How to Get Started with Email Marketing in ConvertKit: A Step by Step Guide
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Let’s talk about why you should be using ConvertKit to build an email list of subscribers from day one of your online journey…
If you’ve been in the business blogosphere for more than 5 minutes, you’ve heard it. “The money is in the list.” If you’re brand new to the world of online business and entrepreneur life then you’re probably asking, “What list!? Where? I need to know how to monetize my website- like- yesterday!” I like that motivation! But simmer down a notch, we’ll get to all the details of how to monetize your website using an email list.
Whether you’re an old hat online, just getting your feet wet in e-commerce, or simply struggling to grow your email list at the rate you desire then pull up a chair, get a hot drink, and stay a while.
Today we’re going to be talking about email marketing, growing your subscriber list, and which email platform is the best.
Email Marketing: Why is it important?
Let’s start with the stats. I really want to splash you in the face with cold water and wake you up right out of the gate here so that you know just how serious it is to start an email list on day one of your blog or website. Over 2.5 billion people are using email. 2.5 BILLION! That’s 34% of people worldwide. Email is not going anywhere.
Imagine this: you grow a huge following on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and things are going great. You’re getting consistently impressive conversions, your opt-in rate to your products is high, and you’re building relationships with your audience like crazy.
You wake up one day and the owners of the platform make an algorithm change that ruins you, or worse they ban you for some silly mistake! Bye-bye followers. Overnight. Just like that. For good.
You don’t own anything when you build an audience on a platform owned by a 3rd party. Let that really sink in.
When you start an email list you own it. Even if your list is small today- you own it. That’s worth celebrating. Seriously. Stand up right now and do a victory dance! Give yourself a big pat on the back. Go you!
What do I do with an email list once I have one?
I’m so glad you asked! Once you have an email list of your own you can directly contact each individual subscriber because as soon as they opt-in you have the ability to speak to each user one-on-one in their email inbox.
There’s no logging into a social media platform to get around before you can interact with your audience, no pesky ad distractions to interrupt your reader’s train of thought, and best of all they’ve already shown that they are interested in what you have to say because they chose to subscribe to be on your list in the first place.
You can share more of your personal life story in emails with readers and grow a relationship with them, you can promote affiliate products that you love and use to your readers which may help them solve a similar problem they have in their own lives, and you can share what you’ve been writing about on your website with them which may earn you a few extra page views each month depending upon the size of your list.
When you launch your first product, you can introduce it to your list of engaged email subscribers first, and the sales will start rolling in.
Because these are the people you’ve been interacting with week after week, sharing your story with, and helping them with problems related to your niche topic. They trust you, they enjoy what you have to say. Your knowledge is valuable to them.
There’s no need to go filtering through the Internet searching for potential buyers who could benefit from the product you spent long hours creating when they are literally right at your fingertips.
That, my friends, is why they say, “The money is in the list,” and exactly why you should have an email list TODAY using the best email marketing platform for creatives, ConvertKit.
You’re going to want to open up your new ConvertKit account in a second browser tab alongside this blog post so that you can follow the following steps in real time. 🙂
Why Choose ConvertKit for Email Marketing?
Why choose ConvertKit over other email marketing platforms? I’ll keep my reasons simple and give you a bulleted list of the best reasons to choose ConvertKit for email marketing.
- Unlike other email marketing platforms, ConvertKit allows you to have multiple forms. Forms are the doors where subscribers enter into your email list kingdom and where you share your exclusive wealth of knowledge. Allowing you to have multiple forms means you can provide a content upgrade incentive with every blog post if you desire. More doors = more opportunities to appeal to readers = more subscribers.
- Using ConvertKit you have the option to choose to use a form embedded into one of your blog posts, or a landing page as your opt-in form. I love the landing page option for large products I want to give away for free.
- Many other platforms require the website owner to pay extra or purchase a separate tool to have quality landing pages on your website, but ConvertKit includes them standard along with the other amazing features it offers.
- ConvertKit offers intensive personalization options. You can Tag and Segment every user who opts into your forms from the main page this is excellent knowledge to have on hand to use in your ClickFunnels. On the lower right side of the page, you’ll see the options to + Create a Segment or + Create a Tag. I’ll explain in just a moment why implementing this tool is so important, but here’s a quick look at how to do it.
After logging in to ConvertKit from the main screen on the right-hand side you’ll see this link + Create a Segment. Click here to bring up the Segmenting window to input a new Segment on your subscriber list.
I have removed my personal Tags from this screenshot, but here is where you would see a list of any Tags you’ve created. It is also where you can go to create a new Tag by clicking + Create a Tag then you’ll see this screen…
From here simply type any word or phrase you’d like to use to classify your subscribers.
- You can brand your “Thank you for Subscribing!” pages and how subscribers receive their downloads. I’ll show you exactly how to do this in a moment.
- You are not charged extra when a subscriber opts in to more than one of your forms. I mean- you’re giving away INCREDIBLE content so they’re going to want all they can get, right? No reason to be charged extra on your end for a truly engaged reader.
- The system on ConvertKit automatically eliminates duplicates when you send an email to particular Tags or Segments on your list. If a user is tagged more than once, they will NOT receive more than one email. Good lookin’ out, ConvertKit.
- With ConvertKit you have the ability to resend unopened emails to subscribers who didn’t open the email the first time. You can change the subject line and make it more enticing and try a second time! You can dramatically increase your open rate with this one strategy.
- ConvertKit has a long list of Integrations such as WordPress, Gumroad, Teachable, LeadPages, Shopify, WebinarNinja, WooCommerce, and that’s just to name a few. Although not officially an Integration, you can also use ConvertKit along with your ClickFunnels lead-ins.
How to Get Started in ConvertKit:
An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide!
Here is how my email opt-in forms appear inside ConvertKit.
Each form is one opt-in incentive that I host on The Renegade Boomer. Other email platforms only allow you to have one single solitary form! It’s much more challenging to draw subscribers in with only ONE path for them to be drawn to.
This is how the email opt-in forms appear on my website, The Renegade Boomer.
How to Set Up Email Forms in ConvertKit
Now I’ll walk you through how to set up your own email forms in ConvertKit.
Click the ‘Forms’ tab at the top of the screen and that will bring up this window. Click + Create Form from here.
You’ll be given the option to host your opt-in as either a Form or a Landing Page. I’ll show you how to create a Form to use inside your blog posts.
If you choose to use a Form this will be the next screen that you see. Choose to either have your Form inline, or modal.
After choosing the format of your Form you’ll choose which Template to use.
Now you’ll customize your opt-in form, control the settings, and brand it.
Step one is deciding whether you want to show a success message after a subscriber opts in, or redirect them to another page.
You can type whatever you like to be your success message here, and your message will be displayed after each subscriber fills out one of your forms to join your email list.
Or another option is to redirect them to another page. This can be a useful tool because if a reader has decided to opt-in for your freebie they may also be interested in a paid product you offer.
One successful monetization strategy you can implement on your website using this tool is to offer the paid product at a special “subscriber’s discount.” Offering this paid product at a discount to new subscribers for a limited time can help increase your sales. Buyer psychology tells us that once a user has decided to purchase from you once (even if at a very low price) they are more likely to buy from you again.
The next option is to choose whether or not you want to send out an Incentive Email by either checking the box or leaving it unchecked.
If you choose to send an Incentive Email you will be prompted to Edit Email Contents, and decide if you want subscribers redirected to a URL which you will enter here, or…
…if you want to provide them with a content upgrade they can download directly from their email like a free printable, free ebook, or other downloads.
To Edit Email Contents click the big gray button and then you will see this screen. Your email address will be in the topmost field. The line marked with a red arrow and a 1 is the subject line your new subscriber will see. The line marked with a red arrow and a 2 is the message your user will read. This is totally customizable using ConvertKit! Pretty cool, huh?
You can change the text on the big blue button marked with arrow 3 to say whatever you please as well. The final arrow 4 is just a nice place to let your subscriber know you’re glad they’re here on your list.
The next setting you can control is branding your Form. Choose background color, size of the border, a background image from your files, or Custom CSS.
The final setting allows you to decide if you want to continue to show the form on your website once someone has already subscribed. You can choose to send subscribers to a Thank You Page or enable a reCAPTCHA.
Once you have your Form created in ConvertKit you’ll want to set up Automations to make the magic happen! Automations allow you to do all kinds of things. Let me explain.
Automations are created when a user triggers an event by taking a particular action that you have set in place. When a user subscribes to Form A, for example, you can tag that subscriber based on their interests relating to that Form then cause a welcome email sequence to go out to them ushering them into the community of your subscriber base.
Here’s how to quickly set up an Automation in ConvertKit.
Click the Automations tab at the top of your screen then look for the blue “New Automation” button on the right.
This is the next screen you’ll see. Click “Create Automation.”
Select which Form you want to create an Automation for and it will appear at the top.
If you click the + to the right side, you can add additional measures the subscriber must meet before the trigger will take place.
The + below the Form you’ve chosen gives you the option to choose a trigger based upon an Action such as delivering an email sequence, delaying a series of emails, adding or removing a tag, moving the subscriber to another Segment, or set your own custom field.
You can choose a Condition trigger if the subscriber has a Tag or create a Custom Field.
You can choose a trigger based upon an event.
After you’ve set up your Automation you’ll want a Sequence to go with it… hmm, that reminds me of a children’s book about a mouse and a cookie. 🐭🍪
Ah, but nonetheless you’ll need a Sequence of emails to go along with your Automation. An excellent starting place in Sequences is to create a Welcome Email Sequence in ConvertKit.
Sequences in ConvertKit are emails you set up to go out automatically to subscribers. This set of emails could be a free email course you’ve created as an incentive for subscribers, a welcome email series, or a week of freebies to engage with your current subscribers.
Click the Sequences tab at the top of the page and name your new Sequence.
ConvertKit has a short step-by-step template to guide your creativity. Add as few or as many emails as you need, set the timing for each email to be delivered, and add links inside the emails to Tag subscribers.
Broadcasts in ConvertKit
Broadcasts in ConvertKit are emails that go out to either your entire subscriber list or a Segment or Tagged portion of your subscriber base. For example, if a user opts-in for an incentive on the topic “How to Start Blog” then she may not be interested in receiving emails about your summer homeschool plans.
Receiving emails so far off topic from what first drew your user to opt in may even cause her to unsubscribe. It’s easy to avoid this by simply segmenting and tagging your subscribers.
Remember though—don’t get discouraged or freaked out when you’re doing all the right things, but someone still unsubscribes from your list. That’s OK! You only want people there who truly wish to hear from you and are aligned with your message. It’s best for BOTH of you that way.
The ones who may leave are simply making space, both literally and energetically, for those you can serve the best.
So, let’s continue!
Click the Broadcasts tab at the top of your screen in ConvertKit then you can choose how to filter your newsletter or emails. Some emails may do well to go out to all subscribers while others should be sent to portions of your list that are most likely to be interested in the subject and engage with the content.
Be smart and use your Tags and Segment your list or risk unnecessarily losing subscribers.
Don’t sound like SPAM
Speaking of being smart with email marketing, you’ll want to avoid using words or techniques which could get your Broadcasts marked as SPAM.
Here are my three favorite SPAM checker tools:
Additional ConvertKit Education Tools
Click the Learn tab at the top of your screen inside ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is a queen and doesn’t just stop with providing users with amazing features and tools. The email marketing platform also provides a library of free resources for us to use that will walk us through any task we wish to complete using it AND other free e-courses like how to create and launch your first digital product or course.
If you don’t find your answer in the Knowledge Base, join the ConvertKit community on Slack and ask away!
The bottom line: If you want to own a piece of online real estate that can pay you dividends for years to come, you need to use the power of ConvertKit.
You’ll build lasting relationships that are real, authentic, and rewarding in multiple ways.
I’d love to hear how you are using email marketing right now.
Tell me in the comments below.
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