This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure page.
So you keep reading about how important it is to grow your email list. Every “how to” blog post you read about building your blog talks about email marketing and focusing on your e-mail list. But, you may be wondering what the hell e-mail marketing is and how the heck do you get started??
Well, if that is you, I am glad you stumbled upon this blog post! I put together a tutorial to get you started with my favorite email marketing platform, ConvertKit. I have had great success building my email list with ConvertKit, and I love their automation feature SO much.
ConvertKit is one of the most popular email marketing platforms for bloggers, and it has every reason to be. It has a ton of great features to help you effectively build and grow your email list and create a great community for your blog.
A few of the features I particularly love about ConvertKit are:
- The easy automation – basically you set it up & let it do the work for you. I use this feature for my more complex welcome sequence, e-courses, sales funnels, etc.
- It is super easy to create a “sequence” of emails that you can write ahead of time and schedule when they are delivered. Also a great feature for a Welcome Sequence or e-course.
- The ability to “tag” or categorize your subscribers based on their interests or which freebie they opted in on. This ensures you are sending certain subscribers e-mails that tailor to their interests.
- The ability to send to only certain portions of your list or filter out certain portions – e.g., a certain tag, segment, etc.
Something else that is awesome, is all features are available on ALL the plans. Unlike many other platforms, you don’t have to pay extra to unlock certain features.
Click here to try ConvertKit for FREE to see if you like it before you commit! No strings attached. You get a 14 day free trial, if you’re not impressed, you don’t have to sign up 🙂
Okay, so now that you know why I recommend ConvertKit as my choice of e-mail marking platform, let’s jump into the ConvertKit Tutorial! I’ll start by breaking down the ConvertKit features and how they work. One thing I will say about ConvertKit is: when I first joined I had no idea what any of the features were and I was super confused. What the heck is a sequence?? I had no idea. So, that is why I put together this tutorial. Being a new blogger is confusing enough, so let me make it a bit easier for you,and help you out a bit with the crazy lingo and mumbo-jumbo.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONVERTKIT FEATURES
Forms are what you will create to allow people to subscribe to your list. Basically, think of it as a sign-up form.
So you have a few options. You can design your forms within ConvertKit itself – either as a separate landing page, or as a smaller box that you embed on your website.
Now, the difference between a form and a landing page is simply the way in which you gather your subscribers.
A landing page is a full page hosted by Convertkit, that your reader would be directed to, and its whole purpose is to capture emails. You usually go this route to promote a free course, or a larger freebie.
A Form is a sign up box that you embed anywhere within your website. You could embed it in a blog post, on your home page, in your sidebar, etc.
Once you’ve chosen to create either a landing page or a form, and chosen a style, you can click the little magic wand icon in the top right to change the colors. Next, click into the “Settings” tab to name your form, write an incentive email if you’d like a double opt-in process, customize the visuals, and grab the embed code.
A sequence is a series of emails that gets sent out automatically when someone subscribes to that sequence.
An example of this would be a free email course. A reader signs up for your email course, and then receives a series of emails from you over the next few days – usually delivered 1 or more days apart.
The best part about sequences is you can create all the email. choose how many days apart you want them sent, and then set them and forget them! You can also go in and add emails to the sequence at anytime and as needed.
A broadcast is a one-time email sent to your subscribers. A great example is a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter that you send to your subscriber list letting them know what is new on your blog, etc.
You can schedule a broadcast to be sent out at a specific time on a specific day. So you can actually create a few newsletters at a time and schedule them to be sent out when you want.
You can send a broadcast to your entire list OR to a specific sub-section: for example, people subscribed to a specific sequence, subscribers that have been tagged with a certain tag, etc. You can also exclude certain subscribers from receiving a broadcast, which is a great feature. For example, if you’re sending an email promoting a course, but you have several subscribers that have already enrolled in that course, you can exclude those subscribers from receiving emails about it. They don’t need to be bothered with emails about buying a course they already purchased!
Automations are one of my favorite ConvertKit features. ConvertKit makes it so easy to automate everything to do with your list, which makes my life much easier! If something saves me time, I am all for it!
When creating an automation for your list, you’ll choose your “Trigger”, and you’ll choose your “Action”. An easy way to think of it is: When this happens (Trigger) … Do this (Action).
A great way to use automations is setting up a Welcome Sequence. This is basically a sequence of emails that any new subscriber would be opted in to when they subscribe. It is usually 4-5 emails spread out over 1-2 weeks welcoming your new subscribers and showing them who you are and what your blog is all about! Check out my post on creating a killer welcome sequence here.
USING AUTOMATIONS TO SEND A WELCOME SERIES
If you’d like to send a “welcome” series of emails to new subscribers, here’s how you would set that up in ConvertKit:
1. Write your welcome emails as a sequence
2. Create a form for new subscribers to sign-up for your list
3. Set up an automation rule so new subscribers of that form are added to that sequence
At the same time, you can also “tag” these new subscribers with something relevant. This is a great tool to create a sales funnels as well. For example: when a subscriber signs up to a free course about growing their e-mail list, you can create an automation to add that subscriber to a sequence that pitches your paid course about growing your email list. Then you can tag them as a “potential customer”. You know this person has interest in growing their list, so they would potentially buy your course about growing their email list!
Click Here to grab your free trial of ConvertKit and get started building your community!
OTHER CORE FEATURES
Aside from the 4 core feature we already talked about (forms, sequences, automations, broadcasts), there are also two other features you will find useful.
When you go to the “Subscribers” tab, you will see your full list of your subscribers. You can search on the top right for the name or email address of someone on your list, and you can also manually add subscribers or import a list of subscribers here.
On the bottom right, you also have the option to create a “Segment”. A segment is a group of subscribers that you are able to message separate from everyone else. You can include any group of subscribers into a segment – for example, subscribers with the same tag, subscribers enrolled in a certain course, etc.
In the bottom right of the subscribers page, you will also see a full list of the tags you’ve created. You can click on a certain tag to view a list of subscribers within that tag. You can create new tags from in here, and manually add tags to specific subscribers as well.
In the Account tab, you can update your account information – name, email address, billing information, and password.
You will also see a sub-menu with the heading “Email Template”. In here, you will find a few templates to get you started. You can create as many new ones as you like!
SO, ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED WITH CONVERTKIT?
So now that you have been walked through all the amazing things ConvertKit has to offer, are you ready to get started with building your own email list?? If you are, you can try ConvertKit FOR FREE! Get a free trial to see how you like it before making any commitments!
Here’s how to get your Free Trial of ConvertKit:
Oh one more thing….
If you’re moving from a different email list platform – for example, MailChimp – you’ll want to:
1. Export your list on MailChimp as a CSV file
2. Head to the Subscribers tab in your ConvertKit account
3. Press “Import Subscribers”
4. Decide where you want the subscribers to be imported to (a specific tag, form, etc.)
5. Upload your CSV file and press “import subscribers” again.
And you are all set!
Have additional questions? Leave me a comment or send me and email 🙂