The Ultimate Guide to ConvertKit Forms, Tags and Segments

ConvertKit List Segmentation is Like an Airport

Key Takeaways

Using forms, tags and segments properly:

  1. Provides a clear path for subscribers to become fans and for fans to become customers.
  2. Encourages you to plan and use your list strategically rather than haphazardly.
  3. Reduces clutter in your ConvertKit dashboard, which helps you manage your list better.

How to be Self-Sorting Cargo

​Think about the last time you went to a major airport…like Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta…one of the big ones. Have you ever thought of one of those busy, massive places as a system for sorting passengers? Have you ever thought of yourself as self-sorting cargo?

Hold that thought…


​This is the first post in my ConvertKit Product Creation Masterclass experiment. Even though the experiment doesn’t start for a couple more weeks (April 24th to be exact), I thought I’d let you behind the scenes on what’s been giving me a headache today.

Once, I was on a business trip in the Atlanta area. I had a rental car and I was returning to the airport and was running about an hour later than I wanted to unfortunately common occurrence for me in those days.

From the time I drove into the rental car lot, I only had about 45 minutes before my plane was scheduled to depart. I don’t think this had ever happened before or since, but I returned the car, caught the shuttle bus, checked into my flight, made it through security and on to the plane with just a few minutes to spare.

​And yes, this was post September 11!

​I couldn’t believe it, but I made it. But if it weren’t for systems organized to move people quickly from one place to another and the hand of God, I wouldn’t have made it.

​ConvertKit forms, tags and segments are boring. But list organization is essential to turning visitors into subscribers, subscribers into fans and fans into buyers.

But only if you do it right.​

Struggling to Understand ConvertKit

​I’ve been struggling all afternoon to wrap my head around how ConvertKit’s organization system works. From all the reviews I’ve read, it sounds wonderfully flexible, effective and easy to use. But as I’ve been building my first list for this experiment, I just couldn’t grasp it.

​And so I thought others might have the same problem.

​You see, ConvertKit isn’t like all the other e-mail services out there today. The other systems are built around lists and subscribing people to those lists.

​Let’s imagine you have a site that offers career advice and products like resume guides and course on finding your perfect job. Let’s also assume you offer a weekly newsletter that includes your new blog posts and you have a free offer for both your resume guide product and your course that each have their own list.

So, I come to your site and I’m interested in all three. What happens?

​I have to sign up three times. I get put on three separate lists that all have their own follow-up sequences and you get charged for three subscribers even though I’m only one person. Oh…and then you have to manually cull all three lists to remove unresponsive people or you continue to get charged for them.

​ConvertKit does it differently.

​They focus on the subscriber rather than the list.

​Which is what was giving me the problems. I needed to change my paradigm, which, I can admit – I am not very good at doing.

​In that same scenario from above, I come to your site and sign up on one of your forms, which is directly connected to a follow-up sequence. If I’m still on your website (or come back at a later date) and sign up on another form for a different product, I will start that e-mail sequence too. But here’s the beauty…I am one subscriber in multiple follow-up sequences rather than multiple subscribers in multiple lists.

​It sounds like a small thing, but it isn’t. It makes it possible to do some really cool things. But only if you understand ConvertKit’s lingo.

​According to their Getting Started Guide, here are the definitions (click on the image to zoom in):

ConvertKit forms, tags and segments

Great…so what’s all that mean?

My ConvertKit Setup Plan

It took me a couple hours to figure it out so it works in my head and here’s how I’m going to apply it to my list.

Step 1: Forms - Every subscriber will be added to my ConvertKit system through a form. I plan to have a separate form for each opt-in incentive (lead magnet) I offer.


If you import subscribers from another platform, you don’t have to add those through forms, but all ‘regular’ subscriptions should be done through them.

Step 2: Forms – I’ll connect each form to the follow-up e-mail sequence I want the subscriber to get.


One follow-up sequence can be triggered by multiple forms, but each form can only trigger one follow-up sequence.

Pro Tip

Unlike in other platforms, in ConvertKit, you can send directly to all the subscribers that came through a particular form. For example, if someone signs up through a form connected to your weekly newsletter sequence, you don’t need to segment or tag them as a newsletter subscriber. You simply set up your newsletter to send to that form and everyone will get it.

If you have multiple forms all collecting subscribers for the newsletter, you should set up a newsletter segment and send to that segment instead of the individual forms. This way, if you add more forms in the future, all you have to do is add the form to the segment and everyone will get the newsletter as expected.

Step 3: Segments – Right now I don’t have any segments, but I may add one for the people that I’’ be bringing in from Mail Chimp that signed up to get my faith-related posts. In the future, I know I’ll set some up, but I’m not exactly sure what they will be yet.

Think of segments as different audiences or overarching categories for your subscribers. For example, in the image below image (click to zoom) from the I Will Teach You to be Rich website, you could set up segments for “Entrepreneurship,” “Careers,” “Finance,” and “Productivity & Psychology.”

ConvertKit forms tags and segments

Then set up one or more forms for each product like “Zero to Launch,” “Call to Action,” and “Accelerator.”

Step 4: Tags – I tag each person that signs up for my Product Creation Masterclass experiment with a “Interested in Experiments” tag. When I do experiments in the future, all I have to do is send a broadcast messages to everyone with that tag and I know they’ll be in the know about the latest experiment.

Connecting with Subscribers

​One of the coolest features in ConvertKit is the ability to track people’s interests and engagement levels by the links they click on in your e-mails.

​Check out the e-mail below I got from ConvertKit (you can also see this in the video below). When a subscriber clicks on each of those links, they get a different tag applied to them and are signed up for a different follow-up sequence. It’s a great way for you to take the subscribers that sign up from a more generic lead magnet (like your newsletter) and figure out where they are in your sales funnel.

convertkit forms tags and segments

By tracking who clicks and who doesn’t, ConvertKit allows us to track subscriber engagement and even automate separate, targeted follow-up sequences to people who click links compared to those that don’t! Think about the impact of this during a product launch…

​Now that I’ve explained how I’m going to set all this up logically, I thought I’d shoot a video to let you see how it’s done in the ConvertKit backend. It’s pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it and understand the terminology, but it does take a little getting used to.

​Please be patient with me…it’s my first video in awhile. I'd be honored if you'd click on the YouTube logo at the bottom of the video and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment on YouTube about it, But make sure to come back here and finish the post!

Stats (as of 4/6/17)





E-mail subscribers




Affiliate Referrals




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