After a ton of testing and experience, I have now been with ConvertKit for email marketing to my email list. As it is in most cases, I started with MailChimp which worked for me at the beginning when I was learning the basics. I have tried Mad Mimi, Aweber, Constant Contact, SendGrid and a few others.
Growing an email list has become a number one goal for me since it is a platform I “own” and works really well in conjunction with a website and social media…almost like the glue that puts it all together.
What is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is a third party email client that allows you to email an entire list the same email. There are also ways to tag people within ConvertKit that creates sublists. When you have created these tagged groups within your email list, you will be able to customize the emails you send to a much higher degree. For instance, you could tag customers who have bought something from you and then exclude those customers from future promotional emails for that item.
ConvertKit Pricing for Email Marketing
ConvertKit has a 14 day free trial on all plans which means you can sign up and play with it for a little bit before making a big commitment.
Just a note about the “big commitment” with any email marketing program…There really isn’t a big commitment. Even if you grow a list on one platform, you can easily import it to a new one. The only challenge is when you have set up a large series of automatic email sequences. That makes it more difficult, but doable! But if you are just getting started, then feel free to try several different ones and find the perfect fit.
A small list up to 1000 subscribers is $29/month, a list from 1K-3K is $49 a month and 3K-5K is $79. Larger lists are more expensive, but seem to go up at a slower rate as you grow. You can check out the ConvertKit pricing calculator for more information about large list size prices
Because I have been using ConvertKit for years and have experience with other email platforms, I wanted to explain more fully why I have chosen ConvertKit for both my main websites – Kids Activities Blog (email list over 50K) and this site (starting a new email list). Since both websites are on WordPress, the easy plugin is a major draw. But as you can imagine, my sites are very different and the emails generated are too!
Pros – What I Love
Here are some reasons to love ConvertKit like I do:
- Super easy WordPress integration allowing sign-up boxes and tagging to happen on your website.
- Landing page capabilities for those without a website (or when you don’t want to embed the sign up in a specific site).
- Easy to learn and use – it seems logical and makes sense!
- Great customer service.
- Even the more complicated features like creating multi-step sequences are not difficult to figure out.
- Helps make your email marketing very targeted without effort.
- Easy to A/B test email subject lines.
- Simple email templates.
- Team member management – various levels of access available.
- Everything you need for multiple types of opt-in boxes all within the platform – no need to have a third party integration like LeadPages or Clickfunnels.
- Good deliverability of email.
- Easy-to-understand reports.
Cons – What I Don’t Love
These are things that I live with–obviously none of them are deal-breakers for me:
- ConvertKit is priced slightly higher at the smaller list level. Once you get a bigger list, it seems to level out or even be cheaper than some competitors.
- If you want to change HTML code, this is not the choice for you.
- A/B testing is limited to subject lines.
- Limited email templates. If you want to get fancy, this will be more difficult.
- Limited number of opt-in box templates.
- No blacklist.
ConvertKit vs. MailChimp
There are a lot of competing email clients. MailChimp is one that seems to be everyone’s first choice for their initial email client. I still have a few small lists on MailChimp because it is easy to use and has a free account up to a certain amount of subscribers (It was 2000 last time I checked). One of the reasons I like ConvertKit best is that it has a simplicity that simply works. It integrates easily with WordPress if you have a website and it is simple to integrate sign up boxes that are customized and tag people based on their actions.
You could probably do much of what I do in ConvertKit with MailChimp, but it would take a deeper knowledge than I have! Every single time I create a sign up box with MailChimp, it ends in near-tears. There is just something about MailChimp that can frustrate me within minutes. It always seems to do EVERYTHING except what I want it to do! I have not had that experience. There are obviously limitations in what can be done, but it usually easily creates what I am looking for without hours of watching YouTube tutorial videos!
In my opinion, if you are just getting started and don’t know if you are really going to want to set up and maintain an email list, then start with MailChimp. If you have already decided that you want to get serious about email marketing, then I would recommend mastering ConvertKit.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a robust email delivery system that has the ability to customize and create sublists in a similar way to ConvertKit. I have used ActiveCampaign in the past and liked it. The biggest difference that I see is that ConvertKit has a really easy integration with WordPress. One of the drawbacks with ActiveCampaign is that (when I was using them) they didn’t have many (or any) third-party integrations.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t integrate ActiveCampaign with other tools like WordPress, Clickfunnels, etc. It means you have to go through Zapier or something like that to make the connections. Because I am not a tech wizard and don’t really love (or understand) all those techy connections, having ConvertKit connect directly helps make sure I can do it myself and not have to hire someone.
ConvertKit vs. Aweber
OK, this may be super controversial, but I didn’t love Aweber. It was many years ago that I used it for a company that I ran that had an email list around 10K in size. I found it to be weirdly complicated and over-simple at the same time.
With Aweber, I felt in the dark…like I wasn’t sure if things were actually sending out or being received. I know this was probably 99% user error, but I found it to not be a good fit for what I needed and even after using it for several years, I never felt like I knew what I was doing.
That has not been the case with ConvertKit. Unlike Aweber, once I got started learning the system, it seems like the knowledge easily builds and I don’t feel like I am starting from scratch every time I login!
ConvertKit vs. InfusionSoft or Keap
When I initially signed up a few years ago it was a decision between ConvertKit and InfusionSoft. I knew I needed to be able to easily segment my list and customize responses and InfusionSoft (at the time) was one of the few platforms that promised that.
When I investigated InfusionSoft on a deeper level, it became apparent to me that it was above my skillset to set up by myself. When I looked into hiring someone to set Up InfusionSoft for me, it was going to be in excess of $1000.
Unlike InflusionSoft, ConvertKit can easily be set up without a big background or knowledge base of all things internet-y. Over the years I have hired help to manage my ConvertKit but it wasn’t because I HAD to…it was because I simply decided I wanted the help!
Yes! ConvertKit has an affiliate program. I am an affiliate and you will see all the links in this blog post are with my affiliate link. One of the reasons I like the ConvertKit affiliate program is that it pays well and over time meaning that you get a percentage of the lifetime of the customer which is not as common in this space as you might think.
If you are already a customer, you are already an affiliate. It doesn’t require an application process or special request. To find your affiliate link:
- Login to your ConvertKit account.
- Click on “Account Information”.
- Look for the “Affiliate link” about 1/2 way down that page.
There are a bunch of ConvertKit integrations that are pretty simple to use. In fact, there are over 70 integration partners like Crowdcast, EasyWebinar, Teachable, Strip, Mailfloss, Zapier, ListGoal, Shoelace, LeadsBridge, Zero Bullsh’t CRM, ViralSweep, KingSumo, KickoffLabs, Gleam. Giveaway Boost, Acuity, Carrd, Conversion Cats, WPengine, WIX, SquareSpace, YesInsights, LeadQuizzes and more.
I want to talk about the ConvertKit integrations that I personally use…
ConvertKit WordPress Plugin
The ConvertKit WordPress plugin is easily installed and then will add a box at the bottom of your WordPress editing dashboard that allows you to add a specific sign up box to a blog post. This is what it looks like behind the scenes here at HollyHomer.com:
Adding a Sign-Up Box
The ConvertKit WordPress plugin syncs with your email account so that any form you create in ConvertKit can then be easily “embedded” with a simple pull-down menu click.
It makes it super easy to create a corresponding download for each blog post without much effort. If you look at the list above, you will see some familiar titles of my recent blog posts.
Adding a Tag from Sign-Up Box
Your second option in the ConvertKit WordPress plugin is to add a tag to the incoming email. There are several ways to add a tag, but this is literally the easiest way and it will make it easy to identify how people came to your list.
Integration with MemberPress
Like the WordPress plugin, the MemberPress plugin is very similar. Adding ConvertKit to a MemberPress membership site can run the auto-responder email component of MemberPress through ConvertKit and automatically add people to the ConvertKit list with specific tags.
It is really easy to install and use the MemberPress ConvertKit plugin.
ConvertKit for WooCommerce
I use the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin for several of my WordPress websites to allow an easy eCommerce transaction within the site. ConvertKit has an easy way to seamlessly integrate your email list with that purchase process.
Just like the other plugins, it makes it really simple to create the WooCommerce transaction to act as a sign-up form (with the ability to tag) for your ConvertKit account.
ConvertKit for Shopify
I used this when I ran a Shopify store to integrate my email list with transactions, cart abandon and missed transactions for my store. Again, it is a super simple process to set up and makes ConvertKit feel like it is a part of your store and not just an add-on.
Integration with Clickfunnels
This is another integration that I use all the time. I like the ability to run my entire Clickfunnels account through my ConvertKit account. This allows me to keep a big list that includes both opt-ins from my website or Clickfunnels landing pages with appropriate tags. It also keeps everything in one place.
I like the deliverability reliability of ConvertKit better than Clickfunnels and haven’t run into issues with emails not going out unless it was not set up correctly (yes, I have done that even though it is easy!).
Specific tags can be added when people opt-in, make a purchase and other actions. This can help keep and maintain your list with updated information at all times.
Like all email clients, ConvertKit has GDPR compliance features that keeps your email list GDPR compliant. They also has some educational modules on their blog that explain why and how to do this.
If you want to research more about this process and why it is in place, check out the EU GDPR site for more information.
Why Choose ConvertKit?
In the future I will be creating some tutorials specific to ConvertKit based on what has been successful for me. I know there are a lot of choices out there…I have made this decision several times!
And that is one reason why I am still with ConvertKit! Each time I see something new or hear about something different, when I investigate it generally leads back to where I am already.
It is easy to get distracted and lose sight of what is really important when it comes to email marketing…JUST DOING IT. It is less about the tool and more about the action that is going to get results.