ConvertKit Review & Tutorial: Easy Email Automation for Creators
ConvertKit Review Summary
ConvertKit is a popular email service provider that offers powerful automation capabilities but at the same time is easy to use and affordable, making it ideal for bloggers and online creators.
Ease of Use
What I like about
What I don't like about ConvertKit
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that has been built from ground up keeping in mind the requirements of bloggers and online creators.
I have been using ConvertKit since 2016 and in my mind, its definitely one of the best email marketing solutions in the market.
But the more important question is - "Is ConvertKit right for you?". This is a major decision because nothing is as important for your online business as your email list whose growth is greatly influenced by your choice of email marketing solution.
So, I want you to be sure that ConvertKit is the right email marketing solution for your needs before subscribing to it.
Let's take an in-depth look at what ConvertKit has to offer an online entrepreneur like yourself. By the end of this ConvertKit review, you'll know:
1. What is ConvertKit?
Before we get into What is Convertkit and What It Offers, let me give you some context. The two core features of an email marketing solution are:
- 1Ability to create & send newsletters
- 2Ability to automate your email marketing
And so you had two types of email marketing solutions. One one hand, you had solutions like MailChimp which were basically newsletter services with lite automation capabilities.
On the other hand, you had solutions like Infusionsoft that had super powerful email marketing automation capabilities but then they were pretty expensive and complex to use.
Thats where ConvertKit came into the picture. They chose this middle ground where they introduced some powerful features like tagging and visual automation builder which were previously available only with the sophisticated marketing automation platforms and they did that while keeping the software easy to use as well as affordable.
One of the marketing taglines that ConvertKit uses is "The power of Infusionsoft, but easier to use than MailChimp". Now, ConvertKit is not as powerful as Infusionsoft but it certainly is much more powerful than MailChimp and at the same time super easy to use.
The way ConvertKit defines it: an online creator can be a blogger, Course Creator, YouTuber, Designer or anyone who earns a living from their craft online. (You should definitely read ConvertKit's mission statement as that is one of the most passionate mission statements I have read.)
Now let me tell you what ConvertKit has to offer an online creator like you:
2. ConvertKit Demo & Quick Tutorial
Watch this video that I have put together to show you how quickly you can get started with email marketing on ConvertKit:
If you have watched the video, you can directly go the next section.
ConvertKit has different elements: forms, tags, sequences, automations etc. and I will explain what these elements are and how you will use them to automate your email marketing:
Use ConvertKit Forms to collect email addresses
Forms are kind of an entry point for your email subscribers in ConvertKit. Whether you want to embed forms on your website or want to use a third party solution like leadpages or clickfunnels, it doesn't matter.
In most cases, your leads will enter ConvertKit through a form. So, let me show you how to create a form. First click on Forms in the main menu and then click on the Create Form button.
One the next screen, you'll be asked to select the form type. ConvertKit allows you to create two types of forms: landing pages and optin forms.
If you need a dedicated pages for capturing leads, use the Landing Page option. Otherwise use the Form option.
Once you select the form type, ConvertKit will show all the form styles for that type. Select the form style that you want to use. If you're using a third party solution, you can select any form type and style.
You can rename the form on the next screen and then click on the Settings option.
The first thing that you will see is Main Settings. Here you can change your form type, set a success message for your form and even select an email sequence to send to your form subscribers.
Incentive email is one of the best ConvertKit features. It allows you to easily deliver your lead magnets. Here you can upload your lead magnet, modify the incentive email etc.
If you want to use the form on your website, you can grab the embed code under the Embed option or you can even use their WordPress plugin.
Thats all about forms and now lets discuss Sequences.
Use ConvertKit Sequences to send automated emails to your subscribers
You must have heard automated sequences or autoresponders before. A ConvertKit sequence is nothing but a series of automated emails delivered to your subscribers.
You can use Sequences to send welcome emails to your new subscribers or onboarding emails to your customers. The important point to note is that Sequences are sent based on a trigger and each subscriber will have their own schedule for the emails.
Creating a sequence in ConvertKit is really easy. First you need to click on the Sequences option in the main menu and then click on the Create Sequence button.
On the next screen, you'll be asked to name your sequence and create it.
Next you'll be taken to the sequence editor where you can add emails, modify your content, set a time delay for it to go out and then publish your emails.
Once you're done creating your emails, you can then change your Sequence settings. For example, if you want your emails to go out only during weekdays, you can uncheck the boxes for Saturday and Sunday.
You can also delete and duplicate your sequence under settings.
If you wish to see the stats for your sequences, you can check it under Reports. Here you will find metrics like click rate and open rate as well as see subscriber/unsubscriber info.
The ConvertKit Sequence Builder is very well designed and is really easy to use. Unlike most other email solutions, you don't need to go back and forth and open several windows to create the emails in your sequence.
Send an email to your list at the same time using Broadcasts
If you want to send a newsletter or send some updates to your subscribers, you can do that using ConvertKit Broadcasts.
To create a Broadcast email, click on Broadcasts in the main menu and then click on the New Broadcast button.
On the next screen, you can use filters to define the precise audience you want to send your email to. For example, you can segment your subscribers and send them different newsletters based on their interest.
You can then create the actual email content. You can even do an A/B test on your email subject. If you want to preview your email, you can see how it looks in browser as well as email inbox.
In the last step, you will be able to send your broadcast email. You can either send the email immediately or your can schedule it to go out at a later date and time.
One cool thing about ConvertKit Broadcasts is the ability to resend an email to those who didn't open your original email with couple of clicks which makes it really easy to execute and can improve your open rates etc. significantly.
Manage your subscribers with Tags & Segments
ConvertKit is a subscriber-centric email service provider. Basically it doesn't have lists like MailChimp and Aweber. What it does have is Tags.
Tags allow you to organize and group your Subscribers based on their actions and interest. You can think of tags as nothing but labels/identifiers and it is a much more efficient way of managing your subscribers.
You can tag your subscribers based on their actions in ConvertKit (e.g. clicked a link, completed a sequence etc.), their actions in third party apps like ClickFunnels and Teachable and even based on what page they visit on your WordPress website.
Tagging is actually the foundation of automation and its definitely one of the reasons why ConvertKit is a superior solution compared to MailChimp as far as email marketing automation is concerned.
Another handy feature for subscriber management in ConvertKit is Segments. Segments are more like filters, you can filter your subscribers based on forms, tags, sequences etc. and save them as a segment.
Build email marketing funnels using ConvertKit Automation
While all these features including Forms and Tags are very useful, its ConvertKit Automation that lets you connect the dots and actually build automated email funnels.
ConvertKit has an automation builder that lets you build your workflow visually. So you can create a workflow to send your new subscribers a welcome sequence and then send them different sequences based on their tags.
ConvertKit also allows you to create simpler if-then rules as well which you can use for one-off automations.
ConvertKit also supports RSS Feed automation that lets you automatically create a broadcast to deliver your blog posts to your audience.
3. ConvertKit Pricing Review - Is It Worth the Investment?
ConvertKit has a very straightforward pricing. The pricing starts at $29/mo for upto 1,000 subscribers and it increases with your number of subscribers.
Everything that ConvertKit has to offer is available on all its pricing plans and so you won't need to upgrade to get additional features or priority support.
Another thing that I like about ConvertKit's pricing is that it doesn't double count your subscribers as MailChimp does.
Now let's look at how ConvertKit pricing compares to other popular email marketing solutions:
No. of Subscribers
As you can see in the table above, ConvertKit is certainly more expensive than MailChimp. However, ConvertKit is less expensive compared to Drip and Active Campaign.
I know that ConvertKit isn't the cheapest email marketing solution but I do believe that it is reasonably priced for all the automation features that it offers.
I can also understand that $29/mo isn't a significant amount of money for those getting started and still not generating any income online.
But do keep in mind that your email list is your business's biggest asset. Its you who own the email list and you don't need to worry about about a third party like Facebook changing the rules on you.
I started building my list and invested in ConvertKit while I wasn't making any income from it. Now here I am a couple of years later with a couple of thousand subscribers and a decent income, I can tell you that this was one of the best investments I made online.
I recommend that you give ConvertKit a try and if you want to do that, you can get a 30-day free trial by clicking on the button below:
4. What I Like about ConvertKit
ConvertKit is a great option for email marketing and here are a few things I like about the tool:
#1: Easiest to use and most intuitive email marketing solution
ConvertKit is not the most feature-rich email marketing solution in the market. Nor is it the cheapest option out there.
Still ConvertKit commands a very loyal audience base and the main reason for the same is ConvertKit's simplicity and ease of use.
Simplicity and ease of use is a consistent theme across everything that ConvertKit does. Whether you take their Visual Automation Builder or their sequences or even forms, they are very well designed from a user experience perspective and are super easy to use.
There is no easier tool to use than ConvertKit when it comes to email marketing automation and this is one of the main reasons why a lot of creators use it.
#2: Ability to build powerful email marketing funnels using the easy to use Visual Automation Builder
ConvertKit offers a Visual Automation Builder that lets you build all types of email marketing funnels quite easily. The Automation Builder is fast and simple yet it is powerful.
The best part about ConvertKit's Automation Builder is the fact that you can create/add forms, sequences and other elements to your automation workflow without leaving it. When you choose to say add a sequence, the sequence builder opens on the right in the same window. You can add all the emails and save them and then return to your workflow.
#3: Deliver lead magnets and content upgrades easily
ConvertKit makes it really easy for you to deliver your lead magnets using the Incentive Email functionality. You can upload your file to the incentive email within your form and it will be delivered to anyone who subscribes to it.
Unlike MailChimp which allows you to have only one signup form per list, ConvertKit lets you build unlimited number of forms for your list and so it is ideal for growing your email list using content upgrades.
Basically if you offer multiple lead magnets, you can deliver it easily by creating additional forms and setting up incentive emails.
#4: Powerful tagging capability
ConvertKit offers powerful tagging capability that lets you separate out your subscribers based on their interests and actions.
You can send them an email sequence, remove from a sequence etc. based on their tags and its much easier than moving them from one list to another.
You can also use tags to personalize your email content. With tags, you can actually decide what content a subscriber will see and what they won't.
#5: You can build not just signup forms but also dedicated landing pages
ConvertKit allows you to build dedicated landing pages to collect leads. You can use one of their 4 pre-built templates and quickly build a landing page.
While the templates are pretty basic and the customization options are limited as well, its still quite handy for your if you're just getting started and want to build a couple of landing pages.
What I Don't Like about ConvertKit
While ConvertKit is an awesome email marketing solution, it does have certain limitations and you should consider these before making a decision.
#1: No easy way to organize your forms, tags and sequences
While this is not going to affect you if you have say 20 sequences, 20 forms and 50 tags, it does become a pain to organize your forms and your tags when you have hundreds of them.
I think ConvertKit should introduce some way to label/filter your forms and tags so as to make it easy to organize them.
#2: ConvertKit's starting price is a little steep
I do believe that ConvertKit is reasonably priced for everything that it offers. However, the starting price of $29/mo that you pay for ConvertKit is a little steep.
Even though I made that commitment at a very early stage and benefitted from it as well, its not possible for everyone to spend that sort of money early in their online business journey, especially when they haven't made their first dollar online.
It would have been great if ConvertKit had a lower priced plan, say $15/mo for upto 500 subscribers or something similar. That would make ConvertKit so much more affordable for the beginners.
#3: Limited support for email templates
I am not a big fan of using fancy templates for your emails as well as it impacts your deliverability and open rates and most of my emails are just text and a couple of images.
The support for email templates in ConvertKit is really limited. They have a few templates but they all look very similar on the front end and you will need to do it yourself or hire someone to create custom coded email templates.
You can add all types of images in your emails but if you're looking to use super custom templates, ConvertKit won't let you do that easily.
Improved email templates capability is on their near future roadmap and I hope that they release updates to it sooner than later.
#4: Limited A/B testing capabilities
ConvertKit at this point has very basic A/B testing capabilities. The only thing that you can test is email subjects in your broadcasts.
You can't test the email content in your broadcasts plus you can't test your automated sequences at all.
While A/B testing is something most creators won't require but I do believe that an easy A/B testing capability will be a great addition to the ConvertKit platform.
I hope you have a good idea of the Pros and Cons of ConvertKit now and if you think that ConvertKit is the right fit for you, you can start your 30-day free trial.
ConvertKit Review vs Competition
Let's look at some of the ConvertKit alternatives and how they compare to it:
ConvertKit vs Drip
Drip is another email marketing automation platform that competes directly with ConvertKit. While Drip certainly offers more features than ConvertKit (e.g. Lead Scoring, Conversion Tracking, Advanced Analytics etc.), it lacks a few features like landing pages.
Plus I find Drip to be more complex to use than ConvertKit and it also has a much steeper learning curve. As far as pricing is concerned, Drip is 25-30% more expensive than ConvertKit.
Both ConvertKit and Drip are two great pieces of software and the right solution for you depends on your requirements. So, if you're a serious marketer and want to build advanced workflows for your customer journey, Drip is the right solution for you.
However, if you want to automate your email marketing but keep things simple, ConvertKit is the right choice for you. Its certainly a better option for those who're new to online marketing.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign
Out of ConvertKit, Drip and ActiveCampaign, ActiveCampaign is certainly the most powerful email marketing solution. It has a much more powerful automation builder than ConvertKit and Drip and it also allows you to A/B test your campaigns.
If you're on their Plus/Professional plan (which are very expensive as well), you get features like SMS marketing, Site Messaging, Advertising Attribution etc. which aren't available with either ConvertKit or Drip.
But ActiveCampaign is also very complex to use and unless you have decent experience with email marketing, you'll get overwhelmed with everything that it offers.
While ActiveCampaign's starter plan is cheaper than that of ConvertKit, overall its a more expensive solution and so its ideal for marketing teams and advanced marketers.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp
MailChimp is the most popular email marketing solution in the market. While MailChimp does allow you to send autoresponders to your subscribers, it doesn't have features like tagging and visual automation builder which make it a less suitable option for email marketing automation.
Building automations in MailChimp is not that easy and their customer support is also not as good as that of ConvertKit.
MailChimp also limits you to one form per list and so its not easy to offer multiple lead magnets on your blog/website.
However, MailChimp is much cheaper compared to ConvertKit. In fact it offers a free plan for upto 2,000 subscribers and thats the main reason why a lot of newbies start with MailChimp.
So, if you just want to send newsletters, you'll be good with MailChimp. But if you want to automate your email marketing, ConvertKit is without a doubt more powerful as well as user friendly.
Everything Else You Need to Know about ConvertKit
In this section, I will answer a few questions that people often ask me about ConvertKit and this will help you make a final decision on whether ConvertKit is the right email marketing solution for you or not.
Can I import my existing subscribers into ConvertKit?
Yes, you can use their bulk import feature to import your your subscribers from your existing email solution to ConvertKit. The subscribers won't need to opt-in to your ConvertKit account but their team might ask you to share details, so they know that you own this list.
If you're moving to ConvertKit with more than 5,000 subscribers ($99/mo or above pricing plan), their team will migrate all your subscribers, sequences and other information to ConvertKit for free.
Does ConvertKit integrate with other marketing solutions?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about ConvertKit. A lot of outdated reviews on the internet will tell you that ConvertKit doesn't have enough third party integrations.
That's not true anymore. While ConvertKit certainly can't match MailChimp in terms of number of integrations, it does integrate with most of the popular online marketing solutions including ClickFunnels, Teachable, Thinkific, Leadpages, Thrive Themes etc.
Plus it also has a Zapier integration that allows you to integrate practically any online marketing solution with ConvertKit.
Does ConvertKit have a WordPress plugin?
Yes, ConvertKit does have a WordPress plugin that allows you to use ConvertKit forms and landing pages on your WordPress site and you can also tag your subscribers based on what page they visit on your WordPress site.
How is ConvertKit's customer support?
I have been using ConvertKit for a couple of years now (for my own business as well as my clients) and I do believe that they offer one of the best customer support in the industry.
You can reach out to their customer support team either via email or via live chat. You get almost instant response times when you use their live chat support channel.
ConvertKit also has an active user community on Facebook. ConvertKit's official FB group has 5k+ members where you can ask questions and get help from fellow CK users. You can also join their dedicated slack channel.
ConvertKit Review - Conclusion
ConvertKit is definitely one of the best email marketing solutions for online creators. It offers some really powerful automation features that aren't available with the traditional email marketing solutions like MailChimp and Aweber.
ConvertKit is also the most intuitive and super easy to use, making it ideal for those who want to build automated email marketing funnels without all the complexity.
However, ConvertKit's starting price is a little steep ($29/mo) and so if you've a very limited budget, it might not be the best option for you. But if you can afford it, it will be worth every penny you invest into it.
So, if you feel that ConvertKit is the right email solution for you, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial by clicking on the button below.
I hope you found this ConvertKit review helpful. Do you still have any questions about ConvertKit or want to share some feedback?
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.
Disclaimer: I am using affiliate links within this post, so if you do want to go purchase ConvertKit, clicking a link will pass me off a little commission (without costing you anything extra)!