individual interests.
In my case, I’ve three different segments:
- WordPress & Blogging
In the incentive email, I ask my subscribers to choose a single topic that has their deepest interest.
This allows me to send more personalized emails to each subscriber. This results in higher open rates and click-through rates, as well as low, unsubscribe rates. Because I’m not sending a WordPress blogger an email about upselling and down selling, I’m sending helpful WordPress tutorials instead.
Free Migration from Other Email Marketing Services
One of the best non-software related features of ConvertKit is the “Concierge Migration.”
If you’re currently using any other email marketing service and sign up for ConvertKit, you get one-time free migration for free. All you need to do is fill up the migration form on this page, and ConvertKit’s team will handle the rest.
If you have more than 5000 subscribers, the migration includes integration configuration as well. For instance, if you’re using lead generation tools like OptinMonster, the migration team will set up OptinMonster’s integration as well. They’ll also update any CRMs if you have and move your old forms to the new one.
The concierge migration service will help you, especially when you have no prior experience in migrating from one email marketing service to others.
It’s a huge time saver, and currently, no other email marketing services have this facility for small businesses with fewer subscribers count. You can avail ConvertKit’s free migration service even if you have 500 subscribers.
To test it, I signed up for concierge migration and opted to upload a list of about 500 subscribers. The migration happened in less than 2 hours without any fuss.
Easy Re-send Feature
ConvertKit is one of the very few companies that allow users to re-send an email to subscribers who didn’t open it the first time.
Email re-send feature allows you to automatically duplicate an email and send it again in case your subscribers don’t open your email in the first attempt.
When you re-send the emails using this feature, you won’t have to manually select subscribers or campaigns like you do in MailChimp. You just click “re-send to unopenes,” and that’s it.
You can only use this feature once. If you wish to re-send an email again, you can simply duplicate it by clicking the button in the above image. Then send it to the segment of subscribers who didn’t open the email at the second attempt.
You can also A/B test different email subjects. For starting, you can test a subject headline with an emoji with a headline without one.
However, you cannot A/B test email content. It also doesn’t work for email sequences, the only thing you can tets is email subjects, that too in broadcast emails.
ConvertKit comes with a landing page builder in case you don’t use any other software like Unbounce to do that.
Their landing page builder is a beginner-friendly drag and drop page editor with some page templates.
That makes the whole work easier as you simply pick a template and edit it with your words. Not much of a designer’s work, but you will have to understand how landing page copies are written to get a better conversion rate.
I won’t take ConvertKit’s landing page feature too seriously. It’s mostly useful for beginners currently learning and testing how sales pages and CRO (conversion rate optimization) works.
It does replace free landing page builders and gives a much more modern and professional look. It has compelling designs, most of them are optimized for conversions.
ConvertKit also has a WordPress plugin. Using their official plugin, you can connect your website to your account and host your landing pages on your domain.
Connecting your account will also help you add ConvertKit form into your blog posts and pages in a single click.
A crucial part of deciding if an email marketing software is right for you or not is its integration with the current software you use. Convertkit has a bunch of native integrations available.
What’s good is it works with Zapier as well. So if you use a software that doesn’t integrate with ConvertKit natively, you can find one in Zapier and make it work for you.
Zapier will also allow you to create more logical commands to build a pipeline the way you want. For ex., Zapier allows you to connect ConvertKit via PayPal and tag subscribers that make a purchase.
For instance, If you use Teachable for selling courses, you can integrate it with one click and connect with your students via email through sequences.
You can set up a tag for each student that joins your course and add these subscribers to a sequence which automatically guides them throughout the course.
When it comes to plans and pricing, ConvertKit might not be the most affordable email marketing service out there.
Its first plan starts at $29/month and increases depending on the size of your email list. If you pay annually, you’ll get 2 months free.
They’ve also launched a free plan that gives you basic features and allows you to manage up to 500 subscribers.
The free plan will let you collect 1,000 subscribers if you refer another 5 customers to ConvertKit using their referral program. It’s not something everyone can do, but still, it is something you can archive by writing about it.
Using the free plan, you can test-drive ConvertKit’s platform and understand it’s where’s what in the dashboard. It will also help you decide if it is something you’re looking for.
Your account will be verified before you can send your first email through ConvertKit. This is a one time process and it makes sure that you get the highest delivery rate possible.
Of course, there’s a 30-day refund window, in case you don’t like their software.
Make sure you signup using your domain-name email address, as it will make the verification process easier.
In terms of feature, front-end, and email deliverability, ConvertKit is simply one of the best.
It’s not that powerful for e-commerce websites and advanced internet marketers. You won’t find features like Drip’s delivery time A/B test, more complex automation with pixels, and email metrics.
It is made for bloggers and content creators and works best for them.
In case you’re looking for a better email marketing software that lets you build an email list and send emails without making it a hectic job, ConvertKit is the right choice.
Here are a few more guides you would like to read:
- What Is An Ethical Bribe And Why You Should Use It
- How to Use Content Upgrade On Your Blog & Get More Subscribers
- How To Generate More Leads in a Small Budget: 7 Strategies
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.