Elevate Your Emails: 5 Actionable Lessons from ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce Conference

Elevate Your Emails: 5 Actionable Lessons from ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce Conference

Email Marketing
Publish Date
Jun 16, 2023
Where better to learn about email marketing than at a conference by an email software?
ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce did not disappoint when it came to calling out the weak spots in my email marketing game.
Here are five lessons learned that I’ll be taking action on asap. Chances are you’re also missing one (or several) of them.
Btw, these lessons apply whether you’re using ConvertKit or any other email marketing tool.

1. Welcome New Subscribers

Email marketing strategist Allea Grummert reminded us that under-welcoming new subscribers is one of the biggest email mistakes creators make.
But it’s easy to fix!
Allea recommends redirecting your new subs to a welcome page as soon as they’ve hit “subscribe” (instead of showing an underwhelming “Success! Now check your email.” message).
What should you include on your welcome page? Here are a few ideas to pick from:
  • Show a short video of you saying hello and welcoming them
  • Share what they can expect from you going forward (e.g., how often you send your newsletter and what it looks like)
  • Prompt them to take a short survey about their main pain point and what they’re hoping to learn (this is great input for future content)
  • Ask them to connect with you on your socials to always stay up to date
If you’re using double opt-in and require your new subscribers to click a link in an email to confirm their subscription, don’t forget to customize that email too. Remind them what they’re signing up for!
(Btw, in ConvertKit, you can turn off the double opt-in. It’s not recommended but I haven’t noticed any negative effects so far.)

2. Leverage Conditional Content

Imagine you’re sitting down to write your weekly newsletter and want to announce that the new version of your course is going live.
While you want to tell your existing students that they’ll automatically get access to the new course, you also want to encourage all other subscribers to buy it.
How can you get the right information in front of the right group of people?
The answer is conditional content! (Quicker and easier than creating two versions of your newsletter.)
In ConvertKit (and other email platforms) you can use Liquid code to show different content based on whether a subscriber has a particular tag or not.
Here’s an example of what this would look like in your newsletter draft:
{% if subscriber.tags contains "Purchased course" %}
The new version of my course is now available. Log in to check it out.
{% else %}
The new version of my course is now available. Here's what's included...
{% endif %}
You can even differentiate further by adding additional code. Check out ConvertKit’s tutorial to learn more.

3. Encourage Replies

One of my favorite talks at the Craft + Commerce conference was by psychologist and dating coach Logan Ury whose newsletter boasts a 61% open rate (impressive).
Logan reminded us that newsletters shouldn't be a monologue! People crave connection and want to feel like they're part of something bigger.
To build more connection with her subscribers, Logan developed a tradition of always asking for replies in her weekly newsletter.
For example, she’d ask for their advice on a certain topic and then curate the best responses in the next newsletter. That way, her subscribers get rewarded for providing input and already look forward to opening and reading the next email.
Btw, getting replies is also a great way to protect your sender reputation and email deliverability. It signals Google that people enjoy reading your emails so it will keep you out of the spam folder.

4. Automatically Clean Your List

Speaking of email deliverability, I learned that certain actions that your subscribers take can boost or hurt your sender reputation:
  • positive actions: open, click, reply to emails
  • neutral actions: unsubscribe from your emails
  • negative actions: leave emails unread, mark emails as spam
While we want to encourage positive actions, we also want to avoid negative actions, and that’s where cleaning your email list into play. Cleaning your list means removing unengaged “cold” subscribers.
At Forte Labs, I run an annual re-engagement email campaign and remove around 13k inactive subscribers as a result.
Now, ConvertKit has released a new feature that lets us automate this process so we can continuously re-engage and remove cold subscribers.

5. Document, Document, Document!

Ever went into your email software and thought “Mmmmh, what was the purpose of this tag again? Does it trigger anything? What does this automation do?”
It’s easy to get lost in the tags, custom fields, segments, sequences, forms, and automations that your past self set up (for a good reason hopefully).
Allea reminded us that documentation is key to creating a consistent experience for your subscribers and not losing your mind in your email marketing.
This is definitely something I could do better! That’s why I’m planning to start documenting the following:
  • Which forms subscribers opt into, which sequence follows, and which tags are added
  • Which tags/custom fields have which purpose and when are they added
  • Which segments contain which subscribers and how are they used
  • Which automations get triggered by what, what gets delivered, and what happens after