10 Steps to a ConvertKit Migration

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Every good business decision needs an equally good implementation plan.  And that’s just as true for your email service provider as it is your financial budgeting process.  And if you’ve followed me very long, you know I’m a die hard ConvertKit fan. Really, you shouldn’t even consider another email service provider.  

If you’ve made the jump to the best email marketing tool around, you probably need to know, what now?!? Right?  So, here’s the order of processes for a successful migration to ConvertKit.

1.   Map the funnels.  

Use a spreadsheet like the one here to create a funnel map for all the points of entry for your optins.

I’d be specific and include the URL where the optin is located.  Because let’s face it, people have duplicates.  You want to be very clear with this information so everything gets migrated correctly.  AND, what you need to know is that even though the same freebie might be offered in different place on your site, you want a completely different funnel in ConvertKit for each optin.

Why you say?  Tracking.  You want to know which optins are performing the best.  Don’t worry about creating multiple funnels for the same freebie. It’s a breeze to duplicate forms and sequences in ConvertKit.  So, you won’t be adding that much extra work to your to-do list.  Promise!

Here are two basic funnel formats…

  • Optin/Content Upgrade Funnel -> Freebie, Thank you page with CTA, Confirmation email with freebie delivery, Email sequence
  • Product/Course Funnel-> Freebie or product purchase, Buyer tag applied in ConvertKit, Thank you page with CTA, Follow up sequence

2.   Replicate the subscriber forms.    

Head over to your site.  Use Chrome’s Color Picker extension to get the hex color codes for the optin form buttons and any other colors needed for copy or anything else.  (Pro tip-make this a column in the migration spreadsheet so everything you need is in one place.)

On the ConvertKit home page toward the middle, click on the create form button.

Choose a form option on the next screen.

Choose a form style option

Create how the button should look under the content tab.

On the settings tab make sure to name the form, decide if you’re going to redirect after the optin or if the ConvertKit generic success message will show, then choose which sequence the form will be connected to.  

(Tip: I would leave the sequence blank for now.  You’ll tackle matching sequences in step 3.)  

Make sure to check the box that says make sequence mandatory for all new subscribers.  If you don’t, a check box will appear on your optin form and every subscriber will have to check the box before they can optin. 

The settings incentive email tab is super important.  You’re going to want to decide whether to use a single or double optin.  There are clearly two choices and two opinions on why either one of these choices is important.  

Basically, it boils down to this: single optins are great for higher subscriber numbers but not as much of a quality list; double optins are great for a higher quality subscriber list, but possible lower numbers.

I would advise you to use the double optin process and then creatively disguise the confirmation like I do in the example below.

Also, choose if there will be a download or redirect to a URL when the incentive button is clicked in the delivery email.  And click the checkbox that says to auto confirm subscribers.

If you want to change the form style, tweak the CSS, or change the returning visitors form options, you’ll make those changes on the style tab shown below.

For most people, you’ll use the JavaScript code to embed the form on your site in their WordPress backend.  Occasionally you’ll need the raw html code.  The only time I use the WordPress ConvertKit Plugin option is if I use ConvertKit landing pages on my site.

The Twitter card tab under setting is self-explanatory.  And there is also a tutorial linked on that page you can reference if you need additional assistance.

And finally, the other options tab.  You can duplicate, archive, or delete forms on this page.  Trust me when I say that duplicate option will be very welcomed.

You’ll go through this process for every form you need to create for your optin entry points on your site.

3.  Copy sequences.  

Now the tedious part, copying and pasting sequence content.  You literally have to copy every email automation sequence you want migrated over, then paste the content into ConvertKit, and then format it all over again.  Follow the instructions and tips below to make this process as easy as possible.

From the main ConvertKit home page click on the Sequences tab.  Then click the create sequence button and name it.

Copy only the content blocks from your previous email provider, like the MailChimp example below.  The ConvertKit email interface is not able to handle heavily styled templates that include tables or sidebars.  So, the sidebar content boxes below would either need to be included as inline copy with the rest of the content or it will have to be left off entirely.

You’ll notice along the top of the sequence email area is three tabs: content, settings, and reports.

The content tab is where you set the schedule, make a sequence live, add or delete emails, and preview email messages.

ConvertKit schedules sequences based days since the last email.  So, when you are creating a sequence, mirror the same schedule to match the delivery timing for your subscribers.

You can also put emails in draft or publish mode, preview emails in your browser or email, or delete an email in a sequence.

The email menu bar is very similar to other menu bars you’ve probably used.  You can insert images and links, and you can edit with html.

You’ll also notice down the left-hand margin is the formula for an effective email sequence.  If you click on one of those emails on the left, you can drag and drop them into a different order.  You can also delete an email by clicking on it there.  And you can add an email to the sequence from that left-hand menu as well.

On the sequence settings tab, you can set the return email address.  This allows you to run more than one business from the same ConvertKit account.  You can also determine if you want this particular sequence to go out on only a particular day of the week, a certain time of day, which custom email template you want applied to the sequence, and if you want to make sure and exclude any subscriber group from ever getting this sequence.  Lastly, this is the tab you use if you’d like to duplicate or delete a sequence, too.

The reports tab will show you helpful information and data to determine what steps to take to build a stronger sequence and to see how well your content is working for them.  How, you say?  By seeing where people are unsubscribing in the sequence.  

Say for example email 3 in the sequence has 15 unsubscribes and all other 6 emails in the sequence only has maybe 3-5 unsubscribes.  I’d check email 3 and see what can be done to improve whatever the issue is.

Repeat this process for every sequence email that needs created.

4.   Match sequences to forms.  

Here’s an easier step for you now.  Remember in step 2 when I said you could attach sequences to forms in the form settings tab section?  Then I said it’s a good idea to wait…?  Well now’s the time.  Go back into all your forms, and attach them to the corresponding sequences.

5.   Replicate any automations.  

Automations can be a tricky business.  But if you remember a few important tips, you’ll navigate this like a champ.

ConvertKit automation rules work on if/then logic.  Meaning anything on the left side of the screen operates under IF.  So, if you’ll notice in the screenshot below on the left-hand side I’ve already chosen subscribes to a form in the top section, then there’s a plus sign with another drop down.

You can have multiple actions on either side of the logic statement.  But all the actions on the left will behave with the IF action of the logic statement. Meaning IF any of these actions are true, THEN the right-side action triggers.

Conversely the logic actions on the right side of the screen behave with THEN action.  Meaning ALL the action on the right will happen IF any, not all, of the actions on the left side are true.

Another rule of thumb with automations is to make sure anyone that subscribes to a form also gets a tag.  Just trust me.  You’ll wish you did this if you don’t do this from the beginning.

Also, I’d create automation rules for when a subscriber completes a sequence.  This will allow you to move subscribers through various funnels within your account as each different sequence is completed.

Link triggers are my favorite automation rule.  You can see all the topics your subscribers are most interested in by creating a tag for every link trigger.  Yes, this will make the tags list long.  But the information is so helpful when reading subscriber data.  Plus, you can use this info to export lists for Facebook ad targeting on specific topics/products.

Lastly, I would use an automation rule for anyone that makes a purchase.  For example, if you have a subscriber in a sales sequence for a course, but they buy the program, you don’t want them to continue to receive the emails.  You want them to get removed from that sequence.  So, you’d set up an automation rule that says if a subscriber makes a purchase, then remove them from a sequence.

Most email service providers don’t have automation rules which is why you’ll be migrating to ConvertKit.  To my knowledge ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, and InfusionSoft are the only two ESP’s that do have automation rules.  But they are one of the most powerful features making ConvertKit a sure-fire solution for online entrepreneurs.

6.   Replicate tags in ConvertKit to match lists/tags in old provider.  

This part is super simple.  Probably the simplest part of the whole process.  So, take a breath while you can.  You’ll use your lists from your prior ESP to create list or tag names in ConvertKit.

Simply go down their list, like pictured in the MailChimp pic above, and create a corresponding tag in ConvertKit by clicking on the subscribers tab.  Then click on create tag on the right-hand side of the screen.  When you get finished your list will look something like the one below.

7.   Create new segments in ConvertKit.  

I rarely use segments. But one reason I DO suggest a segment be used is for a newsletter segment.

When creating a segment there are several fields to consider.  You need to determine the first drop down choice for matching fields to any, all, or none.  Then click on the add filter area.  Here are your choices and some reasons to use them:

All subscribers-Use this option for a newsletter segment if you want everyone on your list to receive a monthly or weekly newsletter broadcast email.

Cold subscribers-Use this option if you want to send out a one-time email message to re-engage cold subscribers before purging them from your list.

Subscribed to-This is the second most used option for segments, I believe.  You can use this option to put all buyers in a segment, or students, or members… just to name a few examples by choosing tags on the next option in the filter actions.

Within segment-I’ve never used this option when creating a segment. It’s a default option that also shows up when filtering a broadcast.  I’d skip this one.

Date-This is helpful if you have timed emails and tricky deliveries for your funnel steps.  For instance, I have a long-term launch client who ran a Facebook challenge.  She had people sign up for the challenge during the pre-challenge promo period.  And then it started on a Monday.  Then more people signed up after it started.  So, for the timed emails in this challenge, we had to set up multiple broadcasts and filter out groups to make sure everyone who subscribed at different times, got the messages delivered correctly.

The next set of filter options is forms, sequences, and tags. Say you have a marketing promotion for an affiliate product that needs to go out.  The topic is email marketing.  You could choose subscribed to, then forms, and pick all the different optin forms related to email marketing.

Or let’s say you have written several posts about tools and programs you use.  And you want to send out an affiliate broadcast email with a special sale they are running.  Then you’d choose subscribed to, then tags to pick everyone who had clicked on link triggers about those certain products that you knew were interested in them.

These are some of the most common reasons and ways to set up segments.  But as with automation rules, you’re only limited by your imagination as to the variety of ways you can set these up.

8. Switch blog forms to ConvertKit forms.  

This is fairly straight forward. You’ll use the JavaScript embed form or raw html code to embed the form on your website.  Delete any previous form information stored there first.  We touched a little bit on this in step 2 when we learned how to set up forms.  It’s on the form settings tab under embed.

There are a few common ways to embed a form.  As in the pic below you can copy the JavaScript and embed it in a sidebar or homepage widget.

Or you can embed it in a blog post like a content upgrade set up shown below.

There are other trickier ways, and tricky sites like Divi that can make this step difficult.  I suggest if you are using one of these more difficult instances to navigate, you go into the ConvertKit Family Facebook group and search for your particular issue.  There are tons of chat threads where people offer solutions to these types of things.  And learning this way is very beneficial as it would be impossible to provide every embed instance in this tutorial.

9.   Import subscribers to match tags in ConvertKit.  

We’re on the home stretch now.  Promise.  Log into MailChimp, or whatever provider you have been using, go to lists, click on the first list you want to export, and then click on the export list button as shown below.  You’ll want to go through all lists and click on export and get them all started.  This part of the process goes pretty quickly.

After you request the last export list, go back to the main lists page.  On the far right beside each list you requested to be exported there will be a drop down menu.  Hover over this and click exports.  Your requested export list should be on the next page that comes up.  Click on that list and download the .csv file to your computer.

Once the file is downloaded, open it up.  Delete any unnecessary columns and save the file again as a .csv file.  Make sure and confirm the columns you wish to import into ConvertKit.  Some providers have first and last name, address, phone, email address, etc.  Currently ConvertKit only supports first name and email address fields.

You can add more fields than that manually by going to your subscriber list, clicking on the + sign beside the import button, then add the first subscriber.  After you do this, click on the subscriber tab again, then open the added subscribers record.  Then click on add a new field.  Repeat this step until all subscriber fields needed are added in ConvertKit.

Once all the correct fields are added, we can start the import process.  Click on the subscribers tab.  Then click the import button.  When the pop up screen shown below appears, you have three choices: import into a form, sequence, or tag.

To date I’ve never imported anyone into a sequence.  But that is an option if needed.

If you import into a form you should know that the incentive email will not fire.  You must manually input subscribers into a form for your incentive to be delivered.

I always import lists into tags.  So, choose the tag option in this step.  And remember when you created a list of tags earlier?  The tag you are going to import into will appear on your tags list when you click that option here.

Then click on the large CSV File button.  Find the .csv file you saved previously, click on it to choose it to upload, and now it’s time to map the fields.

Basically, just make sure the left header column matches the field info in the middle column.

Once this is complete, click on import subscribers.  And that’s that.  Repeat this process for each list you requested an export .csv file for in your previous email provider.

10.  Send email!  

You made it.  You’ve completed a ConvertKit migration.  At this point you’ll want to email ConvertKit support to request that your account be activated.  You won’t be able to send any emails until this step is completed.

Don’t get intimidated.  I know that looks like a long, difficult list.  It’s not.  Well, let me be honest.  Depending on how involved your optin funnels already are, this can be a lengthy process.  BUT, if you go by the order of this list, trust me when I say it will make your job MUCH easier. Good luck and happy migrating!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. To read my Disclosure Policy in its entirety, click here.  Thank you for supporting my site! 

How ConvertKit changed email marketing success for me


I’m April and I’m known for a couple of amazing skills. They both have one thing in common… I make it rain. Book a call with me today and we'll ignite your business.


  1. Tracey on November 1, 2017 at 8:34 PM

    April this guide is incredible! Thank you!

    • April on November 1, 2017 at 10:05 PM

      Thank you! Hope it helps 🙂

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