© 2018 Screw The Nine To Five Marketing Incorporated. All rights Reserved.
ConvertKit is THE most popular email marketing and automation software for bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and online course creators. But is it actually worth all the hype? Find out now by scrolling below…
Free for 14 days
Their prices are some of the most affordable on the market.
Most people were satisfied with the features available
They offer high quality support and a moderately fast response.
When Nathan Barry first created ConvertKit, I believe he wanted to design something that was easy for everyone to use.
At the same time he wanted to have the same features seen in most CRMs (customer relationship management) at the time like Salesforce, Hubspot, and InfusionSoft.
So, keeping this in mind…
I reached out to Nathan and this is what he had to say about his reason for starting ConvertKit:
Fast forward to today and this is their current mission:
If this mission doesn't resonate with you, there's really no need to continue reading this ConvertKit review.
Otherwise, if it lines up with who you are and the business you're building, then read on…
Straight up, ConvertKit is an email marketing solution for content creators, with a few added extras.
Here is everything you can do with your ConvertKit account as of this year:
If you're familiar with any of the available CRM's like Salesforce or InfusionSoft, then try to imagine ConvertKit as being a more affordable and simplified version of these.
If there was ever an area ConvertKit could afford to spend more time on, it would be improving their opt-in form and landing page builder.
When creating a form, initially you have 2 choices:
Next up, you have 3 styles to choose from:
Once you've chosen the style you like, the next step is to edit design and settings using the panel on the right-hand side.
The design editor is really basic and doesn't allow for a lot of customization. However, with that being said you can make further changes by using their built-in CSS editor as pointed to below.
There are 4 main ways to embed a ConvertKit form on your website:
Because most people reading this will use WordPress, I'll take you through a quick tutorial for adding a form to your sidebar.
Step 1: Install the free ConvertKit plugin
Step 2: Connect your ConvertKit API key and API secret
Step 3: Add the Widget to your sidebar and select your ConvertKit form
Final Step: Check to make sure the form looks the way you want in the sidebar. Any changes you make to the design in your ConvertKit account will automatically appear on your website.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to embedding and using ConvertKit forms.
In fact, most people tend to use third-party apps like Unbounce, LeadPages, and ClickFunnels to build landing pages that host ConvertKit forms.
Speaking of landing pages, ConvertKit also has those as well.
Definitely not my favorite ConvertKit feature.
ConvertKit doesn't offer a great range of options, however the ones they do offer (3 versions) are simple and easy to edit.
Landing pages follow the exact same setup steps, just with different editing options.
For example, by adding a background image and a picture of myself, I can turn this landing page…
Not bad for 1 minute of work!
Even still, that's about the extent at which you can edit ConvertKit landing pages, without having to custom code with CSS.
When it comes to embedding, you have 2 choices:
Adding a landing page to your WordPress site is easy.
Step 1: Add a new WordPress PAGE (not a post).
Step 2: Select the landing page you want to use below the page editor.
Step 3: Publish your page and check to make sure it appears correctly.
Now you can start directing people towards your new landing page.
I think this is an area that ConvertKit can afford to spend a little more time and energy on.
The reason why I think they haven't at this stage is because of the sheer number of existing landing page builders that do a better job.
Instead of competing against these other tools, it's probably easier to just integrate with them.
Even still, it's a very easy feature to use. I'm giving it a score of 8/10.
One feature that doesn't disappoint is the email broadcast editor in ConvertKit.
In other words the tool you use to send out emails to your list.
They got this right for 3 reasons:
Other things you can do when sending broadcasts:
One of the things ConvertKit jumped on nice and quickly was the whole debacle around GDPR.
There's an easy-to-use filtering option that allows you to leave out anyone located n the European Union, as shown below:
This way, if you're worried about sending marketing emails to anyone in the EU, ConvertKit makes it easy to leave those people out.
If you're looking for a simple broadcast editor that rivals MailChimp, then ConvertKit scores high marks.
The one annoying thing I had to do was design my own custom email template using CSS and so I wish they had more prebuilt templates to choose from.
Because it's an easy to use platform, I'm giving it a score of 8/10.
Next up let's talk about building email sequences inside ConvertKit.
In case this is the first time you have heard of this term, let me explain it in one sentence.
Email sequences allow you to automatically send out a series of emails to anyone subscribed to the specified sequence.
There are 2 ways to create sequences with ConvertKit:
This is how to create a sequence in the main sequence dashboard:
And this is how you create a sequence in the Automation Builder…
Creating a new sequence is easy and like most of the tools in ConvertKit, it's quite intuitive.
Below I've pointed to the 3 key options:
You can also preview each email and set filters if you don't want certain people seeing certain emails…
After creating all of your emails for the sequence the next section to check out are the settings.
The settings allow you to:
And finally you have reports which allow you to see:
I've created sequences in almost every email marketing provider including Aweber, MailChimp, Ontraport and InfusionSoft and by far ConvertKit is the most intuitive, especially for someone who isn't very technical.
Although it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of an InfusionSoft or ActiveCampaign, I'm okay with that. Sometimes having too many options can cause unwanted confusion.
I'm giving it a score of 9/10.
The next feature that seems to be getting upgraded quite often is the Automation Editor.
This works by allowing you to set up rules that are automatically applied to any subscriber.
For example, let say someone joins your list to get a certain freebie/lead magnet and you want them to be sent a specific sequence of emails.
That would look something like this:
Now let's say you want to do something more complex like if someone buys a 4-week program from you and instead of sending them the first lesson right away, you want them to wait until the end of the month.
That would look something like this:
It's all quite easy to use and just requires a little creative thinking at first.
The first step is to choose 1 of 4 events that triggers the automation sequence:
You're also able to select multiple starting triggers to run at the same time:
When you click on the “+” button, it will bring up a form with 3 options:
When it comes to creating marketing automation sequences, ConvertKit has done a great job in simplifying the process.
Although right now the range of rules you have available is small, it's easily enough for 90% of online businesses.
Because of this I'm giving it a score of 9/10.
The last feature worth mentioning in this ConvertKit review are the contacts records.
This shows all the information for each of the contacts that have subscribed to your list.
When you open up a contact record, you can see the following:
Although you don't get to see a lot of information in the contact records, what you do see is nicely laid out and easy to manage.
Even still I would like to see this feature expanded upon some more.
For that reason I'm giving it a 7.5/10.
When I polled over 13,000 people inside our private Facebook group to ask them who they think are ConvertKit's main competition, these 3 tools came up most often:
Quick note: ConvertKit wrote a guide called 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Switch From MailChimp To ConvertKit, which is an interesting read when you get the chance.
To make the decision as easy as possible for you, I'm going to break down the pros and cons of MailChimp in relation to ConvertKit.
MailChimp has one thing and one thing only going for itself and that's it brand.
As far as usability goes, it's not very intuitive. Maybe it's okay for when you first start your business but eventually, you're going want to do more.
So who wins this fight?
ConvertKit wins by a long shot.
After MailChimp, ActiveCampaign is the next tool most people contemplate choosing between it and ConvertKit.
This is a tough decision.
On the one hand, you can do much more with ActiveCampaign than ConvertKit, but on the other hand, you have to pay more to get access to the main features.
The Lite version of ActiveCampaign isn't as good as ConvertKit.
If you want to use every feature, you have to pay 3 times more for the Plus version or 6 times more for the Professional version, both of which are priced higher than ConvertKit.
Weighing up all of this, I decided that ActiveCampaign wins this battle…with a caveat…
The majority of people will NOT require spending the extra money on ActiveCampaign Plus and therefore I would recommend ConvertKit instead.
Next up we have Aweber who I would say are MailChimp's biggest competitor.
Aweber was the first email service provider we ever used back in 2012, so I know a lot about how it works.
I think you probably already guessed who wins this one. Most businesses who use Aweber tend to be offline brick and mortar and so they sign up with the first one they see, which is either MailChimp or Aweber.
There's no comparison between ConvertKit and Aweber and so ConvertKit wins this battle.
Short answer is yes. Long answer is email marketing is still a very important piece of the overall marketing strategy for any online business.
So whether you decide to roll with ConvertKit or some other email marketing tool, growing an email list still remains an important part of marketing to an online audience.
Not that we can tell. However, with that being said as your subscriber base grows, ConvertKit (like every service) will continuously charge you more and more.
That's why it's recommended that you cull your email list periodically so that you can be sure you are only contacting people still interested in what you have to say.
They do have a 30 day refund policy. Here's what they say in their billing FAQs:
“Our 30 day refund policy applies to all plans, including annual plans. We do not refund or pro-rate payments made more than 30 days prior to the request.”
Good question, yes you can and it's quite easy. They offer detailed tutorials on how to transfer email lists for every service provider, including:
– Active Campaign
Also if you have more than 5,000 subscribers, they will manage the transfer for you, free of charge.
We haven't tested this out thoroughly by comparing it to every other email service provider on the market, however after moving our list from InfusionSoft to ConvertKit, we did see an instant 20% rise in open rates.
We cannot confirm this will be the case for everyone, however we can say that it was true for our experience.
Based on a number of different factors including: price, deliverability, available features, customer support and much more, we decided to score ConvertKit a rating of 4.4/5
Their service is affordable, easy-to-use and their customer support is normally quick to respond and a pleasure to deal with. If you're looking for a nice, simple solution to email marketing, then ConvertKit may be the best fit for you.
© 2018 Screw The Nine To Five Marketing Incorporated. All rights Reserved.