Introduction Active Campaign
When I asked you to name an email Marketing instrument, what would you say? Active Campaign
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online industries today, email marketing has been Dominated by the identical big players for the last decade. Which means they get promoted very heavily 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 exactly that.
So today, in this review, I’ll be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to see whether it really stands its ground against the big boys…
…and, more importantly, whether youshould consider making the switch.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using rules
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Easy to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements such as countdowns and product boxes
– Intuitive Form, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations using 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
– No Support for website tracking Active Campaign
Like most email advertising providers Nowadays, you will need to Go through a review process before being able to properly use the program.
When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to finish your profile.
This includes information such as your company name, site, Industry, address, business size, list size and even the kind of content you intend to send.
Then, you need to verify your Website (or domain ).
This is still part of this acceptance process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is related to that domain so they could email you a verification link.
As Soon as You’ve completed those Steps, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, check your Site, and determine whether you’re a good match for their services.
(In other words, they’re making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll still be Able to utilize the software to make campaigns and perform with the attributes, but you will not be able to send anything until accepted.
I was”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 aren’t perfect for getting started, it Does help prevent malicious users from damaging everybody’s deliverability.
If you are anything like me, you’ll rely on automations to Deal with Nearly all your email advertising.
(We will get to automations soon, do not worry.)
But if it’s a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there’s always a reason to send a more instant email.
That’s where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Create Campaign’ will give you several choices.
– Regular campaign: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Versions, such as subject line, from name and, yes, even email content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Don’t open your broadcast email, with the option of altering the subject line and email articles.
– RSS effort: Produce a recurring campaign That sends fresh content to readers using your website’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few added options, most of these will follow Exactly the same step-by-step process of a normal effort.
So let’s walk you through it.
As Soon as You click on to create your campaign, you’ll be asked to Select a favorite editor, whether that be the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can switch to the Templates tab and choose from one of their 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, but the designs are super contemporary.
And, of course, if you would just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this example, I’ll select the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to use, Which makes viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the blocks in the sidebar to add distinct Types of articles to your email, including videos, merchandise columns, and social connections.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be taken to the recipients’ choices where you can select your groups or segments.
The tab also allows you To build segment-like rules , in case your targeting is not quite right.
Finally, right before sending, you’ll get into the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control if your broadcast email should go Out, if that’s immediately, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Active Campaign
Managing Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your readers is arguably among The most essential facets of any email advertising program today.
Because highly personalized campaigns are necessary if You are looking to increase opens, clicks, and, most importantly, your conversions.
And while most providers Permit You to”label” subscribers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite utilizes a slightly different approach.
When you start up your subscriber dashboard, you’ll see two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are essentially rules.
Your readers belong to a segment only when they fulfill the Specified rules, and will be automatically added or removed accordingly.
Here’s what establishing a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even combine Principles, in addition to another rule if the first doesn’t exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for groups, and also the difference in title, These act much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but finally decided against it)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation rule — that we’ll get into in a minute — and they have no value besides what you call them.
As you Begin to use this stage, you’ll begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are typically used, however, MailerLite offers a hand in the event you’re uncertain:
Basically, groups are much more of a Deliberate action 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 believe it’s a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. Besides, they’re discretionary.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to personalize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their own areas, such as title, business, and nation.
If you want to create your own custom fields, you can do so by Clicking on the’Add new field’ button.
So how do they really work?
You can either upload a CSV record of your readers along with Your custom field information in distinct columns… or can easily add these fields to your forms which will only apply to prospective subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test area I made and added into a form:
I won’t go too much into the form Things here because I have a whole section on this below, but this is the strategy I’d recommend if you wished to use this feature.
Again, as Soon as 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 the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Customized field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it’s important to know this is a feature you may use.
Overall, it is fair to say MailerLite has their contributor Direction and personalization features on stage. Active Campaign
If you’re not impressed with what you’ve seen so far, then perhaps The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After choosing’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, then you’ll be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Isn’t winning any awards, but it does offer a great foundation to work from if, for example the majority people, you don’t 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 give 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 a few dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Together with the basic building blocks, you can use elements like Hero segments, popup buttons, reviews 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 three kind types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email advertising tools, MailerLite really Provides a Adequate set of form building tools.
Also, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there’s a lot to cover here.
Let us begin with your Bog-standard embedded type.
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 starting off super fundamental, the form designer allows you To personalize everything in the form style, subjects, background, name, input fields and, clearly, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides you a Opportunity 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 simply its appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will allow you to configure how the Form functions, such as adding additional fields and establishing a custom success page.
(There’s even a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And talking of the success page…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, That can replace the embedded kind and prevents users from redirecting.
Last but surely not least, you Can assess how your form displays on cellular by shifting the toggle to responsive mode.
You won’t Have the Ability to make any design changes here, but it makes Sense to check, nevertheless.
So that’s an Summary of this Embedded form but as I said before, you can even create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of this setup process is identical, you will find 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 selection, they do provide a fantastic foundation to work from and the editor is just as simple to use with this form kind.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template requires me to 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 such as Thrive Leads exist for both ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to observe this amount of control over popup forms.
And, like before, you can play with the styling options to get it Matched up with your branding.
Finally, you can Select the near Behavior of your form under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is the X icon, but you can swap out this for A”No thanks” text choice, or have .
That is where most email Marketing platforms will leave you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Statistics in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from campaign open and click data, Subscriber development, automation analytics, and kind signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific reporting for this campaign.
This is where you’ll discover some more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, reading surroundings, 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 different areas of this report for a more detailed breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
For example, the’View Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see precisely how your subscribers interacted to one another.
Reports for automations are also Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found to be less enlightening than campaign reports.
Here’s a Fast example:
Overall, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting interface, and most will get the available data more than sufficient to fulfill their demands.
What is email marketing without a dashboard of automation?
For most reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this particular review.
The good news? If you have ever 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’t be said for every email marketing program.
After setting your trigger, you can Start adding steps to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, including a Delay, a conditional split, or an act, such as transferring a contributor or updating their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I set together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed when they do not open my email within 7 days.
There are countless Possibilities in regards to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite ought to not have any trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it’s not quite as Feature-rich as something such as ActiveCampaign because it lacks a number of the conditional components. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.. )
For Instance, there’s now no automation for moving Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these activities can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into various classes that activate new automation workflows. It is just much less effective…. yet.
Another question of efficiency here is when generating new mails From the automation workflow builder.
After having an email cube to The workflow, you’ll be asked to put in your subject line which appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking on the’Design email’ button will fire up the Writer:
Now, you’ll be temporarily Redirected to the typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered earlier in the review.
This time, however, once you’ve established your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you back into the automations workflow instead of the usual sending alternatives.
Ultimately, your email address will be Loaded into your own automation.
A nice touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation block, so you can find an concept about what it contains at a glimpse.
While this process may seem like A grind on newspaper, it’s really much faster than what I am utilized to with other email advertising 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 within the automations builder, you will likely find this a downgrade in functionality.
It’s quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this section, there’s 1 Kind of automation You will not find in MailerLite, and that I think that it’s important to highlight.
The ability to trigger an automation (or measure ) based on how Readers interact with the webpages on your site.
This kind of behavioral targeting only is not available in MailerLite right now, so if it’s something you use or intend to use, you may want to skip this one. Active Campaign
The cost of MailerLite is among those tools biggest Selling points, and let’s face it, we all love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All features (including premium) for as many as 1,000 subscribers.
While There’s some subtle Branding in your mails using this program, it’s still an wonderful alternative for those starting out.
And what about the premium plans?
It ends up, at approximately half the Price of this competition on average, MailerLite is by far one of the least expensive options available on the industry. Plus, if you are willing to pay annually, you are also able to get a much better discount.
In fact, I have not been able to locate anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of those few advertising tools to interrupt The (very crowded) industry in recent decades, 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 just about anything you can throw at it.
All in all, I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, simplicity and speed, and at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to conquer.
Thinking about giving it a twist? Let us know how it works for you From the remarks. Active Campaign