What is Convertkit?

Converkit is an email marketing automation platform launched by a fellow blogger and marketer, Nathan Barry. ????

It's an email marketing solution designed for marketers, which makes it a very niched solution for bloggers, digital entrepreneurs, course creators and people who want the advantages of email marketing automation without the ???? Tech headaches and hassles.

Who needs Convertkit?

In a study of US respondents, more than 50 percent check their phones for up to 10 times per day and it's their preferred way to receive updates from brands and online business.

That's how powerful email is.

But if you're NOT going or planning to send any emails to your customers or you're not even going to build your email list because you just have a website that you monetize through selling advertising space (like Google Adsense), then you probably won't need Convertkit or any other email marketing software.

But you're going to leave a lot of money on the table if you do that. ????????????

When it comes to traffic generation, having an email list where you can send messages and promotions on demand is an online business owner's dream.

But I've procrastinated in building an email list because…

  • I felt that I was going to be too salesy or pushy via emails
  • I felt overwhelmed by the emails that I have to write. Every time I stare on my screen of blank documents, I freeze.
  • I cringe every month when I pay monthly for “email marketing automation features” that I hardly use…

These negative beliefs have prevented me from building an email list.

???? It was the biggest mistake I've done when building an online business.

Yes, a big and costly mistake, leaving money on the table for years (I was mostly monetizing my niche sites through Adsense and Amazon affiliate links).

99% of online business NOW needs to build an email list in order to succeed and at least be competitive in 2020 and beyond.

Here's why and you've probably heard this before. It's because the money is in the list. But I'll make that even better, you can tweet this:

The money is in the relationship with your email list #emailmarketing

Let me share with you the story just to illustrate how powerful this is…

I had a client who asked my help to launch his $997 online course for the very first time.

We built his entire sales funnel, Facebook ads, and his email marketing sequences for this launch.

We had around 2,000+ email subscribers when the product launch was done and here were the results…

$1,390 spent on Facebook Ads, 2,000+ email subscribers, 61 buyers of a $997 product (total during was 80+)…

61 sales of a $997 from Facebook ads but TRUST was built via email marketing

Email marketing works. Period (emphasis on that).

It's the marketing channel that provides the highest ROAS (return on ad spend) and return on investment (ROI).

You can ignore it, but why should you leave money on the highest converting and most profitable channel?

Doesn't make sense? ????

On a side note and just for transparency, my client used Drip (here's my complete review of Drip) because that's what he had when he hired me.

But if he's starting out, I'll recommend Convertkit (you'll know why below) and why I choose Convertkit as TRAFFICSALAD's email marketing platform for 2020.

Why Convertkit?

I've used, tested, loved and hated a LOT of email marketing automation systems and solutions.

I've hated it especially when clients that I've worked within the past uses something that is so technical, so expensive, and it can't even do the most important stuff like tagging and automation (cough ***nto).

So why Convertkit?

My answer is simple.

Personally, when I was looking for something that I could use on my blog I wanted several things (which you may or might be looking as well).

  • It has to be easy to use and not overwhelming to get started
  • It has to integrate with personalization tools that I'm using like Convertbox (which is important for personalized site messages)
  • It has to be powerful enough to do tagging and automation based on tags and different triggers (more on this later)
  • It has to be affordable, yet practical when I scale my list of email subscribers. When it comes to pricing, the major providers of email marketing automation like Drip, Activecampaign, and Infusionsoft don't even come close to Convertkit's 1,000 plan that starts $29/month. The rests start at $49/month).
  • NEW for 2020 – They now have a FREE plan for up to 100 subscribers with broadcast features – this means you can send out a promotion or newsletter email – but no automation or sequences on the FREE plan. A great tool for those who are just starting out.

Let's dive deeper into this platform and help you decide if this is what you are looking for or not.

The Pros of using Convertkit

I have summarized the best things that I like about this software, let me know what you think and if this is what you've been looking for as well.

Great design and user interface

Nathan Barry just gets it. He does. When he made Convertkit, he made it with a sleek, clean and user interface.

No confusing menus, navigation, and you're basically back to the basics which are writing and creating awesome emails to your subscribers.

Easy to use

This is hands down one of the easiest email marketing platforms to use. It's not TOO technical, it's easy to find what you most need (which is your subscribers, details about them and your marketing automation sequences).

Flexible pricing plans

Drip does have a free plan of 100 subscribers but immediately jumps to $49/month above the 100 subscribers limit, then to $129/month when it jumps to 5,000 subscribers per month.

Convertkit allows you to pay more only if you have more subscribers.

See their current pricing plan here (and yes you'll love the free plan too)

Free Plan (now available in 2020)

I've been wishing (and I know a lot of people) too that Convertkit would have a free plan to get started.

This is a great way for people to get started and you should secure your FREE 100 plan here (it will give you 100 subscribers for free and me another 100 subscribers as well – you can refer as many friends as you like until you get 1,000 subscribers for free max)

They will migrate your list if you have 5,000+ subscribers or more

Afraid that you might mess up your email list when you move to Convertkit? The Convertkit team are offering to migrate it for free (for accounts with 5,000+ or more).

Don't miss out on this special offer if you are thinking of migrating.

Personalization and Tagging made easy

You can add as many tags to your email subscribers as you want. And you can do this easily in one section of the subscriber's section rather than opening each tag on separate windows.

Lots of great content and material on how to grow your email list

Are you subscribed to my marketing newsletter? You should.

And you should also subscribe to the Convertkit blog if you're interested in golden nuggets on email marketing.

Though in my newsletter, I curate the best of the best and deliver it to you on bite-sized information so you spend more time implementing than reading.

The downsides or cons of Convertkit

Nothing is perfect. Even Convertkit. Well, for FREE software, I really can't complain if I'm just getting my feet wet with email marketing.

Sequencing looks cluttered

Ugh. Enough said.

Cold subscribers are basically “useless”

What happens to people that don't open your emails? They basically just use up list space. You should delete them.

Tools like Drip, allows you to create a custom audience which you can use to run Facebook ads and remind people to open your emails or send them the information they've missed on the email.

Which brings me to the next disadvantage…

No Custom audience creation

ActiveCampaign and Drip are powerful tools that can create custom audiences based on tags and triggers inside automation or workflows.

You can create a custom audience that you can pass into Facebook audiences. You can then remarket to those audiences or if the audience is big enough you can also create lookalike audiences for those.

The Free Plan has no automation and sequences enabled

While the FREE plan allows you to send broadcast emails (one-time) emails, if you want to use the automation or sequence emails, you won't be able to do it with the FREE plan.

You'll need to start with at least the $29/month plan.

There are no templates

I can't believe that Convertkit doesn't include any email templates or automation examples for people who are just getting started.

Don't worry, I got you covered in my Convertkit Bonuses 🙂

Convertkit Demo and Walkthrough

A step-by-step tutorial on creating automations. An example is when someone abandons your checkout or sales page

I'll create a video that you can here for free.

Step-by-step tutorial when you need to indoctrinate someone into your brand or tribe

Wondering how you can turn strangers into buyers? Check out this tutorial.

Best Practices for Using Convertkit

Before you start creating and using Convertkit, make sure you check out these best practices to help you save time when using it.

Start tagging your leads based on their stage of awareness

This is probably the most important video I've created that will help you understand WHY you need to speak to your leads and customers at different stages of their awareness.

This is super important when building a sales funnel and is a huge part of email marketing automation.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos

Avoid using the landing page builder of Convertkit use this instead

Don't waste time using their landing page software. They are an email marketing platform and that's what they do best. Use a landing page builder like Optimize Press 3, or if you want a complete sales funnel solution, use Kartra or Clickfunnels.

Read my complete sales funnel software post if you would like to dive deeper.

Avoid using the popups and forms of Convertkit use this instead

Again, Convertkit is not a good solution for capturing emails. Use a tool that can capture and send different messages based on where people are in the sales funnel/stage of awareness (watch the video above).

Send personalized messages using Convertbox (with full demo and walkthrough)

The tool that I use for sending personalized messages and that compliments Convertkit is a similarly named tool, called ConvertBox.

There are other personalized messaging tools like Convertbox, but they cost a huge amount of money. convertbox is available for a one-time, lifetime cost, make sure you don't miss out on this deal if you want Convertbox.

Convertkit Pricing

How can you beat these plans? Thanks, Convertkit team!

Free Plan

It's starts at $0/month, FOREVER.

Get your FREE account here which gives you and me an additional 100 subscribers (1000 subscribers max) for free.

Monthly Plan

Monthly billing starts at $29/month for 1000 subscribers. That includes all the features like tagging, reporting and unlimited sends.

Even the $79/month plan for 3,000 to 5,000 subscribers is very competitive. That's around $129 per month for Drip, a difference of almost $50 every month.

How much should I be paying for my email marketing system?

I would recommend that you calculate it here. Convertkit has a calculator if you have more than 5,000+ subscribers.

Be careful of other email marketing providers that charge a smaller monthly price if you only have a small list of subscribers but eventually jumps in monthly pricing when you have more subscribers.

You also want to delete or remove cold subscribers who are not opening your emails because they are just taking up space.

Never delete the buyer's list though even if they've seldom opened your emails.

Convertkit Alternatives

While Convertkit is my preferred tool (and what I use here at TrafficSalad, together with Wishpond and Sendfox), let's take a look at some of the alternatives out there.

Convertkit vs Mailchimp

Mailchimp used to be the preferred choice of most bloggers and they have been for quite some time because of their 2,000 subscribers free plan.

But that plan is almost non-existent as they've limited the audience you can create on the free plan to one only.

Yes, one. You won't be able to create a proper audience list for leads or buyers in the free plan.

And if you are using Shopify, you might have already heard of the ‘breakup' between Mailchimp and Shopify. So avoid using Mailchimp for 2020 and beyond unless you really want to.

And if you're promoting other people's products that aren't in compliance with their TOS (affiliate marketing), say goodbye to your account.

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign

I love ActiveCampaign. It's another platform, built by marketers for marketers. But to be honest, their pricing is confusing. They let you start at $9/month but you basically lose the most important benefit that I can think of when you compare it with Convertkit.

On the $9/month plans you don't have the ability to create “Custom audiences”. Convertkit doesn't have this “custom audience” creation right now but there are other tools to do this if you really want to.

If you're not going to run any Facebook ads, you don't even need a custom audience right now.

Convertkit vs Drip

As a disclosure, I'm a Drip Certified individual (among a few who qualified for this certification in the ConvertedU platform).

But I'm not going to recommend Drip if you want something practical and simpler marketing automation platform.

Drip is great for technical implementation and custom audience creation like ActiveCampaign. Read my full Drip review here.

Convertkit vs Infusionsoft vs Ontraport

Starting out? Avoid these platforms.

There's a reason Infusionsoft renamed to Keap, their name was being labeled as “Co___fusionsoft” by other marketers.

It is confusing for most people. If you're technical enough, yes you might love using these platforms. I think for most people it would be too much.

Convertkit Bonuses

Hey congrats, if you're still here then you've spent considerable time reading my article and review (I really hope it helped you – if not, let me know).

To make things much better for you (if you're considering Convertkit, I'd like to offer these FREE bonuses – without any extra cost on your part if you sign up for Convertkit via my affiliate links – even the FREE plan).

Yes, you'll get these bonuses because I want to help you get up and running.

Convertkit Migration

I'll migrate your existing email list for you from any platform and into Convertkit for up to 5,000 subscribers.

If you have more than 5K subscribers avail of the migration program from Convertkit.

Email Marketing Templates (Plug and Play)

Ok, now that you have an email marketing platform, I'll send you my Top email marketing templates that you can use to Plug and play into your Convertkit account.

  1. Abandoned cart email template
  2. Welcome series email template
  3. 5 part presell or nurture series (super powerful to sell your products or use it to sell other people's products/affiliate marketing too!)

Convertkit Tech Support*

You will run into tech issues. No one is immune to it. You can either learn everything yourself or reach out to Convertkit's support (which is great). But if you need a SECOND opinion and reliable tech support, I've been doing this for almost a decade and I can pretty much debug/help you with any technical issue on your site/email or Convertkit account. *This is tech support only for your Convertkit account not anything else on your site).

FAQ about Convertkit

If you looked at the Pros versus the cons of this email marketing software, it's definitely worth it. But with the FREE plan, how can you beat that. It's even Free to try it for 100 days. If you have more than 5,000+ subscribers, moving to Convertkit from Drip or Activecampaign will allow you to save at least $50/month or $600/year – for me, that's totally worth it.

Yes, Convertkit is much by a lot. Mailchimp changed a lot recently and they've been late to the tagging game. They've only recently supported tagging and audiences. And with their 2,000 free plan being limited tremendously, I've stopped using it for my niche sites.

No in terms of features and technical implementation. Drip and ActiveCampaign are reserved for advanced and techie marketers who like more advanced automation like the creation of custom audiences.

But I'd say for 98% of most bloggers, digital course creators, online coaches and digital entrepreneurs Convertkit is more than capable. It's also one of the two platforms (the other is Mailchimp) that has direct integration with Manychat (a Facebook messenger chatbot software).

Sort of. You can get details of your subscriber inside Convertkit but it's not a fully-fledged CRM. If you want that try tools like Pipedrive or other CRM software on the market.

Free for the 1st 100 subscribers, then $29/mo for the first 1,000 subscribers and $79/month for up to 5,000 subscribers. For higher subscribers, use their calculator to find your exact pricing.

Aside from the 14-day free trial, you'll have a 30-day money-back guarantee if you paid on any plans and want a refund. You're fully covered and your purchase is risk-free.

Yes, a 14-day free trial for paid plans, but if you're just starting out, go with the FREE plan here (and upgrade whenever you like).

Check out my Convertkit bonuses for my migration bonuses and assistance. If you have 5,000+ subscribers and are planning to move into Convertkit, the Convertkit team will do it for you for free.

Yes, which is why I love it. As long as you are promoting legitimate affiliate products like “Convertkit” and not spamming others, you can use it to promote other people's products to your email subscribers.

Yes, you can find the full roadmap here: https://convertkit.com/roadmap

They are currently working on different features like landing page improvements, thank you pages and purchase reporting features. You can also see the changelog and updates that happened in the past.

You can save by up to 20% if you pay annually.

Yes, they do. And I'd recommend that you join once you sign up for your free account and discover how easy it is to use it.

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