I had an epiphany moment last year-you see I had been listening to a lot of podcasts about leadership and business and those led me into podcasts about marketing. If you know anything about marketing gurus you know that they scream from the rooftops that building your email list is the most important thing you can do for your business. I’ve heard this for years but honestly never took it much to mind-I’m a blogger, I’m not selling anything, I just want people to stop by my blog to read my posts-pageviews are where it’s at, right?
Then I realized why bloggers need email marketing. (Click for the post where I
rant talk about that!)
So once I finally realized I needed to change my email game I also realized that my current email server wasn’t going to work. I started off years ago using MailChimp but as my list grew I switched to MadMimi for the lower price point and super simple to use platform.
Once I realized I wanted to be able to create a variety of automated email sequences and have the ability to easily tag my subscribers by interest I knew I needed an upgrade. You see, technically, you can do these things in MadMimi and I’m sure in MailChimp too but it’s not a particularly user-friendly process.
When I started researching other email servers that would help me with the marketing side of things I realized a lot of them were way too much for what I needed, then I found ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool created for bloggers. It makes email marketing super easy. Here is a screenshot that shows part of the analytics I see as soon as I log into the platform. It shows how many new subscribers I receive each day and further breaks them down to what form they used to subscribe so I can instantly see what’s working and not working.
If I click on the Subscribers in the menu bar I’m taken to my list of subscribers which I am not able to segment and tag with particular actions. Because I blog about a variety of topics I can tag my readers by what they prefer to hear about and reduce the likelihood of them unsubscribing because I sent a recipe lover an email about blogging professionally!
Another great feature-ConvertKit has a tool to sort and remove inactive subscribers from your list so that you’re not only not paying to email people who never open your emails, you’re also building a true community within your email list with subscribers that open, read, and interact with your content! (Also-when you have a higher open rate with your emails, it’s less likely Gmail and other mail servers will classify your mail as spam in your subscriber’s inboxes-huge bonus to having an active list!)
So where do those tags come from? Click on the Automation portion of the Menu and you have the ability to make rules. I’m able to tag someone who purchases my book on Gumroad to automatically be tagged so I am able to email just my eBook customers if I wish. (I love that it connects to various platforms so easily!!)
I also sent out an email when I first switched over asking my subscribers to click links in my email to let me know what they wanted to receive emails about. Each time they clicked the link it tagged the person with the subject. This way, if I send out an email with cleaning tips-only those that opted for that choice will receive it-again reducing the chance they will unsubscribe and increasing the chance they actually open the emails, which is obviously the goal!
Moving on…isn’t this fun? Hopping over now to the Broadcast section this is where we would send emails and newsletters like most of us are used to doing. A broadcast could be your latest blog post, a weekly newsletter, or special announcement. When you start a broadcast ConvertKit gives you options as to who you want to send it to-you can choose all subscribers or subscribers you’ve placed into a particular segment or tagged with a particular tag. For instance below is how I would send a blog post sharing a printable cleaning list-I’ve made sure to put all the readers who like printables as well as all the readers who want homemaking tips and all readers who haven’t yet given me a preference (they didn’t click the links to show me their interests.)
It’s very easy to customize who exactly you do and do not want to receive your broadcasts. In the next example you can see I’ve chosen everybody who subscribed after January 5th of this year who have not yet purchased my eBook. You can get so specific!
After composing your broadcast you can preview it and either send it immediately or schedule it to send at some point in the future.
How to the fun stuff-Sequences. I think this is where ConvertKit really shines! In MadMimi I was able to create a “drip” campaign to send out scheduled emails automatically when someone signed up for something like an email course. ConvertKit’s Sequences achieve the same effect but in a much easier, more streamlined way. The emails are easy to edit and move around and customize.
They also give recommendations of best practices for email topic, etc. to help those of us who might be hopping into this without a marketing degree!
And last but not least, ConvertKit has tools to help you make a variety of form types for your blog readers to subscribe to your blog-you can even create landing pages with it!
So bottom line-ConvertKit is pretty darn amazing. I put off joining a long time due to the price point being higher than MadMimi-I pay just under twice as much. Honestly it was a leap for me, but because I know the reasons that email marketing is so important for bloggers and I know that ConvertKit can help me reach my end state goals for my business it was totally worth the investment for me.
Questions? Hit me up in the comments or request to join our blogging Facebook group-I’m here to help!