Surge Review: Automated Email Marketing for Creatives with ConvertKit

 

UPDATED 1 JANUARY 2019

Stuart Goulden

@StuGoulden

ConvertKit sends anybody interested in your online content or craft down a personalised path of automated emails towards your end goal.

  • Rating 9/10
  • Price $29+ p/m
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  • LOVED
  • Auto email sequences. Use of dynamic tags over lists. Focus on creators.
  • LOATHED
  • No free tier.

What is ConvertKit?

ConvertKit is a smart email marketing service, focused on helping online creators to monetise their craft. As such, it’s perfect for bloggers, makers, filmmakers, course trainers, and the like.

Many a customer relationship starts with an email address. However, once collected, they’re all too often subjected to the same messages, regardless of their intent for sign-up or any actions taken during the customer journey. ConvertKit makes sure that doesn’t happen.

The smart service helps you to grow your list and turn it into paying customers by simplifying your marketing with powerful, personalised automations.

At the time of writing 20,000 active creators making a full-time living out of what they love doing with ConvertKit.


ConvertKit features.

Forms

ConvertKit bucks email marketing norms, swapping lists for forms and tags. Each opt-in form or landing page can feature its own call to action and be easily embedded on your website.

Tags

Organise subscribers according to their interests and actions, and use as the basis for more personal messages. You can also use tags to exclude people, such as purchasers or members.

Automated messages

ConvertKit brings marketing funnels into the digital age. Their visual automations tool really make creating new workflows easy, meaning you can see the exact sequence and CTA each and every subscriber will embark on.

Triggers

Automatically follow-up actions your audience take, be it a purchase, a course milestone, a link they click, or when they get assigned a new tag. The possibilities are endless and easy to set-up.

Broadcasts

Have an important tell-all message? Broadcast it to your entire email list in only a couple of clicks. Alternatively, automatically push your blog posts to your audience via a RSS feed.

A/B Testing

Test two versions of your email with a small sample. Automatically send the one that resonates most to your remaining subscribers.


Things to consider.

For creators, by creators

ConvertKit is aimed at online creators and bloggers. Nobody else. This laser focus means all of their features and long-term strategy will be channelled towards helping creatives make money.

Tags vs. Lists

ConvertKit likes to keep things simple. All your contacts are in a single list and can be dynamically sorted by tags and segments. This sharpens your targeting and makes sure you only pay once per subscriber.

Templates & Blueprints

To shorten the learning curve for new users, ConvertKit offers workflow blueprints that cover automated launches, product pitches, webinars, onboarding, and more. When it comes to emails and landing pages there’s handy templates you can adopt and adapt. Most permit basic customisation without the need for code via a drag-and-drop builder, however you can add custom CSS if you wish.

Handy integrations

Connect to 80 of your other favourite business-building tools. Possibilities include lead generation, membership sites, e-commerce platforms, online courses and more, such as Zapier, Wordpress, Shopify, Woo Commerce, Gumroad, PayPal and Squarespace.

Creator Academy

ConvertKit’s courses give creators a roadmap for their journey from monetising their passion, growing their audience and building a business. From $199, you can access all their Creator Pass masterclasses, take part in weekly live workshops and tap into a private community for peer support.

Switching is easy

ConvertKit offers a free migration concierge service for lists of 5,000 subscribers or more. Once a ConvertKit customer, you’ll also be able to tap into 24/7 support.


ConvertKit pricing.

0–1k subscribers

$29/month
  • Visual Automations
  • Unlimited Customisable forms
  • Unlimited Email sends
  • Industry-leading deliverability
  • Subscriber tagging
  • Reporting
  • 70+ direct integrations
  • API
  • Email and Live Chat Support

1k–3k subscribers

$49/month
  • Visual Automations
  • Unlimited Customisable forms
  • Unlimited Email sends
  • Industry-leading deliverability
  • Subscriber tagging
  • Reporting
  • 70+ direct integrations
  • API
  • Email and Live Chat Support

3k–5k subscribers

$79/month
  • Visual Automations
  • Unlimited Customisable forms
  • Unlimited Email sends
  • Industry-leading deliverability
  • Subscriber tagging
  • Reporting
  • 70+ direct integrations
  • API
  • Email and Live Chat Support

ConvertKit's pricing is as straightforward as it gets. It starts at $29 for its most basic subscription, which limits you to 1000 subscribers but gives you access to all its features, which is the case no matter which plan you subscribe to. The more subscribers you have, the more you’ll have to pay. No free tier, although do offer a free 14 day trial.


Verdict.

ConvertKit’s appeal is simple: Engage your audience with simple yet sophisticated

email marketing in order to make a living doing what you love. For the right customer, it’s a promise they truly deliver on.

The service shines in demystifying email marketing for those who would prefer to spend time on their craft, with intuitive, automated ways to grow any email list, feed subscribers relevant content and improve the odds of converting them into paying customers.

ConvertKit’s narrow tools and their numerous constraints (such as only being able to send text-based email) won’t be for everyone. Those searching for an all-in-one email service are better suited to MailChimp. However, anybody left feeling overwhelmed by all the features and variables of other email marketing services are likely to find ConvertKit’s visual automation tools and simple “if this, then that” logic a breath of fresh air. By limiting your choices and making execution as easy as possible, you’re far more likely to get more from your bootstrapped email marketing efforts.

With no free tier, ConvertKit is testing how serious online creators are about turning their passion into a business. Plans start from $29/month, which unlocks all of its features, but does put a lot of pressure to convert any interest shown in your content or services. By prioritising personalisation and automated email sequences over anything else, ConvertKit improves the odds of you doing so. Only you can decide whether it’s the right approach for your personal brand or business.

Still unsure if it’s for you? Give their free 14-day trial a go and work up a few automated workflows of your own.

CONVERTKIT.COM

Founder of future-led marketing agency and start-up studio, Like No Other.