It's commonly known the most painful part of switching email service providers is actually switching email service providers.
Luckily, you're switching to ConvertKit! We offer a concierge migration service for accounts over 10,000 subscribers ($149/month and up). There are lots of people switching to ConvertKit right now, and at any time there are 10-15 people waiting in the “queue”.
We wanted to clarify the process and give you a peek at the what our migrations team does to move you over. Depending on your own availability or a member of your team, we'll also specify a few tasks that anyone can do to speed up the migration significantly.
There are 5 main components to a migration.
Let's cover each one individually, we'll also point out some of the main ways ConvertKit features differ from other providers. Reading this is also a great way to understand the core functions of the feature set, along with some things we're still improving.
We start here, because understanding the funnel subscribers go through is what we are re-creating in the big picture. You may not think you even have a funnel, but you do. Here's what we mean.
Basic Opt-in Funnel
Basic Product Funnel
Basic Content Upgrade Funnel
Basically, each new subscriber or customer goes through a specific funnel, and we need to know what they are.
To help clarify this we created a spreadsheet that lays everything out. If you want to speed up your migration sigficantly, fill out this sheet with each form and subscriber source on your site. Click here to view.
This is a public Google Sheet, so you need make a copy for your funnels and share with firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next step is diving into the main point of entry for any new subscriber. Forms.
Forms are the lifeblood of your ConvertKit account. Each new subscriber will come through a form and can be organized there for courses, broadcasts, or sales pitches. For the purpose of this guide, we'll use forms to describe landing pages too, since they operate the same way.
A common misconception of forms is you need to use an automation rule to add subscribers to a your imported Newsletter tag. That's not the case. You can create a segment that gathers subscribers in all applicable forms and tags. For a more in-depth explanation of segments, click here.
So for each subscriber source funnel, we will create a specific form to start readers on their journey. This is a step the ConvertKit team is best suited to accomplish.
We will replicate your brand colors and calls to action for the form, but there are some style limitations.
This is very important. If you had a designer customize your forms in the past, you will need a designer to replicate that look with ConvertKit forms.
Our forms look great and convert well, but they are not custom forms, just like the forms you were using with your old provider were not “out-of-the-box”. ConvertKit is not meant to be a fully featured form builder like what Optin Monster or Thrive offer.
“What about LeadPages, Optin Monster, and the others?”
Good question. We still need to create a form to “catch” the subscribers in ConvertKit. What you don't need to worry about when connecting with a lead generating service is the designed content of the form. Colors and text don't matter, that's what Optin Monster is for. You only need to match the fields (first name, email) in the ConvertKit form with the fields you're requesting with the service.
Next in forms are the settings, and it's just a quick overview. You can connect a sequence to a course directly in the settings by selecting it from the drop-down menu. Most of the time, we choose to make it mandatory for new subscribers. You can also start a sequence on a specific date if you like, more on that here.
There is a default “Thank You” page in ConvertKit, but we highly recommend using a page on your own site to stay consistent. This can be selected as the Success Redirect URL in the form's main settings.
If you have a single email welcome message or content upgrade, it will be delivered through an Incentive Email. This is a great way to grow your list and deliver specific upgrades to posts and pages. Once a reader clicks the Confirm Subscription button, the upgrade can be delivered one of two ways.
1. File Download: We simply upload the file in the action box below the email text. Easy!
2. Success URL: Click on the URL button next to the upload file option. The option will flip and we will paste the URL there. A great option for existing content you want to keep leveraging.!
Let's move on to Sequences.
Important: if you want to speed up your migration significantly, this is the place you and your team can help! Whatever (MailChimp) automations, (Aweber) autoresponders, or (Infusionsoft) campaigns you have, it's almost always a matter of copy and paste. The process is not hard, but can be very tedious depending on the number of sequences that need to be migrated.
A couple things to take note of.
We find that emails deliver better and have higher engagement when they are written like emails to friends, not when they look like mini-web pages. A more depth explanation is here.
Once the sequences are migrated, they can be connected to forms in the settings, or to other tags and courses with automation rules.
Automations are how we keep subscribers moving through the different sections of their journey. A few examples are:
There are hundreds of combinations you can use for your business, but what we will do in the migration is replicate the ones you currently have in process. This is a step best suited for the Migration team.
If you're coming from MailChimp or Aweber, you probably don't have any, and that's one reason you're coming to ConvertKit! We will suggest and implement any automations that are good fit for the current state of your account.
This is the last step, even though it's fairly easy. The reason we wait until the end to import is so we don't miss anyone n the process of switching everything.
By replicating the entire reader journey (funnel) in ConvertKit first, we are ensuring that new subscribers are taken through the same process that you are used to.
For example, a reader opts in at the sidebar form, receives a free workout schedule (incentive), and begins the free weekly workout sequence. We need to have that in place before switching the web form from the old provider to ConvertKit.
Switching the web forms to ConvertKit is essentially turning off the subscriber flow to your ols provider. Now we know the lists are accurate and no one else is coming in, and it's safe to import them to ConverTKit.
Here's where you can help again! If you're on MailChimp, we have an easy subscriber import tool that brings over your current lists and groups with one click. But it does not allow us to select which ones come over. They all do. If you want to be selective, you'll have to treat the import like other providers. Here's what to do.
Each list in your old provider will become a tag in ConvertKit. We simply copy the old list name to the new tag, export the data, and import to the matching tag in ConvertKit. THat's all!
Of course, that's easy for 5 lists. The more lists, the more tedious and time-consuming the process becomes. This is a big place you can help speed it up.
While we are doing the more technical pieces of the migration, this is a perfect place to pitch in if you have the time and resources to do so.
Your contribution is optional of course, but is the best way to speed up the process and get you started earlier.
We referenced this in the form process, but subscriber organization works much different on ConvertKit than other services. ConvertKit is a subscriber-focused system, while MailChimp and Aweber (along with most others), are list based systems. For a more in-depth explanation of segments, click here.
The TL;DR version is that you can create segments that combines tags and forms to target subscribers. Here are a few examples:
Because of segments, you don't have to create a ton of automation rules to move form subscribers to tags, or click a bunch of tags and forms when it's time to send a broadcast. They're just in a segment!
I like to think of segments as different buckets that forms, landing pages, and tags are dropped into. Here's a quick visual sketch of the idea.
Of course, in ConvertKit you are not charged for duplicate subscribers, because they literally don't exist. You don't have people on multiple lists, each one exists as a subscriber with different tags, forms of entry, and courses completed. But they are still just one person.
Thanks for reading this guide to the migration process. We hope it clarifies the process and empowers you to take part if you wish! If you have any questions, please make sure to bring them up to your migration specialist during the initial onboarding call or during the wrap-up call.