If you’ve been online for longer than 30 minutes, you know that email marketing is an essential part of the equation. There are countless email marketing service providers that promise the world.
Not all of them are created equally.
Some of them have features ideal for ecommerce brands while others are geared towards creators or software brands. When choosing a tool, it’s important to know exactly what it brings to the table so you won’t have to switch a year down the line.
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That’s never fun.
In this ConvertKit review, I’ll dive deep into what the email marketing software is, its key features, the cons/drawbacks, and who will get the most out of it.
ConvertKit is an email marketing service founded by Nathan Barry. The initial goal was to make a few thousand dollars a month while building out in the open to galvanize his audience. The initial goal was surpassed 100-fold and today it’s one of the most popular email marketing services for creators and bloggers.
It focuses on keeping the UI simple and ensuring it has the features its target audience would want. That means it focuses on the tools that help you form deeper relationships with your audience. Let’s look at some of those features.
Features and Functionality
ConvertKit has many of the key features you’d expect from an email marketing service that has grown so large. In addition to the core features which I’ll explain below, it has what’s known as Creator Pro that has additional tools to optimize your email marketing like scoring, advanced reporting, and changing links after an email has been sent.
Email marketing tools aren’t as useful if you’re unable to create automated sequences that help you nurture your email subscribers even when you’re not available. ConvertKit takes care of this with a drag and drop automation system. You can choose from multiple types of triggers like ‘opened an email’ or ‘tag is applied’ so only certain people get added to the automation.
It’s a useful automation builder if you don’t have advanced needs but it falls short of what tools like ActiveCampaign can accomplish. This is understandable because it’s built for creators, not for advanced marketers.
Landing pages are an essential part of growing an email list so it’s nice to see that ConvertKit has created a solution that makes it easy for creators to build pages. There are multiple templates in different categories and each one has a different focus.
The templates themselves are pretty basic and offer little in the way of customization. You can change the colors, the text, and images but you’re unable to rearrange the elements or even add more elements to the page.
I do understand why they made this choice – so it’ll be easier on the user. If you want control over the landing pages but don’t see a template that you like too much then you’re out of luck. I’d suggest using a dedicated landing page builder like Leadpages or Unbounce if you want more control.
ConverKit uses tags and segments to organize your email list. Segments are similar to lists in other email marketing tools while tags allow you to get more granular with your segmentation. This is a nice feature because it allows you to create few lists but still send out targeted messages to your audience.
For example, if someone signed up for beginner fitness video training, you can add them to a segment called ‘Interested in fitness’ then tag them ‘beginner.’ You can add everyone who’s interested in fitness to the same list but then send better emails by tagging them based on their level of sophistication.
ConvertKit also allows customers to create products (digital only) and sell them through a storefront. Payment processing is handled by Stripe and you can connect with other platforms where you sell products to get a holistic overview of how much revenue you’re producing.
It charges 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction.
Customize the landing page, create a unique URL, integrate with ConvertKit automation, and even embed buy now buttons on your website. It’s a tool that’s in its infancy as of this writing but I see a lot of potential for it to become mission control for creators.
Through the segmentation and tagging, you’re able to personalize content based on the needs of your subscribers. This includes being able to send certain information to one group while ignoring another group.
It also has the normal personalization features you’d expect like inserting their name, birthdays, and other unique details. All things considered, it does a great job of allowing you to send out more targeted messages to everyone in your audience.
Opt-in forms are another essential aspect of growing your email list. ConverKit offers four types of forms and each one has multiple templates associated with them. Like the landing pages, you’re relatively limited in your customization options but it’s enough to get the job done when you’re in a pinch.
If you want more options for the type of opt-in forms you can make or customization and targeting features, check out KyLeads. It has robust targeting options and a good number of templates.
Add-ons & Integrations
The good thing about ConvertKit is that it has a large library of integrations so if you’re using a piece of software that’s even a bit popular, ConverKit probably integrates with it. A few notable integrations include:
Sparkloop referral program
Building an email list can be challenging when you have to go it alone. Why not incentivize your email subscribers to refer their networks to your email list? That’s the premise behind Sparkloop. It helps you formalize a referral process so your subscribers can earn rewards for helping you grow your mailing list.
Note: this comes standard with a Creator Pro account.
Teachable is one of the most popular online course hosting platforms in the world. It helps power a multi-billion dollar industry. ConvertKit has a direct integration so people who sign up for your courses can trigger an automation in ConvertKit.
Zapier connects thousands of other apps to the software solution you’re using through automated If/Then rules. This makes it possible to integrate other platforms with ConverKit even if there’s no direct integration. The only downside is that you need a paid Zapier subscription if you use it more than a handful of times a month.
Ease of use
One thing I can say about ConvertKit is that it has made the entire experience, from beginning to end, as easy as possible for users. I believe this is because of the target market it has chosen – most creators aren’t too tech savvy.
When you first sign up, there’s an onboarding checklist to help you along. It also pushes you towards getting your first ten subscribers. For every major feature, there are easy to access video tutorials right in the interface or help documents a click away.
Of course, you’ll have to figure out how to do some of the more advanced things but, for the most part, there’s an easy learning curve.
Pros and Cons
This wouldn’t be a real ConvertKit review if we didn’t mention the good with the bad.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Ability to create simple automations
- Sell products from within ConvertKit
- Well-developed learning resources to help customers grow their email list
- The landing pages are basic and have limited customization ability
- ConvertKit limits who can use the commerce solution based on geography
Plans and pricing
ConvertKit has a free plan then two core pricing plans which start at $29/m and $59/m for one thousands of contacts respectively. The pricing scales with the number of subscribers you have and can go up to thousands of dollars before you get into custom pricing.
Ideally, you should start with the free plan to test it out then work your way to more expensive pricing plans once you’re confident in its ability to meet your needs.
Help and Support
ConvertKit has live chat, email, and a knowledgebase. The live chat takes a few hours to reply and the same is true for the email support. The good news is that the knowledgebase is comprehensive so you should be able to figure out most things without talking to a support rep.
In addition to the knowledgebase, there are multiple video tutorials scattered throughout the application at strategic locations and you can take advantage of live workshops. The workshops focus on the ConvertKit product and things that will help creators become better email marketers in general.
There are also on-demand workshops available. Finally, when you sign up for a ConvertKit account, you get access to what’s known as the creator pass. It has multiple courses that help you grow your list and launch products.
In the end, ConvertKit is a solid email marketing tool. It has additional features that get the job done but shouldn’t replace a dedicated application that’s made for that feature. For example, the landing pages are basic and don’t truly replace dedicated landing page software.
With that being said, this ConverKit review has shown that you can’t really go wrong with the software. It has a free plan, it’s simple to use, and it gives you granular control over the messages your audience recieves.