What makes a good marketing email? For years, I thought it was a combination of colors and images, font types and social icons. I remember when Mailchimp released their drag and drop editor in November 2012 and everything changed for the amazing.
Four years later, I find myself running away from what I once worked on so hard on. Sending flashy emails seeking to dazzle constituents. Don’t get me wrong, I still use said editor and send branded emails, but it is my belief we’re on the verge of a new communication style in the non-profit sector that compliments the main email list.
Last year, I stumbled upon Authority & Nathan Barry and immediately went down this author, creator, entrepreneur rabbit hole. (Shout out to Nathan, Paul, Jason et al) While entrenched in Nathan’s drip email sequence about his book, I found myself looking forward to the next email from him. It was a non-annoying batch of emails that added value to my inbox every few days. What I didn’t realize was that he was actually selling me on his product, ConvertKit.
ConvertKit strips away the fancy drag and drop editor and provides you with the ability to send personalized plain-text emails, fast. Gone are the days of the bulk BCC, replaced with the ability to let my network decide on how they want to engage with me, and the organization I run.
With ConvertKit, I can tag subscribers by donation tiers, campaign affiliation, etc. What’s more, I can change up who the email comes from quickly. If I want to send the email from a fellow staff member or Board Member, it’s a two second switch before the email goes out.
What I really love about ConvertKit is that I can create links within the email that allow people to tag themselves using automations. In the past, a subscriber would have to visit a preference page to do what they can now do right from their inbox. By giving people options on what they want to hear about on the front end, I’m reducing the number of people who might go right for the unsubscribe link in the footer. If they do unsubscribe, that’s fine. "Engage or die."
Uncle Ben said “With great power comes great responsibility.” He’s right. As your ConvertKit database grows in size, you have to maintain strict segmentation of messages and resist the urge to send to everyone at once. That’s what your other list is for.
Since implementing ConvertKit, I’ve seen a ton of conversion and interest from my outbound emails. With the built in analytics, I can see who is opening my emails and interacting with them. These insights are helpful when knowing which donors to pursue, or volunteers to activate. As time progresses, I am discovering new and exciting ways to incorporate ConvertKit into my day to day. With CK starting at $29/month, I can’t help but think back to all of the Salesforce add-ons, priced astronomically, to achieve something similar.