Email marketing is crucial to the success of any online business. Instead of relying on other traffic sources, this is the only one you truly own! Pair that with strong marketing automation, and you’ll be on your way.
That’s why I went out on a mission to find the perfect email marketing platform for my own business! After trying a ton of different solutions such as Aweber, GetResponse, and ActiveCampaign… I eventually came across ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is a tool designed specifically for online creators, and they absolutely crush it for that sector. Since my primary business is blogging, this intrigued me so I decided to jump in and see what all the hype is about.
First I’ll be going over what you should think about when choosing an email marketing platform, then I’ll be sharing my experiences with ConvertKit in this exhaustive review. This should help you decide whether or not they’ll be a fit for your business!
Here's What We'll Cover...
Things to consider when choosing an email marketing software
There’s no shortage of email marketing tools on the market, but it’s one of the most important investments you’ll make online. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right platform for your business.
And if you’re wondering whether or not email marketing is still worthwhile, the return on investment for email marketing can be as high as 4400%! Yes, you’re reading that right. That’s $44 for every dollar spent on email marketing, making it still well worth it.
When you’re deciding on a platform, it’s vital to find a tool that fits your needs. Great deliverability is the most important thing to look for, while the rest comes down to being reliable, and what you’re most comfortable using!
Email marketing can help you save a bunch of time in the long run as well. Instead of having to follow-up with each and every prospect manually, you have an automated sequence ready to do it for you. For some, this is a simple email or two explaining what you do, why they should work with you, and what you have to offer. While other businesses may require a more advanced automation, where you can control everything they see after they opt-in.
In my opinion, some email marketing services are overkill while others are underwhelming. With a tool like ConvertKit, you have a solid balance where you can build automations easily, which I found to be perfect for bloggers and online creators.
What is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is an email marketing software designed specifically for online creators – influencers, bloggers, podcasters and any other business where you’re actively building an audience.
Launched by Nathan Barry in 2013, he’s been very transparent in sharing the full story of ConvertKit. He’s leaving nothing behind when documenting the journey – the ups, the downs, and everything in between.
It’s been really cool following Nathan and seeing the full story unfold. Even if you don’t end up joining ConvertKit, I’d highly recommend you follow him and read his posts. There’s a lot to be learned, and it’s cool to get a behind the scenes look at what it really takes to grow a SaaS company to over $1,700,000 in monthly recurring revenue.
And if you aren’t familiar with the name ConvertKit, they were rebranded to Seva in 2018 for a short period of time, before switching back to the latter due to backlash!
My favorite features ConvertKit offers
ConvertKit has a ton of cool features available to you, here are a few of my favorites I wanted to highlight!
Easy To Use Visual Automation Editor
ConvertKit makes automations simple to create and use. While it may not be as advanced as other tools like ActiveCampaign, it’s perfect for those who want automation without the hassle.
To the right is an example of a visual automation, although it’s an extremely simple version. Nonetheless, it gets the job done and I don’t have to worry about overcomplicating everything!
You can add in sequences, add or remove tags, delay actions, move subscribers, or set custom fields to make everything work exactly as you’d like.
In addition, you can add certain conditions so if a subscriber meets the criteria, a specific action will happen. This allows you to personalize each user’s experience, based on their actions.
Lastly, you can add events so a subscriber will jump to a part of your automation when they purchase a product, a date occurs, or based on tags and custom fields!
While it may seem overwhelming at first, once you start to use these features, it’s rather simple to understand.
Easily Tag And Segment Subscribers
Instead of using lists like most email marketing services, ConvertKit uses tags and segmentation for your email subscribers.
This makes the entire process of sending out broadcasts easier, which is great for the user. Let’s say you have multiple tags and some of them overlap in what they’re interested in, you can segment them together for your future broadcasts. That means in the future, you can simply choose that segment of your subscribers to send a broadcast to. Over time, you’ll save a ton of time and effort using their segmentation system!
ConvertKit does reporting perfectly, giving you all of the information you’ll need for your email marketing. Whether you want to review an entire sequence or just a specific email, they give you capabilities!
Here’s an example of the reporting analytics they share with you for an entire sequence, but they give the same metrics on an individual email basis as well.
They share with you the open rate and click-through rate which tend to be the most important metrics for email marketing.
In addition to that, they share with you how many of your subscribers finish the sequence, unsubscribe throughout, and you can even see which email leads to those unsubscriptions! With this amount of data, you can analyze what to do moving forward.
Automatically Resend Broadcasts If Unopened
One really cool feature they offer to their users is the ability to automatically resend broadcasts to those who didn’t open the first email!
Let’s say you send an email and only 30% open it the first time. There’s still 70% of your audience who might be interested, so you can resend the broadcast with a different subject line and at a different time of the day to hopefully get more eyes on your email. That’s the whole point of email marketing, right?
This is an awesome feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Sharing Your Visual Automations With Others
Another thing I found super useful in ConvertKit is the ability to share your visual automations with other users! If you’re familiar with ClickFunnels, they have a share funnel option that’s really popular. ConvertKit has a similar option but for email automations, so you can share with other users.
When you are ready to share a visual automation, you’ll get a unique URL and you can just send it to the person who’s interested. Once they click it, it’ll load right into their account and be ready to use!
What makes this feature even better is if they aren’t already signed up for ConvertKit, they’ll be redirected to a bridge page where a free trial is offered. And if they sign up? You get the affiliate commission for it!
This opens a ton of opportunities for those interested in the affiliate program. Let’s say you create a lead magnet with your best visual automations and offer it for free to your audience! Over time, people will naturally sign up through your referral link and you’ll start to earn some extra cash. Let your creativity run wild here, there’s so much you can offer.
Double Opt-In For Lead Magnets
All the time, I see people asking whether they should use single opt-in or double opt-in for your email list. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both, but I personally use double opt-in!
This allows me to keep a clean list with higher quality and deliverability.
Anyway, if you are using double opt-in they have a cool feature where they deliver the lead magnet upon confirmation! So once they download the freebie, they’re on your list.
That’s an example of an incentive email I use. After they click the big blue confirm subscription button, the lead magnet they requested is delivered instantly!
What wasn’t so great…
There hasn’t been much I’ve been unhappy with using ConvertKit. In fact, it’s all things I was aware of before investing in their software!
Unable to choose your own criteria for list cleaning
ConvertKit offers only one way of cleaning your list and it’s based on their set criteria. Many businesses operate differently in regards to email marketing, so I don’t think it’s a one-size fit all option.
They define cold subscribers as anybody who fits the following criteria:
- Anybody who hasn’t opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days and has been subscribed for over 30 days.
This can’t be adjusted currently, so you’ll have to work with it if you choose ConvertKit. But they do allow you to create a custom sequence for your cold subscribers, to try and warm them up and keep them active! That’s been super helpful, and they even give you a free sequence to use here.
Limited automation features
Like I said earlier, ConvertKit focuses on simple automation instead of advanced automations. While this is great for beginners and their niche audience, it isn’t ideal all the time. One thing I like to do in email marketing is personalize emails based on if whether or not they open the previous email.
Let’s say somebody didn’t open or didn’t reply to an email in my sequence, and I want to send them an email titled “Did you get it?” I can’t unfortunately, but it’s not the end of the world. Not every tool is going to have every feature you want, that’s why it’s important to find one that fits your needs the best. And when I take everything into account, ConvertKit’s the tool for me.
ConvertKit Pricing Plans
One thing I really liked about ConvertKit is they don’t limit you on features when you’re a paying customer. In comparison to a tool like GetResponse where there is multiple plans and have you have to upgrade for specific features, ConvertKit enables everything on their paid plan.
In addition to that, they offer a free plan for those starting out that is limited in features but has a lot of functionality for no cost. Here’s the exact breakdown of what you can do with each plan!
When you sign up for the free option with ConvertKit, you’ll get access to the following:
- Unlimited landing pages
- Unlimited, customizable CTAs & signup forms
- 30+ premium landing page templates
- Unlimited traffic
- Customizable domain setup
- Mobile responsive designs
- Manage 1000 subscribers (as of June 1st, 2020)
- Email broadcasts
- Subscriber tagging
- Seamless Unsplash integration
- Creator community
While you can’t user their autoresponder features in the free plan, you can create awesome landing pages to build your email list, and send newsletters or broadcasts out to those users! That’s a nice free option for those looking to get their feet wet with email marketing in general.
And if that doesn’t fit your needs or you want more functionality in the future, you can always upgrade to their complete plan!
The complete plan is what I’m currently using and happy with, since it allows you to use all of the features ConvertKit has available. I don’t have to worry about switching plans and driving my price up in the future (until I get more subscribers on my list, then I’ll be happy to pay more!).
The Complete plan includes everything in the Free option, plus the following:
- Manage 1,000 subscribers
- Visual automation funnels
- Automated email sequences
- Integrations & API
- Premium support
- Free migration from another tool*
- Try all the features free for 14 days
This is what you would expect with most of their competitors higher end plans, but they offer it everybody who is paying! You don’t have to worry about them only providing half of the functionality unless you buy an up-sell, which is appreciated.
And to give you a benchmark of how much it’ll cost when you gain more subscribers, check out this guide below:
Number of subscribers
Up to 1,000 subscribers
Up to 3,000 subscribers
Up to 5,000 subscribers
Up to 8,000 subscribers
Up to 10,000 subscribers
Up to 15,000 subscribers
Up to 20,000 subscribers
Up to 25,000 subscribers
Annual Pricing (20% off)
Since most of you will have an email list of under 25,000, that’s where I’ll stop. And if you have more than 25,000 subscribers, you can check out the official pricing on their website.
Frequently Asked Questions about ConvertKit
Is ConvertKit free?
ConvertKit does have a free plan, but it’s limited in the features it offers!
Who is ConvertKit’s target audience?
ConvertKit’s focused on their target audience of online creators, and bloggers.
Do they have good support?
ConvertKit’s support team has been awesome so far. While they don’t offer phone support, they have email and live chat available 24/7/365!
What software does ConvertKit integrate with?
ConvertKit has a bunch of third-party integrations readily available. I’ve been able to integrate with Clickfunnels, Zapier, Shopify, and Thrive Leads, but there’s far more that you can use.
Is ConvertKit a CRM?
ConvertKit focuses more on email marketing and automation than being a CRM. Although you can tag subscribers and keep everything organized, they lack advanced CRM features!
How long is ConvertKit’s free trial?
ConvertKit offers a two week free trial period. After that, you can opt for their free plan or start paying for the fully functional software!
Is ConvertKit better than MailChimp?
It really depends on what you’re looking for in an email marketing tool. ConvertKit is far more advanced in my experience, but MailChimp is still a good free option! I’d recommend trying ConvertKit’s free plan before MailChimp.
Does ConvertKit have an affiliate program?
ConvertKit does have a lucrative affiliate program, offering 30% commissions on every activemember you refer. You do not need to be a member of their service to promote it.
Do they have a community anywhere?
They have a Facebook group for their members, which is called the ConvertKit family. It has nearly 9,000 members at the time of writing this, and it’s continuing to grow each month!
After testing out a ton of different email marketing tools, I eventually came across ConvertKit. Although I was turned off by their pricing initially, I realized they actually offer so much for what you pay!
I’ve went through a few different softwares such as GetResponse, Aweber, and ActiveCampaign and never found the right fit for my business. But since I was looking for a simplistic tool that was designed for bloggers, I decided to give ConvertKit a try.
After testing it out for myself, I found it to be a near perfect fit. It has most of the marketing automation functionality I’m looking for while not making it overcomplicated, amazing deliverability, and it’s given me a great user experience so far!
So if you’re a content creator looking to build an audience for email marketing, I think you’ll find their platform perfect for what you need.
You can test it out for yourself for 14-days, risk free and see if it’s a good fit. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and comfortability.
- Simple to use for beginners
- Top notch deliverability
- Comes with custom landing page and forms
- Double opt-in incentive emails to keep your list clean
- You can share visual automations with other users
- Easy to keep your email formatting the same throughout
- Great user experience and back office
- Integrates with most other platforms
- Auto-send broadcasts to users who didn’t open
- Consistently being updated
- Unable to build advanced marketing automations
- Limited split testing options
- Need to use code for specific things (e.g. email preview)
- Limited list cleaning options, but they make it easy to do