Interview with Cliff Ravenscraft, The Podcast Answer Man, About ConvertKit Transition
Mark: Cliff Ravenscraft, how are you? Glad and excited to have you back on the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. What is going on?
Cliff: Mark Mason, I am just ready to explode with excitement. It has been years since I have been this excited about working on my business.
Mark: I thought you were going to say it’s been years since you’ve been this excited about being on someone else’s podcast.
Cliff: That too.
Mark: Okay, great. I wanted to get you on here because you and I have been working on bringing a new email autoresponder software into both of our businesses. We’ve been working on that quite a bit. It’s ConvertKit. I’ve been talking to my audience a little bit about it.
I wanted to talk to you about it and have this discussion so we could maybe go through your journey with ConvertKit coming from Aweber, what that was like, what features are amazing you, how you’re using it, and what the unique benefits are. I think it’s beneficial because you’re not in the internet marketing business, you have a separate business of podcasting, and this has been incredibly effective for you. I want to share that example with my audience. How would that be today?
Cliff: Absolutely. Where do you want to start? I’m ready to go. This stuff, I am so excited I find it hard to sleep at night because as I’m laying down or going to sleep I’m thinking, “But if I go add this automation rule, that’s going to be even more awesome.”
Mark: I guess the place to start is a little description about the sad condition that your email list was in and where you wanted to get and what drove you to make the decision to finally pull the trigger on ConvertKit and move away from Aweber.
Cliff: With my mailing list the biggest pain that I have is that I have a list of email subscribers from October 2010 through today in November 2016, that’s a list of 4,132 people. Which may seem like a very small number, except if you find out that my opt-in going all the way back the last six years has literally said, “Please give me your name and email address if you’d like to be notified of the next time I have a new product or service that you can purchase from me.”
Mark: So no lead magnet?
Cliff: No lead magnet.
Mark: No promise of valuable content?
Cliff: No promise of content. The only thing that I promise you is that next time I have something to sell you I will reach out to you via email and tell you that you can buy something from me.
Mark: And still 4,000+ people opted in. That’s pretty cool.
Cliff: Just to give people an idea, I started my list in October of 2010, it was December 2010 that I actually sent my first email to the list, so it was two months later. I only had 200 people on my mailing list. I said, “I’m going to do a webinar series and it’s going to be seven webinars,” and it was $100 apiece so if you bought all seven of them it would be $700, “If you buy all seven of them I’ll give you a discount and you can get it for $595.” I said, “Here are the different ways you can purchase these webinars.” I sent that out as my first email to 200 people. I made $16,000 in 10 days.
Mark: I remember the state of your business at that time, way back then, and that was a very important $16,000.
Cliff: It was an extremely important $16,000. Today, now I’m at the place where every time I’ve sent out an email, on average $20,000 is pretty low on how much an email campaign has made. And an email campaign is one to three broadcast messages about my next Podcasting A to Z course. On the low end it’s about $20,000 and on the upper end it has been as much as $72,000.
Mark: So this email list since 2010, no email automated responder sequences, no valuable ecourses, no real substance, mostly just the sales pitches once a month or so. Is that right?
Cliff: Once every four to six weeks for the last six years. Occasionally I would send a broadcast message and that message might be a little bit of a personal inspirational thing or maybe a tip related to podcasting. Occasionally, but nothing autoresponder and certainly I only did those because I felt guilty because I kept sending all these sales pitches, if you know what I’m saying.
Mark: Absolutely. You started getting the itch for ConvertKit, you and I talked about it, Pat Flynn talked about it. What was driving that? What was the vision that you were thinking about chasing after to take this email marketing list to the next level?
Cliff: There were a couple of things. The first thing was the huge pain point that I had, I had 4,132 people on my list. Here’s the first thing that I did. I had this assumption that an overwhelming majority – in my mind at least 60%, probably much higher – my feeling was that 60% or more of those 4,132 people already have a podcast and have been podcasting for many years, because these people have been on my list for the last six years, they’ve been listening to my weekly podcast about podcasting, so gosh they have to all have a podcast.
Well, what am I doing with my broadcast message? I’m sending a broadcast message to all 4,132 people saying, “My next session of Podcasting A to Z is coming up. If you haven’t yet launched that podcast but you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time. I would love to be your personal coach. Let me help you start that podcast.” That’s my broadcast message going out to everyone, when even in my own mind I’m thinking I’m sending this message when 60% of those people this language doesn’t even fit who they are. I’m just communicating to them that I have no idea who they are.
Mark: So the problem with the list was you took in all of these email addresses over a series of years, they weren’t qualified in any way, you didn’t know who they were as far as where they were in their business, you weren’t communicating with them on a regular basis. I guess Aweber, until just very recently, had zero tools that really helped you deal with this.
Cliff: Right. The one thing that I did find was there’s an additional notes feature that allowed me to go in and every time somebody signed up for A to Z I used a note. I’ve had over 600 students go through my Podcasting A to Z course, and all 600 of those students I went into their settings in Aweber and in the additional notes field I added the phrase AtoZ. Then I was able to go in and create a segment of my list that was anybody who did not have AtoZ in the additional notes field. That way when I sent those broadcast messages at least I wasn’t sending an email to all of the people I know for a fact I’ve already helped to launch a podcast.
It didn’t make much sense for me to do that. In fact, I came up with that idea when I actually got a bunch of my A to Z alumni students, people who have gone through the course, saying, “Cliff, you’ve already helped me. I loved the class, by the way. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work,” and that kind of deal. After I got a couple of people saying, “Why are you sending me email offering to help me launch a podcast? You know that I launched my podcast, you helped me.” I realized I need to fix this, this was not the way that I want to communicate to my audience or my community.
Mark: And it’s not just people with a podcast, but I guess there are people on your list that have decided they don’t want a podcast, they just like to listen to you. I guess we’ll get into some of this, but there’s all kinds of different potential segments in your podcasting audience. Then on top of that you have this additional audience that follows you for business advice alone, they’re not really interested in podcasting as much as they’re interested in Cliff Ravenscraft’s approach to business and advice around that.
I guess the problem was that Aweber at the time (and I think this is still largely the case) didn’t have the tools to take that whole thing to the next level, so you made a decision to go to ConvertKit based on some advice of some people that you trusted. What was that transition like? Was it hard to move from Aweber to ConvertKit? What was your experience there?
Cliff: The hard thing was just in my mind thinking it was going to be a hard thing.
Mark: That’s awesome.
Cliff: This was literally something that has been on my to-do list, I desperately want to do something with my email strategy, I want to create a weekly newsletter, I want to start giving valuable content.
If I can, Mark, I just want to say there is an additional reason and pain point for this itch to move to ConvertKit, and that is that back in January, and it’s even been for the last 18 months, my weekly podcast originally started in December 2006 as The Podcast Answer Man. The first 350 or so episodes, every single week was me answering technical questions related to podcasting. I still have lots of valuable answers, advice, tips, and insights, but it’s not something that I want to talk about every single week. In January of this year I got around to rebranding that podcast. It’s the same podcast, it’s just called The Cliff Ravenscraft Show now. I don’t talk about podcasting every single week, I don’t talk about the technical tips, but I still want to provide that kind of information.
I’m thinking, “What if all of a sudden I say every single week this podcast is sponsored by my free Podcast Answer Man weekly podcast newsletter where you can get my best tips, advice, and strategy delivered every Friday to your email inbox.” I’ll work on the copy and the message, but that was another thing that I wanted to do. I wanted people to consistently remain under the impression that Cliff Ravenscraft is still The Podcast Answer Man. His podcast isn’t all about podcasting every single week anymore, but this guy is still the go-to guy. I believe that if I can deliver once a week every week podcasting tips, advice, and strategies that are going to blow your mind, that’s going to effectively handle what my podcast content used to do.
Mark: That totally makes sense. That kind of growth, segmenting that audience, and controlling them and getting the right content to the right people, Aweber is not able to get that done very easily, if at all.
Cliff: Aweber would have allowed me to do the autoresponder sequence, so I could have set up a weekly newsletter through them. That would have been easy. But it wouldn’t have allowed me to do some of the other things that we’re going to talk about.
To answer your question, how difficult was it to move from Aweber to ConvertKit, it literally was this. I created an account, I went ahead and signed up for the up to 5,000 subscribers account because I knew I had 4,000+ subscribers. I signed up for that account knowing that I’m instantly going to be on the hook for that amount of monthly expense anyway. Then I saw their import tool and it says you can drop in a CSV file and you can create some custom fields.
You actually helped me foresee a problem that I didn’t even know existed until I would have gotten in there. Aweber has some custom fields inside of their tables in the CSV file, so I when I import that in then it’s going to ask me to map the different tables. Where do you want the name to go? The name goes to the first name field. Where do you want the email to go? It goes to the email field. Now you have all of this other data that Aweber has collected over the years, do you want to abandon that or do you want to create custom fields? You told me how to do that. That literally took me an additional five to 10 minutes to do that.
Then as soon as I did that I went over to Aweber, I did an export of all of my 4,000+ subscribers, and that took me about 45 seconds. Then I took the CSV file and I literally dragged it into the browser window in ConvertKit. It asked me to take the first table in the list and map those to where the custom fields for what data goes where. Once it got the first one, it says, “We’re set. Do you want to add any tags to these?” and I actually chose a tag, I created a tag right there on the spot that says everybody who I am now importing I want you to say this was an Aweber import. So everybody who was existing on my list before I started at ConvertKit, you have the tag inside of ConvertKit that says Aweber import.
I created that tag and then I didn’t want to add them to any sequences or anything, I just wanted to get those people in. All I did was what I’ve just told you and then I clicked “import” and it says you’re done. Literally, it took me from start to finish 20 minutes, tops, to make the change.
Mark: That’s kind of amazing. So now you’re in ConvertKit and you’re fired up about this next level email thing, you have this thing in your mind about how you’re going to serve all of these people. I guess the problem was you hadn’t been emailing these people and you’re about to hit them with this incredibly valuable but much higher frequency newsletter every week. What did you do, did you just start mailing them? Take us through how you decided to handle the new email strategy versus the existing subscribers with a history of being mailed every four to six weeks.
Cliff: I will go ahead and answer that question and tell you what I actually landed on. After I finish answering that question, I would love to go back and talk about what happened as soon as I had 4,000+ people in Aweber but now what do I do. Since you asked this question first, I’ll go ahead and answer this.
I did end up creating an autoresponder sequence that is actually 52 emails. Right now only the first two are actually published and the rest I’m going to be adding in advance of their expected delivery time, if you know what I mean.
Cliff: I went ahead and created the weekly newsletter autoresponder sequence. Initially I wondered do I just go ahead and put all 4,000+ people instantly into this weekly autoresponder. My thought is no, I’m not going to do that. So I decided to create a second autoresponder follow up sequence with eight emails that essentially say the same thing, with the hope that people would only get the first email, they would click on it and join my newsletter or tell me that they don’t want to be on the newsletter, either one or the other, and then they would no longer get any follow up emails.
I created a newsletter invite autoresponder sequence that basically said, “You’ve been on my mailing list and you know that when you signed up I told you that the only thing I would be emailing you is when I have new products and services. This has worked extremely well for me over the years, but boy am I extremely excited about what I just decided to create for you. I want to deliver you my best tips, advice, and strategies related to podcasting, advice people have paid me thousands of dollars for I’m giving away for free every single week. Every Friday I want to deliver a valuable and actionable tip to your email inbox that will explode the growth of your podcast and help you take everything you’re doing to the next level. Would you like this? If so, I will not automatically send this unless you request it from me, because I don’t want to send you more emails than what you’ve come to expect from me over the past several years.”
So I give them one of two options; click the button that says “yes, add me to your newsletter,” or click the button that says, “Cliff, I’d love to stay on your list but I don’t want the weekly newsletter related to podcasting.” Those two options were given to them and that’s what I decided to do.
Mark: This is an important feature. I think it’s one of the more exciting ones. You didn’t need them to opt-in again, you didn’t need them to type their email address in, it didn’t take them to a form. You literally put a button in the email and if they clicked it that identified them inside of ConvertKit with something called a tag that you could then look at in the future and decide to send them these regular emails. Or alternatively they could click another button and they would get a different kind of tag that said this person has made a conscious decision and communicated that they don’t want this extra content. They’re not unsubscribed, they’re still on my list just like they were before, but they have this tag that tells you not to bug them with the weekly podcast email.
Cliff: Exactly. There’s certainly all of these things. What you’re talking about is this feature they have called link triggers. Basically in every email program you can put a link in and if somebody clicks the link it sends them to the link and of course you’re going to get some good stats and reporting. Every email client has that. What’s unique about ConvertKit is they can actually do another step, it’s called a link trigger. What happens is they have these things called automation rules that are basically if this then that statements.
I can go in and create a link trigger that says subscribed to mailing list. Once I’ve created that and I go in and put that in the email in the autoresponder sequence. Then I go into automation rules and say if this happens, and the if this is if they click the subscriber to newsletter button, then do this.
I’m not going to explain what all of these things are, unless you ask me to, but I’m going to go to my automation rules and I’m going to look quickly here for subscribe to newsletter and read to you what happens, what the rules are.
Mark: I think that would give a good concrete example that people could try to understand.
Cliff: Here’s what one says. If this happens, and the if is clicks a link. Which link, subscribe to podcast newsletter. If that happens, then subscribe them to the sequence titled podcast newsletter, also at the same unsubscribe them from the invite to newsletter sequence. When somebody clicks that link that triggers those two actions.
Mark: And you want to unsubscribe them because obviously once they’ve subscribed you don’t need to invite them anymore.
Cliff: That’s right.
Mark: This would be like also once someone had bought a product you don’t want to offer to sell them the product anymore. There are all kinds of uses for this kind of tagging.
Cliff: Exactly. There’s another option in that email that says “I’m not interested in the newsletter.” If they click that link, it adds a tag and that tag says not interested in podcast newsletter, so I have that information about them and I know that about them. Then also the second action that happens with that link trigger is unsubscribe them from the invite to newsletter sequence.
If anybody gets that first email and they don’t open it, or if they get that email and they open it but they don’t click on one of those two things, then when the next scheduled email is going to come out in that sequence they’re going to get that invitation all over again. They’re going to consistently get this invitation to join the newsletter until they click one of those two links.
Mark: Awesome. That’s fantastic. There was something that you wanted to go back to, though, right after you got the subscribers in.
Cliff: Yes. So I got the subscribers in and I’m thinking, “Okay, now what do I do?” I know that I want to create a newsletter, but before I create a newsletter there is so much more that I want to do. Why do I want a newsletter in the first place? First of all, I want to start delivering valuable content so that I’m actually giving more than I’m asking. I know that in my heart these people are on my mailing list because they’ve been listening to my podcast and buying my tutorials, they’ve gotten so much value and I’ve earned the equity, if you will, to ask so much on my mailing list. Why else would over 4,000 people sign up for an email that says “tell me when I can buy something else from you.”
Cliff: At the same time, I feel like I’ve been giving less and less of that kind of value in my weekly podcast. That’s why I needed to create this newsletter.
The thing is, also, remember that other pain point where I’m actually communicating broadcast message about my next A to Z course and not knowing who they are. Knowing that I can have these link triggers and do these automation rules where these actions take place because somebody clicked a link, I knew that I could do something called an internal survey. Inside of your list that’s what ConvertKit calls it, an internal survey.
For example, my very first email on my podcast newsletter list the subject is, “Do you have a podcast?” I’m not going to read the email, but eventually it gets down to the bottom and it says, “Please click on the one statement below that best describes you.” There are five links and I ask them to only click one of the five links. I want to read to you what these are.
- I do not have a podcast and I am not interested in starting one.
- I do not have a podcast, but I would like to start one at some point.
- I am currently podcasting and I am in my first year of podcasting.
- I am currently podcasting and have been podcasting for more than one year.
- I have had a podcast, but I am not currently producing any new episodes.
I want to know where these people on my list are in their podcasting journey. I’m going to go back to my automation rules and just choose one of these. This is going to blow your mind.
What took me so long to actually get around to writing my emails for my sequence for the newsletter is that I spent the last two weeks thinking in my mind how do I want to differentiate these people, what categories do I want people to sort themselves into using an internal survey. Then once I have that, I have to decide if somebody clicks this link what do I want to have happen. You don’t have to go this detailed, but this is how I think, this is the way my mind works.
What I’m going to do is share with you what happens if somebody clicks the link, “I do not have a podcast, but I would like to start one at some point.” Let’s just say that you just got my first email in the segment of my podcast newsletter asking, “Do you have a podcast?” and you just said, “I do not have a podcast, but I would like to start one at some point.”
If you clicked this, this is the automation rule. 1. Add the tag interested in podcasting. It actually just says pod02interested, but in my mind I know that is somebody who said, “I do not have a podcast, but I would like to start one at some point.”
This is all in one thing, if you click this link, all of these things happen and there are seven of them. The first one is add the tag interested in starting a podcast. The second action is unsubscribe from the sorting sequence of Podcasting A. Basically there is another autoresponder sequence that is called Sorting Sequence A Podcasting. For everybody who opens this first email but doesn’t click on any of these five links, they’re automatically going to be subscribed to another sequence that will consistently follow up with them every 30 days asking them to let me know if they have a podcast, until they opt out of that.
Cliff: That’s going to add interested in podcasting, if they click it it’s going to take them out of the podcasting sorting sequence. I do have another sequence that is going to ask them to tell me where they are in their online business journey. I’m not going to ask them to tell me where they are in their business journey until they’ve told me where they are in their podcasting journey. As soon as they click this link to tell me they’re interested, they’re taking out of the podcasting sorting sequence and they’re added to the business sorting sequence, which the first email doesn’t come out until 30 days later. That means you’ve gotten four weeks of the most amazing podcasting content ever before I even ask you to give me more information about you.
That’s not the only thing that happens, there are still four more things. Remove the tag podcasting not interesting, remove the tag first year, remove the tag over one year, and remove the tag stopped. The reason why I have those in there, and this is something that I added after the fact, what happened is that I noticed there were a couple of people who actually clicked more than one link.
Mark: Maybe by accident, or who knows, and then they went and clicked it again and now they have multiple tags. I was going to ask you about that. That’s super cool.
Cliff: When I did the email originally all five options were in a number sorted list, so there was no spacing in between. If you fat finger it and you click “I want to start a podcast.” What I noticed is the people who were double tagged were always one option different from each other. If you clicked, “I do not have a podcast and I’m not interested,” another thing that happens is that link trigger takes you to a thank you page which is a video of me saying, “Thank you so much for clicking the link that tells me that you don’t have a podcast and that you’re not interested in creating one. Because you’ve let me know this, I will not bother you about podcast related stuff.”
Mark: Awesome. You confirm their click for them and that helps them catch if in fact they clicked the wrong thing.
Cliff: They clicked the wrong link, so they went back to the email and clicked the correct link. I caught this because I actually created a really complex segment rule inside of ConvertKit that was really complicated that let me know every time somebody had more than one tag related to podcasting. That one took me probably 20 minutes to figure out in my mind. It was super easy once I had it figured out, but that’s how I caught this so quickly.
Before if you clicked the link that says, “I’m interested,” it only had three things; add the tag interested in launching a podcast, unsubscribe from the podcasting sorting sequence, and add them to the business sorting sequence. Those were the only three things that happened. Then after a I saw about seven people double tag themselves, I went in and added the additional fourth options to remove tag not interested, remove tag first year, basically remove the other four options that they could click.
My thinking is that if anybody clicked one link but then they go back and click another one, the most recent link they clicked is the correct link.
Mark: This also will allow you to resort them later. You could have a resorting sequence that fired every six months that said something like, “I want to make sure you are a new podcaster or have you graduated to the next level,” and now your logic handles that.
Cliff: Exactly. I love it. That right there, getting my list from Aweber into ConvertKit was literally 20 minutes. I’m not exaggerating, that’s all it took.
Getting this and deciding in my mind, I’m literally in bed at night, let’s just say at 10:00 at night, in my mind thinking about logically how do I want to sort these people and if they click this do I want people to automatically as soon as they sign up to my newsletter put them in all of these sequences, or what’s the order. Then the next thing I know, all of a sudden it’s 1:00 in the morning and I’m still thinking about this, I have it in my head, so I come down to my iPad Pro and start drawing it out and creating a workflow diagram.
I have three different workflows that I originally had. I waited until I had the workflow that I really felt confident was the one, the flow of how I want people to get from here to here to here. Once I had that, then I started creating these automation rules.
Mark: There’s one last thing that I want to get at here. We talked about these features and this sorting. I’ve thought about segmenting before, in the old days, and I’ve always wondered is this really that important. You’ve brought out a couple of examples. You don’t want to email your list about a new Podcasting A to Z course, which is one of the courses that you offer, if they’ve already taken the course. You’d like to exclude them.
Cliff: Let me take that even a little further. By the way, I’ve already gotten several hundred people who have sorted themselves and told me where they land in one of those five options.
Now what I can do is take all of the people who clicked the link that says, “I don’t have a podcast, but I eventually want to start one,” and now when I send a broadcast message or I could even create a marketing sequence for my next session of A to Z, I can actually create one specifically for people who said they don’t have a podcast but they want to start one. That messaging is going to be unique to that audience, which is basically what I’ve been doing all along inappropriately to everyone else.
Now let’s take all of those people who have been podcasting for more than one year. I can create a marketing message or a sequence of marketing emails and add everybody who has been podcasting for more than one year and that marketing message is now going to say, “I know that you’ve been podcasting for at least a year, and maybe as long as I have. You might be thinking why I don’t have more products and services to offer for those who have a podcast and want to take it to the next level. Here are five reasons why you as an existing podcaster would want to take my podcasting A to Z course.”
Mark: That’s perfect message to market match.
Cliff: What about the 15% of people in my community who have already told me, “I once had a podcast, but I’m no longer creating content.” Wow, I could create a webinar specifically for those people. That webinar is “I want to restart my podcast, but should I start over with a new podcast or should I pick up where I left off? Should I delete the first episodes?” I’m going to answer all of those questions for you and this webinar is $49.
Mark: That’s perfect. Here’s the thing that I think is most exciting. All of this stuff is kind of amazing, but here’s the thing that happened that I want to share with everyone that shows the true power of this whole segmenting with ConvertKit approach. You had for years been making assumptions about the people that were on your list.
Cliff: Oh yes.
Mark: You knew they had bought from you, they were only interested in pitches, I think we both assumed that 60%, maybe 70%, of these people were podcasting and were just hanging out on Podcast Answer Man’s list to stay up to date with whatever your course offerings were and so forth. Now you’ve had everybody through this sorting sequence. Take me through what you found and what myths you busted as a result of that.
Cliff: I’ve only got people into these sorting sequences less than 36 hours ago, but even over the past 36 hours 25% of those 4,000 subscribers have gone through, so it’s over 1,000 people at this point. These numbers, I think, are pretty much going to stand up even moving forward.
Mark: That sounds like what I was hearing on the election coverage, by the way.
Cliff: Exactly. Here’s the interesting thing; 41% of the people on my mailing list do not have a podcast, but very much want to start one, and I had no idea. I would have never guessed that. In my wildest dreams I was thinking maybe 15% or less, and probably closer to 5%. I just assumed that everybody on my list already had a podcast.
Mark: So you can create specific messaging to those people, find out what it is that is keeping them from having a podcast, and that’s 40% of that list that you can find a unique and very targeted way to go help.
Cliff: Yes. The one thing that I landed on, I could have created a different newsletter for each group, and I landed on no I’m not going to do that. What I’m going to do is the newsletter autoresponder, the weekly newsletter, I am purposely only including content there that would be applicable to every single person on my list except for those who said, “I don’t have a podcast and I have no interest in starting one.”
Whether you are thinking about starting a podcast, you’re in your first year of podcasting, you’ve been podcasting for the last 10 years, or you’re what we call a podfader and you’ve stopped producing your podcast, what I know is that every single week my podcast newsletter is going to be applicable to every single person. No matter where you are in the journey, I know that this content will resonate with you and be actionable.
Then down the road when I am doing certain things I can send very specific, targeted, valuable information, and more importantly products and services, $49 or $99 products that people can buy that will specifically help them in their journey. “I’ve been podcasting for less than a year, I don’t even know what I don’t know.” I can start creating custom products for those that really wouldn’t be interesting to somebody who has been podcasting for the last eight years.
Mark: Bottom line, on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with ConvertKit?
Cliff: About 150.
Mark: That’s awesome. I’m very glad, because I was one of the people who were encouraging you to do it. So I’m really glad it worked out.
Cliff: It did. The interesting thing is as this level that I’m in it’s ridiculous, we could do a whole other podcast on scarcity mindset and investing into your business and stuff like that, but one of the weirdest things that was holding me back was the pricing.
Aweber does things, I don’t know if Aweber ever did this to you, there’s this base price and you pay this annual fee every year for a base number of subscribers and then as you grow you pay monthly for the additional. I don’t even know what I was paying annually, but I know that my monthly fee was $30 per month. In mind I’m paying $30 a month, even though I know for a fact that I was paying more than that. I think I finally figured it out that I was paying $56 a month.
For the same list on ConvertKit it was $79 a month. As soon as you get your first 5,000 subscribers that monthly fee goes up even more.
Here’s the thing. If I was going to continue the email strategy that I had been using for the past six years, it didn’t make sense for me to move to ConvertKit because for less money I could effectively do what has been working halfway decently for me – broadcast emails, one to three email campaigns, generating between $20,000 and $60,000. The thing is that with this it allows me to do so much more.
For Podcasting A to Z, in my mind I cannot foresee with the powerful information that I will have available by segmenting this list and being able to communicate effectively to those individual groups, I can’t see a scenario where I would not be able to sell more and generate three, five, ten times the amount of income that I was before. I’m just going to be so much more efficient with my marketing and messaging and my income.
My guess is that I could see myself doubling or tripling my overall business income within the next two to three years and all of it being as a result of moving to ConvertKit. Is that worth $10-30 more per month? Duh.
Mark: I think it’s pretty clear. You’re right, there are all kinds of limiting beliefs that crop in even when you’re a trained professional at this stuff.
Cliff: It’s crazy. But, I’m super happy, I love ConvertKit, it is the bomb.
Mark: I am excited to have you back on the show. I hope this was helpful to people to understand the power of what’s possible. If people want to see this list in action and want to see more about what’s going on with The Cliff Ravenscraft Show and with you over at Podcast Answer Man, what’s the best way to follow up on that?
Cliff: Just go to PodcastAnswerMan.com and over on the sidebar you’ll see my email opt-in. I consider my mailing list to be the lead magnet, quite honestly.
Mark: I understand.
Cliff: The cool thing is I changed the opt-in, it no longer says to give me your name and email address if you want to be notified. Here’s what it says today.
The headline says, “Access my best podcasting advice, tips, and strategies free. Every Friday I send an email sending my best advice, tips, and strategies related to podcasting. Each of these weekly emails contains relevant and actionable information that can help you no matter where you are in your podcasting journey.”
Mark: That is so awesome.
Cliff: One more benefit, the ConvertKit plugin for WordPress is fricking amazing. Can I say fricking?
Mark: You can. I don’t think I’ll lose my explicit tag with that.
Cliff: The CovertKit plugin, I installed that plugin and you know how I am, I’m a plugin purist. I have thousands of pages and posts inside of WordPress and one of the things that the ConvertKit plugin did is it took my default opt-in form and put it at the very bottom of every page and every post on my website. My daily new subscribers has jumped through the roof, it’s insane.
Mark: Have you looked to see what the percentage increase is?
Cliff: Let’s just put it this way. With Aweber I used to get an email every time somebody subscribed and on average I would get one to three per month. Again, that’s people who said, “Cliff, tell me when I can buy something from you,” so those are pretty good numbers.
Before yesterday my mailing list, I’ve been with ConvertKit for just two or three weeks now, and my default opt-in form still said “give me your name and email address if you’d like to buy something from me and I’ll tell you when I have it available,” and my new email subscribers was about 10 to 15 per day.
Mark: Wow, that’s pretty huge.
Cliff: If you go to Google and do a search for podcast equipment or do a search for how to podcast, my site ranks for almost every podcast keyword. I’m usually always the first, second, or third result for anything related to podcasting. Thousands of people are hitting this old content on my site all the time. With one plugin there is now an opt-in form on every single post.
Mark: I’m looking at it and it looks really nice, too. I don’t think you need any other lead magnet. It looks super nice. Your best podcasting advice, tips, and strategies is probably worth an email address here and there, wouldn’t you think?
Cliff: I think so. The numbers will see. Mark, thank you so much. I love being on your show. You’re a great friend and it’s an honor.
Mark: I appreciate it. People love when you’re on the show, so thank you very much. We’ll have you again, I’m sure we’ll have more to talk about as this email marketing journey continues over at Podcast Answer Man. I’m enjoying it very much. Thank you so much. And get some sleep, it’s late for you. It’s Late Night Internet Marketing for me, but this is late in Kentucky.
Cliff: It is. All right. We’ll talk soon.
Mark: Thanks. Take care. Bye.
Wrapping Things Up….
I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I love talking with Cliff, he’s one of my best friends and he’s such a great guy. He’s always doing things for the right reason and that’s what I really love about Cliff.
Sure, he’s going to end up making money as a result of all of these efforts, but the thing that really has him charged up is how he is going to be able to help people that need help and find them and do the right thing for the people that are in his community. That’s the magic of Cliff, and I think that’s magic of a lot of businesses out there that are incredibly successful. You look at these guys that I’m lucky enough to be around – Leslie, Mike, Ray, Cliff – and they’re all about service, they all have a servant mentality. It really comes through in that interview with Cliff. I just really love that about him.
I hope you got fantastic things out of that. I encourage you, if you want to see this implemented and how well it works, go check out Cliff’s list at PodcastAnswerMan.com. Sign up and get those first couple of emails, see how this ConvertKit thing works. I think you’ll be really impressed.
Don’t forget about the ConvertKit webinar, that’s at LateNightIM.com/ckwebinar. Even if you’re on MailChimp right now and you don’t have any intention of converting over to ConvertKit, I want you to go check out that webinar because there is going to be some incredibly valuable content there that will help you think about how to do your email marketing.
Until next week, I hope you have an absolutely fantastic seven days where you get some really great stuff done with your business. Talk to you again next Thursday. Take care.