*This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure.
There are a lot of email list services available to help you build and grow your email list. Some popular examples include MailChimp, MailerLite, Active Campaign, and my personal favorite, ConvertKit.
I switched to ConvertKit to build my email list over a year ago. It has helped me MORE THAN 10X MY LIST in that time.
Yes, my list went from about 300 subscribers to 3000+ subscribers today. And it continues to grow daily.
My Story: Why I Switched to ConvertKit
Back when I was “just a blogger” and before I started my web design business, list building wasn’t really “a thing”. Once I started Georgia Lou Studios, I learned quickly that I should create a list.
Why I Needed a List (and You Do Too!)
Any blogger, business or coach with an online presence should have an email list. An email list can help you:
- Connect with your audience and create trust and community.
- Promote your products, services and sales.
- Establish a steady stream of traffic to your blog. My site page views always spike on days I send out an email to my list.
- Email can help you help your audience and customers by showing them helpful content.
If you don’t have an active, healthy list that you communicate with on a regular basis, you’re making a big mistake. You’re missing huge opportunities for more traffic and sales. Just like I was back in 2016.
How I Supercharged My List Growth
Back in 2016, I had started a list but I had no clue what I was doing. Because my business was still pretty new, I picked MailChimp as my email service because it was free and popular.
Free and popular doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best….There were a few things about MailChimp that really ended up bothering me as I focused on growing my list at the beginning of 2017.
I’m not here to bash MailChimp because it’s still an email service I recommend to bloggers on a budget who want to start their list. When I decided to switch, my decision-making process boiled down to a few things that ConvertKit really rocks at (and MailChimp kinda sucks at).
1. ConvertKit is subscriber based
MailChimp is “list based”. This means if a subscriber ends up on 2 or 3 of your lists, they are treated as 2 – 3 subscribers for billing purposes. This can be a big issue if you offer lots of different Content Upgrades.
This is not an issue with ConvertKit. ConvertKit is “subscriber based”. Each subscriber only gets counted once, period.
Being charges multiple times for the same subscriber really bugged me. This was one of the primary reasons I switched to ConvertKit.
2. Unlimited Forms with individual analytics
If you use multiple Content Upgrades for your posts or offer a number of different Lead Magnets, multiple forms are so handy. Each form allows you to designate a different opt-in bonus/download and also a different welcome email sequence and thank you page.
This allows you to really customize your emails and notifications for each group of subscribers and each form.
You also get individual conversion analytics (page impressions vs. sign ups) for each form to see which is converting better. As opposed to list analytics, this is so much more helpful in optimizing your subscriptions.
MailChimp allows you to sort your lists into Groups and Segments but it’s a bit of a pain to do and not the most useful system.
With ConvertKit, you can automatically tag your subscribers. Tags allow you to send targeted emails to certain groups in your list. This is especially awesome if you blog about a lot of different topics or you sell products or services.
Tags can be added when someone joins your list from a particular form. Or when they click a specific link inside one of your emails. Tags really let you customize your emails and interactions with your subscribers to their interests.
4. Simple Double Opt-In Process
If you’re using a downloadable Lead Magnet to grow your list, ConvertKit puts the download link right in the confirmation email. As soon as your new subscriber clicks on the link to download, they also confirm their subscription. Brilliant!
MailChimp (and other services) use a 2-email system to deliver confirm and deliver your download. In this case, the more is not merrier!
5. Automation Rules
Automations are AWESOME!
They work like this:
If subscriber does X –> ConverKit do this.
You can use automations to tag subscribers or send out followup email sequences. Other automations include RSS feeds, rules and integrations with other apps and plugins like Gravity Forms (I use this!), LeadPages, Shopify, Teachable, and more.
ConvertKit has a brilliant automation setup process with a visual builder that makes life so, so much easier when it’s time to build things like adding tags, building email sales sequences and more.
As a blogger or business person with a growing email list, automated sequences will save your life. You can create beautiful, timed welcome sequences. Or sales sequences or education sequences based on an automated tag being added to a subscriber.
ConvertKit even includes a pretty decent default sales sequence that can help you get started with a sales sequence/funnel.
7. Landing Pages
ConvertKit allows you to create some great Landing Pages as part of your regular subscription. The designs are pretty basic but definitely enough to get you started. And since it doesn’t cost you extra, it’s a great tool for those on a budget.
8. User-friendly Interface
Even after using MailChimp for years, I find their interface clunky and not at all intuitive.
By comparison, ConvertKit’s interface is simple and very visual. I have no problem finding my way around.
How Switching Helped My List Grow
All these features of ConvertKit allowed me to change how I grew my list. I was able to start offering lots of different Content Upgrades with immediate delivery. My delivery rate and email open rate skyrocketed.
My list has continued to grow steadily. In March 2018, I redesigned the site again and optimized my opt-in forms and process. You’ll see in the chart below that March 2018 was a HUGE month for my list. I gained almost 500 new subscribers in one month!
This is directly related to how I’m able to use ConvertKit and the tools it offers. Once I setup my optins, it’s all pretty much automated except for the weekly newsletter I send out plus the occasional promotional email.
When It’s Time to Switch to ConvertKit
You may wonder if switching to ConvertKit is right for you. You can definitely start building your list with services like MailChimp but there are times when a better solution is called for.
You might be ready to switch if:
- You’re tired of fighting with a difficult and confusing user dashboard.
- You’re ready to get serious about growing your list and monetizing it.
- You’re selling products or services from your blog or website.
- You want to easily automate your email list so that you have more time for other things.
There’s a reason why lots of tops bloggers (like Melyssa Griffin, Mariah at Femtrepreneur, Megan Minns, Nesha Woolery, Addi at Just a Girl and Her Blog and more!) have switched to ConvertKit and love it.
If you’re serious about really growing and optimizing your email list, ConvertKit is THE tool I (and many other bloggers) recommend.
Check it out today. There is a 14 day FREE Trial so you can play around with it. Migrating your subscribers is super easy. And plans start as low as $29.