How To Get Started With Convertkit: A Step-By-Step Guide

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In my post from last week I shared how ConvertKit can help you sell your yoga retreats. This week I want to show you how to get started with ConvertKit.

What is this ConvertKit you ask? Well, it’s only one of the best email marketing tools out there. Just like Mailchimp, ConvertKit allows you to send out your email newsletter to a ton of people and for them to sign up to your mailing list.

It does a lot more, for example you can tag your subscribers or put them into segment sand then send your next email only to people you tagged accordingly or of a certain segment. It’s the bomb!

Now that I got you all riled up and shouting “Me, me, I want this, too!”, let’s have a look on how to get started with ConvertKit and set it up so you can use it to run your yoga or wellness empire like a pro.

#1 Sign up for a ConvertKit account

ConvertKit offers plans based on how many emails you have on your list and they also have a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers where you have all the features beside automations.

After signing up for you chosen plan, you need to get your account approved by ConvertKit. They want to make sure you actually have a website and that you’re trustworthy. You just need to provide your URL so it’s pretty simple. You can move forward with the set-up, but you won’t be able to send out anything before you got approved.

Click here to sign up to ConvertKit

#2 Set up your account info in ConvertKit

Click on ‘Account’ in the top right corner. Here you can enter your company name (if you have one), manage your password and enter your default from email address and more. You will need an email address from your website domain, a free email like a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail won’t work. This is because of international spam laws.

#3 Set up a form

How to get Started with ConvertKit: set up a form

You need to add a form for every sign-up possibility. For example, if you want a popup on your homepage, that’s your first form. Next you want to add a sign-up form to your blog side bar, that’s another form.

To add a new form, click on the ‘+ Create Form’ button on the ‘Forms’ page. Next you can choose between Landingpages and Form. Choose Form.

Choose the style of your form. I’m going to show you how to add a simple form using the style on the left.

Next you can customize your form. Click on the magical wand icon. You can change the text, accent and button color. You can also change the copy by clicking right on it.

How to get Started with ConvertKit: customize your form

If you want to customize your form more, you’ll need to know a bit about CSS and you can check out the ConvertKit knowledgebase.

After you’re fine with how your form looks, save it and open the ‘Settings’ tab next. In the main settings you can set up a thank-you message or a link to a thank-you page. You can also assign your new subscribers to an email sequence (I’ll talk more about sequences in another post, coming soon!).

In the next tab you set up your Incentive Email. I would always, always, always recommend sending a double-opt in email. This means that your new subscriber has to confirm his or her email address by clicking on a link before they are added to your list. It’s actually legally required in many countries, such as the EU.

How to get Started with ConvertKit: incentive email

ConvertKit has a very neat feature here. If you offer your new subscribers a freebie for signing up for your list, for example a meditation guide, you can upload your file (it should be a PDF) right here in ConvertKit. Clicking on the link to get the file will automatically confirm the email address. This is the most elegant way to handle the double-opt in I think. You should let people know though that clicking on the link will also confirm their email address and allow you to contact them in the future. Just to be really transparent.

If you don’t have an incentive, you need to add a URL that you want people to go to when they click on the link. This could be simply your homepage, but the more elegant version is to create a confirmation page on your website and link to that.

#4 Add the form to your website

I’m going to share how to embed the form we just created in WordPress. To do this the easiest way is to install the ConvertKit plugin. Activate it and set it up with the API key you find in your account settings.

Next go to your page where you want to add your form. You can use the form shortcode to embed it directly where you want it.

If you use Contact Form 7 you can also use their forms and connect them with ConvertKit in the plugin settings. That’s what I do on the Yoga Website template.

#5 Add tags and segments

How to get Started with ConvertKit: segments and tags

Tagging allows you to assign tags (or labels) to your subscribers. I like to use tags to track individual actions. For example, you can tag people who signed up for one of your retreats. This allows you to send out an email only to those people OR to send out an email to everyone BUT people with this tag. I shared more options of what you can do in my blog post ‘How to use your mailing list and ConvertKit to sell your yoga retreats’.

You can also create tags that are interest-based. If you offer multiple categories or products on your site, you’ll want to track who’s interested in what.

Segments are great to create a group of people who signed up through different forms or have tags that you want to combine. For example, you could have tags for each different retreat you did. Now you can create a segment for all your former retreat guests.

To keep it simple – you use tags for single actions and segments for groups of actions.

#6 Import your list (if you already have one)

How to get Started with ConvertKit: export list mailchimp

If you already have an existing list of email subscribers, you can import those emails next. I’m going to show you how to do that from Mailchimp and manually, for example emails you collected after a workshop in a list.

To import your emails from Mailchimp, log into your Mailchimp account. In the top menu choose ‘Lists’. Next you see all your lists. You will have to export each list separately. Click on the name of the list you want to export. Next click on the button ‘Export List’. If you have a large list it can take w little while, but after a few minutes you should get an email with a download link. Click on this link and download your list. You should now have a zip. File that contains a .csv file. This is the file you need!

In ConvertKit open the tab ‘Subscribers’ in the top menu. Click on the button ‘Import Subscribers’. Here you can simply drag-and-drop your .csv file into the field where it tells you to do so.

You will need to add a tag to your import, for example “Mailchimp List”. On the right side, click on ‘Create Tag’ to set this up.

Next you need to map the fields. Normally you need to do this with email and name. If you click on the empty field next to ‘Email Address’, the available options will show up. Here you choose (obviously) Email. Repeat this with the first name field and you’re done and can click on ‘Import Subscribers’ to actually start the import.

How to get Started with ConvertKit: fields

If you want to add emails manually, I recommend creating a simple document  with numbers or excel that you save as a .csv file. You need 2 columns: email and first name. After that it’s the same process.

#7 Send out your first email

How to get Started with ConvertKit: send out email

Newsletters are called ‘Broadcasts’ in ConvertKit. Click the Broadcast button at the top of your main menu and choose ‘+ New Broadcast’.

Choose who you want to send the broadcast to. If it’s your newsletter, it’s likely all subscribers. Using filters you can exclude people, or you can send only to people in a certain group.

Next create your email. ConvertKit wants you to send out very simple emails. You won’t find fancy forms like you have in MailChimp. You can customize your form and add colors and CSS, but the simple standard template works great.

Within your email you can add in images and links, using the toolbar at the top of the email.

Preview your email and check that all of your links work and that it looks the way you want it to and when you’re ready, click next step.

Schedule when you want your email to be sent out. Click the “Schedule Broadcast” button and you’re done!

You find your newsletter in the “Broadcasts” section. If you realize you need to edit a broadcast before it’s sent, unschedule it first and then you can edit it.

Are you ready to get started with ConvertKit?


Hi, I'm Susanne.

I’m here to help you turn your passion into profits and build a successful online business.

I went from working in digital advertising to become a yoga teacher, move to Bali and build my online business that allows me to work from anywhere in the world. Now, my mission is to help you do the same. I want to empower you to embrace the transformative potential of midlife and menopause, build a purposeful online business and create your unique legacy.

I’m also obsessed with my little terrier Luna, love traveling in my campervan, and am happiest when I can wear yoga pants all day long. 

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