Creator Economy, No Code

Warming Up to Marketing Automation

For years, I was aware of Zapier and ConvertKit and many similar marketing automation tools. But I never had an urgent need.

The Need for Automation

In recent months, I have taken back to creating content systematically, and slowly I discovered why one needs such automation tools. Gradually, I begin to introduce these tools into my work.

I wanted to share my journey with you, as I feel this is a journey many of you go through.

Manual Subscribers Management

So I started by collecting readers to my blog articles with a simple input box on my website. Each email was stored in the database and sent via email to me. I used to email each reader manually on each new blog article.

Discovering Newsletters Platforms

After a few weeks, I realized this was too much manual work, and I needed a more automated way of sending an email. So I got the ConvertKit free subscription and created a message template. Then before sending a new blog article, I exported subscribers from the database as a CSV file and uploaded the file to ConvertKit. There was one caveat, the CSV file had all subscribers, so I had to manually cut only the new ones that arrived last week before uploading.

Again, after a few weeks, I realized it required too much manual work, and I needed to find an automated solution to manage subscribers. Preferably it should be something that does not require coding, such as automation via Zapier.

Because of the subscription rules of ConvertKit, and newsletter platforms in general, such automation can work only if you are using the ConvertKit forms for a subscription. But on my website, I have my input boxes, and I do not want to tie myself to ConvertKit.

Using APIs for Subscribers

Being a programmer, I started to look for a way to program this. Now, ConvertKit has an API - programmatic touch points with ConvertKit. But because email subscription rules work, ConvertKit does not have an API for adding subscribers.

Moreover, because I use Slack to control my website and marketing, I looked for a way to get notifications on new subscribers.

At this point, I discovered a new newsletter platform, SendStack, that had two good features:

  1. 1. You have a programmatic endpoint to add new subscribers, so your website can run a program each time you get a new subscriber that will call the SendStack endpoint to add the subscriber
  2. 2. You can get a notification in Slack on each subscriber added

The Automated Flow

Using these features, I have this automation flow,

Subscriber fill email input on my website => 
Email added to database => 
Program called SendStack to add email to subscribers list => 
SendStack sends a notification to a Slack channel in my company workspace  

Now, while this marketing automation flow and the specific newsletters platform that was chosen may not precisely match your case, I believe my journey can give you some ideas on tackling your case.

Yoram Kornatzky

Yoram Kornatzky