When I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what would you say? Activetrail
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online industries now, email marketing has been Dominated by the same large players for the previous decade. Which means that they get promoted very heavily and accomplish a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the marketplace, causing long-time customers to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So now, in this review, I’ll be ripping MailerLite from limb To limb to see if it really stands its own ground against the big boys…
…and, what’s more, whether youshould consider making the change.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using principles
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.)
– Simple to Utilize email builder/template editor
– Practical Email components such as countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and in-depth reporting
– A Fraction of the price compared to most other solutions
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates available
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for website tracking Activetrail
Like most email advertising providers Nowadays, You’ll Need to Go through a review process before being able to correctly use the program.
When you first register, you’ll be asked to complete your profile.
This includes information like your organization name, site, Business, address, company size, record size and also the kind of content you intend to send.
Then, you need to confirm your Site (or domain ).
This remains part of the approval process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is associated to this domain in order that they could email you a verification link.
As Soon as You’ve completed these Measures, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, assess your Site, and ascertain whether you’re a fantastic match for their services.
(Quite simply, they are making sure you are not a spammer/scammer)
As shown above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to utilize the software to make campaigns and play with the attributes, but you won’t be able to send anything before approved.
I was”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limit of 500 subscribers.
Here’s what the email said:
But while these steps are not perfect for getting started, it Does help prevent unscrupulous users from damaging everyone else’s deliverability.
If you are anything like me, you’ll rely on automations to handle Nearly all your email advertising.
(We’ll get to automations shortly, do not worry.)
But if it’s a brand new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there’s always some excuse to send a more instant email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the new’Produce Campaign’ will provide you several choices.
– Regular campaign: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Variations, such as subject line, from title and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Don’t open your broadcast email, with the option of changing the subject line and email content.
– RSS effort: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to subscribers using your site’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few additional options, most of these will follow The same step-by-step process of a normal campaign.
So let us walk you through it.
Once you click on to create your effort, you’ll be asked to Pick a favorite editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
Otherwise, you can change to the Templates tab and choose from among the pre-designed email templates — which will move you into the dragn’ drop editor .
In the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to choose From which is a little on the low side, however, the layouts are super contemporary.
And, of course, if you’d just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I will choose the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to work with, Making viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also utilize the cubes in the sidebar to add distinct Types of articles to your email, including videos, product columns, and social connections.
After making your changes, simply click’Done Editing’ and you will Be carried to the recipients’ choices where you are able to select your groups or segments.
The tab also allows one To develop segment-like rules , in case your targeting isn’t quite right.
Finally, right before sending, you’ll get to the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, if that’s immediately, at a set time/date, or in accordance with your readers time zones.
Impressive, right? Activetrail
Handling Your Subscribers
Having granular control over your readers is arguably among The most important facets of any email marketing program today.
Because highly personalized campaigns Are Essential if You’re searching to increase opens, clicks, and, above all, your own conversions.
And while most providers allow you to”tag” subscribers in order To target them more effectively, MailerLite utilizes a slightly different approach.
When you start up your subscriber dashboard, you’ll notice two Choices; Segments and Groups.
Segments are essentially principles.
Your subscribers belong to a section only when they fulfill the Specified principles, and are automatically added or removed so.
Here’s what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice how you can also combine Rules, in addition to an alternate rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for classes, and despite the difference in name, These behave much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are updated manually or through an Automation rule — which we will get into in a minute — and they have no value aside from what you actually call them.
As you start to use this platform, you’ll begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are generally used, but MailerLite delivers a hand in the event you’re unsure:
Basically, groups are much more of a Deliberate activity on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments permit you to lump multiple contributors together based on a frequent denominator.
A tad confusing, I’ll admit… but I believe it’s a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. Besides, they’re discretionary.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this region with their own fields, such as name, company, and nation.
If You Would like to create your own custom fields, you can do this by Clicking on the’Add new field’ button.
So how do they actually work?
You can either upload a CSV record of your readers along with Your custom field information in separate columns… or may simply add these fields to your forms which will only apply to future subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test area I made and added to a form:
I won’t go too much into the form Stuff here because I have a whole section on that below, but this is the approach I would recommend if you wanted to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve gathered your custom field data from new Subscribers, you are able to pull them into your email content and subject line.
Just click on the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Customized field.
I am barely scraping the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it’s important that you know that this is a feature you can use.
Overall, it is fair to state MailerLite has their contributor Direction and personalization features on point. Activetrail
If you’re not impressed by what you’ve seen so far, then maybe The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After choosing’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, you’ll be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template selection Isn’t winning any awards, but it will offer a great base to work from if, for example most people, you do not have that pure eye for layout.
I went ahead and selected the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all ultimately do the same task; accumulate an email address.
This time, the editor will give you 17 building blocks to Further build or change your landing page.
Now, I’ve used my fair share of Visual page builders, and it is better than some dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the basic building blocks, you can use components like Hero sections, popup buttons, reviews and countdown timers.
It will not be replacing landing Page builders like Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime soon, but credit where credit due, this thing over-delivers on all 3 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite really offers a Adequate set of type building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there is a whole lot to cover .
Let us begin with your Bog-standard embedded type.
These forms are created inside MailerLite in order to get An embed code, which you can then place on your website to display it on specific pages.
Despite starting off super fundamental, the form designer lets you To personalize everything in the kind style, subjects, background, name, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text may also be edited directly, which Provides you a Opportunity To visualize your copy in real-time.
It would have been nice to have Some templates here, but as you know, there is more to a form than simply its physical appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure how the Form works, such as adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There is even a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And talking of the success webpage…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded form and prevents users from redirecting.
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess how your form screens on cellular by shifting the toggle to responsive mode.
You won’t Have the Ability to make any layout changes , but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an overview of the Embedded form but like I said before, you may also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the majority of this installation Procedure is identical, there are Still a few differences I’d like to point out.
Unlike embedded forms, you can choose between a set of Templates:
While this isn’t the most Comprehensive choice, they do provide a fantastic base to work from and the editor is at least as easy to use for this form kind.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template takes me to a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new options under form types Now around:
Contemplating paid programs like Thrive Leads exist for both ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to observe this amount of control over popup types.
And, as before, you can perform with the styling options to get it Matched with your branding.
Last, you can choose the close Behavior of your type under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is the X icon, but you can swap out this for A”No thanks” text option, or have both.
This is really where most email Marketing platforms will render you, but MailerLite has yet another trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like most tools, you’ll find a summary of your campaign Data in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber development, automation analytics, and form signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you specific reporting for that effort.
This is where you’ll discover a few more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, reading environment, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the ordinary consumer…
…but in Case You really want To dig into the numbers, you can click into individual areas of this report for a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
By Way of Example, the’View Mail’ tab also displays a click map, so You can see your readers interacted to one another.
Reports for automations will also be Available under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found to be less insightful than campaign reports.
Here’s a quick example:
Total, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting port, and most will find the available data more than enough to fulfill their demands.
What is email marketing without a dash of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this review.
The good news? If you’ve ever used a visual workflow builder, You will instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is easy, clean and easy to navigate — something that certainly can’t be said for each and every email marketing program.
After setting your trigger, you can begin adding measures to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a conditional split, or an act, such as moving a contributor or updating their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I set together, where readers Are unsubscribed if they do not open my email within seven days.
There are countless Possibilities in regards to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite should not have any trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it is not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign since it lacks some of the conditional components. (Split, Visit, Goal, etc.)
For Instance, there’s now no automation for moving Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, the Majority of these activities can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into different classes that activate new automation workflows. It is just much less efficient…. yet.
Another question of efficacy here is when creating new mails In the automation workflow builder.
After having an email cube to The workflow, you’ll be asked to put in your topic line that then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking the’Design email’ button will fire up the Editor:
Now, you’ll be briefly Redirected to the standard campaign creation wizard, which I covered previously in the critique.
This time, however, as Soon as You’ve created your email, clicking on the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you back to the automations workflow instead of the usual sending alternatives.
Finally, your email will probably be Loaded into your automation.
A nice touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation block, which means it’s possible to get an concept about what it contains at a glance.
While this process may seem like A grind on paper, it’s really much faster than what I am utilized to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a fantastic example.
On the other hand, if you have come over from something like ConvertKit where The editor is loaded inside the automations builder, you’ll probably find this a downgrade in performance.
It’s fast enough for me, Personally, but I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there’s one type of automation You will not find in MailerLite, also that I think that it’s important to highlight.
The ability to trigger an automation (or measure ) based on the way Subscribers interact with the webpages on your site.
This Sort of behavioral targeting only is not accessible MailerLite right now, so if it’s something you use or plan to utilize, you might want to skip this one. Activetrail
The cost of MailerLite is one of those tools largest Selling things, and let’s face it, most of us love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) for as many as 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your mails using this program, it’s still an amazing alternative for those starting out.
And what about the premium plans?
It turns out, at approximately half of the Price of the competition generally, MailerLite is undoubtedly one of the cheapest options on the industry. Plus, if you are willing to pay yearly, you are also able to get an even better discount.
In Reality, I have not been able to find anything that does the Exact Same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of the few email marketing tools The (very crowded) industry in the last couple of decades, which is no simple feat.
While it’s not as quickly as ConvertKit, or as feature-rich As ActiveCampaign, or as template-heavy as MailChimp, it works exceptionally well at just about anything you can throw at it.
Overall, I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, simplicity and speed, and all at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to beat.
Thinking of giving it a spin? Let us know how it works for you In the comments. Activetrail