When I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what would you say? Sailthru
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online industries now, email marketing continues to be Dominated by the same large players for the last ten years. Which means they get encouraged very deeply and achieve 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 today, in this review, I’ll be ripping MailerLite from limb To limb to see if it 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 innovative email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Easy to Utilize email builder/template editor
– Practical Email components for example countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Form, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and comprehensive reporting
– A Fraction of the price compared to most other options
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for site tracking Sailthru
Like most email advertising providers Nowadays, you will need to Go through a review process before being able to correctly use the software.
When you first register, you’ll be asked to complete your profile.
This includes information like your company name, website, Industry, address, company size, list size and even the type of content you plan to send.
Then, you need to verify your Site (or domain ).
This remains part of the acceptance process, and MailerLite will Simply ask which email is related to that domain so they can email you a confirmation link.
Once you’ve completed these Steps, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, check your Site, and ascertain whether you are a good fit for their service.
(In other words, they are making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll still be Able to use the software to create campaigns and play with the attributes, but you won’t be able to send anything before approved.
I had been”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limit of 500 subscribers.
Here Is What the email said:
But while these measures are not ideal for getting started, it Does help stop unscrupulous users from hurting everyone else’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to handle Nearly all your email advertising.
(We’ll get to automations soon, don’t worry.)
But if it is a new blog article, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always a reason to send a more instant email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Create Campaign’ will give you several options.
– Regular effort: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split effort: Multiple email Variations, such as subject line, from title and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to readers who Don’t start your broadcast email, together with the option of altering the subject line and email articles.
– RSS campaign: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to readers using your site’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few added options, the Majority of these will follow Exactly the exact same step-by-step process of a standard effort.
So let us walk you through it.
Once you click on to create your campaign, you’ll be asked to Pick 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 into the dragn’ drop editor by default.
In the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to select From which is a little on the low side, but the layouts are super modern.
And, of course, if you’d just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I will choose the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to work with, Making customizing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also utilize the blocks in the sidebar to add different Types of content to your email, such as videos, merchandise columns, and societal links.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you will Be taken to the recipients’ choices where you are able to select your groups or segments.
The advanced tab also allows you To develop segment-like rules , in case your targeting is not quite perfect.
Finally, before sending, you’ll get into the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control if your broadcast email should go Out, if that’s instantly, at a set time/date, or in accordance with your subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Sailthru
Handling Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most important aspects of any email marketing software now.
Because highly personalized campaigns Are Essential if You are looking to increase opens, clicks, and, above all, your own conversions.
And while many providers Permit You to”tag” subscribers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different strategy.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll notice two Choices; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically principles.
Your subscribers belong to a section only when they meet the Specified rules, and will be automatically inserted or eliminated so.
Here’s what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even combine Rules, in addition to another rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The next tab is for groups, and also the difference in name, These act much like your normal”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the name to’Tags’, but finally decided against it.)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are upgraded manually or through an Automation rule — which we’ll get to in a moment — and they have no value aside from what you call them.
As you start to use this stage, you’ll Start to understand At which Segments and Groups are generally used, however, MailerLite offers a hand in the event you’re unsure:
Basically, groups are much more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments permit you to lump multiple subscribers together based on a frequent denominator.
Somewhat confusing, I’ll admit… but I feel it is a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. In any case, they are optional.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You will notice that MailerLite has Already populated this region with their own fields, 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 simply add these fields to your forms which will only apply to prospective subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test field I made and added to a form:
I will not go too much into the form Stuff here because I have an entire section on that below, but this is the strategy I would recommend if you wanted to use this attribute.
Again, as Soon as You’ve collected your custom field data from new Readers, you are able to pull them in to your email content and subject line.
Just click the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Customized field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important to understand that this is a feature you may use.
Overall, it is fair to state MailerLite has their subscriber Direction and personalization features on stage. Sailthru
If you’re not impressed by what you’ve 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 selection Isn’t winning any awards, but it will offer a fantastic foundation to work from if, for example the majority of us, you do not have that pure eye for layout.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, however They all finally do the same task; collect an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further construct or change your landing page.
Now, I have used my fair share of Visual page builders, and it is already better than some dedicated alternatives *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the fundamental building blocks, you can use elements like Hero segments, popup buttons, testimonials and countdown timers.
No, it will not be replacing landing Page builders such as Thrive Architect or LeadPagesanytime soon, but credit where credit due, this item over-delivers on all three form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite really offers a Decent set of form building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there’s a lot to cover here.
Let’s 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 starting off super basic, the form designer lets you To personalize everything from the kind style, fields, background, name, enter fields and, of course, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides you a Opportunity To envision your own copy in real-time.
It would have been nice to have Some templates, but as you know, there is more to a form than simply its appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will allow you to configure how the Form works, such as adding extra fields and establishing a custom success page.
(There is a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success page…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded kind and prevents users from redirecting.
Last but surely not least, you Can check how your form displays on cellular by switching the toggle to responsive mode.
You won’t be able to make any design changes here, but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an Summary of the Embedded form but like I said before, you may also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the majority of this setup Procedure is identical, there are A few differences I’d love to point out.
Unlike embedded forms, you can choose between a set of Templates:
While this isn’t the most In depth choice, they do provide a fantastic foundation to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use with this form kind.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template takes me into a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new options under form types This time around:
Contemplating paid tools 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 play the styling options to get it Matched up with your branding.
Last, you can Select the near Behaviour 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 choice, or have .
That is really where most email Marketing platforms would render you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Data in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber growth, automation analytics, and form signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you specific coverage for this effort.
This is where you’ll discover a few statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying environment, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the average consumer…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, it is possible to click into individual areas of this report for a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
For example, the’View Mail’ tab also displays a click map, so It’s possible to see your subscribers interacted with your emails in relation to one another.
Reports for automations are also 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 data more than sufficient to fulfill their needs.
What is email marketing with no dashboard of automation?
For most reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could easily make or break this review.
The good news? If you have used a visual workflow builder, then You’ll instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, That the automations interface is easy, clean and easy to navigate — something that certainly can not be said for each and every email advertising software.
After setting your trigger, you can Start adding measures to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, including a Delay, a conditional split, or an action, such as moving a subscriber or updating their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I put together, where readers Are unsubscribed if they do not open my email within 7 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 some of the conditional elements. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.. )
For Instance, there’s currently no automation for transferring Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these activities can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into different groups that activate new automation workflows. It’s just much less effective…. yet.
Another question of efficiency here is when creating new emails From the automation workflow builder.
After having an email block to The workflow, you’ll be asked to put in your topic line which 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 earlier in the critique.
This time, however, as Soon as You’ve established your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you back into the automations workflow instead of the usual sending alternatives.
Finally, your email will be Loaded into your own automation.
A nice touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation block, which means it’s possible to find an idea about what it contains at a glance.
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 have come over from something such as ConvertKit where The editor is loaded inside the automations builder, you’ll probably find this a downgrade in functionality.
It is 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, also that I think that it’s very important to highlight.
The ability to trigger an automation (or measure ) based on how Readers interact with the webpages on your website.
This Sort of behavioral targeting just isn’t available in MailerLite right now, so if it’s something you use or plan to use, you might want to skip this one. Sailthru
The cost of MailerLite is undoubtedly one of the tools largest Selling points, and let’s face it, most of us love a good deal.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All features (including premium) for up to 1,000 subscribers.
While there is 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 approximately half the Price of the competition on average, MailerLite is by far among the cheapest options on the market. Plus, if you’re willing to pay yearly, you can also get a much greater discount.
In Reality, I haven’t been able to locate anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among the very few email advertising tools The (very crowded) sector in the last couple of years, and that’s no easy feat.
While it is 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.
I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and at a price point you will seriously struggle to conquer.
Thinking of giving it a twist? Let us know how it works for you From the comments. Sailthru