Our Rating: 4.5/5
Convertkit Review Summary (2020)
ConvertKit is hands down one of the few best email marketing software that I can rely on.
ConvertKit isn’t a jack of all trades and master of none, it is a specifically crafted email service for bloggers, podcasters and creators.
In this ConvertKit review, I’ll walk you through the complete review of it, including the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let’s do this!
ConvertKit is jam-packed with features you need like interest-based categorization of subscribers etc.
The features are best catered towards bloggers, course creators etc, but if you’re an advanced large media house like HuffPo, I guess you’d prefer something like Infusionsoft or Ontraport.
ConvertKit’s pricing is a bit higher as compared to services like MailChimp. Having said that, the ROI with ConvertKit as compared to these cheap email marketing service providers is quite high.
If you’ve got the budget, consider investing in something that can take your audience to the next level.
ConvertKit’s support is as top notch as the service itself. Live chat, faster email responses are something I expected and they delivered.
Did you know that out of all promotion methods, email delivers the highest ROI for marketers?
That’s a powerful statistic – “the highest return on investment”.
I mean – it’s tough to argue with that – email flat out makes you money.
But if you want to make that money, you need an email marketing tool that sets you up for success.
ConvertKit might just be that tool for you. It’s an email marketing tool built for professional bloggers that includes powerful automation and personalization functionality to help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.
And in this ConvertKit review, I hope to show you why ConvertKit is the best all-in-one email solution for you.
Let’s jump right in!
ConvertKit Review 2020: The Best Email Marketing Software For Bloggers
So this is a ConvertKit review, not a tutorial on email marketing. But I still want to lead with what goes into effective email marketing because it helps demonstrate how ConvertKit is a true “all-in-one” email marketing solution for professional bloggers (or anyone else, for that matter!).
What Is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is one of the most popular email marketing service aimed towards professional bloggers and creators. It was founded by Nathan Barry who is a blogger/designer himself so he tried to create something that isn’t for everybody.
So, ConvertKit email marketing service is catered towards bloggers and podcasters/course sellers who want to do more with list building at an affordable price.
If you want to be successful at email marketing, you’re going to need:
- High-converting opt-in forms to grow your list
- Automated emails with personalized content to connect with your subscribers
- Analytics to improve and refine your campaigns
ConvertKit helps you do all of that – here’s how:
ConvertKit Features Review: Getting Started With ConvertKit
ConvertKit gives you a flexible way to create your own high-converting forms or landing pages, as well as a free WordPress plugin to help you easily display both of those on your WordPress site.
When you create your first opt-in, ConvertKit will let you choose from:
- Creating a dedicated landing page – yup, ConvertKit can even help you build landing pages! You wouldn’t need an extra landing page builder like Leadpages for that matter!
- A regular opt-in form that you can embed in any of your existing pages – for example, you could add this form at the end of every blog post or use it to sign people up via a lead magnet (more on that later!)
Basically, no matter how you want to build your email list, ConvertKit can help you do it without you needing to pay for some third-party service.
1) Choose From Various Email Optin Forms
Let’s say you want to create a regular form to use on your site. Do you have options?
Yup – you betcha! ConvertKit lets you choose from three different styles:
That middle option is especially attractive because it let’s you fire a content upgrade for each of your blog post.
Content upgrades convert like crazy because readers aren’t interested in giving their email IDs for nothing. You have to offer them something valuable (maybe a PDF version of the post, some extra tips that your blog post didn’t cover, a spreadsheet showing your work schedule etc). Being able to implement such a successful strategy right in ConvertKit is a massive bonus.
Brian Dean implemented the same content upgrade strategy and boosted his optin conversion rate by over 785%. That’s a great number to look for when you want to build a list!
…you can do all that, without having to touch a single like of code. Once you select your option, all you need to do is customize it with the super intuitive editor. Seriously – all you do is click and type:
When you’re done, you can display the form right away on your WordPress site via the ConvertKit plugin. No need to mess around with code!
2) Hide Optin Forms & Show Custom Content To Already Subscribed Users
One of the biggest email marketing mistake that many bloggers make is, showing the same content upgrade and optin forms even if your reader is already subscribed.
This not only creates a bad user-experience but also makes you lose out on the opportunity to push your subscriber a step forward in your funnel (may that be an upsell or showing some other forms of a different offer).
With ConvertKit, you can choose to:
- whether keep showing the same old optin form to already subscribed users (don’t do this), or
- hide the form so that it gives them a fluid user experience, or
- show them a new offer or an affiliate banner (or upsell your product) based on the page they are on.
Before using ConvertKit, I used to fix this issue of showing the same forms to already subscribed users using Thrive Leads. ~ Swadhin Agrawal
3) Send Personalized Emails Using Tags For Better Results
Ok, so you’ve built some subscriber-grabbing opt-in forms or landing pages with ConvertKit’s built-in tools.
Now it’s time to start sending emails, right?
Every single email marketing service lets you send emails to your lists. But not every email marketing service lets you send smart emails to your list. That’s what helps differentiate ConvertKit from its competition.
ConvertKit offers tons of features to:
- Make your email marketing campaigns more effective with proven methods like personalization
- Save you time and put things on autopilot with automation and timed email sequences
Below are some of the cool ways in which ConvertKit goes above and beyond to help make your email marketing efforts successful.
Emails with a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened and have a 10% improvement with conversions.
That means if your email marketing service doesn’t make it easy for you to personalize your emails, you’re leaving traffic and revenue on the table.
ConvertKit puts email personalization on steroids with its easy-to-use tagging system.
Let’s see how!
I hear you say, “But Swadhin, every email marketing service provider has that, what’s so cool about ConvertKit?
But here’s where ConvertKit gets cool:
You can display different content based on tags that you’ve applied to each subscriber:
What are tags in ConvertKit?
With tags, you can make categorize and identify your subscribers based on their interests, their buying intent, what type of blog posts they like etc.
How to use tags in Convertkit?
With tags in ConvertKit, you can automagically select which content, within an email, a subscriber will see and hat they won’t!
This means, you can show different content to different users, in a single email, based on their interests. The image below is a live example of that!
Why is this helpful?
Because it lets you do something like this:
- Automatically assign tags to users who sign up through a certain lead magnet form
- Reference that lead magnet in the introduction of your email for a more personalized message
Or, you could send different content to VIP subscribers. Or you could do any number of other cool personalization tactics.
4) ConvertKit Sequences Review: How To Create ConvertKit Sequences
Another feature that really sets ConvertKit apart is how easy it makes it to set up sequences and automation.
What is a sequence in ConvertKit?
A sequence in ConvertKit is a series of emails (previously written) aimed at automatic delivery at the time when a subscriber first signs up or gets added to a sequence by another action (maybe a purchase they did or another CTA they clicked).
Let’s start with email sequences – if you’re not familiar, email sequences are an incredibly effective way to connect with your list. Once you set them up, they’re pretty hands-off, and they convert like crazy in comparison to one-off emails.
ConvertKit makes it stupid simple to create engagement-boosting sequences. All you do is:
- Choose which subscribers to send to
- Add as many emails as you want
- Choose when to send each email in the sequence
Combined with automation – which I’ll discuss next – this basically lets you send an entire series of targeted emails without needing to lift a finger.
You can put everything on autopilot so that you’re sending out subscriber-nurturing emails while sitting on the beach with a pina colada (ok, more likely, while working on something else!).
5) ConvertKit Sequences Review: Setting Up Email Marketing Automation
ConvertKit sequences are automated email campaigns that are sent to the subsribers based on the list they subscribed to or a CTA they clicked in your emails or your blog. ConvertKit sequences are what other email service providers call autoresponders.
Automated emails get 119% more clicks than broadcast emails.
Automated emails are emails sent based on things a user “triggers” rather than an arbitrary date and time. And they used to be the exclusive domain of big retailers and other enterprises.
But now, ConvertKit can bring the power of email automation to your blog in a surprisingly simple interface.
Rather than needing to be a code genius, ConvertKit gives you an easy visual editor to set up email automation for your site.
For example, here’s a simple automation I set up in just a few seconds where:
- Whenever a visitor subscribes via Form 1
- I sign them up to the DigitalGYD sequence
- After that sequence finishes
- I wait for 1 week
- Then I can automatically start sending a new sequence or a broadcast email
This feature is so powerful. Whereas sequences let you automate one campaign, the automation functionality lets you automate your entire email marketing efforts.
You could map out 6-month’s worth of emails and send them all 100% automatically after a user signs up.
And you can also segment and do things differently to personalize your content. For example, you could have one automation rule apply to subscribers with Tag A, and a completely different set of rules for subscribers with Tag B:
As for those tags? You can automate them too!
In that example above, anyone who subscribes via Form 1 will automatically be tagged with Lead magnet 1.
This way, you can easily segment your subscribers and use that data to create segmented content or sequences, which means better personalization (remember – that also means more clicks and conversions!).
Basically, you don’t need to sacrifice any personalization in order to get the benefits of email marketing automation.
You can also integrate with a bunch of services for even more detailed automation rules.
For example, if you’re using the popular Gravity Forms plugin, you can set up automation rules based on how people submit a Gravity Forms’ form.
ConvertKit’s automation is both powerful and accessible, which means even if you don’t know any code, you can use it to:
- Create more effective campaigns
- Save time by automating your email marketing
6) ConvertKit Split Testing: How To A/B Split Test With ConvertKit
If you’ve ever sent emails, you know that something as simple as a few different words in your subject line can have a massive effect on the success of an email.
So how do you find out what works best?
You gotta test it!
And ConvertKit makes it easy to test your email subjects with A/B testing. All you do is click a button and you can add another test variation:
7) Resend Emails To People Who Didn’t Open The First One
People’s inboxes are busy. That means sometimes they just flat out won’t see your email, even if you did everything right.
ConvertKit helps you stop that from happening with its unique Resend to Unopens feature.
With this feature, you can resend a specific email to only users who didn’t open the first email.
That way, you avoid annoying people who saw the email, but get another chance to connect with people who missed it. You can even change the subject to have a better chance on your second go around!
8) ConvertKit Email Templates
I’d like to state one thing that if you’re looking for drag and drop email templates, ConvertKit is going to disappoint you for the good. Like me, ConvertKit team also believes, that email templates cause a LOT of distraction and often highly customized emails don’t get read.
On the other hand, plain emails (of course with text formatted and images support) get a higher rate of response from subscribers and that’s what ConvertKit aims at. You can see this trend of using simple emails in emails from pro bloggers like Neil Patel, Pat Flynn etc.
I wouldn’t mind going against the trend for something that helps my subscribers, and brings more conversions for me. You, my friend, have to still decide if you want to go with ConvertKit’s simple email templates or fancy ones that don’t convert.
Here’s what Nathan, the founder, has to say about ConvertKit’s email templates:
Let’s take a step back and look at marketing in general. The best way to market online is to teach, to regularly deliver valuable content to your audience so that they will trust you and eventually want to purchase from you. So when you send an email, what part of the communication delivers the most value?
That’s right, the content.
So we should be stripping away everything else that isn’t necessary in order to focus on the content. Multi-column layouts, background images, logos, and all the other nonsense that typically fills marketing emails doesn’t deliver value to the recipient. Instead it is all about you, the sender. Flip that around and start delivering value. ~ Nathan Barry (Founder & CEO)
9) ConvertKit Analytics: Measuring Your Email Campaign Metrics
At this point, we saw that, ConvertKit solves two parts of the puzzle:
- Getting subscribers to your email list, and
- Sending effective, automated emails and sequences.
But how do you actually know if everything you’re doing is successful?
That’s where ConvertKit’s analytics features come in. ConvertKit quickly lets you see:
Apart from these, you can of course, view detailed stats for each email including their open rates, link clicks, split test results of subject lines etc.
Built-in campaign tracking for ConvertKit landing pages & formsConvertKit includes built-in campaign tracking for your landing pages and opt-in forms.
Ever wondered whether specific traffic is more likely to sign up your list? Sure, you could track that through Google Analytics – but it’s complicated and requires digging into Google Analytics Events.
With ConvertKit, all you need to do is append “?ref=campaign_name” to the end of any landing page or form URL and you can instantly see which traffic sources lead to the most subscribers.
How does this help you?
- Track how successful one of your guest posts was
- See which ads get the most subscribers
- See which of your partners’ referral traffic converts the best
And, that means you can focus on the areas that get you the most subscribers!
10) Dealing With ConvertKit’s Cold Subscribers
ConvertKit’s cold subscribers are the ones that have not interacted or engaged with your emails over the span of last 90 days. ConvertKit let’s you tag them to a separate list to either delete them and save your list size or use that data to re-engage them by deploying a new ConvertKit sequence catered towards it.
ConvertKit Pricing Review: How Much Does ConvertKit Cost?
Wondering what is the actual price of ConvertKit email marketing service?
With all its powerful features, you might be expecting ConvertKit to cost an arm and a leg.
It’s actually surprisingly affordable. Plans start at just $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers:
What do you get with your ConvertKit plan? Is everything unlimited? Is there a catch?
These were the things that troubled me when I was thinking to get ConvertKit. Their customer service cleared that:
Beyond the subscriber limit, all of their plans are 100% unlimited. That means unlimited:
- Emails sent
- Unlimited optin forms, content upgrade forms etc
- Unlimited landing pages: ConvertKit provides you option of unlimited landing pages to funnel your visitors
- Unlimited automation rules to power up your marketing funnel
When you compare that to other email marketing service providers, ConvertKit is pretty affordable.
For example, Campaign Monitor also costs $29 per month for 1,000 subscribers but with a 12,500 email limit, whereas ConvertKit lets you send unlimited emails.
Is ConvertKit Budget Friendly?
ConvertKit is definitely the best value for money with the features it offers. However, if you’re starting out, this might not help you.
The lowest plan of ConvertKit starts at $29 per month which is pretty much the industry standard (and definitely a LOT cheaper than ConvertKit alternatives like Drip, Constant Contact etc.).
However, not all bloggers can afford to invest $29 per month on their email service provider. For them, a cheaper alternative would be, going the GetResponse way (read my GetResponse review here) or MailChimp (which offers nothing as compared to ConvertKit).
Pros & Cons Of ConvertKit
Pros Of ConvertKit (What I Liked)
- ConvertKit is build for bloggers/marketers/podcasters & creators so it feels like home.
- Showing different content to differently tagged users in the same email is magic
- Visual automation builder
- You can easily set up powerful, revenue-boosting automation rules without needing to know any code
- ConvertKit landing pages save the money (no need for separate landing page)
- ConvertKit tutorials are easy to digest and follow (great for starting out!)
- Integration with shopping carts like Gumroad, Shopify and samcart for easy buyer management
Cons Of ConvertKit (What Can Be Improved)
- It lacks very detailed analytics features.
- Provides a 30 day free trial but I’d want it to be like free for 100 or 500 subscribers so that newbies can try it, use it and then upgrade if they benefit from it.
ConvertKit Support Review: How Is ConvertKit’s Customer Service?
ConvertKit’s customer support is one of the top notch services you’ll ever find. They help you, but they care for each customer even more.
They’ve listed, on their mission page, that their only unfair advantage over other ConvertKit competitors is that they care about their users. From support, to developing features that help the users do more, everything they do it motivated by this care.
Live chat, faster email response times are something that impressed me.
ConvertKit Review 2020: Is ConvertKit Worth Your Investment?
So, what do I think after reviewing ConvertKit?
I tried them, was impressed and am seeing a great ROI. They’re one of the greatest email service providers I’ve seen in this range.
If you have a budget of $29 per month or have a solid strategy do build an audience that you can personally connect with and sell to, you should definitely try out ConvertKit.
ConvertKit tags are a great way to separate users based on interests, it is like you know each subscriber and needless to say, selling becomes much more easier when you know what your audience needs or how they feel about something.
If you want to try the email marketing service that smart bloggers like Leo Babauta, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income use, click below to give ConvertKit a try!