MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online industries today, email advertising has been Dominated by the identical big players for the last ten years. Which means they get encouraged very deeply and accomplish a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the market, causing long-time users to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done exactly that.
So now, in this review, I will be ripping MailerLite from limb To limb to find out if it stands its own ground against the big boys…
…and, more importantly, whether youshould consider making the change.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using principles
– Custom Fields for innovative email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.)
– Easy to Utilize email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements for example countdowns and product boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and comprehensive reporting
– A Fraction of the cost compared to most other solutions
– Strict Approval process
– Few email Templates available
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
Like most email advertising 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 such as your organization name, website, Business, address, business size, list size and even the kind of content you plan to send.
Then, You Have to confirm your Site (or domain name).
This remains part of the acceptance process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is associated to this domain in order that they could email you a confirmation link.
Once you’ve completed these Measures, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite team will review your application, assess your Website, and determine whether you are a fantastic match for their services.
(Quite simply, they are making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As shown above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to utilize 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 unscrupulous users from damaging everybody’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to Deal with Nearly all your email advertising.
(We will get to automations shortly, do not worry.)
But if it’s a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always some excuse to send a more instant email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Produce Campaign’ will provide you several choices.
– Regular campaign: A Conventional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Variations, including subject line, from title and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Do not start your broadcast email, with the option of changing the subject line and email content.
– RSS campaign: Produce a recurring campaign That sends fresh content to readers using your site’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few additional choices, most of these will follow The same step-by-step procedure of a standard effort.
So let’s walk you through it.
As Soon as You click to create your effort, you’ll be requested to Pick a favorite editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can switch to the Templates tab and select from among 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 choose From which is a little on the low side, however, the layouts are super modern.
And, of course, if you would just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I will choose the first template in the library.
The editor is easy to use, Making customizing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also utilize the blocks in the sidebar to include different Kinds of articles to your email, including videos, merchandise columns, and social connections.
After making your adjustments, just click’Done Editing’ and you will Be taken to the recipients’ options where you can select your classes or sections.
The tab also allows you To develop segment-like rules , in case your targeting is not quite right.
Finally, right before sending, you’ll get to the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control if your broadcast email should go Out, if that is immediately, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Handling Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your readers is arguably among The most essential facets of any email marketing software now.
Because highly personalized efforts are necessary if You’re looking to increase clicks, opens, and, most importantly, your conversions.
And while most providers Permit You to”label” subscribers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different approach.
When you start up your subscriber dashboard, you’ll see two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically rules.
Your subscribers belong to a section only when they fulfill the Specified principles, and are automatically added or removed so.
Here’s what establishing a rule looks like:
Notice how you can also combine Principles, in addition to another rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The next tab is for groups, and despite the difference in name, These act much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but finally decided against it.)
Unlike Segments, Groups are upgraded manually or through an Automation rule — which we will get to in a minute — and they don’t have any value aside from what you call them.
As you Begin to use this platform, you’ll begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are typically used, but MailerLite offers a hand in case you’re uncertain:
Fundamentally, groups are much more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments permit you to lump multiple contributors collectively according to a common denominator.
Somewhat confusing, I will admit… but I feel it’s a fair trade-off For the added flexibility. Besides, they’re optional.
Last, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this region with their own areas, such as title, business, and nation.
If You Would like 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 subscribers along with Your custom field information in separate columns… or can easily add these fields to a forms which will only apply to prospective readers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test area I created and added to a form:
I will not go too much into the shape Things here since I have an entire section on this below, but this is the strategy I would recommend if you wished to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve collected your custom field data from fresh Readers, you are able to pull them into your email content and subject line.
Just click the’Personalization’ drop down and select your Customized field.
I am barely scratching the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it’s important to know that this is a feature you can use.
If you’re not impressed with what you have seen so far, then perhaps The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After selecting’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, you’ll be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Isn’t winning any awards, but it will offer a fantastic base to work from if, for example the majority of us, you do not have that natural eye for design.
I went ahead and selected the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all ultimately do the identical task; accumulate an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further construct or change your landing page.
Now, I’ve used my fair share of Visual page builders, and this is better than a few dedicated alternatives *Infection * WPBakery.
Together with the fundamental building blocks, you can use components like Hero sections, popup buttons, testimonials and countdown timers.
It won’t be replacing landing Page builders such as Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime soon, but credit where credit due, this item over-delivers on all 3 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite actually offers a Adequate pair 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 lot to cover .
Let us begin with your Bog-standard embedded form.
These forms are created inside MailerLite so as to get An embed code, which you can then put on your site to display it on specific pages.
Despite beginning super basic, the form designer lets you To personalize everything from the kind style, subjects, background, name, input fields and, clearly, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides 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 some form than simply 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 even a GDPR compliance alternative. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success page…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded kind and prevents users .
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess how your form displays on mobile by switching the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t be able to make any design changes here, but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that is an Summary of this Embedded form but like I said before, you may even create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of this installation process is identical, you will find 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 selection, they do offer a fantastic foundation to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use with this form type.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template requires me into a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new options under form types Now around:
Considering paid tools like Thrive Leads exist for ribbons and slide-in forms, it’s pretty impressive to see this level of control over popup types.
And, like before, you can perform the styling options to get it Matched with your own branding.
Last, you can Select the near Behavior of your form under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is that the X icon, but you can swap this out for A”No thanks” text option, or have both.
This is 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 Statistics in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber growth, automation analytics, and kind signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you special coverage for that campaign.
This is where you’ll discover some statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying environment, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the ordinary user…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, you can click into individual areas of the report for a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
For example, the’View Email’ tab also shows a click map, so You can see your subscribers interacted with your emails compared to another.
Reports for automations are Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, though I found 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 get the available statistics more than sufficient to meet their demands.
What’s email advertising with no dashboard of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this particular 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, That the automations interface is simple, clean and easy to navigate — something which certainly can not be said for each and every email marketing software.
After setting your trigger, you can begin adding measures to your workflow.
These measures can be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a bubble break, or an act, like moving a contributor or updating their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I set together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed if they don’t open my email within seven days.
There are innumerable Possibilities in regards to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite ought to have no trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it is not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign since it lacks a number of the conditional components. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.)
For example, there’s now no automation for moving Readers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these activities can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into different groups that trigger new automation workflows. It is just much less effective…. yet.
Another matter of efficacy here is when generating new emails In the automation workflow builder.
After adding an email cube to The workflow, you will be asked to put in your subject line which 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, but as Soon as You’ve created your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will direct you straight back into the automations workflow instead of the usual sending options.
Ultimately, your email address will probably be Loaded into your automation.
A nice touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation cube, which means it’s possible to find an idea of what it contains at a glance.
While this process may seem like A grind on newspaper, it is actually much faster than what I am utilized to with other email advertising 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, you will probably find that this downgrade in functionality.
It’s fast enough for me, Personally, but I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there’s 1 type of automation You will not find in MailerLite, and I think that it’s important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or measure ) based on how Subscribers interact with the pages on your site.
The cost of MailerLite is no doubt among the tools biggest Selling things, and let us face it, we all love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) to get up to 1,000 subscribers.
While There’s some subtle Branding in your emails using this plan, it’s still an amazing option for anyone starting out.
And what about the premium plans?
It turns out, at around half the Price of the competition generally, MailerLite is undoubtedly among the least expensive options on the industry. Additionally, if you’re willing to pay yearly, you can also get a much better discount.
In Reality, I haven’t been able to find anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among those very few email advertising tools The (very crowded) industry in the last couple of decades, and that’s no simple feat.
While it’s not as fast 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.
All in all, I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to conquer.