An email list is a blogger’s best friend.
It is the entry point to lifelong relationships. It’s how you build a community of like-minded people. It’s how you prove your credibility to your audience. It is how you make money!
Because your subscribers are your super fans, they’re the ones who trust you the most, and when you’re ready to sell, they’ll be the firsts to buy from you.
I’ve written about list building strategies for beginners before (here and here), but in today’s post, I want to touch on some strategies to help nurture your existing email list so you can improve engagement and sales.
But more specifically, I want to talk about some advanced strategies that are specific to my favorite email marketing platform: ConvertKit.
I’ve been with ConvertKit from the very beginning of my blogging journey since 2018. Since then, my blog has grown, and so has my income. And all that is thanks to my email list.
And I give due credit to ConvertKit because the platform is so intuitive and easy to use while being super powerful at the same time.
So, in today’s post, I want to share 5 things you can do with ConvertKit to grow your blog and income. This is not a beginner’s tutorial on how to use ConvertKit. If you’ve never used the platform before and want to learn the basics, this post here is an excellent place to start.
Also, if you’re a total beginner and want to learn how to start growing an email list with your blog, sign up for this free course on list building techniques for beginner bloggers.
Alright then! Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Create A Template within ConvertKit
Sounds simple enough, right?
The trick, however, is knowing what kind of template to set up and what information you need to make your template work for you . And that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing in this section, as well as a tutorial for how to set up a template inside ConvertKit.
The content inside your template
Let’s talk about what goes inside an email template, and then I’ll show you how to set it up.
For a long time, I refrained from using a template. I always thought it was best for bloggers to be as personable and intimate as possible. Splashing one’s branding on newsletters with banners, images, and buttons didn’t feel very intimate to me.
It is my opinion, however, if you like splashy things, go ahead and do what floats your boat. Be you!
But for me? I don’t like them. So, for a long time, all I did for a newsletter was to create a new broadcast on ConvertKit, type up an email with whatever came to mind and then hit the send button.
It was fine. It worked.
But it could be better!
One thing I have learned while growing this blog is that you never stop learning. I’m always on the lookout for what other bloggers are doing differently so I can learn from them.
There are plenty of bloggers who use a template, but none made me think, “OH! That looks interesting!” until…
Until one day, a very clever email popped up in my inbox.
At first glance, the email looked simple enough — much like the ones I send out to my subscribers. No flashy banners, no images or gifs, no fancy signature, nada!
However, there was one significant difference. At the end of the email, there was a short section with a few critical links — links to useful blog posts and free webinars for readers.
It was brilliant!
I had to do the same! The next day I sent out a newsletter and added a couple of links — to my resources page, to my Canva template shop page, and to my course page for Side Income with Canva Templates.
Guys, this never happens… but as soon as I sent out that newsletter, I had a couple of affiliate sales, a couple of template sales, and a couple of course sales! All within a couple of hours! I mean, sure, I make enough sales, but none that’s directly linked to sending a newsletter that’s not even a sales pitch! It was a generic newsletter with some blogging tips. I wasn’t even trying to sell!
To make sure it wasn’t just a fluke, I added the same links to my next newsletter and voila! More sales!
Add super relevant links to every email you send
So, here’s the deal. Whether you’re selling a product or trying to get people to sign up for a freebie (ideally something that eventually leads to a paid product), add those links to EVERY SINGLE EMAIL! Here are a few tips when adding links:
- Don’t add a bazillion links, just a few relevant and strategic ones. I’d say keep the number of links between 2 and 4. Any more, and you’d end up distracting your readers.
- When choosing which links to share, think about what action you want your readers to take. If you’re an affiliate marketer, you probably have a resources page. Add a link to that page. If you have a freebie — a webinar or masterclass that your readers will benefit from, add a link to that. If you have a blog post that you want your readers to check out, link it. If you sell a product or a course, share that.
- Revisit which links you’re sharing often. Make sure these links are highly relevant at all times. Also, switching up these links every few weeks would keep things fresh for your long-time subscribers.
Create a Template and Set up the links within the template
Let’s talk tech now.
You see, it’s not ideal to have to type these links every time you send a newsletter. That’s where a template comes in. If you can create a template with these links already added to your email, then all you have to do is choose that template when you’re crafting your newsletter and voila!
And, if you want to change any of these links in the future, all you have to do is edit the template. Easy!
Now, let’s see how to set up a template with ConvertKit.
(I suggest you be on a laptop or a desktop for this part.)
1. Log in to your ConvertKit account.
2. Click on your profile name on top-right. From the dropdown that pops up, choose “Email Template.”
3. This will take you to the templates area. Click the large button that says “New Email Template” to the right of the screen.
4. On the next page, you’ll see more pre-made template options, also known as “visual template editor,” that you can further customize, as well as an HTML template option. Unless you’re well-versed in HTML and CSS, I suggest choosing one of the visual template editors and then customizing it. For this tutorial, I’ll be using the visual template that’s in the middle.
5. Once you’re in the visual template editor, you’ll see the general structure of the email. The content in that editor shows you what each element will look like, for example, the headers, the paragraphs, the lists, the buttons, etc. You can use the options on the right to change how each of these elements looks. You can change fonts, font sizes, button colors, etc. These options are intuitive and rather self-explanatory.
6. Now the most crucial part – adding your custom links. ConvertKit allows you to add custom content in two places — at the top of the email editor, and at the bottom. I’ll show you how to add content at the bottom because that’s where we’ll be adding out custom links.
To add custom content, click somewhere near the bottom of the editor – near the footer links. Using the “Enter” key in your keyboard, add a couple of lines above this footer area. And then start typing. Add your text and links like you normally would. Once done, make sure to name your template something unique and recognizable (on the top-left). When finished, click the save button on top-right.
And that’s it, you’ve created a template.
Insert the template styles and content within an email broadcast
Now, how to use this template you just made? Simple! Go to the Broadcasts menu, and then create a new broadcast. Once you’re in the broadcast editor, click the dropdown under “Email Template” on the right of the editor, and choose the template you just created from this dropdown.
Here’s a video to walk you through the entire thing we just did:
Pretty easy, right? If you don’t have a custom template with custom links yet, now’s the time to set it up!
Create Content Snippets
A content snippet is a custom piece of content that you can add to any ConvertKit email body using a shortcode.
These are useful on many occasions.
For example, let’s say you have different types of content for different types of audience groups that you need to use over and over again. And perhaps you need to use this content somewhere in the middle of your email body.
Recall that with templates in ConvertKit, you can only add custom content at the top of the email or at the bottom of the email. So, if anything needs to go within your email body itself, then a template’s not going to be much help.
That’s when content snippets come in handy.
To create a content snippet:
- Click on your profile name within ConvertKit, and choose “Content snippet” from the dropdown.
- Click on the button that says, “New Content Snippet.”
- A new content box will pop up. Add a recognizable title and the content in the designated places.
- Save the snippet.
To add content snippet within an email:
- Go to Content Snippet.
- You should see your saved snippet here with the shortcode.
- Copy the shortcode.
- Paste it anywhere within your email editor inside ConvertKit. When you send the email out, that shortcode will be replaced with the content snippet you created.
Create Conditional Content
Let me explain with an example.
Let’s say that you have two groups of subscribers. One group has purchased your minimum viable product, while another group hasn’t purchased anything at all!
Let’s also assumed that you have set up a system where once someone purchases your minimum viable product, a tag is automatically added to them.
Now, let’s say that you’re sending a newsletter and you want to do two things:
- You want to promote your main, more expensive product to everyone who has purchased a minimum viable product.
- You want to promote your minimum viable product to the subscribers who haven’t purchased anything yet.
Technically, you could send two different emails to these groups. But, what if there was a way to edit your email content in such a way where based on certain conditions, different people will see different content?
The best part is that you can set up conditional content for your email newsletters as well as sequences. I have a few of these set up within my automated sequences and trust me, they have been a lifesaver!
Let’s go through the process now:
Do keep in mind that to customize which group of subscribers see which content, you need to make sure your subscribers are tagged appropriately.
Let’s assume that we want to set up conditional content with an email sequence (you can follow the same instructions to add conditional content within an email broadcast as well):
1. Go to Automations > Sequences, and then add a new sequence.
2. Add the codes to start customizing content based on subscribers’ tag.
If you’re using the new editor:
Simply click anywhere in the editor and then use the plus-sign next to your cursor to add personalization. Choose the option “Personalization” from the dropdown.
This will show you all the different personalization options. Choose “Subscriber tags conditional” by clicking the “Add to Email” link.
If you’re using the legacy editor:
Find “Personalize” at the top of the editor, and click on it. From the dropdown, choose “subscriber’s tags.”
3. Starting editing the content.
Once the code is added to your editor, you can start customizing it. Make sure the tag name matches your target tag. Replace the text that says, “The subscriber has the tag” with whatever you want your subscribers to see when they have the specified tag.
After the else statement, replace the text to read whatever you want your subscribers to see when they do not have the tag.
And that’s it!
When this email goes out to your subscribers, based on whether or not your subscribers have a specific tag, they might see one set of content vs. the other.
Example of conditional content
For example, sometimes, I do promotions on my courses based on whether someone already purchased the course or not.
Here’s an example of how I might do it:
I have a paid course on how to sell Canva templates and make a profit on the side. I also have a free webinar where I share a handful of super useful tips for selling Canva templates online. The purpose of the free webinar is to give my audience and potential customers a taste of what they can expect inside the paid course. The end goal here is to get people to sign up for the free webinar, and then to get the webinar participants to purchase the paid course.
To do that, I might set up an email with conditional content where I use custom content to sell the paid course to everyone who has already seen the free webinar. If a subscriber hasn’t seen the webinar, then I use conditional content to try and get them to sign up for the free webinar.
To do this, assume that I have already set up a system where once someone signs up for the free webinar, they are given a tag called “Canva-Free-Webinar.”
Let’s see what the email looks like now:
And there you go!
Some super-useful strategies you can implement with ConvertKit that will take your email marketing to the next level!
Feel free to use them as you see fit.
Not all three of these strategies may apply to you, but at the very least, you should all be able to implement the first strategy — create a template with some super useful links based on what kind of action you want your subscribers to take!
Set it up today and grow your blog and income on autopilot.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions regarding the steps I’ve shown you today. Convertkit also has a ton of useful tutorials and training videos for how to maximize your email marketing with all the tools they have available for you.
So, which one of these strategies are you going to implement now? Let me know in the comments. If you’re already using one or more of these strategies, or something else that may be beneficial to the readers, feel free to share them also.
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