I know I've asked myself this a million times over the past year... and I'm sure if you're also a small business owner (or even a medium or large business owner!) you've probably asked yourself the same thing: "What's the best email service provider for my business?"
So first... I HOPE that you're taking list building seriously when it comes to your business. I know that I've learned that growing my list and my community is DEFINITELY core to the success of my business.
Why? Because your list is under your control - and it is (or should be) made up of your most loyal followers, customers, clients or ideal targets. If you're not convinced that you should be growing and nurturing your email list, I'm going to be posting a FULL article on that soon... but for now, at least stick with me and believe me when I say - the money is in the list.
So in my journey to find the right fit when it came to an email service provider for my business, I "tried on" several options. I have to say - I'm not trash-talking any of the services that I tried but am no longer using. In fact - for some people and some businesses at different stages - I would probably recommend services that I don't use myself! You can think of it like shopping for jeans... not everyone needs the same cut and fit. You need to determine what will work best for you and your needs.
That being said - I've learned a lot from my experiments and hope that you'll be able to reach success faster by my sharing what I've learned.
If you believe - or at least are willing to consider - that your email list is one of the most valuable assets in your business, then the tool that you use to manage that list and communicate with those contacts is an essential and valuable business investment, right?
So here's my story...
First - MailChimp.
MailChimp is an easy, approachable email platform for any beginner. I loved their intuitive platform layout and also their "Forever Free" option for up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month!
As my list grew and my needs changed, I was bumped up into one of their paid plans, which was still affordable, but I was starting to want more than the platform could deliver in terms of tagging, automation and sequencing. I also personally noticed some deliverability issues (e.g., my emails to contacts ending up in SPAM folders), so I started to explore other options.
Second - Aweber.
Several colleagues in one of my favorite online entrepreneur groups mentioned that they loved using Aweber, so I waved farewell to MailChimp and hello to Aweber.
For me, the interface on Aweber was not as intuitive as MailChimp, and that took some getting used to (which frustrated me because as anyone who knows me well knows, I hate wasting time!).
At this time I was also working more diligently on growing my list with more social posting, blogging and lead magnet offers. So therefore I was also more interested in the ability to segment and tag my list so that the right people were getting the right content at the right time. Simple keys to success, right?
I tried implementing some of the segmentation and automation options offered by Aweber - but the interface was just frustrating for me to navigate. So again, I cast my net for options from friends "in the know" when it came to list growth and management.
And I moved my list... again... this time to ConvertKit.
And now - ConvertKit.
Several of my entrepreneur groups were buzzing with love for ConvertKit and although I was wary of the hype, I jumped in and took it for a 30 day free test drive. Although playing around on the platform myself was great (it felt intuitive, it was easy to navigate) I was really won over after watching a webinar hosted by ConvertKit about how to get the most from the platform - "Learning to Make ConvertKit Work Hard for You" I believe was the title of the session.
Ultimately, I found the options for segmentation and automation to be straightforward and simple. There were some pretty powerful options to tag and automate based on difference actions my contacts would take - even the option to tag based on clicking on a link in an email!
I could easily see which opt-in forms where getting the most contacts and which pages on my website or social platforms were referring them.
Yes - it's true that ConvertKit was designed with bloggers and "infopreneurs" in mind, but I also see the benefit for several categories of business owners. In fact, it's also currently the platform I use for our two restaurants and our e-commerce Amazon FBA store!
I have been using ConvertKit for our businesses now for several months and have been very happy with the automation, tagging, integration and customer service. There are also options for Best Practices, Integrations and Developers, which I appreciate.
If you're not using ConvertKit am I recommending that you run out and switch right now? Well, no. My main goal is to give you the benefit that I didn't have right out of the gate - which is to tell you that growing and nurturing your list is a MUST DO... and choosing the right tool that makes that process effective and efficient... and maybe even a little fun... is the best path to success.
ConvertKit plans start at $29/month which is really inexpensive when compared to some of the other options offering powerful automations, tagging and segmenting.
Already using ConvertKit for your business? Let me know in the comments below - what's your favorite feature?
Want even MORE tips & tools to grow your list?
This January (the 19th to be exact), Darrell Vesterfelt, awesome teacher and email marketing guru, will be teaching a webinar:
"Get 1,000 Email Subscribers in the Next 30 Days or Less"
This webinar will walk you through how to get 100... then 1000... and so forth... subscribers on your list using the features that ConvertKit has available.
Even if you're using another email service provider - the tips and strategies that Darrell is going to share are going to be worth learning.
DISCLAIMER: I am a proud ConvertKit affiliate and the links to the tool that I included in this blog are affiliate links. I ONLY recommend this tool because I use it myself and wholeheartedly endorse it. I would never recommend something I don’t love, use and stand behind. So whether you sign up via my affiliate link or not, please check it out regardless. And if you have questions or want to figure out if it’s the right tool for you, send me a message at [email protected]