If I asked you to name an email Marketing instrument, what could you say? Ontraport
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online businesses now, email advertising continues to be Dominated by the identical big players for the last decade. Which means that they get encouraged very deeply and accomplish 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 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.)
– Easy to Utilize email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements for example countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations using visual workflows
– Offers Both readable and comprehensive reporting
– A Fraction of the cost compared to most other options
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for site tracking Ontraport
Like most email advertising 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 such as your company name, site, Business, address, business size, record size and also the kind of content you plan to send.
Then, you need to verify your Site (or domain name).
This is still part of this acceptance process, and MailerLite will Simply ask which email is associated to this domain so they could email you a verification link.
As Soon as You’ve completed those Measures, you ought to wait it out.
The MailerLite team will review your application, check your Website, and determine whether you are a good fit for their service.
(Quite simply, they’re making sure you are not a spammer/scammer)
As revealed above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to utilize the software to make campaigns and perform with the features, but you will not be able to send anything until approved.
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 ideal for getting started, it Does help prevent 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’ll get to automations soon, don’t worry.)
But if it is a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always some excuse to send a more immediate email.
That is where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Produce Campaign’ will provide you several options.
– Regular effort: A Conventional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Versions, including subject line, from name and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to readers who Don’t start your broadcast email, together with the option of changing the subject line and email content.
– RSS campaign: Create a recurring campaign That sends fresh content to subscribers using your site’s RSS feed.
Aside from a few added choices, the Majority of these will follow Exactly 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 asked to Select a favorite editor, whether that be the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
Otherwise, you can switch to the Templates tab and select from one of 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, but the layouts are super modern.
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 in the library.
The editor is easy to work with, Which makes viewing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the cubes in the sidebar to add different Types of content to your email, such as videos, product columns, and social connections.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you will Be carried to the recipients’ options where you are able to choose your groups or segments.
The tab also allows you To build segment-like rules , in the event your targeting isn’t quite perfect.
Finally, before sending, you’ll get to the’Schedule’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, whether that’s immediately, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Ontraport
Handling Your Subscribers
Having granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most essential aspects of any email marketing software now.
Because highly personalized efforts Are Essential if You are looking to increase opens, clicks, and, most importantly, your conversions.
And while many providers allow you to”label” subscribers in order To target them more effectively, MailerLite uses a slightly different strategy.
When you start up your subscriber dash, you’ll see two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are basically rules.
Your readers belong to a section only when they meet the Specified rules, and are automatically inserted or removed so.
Here’s what establishing a rule looks like:
Notice how you can even combine Principles, as well as another rule when the first does not exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The next tab is for classes, and also the difference in title, These behave much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the title to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it.)
Unlike Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation rule — which we will get to in a moment — and they don’t have any value aside from what you actually call them.
As you start to use this stage, you’ll Start to understand At which Segments and Groups are generally used, but MailerLite offers a hand in the event you’re unsure:
Basically, groups are more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber basis, whereas Segments allow you to bulge multiple contributors together based on a frequent denominator.
Somewhat confusing, I will admit… but I feel it is a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. In any case, they are discretionary.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to customize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this area with their particular fields, such as title, business, and country.
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 actually work?
You can either upload a CSV file of your subscribers together with Your custom field data in separate columns… or can easily add these fields to your forms which will only apply to prospective readers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test area I made and added to a form:
I won’t go too much into the shape Things here because I have a whole section on this below, but this is the approach I would recommend if you wished to use this attribute.
Again, once you’ve collected your custom field data from fresh Readers, you can pull them in to your email content and subject line.
Just click the’Personalization’ drop down and select your Customized field.
I am barely scraping the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it’s important to know this is a feature you can use.
Overall, it’s fair to state MailerLite has their subscriber Direction and personalization features on point. Ontraport
If you’re not impressed by what you have seen so far, then maybe The page builder will tickle your fancy.
After choosing’Landing Pages’ in the forms page, then you’ll be Able to select from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template selection Isn’t winning any awards, but it does offer a fantastic foundation to work from if, for example the majority of us, you don’t have that natural eye for layout.
I went ahead and chosen the’Lead Generation’ template, though They ultimately do the identical 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 page builders, and it is already better than some dedicated alternatives *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the basic building blocks, you can use elements like Hero sections, popup buttons, reviews and countdown timers.
No, it won’t be replacing landing Page builders like Thrive Architect or 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 Adequate pair of form building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there is a whole lot to cover .
Let’s begin 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 display it on specific pages.
Despite starting off super fundamental, the form designer allows you To customize everything from the kind style, subjects, background, title, enter fields and, clearly, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides 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 some form than simply its physical appearance.
Clicking on the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure how the Form functions, such as adding extra fields and establishing a custom success page.
(There is even a GDPR compliance alternative. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success page…
…MailerLite also lets you customize the default message, That will replace the embedded kind and prevents users from redirecting.
Last but certainly not least, you Can check the way your form displays 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 this Embedded form but as I said before, you can even create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of this setup Procedure is identical, there are Still a few differences I’d like to point out.
Unlike embedded forms, you can choose between a set of Templates:
While this isn’t the most Comprehensive selection, they do provide a fantastic foundation to work from and the editor is at least as easy to use with this form type.
Clicking on the’E-commerce’ template requires me into 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 like 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 with the styling options to get it Matched up with your own branding.
Last, you can choose the near 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 both.
That is where most email Marketing platforms would leave you, but MailerLite has yet another trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Statistics in the dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber development, automation stats, and form signups.
Clicking into any campaign will Give you specific reporting 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 in Case 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 Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see your subscribers interacted with your emails compared to one another.
Reports for automations are Available under the’Automations’ tab, even though I found these to be less insightful than effort reports.
Here’s a quick example:
Total, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting port, and most will get the available data more than enough to meet their needs.
What’s email advertising with no dashboard of automation?
For many reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could simply make or break this particular review.
The good news? If you have ever used a visual workflow builder, then You will instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is easy, clean and easy to navigate — something which certainly can not be said for each and every email advertising software.
After establishing your trigger, you can begin adding steps to your workflow.
These measures could be anything from sending an email, including a Delay, a bubble break, or an act, such as transferring a contributor or upgrading their records.
Here’s a straightforward workflow I put together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed if they don’t open my email within 7 days.
There are countless Possibilities when it comes to workflow automations like this, and MailerLite should have no trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it is not quite as Feature-rich as something such as ActiveCampaign because it lacks a number of the conditional components. (Split, Visit, Goal, etc.)
For Instance, there’s currently no automation for moving Subscribers directly into a different automation.
That being said, most of these activities can Nevertheless Be achieved by moving Subscribers into various groups that activate new automation workflows. It is just much less effective…. yet.
Another question of efficiency here is when creating new emails In the automation workflow builder.
After adding an email cube to The workflow, you’ll be asked to add your topic line that then appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking on the’Design email’ button will automatically fire up the Editor:
Now, you’ll be temporarily 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 back to the automations workflow instead of the usual sending alternatives.
Finally, your email address will probably be Loaded into your own automation.
A nice touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email within your automation block, so it’s possible to get an concept of what it contains at a glance.
While this procedure may seem like A grind on paper, it’s actually much faster than what I’m utilized to with other email marketing tools — ActiveCampaign being a fantastic example.
On the other hand, if you have come over from something such as ConvertKit where The editor is loaded inside the automations builder, you’ll likely find that this downgrade in functionality.
It’s quick enough for me, Personally, however I guess it’s all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there is one Kind of automation You will not find in MailerLite, also I think it’s important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or measure ) based on the way Subscribers 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 may want to skip this one. Ontraport
The cost of MailerLite is one of the tools largest Selling things, and let’s face it, most of us love a fantastic bargain.
For starters, they offer an unlimited free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) for as many as 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your mails using this plan, it’s still an amazing alternative for those starting out.
And what about the premium plans?
It turns out, at approximately half the Price of the competition generally, MailerLite is by far one of the cheapest options available on the industry. Plus, if you are willing to pay yearly, you can also get an even greater discount.
In fact, I have not been able to find anything that does exactly the Exact Same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of the few marketing tools The (very crowded) industry in recent years, and that’s 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 just about anything you can throw at it.
I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, simplicity and speed, and at a price point you’ll seriously struggle to conquer.
Thinking of giving it a spin? Let us know how it works for you From the comments. Ontraport