How To Start Building And Growing Your Email List With ConvertKit

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission if you purchase anything from here (at no additional cost to you!) but please know that it does not influence my recommendations because I only share what I love and use myself.)

I'm in love with ConvertKit! It has not only helped me grow my list from 0 to over 1k subscribers, but it has also revolutionized the way I think about email marketing. Before switching to ConvertKit, I had been building my email list with a free MailChimp account. But I soon began to lose track: "Who was on my list?", "How did they sign up?", "Which freebie was most popular?".

Soon I began avoiding my email list because I simply couldn’t cope. And that was reflected in my sign-ups: On a good day, I only gained about 1 - 2 subscribers, which was frustrating.

But now, with ConvertKit, the picture is completely different. I love emails, and I gain 10 - 15 new subscribers every single day, and it blows my mind!

Let me show you how I do it.

Watch my FREE ConvertKit training course to help you start building and growing your email list today. 

What is ConvertKit? And why it’s the best email marketing tool out there.

The founder of ConvertKit, Nathan Barry, founded the company to help sell his successful eBooks. Having quickly realized that the email marketing software of the time didn’t allow him to either to re-send his email to those who didn't open it first time round, or upsell his other eBooks, he decided something better was needed.

Thus ConvertKit was born, with automation options that help businesses make recurring revenue instead of sending one-off emails. It helps you collect email addresses and turn people into engaged fans over time through clever email marketing.

The result: Now ConvertKit is hands down the number one email marketing tool on the market.


Who is ConvertKit for?

ConvertKit is the perfect tool for professional bloggers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and coaches who want to build an email list from the ground up, get audience insights and manage subscribers without wasting time.


How does ConvertKit work?

  • ConvertKit makes it easy to capture leads (opt-ins from freebies or content upgrades).

  • ConvertKit uses tags, and segments your list to help you sell more products to subscriber groups with a specific interest in those products (like online courses, eBooks or coaching services).

  • ConvertKit helps build a long-term relationship with your audience by tracking their click behavior. The amount of data ConvertKit gives you is insanely good, and if you are a little data geek like me, you are going to love the detailed data reports with click and opening rates. You can use the information to send subscribers special offers, tweak your subject line or change your emailing scheduling.

And it also allows you to send targeted emails to those subscribers rather than to your entire list (and avoid the risk of people unsubscribing). You'll see what I mean in my FREE training video.


How you can use ConvertKit to build your email list

When I started out, building my email list was not top of my mind, but I wish I'd started sooner. My advice is don’t wait - sign up to your ConvertKit account here today and start building your list (you'll get a 14 day free trial).

In my FREE training video I'll take you on a tour behind the scenes of my brand. Not only do I explain how to set up a form and upload your freebie, but I also talk you through the exact settings I use, why tags are my favorite feature and how to use them properly to segment your list.


Why I love ConvertKit

ConvertKit made me rethink my entire email marketing strategy: Instead of bulk-sending emails, I now consider who would be interested in an email before sending it.

It wasn’t long before I went from hating sending emails to becoming a total email geek. ConvertKit got me interested in all aspects of the process, from analyzing sending times, opening times and opening rates, to looking at clicks and improving my subject lines. By keeping track who signed up to your list and which freebie got them signed up, it also helps you understand which ones are popular with your audience.

Futhermore, ConvertKit’s behavioral analytics actually helped me develop my products - like my free Insta challenge (which has now been shared organically over 7.1k times), my eBook and best-selling online course.

The other thing I love is the price. Monthly subscriptions start at $29 per month (for up to 1000 subscribers). At first that price seemed high, but I have since stopped using Leadpages ($39 per month) because you can use ConvertKit in a very similar way.

The value for money is completely insane and ConvertKit is actually one of the fixed monthly costs I love see coming out of my account - simply because I love paying for such great value (#supergeek).


Watch my FREE ConvertKit training course to help you start building and growing your email list today. 


ConvertKit helps save time by automating your email strategy

Of course, you still have to write the emails (which in my case, takes FOR-EV-ER). But once they have been written, you can pretty much set up an automation rule and forget all about it. (An automation rule allows you to add subscribers with specific tags to a specific email sequence.)

This means that ConvertKit will automatically add any new subscribers to a specific email sequence, and the emails will be sent to new subscribers only, without you having to do anything.

Thus, my list keeps growing on auto-pilot. Genius.


Get detailed data reports with ConvertKit

You can track every subscriber and how they respond to each of your emails. 

This helps determine your most effective subject lines: I now test out different subject lines and can see instantly what effect that has on my opening rates.

Watch my FREE ConvertKit training course to help you start building and growing your email list today. 


How to start your email list with ConvertKit and start collecting leads

  1. Get your ConvertKit account here (you can start with a free version on MailChimp but you’ll find ConvertKit is much better, particularly as it completely changes the way you think about email marketing).

  2. Create a new subscribers list with email addresses from all your opt-ins, or watch my free tutorial here.

  3. Integrate the sign-up form on your blog. I used to use Leadpages, but now I integrate all my forms directly with ConvertKit.


You can watch how I do all the above here in


How to write the perfect incentive for your freebie

Once you've set up your list in ConvertKit, it’s time to work on your incentive (the thing that gets people to click).

You'll need:

  • An engaging message that makes people want to opt in.

  • An incentive for signing up, like a super helpful worksheet to download.

  • A CTA (call to action), which is a simple message saying what you want people to do next (you'd be surprised how many people forget to include one).

  • A button or link for people to click to get their incentive (think of something more interesting than ‘click here’ or ‘sign up’).

  • Make it easy for your audience to find your opt-ins. You need a clear design and UX (user experience).

  • Have multiple opt-ins spread out over your site, e.g. your top page, footer and side bar. Use your space to promote your opt-ins. Remember, the people that visit your site need your help and want to read your information. You’re being clear, not salesy.

  • Create downloadable worksheets or templates that are linked to your content, and ask people to share them to grow your list. But don’t just create any content upgrade: Only create things you’d use yourself and which are easy to print (and don’t use an entire ink cartridge). Ideally, I try to create a one-pager because who has time to read through a 20 page workbook anyway (even if it's free)?


Now that you are all set up, it's time to work on some kick-ass content ideas to grow your email list.

Here are some of my tried-and-tested content ideas you could use to grow your email list:

  • Bonus downloads (opt-in to unlock more content not featured in this blog post)

  • Content upgrades (opt-in in exchange for a link to a bonus file, like a worksheet or a template)

  • Newsletter opt-ins. Make it easy to sign up to your newsletter (and make sure people can easily find it!). I don't have a newsletter but I put my highest converting opt-in right above the fold of my website.

  • Free email challenge. This is my No.1 list building tool. I knew I wanted to create a free email course from day one and I'm really proud of my free Insta challenge. It has been used over 1500 times and organically shared over 7.1k times.


Using ConvertKit for my opt-ins allows me to track how many people visit the bonus page compared to how many actually download the bonus. That gives me a good idea of what my audience are interested in. It even calculates a conversion rate for you.


So, that’s the end of my post on ConvertKit. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

It turns email from being a chore into a powerful marketing tool that both helps sell and provides precious insights about your audience.


If you haven’t tried it yet, perhaps it’s time to do so and really step up your email game?

Watch my FREE ConvertKit training course to help you start building and growing your email list today. 


Got a question? Leave your comment below.