This ConvertKit review includes information about recently updated ConvertKit pricing. Did you know that there’s now a free option?
One mistake I see new business owners make is waiting too long to start their email lists. This can be because they don’t realize the value of building their list, but it can also be hard to figure out where to start.
Enter ConvertKit. ConverKit is an email service provider (ESP) that’s geared towards bloggers and other online entrepreneurs who want a simple platform with sophisticated marketing tools.
You can use ConvertKit to start building your list, optimize your sign-ups, create landing pages, manage your list, and run powerful automations to increase your revenue.
My ConvertKit review is going to explain what this platform is all about by breaking down its standout features, ConvertKit pricing, answers to FAQs, and give you a list of pros and cons.
Whether this ConvertKit review encourages you to sign up with this ESP or not, let it be the motivation you need to start your list ASAP. Your list is one of the most valuable assets your business has, and here are few email marketing statistics that explain why:
- Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those who don’t sign up for email offers.
- Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media
- Here’s the big one: for every $1 spent on email marketing, there is a $44 return – that’s a massive ROI
Hopefully, that motivates you to get serious about your list, so now check out this review to see if ConvertKit is right for you.
ConvertKit Review 2020 | Pricing, Features, Pros & Cons, and More
ConvertKit pricing works on a sliding scale that is based on the number of email subscribers you have. There is a free option, which is fairly new, for up to 1,000 subscribers, and it includes unlimited landing pages and forms. If you’re confused by some of those terms, I’m going to explain them fully a little further down.
With ConvertKit’s free plan you can add more subscribers when you get people to sign up for an account using your unique referral link. This is called the Refer a Friend program, and you can add 100 more subscribers with each new sign up.
If you have a smaller email list, ConvertKit’s free plan can be a boost to get started, but you’ll want to up your game if you want more marketing tools. And in my experience, you do want more marketing tools.
The next step up is ConvertKit Complete. Billing annually puts the price at $29/month for 1,000 subscribers. 10,000 subscribers is $119/month. 75,000 subscribers is $499/month.
ConvertKit Complete gives you automated funnels and email sequences – awesome tools to help you launch and sell products. It also allows for integrations so you can get more out of the platform by connecting it to the software you’re already using. And you get premium support with Complete.
ConvertKit Review: Included features
ConvertKit offers robust marketing tools including landing pages, email automations, and sign-up forms. These are essential features for any ESP because it’s what moves you from just writing emails, to selling products and services.
I’m going to walk you through each of these features on ConvertKit.
1. Email sign-up forms
Sign-up or opt-in forms are how you get subscribers on your list, and having one of these forms on your website is necessary for building your list.
ConvertKit lets you build different kinds of sign-up forms for different scenarios, including:
- Delivering a freebie: This incentivizes the sign-up, and these forms can go on your sidebar or at the bottom of blog posts
- Newsletter signup: This is what most people think about with opt-ins, “Enter your email address to receive my free newsletter.” The newsletter is then delivered on a schedule: weekly, bi-monthly, or whenever.
- Blog categories: You can create opt-ins for different categories on your blog, then tag and segment readers. CovertKit has a WordPress plugin so you can add these forms to specific blog posts.
- Exit intent popup: This form doesn’t show up until someone shows intent to leave your site. You can also set it to pop up after they’ve been on a page for a set amount of time or have scrolled down a percentage of a page.
I don’t use this opt-in form anymore, but it’s one of my favorites. It popped up when users showed intent to leave my site, and I added my unique M$M personality with the “No thanks, I’m rich” button.
ConvertKit has customizable templates for their sign-up forms that let you change colors, text, and add branding images. You can also create custom fields that gather more data points.
Here’s an example of a newsletter template that asks about the kind of content subscribers are most interested in:
You can send out tailored content to subscribers in each group, or you can use that data to create content around what readers want more of.
Personally, I think you should keep it simple by asking for just their email address, but it’s good to have the option.
2. Landing pages
Landing pages are standalone web pages that are created specifically for marketing campaigns. A user “lands” on this page after they click on an ad, link, or search result. Landing pages are designed to promote your business’ products and services.
If you already have a website, then you might not use ConvertKit’s landing pages, but they’re a good option if you don’t have a site yet.
ConvertKit’s landing pages play well with WordPress blogs and websites. There’s a ConvertKit WordPress Plugin, and once it’s installed on your site, you can create a page on your WordPress site and replace it with a ConvertKit landing page.
All ConvertKit plans come with unlimited landing pages, and they work seamlessly with ConvertKit’s opt-in forms. With landing pages, opt-ins, and automations (next feature I’m going to explain), you get a fully realized marketing system.
ConvertKit has a landing page builder with fully customizable templates. There is a custom CSS code option, but you don’t need experience coding to build your pages.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of pages you can build with ConvertKit templates:
- Delivering a lead magnet: Lead magnets entice people to sign up for your list. You can look at exchanging content for an email address. Lead magnets can be books, mini-email courses, printables, how-to guides, or other kinds of digital content.
- Coming soon: This page is for businesses that are getting ready to launch a new product. You can use them to gauge interest and build momentum.
- Profile page: This is a simple page that introduces you to potential subscribers, even if you aren’t actively selling something.
- Course signup: These pages explain what your online courses are about and get them to sign up.
Below is an example of a course sign-up page:
Pro tip: If you are running a course, your course creation platform may have built-in landing page software – Teachable, Kajabi, and Thinkific all do. But course marketplaces, like Udemy and SkillShare, don’t have landing page builders, so this would be valuable.
3. Email automations
Automations are pathways you build to guide subscribers through the buying process. These automations put action behind the opt-in forms and landing pages you’ve created.
ConvertKit’s automations work depending on what a subscriber does on your site, and those triggers set different actions in motion. Here are some of the triggers you can set:
- When someone subscribes to a sequence
- Subscribes to a form
- Completes a sequence
- Clicks on a link
- A user is tagged
- A tag is removed
- Someone purchases a product
You select a corresponding action for each trigger. Actions include things like adding a tag to segment your subscribers, moving subscribers to another part of your list, set a delay, or send an email.
If you’re new to email marketing, that’s all going to sound like a lot. We all start at that point!
To make it easier, ConvertKit has a library of Visual Automations – these are automation templates -- for things like pitching a product, product launches, hosting a webinar, and even surveys.
The Visual Automation templated for hosting a webinar goes something like this:
- Subscriber opts into a webinar from a form on your landing page
- There’s an event date, and that triggers a sequence of emails reminding your subscribers that the event is coming up
- A follow-up email is sent out after the webinar, and it includes a limited time discount for the product or service discussed in the webinar
- Subscribers who purchase the product are then tagged as buyers, which subscribes them to an onboarding sequence and weekly newsletter
You can even create your own automations if you’re comfortable. This is something I enjoy doing now, but it’s taken me a few years to understand how to build a system that works.
4. ConvertKit email designer
The first two features were about collecting emails. The third was creating a marketing system. But this one is about the process of actually writing emails.
ConvertKit has an email designer where you can format emails with fonts, colors, and images. You can also add lists, buttons, dividers, and personalization headers. The idea is to help you create beautiful emails that stand out.
In my experience, simple emails convert better. Focus on your copy and telling a story rather than making your email look pretty. Otherwise, your link or message can get lost in the clutter.
I’m serious about simplicity… this is what one of my last emails looked like:
Want to get in on that action? Use the opt-in form below to join my list.
The point is, ConvertKit gives you the option to create both kinds of emails. You can add CTA (call-to-action) buttons, HTML code, and images to any of your emails. You can add social sharing buttons, and all of the templates are responsive to fit any kind of device.
Integrations allow for more functionality by connecting two separate types of software. ConvertKit supports dozens of integrations, including some popular ones like:
- Crowdcast: Webinar and live streaming platform
- Teachable: Course creation platform – this is what I used to teach both the Facebook Side Hustle Course and Facebook Ads for Bloggers
- Shopify: This is an e-commerce platform – read my full review of Shopify if you’re interested in learning more
- Stripe: Online payment processing software
- Wix: Integrate your Wix website
- Zapier: You can access hundreds of more integrations if they’re not listed on ConvertKit
Those are just a few, but there are tons more.
Frequently asked questions about ConvertKit
Do I pay more if I send a bunch of emails in a month?
Nope! What you pay is based on the number of subscribers you have, not the number of emails you send.
How do I switch from another ESP to ConvertKit?
ConvertKit wants you to use their service, so they make it easy to switch to their platform. There is a free migration service that moves your subscribers over from another provider.
The migration process works in tiers and can take anywhere from 1 day to 2-3 weeks depending on the size of your list. The tiered options depend on the number of tags, forms, email sequences, and templates you’re bringing with you.
Most lists under 5,000 subscribers will be fine with the mini migration (takes 1-3 days), but ConverKit recommends the custom migration for larger lists.
Below is an example of the tiers if you were bringing 15,000-50,000 email subscribers over from ActiveCampaign.
Does ConvertKit charge when someone is on more than one list?
No. Your subscribers are part of a master list, and that’s what you pay for. You can segment (divide) users into additional lists, like those who’ve purchased your course or not, for example. This helps you optimize your automations, but if someone makes it on more than one list, you don’t pay double.
Can I use a Facebook pixel on my ConvertKit landing pages?
Yes, but currently, it only tracks page views. This is a little bit of a bummer, and I hope ConvertKit improves this function in the future.
If you’re unfamiliar with the pixel, it’s a little piece of code that helps you optimize and retarget your Facebook ads.
This article from Laptop Empires explains more about the pixel, including why they’re important and how to use them: What is a Facebook Pixel?
Is ConvertKit better than MailChimp?
MailChimp is known for being a low-cost ESP that’s free for your first 2,000 subscribers. That’s a perk, and it also offers more email templates.
Where ConvertKit wins for me is that its automations are much more sophisticated than MailChimp’s. It also has better list management tools – MailChimp charges extra when contacts are duplicated across lists and ConvertKit doesn’t.
So while MailChimp may look like the more affordable option, I don’t think it’s as functional as ConvertKit, and you can end up paying more if you rely on segmentation.
ConvertKit pros and cons
It wouldn’t be a true ConvertKit review if I didn’t breakdown where this platform shines and where it falls short.
ConvertKit Review: My final word
I used ConvertKit for several years and was really happy with the service, but eventually, I switched to ActiveCampaign because it offers more data tracking tools. It’s a more expensive ESP, but it’s what I need for my business right now.
There’s a valuable point in that: What do you need for your business?
If you haven’t started building your list or you’re ready to move up from MailChimp’s free option (so many people start here), then I highly recommend checking out ConvertKit.
ConvertKit gives you a solid foundation for building your list and fairly advanced tools –– especially the automations -- to help you market your products and continue growing your list.