In my last $500/m case study update I discussed starting an email list to generate more traffic to my affiliate offers. After scouring the internet looking for the best email marketing software I settled with Convert Kit. The truth is, I’ve used a lot of other email marketing tools in the past and found most of them lacking for one reason or another. Mail Chimp was free up to 2000 subscribers but did not play nice with affiliates. Get Responses interface was horrible and not intuitive. I read somewhere that Aweber had a major problem with email delivery. The search finally led me to Convert Kit and I must say, I am impressed and happy to pay the $29 dollars a month for the service.
- Unlimited email sends
- Embeddable forms and landing pages
- Convert Kit will host your landing pages
- Autoresponder sequences
- Subscriber tagging and segmenting
- Good delivery rates
- Intuitive interface
- Basic reporting
- Integrates with services like SumoMe and Optin Monster via API
- WordPress plugin for easy form integration and connection
Things I love about Convert Kit
Hyper intuitive – The one thing that stuck out with the software was how intuitive it was to set everything up. Setting up the main list and creating campaigns was drop dead simple. With other software it took me too long to figure out the interface and successfully create email campaigns. Convert Kit was an absolute breeze to configure and the online software is a dream to work with.
Clean interface – Logging into the main Convert Kit dashboard you are presented with a snapshot of the subscribers you gained and lost over the last 30 days. The bar graph is easy to read and you instantly know what is going on with your list without digging deep into menus looking for the reporting feature. I know exactly how many subscribers I have and what forms were responsible for the capture. I found most other software extremely crowded and difficult to navigate.
Reporting – I can see things like my number of subscribers, unsubscribers, which email they unsubbed from, which subscribers clicked on my links, and obvious metrics like open/click rates for each email. I would say the reporting is very basic but most people including myself do not need super advanced reports.
Tagging – You can place a tag on subscribers who perform certain functions. For instance, tag everyone who clicked on a particular link or opened a certain email. You can then segment these users into their own group to send hyper specific marketing messages to only those subscribers.
Affiliate friendly – As a white hat affiliate marketer I also appreciate how I can include my affiliate links directly in my emails without any fuss. The first time I sent out an affiliate link in Mail Chimp the software was triggered immediately and they blocked my account. That little chimp went into full blown panic mode and I knew I had to move to more serious software.
Emails delivered – At the core of any email marketing software is delivery rates. There’s no point in running campaigns if your emails are getting flagged by a server as spam. Up to this point I’ve had zero problems with my emails getting delivered and opened.
Things that are lacking in Convert Kit
Overall I am very satisfied with Convert Kit but there are a few areas that need desperate development – the embedded forms and landing pages. There is not a lot of variety and the pages and forms that are there leave much to be desired. Most of them are basic in nature and lack a modern web appeal. They do however get the job done. In fact, most of the subscribers I’ve gained have come from one of the Convert Kit landing pages.
This seems to be a major problem with most Email services. The forms are absolutely terrible or completely dysfunctional. Get Responses form creator is downright horrendous and frequently breaks. Fortunately there are other service providers who competently fill in the gaps. Software creators like SumoMe and Opt-In Monster have very high quality forms which integrate with email marketing services like Convert Kit.
The price tag for a monthly subscription to Convert Kit is also something I glare at every time I check my bank statement. Currently it’s the most expensive service on the market. For most services you’re looking at paying roughly $15 – $20 bucks to have an email list with up to 1000 subscribers. Convert Kit charges $29 dollars. The thing is, I love the interface so much I gladly pay the extra money. I’ve used most other email marketing software and they’ve mostly been a nightmare for me to setup. I also understand that Convert Kit is a relatively new company so they don’t have the market momentum that other service providers have. With time I have no doubt their prices will match the market average. Besides, if you’re doing affiliate marketing correctly you should have no problem recuperating the expense.
Convert Kit is by far my favorite email marketing software I’ve experienced. I do not however recommend it to everyone. If you’re a small time blogger who just needs something to send out weekly content blasts, something like Mail Chimp is perfect and free. However, if you plan on building a decent sized list AND you want to send out affiliate offers, Convert Kit is the way to go. As I’ve mentioned, many email services do not play nice with affiliate marketers because they think we destroy the internet – and that is partially true. For what I do as an affiliate marketer Convert Kit is absolutely crucial to my day to day business operations.