How to Use Convertkit to Build your Email List – Full Tutorial
This post contains affiliated links.
Before I began using Converkit I sent all my emails out with Mailchimp. This is a very popular email provider because it is free if you have a smaller number of subscribers. If you are a newer blogger and don’t make enough money to invest back into your blog, Mailchimp is a great program for you.
If you reach a higher subscriber number, or you simply want a more professional email provider, I highly recommend signing up for Convertkit. Therefore, I will take the time to talk about this amazing email program.
I can also recommend downloading Convertkit’s FREE eBook: The complete guide to email marketing.
How does Convertkit differ from other email providers?
The Convertkit email program is super easy to understand and use as you will see in the tutorial below. There are different pop-up or slide in forms that show a simple layout. This makes your landing page and pop-ups look professional and organized. I love the fact that I don’t have to find plug-ins for my pop-up forms anymore. The pop-ups just work.
The email layout is also very simple which makes the email look very personal instead of a bunch of drag and drop options.
The best part and main reason why I personally picked Convertkit is for the ability to target different groups of people. I have 5 main categories that I am blogging about.
Before Convertkit I had all subscribers in one big pot and people that subscribed to receive my recipes would also end up with blogging tips emails. This lead to a LOT of unsubscribing!
Now I can target interest groups and the unsubscribe rate is super low. My subscribers have a better experience and I have more success.
The other reason I see a huge difference with Convertkit is the ability to create multiple email sequences. You can use a sequence of emails to provide a free email course or manage your sales funnel. There is a setting that adjusts when and how many emails you want to send in the sequence.
This is a huge money making option since you can gain thousands of subscribers with free email courses and have multiple sales funnels set in place that you install once but will generate passive income in the future.
Is Convertkit worth the investment?
When I first heard about Convertkit I actually signed up for a webinar where you could receive one free month of the service. Before using Convertkit I would gain around 10-20 subscribers in a month. After the webinar, where I learned SO much, I gained 10-20 subscribers a day (with about 25k pageviews a month).
If you would like to know about the next Convertkit webinar please sign up for my newsletter (make sure to opt-in to the blogging newsletter once you receive the first email) below this post. I will send out the link once there is a new webinar date out. They usually hold one webinar per month.
So you might be asking, “Why invest money in an email program?” Here are a few reasons why you should:
- opportunity to set up multiple email courses to gain thousands of followers
- attach eBook for easy download in opt-in email
- create multiple landing pages, pop-ups and in-text forms
- install different pop-ups on different pages/posts
- tag subscribers by categories (how-to in tutorial below)
- if a subscriber is tagged multiple times, they won’t get multiple emails
- free Convertkit training through webinars and FREE ebook
- Affiliate program with 30% commission
- set up multiple sales funnels to earn passive income with no limit
- integrate other tools like lead captures, course sites, and payment portals.
There are a lot of other paid programs out there to create the perfect lead magnet to get subscribers. Convertkit offers 4 different landing page layouts that you can design to your desire and capture subscribers or sell products.
Pop-up forms and slide-in forms are the most effective way to gain more subscribers! With other email providers you have to install a plug-in. With Convertkit you simply grab the code of your designed form and paste it into the footer or sidebar. You won’t see the code, but it will pop up however you install the setting.
This is a very effective tool because you can also install different pop-ups on different pages or posts!
You can sign up for Convertkit through my link now or read on and learn how to use it.
Set up Convertkit Subscriber Forms
Click “Forms” in your dashboard and select “+ create form”. Then decide if you want to create a landing page or a form and select your style. You can change those settings later.
In your content you can change the color of different parts. Tip: Use the accent color according to your blog’s main color and the button color a different bright color.
On the bottom you have the opportunity to customize your opt-in form. One option is to turn your form into a “smart bar” that is pinned to your top of the page (along with the pop-up, this is another successful opt-in form)
If you click one over to settings you can edit all your opt-in settings and set up your incentive email.
The settings are self-explanatory and fairly easy. I will give you a few tips that I have figured out. You can select redirect to another page and link to a thank you page. You can create a simple thank you page in WordPress. I recommend doing this because it provides another option for a call to action like “follow me on facebook” or “while you are waiting on your download, check out _____”.
Now select a sequence that will start right after somebody subscribed to this form. This is where you select your email course, follow up emails, or sales funnel. You have to create these BEFORE you can select it for this form. (This will be explained further down)
If you have a free pdf you can simply upload the file here and change the blue button line to “DOWNLOAD”. When somebody receives the incentive email they can simply download the freebie right away instead of clicking through a bunch of links.
In style you can select if you want a pop-up, slide-in, in text, or other forms. For the pop-up form select “modal” and below you can choose from many options to display the pop-up.These settings are great because you can be very active with your pop-ups or very minimal. Play around with the settings and see what brings you the most success.
To integrate the form on your page you can simply click “embed” and “raw HTML” to add the code to a text widget. You can download the Convertkit plug-in to simply use the short code. Instructions are provided by Convertkit. Don’t forget to click “save” after every change!
If you have more questions that aren’t answered in this post, feel free to shoot me a quick email and I will do my best to help you.
Finally, if you click on “other options” you can duplicate this form. If you want to present your freebie on a landing page, in a large sign up form on the side, or pop-up and a small sign up form in the post, then you can duplicate one form and just select a different style. That way you don’t have to work through the same settings for each form.
Set up a Sequence with Convertkit
Select “Sequences” in the blue top bar and “+create sequence”. Enter a sequence name. If you plan on creating multiple sequences make sure you give it a detailed name!
In “content” you can write all emails. When you are done, make sure you change every email to publish. Right next to it you can select how long after the last email/subscription date this email will be sent. I also love the fact that every email has some basic info about what you can write and what a sales funnel could look like. You can easily remove the emails if you only want one, or a few, follow up emails.
In “settings” you can select which dates and times it will be sent. You can start the sequence on a Monday, for example. If somebody subscribes on a Friday they will get the first email on a Monday. This is great for a fitness challenge or something that you don’t want people to bother with on certain days.
You can also exclude people from this form or duplicate it. In report you can view how this sequence is doing regarding unsubscribing, opening rate, click rate, and so on.
Sending emails with Convertkit
Select “Broadcast” and “new broadcast”. Then you have to select your audience. You can select different groups like only subscribers from form A and B or subscribers that are tagged by an interest. You can also select all subscribers and exclude certain groups/tags.
To exclude subscribers you have to change “matching all” to “matching none” and then select the groups you don’t want to receive the email. This option is really awesome! You won’t bother subscribers with uninteresting emails. They will be more interested in what you have to say and less likely to unsubscribe.
Now you can click “next step” to write your email. If you select “personalize” you can insert the subscriber’s first name. This is an awesome feature because it makes the email very personal. Select “next step” again and you will see your preview.
I would suggest clicking every inserted link to make sure it works before you send your broadcast. In this step you can also schedule the email for a certain time to be sent.
In your broadcast overview you can see how many people opened the email, what links were opened, and who unsubscribed. You should check this to analyze what your audience really likes and what they’re more likely to click on for your next emails.
Now, how do you tag subscribers and put them into categories? Please read on.
How to use the Convertkit Automation Rules
Click “automation” and select a new rule. Then you can select your trigger and your rule. These options are endless! To simplify this tool for you I am going to show you the two ways that I use this tool most.
#1 Clicks a link trigger –> interested in ____ rule
I have a general subscription form installed at the end of each post. When somebody subscribes they will receive this email below.
I let them know why they received my email and how they can unsubscribe. And then they can actually click on the link of their interest. This will open a link and Convertkit will save their email address to the clicked interest. This is only my way to do this, but it has worked so far and I don’t have many people unsubscribing because they could pick exactly what news they want to receive.
Simply mark the category, click “insert link” and select a trigger.
You can set up the trigger in “Automations” on your blue dashboard bar on top.
Click “Add rule” and you will see 6 triggers and 6 actions. Select “clicks a link” and choose the link you want to be clicked. Then enter a name that will appear as your text. Now choose or create the tag you want added when your reader clicks the link and save.
The “clicks a link” automation is awesome to ask what your readers are interested in, like I do in my email. But you can also add them to a free course (Action would be add to sequence) by clicking a link or if you run a sales funnel you can add a tag to people who click your products but didn’t buy them yet. This way you know they are interested and you can keep promoting that product.
#2 subscribed to ____ trigger –> tagged for ____ action
Let’s say you have a free eBook as your opt-in freebie, then you want to promote it in multiple ways. I usually create a landing page that I promote with pictures on social media. Additionally, I use a pop-up form and/or a sidebar sign-up or in post sign-up form on the blog.
In the settings of each form I add the sequence that follows after the download of the freebie. Or the free class sequence/sales funnel. So all 3 forms lead to one sequence. After that I go into automations and add a tag to the sequence like “downloaded eBook” or “enrolled in Pinterest class” and so on.
That way when I want to send out a new blogpost that is similar to the freebie I can select that tag instead of searching and selecting all sign-up form. This makes my subscriber list easier to manage.
If I want to send out a new blogging post I can select “interested in blogging” and “enrolled in Pinterest course” because these are the exact target groups for that post. Now my subscribers from the recipe eBook won’t get bothered with subjects they’re not interested in.
There are so many options with the automation system and it is definitely one of my favorite tools using Convertkit because it greatly reduced my unsubscribe rate.
With Convertkit you have endless options to organize your subscribers and install sales funnels to make passive income. If you want to know how to make income through affiliate marketing I can highly recommend the online course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle is making over $50,000 a month in affiliate sales and her class has improved my affiliate income by 700% so far. She is also using Convertkit to build her email list.