DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. If you like reading legal jargon my disclosure policy is here.
When it comes to the best email marketing software I have tried a bunch and never found any to work as well as ConvertKit. My favorite part of ConvertKit is how customizable it is to what your specific business needs.
Before I delve into email marketing software though let’s take a look at reasons why you need email marketing for your business.
Why Email Is So Important For Your Blog
Email marketing is important for any online business. It’s how you connect with your audience, make more money, and get feedback and ideas for your blog. Email is the only form of communication that you actually get to control with your audience.
Connect With Your Audience
This is the most important part of running an email list. Your list is your immediate connection with your audience. It’s your connection with your biggest fans. Your list is an extension of your blog and it’s important to treat the people on your list as special insiders.
The biggest mistake I see people make when it comes to their list is basically treating it as though it’s just a way to advertise their blog, their products, or affiliate products. How often do you delete or unsubscribe from bloggers who always try to sell?
You are not Target or Amazon, you don’t get preference for selling. People on your list want to learn something from you, want to feel something from you, and want your emails to make their lives better.
When you understand what your audience wants from you you can begin to learn exactly how to sell to them, how to teach them, and how to make their lives better. It all starts with learning who your audience actually is, and you do that through your list.
You Own Your List
Your list is pretty much the only thing you control. You aren’t at the mercy of Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest algorithms on your email list. Your list is yours and you can reach out to your audience and connect with them whenever you want and on your schedule.
Building a following on a platform you don’t own means you don’t control what happens. Furthermore, just because someone follows you on a certain platform does not make them yours. They are still owned by the platform you are on and that platform decides what they do and do not see.
When you email your list your email makes a notification on their cell phone, computer app, or in their inbox. That email gets put into center attention in all the areas that your readers are looking.
You Can Make More Money
You can make money with your list but only after you build a relationship with people on your list. After you have given them information, after you have built an emotional connection with them, and after you have improved their lives.
Don’t be a stranger trying to sell to them. Be a long distance friend that they can trust and count on. Be a person of authority who can teach them a better way. When you become someone who is trusted, then you can sell to them.
There is a saying you must give a lot before you ask for anything when you are building a relationship. This means you must give them valuable tips, give them information about you, give them helpful guides, and give them your support before you can ever hope to ask from them.
Your list should be filled with people who genuinely enjoy your blog and what you talk about. These people are the key people you need when trying to figure out what product to create, what blog posts to write, and what products can solve their problems.
Always make yourself available to the readers who respond to your emails. These readers will give you valuable insight to what you need to do to reach more people.
Ask them questions about what they struggle with or need advice on. Ask them how they are doing. Ask them what’s the biggest thing stressing them out. Dive deep into learning from your audience and building that trust.
Then you can take all that information and create posts, courses, books, guides and anything else to help more people.
When A List Isn’t The Best Thing
When you have no idea what you want to focus on with your list. If you run a lifestyle blog of sorts or any blog with more than one category you should focus your list down to one main subject.
You need to pick the topic you are most passionate about to send weekly emails about. You should also be purposeful with that topic. Before you choose your topic you should first decide which topic you will have more success marketing in.
I firmly believe that whatever topic you pick to email your list about should be one that you have plenty of marketing options to make money with. Again though, this is only after you have an audience that trusts you.
Email Marketing Programs
When it comes to email marketing programs I’ve used 3 different programs. I used Mail Chimp, MailerLite, and ConvertKit. By far Convertkit has been my favorite email program. However, before I dive into all the reasons why I love ConvertKit over the others I will let you know a little bit about my experience with the other two.
MailChimp was an email service that I didn’t use at length or for long if I’m being completely honest. However, I was able to do most of everything that I wanted to do at the time.
I was able to set up automations, email sequences, track users, and handle GDPR with MailChimp. It was an easy to understand platform and that did a lot. However, as I was preparing to grow my blog and monetize my list I found that MailChimp had a lot of restrictions.
They don’t make their affiliate link allowance clear so you may or may not be allowed to use affiliate links in emails. If you are only ever planning on affiliating with Amazon this isn’t a problem because they don’t allow affiliate links in emails either. However, if you are using ShareASale or other affiliates MailChimp may not be the best choice.
Furthermore, MailChimp has gotten extremely strict of the last year or so on who is allowed to send emails. Niches like personal finance, making money online, and natural health are just some of the niches that got banned from MailChimp.
MailerLite is also going down this route with their subscribers too.
While, MailerLite was an easy to understand platform that provided most of the same functions and gave you the first 2000 subscribers for free, they have their share of problems too.
MailerLite inspects each website or blog that signs up for their free service. If they don’t think it’s good, they will decline you. They claim to do this in order to keep their spam rating low, except, there has been major issues with emails from this service landing in the spam box anyways.
They also don’t approve of anyone in online business niches. This makes marketing to a list on either of these platforms extremely hard.
I received three months of free service from ConvertKit on a promotion so I decided to give the most recommended service a try. I knew within one week I was going to just suck it up and shell out the money needed to keep this service.
Best Email Marketing Service For Bloggers
There is one specific reason why I prefer Convertkit over MailerLite and MailChimp. Convertkit allows for attachment of files to emails.
If you are running an email challenge you may have a workbook that you want to include with that challenge. With ConvertKit you can attach files to your email making it easy to give your audience even more.
With other programs you have to upload your freebie in WordPress or create and give out the link on Google Docs. Here’s the problem with this, it wasn’t long after doing this once that I spotted my freebie pinned on Pinterest.
This means people could get and use my freebie without giving me their email address. ConvertKit stopped that by making it easy to send freebies.
This doesn’t even cover the amazing automations, rules, and sequences you can set up. Convertkit is the best email marketing service for bloggers because it makes everything easy.
The price on ConvertKit is steep but compared to other services at a certain point in your list growth it actually becomes the most affordable service. They rarely have issues with deliverability and I have never had an email land in spam with them.
The way they label different options is a bit different from MailerLite and MailChimp. However, once you figure it out it’s so easy and low maintenance.
In the subscribers function you can create and add segments and tags. You can add tags to subscribers and segments. You can see your confirmed, unconfirmed, cancelled, complained, bounced, and cold subscribers.
This is especially useful in getting cold subscribers either back into your emails or deleting them as needed. This means your list is only filled with people who actually want to hear from you.
In automations you can set up your workflows for your list. This is where you move people from one sequence to the next in order to warm them up on your list.
In this tab you also have the function to set up Rules for your lists. This is especially useful when trying to make sure that EU residents actually want to be on your list. With GDPR rocking the online email marketing world ConvertKit makes it easy for you to stay within the rules of GDPR.
When you go to set up your own email marketing make sure you read up on GDPR and the rules you will need to follow. While some bloggers in the US believe it doesn’t really apply to them because they don’t target EU residents, I personally don’t believe this to be true.
I personally would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to legal issues.
Landing Pages And Forms
With ConvertKit you can create loads of different forms and landing pages. I highly recommend trying out a couple of different options to get people on your list. I’ve used most every type of form with the exception of pop ups and slide ins.
I don’t like the way those forms look on mobile and this isn’t a problem with ConvertKit. It actually makes the user experience on a site worse and that goes for every email platform.
The landing pages are easy to modify to make them look exactly how I need them. This feature was a huge plus for me in not paying for an extra service like LeadPages.
This is where ConvertKit shines over all other platforms. Here you can set up all of your email sequences all in a row. They really make editing, creating, and running sequences easy.
For me I have a couple of different sequences depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. I prefer email challenges to freebies because I believe they offer more to my audience. So I have a couple of challenges that I run at different times in the year.
After the challenge though I have to split and send EU people a specific email to see if they want to stick around. For those that do and everyone else they get put into an after challenge sequence where I give them information about me and what I share with my list.
For those that sign up without the challenge they get my normal welcome sequence.
From there I can create another educational or nurturing sequence that continues to share loads of information to the new people on my list. After that is done I can then move them into a sales sequence.
The sequences is where you can welcome, nurture, educate, and then sell to your list, all on autopilot.
Finally, we have the broadcast function. Here you can create your weekly or twice weekly emails for your list. This is where you start really building the connection with your list.
When you go to set up your email you can choose exactly who you want to receive the email too. So I have ConvertKit set up so that EU people that haven’t confirmed their email subscription are in a separate segment. I simply choose the segment that includes everyone but those people.
To take it a step further, I tag everyone who is currently going through a sequence of emails that they are in a sequence. Once they are done with the sequence of emails that tag gets removed. So in my regular broadcasts I am excluding anyone who is currently working through a sequence of emails.
I want these people to be nurtured a bit more before they actually enter my list. This means only the people who have worked through my welcome and nurturing sequences are getting my normal broadcast emails.
Best Email Marketing Program
As you can tell from all of the features that ConvertKit has you can set up your email list to do exactly what you need it to do for your needs.
If you are going to take creating a list seriously I highly recommend using ConvertKit from the start. Convertkit makes it easy to manage your email list so you can make the most of it. It makes sequences and automations easy. It makes a regular newsletter easy too.
Remember though, the only way to have a great, productive, and profitable email list is by building trust and authority with your audience. You have to give a lot and do a lot for your list before you can start selling to them.
What programs have you tried? Let me know in the comments what you use and why you love it. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your email marketing boards.
- The Low Down And Dirty Truth on How To Start A Blog
- The Real Reason Mommy Bloggers Write About Blogging
- How To Use Social Media For Marketing Your Blog
- Over 200 Blog Post Ideas For Every Niche