Background Constant Contact
If I asked you to name an email Marketing tool, what could you say? Constant Contact
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like most online industries today, email advertising has been Dominated by the same large players for the previous ten years. Which means they get promoted very heavily and achieve a lot of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the marketplace, causing long-time users to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So today, in this review, I’ll be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to find out if it really stands its ground against the big boys…
…and, what’s more, whether youshould consider making the switch.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using principles
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign kinds (auto-resend, A/B, etc.)
– Easy to Use email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements for example countdowns and product boxes
– Intuitive Form, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations using visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and comprehensive reporting
– A Fraction of the price compared to most other options
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create mails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for site monitoring Constant Contact
Like most email marketing providers these days, 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 company name, website, Industry, address, company size, record size and even the kind of material you plan to send.
Then, you need 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 can email you a confirmation link.
As Soon as You’ve completed those Steps, you ought to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, check your Site, and ascertain whether you are a fantastic fit for their service.
(Quite simply, they are making sure you’re 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 will not 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 Is What the email said:
However, while these measures aren’t perfect for getting started, it Does help prevent unscrupulous users from damaging everyone else’s deliverability.
If you are anything like me, you’ll rely upon automations to Deal with The majority of your email marketing.
(We will get to automations soon, do not worry.)
But whether it is a brand 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 choices.
– Regular campaign: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Variations, including subject line, from name and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to readers who Don’t start your broadcast email, with the choice of changing the subject line and email articles.
– RSS campaign: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to subscribers using your site’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few added choices, the Majority of these will follow The exact same step-by-step process of a normal campaign.
So let’s walk you through it.
As Soon as You click on to create your campaign, you’ll be requested to Pick a preferred editor, whether that’s the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
Otherwise, you can switch to the Templates tab and select from among the pre-designed email templates — which will move you into the dragn’ drop editor by default.
At the time of writing, you’ll find 21 email templates to choose From which is a little on the low side, however, the layouts 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 instance, I’ll choose the first template from the library.
The editor is easy to work with, Making viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the cubes in the sidebar to add distinct Kinds of content to your email, such as videos, merchandise columns, and societal connections.
After making your adjustments, just click’Done Editing’ and you will Be carried to the recipients’ choices where you can select your groups or segments.
The advanced tab also allows one To develop segment-like rules on-the-fly, in case your targeting isn’t quite right.
Finally, before sending, then you’ll get into the’Program’ screen.
This is where you control if your broadcast email should go Out, if that is instantly, at a set time/date, or in accordance with your readers time zones.
Impressive, right? Constant Contact
Handling Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your subscribers is arguably among The most important facets of any email marketing software now.
Because highly personalized efforts Are Essential if You are searching to increase clicks, opens, and, most importantly, your conversions.
And while many providers Permit You to”label” subscribers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different strategy.
When you open up your subscriber dashboard, you’ll notice two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically principles.
Your subscribers belong to a section only when they fulfill the Specified principles, and are automatically inserted or eliminated accordingly.
Here is what establishing a rule looks like:
Notice how you can even combine Rules, in addition to an alternate rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The following tab is for classes, and also the difference in name, These behave much like your normal”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but finally decided against it)
Unlike Segments, Groups are updated manually or through an Automation rule — that we will get to in a moment — and they have no value aside from what you call them.
As you Begin to use this platform, you’ll Start to understand Where Segments and Groups are typically used, however, MailerLite delivers a hand in case you’re uncertain:
Fundamentally, groups are much more of a Deliberate activity on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments permit you to lump multiple contributors together according to a frequent denominator.
A tad confusing, I will admit… but I believe it is a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. In any case, they’re discretionary.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to personalize your email copy.
You will notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their own areas, such as name, business, and nation.
If You Would like to create your own custom fields, you can do this by Clicking 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 distinct columns… or can simply add these fields to a forms which will only apply to prospective subscribers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test field I created and added to a form:
I won’t go too much into the form Things here because I have an entire section on this below, but this is the approach I would recommend if you wanted to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve gathered 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 choose your Customized field.
I’m barely scratching the surface Of what is possible with custom fields, but it’s important that you know that this is a feature you may use.
Overall, it is reasonable to state MailerLite has their contributor Direction and personalization features on point. Constant Contact
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’ from the forms page, then you’ll be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Isn’t winning any awards, it does offer a great base to work from if, like most people, you do not have that natural eye for layout.
I went ahead and selected the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all finally do the same task; collect an email address.
This time, the editor will Provide you 17 building blocks to Further build or change your landing page.
Now, I have used my fair share of Visual site builders, and it is already better than a few dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the fundamental building blocks, you can use elements like Hero segments, popup buttons, reviews 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 form types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite really Provides a Decent pair of form building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this same interface, so there is a whole lot to cover .
Let’s 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 put on your site to show it on specific pages.
Despite starting off super basic, the form designer allows you To customize everything from the form style, subjects, background, name, enter fields and, of course, the button.
Form text can 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 here, but as you know, there’s more to a form than just its appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure the way the Form functions, such as adding extra 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 kind and prevents users .
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess the way your form screens on mobile by shifting the toggle to responsive mode.
You won’t be able to make any layout changes here, but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an overview of the Embedded form but like I said before, you can also create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of the installation 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 selection, they do offer a good base to work from and the editor is just as simple to use for this form type.
Clicking the’E-commerce’ template requires me to a preview Before moving into the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new choices under form types This time around:
Considering paid programs such as Thrive Leads exist for ribbons and slide-in forms, it’s pretty impressive to observe this amount of control over popup types.
And, as before, you can play the styling options to get it Matched with your own branding.
Last, you can choose the close Behaviour 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 choice, or have .
That is really where most email Marketing platforms will leave you, but MailerLite has one more trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like most tools, you’ll find a summary of your campaign Statistics in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click info, Subscriber growth, automation analytics, and form signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you special reporting for that effort.
This is where you’ll find a few statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, reading environment, email client and 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 different areas of the report to get a more detailed breakdown.
You can find some real gems beneath These reports.
For example, the’View Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see how your subscribers interacted with your mails compared to one another.
Reports for automations will also be Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found to be less insightful 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 meet their needs.
What’s email advertising with no dashboard of automation?
For most 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’ll immediately feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is simple, clean and simple to navigate — something that certainly can’t be said for every email marketing program.
After setting your trigger, you can begin adding measures to your workflow.
These steps could be anything from sending an email, adding a Postpone, a bubble break, or an action, such as moving a contributor or upgrading their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I put together, where readers Are unsubscribed when they don’t open my email within seven days.
There are innumerable Possibilities when it comes to workflow automations like this, and MailerLite should not have any trouble with the vast majority of use cases.
Granted, it’s not quite as Feature-rich as something such as ActiveCampaign since it lacks a number of the conditional components. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.. )
For example, there’s currently no automation for transferring Readers directly into another automation.
That being said, most of these activities can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into different classes that activate new automation workflows. It’s simply not as efficient…. 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 that then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking the’Design email’ button will automatically fire up the Writer:
Now, you’ll be temporarily Redirected to the typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered earlier in the critique.
This time, but once you’ve established your email, clicking the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you straight back to the automations workflow instead of the usual sending options.
Finally, your email will be Loaded into your automation.
A nice touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation cube, which means you can get an concept of what it contains at a glimpse.
While this procedure may seem like A grind on newspaper, it’s actually much faster than what I’m utilized to with other email advertising tools — ActiveCampaign being a great example.
On the other hand, if you’ve come over from something like ConvertKit where The editor is loaded within the automations builder, you will likely find that this downgrade in performance.
It is quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it’s all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there’s 1 type of automation You won’t find in MailerLite, and I think it’s important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or measure ) based on how Readers interact with the webpages on your website.
This Sort of behavioral targeting just is not available in MailerLite right now, so if it’s something you use or intend to use, you may want to skip this one. Constant Contact
The Price of MailerLite is one of the tools largest Selling things, and let us face it, we all love a fantastic deal.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) to get up to 1,000 subscribers.
While There’s some subtle Branding on your emails using this program, it’s still an wonderful alternative for those starting out.
And what about the top programs?
It ends up, at around half of the Price of this rivalry on average, MailerLite is by far one of the cheapest options available on the industry. Plus, if you are ready to pay annually, you can also get an even greater discount.
In Reality, I haven’t been able to find anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of those very few email advertising tools to interrupt The (very crowded) industry in the last couple of decades, which is no simple feat.
While it’s not as quickly 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.
Overall, I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and all at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to beat.
Thinking about giving it a spin? Let us know how it works for you In the remarks. Constant Contact