ConvertKit Review 2016/2017: Easy Email Automation For Bloggers

Email marketing is a hot topic these days.

And for good reason. Implemented properly, it will certainly become the most important tool in your business for creating relationships and making sales.

ConvertKit is an email marketing platform for professional bloggers. Easily create email sequences, tag subscribers, grow your list, and automate your email marketing.

ConvertKit Review

Successful marketing takes time. You have to grab a potential customer's attention, then stay in touch until they finally decide to purchase your product. One of the best ways to do that is with a landing page or a form in your content. You publish something on that page that will get their attention, then include a contact form at the bottom where they can signup to learn more. Follow up with emails, and over time you'll hopefully turn them into a customer.

That workflow typically takes a number of apps: one to publish your content, another for your form, and one more to send your emails. You might even need two email apps, one to send drip emails on a schedule and another to send newsletters and updates.

ConvertKit can handle it all from one app: forms, landing pages, drip emails, and newsletters. It can even host downloadable files so you can offer an incentive for readers to sign up.

You'll start out by adding a new form—which can come in a standalone form or a landing page. For forms, you can choose between a standard email-only field, a larger form with a description, or a full-sized embed with a graphic of a downloadable extra you're offering if you signup. Landing pages offer 4 different layouts, some that look more like a blog post an others that look more like a direct signup page.

Either way, you can immediately start customizing your signup tool. On forms, you'll see text already entered—just click and type in what you'd like the form to say instead. Landing pages provide more room for text, but they work the same—click and add your content. You can't add extra widgets or media to pages, but landing pages do let you add custom HTML to your product description, and the magic wand icon on both forms and landing pages let you set the colors and a background pattern if you'd like.

Then, on the Settings page, you can customize what happens to contact info that's added to your form. You can add them to an email sequence, send an "incentive" email with a free download as a thank you for subscribing, and tweak the style with custom CSS. Then, you'll find embed codes for the form, and Twitter cards that let your followers signup in a click. From the Automations page, you can set up automated actions to add customers to workflows, add tags, or unsubscribe them based on their interactions with your emails.

With that done, you'll need to get emails to engage those new followers. From the Sequences page, you can make workflows that send emails to contacts on a schedule. You can add a subject and content to each email, set how long the email will be sent after the first one, and rearrange emails as you need. This will onboard new followers—and can even be an easy way to build an email-powered course for new customers, if you'd like. Or, if you need to get in touch once, perhaps about a new blog post or a sale, you can use the Broadcasts page to send an update to your followers.

ConvertKit will keep track of your subscribers, with graphs on your landing page that show total subscribers and tiny graphs on the bottom of each form widget in the homepage to show that form's signups. It's everything you need to keep your subscriber base managed in one place easily, with everything from forms and landing pages to individual contacts and emails all managed in the same app—one that helps make marketing as simple as possible.

What is ConvertKit?

ConvertKit includes many of the same features that you are used to if you have ever used an email service provider before. So if you are making the switch over to ConvertKit, the learning curve should be very small.

The only terminology you might not be used to is that autoresponder series in ConvertKit are called Sequences.

The first thing that stands out though when you first login to your ConvertKit account is how nice and polished everything looks.

Nathan’s background in UX design and it really shows in how he’s designed the entire ConvertKit workflow. Everything is very crisp, intuitive and easy to use.

Leads can be collected via web forms or through landing pages that you can create within the ConvertKit editor.

There are 3 form templates and 4 landing page templates to start from.

Everything inside the template is editable so you can put in your own headlines, images and change colors to your hearts content. However, the templates are also quite rigid in the fact that you can’t move elements around.

While limited in number, the designs available are incredibly nice, and you don’t have to sift through hundreds of silly looking templates like you do with Aweber.

If you’ve never created a full blown autoresponder series before, ConvertKit helps you out by providing a very nice template series of draft emails that you can follow if you wish.

ConvertKit Features

  • Stay in touch with your prospective and existing customers with drip emails and newsletters
  • Gather subscribers with opt-in forms
  • Include downloadable incentives with forms to encourage subscribing
  • Integrate with WordPress and set specific CTA forms for each post
  • Create landing pages with custom CSS and domains to launch products and gather subscribers
  • Personalize emails and segment subscribers into lists

ConvertKit Pricing

  • $29/month for 1,000 subscribers, with unlimited emails and full features
  • $49/month for 3k subscribers
  • $79/month for 5k subscribers
  • $99/month for 8k subscribers

See convertkit.com/pricing to find the pricing for your number of subscribers

ConvertKit vs the Competition

Matched against email service providers like Aweber or Getresponse, I don’t think there’s much doubt that ConvertKit is better.

Aweber and Getresponse also both lack the automation capabilities that ConvertKit offer, and they aren’t innovating as quickly as ConvertKit is able to.

But how does ConvertKit matchup against one of my favorites like ActiveCampaign? I have accounts with both so lets take a quick look.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign

There’s a ton to like about ActiveCampaign. It is packed full of features at an affordable price. Plus its visual automation editor is one of the best.

The main trade-off between ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit is power vs ease of use.

ActiveCampaign is just packed full of features and there are so many things you can do inside your ActiveCampaign account. For some, that’s a good thing, while for others it can be overwhelming.

Contrast this with ConvertKit which has a distraction-free interface that makes it easy for you to get the hang of.

The main power of ActiveCampaign are its automations. It gives you almost unlimited flexibility with creating different workflows.

You can create simple two step workflows, or more complicated ones for cart abandonment or list pruning. It also has way more triggers and actions than ConvertKit supports.

ConvertKit’s automations don’t give you as much flexibility as it really only provides you with one step workflows. However, they are much easier to get a hang of and you can still implement many common automation use cases with them.

Price-wise, ConvertKit does not have a free trial and is relatively more expensive then ActiveCampaign.

Honestly both products are very good, so select the one that best fits the way you and your business works.

ConvertKit Switchers and Case Studies

ConvertKit has been growing with leaps and bounds, and I’m reading about people switching over to ConvertKit every day.

I’m also seeing a lot of people using ConvertKit in amazing ways, both to grow their email list, and to make money from it.

To gives you some examples of who’s using ConvertKit today, here are some links to some interesting switcher stories and case studies I have found.

Final Thoughts

ConvertKit is definitely an interesting up and coming email service provider. You can see they are starting to get more traction as some big name bloggers like Pat Flynn and Kim Roach have started using them to manage their lists.

What makes it stand out is its extremely polished UI design and its easy to use automation rules.

Automation really is the future of email marketing, and done right, can really give you precise control over the emails you send to your list, resulting in more conversions and sales for your business.

There’s a lot of potential with ConvertKit and I expect to see even bigger and better features being added as Nathan continues to work on the product.

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software