ConvertKit top features for bloggers

Designed by a former pro-blogger, ConvertKit is one of the best email marketing solutions around. Built specifically for bloggers and content creators, it sports a number of features designed to support your business and make your life a heck of a lot easier.

Let’s check out four of ConvertKit’s best features and talk about how they simplify your workflow without sacrificing power or flexibility.

ConvertKit Is Built Around Subscribers

Every email marketing platform has to organize your subscribers according to some basic plan. When you strip away the fancy advertising talk, there are basically two ways to organize a big pile of email subscribers:

You start with a list and add subscribers to it. You can have one list or a bunch of lists and subscribers might be on just one list or on multiple lists at the same time. This type of organization is called list-centric organization because it uses lists to do it’s organizing and sorting.

You start with no lists and instead your subscribers all live in the same giant cloud. In order to organize them, you use a higher level of housekeeping – things like tags – to pull subscribers into groups. The key difference is that an organization system like this means that subscribers are put into groups only when you want them to be grouped that way and only for as long as you need. This is subscriber-centric organization

Services based on the first option – called “list-centric” services – are more common than “subscriber-centric” services, and it’s

ConvertKit is a subscriber-centric service. 

Subscriber-centric models are better than list-centric models in almost every situation. They’re easier to manage, easier to maintain, and easier to automate.

Though list-centric organization is more common, I can say from experience that lists are rigid things that can be hard to bend the direction you want. Tagged groups are much more fluid and adaptable. Once you get the hang of it, you can build complex situations with very little fuss.

The one time where a list-centric model would probably be better is if you were specifically trying to keep two groups of subscribers totally isolated from one another. Like, maybe, running two website’s email systems off of one account. 

That’s a bad idea in general, but if you did want to do it, a list-centric model would be better. Because the lists exist completely separate from one another, their paths will never cross unless you force them to interact. 

The subscriber-centric model does have one quirk that could cause problems for people used to a list-centric model. In a list-centric model, if a subscriber is on two or three different lists, and they unsubscribe from one of those lists, they’re still subscribed to the other ones. But, in a subscriber-centric model, if someone unsubscribes, they’re completely removed from the system.

ConvertKit Makes Automations So Easy Even I Can Do Them

ConvertKit is good at automations. Really good. With cherries on top.

Their automation engine is easy to understand, you can do setup and editing in about five seconds, and everything can be done from a single, visually-oriented page – a small but powerful change that really helps you understand the flow of the sequence you’re building.

ConvertKit Automations are easy to use and follow a simple flow
A sample automation sequence in ConvertKit, showing various branching points based on actions that subscribers can perform

With ConvertKit, you can quickly build automations that are as simple or as complex as you need.

Some cool things you can do with automations:

  1. Automatically sort new subscribers to specific groups by having the engine tag them based on where they signed up. If they signed up on a page about web design, assign them the “interested in web design” tag. If they signed up on a product pitch page, add them to a sales sequence.
  2. If someone is on a general email sequence – like your weekly digest or something – and they buy a product, they can receive the product and then pass from the general path onto a path that’s specific to the product they purchases. This path could provide education and product training, and it could suggest next steps and related products based on what other people have purchased.
  3. A few weeks after they make a purchase, you can automatically send a survey email that requests feedback. Based on their responses, you can send more education, encourage them to contact support, or (if they’re super happy) add them to a path that leads towards becoming a member of your affiliate program.
  4. Anyone in a general email group who undertakes a specific action (signing up for a product, enrolling in a course, etc) can be taken out of the general group until their product-specific sequence has finished – after all, nobody wants a billion emails

The power in all of these examples is how they maintain the subscriber’s momentum within your ecosystem. If you can easily move people back and forth between the most appropriate groups, not only will you stop the crazy practice of sending ads to people who have already bought the thing you’re advertising, but you’re going discover additional insights and opportunities along the way.

For example, maybe people who buy product A also tend to buy product D later on. Well, that’s good to know. In the future, you might want to automatically move people who purchase product A to the advertising list for product D. 

The examples and applications are practically endless. Whatever plan you can dream up, automations can help test it, refine it, and build it into a high performing product.

Is ConvertKit the only provider that offers automations? No, of course not.

In fact, there are some platforms with even more robust automation than ConvertKit. Those platforms can collect more data, keep track of more things, and respond to more conditions.

Infusionsoft, for instance, is super powerful. It can track things like compound revenue sources, website clicks, and referral pathways. The problem? Setting up even basic automations in a system like is hard. It requires a lot of pre-planning for multiple steps and is complicated to change later on. 

ConvertKit is not complicated. The entire automation process is broken down into a series of rules that are set up just by clicking on a set of “if” “then” statements – if a subscriber activates this trigger, then respond by doing this action. Automations – even complex ones – are easy to set up and can be changed on the fly.

ConvertKit Automation Engine is based on simple if then statements
The easy to use automation menu in ConvertKit breaks complex rules down into sets of simple action/reaction pairs

Everything is just…easy…and the visual editor keeps everything intuitive and simple to use. A couple of clicks and you’re up and running. Change your mind? A couple more clicks and your new plan is running.

The ConvertKit WordPress Plugin is Pretty Neato

ConvertKit has published a native WordPress Plugin for the past few years.

It started out as a pretty simple plugin with the main purpose of letting WordPress users display inline forms within their posts. The plugin is still used for that function today, but along the way it’s picked up a number of useful features.

Assign Tags Based on Page Views

Like a mini-version of Google Analytics, the WordPress plugin can help keep track of which pages your subscribers visit. Beyond that, it can also assign your subscribers tags based on their browsing interests. That’s important not only because it provides actionable data but also because it lets you tailor your content to specific visitors, which we discuss below. 

In keeping with it’s ethos of simplicity, ConvertKit adds the tag assignment feature directly to the WordPress post editor, so you can choose which tag(s) to assign just by selecting them from a dropdown menu.

You can then use these page-view-assigned tags to enter a subscriber into a sequence, trigger an automation, or enable/disable specific content. It’s a versatile and clever system.

The ConvertKit WordPress Plugin lets you assign tags to your subscribers right from the post editor
The ConvertKit WordPress Plugin lets you specify which tags to assign your subscribers right from the WordPress post editor

Display Subscriber Only Content

You can use the WordPress Plugin to show or hide blocks of text based on which tags a subscriber has been assigned. This allows several functional options in how you present information to your readers, one of which is the possibility of easily enabling subscriber-only content.

To do this, you would create a post but assign the bulk of the post’s text to a specific shortcode telling WordPress only to display the text if the reader had a subscriber tag. 

If a reader came to the post and didn’t have a subscriber tag, you could instead display the first paragraph of the article followed by a “sorry, only for subscribers” message. And, of course, you can provide an inline form allowing a reader to subscribe right from the post.

Dynamic Content

Similar to the idea of showing or hiding blocks of text depending on which tags a reader has been assigned, you can take things a step further by using this ability to customize the messages you deliver to specific readers.

For example, if you know that a reader has previously browsed a sales page for a product, you can change that sales page to display a different pitch when the reader returns. (And, just for extra coolness, you could also use the return visit to add the reader to a sequence which makes a short, final pitch via email).

A variant of this feature that we’ve been playing with is trying to sort readers into skill levels. For example, if someone seems to browse a lot of our easier knowledge base articles, we’re experimenting with using that fact to change which links we provide to our other content. Basic users get links to more basic content and advanced users get links to more advanced content. So far, it’s been working pretty well. The main limitation is that there’s so much customizing you can do that it’s hard to know when to stop.

ConvertKit Makes Double Opt-Ins Event Based

Yeah, that’s not a great-ly worded subheading, I know. Let’s try some plain English.

Double opt-ins are good.

You want new subscribers to confirm their subscription before you start sending them things. This cuts down on spam and abuse for both parties. In some parts of the world, double opt-ins are actually a legal requirement.

The problem is that making people click on a bunch of things or take a lot of extra steps is a good way to convince them that maybe being a subscriber is too much of a pain in the butt for them to worry about.

If you consider that someone who signs up to get a content upgrade could end up having to make multiple clicks to confirm and then receive the product they’re expecting, the reality is that you’re going to lose people along the way.

ConvertKit has a good solution to this too-many-clicks problem – they make the “get my product” click and the “confirm my subscription” click the same click. Gasp!

ConvertKit combines double opt-in with incentive download
The ConvertKit dashboard lets you combine multiple confirmation and lead magnet download clicks into one action

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that you write an article about keyword research. At the end of the article you offer a content upgrade – readers can get a keyword research checklist to help them when they’re doing their own research. To get the checklist, they provide an email address. ConvertKit then emails them to say thanks and provides a link where they can download the checklist. When they click to download the content, that click both starts the download and serves as the verification step.

It’s clean, easy, and accomplishes the same purpose as a generic “click here to verify” email without actually adding the perception of an extra step. Such a simple idea, but I promise it will stop you from losing unconfirmed subscribers.

Try it For Yourself

These are just four things that ConvertKit does better than anyone else, there’s a lot more to explore in the service itself. If you’d like to try it out, let us connect you with a free 14 day trial by filling out the form below. We’ll send you a link to let you check things out for yourself.

If you’d rather have someone walk you through things, we’ve got you covered – you can have one of the pros at ConvertKit do a one-on-one live demo.

Whichever you choose, please give ConvertKit a try, it’s made our email job so much easier.

Want to Try A Live Demo?: Check it out here

Read More: Our Full ConvertKit Review (It’s Big)
Read More: ConvertKit Pricing Explained
Video Guide: Getting Started With ConvertKit

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