Over the past few months I’ve totally upped my email list game. I’ve learned SO much and I want to share all of the juicy details with you! I owe a lot of my recent list building success to the fact that in January, I switched email marketing providers – from MailChimp to ConvertKit.
Best. Decision. Ever!
Let me start with a little back story…
When I first started my email newsletter list, I immediately signed up for MailChimp. I didn’t even research other options. I chose to sign up with MailChimp because I had used it for at prior jobs and because it was pretty.
Yes, I signed up because their website was pretty.
It seemed really user friendly and it had pretty colors. The look and feel of the website made me want to use it. (That’s a pretty good testimonial for why user experience design is important! lol)
MailChimp worked fine for me in the beginning. It had a free option, which was helpful for me since I was just starting out and I wasn’t really making money as a business yet. This was wayyy back when I was still working full-time and I was starting an email list for my food blog, which was just a fun passion project.
Once I quit my full-time job to start Code Love Creative, I got really focused on building my list. I knew it was important to grow my audience from the very beginning and have a way to connect with my readers and potential clients, get feedback, and send them a bunch of awesome content.
It wasn’t until I started getting really serious about growing my business that I realized some of MailChimp’s shortcomings. >>> Click to tweet!
Let me explain why I wasn’t completely satisfied with MailChimp and why ConvertKit totally won me over…
One of the most important things features of an email marketing platform is automation. An example of automation is when you offer a freebie to someone who opts in to your list and then they automatically receive an email with the freebie link to download. No human intervention required. They just get added to your list and then received the awesome free content they were promised.
MailChimp has an automation feature. But the catch is, you have to upgrade to a paid plan in order to use it. Okay, so having to upgrade to use a tool that I find essential to list building was a bummer, especially when my list was pretty small in the beginning. But I decided the investment was 100% worth it because this feature would save me time and increase the number of subscribers on my list.
Once I started using the automation feature, though, I found it pretty confusing and not very intuitive. I was reading all of these articles about how important it was to “upgrade” my content and put a specific content upgrade in every single post. So I started creating some fun worksheets and things for different posts to encourage people to sign up for my list. It didn’t take me long to realize that in order to set up automation for these opt-in forms, I would have to create a separate list for each one.
This is a problem because I wanted to create a bunch of content upgrades and thinking of managing all of those lists was already making my head start to spin. I knew there could be a better way…and that way was ConvertKit!
They make it super easy to set up content upgrades. Take a look at the user-friendly screen:
List-Based vs Subscriber-Based
Let’s talk more about this list thing because it’s super important. One of the most fundamental differences between the two services is how they organize subscribers. MailChimp is list-based, meaning the functionality is geared towards separate lists rather than unique subscribers. ConvertKit is subscriber-based, meaning that the functionality is geared toward individual subscribers.
Let me break it down with an example:
I’ve written a post for how to increase your email opt-ins and I want to add a form with a free worksheet download. In MailChimp, I would need to create a new list specifically for this post in order to have a form with the unique automation set up to deliver the worksheet. This becomes a problem if say, one of my existing subscribers always wants to download all of my freebies. They end up getting added to this new list, even though they’re already on my other lists. Why is this a problem? Because MailChimp charges per subscriber, for all lists. If someone is on two lists, you pay for them TWICE. Now just imagine how quickly that adds up as you add more and more lists.
In ConvertKit, a subscriber can be subscribed to multiple forms and you only pay for that unique subscriber ONCE.
FREE ConvertKit Migration Worksheet
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Organization + Strategy
When I was using MailChimp, it would get super tricky trying to send one email to everyone who was interested in “Marketing” because I would have a bunch of different lists associated with different opt-in offers. If I chose more than one list, it was likely that the same subscriber would receive an email multiple times. (not to mention, each of those duplicate emails would get added to my tally and possibly force me to get bumped up to the next subscription level). No bueno!
I am a HUGE fan of organization and ConvertKit makes it super easy to keep track of all of your subscribers by using tags, segments and more. To continue on the last example, if an existing subscriber opts in to a new form on my site, instead of getting added to another list, I can add them to a specific segment or add a tag to their account. I can set it up so that anyone who opts into this particular form should get the tag “list building” added and they should be put into the “marketing” segment. In the future, I will be able to go back and see everyone who is interested in “marketing” – and “list building” in particular.
You can even go into each subscriber’s profile and see all of the different forms they subscribed to plus what segments and tags they have associated with their account.
Trigger Actions with a Link
Another thing I LOVE about ConvertKit is how easy it is to get feedback from your subscribers. For example, if you blog about business, your readers might be at different stages of the process and will be interested in different topics. You can send them an email asking them to click on the link that best describes their current situation: want to start a business, own a business that’s 1-2 years old, has a successful business. By using ConvertKit’s handy Automation Rules, subscribers can self-segment themselves according to their interests simply by clicking on one of the links. Then you will know what each subscriber wants to learn more about.
This is just one example of ways that you can use automation rules:
If you want to set up sales funnels or free e-courses, ConvertKit makes it super easy through their Sequences interface. They even go an extra step and tell you exactly what to put in each email to make it convert well PLUS be the best quality for your readers.
All of these reasons for loving ConvertKit are super great… But most important, they make it super easy to send emails (which they call Broadcasts). Like everything else in the platform, it has a super user-friendly interface. Creating and customizing forms is a breeze and they even have a WordPress plugin which is super easy to set up.
Do yourself a favor and go try ConvertKit right now!
Then download my FREE ConvertKit Migration Worksheet below. (If you have over 10,000 subscribers, they’ll do your migration for FREE!)