How to use ConvertKit for Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a one of the oldest and the most reliable way of building up customer base for online marketing. So if you are a blogger, you will have to look for a solution. There are so many established solution like Mailchimp, Getresponse and Aweber at the entry level. I might have missed some. But at the starter level, there is an entry of a new candidate – ConvertKit. Using ConvertKit for Email Marketing your Blog or Product is so simple that any non technical person can get started with it.

When you visit the website then you can easily see the words in bold – Email Marketing for Professional Bloggers. Thus from starting ConvertKit has been targeting the bloggers. Their aim is to keep things simple.

Nathan Barry the CEO of the company had registered the domain in 2013. And with in these few years they have become very popular among the blogging community. It has been adopted due to the way they handle the user list.

So let me walk you through the pricing plan and help you decide whether to use ConvertKit for Email Marketing or not.

Plans Pricing ConvertKit

As we see Converkit does not have a free plan or a trial version to get started with but, they do have a 30 day refund policy.

So if you do not like their product you can ask for a refund within 30 days. They also give a demo, but no way they want to give a free plan or a trial.

So lets start exploring ConvertKit. I will show you step by step how you can use it to create your own email marketing funnel.

How to start using ConvertKit for Email Marketing

So now you go ahead and create your account. Fill in your information and create your new account.

ConvertKit New User

In a simple 2 step process your are done.

Once you are done, you will get logged into the account. You will see the dashboard.

 

The Dashboard

ConvertKit Dashboard

The Dashboard shows you the quick report of the activities for last 1 month.

It shows you the subscribers count on the top left.

  • today
  • last 7 days
  • last 30 days
  • total

At the bottom it shows the current active forms with a button to create new form.

There is a tab menu at the top of the page comprising of

  • Forms
  • Sequences
  • Broadcasts
  • Subscribers
  • Automations
  • Account

By default Forms tab is the home page or the dashboard. So before you go ahead let me explain you what the terminologies mean as per ConvertKit.

Terminologies

Form

The subscriber joins the ConvertKit list using the forms. This is best way to get your contacts into your list.

Landing Page

It is like a form, but here you can control the full page design from ConvertKit itself.

Sequences

It is a series of mail sent by ConvertKit automatically based on criteria dependent on subscription date. If you have used other email marketing providers then these are same as Automation of MailChimp, Follow-Up sequences of Aweber, Autoresponders of GetResponse.

Broadcast

This is a one time email which is sent to a all or specific group of subscribers.

Subscriber

Someone who gives you their email address to receive updates or incentive.

Tag

It is a metadata commonly used in Email Marketing to identify some activity for the subscriber. Like you can tag to keep track of purchases.

Segment

Filtered list of subscribers from the combination of Forms, Sequence and Tags.

Create a Form

 

To create a form you will need to hit the Create Button on the bottom right of the Dashboard which is also the Forms tab.

Here are the steps:

Step 1 – Select Landing Page or Form

ConvertKit-landing vs form

Choose between Landing Page or Form. So if you want to have a full page controlled from ConvertKit then choose Landing page, else choose Form to just occupy a small part of your page with only form details.

 

 

Step 2 – Select a form template

ConvertKit-form template

Just choose one of the templates which are there. Right now ConvertKit has 3 templates for forms.

Step 3 – Customise the Form

Now you can customise the form by changing the default text and color in the template. Also you can try to have an appealing title. Further more the call to action should make the user click the button. It is always preferable to ask only for email address. But if you want you can go for first name to customise your emails.

Step 4 – Main Settings

ConvertKit-Main Settings

 

You can go to the Main Settings page by hitting the Settings tab on the top menu bar. By default it will open up the Main Settings page, otherwise you can hit the Main Settings tab on the left.

Choose whether you want it as a landing page hosted on ConvertKit or a form embedded on your website.

Set the action to be taken when the user has subscribed. You can enter a simple success message or redirect to another page.

There is also an option to give the user the choice to subscribe to the email sequences you have setup.

 

Step 5 – Incentive Email

ConvertKit-Incentive Email

In the incentive email page you will be able to to setup any lead magnet you have planned to give as incentive to the subscriber. There is a checkbox which you will have to select to setup the flow.

By default ConvertKit sends a confirmation mail for the subscription. But you can setup for giving away the incentive or the lead magnet. It is a clever way to use the double opt-in for your need. This will certainly increase the opt-in rate.

The are several other options which you can look into. You can auto confirm even if the user doesn’t click on the confirm button.

There are lot of customisation option available for the incentive mail. One thing you make sure that you keep your texts very clear to avoid getting spammed by the user. It will also reduce the unsubscribe rate.

Step 6 – Style

ConvertKit-Form Style

You can change the styles of the form in this tab. Currently ConvertKit supports 3 template for the form. Also it allows 3 ways to show the form.

Inline

The form is embedded in the page.

Modal

The form is is shown as a popup. There are several options you can choose to show the popup. There is an option of even showing it as exit intent.

Slide In

This option will show the form as a sliding overlay. You will be able to select the part of the screen from where the overlay should slide in.

 

Step 7 –  Embedding the Form

Now that you have created and saved the form, it is time to embed it on your website. Currently there are 3 options for doing so.

The first option is to use  one liner Javascript code. Just copy and paste the line on any html page on your website. It will generate the code on loading the page for showing the form.

The second option is to copy and paste the complete html generated for the form. It is useful when you want to customise the look and feel of the form to match it exactly like your website theme.

The third option is very useful and handy for WordPress websites. If you are hosting your website on WordPress then it is very easy.

To use this option you will need to add the WordPress plugin from ConvertKit. Then setup the plugin using the api keys from ConvertKit settings page. Once the plugin is setup you will be able to choose the short code for the forms from the plugin page. There is also an option to choose a default form which is shown at the bottom of the website.

 

Sequences

ConvertKit makes life very easy when you want to write a series of email. Using Sequences you can have the series ready in no time.

To get started with Sequences you will need to hit the Sequences tab on the top menu. Once you have done that the page will look something like this.

ConvertKit-Sequences

Hit the Create Sequence button on the top right to get started with Sequences. You will need to enter Sequence Name and thats it! The sequence has been created and ready for you to edit.

ConvertKit has made it very easy to write your own series of emails in the Sequence page. Let me show you how the Sequences page looks like.

ConvertKit-Sequences Page

ConvertKit creates a default Sequence for selling something. Let me explain in detail what the funnel means

Email 1 – Introduction Content

This is the first email that the subscriber receives after the Incentive email. If you have unchecked the Incentive Email option then this will be the first email being sent to the subscriber.

Use this email to introduce yourself. Then let them know how they got on to the list.

Let the subscriber know what to expect in the coming days. Make sure you let them know that you will be sending them a series of emails with some valuable contents. Also mention the frequency at which you will be sending them the mails. This will make them expect some emails from you instead of being bombarded with unexpected emails.

It would not be a bad idea to add some valuable content from the first email itself. Remember that this content will set the trend for next mails. So the better crafted mail has the less unsubscribe rate and creates more curiosity for the next mails.

In the default mail the Delay had been set as 1 day. You can set it to 0 day if you have unchecked the Incentive Email option while creating the form.

Email 2 – Educationalal Message

This mail is purely for giving some valuable information  to the subscriber. Also you can educate them about their pain points which can be related to your product. Furthermore you can craft it in such a way that your subscribers can connect with you. They should feel you know your stuffs.

This mail by default has a delay of 1 day.

Email 2 – Educational Message + Introduce the Product

By now the subscribers are already connected with you. You can send them some more valuable and educational content. These contents must be such that it would raise a need for your product. At the end of the mail you can introduce your product to them. Show them how your product can help them fix their pain points. Remember that this is the first time they will come to know about your product. So just keep it introductory so that they don’t get overwhelmed.

By default the delay is 1 day. You can increase the delay if you feel that the subscribers might take more time to consume the earlier mail.

Email 3 – Soft Sell

This mail will also be an educational mail. But you can pitch in your product somewhere in the mail.  A small mention at the end of the mail could be a good idea. A “P.S.” will also be a perfect option.

Email 4 – Educational Message

Another educational message with an useful & valuable information you can provide. Give more than the subscribers can expect. Remember subscribers have given their email to you and it is your responsibility to provide useful experience to them.

Email 5 – Hard Sell

This is where you pitch your product. Mention as much detail you can provide about it. The focus should be on your product and nothing else. Have a call to action button or link which should take the subscribers to your sales page.

Email 6 – Educational Message

Again just focus on providing useful information to the subscriber. It is more of an advertisement of your authority in the niche. Avoid mentioning your product.

Email 7 – Soft Sell

This will be another educational message. But you can bring in your sales pitch here, but not a hard selling one. Still keep the mail as valuable as possible.

Customising the Default Sequence

Although ConvertKit provides with a sample funnel, you can customise it to any extent you want. Options are there to change the delay.

At the bottom left of the page you will also get the option to add new emails to the sequence. You can also delete some emails from the sequence.

Make changes to the funnel to suit your needs. Infact you can use the sequence to have an email course without having to sell any product.

This simple sequences will surely entice you to use ConvertKit for Email Marketing.

Connecting a Form to a Sequence

Now that you have created a Form and also a Sequence, it is time that you connect the form to the Sequence. To do that you will need to go to the Main Setting page of the form.

At the bottom of the Main Settings page is the Form’s Sequence Settings options.

ConvertKit-Form Sequence Settings

Select the sequence you want the subscribers to join. If you want to add them to the sequence directly then select the second checkbox.

In case you have created the sequence after some subscribers have been added to the Form then not to worry. You do have the option to add them by selecting the first checkbox.

Once you are done with the above settings, hit the Save Form button. Now your first funnel on ConvertKit for Email Marketing is ready.

Broadcasts

Broadcasts are one time message which you send to your subscribers. To get started with it hit the Broadcasts tab in the top menu.

ConvertKit-Broadcasts Page

 

The page normally gives the list of all the broadcasts and also the count on the right side. As this is your first Broadcast you will see it empty.

Hit the “New Broadcast” button on the right to create your first Broadcast. Once you do that you will see the following page.

ConvertKit-Broadcasts Recipients

Setting the From Address

In case you want to change the from address of the email broadcast you can do that. By default it will be your account email address.

Setting the Recipients

In this section you can select the recipients whom you want to send the broadcast. By default “All Subscribers” is selected, but you can also easily use filter to  customise the list.

There are lot of options to play around with the filter i.e.  the Matching option and the Filter Group option. Once you get used to ConvertKit you can fine tune your recipients list here.

Broadcast Content

ConvertKit-Broadcasts Content

The content tab looks like the above image. It consists of the Email Subject and Email Content Editor on the left side. On the right side there are options for previewing and selecting the email templates.

Personalising the Email

To personalise the email you will need to hit the “Personalize” button in the editor’s toolbar. ConvertKit gives 4 options for personalisation.


ConvertKit-Broadcasts Content Personalise

Among the 4 options my favourite one is Subscriber’s Name (with fallback). As soon as you select the option following piece of code is added to you email.

ConvertKit-Broadcasts Content Personalise Code

This ensures that even if the subscribers name is missing the email doesn’t has a blank space. There are other ways you can customise this to your requirement.

Email Templates

On the right side you have the option of selecting the email templates. Currently ConvertKit provides 3 different templates.

ConvertKit-Email Templates

First of all is the default Text only option, while the other Classic and Modern templates are html templates.

Since the main difference between classic and modern templates is the Font, hence they almost look the same.

Schedule Broadcast

When you are done with your content and then hit the Next Button you are taken to the Preview Page. 

ConvertKit-Broadcasts Preview

You can send your broadcast immediately or you can schedule it for later. So go ahead and hit the Send Broadcast button to send your first email broadcast on ConvertKit.

Subscribers

ConvertKit-Subscribers Page

In the subscribers page you will be able to view everyone who has subscribed to your list.

Type of Subscribers

ConvertKit has divided the Subscribers into 6 different categories. You can filter the list by selecting one of the options.

Confirmed Subscribers

Subscribed and Confirmed by hitting the confirm button. It also includes those who have been auto confirmed as you have selected the checkbox in the Form settings.

Unconfirmed Subscribers

Those who have submitted the form but have not hit the confirm button.

Cancelled Subscribers

Subscribers who have been removed from the list, either by you or by unsubscribing.

Complained Subscribers

Subscriber who have reported against your mails.

Bounced Subscribers

Subscribers who email address is not able to receive the mail which you are sending.

Cold Subscribers

Subscribers who are not taking action to your emails.

 

Segments

ConvertKit-Segments

Segments are like the filtered list of subscribers from the combination of Forms, Sequence and Tags. You can use this to prepare a list which you would like to send your emails to. You can create segment by hit the link at the bottom right of the Subscribers page.

Tags

On the bottom right of the Subscribers page you will see the list of Tags. It is a metadeta commonly used in Email Marketing to identify some activity for the subscriber. Like you can tag to keep track of purchases.

It is very important to maintain the tags properly as it can lead to lot cluttering if not optimised. You can hit the link on the bottom right of the subscribers page to create a new Tag.

You can add the tags manually to the subscriber. To do that you will have to hit the subscriber row in the subscribers page.

And once you do that the Subscriber Details page opens up.

ConvertKit-Tags

On the bottom right of the popup you can select a Tag to add to the subscriber.

Automation Rules

When you click the Automation tab in the menu bar it opens the Automations Rules page by default.

ConvertKit-Automation Rules

 

To add a new Automation Rule hit the Add Rule button on the right side of the page.

ConvertKit-Add Automation Rule

Furthermore ConvertKit Automation has 2 things, Triggers and Actions. And currently it supports 7 Triggers and 6 Actions.

To set up a new rule you will have to choose at-least 1 Trigger and at-least 1 Action. Although you can choose multiple Triggers and Actions. But be careful while adding the rules to avoid having messy list of rules.

RSS Feeds

One of the common thing in Email Marketing is to send a Broadcast message, as a new post is added to the RSS feed. You can easily do that by setting up RSS Feed to Broadcast rule. Go to the RSS Feed tab in the Automations tab of the menu bar. Then click on the Create RSS Feed button. You will get the page below .

ConvertKit-Add RSS Feeds

In this page you enter the RSS feed url of your blog and then hit the Check Feed button. If the url is right it will create a broadcast from the RSS feed. Here is a sample.

ConvertKit-Check RSS Feed

You can choose to send a Single email each time a new post appears in the feed or you can have Digest email sent on a schedule date with the assembled posts.

There is an option to segment the receivers depending on the criteria you choose.

You can also set whether ConvertKit should draft the mails for you or should  send it automatically. Normally you keep it selected to allow ConvertKit to send the mails automatically.

Integrations

While ConvertKit integrates directly with some of the popular tools online, and for other tools you can integrate using Zapier.

ConvertKit-Integrations

 

Integrating Teachable with ConvertKit for Email Marketing

As an example let me show you how to Integrate ConvertKit with Teachable. Teachable is a platform to help you build and sell digital courses. Teachable supports direct integration for MailChimp and ConvertKit for Email Marketing.

ConvertKit Teachable Integration

Also when you hit the Teachable button you get the above screen. In this you have to enter the Teachable Site Domain. Once you have entered hit the next button.

If the integration is successful you will be able to see a success message with the Next button. When you hit the next button it will take you to the screen where it will show you a url. This url is called the Callback Endpoint URL which you will need to enter on you Teachable website. Now you hit the Next button and you have ConvertKit configured for Teachable.

Next go to to your Teachable website admin page. Open the Settings page. On the settings page open the Webhooks settings page. Click on the New Webhook button. Following page will show up.

Teachable New Webhook Page

Paste the Callback Endpoint URL to the website url textbox. Select New Sale. Make sure that Send as JSON Array option is disabled.

Once you submit the page, normally it will show as pending in the Webhook page. The webhook will show as verified as soon as  a student enrolls to a course. Now your Convertkit and Teachable have started talking to each other.

Also ConvertKit will add your new course student on teachable as subscribers. You can add the new subscribers to some automation using the Trigger Purchases on Teachable. Then select the course under the Product drop down.

Convertkit-Automations-Add_Rule_Purchases_Product_Course

 

Now you can setup what ever actions you want. You can refer to the section where I explained the Automation using Trigger and Actions to complete your Teachable Automations.


Conclusion

So by now you must have understood how to use ConvertKit for Email Marketing your blog or website. In conclusion unlike many of the other tools ConvertKit concentrates on the core minimal features. As the features list is less, the distraction for you is also less. You will be able to focus on your core tasks.

So go ahead and try it out! I am sure you will love the simplicity and time it saves for you.

If you don’t like it you can always ask for a refund from ConvertKit within 30 days.

So how are you using ConvertKit?

You can share your funnel or success stories below, I will be excited to know.

 

 

 

Posted by Neeraj Jaiswal