Intro Direct Email Marketing
When I asked you to name an email Marketing instrument, what would you say? Direct Email Marketing
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online industries now, email advertising continues to be Dominated by the identical big players for the last ten years. Which means that they get promoted very heavily and achieve 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 today, in this review, I’ll be ripping MailerLite from limb To limb to see whether 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 rules
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign types (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Simple to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email components for example countdowns and merchandise 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 procedure
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates available
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for website tracking Direct Email Marketing
Like most email marketing providers these days, you will 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 company name, website, Business, address, company size, list size and even the kind of content you intend to send.
Then, you need to verify your Website (or domain name).
This is still part of the approval process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is related to that domain so they could email you a confirmation link.
As Soon as You’ve completed those Steps, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, assess your Site, and ascertain whether you are a fantastic match for their service.
(In other words, they’re making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As shown above, you’ll still be Able to use the software to make campaigns and perform with the features, but you won’t be able to send anything until accepted.
I was”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limitation of 500 subscribers.
Here’s what the email said:
However, while these measures are not perfect for getting started, it Does help prevent malicious users from damaging everyone else’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely on automations to Deal with The majority of your email marketing.
(We’ll get to automations soon, don’t worry.)
But whether it’s a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there’s always a reason to send a more immediate email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the new’Produce Campaign’ will provide you several options.
– Regular campaign: A Conventional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Versions, such as 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 altering the subject line and email articles.
– RSS effort: Produce a recurring campaign That sends fresh content to readers using your site’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few additional options, the Majority of these will follow The exact same step-by-step procedure of a normal effort.
So let’s walk you through it.
Once you click on to create your campaign, you’ll be requested to Select a favorite editor, whether that be the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can change to the Templates tab and select from one of the pre-designed email templates — which will move you into the dragn’ drop editor .
At the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to select From which is somewhat on the low side, but the designs are super modern.
And, of course, if you’d just Prefer to reuse a previous email, you can click the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I’ll select the first template in the library.
The editor is easy to use, Which makes viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the cubes in the sidebar to include distinct Kinds of articles to your email, including videos, merchandise columns, and social links.
After making your adjustments, just click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be taken to the recipients’ options where you can select your classes or segments.
The tab also allows you To develop segment-like rules on-the-fly, in the event your targeting isn’t quite perfect.
Finally, before sending, then you’ll get into the’Schedule’ 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 readers time zones.
Impressive, right? Direct Email Marketing
Handling Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your readers is arguably among The most essential facets of any email marketing program today.
Because highly personalized efforts are necessary if You’re searching to increase opens, clicks, and, above all, your conversions.
And while most providers Permit 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 Choices; Segments and Groups.
Segments are essentially principles.
Your readers belong to a segment only when they fulfill the Specified rules, and will be automatically inserted or eliminated so.
Here is what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice how you can also blend Rules, as well as an alternate rule if the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for classes, 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 updated manually or via an Automation rule — that we will get into in a minute — and they have no value besides 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 case you’re unsure:
Fundamentally, groups are more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments permit you to bulge multiple contributors together according to a common denominator.
A tad confusing, I will admit… but I feel it’s a fair trade-off For the additional 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, company, and country.
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 along with Your custom field information in separate columns… or may simply add these fields to your forms 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 into the form Stuff here since I have a whole section on that below, but this is the strategy I would recommend if you wished to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve gathered your custom field data from fresh Subscribers, 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 scratching the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important to understand this is a feature you can use.
Overall, it’s fair to say MailerLite has their contributor Management and personalization features on stage. Direct Email Marketing
If you’re not impressed by what you have seen up to Now, then maybe The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After selecting’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, you will be Able to select from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Isn’t winning any awards, it will offer a great base to work from if, for example the majority of us, you do not have that natural eye for layout.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all ultimately do the same job; collect an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further build or alter your landing page.
Now, I’ve used my fair share of Visual page builders, and it is better than a few dedicated alternatives *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the basic building blocks, you can use components like Hero segments, popup buttons, reviews and countdown timers.
It won’t be replacing landing Page builders like Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime soon, but credit where credit due, this thing over-delivers on all 3 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email advertising tools, MailerLite really Provides a Adequate pair 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 .
Let’s start with your Bog-standard embedded form.
These forms are first 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 personalize everything from the form style, fields, background, name, input fields and, clearly, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which gives you a chance To visualize your copy in real-time.
It would’ve 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 allow you to configure how the Form functions, such as adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There’s even a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And talking of the success page…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded kind also prevents users from redirecting.
Last but certainly 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 the Embedded form but as I said before, you can also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of the setup process is identical, you will find Still 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 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 to a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new choices under form types Now around:
Contemplating paid programs such as Thrive Leads exist for both ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to see this level of control over popup forms.
And, as before, you can play with the styling options to get it Matched up with your branding.
Last, you can choose the near Behavior 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 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 campaign open and click info, Subscriber growth, automation analytics, and kind signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific reporting for this effort.
This is where you’ll find a few more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying environment, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the ordinary consumer…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, it is possible to click into individual areas of this report to get a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
For example, the’View Email’ tab also displays a click map, so It’s possible to see your subscribers interacted to one another.
Reports for automations are Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, although I found these to be less insightful than campaign reports.
Here’s a Fast example:
Overall, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting interface, and many will get the available statistics more than sufficient to meet 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’ve used a visual workflow builder, You will immediately feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, That the automations interface is simple, clean and simple to navigate — something that certainly can’t be said for every email marketing software.
After setting your trigger, you can begin adding steps to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, including a Delay, a bubble break, or an action, such as transferring a subscriber or upgrading their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I put together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed if they don’t open my email within seven days.
There are innumerable Possibilities in regards to workflow automations like this, and MailerLite ought to have no trouble with the vast majority of use cases.
Granted, it’s not quite as Feature-rich as something such as ActiveCampaign since it lacks some of the conditional components. (Split, Visit, Goal, etc.. )
For example, there’s currently no automation for moving Readers directly into a different automation.
That being said, the Majority of these activities can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into various classes that activate new automation workflows. It is simply not as efficient…. yet.
Another question of efficacy here is when generating new mails In the automation workflow builder.
After adding an email cube to The workflow, you’ll be asked to put in your topic 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 standard campaign creation wizard, which I covered previously in the critique.
This time, however, 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 will probably be Loaded into your own automation.
A Wonderful touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation cube, so it’s possible to get an idea about what it contains at a glimpse.
While this procedure may seem like A grind on paper, it is really much faster than what I’m 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 within the automations builder, so you will probably find that this downgrade in functionality.
It’s quick enough for me, Personally, but I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this section, there’s one type of automation You will not find in MailerLite, and that I think that it’s very important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or measure ) based on how Readers interact with all 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 plan to use, you might want to skip this one. Direct Email Marketing
The cost of MailerLite is among those tools largest Selling points, and let’s face it, we all love a fantastic bargain.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All features (including premium) to get up to 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your emails using this plan, it’s still an wonderful alternative for those starting out.
And what about the top plans?
It ends up, at approximately half the Price of this rivalry on average, MailerLite is undoubtedly one of the cheapest options on the industry. Additionally, if you’re ready to pay yearly, you can also get an even better discount.
In Reality, I have not been able to find anything that does exactly the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among those email marketing tools to interrupt The (very crowded) sector in the last couple of 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 just about anything you can throw at it.
I find MailerLite strikes the perfect balance Between flexibility, simplicity and speed, and at a price point you will seriously struggle to beat.
Thinking about giving it a twist? Let us know how it works for you From the comments. Direct Email Marketing