Intro Blackbaud Email Marketing
If I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what would you say? Blackbaud Email Marketing
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online businesses today, email marketing has been Dominated by the identical large players for the previous ten years. Which means they get encouraged very deeply and accomplish a great deal of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the market, inducing long-time customers to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done exactly that.
So now, in this review, I’ll be tearing 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 change.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using rules
– Custom Fields for innovative email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.)
– Simple to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements for example countdowns and product boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations using visual workflows
– Offers Both digestible and comprehensive reporting
– A Fraction of the price compared to most other options
– Strict Approval process
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for website monitoring Blackbaud Email Marketing
Like most email marketing providers these days, You’ll 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 also the type of material you plan to send.
Then, You Have to confirm your Website (or domain name).
This is still part of this approval 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 these Measures, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite team will review your application, check your Website, and determine whether you are a good fit for their services.
(In other words, they are making sure you are not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to utilize the software to create campaigns and play with the features, but you won’t have the ability to send anything until accepted.
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 everyone else’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to handle The majority of your email advertising.
(We’ll get to automations soon, don’t worry.)
But whether it’s a brand new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always some excuse to send a more immediate email.
That’s 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 Variations, such as subject line, from title and, yes, even email content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to readers who Don’t start your broadcast email, with the choice of altering the subject line and email articles.
– RSS campaign: Create a recurring campaign That sends fresh content to subscribers using your site’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few additional options, most of these will follow The same step-by-step process of a normal campaign.
So let’s walk you through it.
As Soon as You click 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 change to the Templates tab and choose from among the pre-designed email templates — that will move you to the dragn’ drop editor .
In the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to select From which is a little on the low side, however, the designs are super contemporary.
And, of course, if you would just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this example, I will select the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to use, Which makes customizing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also utilize the blocks in the sidebar to add different Kinds of content to your email, such as videos, merchandise columns, and societal connections.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be carried to the recipients’ options where you can choose your classes or segments.
The tab also allows one To build segment-like rules on-the-fly, in the event your targeting is not quite perfect.
Finally, right before sending, then you’ll get to the’Schedule’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, whether that’s immediately, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Blackbaud Email Marketing
Handling Your Clients
Having granular control over your subscribers is arguably among The most essential facets of any email advertising program now.
Because highly personalized campaigns are necessary if You are searching to increase clicks, opens, and, most importantly, your own conversions.
And while many providers allow you to”label” subscribers in order To target them more 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 principles.
Your readers belong to a segment only when they fulfill the Specified principles, and will be automatically added or removed accordingly.
Here’s what establishing a rule looks like:
Notice how you can also combine Principles, in addition to an alternate rule when the first doesn’t exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for groups, and despite the difference in title, These behave much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the name to’Tags’, but finally decided against it.)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are upgraded manually or via an Automation principle — which we’ll get to in a moment — and they have no value besides what you actually call them.
As you start to use this stage, you’ll begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are typically used, however, MailerLite delivers a hand in case you’re unsure:
Basically, groups are much more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments allow you to bulge multiple contributors together based on a common denominator.
A tad confusing, I’ll admit… but I believe it’s a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. In any case, they are discretionary.
Last, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You will notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their own areas, such as name, business, and country.
If you want to create your own custom fields, you can do this by Clicking on the’Add new field’ button.
So how do they really work?
You can either upload a CSV record of your readers together with Your custom field data in distinct columns… or can easily add these fields to a forms which will only apply to future subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test area I created and added to a form:
I will not go too much to the shape Things here because I have an entire section on this below, but this is the strategy 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 can pull them into your email content and subject line.
Just click on the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Customized field.
I am barely scratching the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it’s important that you understand that this is a feature you may use.
Overall, it’s fair to state MailerLite has their contributor Management and personalization features on stage. Blackbaud Email Marketing
If you’re not impressed by what you have 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 selection Isn’t winning any awards, but it will offer a great base to work from if, like most of us, you don’t have that pure eye for layout.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, though They finally do the identical task; accumulate an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further construct or alter your landing page.
Now, I have used my fair share of Visual site builders, and it is better than a few dedicated solutions *Infection * WPBakery.
Along with the basic building blocks, you can use components 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 3 kind types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite actually Provides a Adequate set of type building tools.
Also, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this same interface, so there’s a whole lot to cover here.
Let’s start 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 allows you To customize everything in the kind style, subjects, background, title, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text may also be edited directly, which gives you a chance To visualize your copy in real time.
It would have been nice to have Some templates here, but as you know, there’s more to some form than simply its physical appearance.
Clicking on the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure the way the Form works, such as adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There’s a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success webpage…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, Which can replace the embedded form also prevents users .
Last but surely not least, you Can assess the way your form displays on mobile by switching the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t be able to make any layout changes , but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that is an overview of this Embedded form but like I said before, you can even create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of the setup process is identical, you will find Still 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 Comprehensive choice, they do offer a fantastic base to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use for this form kind.
Clicking on the’E-commerce’ template takes me into a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are some new options under form types This time around:
Contemplating paid programs like Thrive Leads exist for both ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to see this amount of control over popup forms.
And, as before, you can perform the styling options to get it Matched with your branding.
Last, you can Select the near Behaviour of your type under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is that the X icon, but you can swap out this for A”No thanks” text option, or have .
This 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 Data in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber growth, automation stats, and form signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific coverage for this effort.
This is where you’ll discover some more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying surroundings, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the average user…
…but in Case You really want To dig into the numbers, it is possible to 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 Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see exactly how your subscribers interacted with your emails in relation to another.
Reports for automations are also Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, though I found to be less insightful than campaign reports.
Here’s a quick example:
Overall, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting port, and most will find the available data more than sufficient to fulfill their demands.
What’s email marketing without a dashboard of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this review.
The great news? If you’ve ever used a visual workflow builder, You’ll instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is easy, clean and simple to navigate — something that certainly can’t be said for every email advertising software.
After setting your trigger, you can begin adding measures to your workflow.
These steps can be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a bubble break, or an act, like moving a subscriber or upgrading their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I put together, where readers 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 not have any trouble with the vast 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 example, 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 groups that trigger new automation workflows. It is simply not as effective…. yet.
Another matter of efficiency here is when creating new emails In the automation workflow builder.
After adding an email block to The workflow, you will be asked to add 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 temporarily Redirected to the typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered previously in the review.
This time, but once you’ve created your email, clicking on the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you straight back into the automations workflow rather than 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 within your automation block, which means you can find an concept about what it contains at a glance.
While this process may seem like A grind on newspaper, it’s really much quicker than what I’m used to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a great example.
On the other hand, if you’ve come over from something such as ConvertKit where The editor is loaded inside the automations builder, so you’ll probably find this a downgrade in performance.
It is quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it’s all relative.
Before I wrap up this section, there’s 1 Kind 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 step) based on the way Subscribers interact with the pages on your website.
This kind of behavioral targeting just is not available in MailerLite at this time, so if it’s something you use or plan to use, you might want to skip this one. Blackbaud Email Marketing
The cost of MailerLite is undoubtedly one of those tools largest Selling things, and let us face it, most of us love a good deal.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All features (including premium) to get up to 1,000 subscribers.
While There’s some subtle Branding on your mails using this plan, it is still an amazing option for anyone starting out.
And what about the premium plans?
It ends up, at approximately half of the Cost of the rivalry on average, MailerLite is by far one of the least expensive options available on the market. Plus, if you’re ready to pay annually, you are also able to get a much greater discount.
In Reality, I have not been able to find anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among the email advertising tools to disrupt The (very crowded) industry in the last couple of years, which is no easy feat.
While it is not as quickly 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, simplicity and speed, and at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to conquer.
Thinking of giving it a spin? Let us know how it works for you In the comments. Blackbaud Email Marketing