When someone wants to know the key to my success in my online business, I can easily point them to one thing: building my e-mail list. It hasn't always been easy, and it felt painfully slow in the beginning, but it has been more than worth it in the long run.
If you don't have an e-mail list yet, you really should consider starting one. If you're totally clueless about where to start or are feeling stuck about how to grow your list or actually make money from your list, I've created a course that will tell you exactly how to start and grow your list step by step. Click here to see the course details.
One very important decision when starting an e-mail list is choosing your e-mail service provider (such as Aweber, Infusionsoft, MadMimi, Mailchimp, Convertkit, etc). I definitely have a few opinions about which one is best from extensive personal experience. Last year, I went on a bit of a WILD ride trying to find the ideal e-mail service provider. Fortunately, no total disasters occurred, but I did make some mistakes that cost me a TON of time and hassle. Hopefully, by sharing my story, I can save you from making the same mistakes.
I won't take the time to write out all the details of my absolutely crazy e-mail journey. If you're curious about it, you can watch me tell about it in the video below:
I started my e-mail list with MadMimi but basically they had issues getting the e-mails delivered, so I had to tell them goodbye. I moved on to Mailchimp mostly because I didn't want to waste too much time researching and it seemed to be what everybody was using. Mailchimp was nothing but frustrating, and it was most definitely NOT made for bloggers. I honestly have no idea why it's so popular. I'm sure it's good for some applications, but it's certainly not ideal for full time bloggers. Realizing that there was no way around many of my subscribers receiving multiple copies of the same e-mail was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I made the decision to move on as quickly as possible.
That's where Convertkit comes in. I've been using it now for several months, and I love it. It was actually made by a blogger for bloggers!! It works just how I need it to plus it's way faster and easier to use than the other providers I've tried. I've been able to accomplish so much more by using it.
1) You can easily have multiple opt-in's. Hooray!!! This alone pretty much sold me on Convertkit and was the number one obstacle in Mailchimp. (If you're new to e-mail marketing lingo, an “opt-in” is a freebie – like a pdf guide or a free printable or a mini course – that you offer blog readers if they sign up for your e-mail.) As a blogger it's ideal to have lots of different opt-ins. Ideally, you would probably have a different opt-in offer tailored to each post (or at least your most popular posts). This works a lot better than just having one freebie offer in your sidebar. For example, in my popular “Get Organized on a Budget” post, I offer a free budget printable. This converts a lot better than an unrelated offer. In Mailchimp, setting that up was a nightmare (and, worse, there really wasn't a way to prevent people from getting multiple copies of the same newsletter if they sign up for multiple offers). In Convertkit, you could easily have 300 different opt-in offers on 300 different posts with no problem at all. They could all lead to the same e-mail list. In fact this is what ConvertKit was made for. I'll show you an example of how this works in the video at the end of this post.
2) The speed and ease of use. ConvertKit has made the things I do on a regular basis super quick and easy. I didn't even realize this completely until I started using it. Creating a new opt-in form takes a couple minutes at most! Then adding that form to the end of a blog post is even easier and quicker with the wordpress plug-in. I just go to the post and select the opt-in form I want to be displayed from a drop down list. That's all – then the form is displayed at the bottom of my post.
3) The ridiculous speed and ease of creating and editing autoresponders, drip campaigns, or courses. I know I just talked about speed and ease of use above so this might seem redundant, but this is truly SO MUCH MORE efficient than any other provider I've used that it deserves its own mention. (Many providers call them something different, but ConvertKit calls “drip campaigns” or “autoresponders” a course, so keep that in mind.) I can seriously create a new course in just a few minutes. Also, if I want to edit an existing course, I can quickly and easily do so. In Mailchimp, for example, if I wanted to go in and add one P.S. or something to the 7 e-mails in a series, it would probably take 5 minutes. In Convertkit, it takes one minute. I've ended up actually creating more courses and improving my existing ones more frequently because of this. I'll show you an example of how this works in the video at the end of this post.
4) The “database” concept for my list instead of having a bunch of different lists or segments. The way your contacts are organized is just the way they should be. There's no managing multiple lists or having to create list segments for every scenario. You can easily send an e-mail to exactly the type of people you wish to receive it. ConvertKit uses tags, courses, and forms (plus something called “segments” to allow you to save groups you use commonly – it's nothing like segments in Mailchimp). You can send an e-mail to any combination of tags, forms, or courses. So I can send an e-mail to anyone who has clicked a link in an e-mail leading to a sales page but exclude anyone who has purchased the product already. That way I don't have to bug people who already have the product, and that's just one example. Again, I think the video at the end of this post will really help you understand how this works.
5) No one ever gets duplicate e-mails or you never pay for a subscriber more than once. Enough said there.
6) Powerful automation rules. These rules make Convertkit function a little more like Ontraport or Infusionsoft (except without the major learning curve and huge expense). I can create a rule to automatically subscribe anyone who clicks a specific link in en e-mail to a certain course for example. Or I could remove them from a course when they purchase a product. The possibilities are endless. The video at the end of this post offers a little more explanation about how this works.
7) Ability to create landing pages. You can quickly and easily create landing pages in ConvertKit. Something like the one shown above which you can see live here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/14941. The landing page feature is not as flexible as things like LeadPages or Instapage, but it works well and quickly. Landing pages are great for a lot of reasons but mainly because they convert so well. I've been running facebook ads to a landing page that are converting at 9 cents per subscriber! With those results, I really don't think I need the hassle or expense of using Leadpages. The video at the end of this post offers a little more explanation about how this works.
Watch the video below where I show you exactly how ConvertKit works:
I hope that helps you make a decision about which e-mail list provider you should use. Obviously, I'm really loving ConvertKit. If you have questions about it, feel free to comment below. I'd love to help you.
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