ConvertKit is an email marketing and automation platform designed to help content creators create and send email campaigns, build landing pages, automate email and marketing workflows, and even sell digital products. Let’s explore why ConvertKit is a popular tool for online course creators and how it can help you take your email marketing to the next level.
Who is ConvertKit for?
Founded by Nathan Barry in 2013, ConvertKit is specifically designed for bloggers and other small-scale content creators like online course creators, YouTubers, podcasters, freelancers, and coaches.
Before its founding, a lot of small creators used platforms like Constant Contact, Hubspot, or Mailchimp. These are great email marketing tools, but they aren’t designed for small creators’ unique and specific needs. Instead, they’re designed to accommodate a broader range of businesses, including massive companies with tens of thousands of employees and even more contacts. In search of a better solution, Nathan founded ConvertKit to create a marketing platform that helps small creators reach their audiences and deliver digital products like ebooks.
The platform is built for non-technical users, so you don’t need a marketing degree to manage your email list or a background in tech to navigate the platform’s many features. Even with ConvertKit’s customized opt-in forms, automated email triggers, and landing pages, users can easily build what they need to grow their business.
What is ConvertKit Used for?
Now that we’ve introduced you to ConvertKit, let’s dig a little deeper and answer your “What does ConvertKit do?” questions.
ConvertKit has many features, but let’s focus on the six we think online course creators care the most about.
1. Email Marketing Automation
Automated email marketing is critical for anyone looking to manage evergreen email sequences, launch new products or courses, or just manage an existing email list. As one of ConvertKit’s primary functions, this feature lets you build what they call “visual automations.” Simply put, this is just a visual map of your entire email sequence.
Users can add, remove, and edit emails in live or paused sequences. You can even make use of ConvertKit’s sequence template library so you don’t have to start from scratch. Email sequences may consist of opt-in forms, built-in triggers, landing pages, surveys, and more, making it extremely customizable.
2. Email Design
Email design on ConvertKit is easy with its drag-and-drop email builder. If you prefer a more custom experience you can code with HTML, or simply opt for the tried-and-true plain text email.
To get started, all you need to do is choose a template to customize or start from scratch. Use the email editor to customize your email. You can customize font and colors, headers and footers, buttons, dividers, images, links, and even alignment. Once you have the perfect email, preview or test it with the touch of a button and make any final adjustments. Schedule or send your email, and you’re done.
If you ever need to change an email or a sequence, you can do that without deactivating an existing sequence.
3. Landing Pages and Forms
Forms and landing pages are a must-have when gathering leads and adding them to your email list. You can start from scratch or use one of the many professionally designed templates in the ConvertKit library. All of your landing pages will be optimized for mobile devices and quick loading times.
Like landing pages and emails, you can build forms using ConvertKit’s builder and pick from form types like inline, modal, popup, and sticky bar. All forms are GDPR compliant and can include double opt-in verification. And because ConvertKit was designed with creators in mind, you can also easily and immediately distribute lead magnets using forms.
Finally, ConvertKit’s analytics feature allows you to track the performance of your landing pages and forms, so you can make data-driven decisions to improve your conversion rates over time.
Analytics are incredibly important in email marketing because they give insight into subscriber behavior. You can incrementally improve your marketing efforts over time by tracking the performance of each email sequence, email, form, and landing page.
ConvertKit’s key analytics include:
– Email delivery – Also referred to as deliverability, this is the rate at which your emails land in your subscribers’ inboxes. ConertKit boasts an average delivery rate of 99%, so you can rest assured your emails will get to the right place.
– Open rates – This is the percentage of subscribers who open your emails, and it indicates how engaging your subject lines are.
– Click-through rates – These are the percentage of subscribers who click the links in your emails. This metric can be generated per email, or you can dive deeper and see which links in an email were most effective.
– Unsubscribe rates – This is the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe after receiving a particular email. While losing subscribers sounds bad, it can help you understand what your readers value and keep a list of engaged subscribers.
– Campaign ROI – ConvertKit calculates the return on investment using labor costs, subscription costs, and revenue generated from any given campaign. This can be incredibly beneficial if you’re outsourcing the writing to specialized.
ConvertKit’s monetization features make it easier for you to monetize your email list. You can sell ebooks, paid newsletters, and coaching sessions directly through the platform, helping you to keep more of your business under one roof.
When it comes to payments, you can offer your subscribers one-time payments, recurring payments, or a pay-what-you-want model. You can also provide discounts and a tip jar in case you’re handing out tons of high-value freebies but aren’t quite ready to put a price on them yet.
Payments are processed using Stripe technology, and ConvertKit makes fees easy by adding a simple charge of 3.5% + $0.30 to every transaction. You’ll receive your earnings every Friday and can track all your sales directly within one dashboard.
ConvertKit is an amazing platform for online course creators, but no tool can do everything. That’s where integrations come in. Integrations are connections between ConvertKit and third-party software. These allow you to share functionality between two otherwise unrelated tools.
In general, integrations help you gather information and leads from other platforms and share it with your email marketing software. For example, if you have online courses on the Teachable platform, integrating with ConvertKit can allow you to automatically add new students to a customized email automation that welcomes and informs them of other products and offerings.
Some of ConvertKit’s other integrations include Squarespace, Shopify, upcoach, Monday.com, and Thinkific.
ConvertKit Pricing: How Much Does it Cost?
ConvertKit offers three plans: the free plan, the Creator plan, and the Creator Pro plan.
The free plan includes unlimited landing pages, forms, audience segmentation, and community support. This plan lets you sell digital products and subscriptions and is good for up to 1,000 subscribers, which is excellent for those just starting to build their email list.
The Creator plan includes the free plan’s features but also offers migration support, an additional team member, and gives you access to automated email sequences, visual automation builders, and integrations.
The highest plan, Creator Pro, includes all the features we’ve mentioned and adds a newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, and advanced data and analytics.
While the Creator Pro plan is more expensive than the Creator plan on a monthly/yearly basis, prices also vary based on how many subscribers you have. Prices are fairly competitive and affordable when compared to competitors.
If you’re just starting out, up to 1000 subscribers will be $29/month or $59/month for Creator and Creator Pro. Up to 5000 it’s $79 and $111. That’s pretty competitive. For up to 10,000 subscribers it’s $119/month for the Creator account and $167/month for Creator Pro. Many small creators are going to at or under this number so this will give you a good idea of what to expect to pay. You also get a discount if you pay yearly.
Check their pricing page for a slider that gives you pricing on 15k subsribers and up if you’re curious.
Let’s hit on same brief comparisons with some of their competitors.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp
Both ConvertKit and MailChimp offer email automation, segmentation, and analytics features, but there are some key differences between the two that are worth noting.
ConvertKit is specifically designed for online course creators, bloggers, and other online entrepreneurs, which can means their content and platform is built for this audience. So if you fit into these categories you may get more out of ConvertKit.
MailChimp is designed for a broader range of businesses and has lots of tools that you find you might not need. Both platforms offer automation features, but MailChimps may be more difficult to use for the average user.
And finally, both platforms offer a free plan, but ConvertKit includes more features and allows for more subscribers and free emails than MailChimp. Depending on which features are important to you, ConvertKit may the better choice for course creators and similar users.
ConvertKit vs Active Campaign
ConvertKit offers features that are tailored to the needs of online course creators, such as automated email sequences for course launches and integrations with course platforms like Teachable and Thinkific.
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers a wider range of features, including a built-in CRM, SMS marketing, and advanced automation capabilities depending on which plan you purchase, making it an excellent choice for people with more complex marketing strategies.
In terms of pricing, navigating ActiveCampaign’s pricing page can be a bit of a challenge. Most creators will likely fall into their “Marketing” plans which start at $39/month for up to 1000 contacts. 2500 contacts goes up to $61/month. And that is for their lowest plan, the Lite plan, with features that don’t match up with ConvertKit.
Active is a robust platform, but it might be over-kill for most e-learning and course creators,. ConvertKit is going to be a better choice especially when starting out.
Is ConvertKit Right for Your Course Business?
The issues we’ve seen that people have with ConvertKit is their interface. Some people just really seem to dislike it. These things are pretty subject, so try it out yourself and see if it works fo ryou.
Its pricing model accommodates users looking to start with a free plan and scales with you as your subscriber list grows. The platform does offer tons of customization without the need for super technical skills. Overall, ConvertKit can be a good fit for you course creators, coaches, and content creators.
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