MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online businesses now, email advertising has been Dominated by the same large players for the previous ten years. Which means they get promoted very heavily and accomplish a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the market, inducing long-time users to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So now, in this short article, I will be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to find out if it really stands its own ground against the big boys…
…and, more importantly, whether youshould consider making the switch.
– 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 Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email components for example countdowns and product boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations using visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and in-depth reporting
– A Fraction of the cost compared to most other options
– Strict Approval process
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates available
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
Like most email marketing providers Nowadays, You’ll Need to Go through a review process before being able to properly use the software.
When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to complete your profile.
This includes information like your company name, site, Business, address, business size, list size and also the kind of content you intend to send.
Then, You Have to confirm your Website (or domain name).
This remains part of the approval process, and MailerLite will Simply ask which email is related to that domain in order that they could email you a confirmation link.
Once you’ve completed these Measures, you ought to wait it out.
The MailerLite team will review your application, assess your Website, and ascertain whether you’re a good match for their service.
(In other words, they’re making sure you are not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to use the software to create campaigns and play with the features, but you will not be able to send anything until approved.
I had been”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limitation of 500 subscribers.
Here Is What the email said:
But while these measures aren’t ideal for getting started, it Does help prevent malicious users from hurting everybody’s deliverability.
If you are anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to Deal with Nearly all your email advertising.
(We’ll get to automations shortly, do not worry.)
But if it is a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always some excuse to send a more immediate email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Produce Campaign’ will give you several options.
– Regular campaign: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split effort: Multiple email Versions, such as subject line, from name and, yes, even email content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Do not start your broadcast email, together with the choice of changing the subject line and email articles.
– RSS effort: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to readers using your site’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few additional choices, the Majority of these will follow The same step-by-step process of a normal campaign.
So let’s walk you through it.
Once you click to create your campaign, you’ll be requested to Select a favorite editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can change to the Templates tab and choose from one of the pre-designed email templates — which will move you to the dragn’ drop editor by default.
In the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to select From which is somewhat on the low side, however, the designs are super contemporary.
And, of course, if you’d just Like to reuse a previous email, you can click on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I’ll choose the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to use, Making viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also utilize the cubes in the sidebar to add different Kinds of articles to your email, including videos, merchandise columns, and societal links.
After making your adjustments, just click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be taken to the recipients’ options where you are able to select your groups or sections.
The tab also allows you To develop segment-like rules , in case your targeting isn’t quite right.
Finally, right before sending, you’ll get into the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, whether that’s immediately, at a set time/date, or in accordance with your subscribers time zones.
Handling Your Subscribers
Having granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most essential facets of any email advertising software today.
Because highly personalized campaigns Are Essential if You’re looking to increase opens, clicks, and, above all, your own conversions.
And while most providers allow you to”label” subscribers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different approach.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll notice two Choices; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically rules.
Your subscribers belong to a segment only when they fulfill the Specified rules, and are automatically added or removed so.
Here is what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice how you can even combine Rules, in addition to another rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for groups, and despite the difference in title, These act much like your normal”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it.)
Unlike Segments, Groups are updated manually or through an Automation principle — which we will get to in a moment — and they have no value aside from what you actually call them.
As you Begin to use this stage, you’ll Start to understand Where Segments and Groups are typically used, but MailerLite delivers a hand in case you’re uncertain:
Fundamentally, groups are much more of a Deliberate activity on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments allow you to lump multiple contributors together according to a frequent denominator.
A tad confusing, I will admit… but I feel it is a fair trade-off For the added flexibility. Besides, they are optional.
Last, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You will notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their own fields, such as title, business, and nation.
If you want to create your own custom fields, you can do this by Clicking the’Add new field’ button.
So how do they actually work?
You can either upload a CSV file of your readers together with Your custom field information in distinct columns… or may simply add these fields to your types which will only apply to prospective subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test field I created and added to a form:
I will not go too much to the form Things here since I have an entire section on this below, but this is the approach I’d recommend if you wanted to use this attribute.
Again, as Soon as You’ve collected your custom field information from fresh Readers, you are able to pull them in to your email content and subject line.
Just click on the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Custom field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important that you know that this is a feature you may use.
If you are not impressed by what you’ve seen up to Now, then perhaps The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After choosing’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, you’ll be Able to select from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Is not winning any awards, but it does offer a great base to work from if, for example most people, you don’t have that pure eye for design.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all ultimately do the identical task; collect 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 this is better than some dedicated alternatives *cough* WPBakery.
Together with the basic building blocks, you can use components like Hero segments, popup buttons, testimonials and countdown timers.
No, it won’t be replacing landing Page builders like Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime shortly, but credit where credit due, this item over-delivers on all 3 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email advertising tools, MailerLite actually offers a Decent pair of type building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this same interface, so there is a whole lot to cover here.
Let us start 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 show it on particular pages.
Despite beginning super fundamental, the form designer allows you To personalize everything in the kind style, fields, background, title, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text may also be edited directly, which gives you a chance To envision your own backup in real time.
It would’ve been nice to have Some templates here, but as you know, there is more to a form than just its appearance.
Clicking on the’Settings’ tab will allow you to configure how the Form functions, including adding additional fields and establishing a custom success page.
(There’s a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And talking of the success page…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded form and prevents users .
Last but surely not least, you Can check how your form displays on mobile by shifting the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t be able to make any layout changes , but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an Summary of this Embedded form but as I said before, you can also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the majority of the setup Procedure is identical, there are A few differences I’d like to point out.
Unlike embedded kinds, 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 simple to use for this form type.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template takes me to a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are some new options under form types This time around:
Contemplating paid tools such as Thrive Leads exist for ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to observe this amount of control over popup forms.
And, like before, you can perform the styling options to get it Matched with your own branding.
Last, you can Select the close Behaviour of your type under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is that the X icon, but you can swap this out for A”No thanks” text choice, or have both.
This is where most email Marketing platforms will render you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your campaign Statistics in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click info, Subscriber growth, automation stats, and kind signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you specific coverage for that campaign.
This is where you’ll find a few more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, reading environment, email client and more.
This should be plenty of Information for the average user…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, you can click into individual areas of this report to get a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems beneath These reports.
By Way of Example, the’View Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see your subscribers interacted to another.
Reports for automations will also be Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, even although I found these to be less enlightening than effort reports.
Here’s a quick example:
Total, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting interface, and most will find the available data more than sufficient to meet their needs.
What’s email marketing with no dash of automation?
For most reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could easily make or break this review.
The great news? If you have used a visual workflow builder, You will instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is simple, clean and easy to navigate — something that certainly can not be said for each and every email marketing program.
After setting your trigger, you can Start adding measures to your workflow.
These measures could be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a conditional split, or an action, such as transferring a contributor or upgrading their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I set together, where readers Are unsubscribed when they do not open my email within 7 days.
There are countless Possibilities when it comes to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite should not have any trouble with the vast majority of use cases.
Granted, it is not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign since it lacks a number of the conditional elements. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.)
For Instance, there’s now no automation for transferring Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these actions can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into various classes that activate new automation workflows. It is just not as efficient…. yet.
Another matter of efficiency here is when creating new mails From the automation workflow builder.
After having an email block to The workflow, you’ll be asked to put in your subject line that then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking the’Design email’ button will automatically fire up the Writer:
Now, you’ll be briefly Redirected to the typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered previously in the review.
This time, however, once you’ve created your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you straight back into the automations workflow rather than the usual sending options.
Ultimately, your email will probably be Loaded into your own automation.
A nice touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation cube, so you can find an concept of what it contains at a glimpse.
While this procedure may seem like A grind on paper, it is actually much quicker than what I am used to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a great example.
On the other hand, if you’ve come over from something like ConvertKit where The editor is loaded within the automations builder, so you’ll probably find that this downgrade in functionality.
It’s fast enough for me, Personally, however I guess it’s all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there’s 1 Kind of automation You will not find in MailerLite, and I think it’s important to highlight.
The ability to trigger an automation (or measure ) based on the way Readers interact with all the pages on your site.
The cost of MailerLite is undoubtedly among the tools largest Selling things, and let’s face it, most of us love a good bargain.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) to get as many as 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your emails using this plan, it is still an amazing option for anyone starting out.
And what about the top plans?
It ends up, at around half of the Cost of the competition generally, MailerLite is by far among the least expensive options available on the market. Plus, if you are willing to pay yearly, you are also able to get a much greater discount.
In fact, I haven’t been able to find anything that does the Exact Same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among those few email marketing tools to interrupt The (very crowded) sector in recent years, and that’s no easy feat.
While it’s not as fast as ConvertKit, or as feature-rich As ActiveCampaign, or as template-heavy as MailChimp, it performs exceptionally well at virtually anything you can throw at it.
Overall, I find MailerLite strikes the perfect balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and at a price point you will seriously struggle to beat.