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If you know me, you know I could give a proper sermon-length speech on the importance of your email list.
In some way, shape or form my email list is responsible for the vast majority of the income my business brings in and I’ve been shown the importance of an email list again and again and again over the course of running my business.
So, what company do I trust to be the home of my dearest email subscribers?
My latest class of Square Secrets students were asking me why I chose them over MailChimp, Squarespace Campaigns and other email marketing platforms, and I figured it’d be some super valuable info to share with you all on the blog as well.
So here goes.
Quick backstory. I started on MailChimp because it was free and I was a poor university student when I started my business.
As soon as I could however, I switched over to ConvertKit and have been darn pleased with that decision.
For starters, I feel Mailchimp counts subscribers in a pretty shady way. You pay per list your subscribers are on, not per subscriber.
What the heck does that really mean you ask?
Let’s say for example you have 2 different opt-ins on your site for freebies and 2 interest lists for a couple products/services you plan to begin offering, and I opt-in for all of them.
That means you’ll be paying for me to be on your email list 4 times!
… 1 person. You pay 4 times … I’m going to be honest, I straight up don’t like that math.
The primary reason I chose to get off MailChimp is because of this.
Granted, now I’m on ConvertKit I also can tell that it’s a superior software to MailChimp, so that is also part of my reasoning for advising you to use it too.
(More about exactly why ConvertKit is an awesome software to come.)
I’ll give it to MailChimp, it does have quite an extensive amount of functionality. But I feel it’s not very intuitive software to use and it feels like there’s much too many clicks and steps to make fairly basic things happen.
Overall, I feel that MailChimp makes doing what you want a much bigger pain than it should be.
You might have heard that Squarespace recently released their Squarespace Campaigns. Basically, a Squaresapce email marketing software. It’s currently in an invite-only access period, so it’s super new.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Squarespace Campaigns makes some of the most beautiful emails I’ve seen yet.
But the software is extremely new and really doesn’t compare in functionality to other email marketing platforms.
Currently it’s not possible to send an opt-in gift, it’s not possible to send a sequence of emails (eg. a welcome sequence), it’s not possible to automate labeling and categorizing your subscribers based on what they click, etc. It’s not possible to run automations whereby once a subscriber clicks a link (eg. self-selects the topics of your business they’re interested in) it automatically begins sending them relevant emails.
If you’re at the beginning of your email marketing journey I could imagine you’re currently thinking ‘. . . wait, but do I need any of that?’
While the only thing you might want to do now is send out a weekly newsletter to all your subscribers, I can guarantee down the line you’re going to want a wee bit more in the functionality department.
In order to truly make an email list work for your business, you need the ability to get their email in the first place by offering a freebie, learn what each subscriber is specifically interested in, warm them up to your business with a welcome sequence, and send them only super relevant emails via automations.
Fact: Only your Mom is enticed to sign up for your email list by the promise of ‘a weekly newsletter’.
Everyone else wants something legit and useful (an opt-in gift) in order to give you their email.
I also had a peek at the pricing model and while it’s different than MailChimp, I still feel it’s not the most simple and straightforward way to charge for the service.
If/when Squarespace Campaigns adds on to their current functionality and the pricing makes more sense, I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts if it’s a viable option to use as your email marketing platform.
At the moment though, it’s really not something I’d suggest you consider.
Okay, so what’s all the rage about ConvertKit? Why do I like it so much?
Email marketing platforms aren’t much known for their ease-of-use. But I do have to say, ConvertKit is the first not-a-complete-pain-in-the-buns email marketing platform I’ve found.
It’ll take you a quick minute to get used to their terminology, but once you do that, the system makes a whole lot of sense and it’s more intuitive to use than other systems.
Also—I feel like ConvertKit prices its offering in a reasonable way, by the number of subscribers you have.
1 subscriber truly means you pay for 1 subscriber.
It’s got all the functionality I could want, and their solution for GDPR truly made me breathe a sigh of relief as I could collect GDPR consent just from EU-based residents, not everyone which would really have put a huge damper on my email marketing efforts.
Now, to help you get a head start on the learning curve, in a future post I’m going to explain the functionality options and terminology ConvertKit uses.
My goal is that you can get up to speed on exactly how all this fancy functionality I’m talking about is a game-changer for your business. Keep an eye on the blog for that post in the future!