If you're one of my VIP's you've probably noticed that I've moved my newsletter from MailChimp to ConvertKit (if you're not, you can join here). I resisted this move for a long time because MailChimp integrates so easily with Squarespace and because the price (at least a small list) is lower.
But lately I've been trying to find ways to automate more of my process and make it easy for me to stay on top of inquiries and messages from readers and MailChimp just wasn't cutting it. I have nothing against them (I used them for over a year), but ConvertKit offers more of the tools that I needed to grow my business.
Setting up Convertkit
Before you can integrate ConvertKit with your Squarespace website, you'll need to set up a ConvertKit account and create a Form that people can subscribe to.
Once you've created an account, you'll see your Dashboard. Here you can see how many subscribers you have and how each of your forms are performing. In order to create a new Form, click +Create Form.
Then you have the option of creating a Landing Page or a Form. Choose Form here so that you can make it a part of your Sqaurespace website (including any Cover Pages you've already created).
Then, choose the type of form you want to use. The options are pretty simple and you can do some customization to fit your branding.
Make any changes to the Settings you need, including naming your form in a way that you'll know where you've placed it on your website later.
If you want to add a new subscriber to an email sequence (such as a course or Welcome series) when they sign up, you can do that under Automations.
To create an Automation Rule, you need to choose the Trigger (subscribing to a form) and the Action (subscribing to a sequence). I use this to add new subscribers to my Welcome sequence and to create an automatic response when someone contacts me using my Contact page form.
Once your ConvertKit form is set up, there are two options for integrating it with Squarespace. You can use either on your main website pages, but only Option 2 will work for Cover Pages.
option 1: Embedding a form on Squarespace
In your Form settings, you'll find an Embed code already created for you.
Then on the Squarespace page where you want the form to appear, add a Markdown block.
The form that you'll see is exactly the one created in ConvertKit and it's already connected with ConvertKit, so when someone fills it out and hits Subscribe, they'll automatically be added to your list.
Option 2: Using Zapier with Squarespace Blocks
The second option for integrating ConvertKit and Squarespace takes more work up front, but will work with the Form and Newsletter blocks and maintains your design style throughout your website. This is also the only option that will work if you are having people subscribe from a Cover Page, as you can't add a Markdown block to those pages.
To integrate this way, start by adding a Newsletter or Form block to your Squarespace page. (If you're using a Form block, be sure to delete the Name option that is the default and add a Text question requesting the First Name since ConvertKit doesn't collect last names.)
In the Storage tab, you want to connect the block to a Google Drive form. Make sure to name this form something that makes sense to you.
Then, go to your Zapier account and Make a Zap. (To get these next steps to work you'll need to submit a test through your Squarespace form.)
When you make a new Zap, you'll have the option of choosing from many different apps. If the ones you need for this Zap don't show up, simply search for them in the search bar.
Your first step will be to create a Trigger. Do this by selecting Google Sheets from the Apps and choosing Updated Spreadsheet Row. Save and Continue.
You'll need to connect your Google Drive account is you haven't already.
Then fill in the information Zapier needs. These fields will all populate with the information from your Google account so that you can make sure everything is connected correctly.
You can then test your connection to make sure everything is working.
Next you'll create an Action by selecting ConvertKit from the Apps. Choose Add Subscriber to Form.
Connect your ConvertKit account.
Then you'll fill out the information requested. The Form should link to the form you just added to your account and then the other rows should correspond to the information from your Google Sheet. Make sure the the Email address is in the Email spot and the Name (if you collect it) is the the First Name spot. This way, ConvertKit will know what information to add to the subscriber list so that your emails send correctly.
Test the connection. (If you tested this with your email address, you should receive the Opt-In Confirmation email from CovertKit.)
Once everything is working correctly, name your Zap and turn it on. Now you can start collecting subscriber information directly into your ConvertKit list!
Why I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit
While connecting MailChimp with Squarespace is certainly easier because it's already built in to Squarespace's functions, sometimes MailChimp doesn't make the most sense for your business. Using a tool like Zapier makes it easier to connect your preferred newsletter service to your Squarespace website without losing the design consistency that you've worked hard for.
Once I knew how I could integrate ConvertKit with my Squarespace website, I decided that it really did make sense to switch. I now have more control over who I send emails to using tags and tracking, and I'm only charged for subscribers once (even if they're on multiple lists). While this wasn't a change I needed to make right now, it made sense to start preparing for my business to grow - because that's what we're all working towards.
It did take some time to convert all of my existing subscribe locations over to this new connection, but in the end I think the change was worth the effort.
And if you're interested in becoming a VIP (and seeing how this works as a subscriber) you can sign up for my newsletter.
Lemon and the Sea is a branding and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creatives who enjoy being involved in every step of the process to help them update their brand and website so that it better reflects who they are and what they do. From logo and collateral design to Squarespace websites, I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into their what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a brand that represents them.