I recently jumped on board the ConvertKit train, for many reasons, with one being to cut costs.
Like many other bloggers, I’d been using Mailchimp but found it frustrating to use. I liked the idea of creating different lead magnets as incentives to get people to sign up to my list, but I found the whole forms thing in Mailchimp a mess.
So to make use of the list fields feature in Mailchimp, to effectively “tag” people against certain topics depending on what triggered them to opt in, it was quicker and easier to use something like LeadPages to create front end forms that could do the tagging for me.
This worked very well, and enabled me to segment my list easily. Soooo many people have blogged about Mailchimp being a pain because their subscribers ended up on several lists, thereby inflating costs. These people obviously never learned to use the List Fields properly (or at all).
Lets just highlight that.
If you create separate lists in Mailchimp to segment an audience, you’re doing it wrong! (and overspending)
When I switched to Convertkit, I was able to finally ditch both Mailchimp and Leadpages!
Using ConvertKit instead of Mailchimp plus LeadPages
When you’ve got an established system in place, it can be a bit daunting to think about changing it. To call it a system makes it sound too organised, to be fair. It’s more of a collection of random experiments, some of which worked better than others.
Like most things, there’s an 80:20 aspect to it. 80% of your opt ins are going to come from 20% of your lead magnets. So let’s start with those.
#Find your most successful LeadBoxes
In LeadPages, click into the LeadBoxes tab and then sort by Opt Ins, to see the one that drives most of your sign ups.
We’ll start by creating a ConvertKit version of that.
In ConvertKit, we need to create a new Form.
Here’s where it starts to get a little clunky, but don’t panic.
If you’re used to the LeadPages builder, the ConvertKit one will feel a bit second rate. It’s not as flexible, and what you see is NOT what you get. To get around this, you’ll find yourself regularly saving, then clicking the preview button, which launches a new tab for you to see what your form will look like.
It’s very quick and easy to produce simple and effective forms, and you can choose between a version with an image, a minimal version, and a very stripped back “naked” version. I was able to make a simple replacement for my LeadPages leadbox quite quickly, and it was a simple matter to copy and paste the code to switch out the old LeadBox to the new CK form.
By concentrating firstly on the LeadBoxes and LeadPages that generate the most opt ins to my site, I was able to quickly make the transition so that new subscribers were joining the new ConvertKit list, rather than my old Mailchimp list.
Like I said before, it’s classic 80:20. Most sign-ups come from a handful of lead magnets, so by concentrating on those first, the majority of new people were being channeled into CK instead of MP.
I didn’t want to just turn Mailchimp or LeadPages off, for fear of creating dead links and forms that no longer connected, leaving people dangling before they disappeared forever. I wanted to keep everything running in such a way that I would see the flow of regular subscribers move over to CK, as though I’d simply switched the points on a train track to divert the engine another way.
When I’m happy that the original track is no longer sending traffic, I can then dismantle it and shut it down (and start saving money!).
ConvertKit Landing pages compared with LeadPages
For the purposes of closing my LeadPages account, it’s simple enough to create basic replacement pages, but let’s be honest, ConvertKit’s landing pages are nowhere near as fancy or as variable or as configurable as those you can build in LeadPages. They don’t look as nice, they don’t feel as nice, they can’t do as many tricks.
But for most people, this doesn’t matter. What matters most is the quality and value of the information you’re creating. You can have the glossiest LeadPage in the universe but nobody is going to opt in if your offer sucks.
You can’t polish a turd.
You could have the clunkiest opt in system from 1992 on a dial up connection, but if the content is remarkable, people will still queue up to get it.
Just like LeadPages, Convertkit has a WordPress plugin to make integrating your CK landing pages into your site really simple.
Publishing ConvertKit landing pages to your WordPress site
After installing and activating the CK plugin, you need to enter your API details and then you’re good to go.
Create a new page, or edit an existing one, and you’ll notice a new section in the editor, for Convertkit content.
This allows you to select a landing page that you’ve already created in ConvertKit, to display as the default content for that page.
So just select the landing page you want and hit Publish. It’s that quick and simple.
The LeadPages plugin also has the ability to publish your landing page as a 404 page, something which isn’t an option in the ConvertKit plugin. Not yet anyway. I emailed the CK support (which is excellent, by the way) and was offered advice on how to use a Convertkit landing page as a 404 page on your site.
The biggest reason to choose ConvertKit.
Saving money is one thing, but ultimately there has to be a better reason for using ConvertKit. Thankfully, there is.
If you’ve ever tried to create various auto-responder sequences in Mailchimp, for distinct segments of your list, triggered according to the actions taken by users, then you probably don’t have much hair left.
Tagging users, creating segments and sending people through the right sequence at the right time is much easier in ConvertKit. And as a result, you’ll be more engaging and have a more responsive audience, who will be more likely to buy your thing.
So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about ConvertKit, I hope this post has been informative for you. Yes, ConvertKit is still relatively new, but that’s really exciting. They’re responsive to their market and continuously developing in ways that are useful to modern bloggers. That’s the key difference.