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The Best Email List Building Service for Bloggers
Wondering what the best email list building service for bloggers REALLY is?
At the time of this writing, I've now tried out four of the most popular email list building services for bloggers.
The ones I've tried are:
I want to tell you this because I want you to know that I'm basing this post off of my personal experience.
I've used all of these different email list building service providers in the past or currently, and I want to use that knowledge to help you choose the best one for you.
At this point you are probably saying…
Just tell me which one is the best so I can get to building my email list!
Okay, okay. I don't want to waste your time.
The Best Email List Building Service for Bloggers
I firmly believe that the best email list building service for bloggers is Convertkit.
Convertkit was created by a blogger who was looking for certain features that no other email list builder offered. When he couldn't find it, he created Convertkit to give himself and other bloggers an email list building platform that would help him run his business profitably.
Let's look at why I think Convertkit is the best possible email marketing system for bloggers.
1. Creating Email Sequences is Stupid Easy in Convertkit
If you are a blogger, likely the single most useful feature of any email marketing service you use will be sequences. A sequence is exactly what you imagine it might be.
When someone signs up for your email list, you want them to receive a sequence of emails that goes out automatically. This sequence should ideally do two things:
- It should make your readers feel more engaged and connected to you
- It should earn sales on autopilot for you
This is what makes email sequences so important for bloggers and their audiences. If you want to make money while you sleep, you will absolutely need an email sequence to do that for you. You simply can't send out hundreds or thousands of daily emails by hand.
AWeber is just about as good as Convertkit when it comes to setting up email sequences. It's easy, straightforward, and you have a lot of customization capability for what to send, how often, and any exceptions you want to make.
That being said, my experience with Aweber in other areas wasn't quite as good, which is why I recommend Convertkit for bloggers.
2. Convertkit Makes Segmenting Your Email List A Cinch
Segmenting your email list as it grows larger is so incredibly important.
There may be times when you want to exclude certain groups of people from a particular email you are sending out, and you’ll need segments to do that.
Here are a few of the segments I've created for my email list:
- People who don't yet have a blog
- People who do have a blog
- Those who have purchased my Build A Profitable Blog course
- Those who have purchased my Sassy Styled Stock photo collection
- Those who are located in the EU (for GDPR purposes)
- Those who are interested in particular aspects of blogging
- Those who click certain links on my blog
As you can probably gather, segmenting your list is very important. For example, you don't want to continue sending sales emails to someone who has already bought your product. You'll annoy them to death!
So you need to segment your list based on who has purchased and who hasn't.
Another example of how I segment my list is by people who do or do not have a blog yet. You see, I have a completely different welcome sequence for people who haven't even started their blog, than I do for people who are already on their way.
It isn't going to be very relevant or appreciated If I send information on creating a brand new blog to someone who has already been blogging for 2 years. And it might be overwhelming if I send information for intermediate bloggers to someone who is just starting out!
Convertkit makes this process very easy. one way to segment your list on autopilot with Convertkit is to track your links.
Each time you include a link in one of your emails, you will have the option to track that link and add a tag to anyone who clicks it. So for example, if someone on my email list clicks a link to a blog post about Pinterest, it will tag them as being interested in Pinterest marketing. Down the road, I may send relevant information and paid products about Pinterest to that segment.
3. Sending Broadcasts Is Easy and Effective
I use broadcasts almost as much as I use sequences. When you want to send an email to your list or part of your list at one specific time without it continuing to be sent in the future, you use broadcasts.
Broadcast are perfect for time sensitive emails like:
- Letting readers know about your latest blog post
- Letting people know about holiday sales
- Time sensitive opportunities like webinars and live trainings
Convertkit isn't the only platform that offers a broadcast feature. Aweber, Mailerlite, and Mailchimp I'll do as well.
So why don't I recommend them?
For this particular feature, I think Aweber does a great job.
Mailerlite? I find that their broadcast system is much more complicated than Convertkit’s. For one, they have a completely different name for it- “campaigns”.
After months of using it, this still makes very little sense to me as I see a campaign as an ongoing occurrence. Mailerlite and Mailchimp also have significant deliverability issues in my experience. My open rate using Convertkit has been so much higher, and it's simply because Convertkit delivers better to the major email providers like Yahoo and Gmail.
At the end of the day, your open rate is directly tied to your income. With fewer people receiving and reading your emails, you will inevitably receive fewer sales. To me, it just makes much more sense to go with a service that has high deliverability.
4. Convertkit’s Forms and Landing Pages Are Easy to Set Up
One thing I love about Convertkit is that their forms and landing pages are so ridiculously easy to set up. They even have several dozen templates you can use if you aren't much of a designer yourself! (These landing page templates have absolutely saved me.)
While Aweber does have arguably nicer looking forms, they can be difficult to style. They also don't tend to always format properly with text based email systems.
Because Aweber and Mailerlite both tend to have image heavy emails, fewer people are going to actually read them. This isn't because people don't like images, we do! But rather because email was designed for text.
Gmail especially has been formatted with their promotions tab to filter out emails that are image heavy into the promotions tab, never to be seen again.
Text based email, although boring, is where it's at for high open rates.
5. Convertkit Reporting Gives You Serious Insight into Your Audience
One thing I adore about Convertkit is that their reporting is AMAZING. I can open any sequence of emails, or any broadcast, and quickly see:
- How many people opened the email
- What percentage of them clicked
- What links they clicked on
- How many people unsubscribed
In addition, I can also see specific information on any individual on my email list.
I can see which emails they opened, which links they clicked, at what point in my sequence they purchased from me, on which email they decided to unsubscribe, and so much more.
This is incredibly helpful because it helps me figure out things like:
- Which emails were my reader's favorite?
- Which blog topics do they really want me to write more about?
- Which products would be popular with my email list?
- Which emails are causing people to unsubscribe?
- Which email subject lines are enticing people to open them?
These are things you absolutely NEED TO KNOW if you want to keep growing your blog and making more sales. There is no better insight into what your audience wants than what you can glean from their email habits.
Yeah, it's kind of creepy. But as a business person, it's important! You really need metrics, stats, and data to make decisions that will propel your business forward.
Does Anything About Convertkit Kind of Suck?
You didn't think I was going to end this post without telling you the downside, did you?
Yep. Convertkit isn't absolutely perfect. Although they are the only email list building service I plan on using, there is one thing that drives me nuts about them.
Are you ready for it?
Their forms are ugly. Really, really ugly. And plain.
Thankfully, I've found a workaround.
I use Thrive Themes on both of my blogs to design them with a drag-and-drop builder. One thing Thrive does especially well is integrate with other major products seamlessly.
Thrive not only offers gorgeous and fully customizable landing pages and pop-ups, these connect to Convertkit without a hitch.
On my blogs, I've used Thrive Lightboxes to create beautiful and easy to read pop ups that show up on a timer. These pop-ups connect to Convertkit and funnel any email subscribers directly to my Convertkit account.
It was stupid easy to set up, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to integrate a gorgeous blog with the functionality of Convertkit.
At the end of the day, Convertkit beats MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Aweber for the most functional and easy to use email list building service for bloggers out there.
These are the top reasons I love Convertkit as a blogger:
- Creating an email sequence is super easy
- Creating segments is simple and improves sales
- Sending broadcasts is easy and effective
- Their forms and landing pages are so simple
- Convertkit reporting is the best out there
Ready to start stocking your pantry full of your own preserves? Grab these editable canning jar lids as a perk of becoming a subscriber, and you'll have shelves of beautifully labelled jars in no time.