Raelyn Tan: Blogging & Digital Marketing Strategist

Why I Switched to Using Convertkit As My Email Service Provider

convertkit-email-service-provider-hori

Looking for other list building posts on this blog?
1. 
Why Building an Email List is a MUST for Your Blog & Business
2. Newsletter Content Ideas To Send & Engage Your Subscribers
3. 10 Game-Changing Strategies I Used To Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet/ Freebie That Got Me 711 Downloads in 3 Months
4. Get More Subscribers: 6 Hotspots To Place Your Email Opt-in Boxes

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, yo.

A couple of months ago, I changed my email service provider to Convertkit and never looked back.

I did not want to write about my experience until I was 100% certain that Convertkit is amazing.

And here I am 5 months later!

I have pretty much used everything, so I do believe I will be able to do a good write up about the different email service providers available. 

Well okay, not everything. But I have used Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse and of course, Convertkit.

This post will be about my experience with each of them, followed by a quick evaluation of each provider.

I highly discourage you from using “unknown” email service providers because they could disappear tomorrow. If you didn’t back up your list of emails, you’re a goner.

Why I switched to using Convertkit as my email service provider: Convertkit VS Mailchimp VS Aweber VS Getreponse. Use Convertkit to manage your subscribers and grow your email list! (Short tutorial for Convertkit is included too)

Pin me, friend!

Being a newbie, I started off with Mailchimp

mailchimp-email-service-provider

We all know that Mailchimp has a free plan – and I signed up with them because, duh, it’s free.

This was quite a few years ago when I first started out online.

To its credit, I felt that Mailchimp has a really pretty and user-friendly interface.

However, I had several problems with Mailchimp – I couldn’t get the opt-in forms to look good nor could I customize them to my liking.

Here’s an example of one:

signupforms_classicembed

Image credits: Mailchimp

There are certain add-ons and plugins that would enhance the look of your opt-in box nowadays, but it’s really a pain to manage.

Of course, as I opted for the free plan, I also could not send follow up emails after the initial welcome email, and sending additional follow up emails was a function I needed. (Update May ’17: You can do this with Mailchimp’s free plan now)

Mailchimp only allows one opt-in form per list, even if you pay. So if you want to offer multiple lead magnets or have content upgrades, things are going to get messy as you’ll have the same subscriber subscribing to multiple lists. This also means you’ll be charged multiple times for the same subscriber.

I didn’t want the pain of transferring everything somewhere else when I had more subscribers (I had about 50 subscribers at that point), nor did I want to bother scratching my eyeballs out to get a nice opt-in form up, so I moved base.

Since Mailchimp’s paid plans were about the same as around else in the market, I decided to look around for any better alternatives with prettier looking opt-in forms and more functionality.

In general, I feel that Mailchimp is either for absolute beginners with no budget or for offline businesses who send emails manually (i.e no follow-up automated sequences).

Aweber had my loyalty for a few years

aweber-email-service-provider-vs-convertkit

You’ve probably heard of Aweber. It’s one of the largest email service providers out there.

In my opinion, several years ago it used to be the most well-known email service provider in the market. Today, the market is more diluted as more competitors have popped up.

It also has a big affiliate team, by the way. Tons of popular bloggers recommend Aweber and are very fairly compensated.

From my experience, Aweber was a pain to navigate – the user interface was very clunky.

However, the support is top-notch and extremely fast, smart and friendly.

I used Aweber for a couple of years and was happy with it – I had my follow up sequences and my manual broadcast emails.

All was good, until one day when I got a complaint from a subscriber via Facebook…

Apparently, a tiny percentage of my subscribers (~1%) were facing a huge problem: their mail client would shut down the moment they opened my emails.

They couldn’t even unsubscribe, and had to resort to email me manually or contacting me on social media to ask me to remove them from my mailing list.

You can imagine the amount of angst and hate I got 😛

I tried taking this to support, but they couldn’t solve the problem for me. Till this day, I have no idea what the problem was. I had to move, and fast.

To Getresponse I went…

getresponse-vs-convertkit

I moved base to Getresponse as I saw that they offered a free trial. The moment I shifted to Getresponse, I was a lot happier.

The user interface was SO much more intuitive – I can’t pinpoint the exact differences, but it’s just the overall flow that made me happier.

I couldn’t believe that I was paying more at Aweber for YEARS when Getresponse was more affordable and so much easier to use.

I was all ready to pay up when my free trial ended, when I discovered that my own test emails were being sent to my junk mail.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why, so I jumped ship. Of my list of priorities, deliverability is #1, and I wasn’t going to risk getting my email dumped to junk.

Of course, other people may have different experiences – it just wasn’t something I was prepared to risk and I couldn’t get the “junk curse” figured out, so I jumped ship.

Another minor factor was that the opt-in forms took really long to load, and site speed is crucial for me. I tried asking support, but they said it was something that they are working on.

By now, I was running out of alternatives

convertkit-email-advantages

… until I saw a review for Convertkit by a blogger I trusted.

Back then, Convertkit was just a “small fry,” and I was skeptical about how amazing it sounded.

The review made Convertkit seem like a blogger’s dream from heaven, lol.

It seemed easy to use and even came with advanced automation. The same automation would usually cost me hundreds of dollars per month if I use a pro option like Ontraport.

I’ll talk more about why I love it so much later.

The cherry on top? The pricing is really reasonable too, just a few dollars more than anything I mentioned above.

To cut a long story short, I was so impressed that I decided to give it a try. AND I LOVE IT.

You can check out Convertkit (aff) here.

*Feel free to email me at raelyn[at]raelyntan.com if you have any questions about setting it up if you use my link!

Here are the top reasons for my love affair with Convertkit:

Really amazing user interface that’s 100% idiot-proof

convertkit-interface

I can easily create and send both manual & automated emails, and the whole thing just flows. 

It’s hard to explain unless you actually try it.

The interface runs quickly as well, unlike other email providers which may lag a little every time you click on something.

I heard that the founder is a UX designer (user experience designer), although I am not very sure if this is true.

Whatever it is, the layout and how everything is placed make Convertkit a very easy software to pick up and use.

Option to resend emails to people who didn’t open my emails

When I send a broadcast (real-time, manual email) out, I have an option to RE-SEND the email to people who’ve not opened it.

This increases the open rate of my emails significantly.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 6.15.15 PM

One click is all it needs to increase your open rates significantly

I become a psychic

I can tag users based on specific actions they take, allowing me to send them very targeted emails later, or exclude them from certain emails.

This is easily done when I send broadcast emails (real-time, manual email), where there is an option to include or exclude people with specific tags.

For instance, I can tag everyone who’ve bought my program(s), so that I exclude them from further promotional emails, or send them exclusive emails for my buyers.

I can also tag anyone who clicks on particular links in my email so that I can send them more targeted emails. Not just any emails, but emails on a topic that they’ve already demonstrated an interest in.

I can also tag people based on which opt-in form (or freebie) they subscribed from, and then choose to send emails about certain offers only to them, or to exclude them from certain emails.

And FYI, these are very easy to set up in Convertkit, which operates on an “if this happens, do that” rule which even an idiot can understand.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 7.20.19 PM

Opt-in forms that are modern-looking and absolutely gorgeous out of the box

The opt-in forms you see at the end of this post and in my sidebar are made with Convertkit.

And I swear I did not edit the CSS or anything, they just came out so awesome out of the box!

convertkit-opt-in-form

You can customize how it looks as well, but it looks amazing as it is

I can send automated follow up emails based on my subscribers’ behavior

I can segment users into different follow-up sequences based on their behavior, keeping them engaged without me lifting a finger.

For instance, if I have a subscriber opt-in via a freebie about X, I can automatically add that subscriber onto an automated follow-up sequence where he/she will be nurtured further.

No more double counting of subscribers (yay!!)

convertkit-review

Other email service providers double count your subscribers if they have opted in more than once, and charge you multiple times for the same subscribers! Absurd.

The last I heard, everyone I mentioned above double-counts their subscribers.

Some email providers even charge you for your subscribers after they’ve unsubscribed! You’ve to go in and delete them manually.

I don’t need to tell you why Convertkit is so amazing in this aspect, it saves you money.

However, here are some things to watch out for with Convertkit:

  • Support takes awhile to respond (say 1-2 days instead of an instantaneous response), but I am willing to live with it seeing how awesome Convertkit is.
  • This isn’t a complete automated marketing solution – if you want a complete customer relationship management (CRM) system, you need something like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. This is more for bloggers, podcasters, service-based entrepreneurs and people focused on email marketing rather than more complex issues like CRM, membership sites and payment solutions.

Convertkit 2.5 Minute Demo

You can check out this 2.5-minute demo by Convertkit to see how it looks like inside.

Click here to check out Convertkit (30 days risk free offer)

Well, enough of me talking. Try it out yourself and see what I mean. They have a 30-day refund policy, so you can test it out and get your money back if you don’t like it.

You can check out Convertkit (aff) here.

*Feel free to email me at raelyn[at]raelyntan.com if you have any questions about setting it up if you use my link! Happy to help.

That’s it for today – don’t say that I didn’t tell you about this amazing email service provider!

Looking for other list building posts on this blog?
1. 
Why Building an Email List is a MUST for Your Blog & Business
2. Newsletter Content Ideas To Send & Engage Your Subscribers
3. 10 Game-Changing Strategies I Used To Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet/ Freebie That Got Me 711 Downloads in 3 Months
4. Get More Subscribers: 6 Hotspots To Place Your Email Opt-in Boxes

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