Intro Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
When I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what could you say? Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online businesses today, email marketing continues to be Dominated by the identical large players for the previous ten years. Which means that they get encouraged very deeply and accomplish a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the marketplace, causing 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 find out whether it stands its own ground against the big boys…
…and, what’s more, whether youshould consider making the change.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using principles
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign types (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Simple to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements such as countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and in-depth reporting
– A Fraction of the cost compared to most other options
– Strict Approval process
– Few email Templates available
– Very few Form templates available
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for site monitoring Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
Like most email marketing providers these days, You’ll Need to Go through a review process before being able to correctly use the software.
When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to complete your profile.
This includes information like your company name, site, Business, address, business size, list size and even the type of content you intend to send.
Then, You Have to confirm your Website (or domain name).
This remains part of this approval process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is associated to this domain in order that they could email you a verification link.
As Soon as You’ve completed these Steps, you’ll need to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, assess your Site, and determine whether you are a good fit for their service.
(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 perform with the attributes, but you will not be able to send anything before accepted.
I was”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limitation of 500 subscribers.
Here Is What the email said:
However, while these steps aren’t perfect for getting started, it Does help stop malicious users from damaging everyone else’s deliverability.
If you are anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to handle Nearly all your email advertising.
(We will get to automations soon, do not worry.)
But whether it is a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there’s always some excuse to send a more instant email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the new’Produce Campaign’ will give you several options.
– 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 readers who Don’t start your broadcast email, together with the choice of changing the subject line and email content.
– RSS effort: Create a recurring campaign That sends new content to subscribers using your website’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few additional options, the Majority of these will follow Exactly the exact same step-by-step process of a standard campaign.
So let’s walk you through it.
Once you click on to create your effort, you’ll be requested to Select a preferred editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
Otherwise, you can change to the Templates tab and choose from among their pre-designed email templates — that will move you into the dragn’ drop editor by default.
In the time of writing, you’ll find 21 email templates to select From which is somewhat 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 on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I will choose the first template in the library.
The editor is easy to work with, Making customizing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the cubes in the sidebar to include distinct Types of articles to your email, such as videos, product columns, and social links.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be taken to the recipients’ choices where you can choose your classes or segments.
The advanced tab also allows you To develop segment-like rules on-the-fly, in the event your targeting is not quite perfect.
Finally, before sending, then you’ll get to 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 subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
Managing Your Subscribers
Having granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most essential aspects of any email marketing program today.
Because highly personalized efforts Are Essential if You are looking to increase clicks, opens, 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 strategy.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll notice two Choices; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically principles.
Your readers belong to a section only when they meet the Specified rules, and will be automatically added or eliminated so.
Here’s what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even combine Principles, in addition to an alternate rule if the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for groups, and despite the difference in title, These behave much like your normal”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the name to’Tags’, but finally decided against it.)
Unlike Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation rule — that we will get to in a minute — 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, but MailerLite delivers a hand in case you’re uncertain:
Basically, groups are much more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments permit you to bulge multiple contributors together according to a common denominator.
Somewhat confusing, I will admit… but I feel it’s a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. Besides, they’re discretionary.
Last, the’Fields’ tab is used to personalize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this region with their own areas, such as title, company, 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 data in separate columns… or may easily add these fields to your types which will only apply to future subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test field I made and added into a form:
I will not go too much into the shape Things here because I have an entire section on that below, but this is the strategy I’d recommend if you wished to use this feature.
Again, as Soon as You’ve collected your custom field data from fresh Readers, you are able to pull them in to your email content and subject line.
Just click on the’Personalization’ drop down and select your Customized field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important to know this is a feature you may use.
Overall, it is reasonable to state MailerLite has their subscriber Direction and personalization features on point. Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
If you are not impressed with what you’ve seen up to Now, then maybe The page 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 selection Is not winning any awards, but it will offer a great base to work from if, like most of us, you don’t have that natural eye for design.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, however They all ultimately do the identical task; accumulate 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 this is better than a few dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Together with the fundamental building blocks, you can use elements like Hero segments, popup buttons, testimonials and countdown timers.
It will not be replacing landing Page builders such as Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime shortly, but credit where credit due, this thing over-delivers on all 3 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email advertising tools, MailerLite actually Provides a Decent set of form building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this same interface, so there is a lot to cover .
Let’s begin with your Bog-standard embedded type.
These forms are first created inside MailerLite in order to get An embed code, which you can then place on your site to display it on particular pages.
Despite starting off super fundamental, the form designer allows you To customize everything in the form style, fields, background, title, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides you a chance 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 extra fields and setting a custom success page.
(There’s even a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success page…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, Which can replace the embedded kind and prevents users .
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess how your form screens on cellular by shifting the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t Have the Ability to make any layout 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 majority of the setup process is identical, you will find A few differences I’d love to point out.
Unlike embedded kinds, you can choose between a set of Templates:
While this isn’t the most In depth choice, they do offer a good foundation to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use for this form type.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template requires me to a preview Before moving to the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are some new options under form types Now around:
Contemplating paid programs such as Thrive Leads exist for 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 branding.
Finally, you can Select the close Behavior 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 choice, or have both.
This is really where most email Marketing platforms will render you, but MailerLite has yet another trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Data in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber development, automation analytics, and form signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific coverage for that effort.
This is where you’ll discover some more advanced statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying surroundings, email client and more.
This should be plenty of Information for the ordinary user…
…but if you really want To dig into the numbers, it is possible to click into different areas of this report to get a more comprehensive breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
By Way of Example, the’View Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see how your readers interacted with your emails in relation to one another.
Reports for automations are also Available under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found to be less enlightening than effort reports.
Here’s a Fast 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 advertising with no dash of automation?
For most reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could easily make or break this review.
The great news? If you’ve used a visual workflow builder, then You’ll immediately feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, That the automations interface is easy, clean and simple to navigate — something which certainly can’t be said for every email advertising program.
After establishing your trigger, you can Start adding steps to your workflow.
These measures could be anything from sending an email, adding a Delay, a bubble break, or an action, such as moving a subscriber or upgrading their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I put together, where readers Are unsubscribed when they do not open my email within 7 days.
There are innumerable Possibilities when it comes to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite should not have any trouble with the vast majority of use cases.
Granted, it is not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign since it lacks a number of the conditional components. (Split, Visit, Goal, etc.)
For Instance, there’s currently no automation for transferring Readers directly into a different automation.
That being said, most of these actions can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into different classes that trigger new automation workflows. It is just not as effective…. yet.
Another matter of efficacy here is when creating new emails From the automation workflow builder.
After having an email cube to The workflow, you’ll be asked to add your subject line which then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking on 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, once you’ve created your email, clicking on the ‘Done editing’ button will direct you straight back into the automations workflow rather than the usual sending options.
Ultimately, your email will be Loaded into your automation.
A nice touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation block, so you can find an concept of what it contains at a glance.
While this process may seem like A grind on newspaper, it is actually much faster than what I am utilized to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a fantastic example.
On the other hand, if you’ve come over from something like ConvertKit where The editor is loaded within the automations builder, so you’ll probably find this a downgrade in functionality.
It is quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there’s one type of automation You won’t find in MailerLite, also that I think it’s important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or step) based on how Readers interact with all the pages on your site.
This Sort of behavioral targeting only isn’t accessible MailerLite right now, so if it’s something you use or intend to use, you might want to skip this one. Free Open Source Email Marketing Software
The Price of MailerLite is one of the tools biggest Selling things, and let us face it, we all love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) to get up to 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding in your emails using this plan, it is still an amazing option for those starting out.
And what about the top plans?
It turns out, at approximately half the Price of the rivalry on average, MailerLite is undoubtedly among the cheapest options available on the market. Plus, if you are ready to pay yearly, you are also able to get an even greater discount.
In fact, I have not been able to find anything that does exactly the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of those few email advertising tools to disrupt The (very crowded) sector in recent decades, 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 virtually anything you can throw at it.
I find MailerLite strikes the perfect balance Between flexibility, simplicity and speed, and at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to beat.
Thinking about giving it a spin? Let us know how it works for you From the comments. Free Open Source Email Marketing Software