Convertkit: The Perfect Email Marketing Software for Online Course Creators
Email marketing and sales funnels can be incredibly frustrating, particularly for course creators. You’re exceptional at creating course content, but perhaps lack the technical skills to set up email sequences and lead magnets, and make them work with your online course platform.
When I started email marketing I used Mailchimp – probably one of the most well-known email marketing programs. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers, but you do have to pay for their “automation” option, so if you’re an online course creator needing automation (such as email sequences), it’s not really free.
I found Mailchimp clunky, and not very intuitive, so after a year or so I switched to Aweber. I thought Aweber would be the answer to my frustration with automation and although it was a step up, it still didn’t offer the ease, functionality, and automation I was looking for in my email marketing service provider.
In May of 2016 I joined a Thinkific webinar on Convertkit. Now I’ll admit that we’re raving fans of the Thinkific platform (and company), and use Thinkific to host our online courses. Greg Smith, CEO & Founder of Thinkific, teamed up with Nathan Barry (founder of Convertkit), to go over “How to get your first (or next) 1,000 email subscribers in the next 30 days or less.” The webinar was excellent and spurred my interest in Convertkit as an email marketing service provider.
Unlike many other email marketing service providers, Convertkit does not have a free trial. I hummed and hawed over the $29 US payment for a few hours after the webinar. I hate wasting money on software unless I know that it’s going to work for me (I already spend a LOT on different software programs required for my business). I scoured the web reading reviews. Between social proof and what I heard in the webinar, I was ready to give Convertkit a try.
In less than an hour, I had imported my mailing list from Aweber, added tags, and set up one form and one opt-in. I had a strong inkling at that point that this software was going to make my life much, much easier.
EMAIL MARKETING FEATURES THAT MATTER
FOR ONLINE COURSE CREATORS
Email automation is a necessity for online course creators, and with Convertkit it’s ridiculously easy to automate the process from acquiring the lead to leading your prospect down the sales funnel.
Convertkit uses a different method of segmentation than most other email marketing service providers. Instead of having one subscriber on multiple lists, all subscribers are grouped together but are segmented by the use of tags. Setting up tags, such as “Interest: Webinars” or “Product Purchase: Ecourse”, before importing your subscribers, makes importing that much easier.
You can use tags to further segment your subscribers based upon actions they take within emails. You can set up the automation so that when a subscriber clicks a link within an email they are automatically subscribed to a different email sequence, unsubscribed from a sequence, and/or have a tag attached to their name. It’s easy to segment by interest, based on actions taken,
Use Convertkit sequences to build your sales funnel! With the pre-made sequences in Convertkit this process is a breeze, helping you along with which emails to send when. You can customize this to suit you and your sales funnel.
Using the built-in automations and rules, you can have subscribers removed from the sales funnel at any point (when they purchase the product, click a certain link, etc.), or moved into a different sales funnel or pitch sequence.
Sending broadcasts (one-time emails) to subscribers in other email marketing software programs requires a ridiculous number of steps. With Convertkit there are only three:
- Choose the recipients. Select from those with certain tags, who are subscribed to certain sequences, or who opted in on particular forms.
- Write content. Choose from 3 templates (which you can customize) – text only, simple, or framed. Preview in your browser or via email.
- Schedule the broadcast for delivery, or send immediately.
This is a great feature for sending out ecourse updates when you add more content, or to request feedback from those enrolled in your online course. You can even re-send broadcasts to subscribers who didn’t open the broadcast, resulting in higher engagement!
Built-in Landing Pages and Optin Forms
Convertkit has built-in, customizable opt-in forms, allowing you to create full landing pages or opt-in forms that can be embedded on your website.
There are 4 landing page templates to choose from. Yes, only 4. However, Convertkit integrates with Leadpages as well so if you’re looking for more customization for your landing page, that may be the solution.
Simply choose your landing page template, enter a catchy headline, and describe your digital product (lead magnet). Customize the page with your branding and voila! Your landing page is done.
Creating an opt-in form is just as easy. Choose one of 3 templates for your opt-in form (full, minimal, or naked), then style and brand it. You can choose to show the form as inline, modal, or slide in, and add custom css.
You have the option to send an incentive / double opt-in email to confirm new subscribers, and the coolest part of this option is that you can have new subscribers confirm their subscription by clicking on the link to download your digital product! Much better than a “Confirm Your Subscription” button. After all, who wants another subscription?
You can send subscribers to a thank-you page of your choosing or show a ‘success’ message after the visitor subscribes. You also get to choose what happens to visitors when they have already opted in.
Adding subscribers to your email list has never been so easy.
Integrations with Online Course Platforms
Convertkit offers integrations with some of the most popular online course platforms and membership site software. Additional integrations can be set up using Zapier. Without the use of Zapier you can integrate Convertkit with:
- Zippy Courses
- Wishlist Member
- Member Mouse
- Paid Memberships Pro
- Lifter LMS
- New Kajabi
- Restricted Content Pro
Real TIme Analytics
Convertkit makes analytics easy. A quick snapshot on your Forms dashboard allows you to see how many visitors to the landing page or form, how many subscribers resulted, and the conversion rate.
You can also view analytics of broadcasts and sequences – the number of recipients, open rate, click rate, and unsubscribers. This is extremely useful for the sales funnel email sequences as you can use it to determine where in the sequence your subscribers are losing interest, and turn it around!
In my time as an online course creator, content marketer, virtual assistant trainer, and virtual assistant, I have used almost every email marketing service provider – either for myself or for our clients. Convertkit is THE email marketing service provider I suggest now to bloggers, online course creators, digital marketers, and anyone that’s looking for an easy and effective way to grow their subscriber base and use email marketing to engage with their audience.