There are a myriad email newsletter providers on the market.
Mailchimp used to be my favorite, but a few years ago they made some convoluted changes to their platform’s user interface and changes to their pricing plans I couldn’t grok.
I was sad to leave behind the monkey, but I had to find another system.
When a friend introduced me to MailerLite I kind of clung to Mailchimp as the standard, but soon realised the Chimp couldn’t compare to the simple (not simplistic), yet powerful MailerLite.
Once I jumped over to MailerLite there was no going back.
In this post I share with you why you should sign up for MailerLite if you’re looking for a phenomenal email marketing system.
There’s one specific feature I freaking LOVE about MailerLite (which almost every client receives when I build a website).
But read on to see ALL the reasons you need MailerLite and what really makes it stand out.
Fantastic free plan
If you’re new to email marketing, the last thing you want to do is fork out cash for an email marketing system.
You don’t have any subscribers yet, so why pay to send emails to no one?
No, you first need a list of email subscribers before it makes sense to pay for email marketing.
MailerLite comes with a great free plan for those who are income challenged or simply want to try email marketing.
I list the limitations below, but despite these, MailerLite is insanely powerful. Stick with me to see what this amazing email tool allows you to accomplish.
The free plan, as can be expected, comes with some limitations, as follows:
- Subscriber limit of 1,000.
- MailerLite logo branding in email campaigns.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- MailerPro support.
- Not included in the standard paid plan either; it’s an additional cost.
- The custom HTML editor.
- Newsletter templates.
- The use of custom domain names.
- Promotion pop ups.
- Ability to set deliver time according to subscribers’ time zone.
- Dedicated IP.
- Not included in the standard paid plan either. Comes with an additional monthly price tag.
- Automatic resend function.
- To subscribers who didn’t open a campaign or click a link inside the email the first time they opened your email.
- Opens by location.
- Shows you info like which country has the highest level of engagement.
- Landing page extras.
- Customizable favicon.
- Creation of templates.
- Split testing.
- Unlimited domains.
- Click heatmap.
MailerLite comes with great metrics.
“Compared to what,” you might ask.
Here’s the thing: how many people really care about analyzing their website traffic and email campaigns?
Maybe you’re one of those folks who (tragically!) couldn’t be bothered about analytics, even though it’s crucial for online marketing success.
Perhaps it’s because all those bars, charts, links and lines give you a headache and make your eyes swim.
That’s why you’ll love MailerLite’s analytics.
They’re simple to understand and can quickly reveal if an email campaign was a flop or a success.
Considering the free plan doesn’t cost a cent, the metrics you get out the box for MailerLite are phenomenal.
- Open rate.
- Number of clicks.
- Link activity.
- Number of unsubscribes.
- Spam complaints.
- Hard bounces.
- Soft bounces.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
This shows you the number of people who opened your email.
Some might say this isn’t all that important, but the fact is, if people don’t open your emails they won’t read your content, click through and take action.
That said, there are ways to ensure your open rates aren’t high while the rest of your metrics crawl in the dust.
Want to know how? Sign up for future tips and tricks!
This reveals how many people clicked a link inside your email after they’ve opened it.
This is, of course, highly important, because you want people to visit your website where you can get them to take an action of your choice.
When a subscriber receives your email and clicks through you’re one step closer to making a sale.
The link activity table lists all the links inside your email, and how many times each link was clicked (includes unique clicks and total clicks), if at all.
If your MailerLite campaign is littered with links, you’d like to see which of those links were clicked, not so?
This table makes it easy.
Knowing which links were most clicked will give you an idea of what your subscribers consider important.
MailerLite’s subscriber activity overview is so cool it’s almost voyeuristically creepy.
It shows you which email addresses opened your emails (as well as the number of times they opened it) and how many times they clicked a link in your email.
This table comes with two handy actions:
- Copy to group.
- to file or to file for Excel.
The Copy to group function can be immensely handy if you see a pattern among subscribers.
Say for instance you notice a bunch of your subscribers opened your email a number of times each but never clicked anything. That reveals that they’re interested in the topic you emailed them about, but that there’s something putting them off taking action.
You can copy these clickers into a new group, create a time sensitive promo and send it to them only.
If your promo is worth it they’ll click through and convert. That’s a win for you.
This is only available with a MailerLite paid plan.
This functionality reveals where in your email people clicked, which is super handy to know.
Say for instance you suspect people might not be reading your emails all the way through.
It’s a guess and the only way to know for sure is to view relevant data.
So you take a look at the click map and realize that some subscribers click on a link halfway down your email, while others click links way at the bottom of your email.
This reveals that many of your readers don’t mind reading long emails, something you wouldn’t have known were it not for the click map.
And yes, it’s true, the PS (right at the bottom of an email) often gets the most clicks (if it contains a link).
You can view metrics based on subscriber groups too.
Included in these metrics are:
- Average open rate.
- Average click rate.
- Average subscriber rate.
- Average unsubscribe rate.
It also includes pie charts for subscriber engagement and reading environment.
Furthermore, it also reveals top domains (eg gmail.com, aol.com) and top email clients (eg Gmail).
Easy subscriber handling
MailerLite makes it easy to handle subscribers.
You can add new subscribers or edit current subscribers.
There are four ways to add new subscribers to your MailerLite ecosystem, but first observe their notes regarding adding subscribers:
- MailerLite cleans duplicate email addresses when you upload a new list.
- MailerLite does not send confirmation emails to people you add to your list.
- This might seem like a free-for-all you can abuse, but that would be a bad idea for a number of reasons, least of which would is not that MailerLite can cancel your account any time they wish.
- MailerLite warns that it’s your responsibility to ensure that everyone on your import list has given you permission to be added to your email list.
Do not take their warnings lightly. They’re in place to protect you as much as they are in place to protect MailerLite and your subscribers.
MailerLite allows you to import subscribers from a CSV or TXT file.
When you import subscribers using this method you’re given the choice to add them to a specific group.
You can also match fields from the columns in the CSV to the subscriber fields. Of course, the more data you have for each subscribers, the more personalization you can add to your marketing campaigns down the line.
Copy & paste
This requires you to open your spreadsheet, highlight the appropriate columns and paste it into a window inside MailerLite.
They call it “Copy/paste from Excel”, but it should be called “Copy/paste from spreadsheet” since it’s platform agnostic. I tested and it works fine for copying and pasting from LibreOffice too.
This option lets you add a single subscriber.
It’s probably not something you’ll use often, since the idea behind email marketing is to build as big a list as possible, as quickly as possible.
Adding subscribers manually can quickly become a tedious task.
If you find yourself adding single subscribers often enough, rather consider adding new emails to a spreadsheet (Google Sheets works great for this, but Excel would suffice) and doing a one-time import once you have enough subscribers.
This option lets you connect to Mailchimp from MailerLite, after which you can easily move subscribers over.
I’d highly suggest you at least take a look at MailerLite if you’re currently using Mailchimp.
Some of the functionality is similar, but MailerLite is leagues ahead in terms of usability.
The more info you have on a subscriber the better you can market to that subscriber.
Ask Facebook. They know everything about their users, so for them to offer highly targeted marketing options to advertisers is a cinch.
MailerLite shows you the time and date a subscriber joined, as well as activity like when they opened an email.
You can also add custom fields to subscribers.
For instance, you could add a field that saves a subscriber’s website address.
You can use this as a variable in an email to automatically add your subscribers’ web addresses to a campaign.
So if a subscriber opens an email campaign from you in which you mention their website address, they see their web address, which makes it look personalized.
Fantastic drag & drop editor
MailerLite comes with a superb drag & drop editor which makes it insanely easy to create email newsletters.
You can add all sorts of things, including:
- Your logo.
- A headline.
- E-commerce layouts.
- Social media buttons.
- Custom footer.
And if you need an RSS newsletter, breeze through creating a template using the drag & drop editor, set up RSS inside the template and activate. Then just keep pumping out content from your website. MailerLite will assiduously keep delivering your content.
MailerLite offers three types of forms to choose from.
Whether you’ll use them depends on your marketing tactics. I don’t use all of them because I don’t have need of every type of form.
But you might consider all of them crucial to your marketing goals.
Let’s take a closer look.
I don’t use MailerLite’s pop ups. I use a phenomenal page builder for WordPress and it comes with a fantastic pop up builder. So there’s really no need for me to use MailerLite’s pop ups.
But perhaps you use something completely different to drive your online marketing, in which case you might consider their pop ups the best thing since sliced cheese.
You can set up a pop up to immediately add someone who signs up through it to a group of your choice. That means, if you know how to, you could set up different pop ups for different parts of your website to ensure your targeting is spot on.
For instance, if you have a website selling clothing for men and women, it won’t make sense to offer a promo on men’s shoes to people who visit the women’s section of your website.
Rather create a specific men’s shoes pop up and make it appear in the men’s section of your website.
If you use WordPress you’ll be happy to know this integration is made easier by MailerLite’s official WordPress plugin. More on that later in this article.
Embedded forms are exclusively used for creating signup forms for your website.
In other words, they’re not contact forms or order forms; they’re used to grow your email newsletter list.
An added benefit of using MailerLite’s sign up form builder is that you can use MailerLite grouping for segmentation.
Segmentation is incredibly effective for targeting.
Let’s take an example.
On this website I segment content into five categories.
Some of these categories differ so vastly from each other that I’d be irritating many email subscribers by sending them all my content in newsletter format, which is what would happen if I didn’t apply segmentation in my email marketing.
But because I allow website visitors to choose what they want to sign up for, they won’t receive all my content, only what’s valuable to them.
That way I keep my subscribers happy, which means they won’t unsubscribe easily and they’ll open their emails more and click through more.
Promotion forms are similar to pop up forms.
Using MailerLite’s promotion forms you can set up the following types of promos:
- Countdown pop ups.
- Mobile app pop ups.
- Mystery sale pop ups.
- Pop up announcements.
- Product pop ups.
- Social pop ups.
- Survey pop ups.
Like with their standard pop ups, promotions can be plugged into your website to help you grow your audience or to help you gain insights into your audience and their wants and needs.
Landing pages and websites
MailerLite can even be used for creating your own website.
There are two flavors: landing pages and websites.
Landing pages are traditionally used in sales funnels. They’re highly targeted and usually contain a single call to action. The less distractions they have, the better they perform.
The best way to use a landing page is to combine it with paid advertising platforms like Facebook or Google Ads.
The reason is, you probably won’t drive traffic to a landing page through natural means like search engine rankings, since a landing page’s content is thin, compared to a full website.
But landing pages are great if you quickly want to get marketing off the ground and you have a single thing (product, concept, ideology, whatever) to sell.
Some web developers swear by landing pages, for good reason.
Not content with a single landing page?
MailerLite allows you to build complete websites, although nothing too complex.
These are best seen as landing pages on a little bit of steroids.
You can edit current pages and add more, should you wish, but their websites lack the dynamic functionality a WordPress website gives you.
For instance, they have a lovely real estate theme, but you have to manually update the properties page with your latest properties.
With a proper WordPress setup you keep adding properties like you would a news item and the website automatically updates with your latest additions. What’s more, with a WordPress website you could have those properties automatically update in various locations on your website.
Nevertheless, if you don’t want the fantastic benefits a WordPress website offers, you could go with MailerLite’s website creator.
RSS feed newsletter
This is my favorite feature of MailerLite, the feature I freaking LOVE.
MailerLite’s automatic newsletter function lets you create automatic newsletters using your website’s RSS feed.
Why’s that so great?
While many people focus on social media as their only marketing channels, you’ll do well to realize that search engines are a superb source of traffic.
But search engines want you to do a number of things to get their attention:
- Optimize your site for speed.
- Optimize your site for usability.
- Offer useful, relevant content.
That last point is probably the most important, but here’s the catch: if you want it to work you need to keep adding fine content regularly.
The web design package I sell is primarily a marketing package. It comes with everything a client needs to build a serious online profile using their website as the fulcrum.
What makes it stand out is that you can add your own content, which should translate to an ever increasing quantity of traffic.
That’ll take care of your long term search engine marketing.
But one of the most valuable favors you can do your own business is to build a list of email subscribers.
However, creating email newsletters manually takes far too much effort.
That’s why an RSS email newsletter is so valuable. It allows you to focus on building your website, but also lets you build an email list of subscribers.
It combines two of the best marketing channels.
Powerful automation workflows
If you want to look like you’re intimately interested in your subscribers, there’s no better way to do it than by using automated workflows.
Using this powerful feature you can:
- Welcome emails.
- Special dates (birthdays, anniversaries, et al).
- Use link triggers to activate workflows.
- Tag subscribers to create new groups and segments.
- Guide subscribers through every step of their journey with you.
- Sell products with abandoned cart emails.
As the list shows, this is one puissant feature.
Of course, such functionality takes effort to set up, and that’s why you should sign up for my newsletter. I’ll be sharing useful tips on how to make the most of your MailerLite marketing, including how to set up automation workflows.
Browser and PDF viewing
Every email campaign you create comes with a URL you can view in a web browser.
Say a friend of yours hears from another friend who’s subscribed to your newsletter, that you sent out a whopper of a promotional deal only a fool would want to miss out on.
But this friend who heard it from a friend doesn’t want to sign up for your email newsletter. They just want to see the deal.
You could do one of two things:
- WhatsApp them the URL to the newsletter.
- Email them the PDF.
The URL you send them opens in a browser and looks exactly like what the email looks like in an email program like Outlook or Gmail.
The PDF is clickable, exactly like the actual email campaign.
This option is also great for subscribers who might be using a donkey of an email client that refuses to display your emails correctly.
When they receive your email in their primitive email client they can simply click the link to view your email in their browser, which means they’ll get the intended experience.
Another great feature of MailerLite is the ability to add admins to your account.
If your marketing takes off and business is booming, you might need more hands on deck to help you steer the ship.
Perhaps that means getting more people involved with your email marketing.
Simply add them to your MailerLite account.
The beauty of adding more people to your MailerLite account is that you can control how much access they get.
There are five levels:
MailerLite has created their own WordPress plugin to assist WordPress site owners in making the most of MailerLite’s email marketing.
I don’t use it because I use a WordPress page builder that offers amazing integration.
But I’ve used MailerLite’s WordPress plugin before and it works fine.
It comes with shortcode functionality, which makes it easy to add a signup form anywhere on your website.
It also comes with a sidebar widget.
If you need DIY email marketing, you need MailerLite.
It’s an affordable option with an excellent free plan if you only want to test the water.
It offers an amazing set of tools to automate your marketing and it grants you access to crucial email marketing metrics like open rate, clickthrough rate and other metrics.
If you hate creating email newsletters manually, MailerLite makes complete sense because you can create an automatic newsletter by combining it with your website’s RSS feed. This is a feature I set up for more than 90% of my website clients.