ConvertKit’s Growth Strategy – A Journey to $1M in Monthly Recurring Revenue

If you know a little about email marketing then you probably know about ConvertKit.

Convertkit is an email marketing tool for online creators who are looking for a solution to grow and nurture their audience. Nathan Barry, the Founder, and CEO of ConvertKit with a vision to enable businesses to build their audience and grow the business.

Email marketing was a competitive industry those days as it is now. There were many other SaaS tools in the market like MailChimp, GetResponse. In spite, ConvertKit has managed to drive $1M in Monthly Recurring Revenue. Not wasting much of your time on the introduction of ConvertKit, let dive into the growth engine of ConvertKit.

Table of Contents

Leveraging Other People Network (OPN)

OPN is a growth hack where you can reach your potential audience who are the customers of other businesses who serve the same audience that you serve. In other words, networking with other businesses that sell to a similar audience. This could be a paid partnership which includes paying them to send you customers.

Networking using Webinars

In the initial days, ConvertKit used to send emails to their customers with an invitation for a webinar with ConvertKit’s team. This webinar was to be conducted for ConvertKit’s customer’s audience. In this webinar, they offered a quick demo of the product and an offer. This helped them to tap into a new audience without ads.

Introduction to affiliate program

A large part of ConvertKit’s customers was professional bloggers. As a part of their onboarding, they were given an opportunity to become an affiliate.

Since those bloggers had large traffic on their blog and had a huge email list, ConvertKit gave them the opportunity to earn 30% recurring revenue for each paying customer. This gave new acquisitions and brand exposure to the company.

Effective Onboarding

ConvertKit had their onboarding in a 3 part survey where they asked if the user is moving from any other email marketing tool. And if the user was moving from any other email marketing tool, they then asked the name of the tool i.e. their competitor. At the last, they asked the size of the list that the users had.

Each of these steps was armed by social proof (testimonials) at the bottom which motivated users to complete the onboarding process and take the experience of the product soon.

This reduced the onboarding churn of their users and gave them the data and intelligence allowing them to better understand their users, competitors and also provide a personalized experience.

The effective the onboarding process on a SaaS platform, the sooner the user experiencing the product and reaching the magical moment "Aha moment". This reduces the churn rate of the users.

Data-driven growth hack

With the help of the onboarding process discusses earlier, ConvertKit analyzed that most of their customers are starting with MailChimp and after growing their email list, they make a move to ConvertKit.

Also, they observed the highest churn rate on their cheapest plan while users stating the product to be more expensive.

After analyzing this data, they introduced a Freemium Plan which helps the business to grow with ConvertKit and serve the customers from start.

"Powered By" growth hack

The users using the features of the Freemium plan like publishing landing pages, forms, emails gave ConvertKit the opportunity to embed a “Powered by ConvertKit” badge. This growth hack gave them a ton of free exposure and traffic on their website.

It is a very powerful growth hack used by many SaaS start-ups like Calendly. It is an excellent way to embed your company’s identity into any embedded content or widgets that your customers see on your site giving you free of brand exposure and traffic.

I hope you enjoyed this growth study!

If you want my team to build a growth engine that drive sustainable growth for your startup, you can book a call.