MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online industries today, email advertising has been Dominated by the same big players for the previous ten years. Which means that they get encouraged very deeply and achieve a great deal of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the marketplace, inducing long-time users to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So now, in this review, I will be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to see whether it stands its 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 such as 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 options
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates available
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
Like most email advertising providers these days, you will need to Go through a review process before being able to properly use the software.
When you first register, you’ll be asked to complete your profile.
This includes information like your organization name, website, Industry, address, business size, list size and also the kind of material you plan to send.
Then, you need to confirm your Website (or domain ).
This is still part of the approval process, and MailerLite will Simply ask which email is related to this domain in order that they can email you a verification link.
As Soon as You’ve completed those Measures, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite team will review your application, assess your Website, and ascertain whether you are a fantastic match for their service.
(Quite simply, they are making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to use the software to create campaigns and play with the attributes, but you will not be able to send anything before accepted.
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 steps are not ideal for getting started, it Does help stop malicious users from damaging everyone else’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to handle The majority of your email advertising.
(We will get to automations soon, do not worry.)
But whether it’s a brand 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 brand new’Create Campaign’ will give you several options.
– Regular effort: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split effort: Multiple email Variations, including subject line, from title and, yes, even email content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to readers who Do not open your broadcast email, with the choice of altering the subject line and email articles.
– RSS campaign: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to readers using your website’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few additional choices, most of these will follow The same step-by-step procedure of a normal effort.
So let’s walk you through it.
Once you click to create your effort, you’ll be asked to Pick a preferred 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 — that will move you into the dragn’ drop editor by default.
At the time of writing, you’ll find 21 email templates to select From which is somewhat on the low side, but the layouts are super modern.
And, of course, if you would just Like to reuse a previous email, you can click on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this example, I will select the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to use, Making viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the cubes in the sidebar to add different Kinds of articles to your email, such as videos, merchandise columns, and social links.
After making your changes, just click’Done Editing’ and you will Be carried to the recipients’ choices where you are able to select your classes or segments.
The advanced tab also allows one To build segment-like rules on-the-fly, in the event your targeting isn’t quite perfect.
Finally, before sending, you’ll get into the’Schedule’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, if that is immediately, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Managing Your Subscribers
Having granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most essential aspects of any email advertising software now.
Because highly personalized campaigns Are Essential if You’re looking to increase clicks, opens, and, above all, your own conversions.
And while most providers allow you to”label” readers in order To target them more effectively, MailerLite utilizes a slightly different strategy.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll notice two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically rules.
Your subscribers belong to a segment only when they fulfill the Specified principles, and will be automatically added or removed accordingly.
Here’s what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even blend Rules, as well as another rule when the first doesn’t exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for classes, and despite the difference in title, These act much like your normal”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation principle — that we will 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 begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are typically used, however, MailerLite offers a hand in case you’re uncertain:
Basically, groups are more of a Deliberate activity on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments permit you to bulge multiple subscribers collectively according to a common denominator.
A tad confusing, I’ll admit… but I feel it’s a fair trade-off For the added 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 region with their particular fields, such as name, company, 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 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 made and added into a form:
I will not go too much into the form Stuff here since I have an entire section on that below, but this is the strategy I would recommend if you wished to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve collected your custom field information from new Readers, you can pull them into your email content and subject line.
Just click on the’Personalization’ drop down and select your Custom field.
I am barely scraping the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important to know that this is a feature you may use.
If you are not impressed by what you have seen so far, then maybe The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After selecting’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, then you will be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Isn’t winning any awards, but it will offer a great foundation to work from if, for example most of us, you don’t have that natural eye for design.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, though They finally do the same task; accumulate an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further build or alter your landing page.
Now, I have used my fair share of Visual page builders, and it is better than some dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Together with the fundamental building blocks, you can use components like Hero sections, popup buttons, reviews and countdown timers.
No, it won’t be replacing landing Page builders such as 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 Decent set of type building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there’s a whole lot to cover here.
Let us start with your Bog-standard embedded form.
These forms are first created inside MailerLite in order to get An embed code, which you can then place on your site to show it on particular pages.
Despite starting off super basic, the form designer lets you To personalize everything from the kind style, subjects, background, title, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text may also be edited directly, which gives you a Opportunity To envision your own backup 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 physical appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure how the Form functions, including adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There is a GDPR compliance alternative. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success webpage…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, Which will replace the embedded kind also prevents users from redirecting.
Last but surely not least, you Can check how your form screens on cellular by shifting 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 is an overview of the Embedded form but as I said before, you may also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of the installation 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 In depth choice, they do provide a good base to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use with this form kind.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template requires me into a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new choices under form types Now around:
Contemplating paid tools 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 play with the styling options to get it Matched with your own branding.
Last, you can choose the close Behavior of your type under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is the X icon, but you can swap out this for A”No thanks” text option, or have .
That is where most email Marketing platforms would render you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like most tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Data in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click info, Subscriber development, automation stats, and kind signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you specific reporting for this campaign.
This is where you’ll find a few 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 consumer…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, you can click into different areas of the report to get a more detailed breakdown.
You can find some real gems beneath These reports.
By Way of Example, the’View Email’ tab also displays a click map, so You can see your readers interacted with your mails in relation to another.
Reports for automations are also Available under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found these to be less enlightening than effort 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 needs.
What is email advertising with no dash of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this review.
The great news? If you have used a visual workflow builder, You will immediately feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, That the automations interface is easy, clean and simple to navigate — something that certainly can not be said for each and every email marketing software.
After establishing your trigger, you can Start adding steps to your workflow.
These measures could be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a conditional split, or an action, such as transferring a subscriber or upgrading their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I set together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed if they don’t open my email within seven days.
There are countless Possibilities in regards to workflow automations like 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 like ActiveCampaign because it lacks some of the conditional elements. (Split, Visit, Goal, etc.. )
For example, there’s currently no automation for moving Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these actions can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into different groups that activate new automation workflows. It’s simply 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 will be asked to put in your topic 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 typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered previously in the critique.
This time, however, once you’ve established your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you straight back into the automations workflow instead of the usual sending options.
Finally, your email address will be Loaded into your own automation.
A nice touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation block, which means it’s possible to find an idea about what it contains at a glance.
While this process may seem like A grind on paper, it is really much quicker than what I’m used to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a fantastic example.
On the other hand, if you’ve come over from something such as ConvertKit where The editor is loaded within the automations builder, you will probably find that this downgrade in performance.
It is quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there is 1 type of automation You will not find in MailerLite, and that I think it’s very important to highlight.
The ability to trigger an automation (or step) based on how Readers interact with the pages on your website.
The cost of MailerLite is among those tools biggest Selling points, and let us face it, we all love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All features (including premium) for up to 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your mails using this program, it’s still an amazing alternative for anyone starting out.
And what about the premium programs?
It ends up, at approximately half the Cost of this rivalry generally, MailerLite is by far one of the least expensive options available on the market. Plus, if you are willing to pay annually, you can also get a much greater discount.
In fact, I have not been able to locate anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is among those few email marketing tools The (very crowded) sector in the last couple of years, and that’s no easy feat.
While it’s 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 perfect balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and at a price point you will seriously struggle to beat.