I am sure you know by now just how important email marketing is for your blog and business. It seems like every blogger, coach, and business strategist out there is telling you that you need to have a list. It is not optional.
But why, you might be asking.
Some say email marketing provides the highest ROI (or return on investment) for your business. Now just having an email list won't generate an ROI, you need to know how to implement it properly and create an engaging and trusting relationship with your readers.
But that is where the magic happens. Once people trust you, you have that straight connection to their inbox. No need to worry about all the changing algorithms on social media hurting your reach.
So when I started Blog Me Lovely, I knew that I wanted to turn it into a business right from the beginning. I relaunched in June and got ConvertKit just a month later.
Just a month without a list right? Not exactly. I have been blogging since 2010 and it took me until July of 2016 to start any efforts toward list building.
Can you say a late adopter?
The funny thing is, I always knew the importance of starting and nurturing an email list. But I had nothing to sell on any of my other blogs and thought that it was no use for bloggers like me. The ones who had nothing to sell.
Even though I had nothing to sell at that moment I always knew that I was going to sell something one day. I missed out on the opportunity to create genuine relationships with my readers. The kind of relationships that would have translated into sales when I did launch a product or service.
Building that trust before you have something to sell or even before you send an email with an affiliate offer is so important.
My Email Marketing Realization
When I decided that it was time to start building my list, I was on the hunt for the best email marketing platform.
I knew I wanted to take list building seriously from the start and I wanted a platform that would let me do that.
Now, I know most people start out with MailChimp because they have a free version. But I knew that it was a list-based platform rather than a subscriber-based platform. That means that if a subscriber opted-in to 3 of my freebies then they would be counted as 3 subscribers instead of 1. So you could see how you could reach the free subscriber threshold of MailChimp pretty quickly if you were going tackle list building like a boss.
Remember though a tool is just a tool. It in itself won't magically grow your list, it matters how you use the tool, what strategies you implement, how you are engaging with your audience and just you doing the work.
But I wanted a tool that would make what I needed to do as easy as possible.
The price was the one thing that scared me at first when considering ConvertKit. I mean did I really want to pay $29 a month when I was starting from zero? I decided that it was worth the investment since I was going to be treating my blog like a business.
Even more than that, I connected with Nathan's story. He is the founder of ConvertKit and he was fed up with the other platforms offering a one-size-fits all solution for every type of business. So he set out to create a platform that was geared for bloggers and entrepreneurs. That is definitely a company I can stand behind. One that sees the value of bloggers and looks to solve their email marketing problems.
Let's Talk Features
You are charged by the subscriber but the subscriber is only counted once no matter how many lists they are on!
This was one of the main deciding factors for me. I knew I was going to be making multiple lead magnets and I definitely didn't want to be penalized for a subscriber wanting to get more than one freebie.
[bctt tweet=”Why should I be penalized when a subscriber is on more than one list? With ConvertKit, I'm not!” username=”blogmelovely”]
They have a neat slider where you can see what the monthly cost will be for the number of subscribers that you have.
You can create landing pages and forms.
While I don't think ConvertKit is as robust as Lead Pages when it comes to landing pages, it is definitely nice that you can create them.
Also, if you are a WordPress user and have the ConvertKit plugin then the landing page can show up with your URL. That is what I did for the landing page for Week of Code. It is nice because I have a completely branded and easy to remember URL to give to people.
For landing pages, there are 4 templates that you can start with. The neat thing is you can add custom CSS but if you aren't familiar with that it is still very easy to customize.
For regular forms, you have 3 templates to start with that are just as easy as the landing pages. What I like is that you have the option to set it as inline (so on the page), pop up or as a slide in. It doesn't require any extra program. It can all be done with ConvertKit.
Clear and easy to read stats.
Every time I sign into my account I see a nice big graph showing the number of subscribers. It is so great that I don't have to go looking for this number.
For each broadcast (or email sent), you can see an overview of how it performed. You can see the date and time it was sent, the subject line, how many subscribers it was sent to, the open rate, the click rate, the number of clicks and the number of unsubscribes.
What makes it even better is that each stat is clickable. So I can click and see who the subscribers were that I sent it to. I can easily see what links were clicked and even who clicked on the link. Also, I can see who unsubscribed. I love being able to dig down into the data.
[bctt tweet=”Easy to read stats help me make better email marketing decisions.” username=”blogmelovely”]
Easy resend to subscribers who didn't open it
Sometimes you are going to have a really important email and you are going to want to make sure that you have as high of an open rate as possible. But you, of course, don't want to send the same email twice to people who already saw it. Plus who wants to go through the trouble of setting it back up?
ConvertKit has a neat feature called “Resend to Unopens” and it does exactly what you might think. It will resend the email to ONLY the people who did not open it in the first place. Pretty genius!
Creating sequences (such as welcome sequence or automatic email courses) is a breeze.
I was worried that it would be difficult to set up an automatic email sequence for my email course Week of Code. I wanted to automate as much of the process as possible so students would get an email every day throughout the course.
It took me maybe an hour to get an 8 email sequence set up, and the majority of that time was actually writing the emails and getting the links to the resources I was mentioning! It was seriously a seamless process.
If you have never created a sequence before, they provide you with a sample set up that you can follow. Or you can just insert, delete, edit as you see fit.
You also get the detail reports for the sequence as a whole as well as each individual email. So you can start to see where in your emails subscribers either stop opening or start to unsubscribe. Really great information to have.
You can get very specific with you gets your emails, making it easy to target the right people.
Picture this, Sicily 1922. Okay, I had to go there. Fellow Golden Girls fans will totally understand.
No, but seriously, imagine you want to send to everyone who enrolled in your email course but only want to send to students older than 7 days because you know they have finished receiving emails from the course. It is SO easy to set up. It will even tell you how many subscribers your broadcast will go to.
There is actually a better way to handle people who have finished an email course, but that is a topic for whole other blog post!
But that brings me to the amazing-ness that is tagging and automation!
Tagging is what seriously helps you organize your subscribers. I like to have tags for different interests, if they are in the nurture stage, and if they are currently students. I also plan to create tags to track leads and paid students/users once I start to offer courses.
The best part is you can automate that process.
I create link triggers for every link in my email. That way if I link to a post about Facebook and a subscriber clicks on it, they get tagged with Interest: Facebook because I then know that they are interested in Facebook.
So if I write a new blog post regarding Facebook or create a product or service with Facebook in mind, then there is a pretty good chance this person would want to know about it. I can then send that information to just the people who already expressed interest in that category. And that is what makes a very targeted email!
As you can see above, there are quite a few triggers: subscribes to a sequence, subscribes to a form, completes a sequence, clicks a link, tag added, and tag removed. I do not even have all the option visible. Depending on what integrations you have, more options are available.
Setting up an automation is just like IFTT (If This Than That). If the trigger is performed, then ConvertKit will automatically do a set action such as adding a new tag or adding the subscriber to a sequence. You do not have to do anything after you set this up! What a time saver.
[bctt tweet=”Setting up automation in ConvertKit is so easy and can save you so much time!” username=”blogmelovely”]
Finally, there are quite a few programs that you can integrate with ConvertKit.
Do you sell courses through Teachable? If you do, you can set up triggers so that when someone purchases your course, they are automatically added to a tag called STUDENT: COURSE NAME. That way you know to exclude them when you send out promotional emails for the course.
I mean you don't need to advertise a course they are already a part of right? Common sense. And it makes for a much happier email subscriber. I absolutely hate when it is launch season for a course I already purchased and I get bombarded with emails.
Here are all the platforms that currently integrate with ConvertKit:
I knew I made the right choice choosing ConvertKit for my blog and business. The features, ease of use and sleek design of the platform definitely work for me.
Does that mean it is 100% the right choice for you? Of course not. But I hope this post helped clear up some questions you may have had.
Are you ready to switch to ConvertKit?