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When Joe and I became business partners, we had to consolidate a few things. My mailing lists were on MailChimp and his were in Aweber. I heard that Aweber was more powerful, so I migrated my MailChimp lists into Aweber, and that was that.
Until I heard about a new kid in town: ConvertKit. I read a review about it and couldn't get it out of my head. So, one day, when I felt like I could devote a few solid hours to migrating, I switched to ConvertKit from Aweber.
Reasons Not to Switch Email Providers
Before I talk about why I switched, it's important to note that there are plenty of perfectly good reasons not to make the switch. Here's a handful of reasons:
- You're happy with the experience of sending emails through your platform
- You're able to send emails as often as you want without getting flustered by their technology
- You don't have the time (or patience) to transition software you only use periodically
- You don't want to spend more money
Those are all perfectly good reasons to keep your email list right where it's snuggly and comfortable.
But I wasn't happy with the experience, and because of that, I wasn't sending enough emails to the various members of our lists.
And it's important to send weekly notes. So important that if you skip a week or three, your unsubscribe rate shoots through the roof, which affects your confidence in a way that will make you a lot less eager to keep hitting send.
So I did some research, talked to Joe about spending twenty extra dollars a month, and bit the bullet.
What ConvertKit Is
Okay, sure, it's a system where you can send emails to subscribers, but that's barely touching the surface of what it can do. When I logged in and started playing with it, my first thought was, “Wow, this feels a lot like HubSpot,” which is high praise considering all the things HubSpot does.
To put it in a way that makes sense even if you're not a hardcore inbound marketer, ConvertKit is what would happen if a mad scientist took Aweber and LeadPages, shook them up, only took the most beautiful and most useful pieces of them, and spit it out.
A Subscriber-Based Model
One of the weird things about Aweber is that you create lists every time you want to do something new, which means you create a new form, and a new opt-in… even if those subscribers are already in your list. So, we'd never know how many unique subscribers we had on our mailing lists because one person could be on five lists.
ConvertKit, on the other hand, is a subscriber-based model, meaning when you import everyone, your total number might be a little (or a lot) lower than the number Aweber gave you. That's fine. Preferred, even, because the pricing goes up when you hit a certain level.
ConvertKit Makes LeadPages Unnecessary
LeadPages (not an affiliate link) helps you create landing pages, but their system is far clunkier than I'd like. And they cost $25 a month, minimum. And their system is such that, unless you're keeping really close track, it's very hard to disentangle from them.
I've used them, but I don't like them. I don't like that I can't set my own colors. I don't like how inflexible their designs are. I don't like that when I use them, people don't know they're still on my site.
So, now I don't have to use them anymore!
ConvertKit Has Landing Pages
Here are a few landing pages I created using ConvertKit:
Are they the prettiest landing pages in the world? No. Are they better than anything I've ever done in LeadPages? You bet your bottom dollar they are!
ConvertKit Has Beautiful Forms
Their landing pages are good enough for me to not want to use LeadPages ever again, which is enough right there, but their forms are lovely.
And if you download their WordPress plugin, you can set a default form to go on the bottom of all your posts.
Here's the bottom of the post form on Stacking Benjamins:
The fact that you only have to mess with things once in order for the opt-in form to go at the bottom of all your posts combined with the fact that these opt-ins are pretty, and blend in with the color scheme of my website is amazing.
You'll never see an Aweber form this pretty.
The fact that ConvertKit has really nice forms means you can create landing pages that look the way you want and have a form embedded in them.
Like this one:
ConvertKit Makes it Easy to Send Incentives
Call them what you want: content upgrades, premium content, incentives… they're the carrot you dangle in front of your audience in order to get them to give you their email address. The more incentives you have, the more chances you have of connecting with your audience.
That creation process is really simple using ConvertKit. You set it all up within the form itself, which is twice as easy as it is in HubSpot, which is really saying something. Create a thank-you page on your site, then link everything together, and send your subscribers a PDF before they've even confirmed their account.
With ConvertKit, You Can Resend Your Newsletter to The Readers Who Haven't Opened The Email
I read this really cool tip about how to increase the open rate of the emails you send:
- Send a broadcast email to your list
- Wait a few days
- Send the very same email to the people who didn't open the first one
So, you increase your open rate without having to do extra work. Awesome!
This is not something you can easily do on Aweber. First, you have to export the list of people who didn't open it, then you have to reupload them into a new list (so they get double counted again), then you send.
With ConvertKit, it's far, far easier:
You look at your broadcast list, click “View Report,” then click “resend to unopens.”
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Change the title if you want, and you're good to go.
ConvertKit has a Fantastic Way to Send Email Courses
Connecting with your subscribers in an automated way helps duplicate you without you having to reinvent the wheel every time. Aweber calls them follow-up series and ConvertKit calls them courses. We've discussed autoresponders in the past (apparently twice — this link is the step-by-step version, the previous link is a discussion).
One of the last things I did before leaving Aweber was to move our follow-up series into a ConvertKit course. I took out any of the emails that had low open rates, reworded the titles of a few, but other than that, simply copied and pasted.
Then, when I went to copy over the For Profit Blogging list, I found it was lacking content.
So, in a few hours, I set up an email course on this site, too.
A few hours to do something that's been hanging over my head for months now? Yes please!
The reason it's so easy is because they have a template for you to fill out. All you need to do is adjust the language.
They make it so easy to do, there was nothing holding me back!
ConvertKit Has Fancy Rules
I have barely touched the surface of the different automation rules you can set up using ConvertKit, but you can do things like:
- Enroll people who clicked a specific link in a course that talks more about that subject
- Enroll people in your “welcome” course when they fill out a form
- Remove people from a sales email course once they purchase
- And more I haven't considered!
ConvertKit Allows You to Send Smart Personalized Email
Did you install Welcome Mat from SumoMe on your site but decided not to bite the bullet and spend $40 a month just to get someone's first name? You're definitely not alone. Having Welcome Mat on our sites has increased email sign ups about a jillion percent (give or take), but when you only have someone's email address, it's weird to write “Hello , ” in your salutation.
ConvertKit has you covered. They have logic that looks both ugly and scary, but turns your salutations into:
“Hey Kathleen,” if you captured a first name and that first name is Kathleen
“Hey there,” if you didn't capture someone's name.
Why Switch to ConvertKit from Aweber?
Flexibility. Ease of use. Intuitive formats and layout.
All the data-nerd stuff is there, for those of you (me!) who like to get to the nitty gritty.
But the biggest thing I've noticed?
I write more emails.
For a business based 100% online, sending emails is a top priority. And ConvertKit makes it easier (and more fun!) to send emails. That's enough reason for me.