Starting a blog without an email list is one of the biggest mistakes beginner bloggers make. Your list is the link to your biggest, most loyal fans. It's one of the most valuable resources you have for things like validation and gathering data. You won't find more honest feedback than through your list because it's an interactive way of staying in touch with your readers.
It's the key to maintaining a relationship with your audience. A lot of people don't take it seriously enough or worse, don't even see the need to have one if they aren't selling anything. The point of an email list isn't to sell your readers something. It's to have an engaging rapport so you begin to understand their wants and needs related to your blog.
Your profitability from the blog is a byproduct of this ongoing relationship through recommended products and services you use yourself.
These are the people who want to hear what you have to say. They are the ones you can have a back and forth with and hear what they want more of. They are essentially your research group on how to make your blog better.
For those of you who are shopping around for an email marketing service, you've probably come across a few like MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft and ConvertKit.
Before beginning my blog, I put in hours and hours of research from learning how to use WordPress, finding someone to customize the design of the blog, affiliate marketing and of course, which email service provider to use.
I kept hearing great things about ConvertKit and how people were switching from either MailChimp to ConvertKit, AWeber to ConvertKit, Infusionsoft to ConvertKit or even switching from AWeber to Infusionsoft to ConvertKit.
At first I thought it was a bunch of hype. It seemed like it was nothing but a huge conflict of interest because of the way the affiliate program is set up. I say that because when I looked it up, affiliates (which I am now one) received 30% commission of each purchase someone made through their link. Not bad!
So I'm reading all of these reviews with the most cynical attitude thinking like, “come on, this is so lame, everyone's giving ConvertKit such a great review only because they're part of the affiliate program.”
But to my surprise as I learned, they became an affiliate because of the functionality and ease of use, not because of the program. More than that, at least for me, it's because of the tight community and phenomenal resources ConvertKit has to offer.
MailChimp vs. ConvertKit
Let's start with the first comparison, MailChimp vs. ConvertKit. MailChimp probably looks great to a lot of beginners because it's free for the first 2,000 subscribers. MailChimp is the only email service provider I had used previously before ConvertKit, so this is the only one I can speak of from past experience.
I used it for one of my part-time jobs I had during the summer of 2014. I found it was pretty limited in what it could do. It was very basic and lacked any of the tagging and trigger capabilities ConvertKit has to offer. For me this is key, because it helps you organize your subscribers on a whole other level.
The biggest bummer I noticed with MailChimp was it only allows for one opt-in form per list. There aren't any special codes or forms for different incentives, so if a reader signs up for more than one of your opt-ins, you can end up paying double, triple or even more for the same person to be on several lists.
For me, this was a deal breaker without even considering anything else. No way am I going to pay twice as much or worse, more, for one subscriber. That's ridiculous.
ConvertKit allows you to have a subscriber in multiple course, forms, tags, segments, whatever you want to create without charging extra.
In ConvertKit, showing a custom form to match the contact's interest is super easy. Just filter the subscribers you want to email by a tag, form or sequence so your email doesn't go to your entire list.
All you do is go to the drop down menu after you create a post and select which form you want to show up.
In order to do this, you have to download ConvertKit's WordPress plugin.
MailChimp also doesn't have built-in opt-in form stats. In ConvertKit you can see the states of each form in your ConvertKit account and see how well they're performing. Click on the form you're interested in, then go to the top right tab that says “Subscribers” and click on it.
This will show you how many visitors you've received, how many have subscribed and the conversion rate. Also on the bottom shows you the top referrers that converted these readers. It's a pretty insightful tool to have.
ConvertKit makes it very easy to compare the success and failure rate.
When I was using MailChimp at my job, I would see every so often an email campaign that would get stuck or freeze for whatever reason. I had no idea why, and it was really frustrating. It became exhausting having to always be on the lookout for any technical difficulties.
I'm new to ConvertKit, but so far everything has been running smoothly.
From personal experience, ConvertKit definitely beats out MailChimp for me regardless of the fact the first 2,000 subscribers are free with MailChimp.
Click here to use ConvertKit as your email service provider, you will not be disappointed.
AWeber vs. ConvertKit
Right off the bat I saw former users complaining about one of the same pain points about MailChimp: you get charged twice for duplicate email subscribers that are on multiple email lists.
It's also apparently a huge pain to fix and essentially “de-duplicate” (if that's even a word) email subscribers. Like imagine if you sent out three different email courses over the span of a year and you had say like 5,000 people sign up for them.
That's 15,000 email addresses and 10,000 extra you would have to manually delete so you don't get charged extra. That's absurd. It's a huge time suck let alone a huge waste of money.
Here are the main advantages of using ConvertKit vs. AWeber:
• you don’t need to create a new list for each course or whatever you create
• you can tag a subscriber to show they are interested in a particular
course, webinar, etc.
• no duplicate subscribers
• adding tags to subscribers is simple and intuitive
• for example if someone clicks on a link within an email, say about
a particular course I mention that I’m releasing soon, I can mark
them as interested
• it makes it super easy to segment your email list right away allowing you
to send emails only to people who are interested
• you can also trigger new auto email campaigns based on what the person
Obviously as I said before, I have no experience with AWeber, I have only used MailChimp before. But as a novice, I do know ConvertKit has made my life much easier with all the features I listed that AWeber doesn't have. Like with anything, there's a learning curve, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
Infusionsoft vs. ConvertKit
First of all, correct me if I'm wrong, but their on-boarding plan typically costs $299 unless there is a sale for some holiday or whatever. Why is that even necessary? I haven't seen that with any other provider.
Also, here is their pricing chart:
I get charged $29/month for ConvertKit's basic plan right now. The cheapest plan for Infusionsoft is $199/month. Granted, it is for 2,500 subscribers as opposed to 0-1,000 for ConvertKit, but when you reach 5,000 for both, Infusionsoft is $299/month vs ConvertKit's $79/month.
The most expensive plan I saw with ConvertKit was $3,999 but for 900,000 subscribers..You think that's expensive? Let's talk about that overpriced salad you bought for lunch or the cheap happy hour drinks you splurged on. Not gonna see an ROI on those are ya?
So as you can see, ConvertKit is much more flexible in their pricing. Now of course, you always want to make a buying decision based on value, not on price, but is Infusionsoft even better to begin with?
From what I've seen, apparently Infusionsoft is much more complicated than ConvertKit and requires a tedious setup and migration process if you're making a switch.
This will probably be especially frustrating for beginners.
ConvertKit and Infusionsoft are apparently both very strong email marketing tools with landing pages and opt-in form builders and all the good stuff.
However, Infusionsoft is more geared towards larger businesses. You should get ConvertKit if you're a blogger and you want to, or already are monetizing your blog with ebooks, courses, services, affiliate links, etc. This is definitely the way to go.
Aside from comparisons, ConvertKit has a huge community that's more than willing to go the extra mile and help all the users get familiar with the software. The staff is great, and I get daily emails from them in a non spammy way which is actually really useful.
The emails are usually about lessons that are available to get started, how to create your first visual automation and even notifications about workshops that are coming up. I also just signed up for their Product Creation Masterclass that includes twenty daily lessons, four expert interviews, and a thirty-day free trial for Teachable, Thinkific, SamCart and ConvertKit (if you're a new customer) all for free.
Last time I checked, I didn't see any of that goin' on with the other email service providers.
To recap, in my opinion, here are the top benefits of ConvertKit:
1. Only one email address is charged per subscriber
2. Aesthetically pleasing opt-in forms
3. Adding tags to subscribers is easy and extremely helpful
4. Triggers can be created to easily categorize subscribers’ interests
5. Phenomenal community and customer support
If you're starting a blog or thinking about making a switch, save yourself the trouble and sign up with ConvertKit today.
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