Why I switched from Aweber to ConvertKit

tl;dr: ConvertKit is a new and rapidly growing platform used by some of the most prolific bloggers and entrepreneurs such as Pat Flynn, Leo Babauta, Grant Baldwin, Justin Jackson, Paula Borowska, Krista Stryker and many others. See ConvertKit features

If you have a blog or a business, you MUST build an email list.

It’s the best way to get your content in front of your community, build a relationship with your audience and sell your products and services.

It’s far easier to get traction from email marketing than from social media.

As Kristi Hines puts it:

“I can tell you that I see a significant difference in traffic to blog posts and conversions to offers when I promote to my email list versus when I just promote to social media.

It’s true.

Building an email list can dramatically grow your blog/business – providing you choose the right ESP in the first place! (Email Service Provider).

You see, there are hundreds of ESP out there. MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft, Campaign Monitor, TotalSend…

Email service providers

Some of them offer great tools and features that help you get more engagement and more sales but some are confusing to use and lack of flexibility.

It’s actually quite hard to the figure out which one to pick.

When I started online, I used Aweber, and it was perfect.

AWeber allowed me to create forms in a few clicks, build an email list, send broadcasts and automatic emails… all that good stuff.

And since Aweber was well known, I could easily plug it to other platforms and apps like Leadpages, Sumome… which was very handy.

But as my blog grew, my need for features and flexibility grew as well and I quickly realized that Aweber was limited for what I wanted to do.

For example I wanted to easily add content upgrades to my blog posts (you should definitely use content upgrade to grow your email list btw, that strategy has literally exploded my list over the last few months) but Aweber made it confusing and time consuming.

Every time I had to create a new form, add a new page to my blog, go to Leadpages, plug my new form to Leadpages, add some code to my post… which took 30 minutes on average – and I’m not even including the time I actually spent creating the content upgrade!

I also wanted to automatically tag my subscribers based on certain actions they took (clicks, subscriptions…) and I couldn’t do it with Aweber.

I wanted to instantly know which subscribers were inactive so I could re-engage them. Again, Aweber made the process very painful. I had dozens of lists so I had to check each one of them, select my inactive subscribers by selecting a couple of criteria, create a new segment and send them an email.

Aweber became very frustrating to use. I couldn’t run my email list efficiently anymore.

As a result my open rate and click through rate slowly decreased.

Not only did I lose engagement but I also wasted time and money.

What I didn’t know when I signed up to Aweber is that when people unsubscribe from your list, Aweber still counts them a “subscribers” and make you pay for them. So if you’ve got 1030 subscribers for example and that 31 of them unsubscribe, you will keep paying as if you had 1030 subscribers.

You must fully delete your email unsubscribes if you don’t want to pay for them. And there is no “delete all unsubscribes” button, you have to do it manually.

Not. Cool.

 

Additionally if someone subscribe to two of your forms, Aweber considers that you have 2 subscribers. So if someone subscribe to your newsletter and then subscribe to your content upgrade with the same email address, you will pay as if you had 2 new subscribers even if you only have one.

That was a BIG problem for me since I had many content upgrades on my blog.

I had to find a solution.

So I started making some research online to change my ESP and had a few criteria:

  • The new ESP had to be easy to use
  • It had to provide me with the tools I needed to get as much engagement as possible 
  • It had to be affordable
  • I had to pay for my REAL number of subscribers and not for my unsubscribes and duplicates.
  • The ESP had to be reliable with a great customer service.
  • It had to make it easy for me to transfer my email list from Aweber.
  • It could be easily plugged to other apps like Sumome, Leadpages…

After a few days of research, I found THE perfect ESP.

I literally felt in love with it!

Introducing…

ConvertKit

Convertkit

ConvertKit is the “Email Marketing Solution for professional bloggers”

To me it’s a mix between Mailchimp and Infusionsoft.

If Mailchimp and Infusionsoft had a baby it would probably look something like ConvertKit.

ConvertKit is simple to use like Mailchimp but offers some advanced features like Infusionsoft at a fraction of the price (ConvertKit starts at $29/month whereas Infusionsoft starts at $199/month).

So let me give you a few reasons why I love Convertkit so much.

Create and offer content upgrade easily

ConvertKit is optimised for those who want to offer content upgrades.

All it takes is 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Create a new form

Create forms with ConvertKit

Step 2: Upload your content upgrade

Content upgrades with ConvertKit

Step 3: Connect your blog post to your content upgrade

ConvertKit on WordPress

That’s all!

Setting up content upgrades only takes me 5 minutes now while it took me 30 minutes with Aweber.

That’s 25 minutes I can invest in producing more content, promoting my blog posts, creating products, networking…

Create powerful automation rules

With ConvertKit I can create powerful automation rules by defining triggers and actions.

ConvertKit automation rule

Let’s say that I run a freelance business, here are a few automation rules I could create:

If I send an email about freelancing to my subscribers and include in my message a link that says: “Click here to learn how to start your freelance business”, I can automatically add the tag “Interested in freelancing” to those who click on the link. That way I’m able to identify which subscribers are interested in freelancing and send them the right content and promotions afterwards.

ConvertKit create an automation rule

I can also send my tagged subscribers a series of email about freelancing by automatically adding them to a email sequence about freelancing.

After a few emails I can automatically promote my freelance products/services…

I think you get the idea, the possibilities are endless.

With the ConvertKit automation rules, I can basically create an unlimited number of rules and set up high converting funnels that increase my engagement and sales.

Instantly increase your open rates and click through rates

This is probably one of my favorite features in ConvertKit

With a click of a button, I can instantly resend a broadcast to those who haven’t opened it.

Increase email open rates and click through rates

With Aweber I had to select all the subscribers who didn’t open, create a new segment, duplicate my broadcast and send it again to my new segment.

With ConvertKit, it only takes one click. Brilliant!

Aweber + Sumome + Leadpages = ConvertKit

Before using ConvertKit, I used:

  • Aweber ($29/month) to maintain my subscriber list and send email broadcasts and campaigns
  • Sumome ($197/y) to create nice looking forms, pop ups and scroll down boxes
  • Leadpages ($37/month) to create content upgrades and landing pages

In total I paid $82/month for these services.

I’ve no regret. Aweber, Sumome and Leadpages allowed me to grow my email list efficiently. Don’t get me wrong, they are great services!

But ConvertKit offers me pretty much the same features at a much lower price.

ConvertKit only costs $29/month (so I save $636/year) and with it I can:

  • Maintain my subscriber list and send them email broadcasts and campaigns (+ set up automation rules)
  • Create nice form styles (forms, pop ups, scroll down boxes, naked forms, inline forms)
  • Deliver content upgrades 
  • Create landing pages

And more

I no longer need 3 different services to set up my forms. I can set up everything from ConvertKit.

So not only do I save money but I also save time.

Pay the right price

Talking about how affordable ConvertKit is, did I mentioned that ConvertKit charges you for your REAL number of subscribers? You don’t have to pay for duplicate subscribers or unsubscribes anymore. You ONLY pay for your subscribers, which makes much more sense in my opinion.

ConvertKit has a logical approach when it comes to lists and subscribers

Here’s ConvertKit approach to lists and subscribers:

ConvertKit follows a very different model from most basic email marketing providers (like MailChimp, AWeber, and GetResponse). Instead of being list-centric where the same person on three different lists is counted as three different people, ConvertKit is subscriber-centric. That means each subscriber appears once in your account and just has additional information on added to their profile.

Matt Ragland from our Customer Success team explained it well with this sketchnote.

Reasons this is awesome:

  • Smarter segmenting.
  • Don’t get charged for duplicate subscribers.
  • Better tracking of customers and subscriber activity.

source

Get instant info about your list and subscribers

When I used Aweber, I had to go from list to list to check out who subscribed, who unsubscribed, who was inactive…, which drove me crazy since I had dozens of lists!

ConvertKit is different. As you’ve just read it, it’s a subscriber-centric solution, which means that I only need to go to one place to get all the info I need.

ConvertKit subscribers

The subscribers section allows me to know instantly who subscribed, unsubscribed, cancelled, complained…

Even better, I can click on my subscribers to get valuable information about them such as where they come from, what emails they opened and didn’t open, when they opened them, what their interests are (if I tagged them) and I can even see their photo, which makes email marketing more human.

Subscribers info

And those are only a few features you can find in ConvertKit!

If you want more information about it, I strongly recommend you to visit their site, you will be blown away!

And if you are wondering how to transfer your current list(s) to ConvertKit here are some tutorials that will help you.

In my case, it only took me a few minutes to transfer my lists from Aweber to ConvertKit. It was super easy!

(note: this post contains affiliate links)