ConvertKit Tutorial: A Complete beginners’ guide to Email List Building

by | May 4, 2020 | E-mail Marketing | 16 comments

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After setting up your blog the very first thing you should be doing it to set up an email marketing service.

If you’re in the blogging or online marketing industry for a while now, you must have heard the phrase “the money is in the list!”. Your email list is an asset that has the power to make you tons of money in the long term.

But what’s important is to choose the right tool with proven results. And, ConvertKit is one of the most popular & highly recommended email marketing tools among bloggers and content creators. I use it myself as well!

I’ve used Mailchimp, Mailerlite, GetResponse, ConvertKit, Flodesk, and now I’m back to ConvertKit again. And, I can easily say that no other tool beats the power of ConvertKit if you are a blogger or content creator.

In this ConvertKit tutorial, I’m going to share why ConvertKit is the right choice for you and how you can easily get started with this awesome email marketing tool.

Convertkit landing page

Why you should choose ConvertKit as a blogger

Nathan Barry, the CEO of ConvertKit, created this tool specifically keeping bloggers, content creators & infopreneurs in mind.

Now, you must be wondering why you should go with ConvertKit when there are other cheaper tools in the market… even when some have free plans, to begin with?

Because ConvertKit makes email marketing easy for bloggers & content creators. You don’t have to spend hours wandering through the interface and trying to figure out how to complete even the basic tasks.

Secondly, FREE platforms come with limited features & functionalities. They don’t allow much to grow your email list. There are even some restrictions when it comes to promoting affiliate products.

When you start with ConvertKit, you won’t need to switch to any other platform ever again. It makes so much fun to set up forms, email sequences, and automations with this tool that you could never get tired of it.

If you think you’re ready to get started, you can get a 30-day trial (without any credit card) with my exclusive link from below. ConvertKit generally offers a 14-day trial on their website.

In this ConvertKit tutorial, I’m going to give you a tour around the interface and show you how to set-up sign-up forms, email sequences, automations, use tags & segments, and send email newsletters.

Getting Started with ConvertKit

Step 1 – The very first step is to go to ConvertKit and sign-up for the free 30-day trial.

Once you reach their platform, you’ll be asked whether you’re just starting with email or moving from another tool. Follow the quick easy steps and sign-up using your domain email & the password you want to choose.

Convertkit landing page

Once you’ve successfully signed up, you’ll come across this screen.

Convertkit new account dashboard

Step 2 – You can watch the video tutorial on the screen to get an idea around the platform. We will also go through almost everything in this ConvertKit tutorial as well.

Step 3 – Make sure to verify your email by clicking on the verification link that you’ll recieve in your inbox.

Step 4 – The next thing you need to do is go to the Account Settings. You can access it by clicking on the Username in the right side top corner. Write your company name (you can simply use your blog name as well) and choose your account domain.

It will be used as a domain for your landing pages. You can simply use your blog domain as well. So, your ConvertKit account domain will be “yourblogdomain.ck.page”.

If you scroll below, you’ll see the “GDPR compliance” option. If you’re a blogger/content creator based in the UK, EU region, choose the second or third option based on your preferences.

Convertkit account settings

Step 5 – Next, go the “Email” settings and add the email that you’ll be using as a sending address. If you’ve used your domain email while signing up, then you’re good. Otherwise, add your domain email from here and make it the default sending address.

Leave the “Default time to send emails” at default.

Next, add your mailing address in the “address” section. It is REQUIRED by the law to have an address in all marketing emails. If you don’t want to use your address, ConvertKit allows you to use their address as well. Another reason to go with this platform.

Convertkit email settings

Step 6 – In the “Billing” section, you can add your billing details right now or wait till the end of your trial period.

Once you complete these steps, your account is set up and you can now move to set up forms and sequences to collect and send emails.

Creating an Opt-in Form

If you’re planning to build an email list, then you need sign-up or opt-in forms to collect email subscribers. ConvertKit makes it really easy to create opt-in forms. Let me show you how…

Step 1Click on “Landing pages & Forms” in the top menu and click on “Create new”.

Convertkit forms & landing pages

Then choose the “Form” option.

Convertkit forms or landing pages

Step 2 – Choose the type of form you want to create. Inline, if you want to embed the form in your blog posts, sidebar, etc. Modal, if you wanna create a pop-up form.

For this ConvertKit tutorial, we’re going with the “inline” form.

Convertkit form types

Step 3Choose the form template. I prefer to use the “Pine” template, but it’s completely upto you!

Convertkit form templates

Step 4 – Then you’ll be taken to the form editing interface. You can easily edit any text by clicking on the text itself. You can also add the image of the freebie that you’re offering.

Customizing the form is quite easy in ConvertKit and all of the styling options are available in the magic wand or “Styles” section.

You can also hide “Powered by ConvertKit” by simply clicking on it and turning off the option.

Convertkit edit form

Step 6 Click on the “gear” icon to add your success message. This message will be shown when someone successfully joins your list.

Convertkit form settings

Step 7 – You can leave the settings in the message section as default. You can use the “incentive email” to send a confirmation link to your subscribers or a freebie from the “download” option. You can also turn this option off.

Convertkit email form settings

Step 8 – You can leave the options in the triple gear option as default and save the form.

Now, I’ll show you how you can add this form into your blog posts.

Adding Opt-in Forms to your blog posts

Once you’ve saved the form, click on the “Embed” option and copy either the JavaScript or the HTML code. Both will work just fine.

Convertkit form code

Now, go to your WordPress editor and add a “custom HTML” block.

Adding convertkit form to WordPress post

Paste the copied JavaScript/HTML code into the block and click on “Preview” to see how the form looks in your blog post.

Convertkit form preview

You can also add the form to your sidebar by adding a HTML widget and pasting the same code.

The next thing you need to do is create email sequences to send welcome emails or create free email courses.

Creating Email Sequences

The previous section will help you collect emails from your blog/website. But what about sending automated emails or welcome emails to nurture those subscribers?

Lets see how you can easily set up email sequences in ConvertKit.

Go to the “Sequences” tab from the top menu and create a new sequence. Give a relevant name to this sequence like “Welcome series” or whatever you want and create.

Now you’ll be able to create a series of emails that can be automatically sent one after another.

Convertkit sequences

Click on the pencil icon next to “when to send”, and edit to reflect when the email goes out. You can choose to send it a day later, or two days later, or immediately by setting it to zero days. Remember that you have to do this for each email in the sequence and the time is relative to the previous email.

For example – If the second email is set to be sent “1-day” after, then it will be sent 1 day after the first email.

After you’ve set the time to send your emails, make sure to change the status from “Draft” to “Published” for each email in the sequence.

You can add as many emails as you want in the sequence by clicking the “+ Add email” button.

Make sure to save all of your emails in the sequence by clicking the “save all” button.

Now, you must be wondering how can you send this sequence of emails to your sunscribers? That’s where the automation feature comes into play.

Setting up an Automation

Let’s assume you want the sequence to be sent to the people who subscribe through the sign-up form you created above. This part is automated and we need to set up an automation for that.

Let me show you how you can attach a form to a sequence and tag the subscribers who sign-up through that form.

Step 1Go the “Automations” tab in the top menu and create a new automation. Give this automation a name of your choice and turn it active. Then click on “create automation”.

Convertkit automations

Step 2Select the option “joins a form” and choose the form from the dropdown menu and click on the “add event” button.

Convertkit automation start

Step 3 – Click on the bottom “+” icon and from the “action” tab, click on “email sequence”. Choose the email sequence you created from the dropdown menu and proceed.

Adding sequence in automation

Step 4 – Then click on the bottom “+” icon and from the action tab, choose the “add or remove tag” option. This will help you give a single tag to all the subscribers who sign-up through this form. Name the tag you want to give and proceed.

Adding tags in convertkit automation

Once the subscribers are tagged, the automation will end. You can use these tags to send targeted email broadcasts or newsletters.

Convertkit basic automation

You can also add time delays between multiple sequences, conditions, and much more. Explaining everything in this post is nearly impossible. But you can easily play around and it’ll take you a few minutes to figure out that stuff.

Using Tags & Segments

You can use tags to categorize your subscribers based on the freebies they sign-up for or the categories of your blog.

Tags are really helpful when it comes to sending targeted newletters or email broadcasts to your list.

For example, I use the tags “email marketing” and “SEO” to send broadcasts related to those topics.

Remember that you can give multiple tags to the same subscriber as well.

Segments, on the other hand, are used to group tags together. As your list grows, you’ll need to use segments to group your subscribers together. You can also create tags & segments from your subscriber dashboard.

Convertkit tags & segments

Sending Newsletters with ConvertKit

Sending email broadcasts or newsletters in ConvertKit is pretty easy and straight-forward. Let me show you how…

Step 1Go to the “broadcasts” tab from the top menu and click on “new broadcast”.

Convertkit broadcasts dashboard

Step 2 – By default, a broadcast is set to be sent to all subscribers. You can change this by selecting specific tags or segments that you want the broadcast to be sent to. Then click on the “next step” button.

Step 3Add a subject line and write your email content in the body box. Once done, click on the “next step” button.

Here you can preview how your email broadcast will look. Then you can choose to send the broadcast immediately or schedule for a later date/time.

Convertkit broadcast sending

The ConvertKit Plugin

You can use the ConvertKit plugin to use shortcodes instead of JavaScript or HTML codes to add forms on your blog. There are also options to add a default form to all your posts.

I don’t prefer to use the plugin as I don’t really find it much useful.

I prefer to copy/paste the JavaScript code and I recommend you do the same if you wanna keep the number of plugins low.

Final Words

I hope this ConvertKit tutorial will help you set up your sign-up forms, email sequences, and automations so that you can easily start building your email list.

If you have any doubts/questions regarding any part of the post, feel free to comment below.

Also read: How to send an opt-in freebie to your new email list subscribers using ConvertKit

If you found this post useful, please pin it to one of your Pinterest boards. It won’t take more than a few seconds.

ConvertKit tutorial: a beginner's guide to get started with ConvertKit

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How to Actually Get Your Blog Readers to Join your Email List

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If you’re not building an email list for your blog, then you’re leaving money on the table. However, you’re also letting a lot of money slip through your fingers if too many of your visitors are leaving your site without joining your email list. You want your blog...

Hey there! My name is Rahul Choudhary, the founder of Blog 2 Brand (formerly Your Blog Mentor!) and I am OBSESSED with helping online entrepreneurs and bloggers in making their passions profitable and popular!

I enjoy solitude but I also like to work with like-minded people like you. Make sure to connect with me on social media. 👇

16 Comments

  1. Melinda

    Great article, thanks for all the detailed advice.

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      I’m glad you found it useful.

      Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      You are most welcome!

      Reply
  2. Angelique Olivia Moreau

    This is a great article. I have just started blogging professionally and I’m still developing a strategy in order to grow my contact list.
    I’ll be sure to click around.

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      I’m glad you found it useful. Building an email list right from the start is really important. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. Corinne

    This is a very useful post about how to use ConvertKit. I use it and I love it even though it can be a bit fiddly to use and expensive especially for beginner bloggers. But once you get the hang of it, the features are actually quite advanced and very helpful. Like you, I don’t use the plugin and use the JavaScript code as well. It’s a lot easier for me.

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      Yeah, it might be slightly expensive for a beginner but it’s totally worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Izzy

    Thanks a ton for sharing, have been wanting to get into ConverKit but was a bit overwhelmed, I will for sure use this!

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      Go for it. You won’t regret it.

      Reply
  5. Beth

    I literally just signed up for ConvertKit last night. This is going to be incredibly helpful. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      I’m glad you found it useful, Beth!

      Reply
  6. emi

    Great tutorial post for anyone starting with Convertkit. I recently move from Mailchimp to Convertkit and it’s best thing I could have done. Thanks

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      Mailchimp is the worst. You made the right decision by switching to ConvertKit. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  7. Gina

    Thanks for the tutorial. This will be helpful when I am doing an email again.

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      You are most welcome. I’m glad you found it useful.

      Reply

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