By Brad / Aug, 31
Earlier this year I switched my wife’s food blog, Kristine’s Kitchen to ConvertKit and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Her open rates and click rates have increased over what we saw with Sendgrid and we just love the easy to use email automation features of ConvertKit. The following is our experience with ConvertKit and provides an overview of the migration and setup process. Below we include the steps needed to migrate your email list to ConvertKit. [Full disclosure: we are now affiliates for ConvertKit and offer consulting for others migrating to ConvertKit.]
A migration can be overwhelming but we are here to help. If your list is over 5,000 subscribers, we will migrate it for you for free. This includes moving your list from your current provider and installing the ConvertKit email capture forms on your site. We will also have a one on one phone call with you to walk you though the interface. If you are interested in moving to ConvertKit please contact us here.
As Kristine’s food blog has grown, so has her email list, to over 10,000 subscribers. It has been difficult to engage with her list and to prepare and track email sequences. She also now has meal plans and eBooks to sell. Therefore, we wanted a solution to engage her email list and market her products to the right email subscribers at the right time. No subscriber wants to receive the same product pitch over and over or a pitch for a product they already purchased! We needed a solution to track email subscriber preferences and filter emails based on those preferences. ConvertKit has all of the features we needed, a user-friendly interface and unlimited emails per months at a price similar to other competing email providers like MailChimp or Aweber.
ConvertKit’s primary method to track the preferences of your subscribers is through its powerful and easy to use tagging system.
Any link in any email you send through ConvertKit can have what ConvertKit calls a “link trigger” attached to it. The simplistic and most useful link trigger is one that tags a subscriber with a piece of information if they click on the link. For example, if you have social share icons in the footer of your email for Pinterest and Instagram, you can add a link trigger for each. Now, when a subscriber clicks on either link, their profile in ConvertKit will be tagged with “Pinterest – Click” or “Instagram – Click” or similar. You can give each tag any descriptive name you like.
What can you do with ConvertKit tags? The possibilities are nearly endless.
These are just a few ideas we have tried and tested. In short, ConvertKit tags allow you to make each email relevant to the segment of subscribers receiving it. This drives higher engagement for your food blog, lower unsubscribes and maximizes sales of your related products.
With ConvertKit the open rate on Kristine’s welcome email increased by 65% and its click rate increased by 37%. A 37% increase in subscriber confirmations? Yes please!
Each auto-responder in her welcome sequence has also seen an increase in opens and clicks.
Broadcasts of new post content have similarly seen a 40%-50% increase in open rates versus our previous system.
ConvertKit’s email automation has also increased sales of both of Kristine’s eBooks. The eBooks are sold through Gumroad which integrates with ConvertKit. The integration automatically tags purchasers of each product. When a subscriber is tagged as having purchased one of your products in ConvertKit you can then specifically include or exclude that subscriber from any future email, sequence or automation.
For example, you can exclude a purchaser of a specific eBook from a new email sequence pitching that eBook. Moreover, if your sales sequence has multiple emails you can set up the sequence so that as soon as a subscriber purchases the eBook they are opted out of the remainder of the sales sequence. You can also easily start a new product purchaser on an email sequence to keep them engaged with your product, request their feedback or just to say thank you. You might ask just your product purchasers to test a new product or grant them a special VIP offer. ConvertKit’s powerful tagging system will help you to sell more eBooks.
ConvertKit is an up and coming alternative to MailChimp, Aweber, Mailerlite and similar competitors. ConvertKit has fewer email templates and limited A/B testing compared to MailChimp. ConvertKit itself has said if you are just after beautiful emails, stick with MailChimp. Here is a comparison of Convertkit with MailChimp and other providers.
Where ConvertKit really shines is the strength of its automation and its user-interface to edit and create automated marketing sequences. ConvertKit enables food bloggers to automate their marketing and engage their email list. ConvertKit is right for you if you have eBooks, meal plans or other digital products to sell or if you want to engage your list on a regular basis, targeting your subscribers with topics most relevant to their interests. Targeting your subscribers with multiple email sequences of course takes time and effort but, the reward is a loyal list that engages with the content on your site and on social media. An engaged email list is also an important source of traffic that you control, that isn’t subject to the algorithm changes of Google or Pinterest.
ConvertKit’s customer support is fantastic. If you import a large email list you may not be able to send to that list with ConvertKit until your account is unlocked by their customer support. They will ask you for a screenshot of your historical open rates/click rates and unsubscribe rates/spam complaint rates. Why do they make you jump through this hoop? To keep spammers and low quality lists off their system. ConvertKit is careful to ensure that everyone on their system has great deliverability. As long as your list is complied from visitors to your site using a standard double opt-in form you have nothing to worry about. Purchased lists are of course highly discouraged.
If you forget a data field in your import and want to add it later, it’s easy. ConvertKit will not create duplicate subscribers for the same email address. Just import the email addresses again and choose or create a new tag. ConvertKit will add the chosen tag to each subscriber on your list included in the import. We used this feature to tag the prior purchasers of each of Kristine’s eBooks. (The Gumroad integration only tags purchases made after activation of the integration). You can do the same by downloading the purchase list for each product from Gumroad or the system you use to sell your products. Next, import that list with a tag that includes your desired description such as the name of the eBook or product purchased.
Tip: If you import the subscriber name fields for a subscriber that is already in ConvertKit it will overwrite the current name in your ConvertKit list. You might want to do this, it will depend on which list has better name data. For example, our list of product purchase had complete name so we purposely overwrote existing form collected names for our product purchasers. If you don’t want to overwrite the name field, only import the email address. Again, if you need to merge data from multiple sources, the data can be manipulated with string functions in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
The ConvertKit Plugin is the easiest way to use ConvertKit with your WordPress site to collect email addresses. The plugin is in the WordPress repository so all you have to do is add the plugin in the usual manner. In your WordPress Dashboard go to Plugins and then choose Add New. Search for ConvertKit and it should be the first result. Make sure you choose the Plugin “By ConvertKit” if you aren’t sure so you know you have the right one.
Install and activate the plugin. Now, go to your ConvertKit Account and click the Account link which is at the top on the far right. It may be a picture of you if you have set a gravatar.
On the Account Info page you will see an API key and link to generate or show an API secret. Open another tab in your web browser and go to the settings page for the ConvertKit plugin in your WordPress Dashboard and paste both the API key and API secret into the fields to connect. Click the Save Changes button. You site is now connected to ConvertKit!
While you have the ConvertKit account settings page open in your browser lets go ahead and turn on the GDPR Compliance settings. On the same Account page where you obtained the API key, look farther down the page and you will see a GDPR compliance settings. Decide who you want to show subscriber consent options to “Show to all subscribers after they opt-in” or “Subscribers currently in the EU (determined by IP address)”. Since we are outside the EU and most traffic is non-EU, we chose to only show consent to “Subscribers currently in the EU (determined by IP address)”.
You can unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email. You can also contact us as described below to request removal from our lists and deletion of any data associated with your subscription.
Now let’s get back to setting up ConvertKit to capture email addresses.
One more important setting! Also in Account Settings choose Email from the menu. On the Email Settings screen choose “Add From Address”.
This email address will appear as the sending and reply address for any emails you send through ConvertKit. By default, your ConvertKit emails will come from ConvertKit’s sending domains, similar to how MailChimp emails appear in GMail “via mail180.sea101.rsgsv.net”. You can change this default and make emails appear from your own custom domain by contacting ConvertKit’s customer support to enable a custom sending domain. You will need access to the DNS records for your domain to add new records.
The simplest way to install a form is to use the ConvertKit plugin. With ConverKit you can either create a form to embed on your site or have ConvertKit host a landing page to capture visitor’s email addresses.
With the ConvertKit Plugin installed there is a new metabox below where you edit each Post and Page. Here you can choose a custom form to appear on a particular Post or Page. You can also use the shortcode [convertkit] to embed the form you have set as the default any place in a Post or Page. This is one way to have multiple forms. You will also see the “Add a Tag” drop down. Setting a tag in the ConvertKit metabox for your post will add that tag to email subscribers who visit the particular post. This will help you gather your subscribers preferences which you can use later to offer them additional related information or products.
ConvertKit fully supports custom forms that are already integrated into the design of your site. To support a custom form you need to add a script tag with the ConvertKit script for each particular form and you will need some html knowledge to successfully modify the form. The steps to do so will vary depending on how your form is currently setup.
Create a ConvertKit form as discussed above but do not place it on your site with the plugin. Instead, you will need to compare the raw html provided by ConvertKit for the form with the custom form on your site. The raw html is found under the “Embed” menu on the form. You will need to change the form action along with the input names and values to those expected by ConvertKit. You do not want to use the CSS styles provided by ConvertKit. Rather, carefully preserve the CSS classes your custom form uses so it will appear the same on your site as before.
If that makes sense go for it. You could test your code changes by embedding the form on a test page before you attempt to update your primary email capture form on your homepage. If this sounds difficult, and it can be, contact your theme designer or technical consultant for assistance. This kind of technical support is included with our hosting plans.
If your current email provider generates the entire form from their own templates you will need to either copy their HTML or create similar HTML or CSS.
That’s right, even if you aren’t on one of our hosting plans we will migrate your current list to ConvertKit for free including the following setup:
What’s the “*” catch?
Why are we offering free migration and initial setup for ConvertKit? We hope you will find our technical support valuable and sign-up for one of our hosting plans that includes technical support for your blog, your email provider and more. We also receive a small commission from ConvertKit.
Contact us through our support page. Choose “ConvertKit Migration Offer” as the type of request and let us know the following:
We will be in touch soon.
If you would like us to review your setup and provide a quote for additional support including creating a custom sending domain with DNS records, migrating your incentive emails and autoresponders, integrating with Gumroad or other external services or additional forms, contact us.