Preliminary concepts and ConvertKit account set up

Things to do before you begin configuring everything else:

  • ‘Get your account approved’ to remove the yellow bar across the top - email support, describe your business, website, etc.
  • Verifying sending email addresses
  • Verifying your domain name / SPF, DKIM, etc.
  • Enable the ck_subscriberid query string parameter.

Account info inspection and base settings

Before you do anything in your new ConvertKit account, you should have a look at ‘My account’ for a quick set up. There are some important options there that will affect everything you do with ConvertKit (as well as some legal stuff).

Head over to the top-right corner on your account bar and click the gravatar image. The menu will open and you can select ‘Account settings’.

ConvertKit menu - My account

Your account includes 4 different sections at the moment:

ConvertKit My Account Section - InfoAccount info

Includes a field where you can specify your company name or ‘business’ name, API options and GDPR, as well as an affiliate link.

ConvertKit My Account - Your ProfileYour profile

Includes a field to specify the email address of your account. This is also the default email address that is used to send email from in your broadcasts, but more importantly, it is the email where your notifications are sent as well as all of your invoices and correspondence with ConvertKit support. If you change this, you will start to receive all of these communications to the new address and you will also use this address for login.

You can also change your password and your ‘gravatar’ (account photo) in this section.

ConvertKit My Account - EmailEmail

This section relates to sending emails: You can specify which email address (and name) to use as your default send ‘from’ address. Please note that you can add multiple addresses but only one can be the default. Each address must be verified before you are allowed to select it as a ‘sender’.

The second part of this section is the ‘Default Time to Send Emails’ and it refers to the DEFAULT time of day to send automated emails and whether you want to allow emails to be sent any day of the week or you would like to exclude certain days. 

This particularly applies to sequences. When you create a sequence with a number of emails in it, the emails start sending as soon as a subscriber is added to that sequence. Of course, you can define the default time and timezone and the days in which to send and not to send emails from the sequence itself. But the settings in this section here are the defaults. 

Since sequence emails are triggered at different times or days for each subscriber, they cannot be scheduled in advance like broadcasts, so you need some sensible defaults - this allows you to set those defaults.

You should carefully plan your sending days and hours as is appropriate for your audience, but also try to plan them so that you do not send too many emails in one day to your subscribers. See a future article for an example of what this means and how to do it best.

The third part of this section relates to some legal and anti-spam requirements - you need to specify your physical address where you can be reached. This address is a legal requirement and it is automatically included at the bottom of every email you send out (sequence or broadcast). Similarly to unsubscribe links, if you try to remove it from a template, you will not be able to save that template or use it for sending email. So make sure that you fill in your correct postal address in these fields.

You may think: I don’t want to put my real home address here! If you’re just starting out as a blogger, working from home, I can understand you! You could perhaps rent a P.O. Box, use your work address, ask a friend who has a business to let you use theirs. If none of these is appealing to you, ConvertKit has offered to let you use their OWN post address instead. Legally, the address you specify here doesn’t HAVE to be your own, it just has to be a physical address where you can be reached. So ConvertKit has set up a system whereby if you use their address for this contact info, they will open the letters they receive, scan them, they will identify which ConvertKit account it’s meant for and they will email you a PDF of the letter.

Of course, you need to be a ConvertKit customer for this to work, and you also understand that the ConvertKit staff will open all mail - so there’s the consideration that any mail, even legal stuff addressed to you, will be seen by them.

Finally, in the ‘Advanced’ area you have a simple checkbox to specify whether you want the ‘subscriber_id’ added as a parameter in all email links. What this means is that if you include any links in your sequence and broadcast emails, those links will automatically be modified to also include a parameter like this: ‘?ck_subscriber_id=123’ (‘123’ is the ID of the subscriber in your account). 

This parameter enables ‘automation’ to extend beyond your ConvertKit account and emails, into your website. It’s a very handy feature for three reasons:

  1. It can be used by the ConvertKit Wordpress plugin to synchronise subscribers with your website visitors.
  2. You can capture this parameter to perform your own internal magic if you want to track subscribers when they arrive on your website from emails you send. You can set up an advanced Google Analytics tracking to record your ConvertKit subscriber IDs.
  3. You can connect to the ConvertKit API and obtain more info or perform certain actions with subscribers as a consequence of them visiting certain pages or performing certain actions on your website. The way you know they’ve visited your campaign landing pages is this parameter. Again - with the ConvertKit API, the sky's the limit! 

ConvertKit My Account - BillingBilling

This section shows the current ConvertKit plan you are on (depending on the number of subscribers you have) as well as your payment methods and your billing history.