As small business owners and bloggers, we all know how important it is to have a list. The confusing part comes when it's time to choose an email service provider. MailChimp and ConvertKit seem to be the most popular right now. I've worked with them both for several months and now I'm not with either of them. I found something so much better. Let me tell you why.
I started my business over two years ago. Signing up for MailChimp was one of the first things I did. I saw so many other people use it that I admired and my business coach at the time even used it. So, I figured it was a no brainer.
As my list grew through my first year I started to get frustrated with all of the duplicate subscribers counting against me. I had multiple freebies and it was doing me a disservice. I started to look into how I can segment my lists and it was terribly confusing. I'm pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff, but MailChimp could seriously make a lot of lives easier by simplifying some processes.
After a lot of work, research, and frustration I decided to leave my paid MailChimp plan (at that time they were charging for automation) and head over to where it seemed all the cool bloggers were hanging out, ConvertKit.
I was paying triple the amount with ConvertKit than I was with MailChimp, but I kept telling myself it was worth it. ConvertKit is definitely pretty user friendly in general. I know a lot of people who get crazy strategic with tagging etc. but that's just not me. I really liked how I could build my email funnels, implement tagging, and the analytics were really great.
I like to evaluate my systems and processes every 6 months or so and ConvertKit was really sticking out in my mind.
What I didn't like about ConvertKit:
- I needed more visuals (explained further below)
- I didn't like the price
- It didn't integrate with Squarespace
- No drag and drop templates
What I liked about ConvertKit:
- Simplicity of creating forms
- Analytics were easy to understand
- Tagging was helpful to keep subscribers sorted
- Building Sequences was pretty simple
After looking and comparing several email service providers I finally made a decision. One of my clients mentioned that she was using it and after I looked into it more I could see that this could actually be pretty promising!
It's pretty simple to sign up for an account, but you know what's not simple? Transferring all of your email funnels, creating new freebie forms, and landing pages. Let me clarify. It's actually really simple to do, but very time consuming for me as I have over 30 freebies alone. Not to mention all of my funnels. It took me a few days to do it all. Keep in mind I have a newborn and two other children to interrupt my work time too!
I wouldn't have been able to do it so seamlessly if I wasn't such an organization freak from the beginning either. I used my blog planning template and just worked my way down the list. Here's how simple it is:
1. Open up your template or go off of your own list and identify the first blog post you need to change.
2. Go into your blog post that has a freebie where you need to change the form.
3. Go into MailerLite (sign up for your free account here) and update the necessary business info to get started.
4. Click on forms.
5. Choose which type of form you would like to create. For most of my freebies, as you can see, I use embedded forms.
6. Click on CREATE EMBEDDED FORM
7. Name your form. I like to name it the same as my freebie title.
8. Choose your form type. You can choose from a button or an actual form. We are going to choose the form for this example.
9. Click CREATE EMBED FORM
10. Now you need to select your subscriber group. You may not have anything under here, which is totally fine because you can create a new one under this tab. If you need to do that, then just claim ADD NEW GROUP. I like to call my group the same thing as the freebie as well.
11. Scroll to the bottom and hit SAVE AND CONTINUE.
12. We will start from the bottom and work down. You can choose to turn your double opt-in on or off. I'm going to turn it off for this one.
13. Change the copy in the title, text, and button title. You will see the form on the left will auto-populate your changes.
14. You can leave the text or edit it in the thank you message box or you can redirect the url. I have a separate thank you page on my site that I like to take subscribers to, so I change it to that. Here's an example.
15. Change the look of your text box as you fit. I like to center mine and bold the lettering.
16. Click on DESIGN. This is where you change the colors to match your branding, center the title, and change the form layout.
17. Click on FIELDS if you would like more information from a subscriber besides their email address.
18. Click on GROUPS to double-check you have the right group selected. As your groups grow you can click on more than one. For example, I may want to click on one of my course funnels as well.
19. Hit SAVE once you're done.
20. You are automatically brought to your coding. You can either grab the java script or grab the link.
21. I paste my coding into my blog planning spreadsheet so it's easier to grab. Get that template here.
22. Then I go into my blog post and change the coding/link and ta-da everything is updated!
Now, you may be wondering, "How does my subscriber get her freebie then?" Great question! Here's a tutorial on how to automatically deliver a freebie to your subscribers. I will also show you another really simple way as well.
In step 14 I had you put a link to your thank you page. So, the process for a subscriber would be:
- They'd read your blog post
- See your form
- Give you their email
- Redirected to your thank you page
- Freebie delivered to their inbox
But if you don't have a thank you page built yet then you can go another route. Let's say you have a PDF you want to send to your subscriber once they sign up:
- Open up your Google Drive account (sign up for one if you don't)
- Find your PDF (or any other kind of document)
- Drag it into your Google Drive
- Open up the document
- Click on SHARE (top right corner)
- Click on GET SHARABLE LINK
- Click the drop down box and click on MORE
- Click on ON-PUBLIC ON THE WEB
- Copy link provided
- Change the link in your MailerLite form (where the thank you page link goes) to the sharable link Google gives you.
Now the process is a bit different for your subscriber:
- They'd read your blog post
- See your form
- Give you their email
- Redirected to your freebie
I mostly use my thank you page because I want them to come back to my website and see what else they can learn. I don't want them to get side-tracked and move away from me.
Once your form is created and ready to go, you are able to see the analytics laid out very plainly for you. Just click on FORMS to view.
Like I said, this took time with all of the freebie forms I had to update, but it was completely worth it. I now have an email system that is doing exactly what I want and need for FREE.
What email system do you use? Do you love it?