Introduction Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
When I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what would you say? Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online industries today, email marketing continues to be Dominated by the same large players for the previous ten years. Which means that they get promoted very heavily and accomplish a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the market, causing long-time customers to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So now, in this short article, I’ll be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to see if it really 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 principles
– Custom Fields for innovative email personalization
– Advanced Campaign types (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Easy to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email components such as countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Form, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both digestible and in-depth reporting
– A Fraction of the cost compared to most other solutions
– Strict Approval process
– Few email Templates available
– Very few Form templates available
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for site tracking Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
Like most email marketing providers Nowadays, You’ll 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 like your organization name, website, Business, address, business size, list size and even the type of material you intend to send.
Then, You Have to verify your Website (or domain ).
This remains part of the acceptance process, and MailerLite will Simply ask which email is associated to this domain so they could email you a confirmation link.
As Soon as You’ve completed these Measures, you ought to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, assess your Website, and determine whether you’re a good fit for their services.
(Quite simply, they’re making sure you are not a spammer/scammer)
As shown above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to use the software to create campaigns and play with the attributes, but you won’t have the ability to send anything before 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:
However, while these steps aren’t ideal for getting started, it Does help stop unscrupulous users from hurting everybody’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to handle The majority of your email marketing.
(We will get to automations shortly, do not worry.)
But whether it is a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always a reason to send a more instant email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Produce Campaign’ will give you several options.
– Regular effort: A Conventional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Versions, including subject line, from title and, yes, even email content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Don’t start your broadcast email, together with the option of changing the subject line and email articles.
– RSS effort: Create 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 The same step-by-step procedure of a normal campaign.
So let’s walk you through it.
Once you click on to create your effort, you’ll be requested to Select a favorite editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can change to the Templates tab and select from among the pre-designed email templates — that will move you to 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 contemporary.
And, of course, if you’d just Like to reuse a previous email, you can click on the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I will select 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 blocks in the sidebar to add different Kinds of content to your email, such as videos, product columns, and societal connections.
After making your changes, simply click’Done Editing’ and you’ll Be carried to the recipients’ options where you can select your classes or sections.
The tab also allows one To develop segment-like rules on-the-fly, in the event your targeting isn’t quite right.
Finally, before sending, then you’ll get into the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, if that is immediately, at a set time/date, or in accordance with your readers time zones.
Impressive, right? Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
Handling Your Clients
Possessing granular control over your readers is arguably one of The most important aspects of any email advertising program now.
Because highly personalized campaigns are necessary if You’re searching to increase clicks, opens, and, above all, your own conversions.
And while many providers allow you to”tag” readers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different approach.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll see two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are essentially principles.
Your readers belong to a section only when they meet the Specified rules, and will be automatically added or removed accordingly.
Here’s what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even blend Principles, in addition to an alternate rule when the first does not 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 name to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it.)
Unlike Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation principle — that we’ll get to in a moment — and they have no value aside from what you call them.
As you start to use this platform, you’ll begin to understand At which Segments and Groups are typically used, however, MailerLite delivers a hand in the event you’re unsure:
Basically, groups are more of a Deliberate activity on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments permit you to lump multiple subscribers collectively according to a frequent denominator.
A tad confusing, I will admit… but I feel it’s a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. Besides, they’re discretionary.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their own areas, such as name, business, and nation.
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 data in separate columns… or can simply add these fields to your types which will only apply to future readers.
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 since I have an entire section on this below, but this is the approach 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 on the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Custom field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important that you know that this is a feature you can use.
Overall, it is fair to state MailerLite has their contributor Direction and personalization features on point. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
If you are not impressed by what you’ve seen up to Now, then maybe The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After selecting’Landing Pages’ from the forms page, you’ll 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 people, you don’t have that natural eye for layout.
I went ahead and selected the’Lead Generation’ template, however They all finally do the same task; accumulate an email address.
This time, the editor will give 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 some dedicated alternatives *cough* WPBakery.
Together with the basic building blocks, you can use components like Hero segments, popup buttons, reviews and countdown timers.
It will not be replacing landing Page builders such as Thrive Architect or even LeadPagesanytime soon, but credit where credit due, this thing over-delivers on all three kind types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email advertising tools, MailerLite actually offers a Decent pair of form building tools.
Also, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there is a lot to cover .
Let’s begin 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 website to show it on specific pages.
Despite beginning super fundamental, the form designer allows you To personalize everything from the kind style, fields, background, name, enter fields and, clearly, the button.
Form text may also be edited directly, which Provides you a chance To envision your own 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 just its physical appearance.
Clicking on the’Settings’ tab will allow you to configure the way the Form functions, including adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There’s a GDPR compliance alternative. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success page…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, That will replace the embedded form also prevents users .
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess the way your form screens on mobile by shifting the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t be able to make any design changes , but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an Summary of this Embedded form but as I said before, you may also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of this installation process is identical, there are 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 selection, they do offer a fantastic base to work from and the editor is at least as simple to use with this form type.
Clicking 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 tools such as Thrive Leads exist for ribbons and slide-in forms, it is pretty impressive to see this level of control over popup forms.
And, like before, you can perform the styling options to get it Matched up with your branding.
Last, you can Select the close Behavior of your type under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is the X icon, but you can swap this out for A”No thanks” text option, or have .
This is really where most email Marketing platforms will render you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like most tools, you’ll find a summary of your campaign Data in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from campaign open and click info, Subscriber growth, automation stats, and kind signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific coverage for this effort.
This is where you’ll discover some statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, studying environment, email client and 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 the report for a more detailed breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
For example, the’View Mail’ tab also displays a click map, so You can see your readers interacted with your emails in relation to one another.
Reports for automations are Available under the’Automations’ tab, although 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 statistics more than sufficient to fulfill their demands.
What’s email marketing with no dash of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could easily make or break this particular review.
The great news? If you have used a visual workflow builder, You’ll instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is simple, clean and easy to navigate — something which certainly can not be said for every email advertising program.
After establishing your trigger, you can Start adding steps to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, adding a Delay, a bubble break, or an action, like moving a contributor or upgrading their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I put together, where readers Are unsubscribed when they do not open my email within 7 days.
There are innumerable Possibilities in regards to workflow automations similar to this, and MailerLite should have no trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it’s not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign because it lacks a number of the conditional elements. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.)
For example, there’s currently no automation for transferring Subscribers directly into another automation.
That being said, the Majority of these actions can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into different groups that activate new automation workflows. It’s simply not as effective…. yet.
Another question of efficacy 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 that then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking the’Design email’ button will 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, but as Soon as You’ve created your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will direct you back to the automations workflow rather than the usual sending alternatives.
Ultimately, your email will be Loaded into your automation.
A Wonderful touch here is using a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation block, which means you can find an idea of what it contains at a glimpse.
While this process may seem like A grind on newspaper, it is actually much faster than what I’m used to with other email advertising 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 inside the automations builder, so you’ll probably find that this downgrade in functionality.
It is fast enough for me, Personally, but I guess it’s all relative.
Before I wrap up this section, there’s 1 type 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 all the pages on your website.
This kind of behavioral targeting only is not accessible MailerLite at this time, so if it’s something you use or intend to utilize, you might want to skip this one. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
The cost of MailerLite is undoubtedly among those tools largest Selling points, and let’s face it, we all love a good deal.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All features (including premium) for up to 1,000 subscribers.
While There’s some subtle Branding on 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 Cost of the rivalry on average, MailerLite is undoubtedly among the cheapest options on the market. Additionally, if you are willing to pay yearly, you can also get a much greater discount.
In fact, 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, which is no easy feat.
While it is not as fast 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 of giving it a twist? Let us know how it works for you In the comments. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software