Why Switching From Mailchimp To ConvertKit Has Been The Best Thing I’ve Done For My Business
For as long as I can remember, I’ve used Mailchimp for my email marketing needs. The cute little monkey logo. The free subscribers up to 2,000. The friendly customer service. All of those things kept me a customer of Mailchimp for many years. But then, my girlfriend made the switch to ConvertKit, and the entire game changed.
Let me back up a second and explain how I use email marketing to drive about 90% of my revenue to various businesses.
My $54,000 surprise email
For years, I was so focused on trying to get people to follow and connect with me on various social networking sites. It seems/seemed like the right thing to do, right? Maybe you’ve done this, or are still doing it. Up those follower numbers, and business will come flowing in, we’re told.
It took me until June of 2009 to finally put up an email signup form on my (IWearYourShirt) website. I ended up collecting around 500 email addresses over the course of that summer. In September of the same year, I hit send on an email with an offer to purchase advertising space for the next year. That email resulted in $54,000 in revenue in just 24 hours. WHOA! I had never sent an email that made even $540, let alone 100x that! I was as shocked as you probably are reading that.
And then a funny thing happened. Even with the fantastic financial success of that one email, I continued to focus on trying to grow social media followings and build up website traffic. Growing my email list and using my email list to run my business were always an afterthought.
In hindsight, I can see now that I didn’t understand that there was a different between sending out email newsletters and doing email marketing. While I still send newsletters today, I consider email marketing the crux of my business.
Realizing the power of using email, for good (and with a strategy)
Fast forward a few years: in 2015, JasonDoesStuff (the brand that encapsulates and promotes all my businesses) brought in over $300,000 in revenue. You’ll notice that wasn’t the headline of this article. Nor is the text bolded or highlighted. I don’t bring it up because I want to attract people who think they can do the same thing with their business(es), but because nearly every dollar of that revenue can be tied directly to emails I’ve sent to my subscribers (the Action Army).
I wish I could give ConvertKit all that credit, but I was still using Mailchimp in 2015. So why isn’t this article about using Mailchimp?
ConvertKit was made for someone like me, and maybe you, who runs a content-driven business. Stated another way: If you write articles, blogs, newsletters, and create products or services around them, you also run a content-driven business. ConvertKit takes everything I was doing in Mailchimp and makes it easier to see trends and growth, make changes to track conversions, and set up automations that can help make money.
But the best thing ConvertKit has done for my business? Made me excited to log in to my email dashboard because I felt in control.
That’s a long introduction to ConvertKit, but I wanted to set the stage for you. Now, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of how I use ConvertKit and why I made the switch (and am loving every second of it).
There’s also a video walk-through and you can click here to jump to that if you like.
This is your ConvertKit dashboard:
At an insanely quick glance, you can see your daily, weekly, 30-day, and all-time subscriber growth. This is collected across all your forms (which I’ll talk more about in a second) that you can see are denoted by the different shades of blue bars. Each color blue represents a different email form and the amount of subscribers it is receiving.
These are your ConvertKit forms:
Forms are exactly what they sound like. They’re the boxes you put on your website where people can hand you their highly coveted information (their email address). This was something that was always missing for me in Mailchimp. I really wanted to know which email signup forms in which places on my websites were converting the best. Was it the form on my homepage? My newsletter page? Some random article I have that gets lots of traffic? In Mailchimp, you could only see this information if you dug into list segmentation and groups (which was a huge pain in the ass).
Let’s talk about ConvertKit tags:
This is where you’ll have to shift your thinking from having specific email lists for your various businesses or projects. In Mailchimp, I had separate lists for “JasonDoesStuff” and a project like “BuyMyFuture.” As you can see, those are now “tags” in ConvertKit. It works similarly to organize emails under one business, but ConvertKit’s tagging gives you much more flexibility and ease of creating different segments (other tags) of email subscribers quickly. Kind of confusing to type and try to explain, but as soon as you set this up, you 100% grasp the concept and enjoy tags.
These are ConvertKit automations:
I’m not even going to be able to scratch the surface on the power of ConvertKit’s automations in this article (it definitely deserves an entire other article, maybe even how-to course). But just to give you an idea, you can set different rules for different actions: signing up for a form and getting added to an email sequence and/or getting adding to a specific tag. You can also create things called link triggers, which let you add people to sequences, tags, etc., based on clicks in emails. Yeah, it’s a bit advanced, but when you get the hang of automation, it’s rad.
And ConvertKit broadcasts and sequences:
I’m lumping these two together, although they could probably use their own paragraphs. Similar to Mailchimp’s campaigns and automation, ConvertKit has broadcasts and sequences. I will admit that Mailchimp’s campaign designer is much friendlier than ConvertKit’s broadcast designer. However, if you’re moving from Mailchimp to ConvertKit (like I did), you can export your Mailchimp templates as HTML and upload them into ConvertKit’s templates (with a little bit of code finagling). The folks at ConvertKit also help with migrations and can assist you in moving over email template designs from any email provider.
So how do I use ConvertKit for my business?
- I send broadcasts to the Action Army (my list) every Monday
- I have about 30 forms created for various places on my website and other websites
- I have a 1-email welcome sequence people get when they sign up for the Action Army
- I have a couple email sequences for various topics
It’s pretty freakin’ simple. And that’s what I love about ConvertKit. They’ve stripped out all the unnecessary fluff and features, and left behind exactly what’s needed to use email marketing to run a business.
Here’s a video walk-through of ConvertKit which shows my forms, broadcasts, sequences, tags, automations and more:
Now let’s look at the direct impact ConvertKit has made on subscriber growth
With my Mailchimp forms, I was forced to essentially use one form everywhere on my website (homepage, about page, newsletter page, articles, etc). With ConvertKit, I have about 20 different signup forms on JasonDoesStuff. Some have different text. Some have different button text.
- With Mailchimp, I averaged 5-10 new email subscribers per day (2,400 in 2015)
- With ConvertKit, I now average 18-23 new email subscribers per day! (on pace for 6,500 in 2016)
That’s double the email growth without a noticeable increase in website traffic!
And while the subscriber growth increase is great, I’ll repeat that the best thing ConvertKit has done for my business this year is help me really enjoy knowing I’m in more control and understanding of the thing (email marketing) that drives 90% of the revenue for my businesses.
Ready to give ConvertKit a try?
If this article has piqued your interest in ConvertKit, well, they’re interested in you, too! They’re offering a 1-month free trial with the link convertkit.com/jason. Sign up and you can kick the ConvertKit tires for 1 month without spending a single dime. That’s exactly what I did to see how I liked it, while still using Mailchimp.
Once the 1-month free trial is over, you’ll start paying the standard prices ConvertKit charges to manage your email addresses, and I’ll get a small commission. You don’t pay any extra, and I get to make a little money for recommending one of the most important tools I use for my business.
And of course, if you aren’t interested in using my 1-month free link, you can always go to ConvertKit.com directly to sign up.