Your Migration Roadmap

Switching email providers is a pain, and at ConvertKit we wanted to alleviate as much of that pain as possible so you can move over seamlessly and quickly.

We asked Matt Ragland, our migration specialist, to share his process for moving accounts over so you can copy it for your own move. Here's a quick checklist, and then we'll dive into each point in detail.

Matt's Quick Migration Checklist

  • Map the funnels.
  • Replicate the subscriber forms and sources.
  • Copy sequences.
  • Match sequences to forms and tags.
  • Replicate any automations (product purchases, etc).
  • Replicate tags in CK to match lists/tags in old provider.
  • Create new segments in CK.
  • Switch blog forms and subscriber sources to CK forms.
  • Import subscribers to match tags in CK.
  • Send broadcast!

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 and how to get started in the best way.

Mapping the Funnel

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

  • A subscriber opts in through the sidebar form.
    • Optional "thank you" page.
  • Receives confirmation email.
    • Optional content upgrade via file or url link.
  • Begins follow-up sequence (also optional).
  • Added to Newsletter segment.

Basic Product Funnel

  • Someone buys your product.
  • They are added to a "buyer" tag.
    • Optional follow-up sequence.
  • Added to "buyer" seg

Basic Content Upgrade Funnel

  • A subscriber opts into your content upgrade form.
    • Optional "thank you" page.
  • Receives confirmation email.
  • Content upgrade via file or url link.
    • Optional follow-up sequence.
  • Added to Newsletter segment.

Basically, each new subscriber or customer goes through a specific funnel, and we need to know what they are.

To help clarify the funnels we created a spreadsheet that lays everything out. If you want to speed up your migration, 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.

The next step is diving into the main point of entry for any new subscriber. Forms.

Forms

Forms are the lifeblood of your ConvertKit account. Each new subscriber will come through a form and can be organized there for sequences, 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.

For each subscriber source funnel, you will create a specific form to start readers on their journey.

Replicating Forms and Sources

You can replicate your brand colors and calls to action for the form, but there are some style limitations.

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". If you want a lot of style options (fonts, colors, icons) and layouts, you're best off using a lead gen form builder like SumoMe, Thrive Leads, or Optin Monster.

Let's talk about these services, since many people use them! You 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 ConvertKit 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 fieds you're requesting with the service.

Quick note: you don't necessarily need to create specific forms to connect with the lead gen service. If they are going through the same funnel that is set up with another form, you can use it here too.

Next in forms are the settings, and it's just a quick overview. You can connect a sequence to a form 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.

Sequences

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 tedious depending on the number of sequences that need to be migrated.

A couple things to take note of.

  1. ConvertKit schedules sequences based on days since last email. MailChimp and Aweber do the same, just match the schedules.
  2. The ConvertKit email template and editor can handle header images, inline images, and hyperlinks. What we don't handle well (nor plan to), are heavily styled templates that include different tables and sidebars.

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 in-depth explanation is here.

Match sequences to forms and sources.

Once the sequences are migrated, they can be connected to forms in the settings, or to other tags and sequences with automation rules. For example:

  • Reader subscribes to form, starts a sequence.
  • A person buys a product on Gumroad, starts a sequence specifically for buyers.
  • A reader in your pitch sequence buys the product, and is taken off the pitch sequence and added to the buyer sequence.

Automations

Automations are how you keep subscribers moving through the different sections of their journey. A few examples are:

  • A subscriber buys a product (on Gumroad, Shopify, Teachable) and has a "buyer" tag added.
  • A subscriber clicks the "Buy Now" link trigger, has an "Interest" tag added.
  • A subscriber completes one sequence, is added to a new sequence.

If you're coming from MailChimp or Aweber, you probably don't have any, and that's one reason you're coming to ConvertKit!

Replicate Old Lists as Tags in ConvertKit

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 or tags. The more lists, the more tedious and time consuming the process beomes. If you can consolidate your tags, this the time.

Create Subscriber Segments

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:

  • A Newsletter segment includes blog forms, imported subscriber tags, and buyer tags (if you want).
  • A Buyer segment includes any forms or tags for subscribers who have purchased from you.
  • A Student segment includes all the tags from people who have bought Teachable courses.
  • A Member segment includes all the tags from people who are a part of your membership community.

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.

Segment-Buckets

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 sequences completed. But they are still just one person.

Switch blog forms and subscriber sources to CK forms

Now you will go to each form on your blog and switch it to the new ConvertKit form. Do the same for each source with a lead gen tool (LeadPages, Optin Monster, SumoMe). If you're simply using Wordpress and ConvertKit forms, please read this KB article. You can find the instructions for other services we integrate with in the KB as well.

This is where your funnel map is very useful. Simply go down the list and start checking them off!

Subscriber Import

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 in the process of switching everything.

For example, a reader opts in at the sidebar form, recieves 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 old provider. Now we know the lists are accurate and it's safe to import them to ConvertKit.

Makes a lot of sense, right?

I hope this guide helps make the migration process easier and more empowering for you! If you have any questions, you can send a support ticket to us, or ask other users in the ConvertKit Facebook group!

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