|What it is:||An email marketing management system.|
|Where to sign up:||MailerLite|
I believe in being open and transparent
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Hi there, I’m Martin.
I’ve been working online since 2006 and for most of that time I’ve built or maintained an email marketing list.
Because for bloggers and affiliate marketers your email list is probably your most valuable asset.
And email has consistently been the most effective marketing channel, for all types of business, for two decades.
That makes it a critical component of my business!
My overall summary and a word of caution
Overall, I’ve been very happy with my move to MailerLite.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that despite producing a clean and intuitive user interface, the system is still very powerful with lots of options.
Which can lead you into trouble!
Therefore, I strongly recommend you spend more time than I did on the orientation videos..!
I jumped straight in and, as a result, screwed a few things up at the outset.
Here’s one of the mistakes I made:
As with other email marketing service providers, MailerLite enables you to set up multiple forms for capturing subscribers.
Unlike other service providers, though, each form has its own sequence of signup touch points (double confirmation emails and thank you pages) and its own automation series.
And you must set them up separately for each form.
This means you could have different forms in different places on your site – for example one form to capture newsletter subscribers and a different form to capture people wanting your latest product updates.
Each form would take new subscribers through the unique sequence you set up for each of those different groups.
But I did not realise this.
I initially set up two different forms, for the same group, but I did not set up the double confirmation and thank you emails, or the automation sequence, for the second one.
I wrongly assumed that all forms took new subscribers through the same process (which was what happened with my previous provider)
As a result, I got no subscribers through the second form.
Yes, the user interface is intuitive, but yes: you need to feel your way carefully at first!
What is MailerLite?
MailerLite is one of the fastest-growing email marketing service providers.
I had used another well-known and well-established provider for many years, but it had grown cumbersome and expensive as other, newer providers joined the market with newer technology enabling more powerful tools, and lower pricing.
MailerLite’s intuitive interface and powerful tools mean that no matter what level of experience you have with email, you’ll be able to create professional campaigns, landing pages, pop-ups and automated workflows easily and quickly (keeping in mind my earlier comment – RTFM first!)
You can segment customers into an infinite number of groups and segments, either manually or based on links that they click – whether within the text in your email or in response to surveys.
This segmentation, or tagging, enables you to send highly focused emails which, in turn, reduces your churn rate and increases your return on investment.
A lot of thought has gone into their user interface: their features are easy to use yet just as advanced as other email tools.
Their support is via email and I’ve found it to be very responsive, both in speed (around 2 hours in my experience) and completeness.
Don’t be misled by their name!
Products with ‘Lite’ in their name are often thought of as the cut down version – which implies there’s a full, or ‘pro’ version somewhere.
Not true, in this case.
Let me quote from MailerLite themselves:
Lite is more than part of our name, it’s our way of thinking.
Everything we do at MailerLite is designed to provide intuitive solutions for complicated tasks.
Keeping it Lite means clean design with intuitive but powerful functionality.
I reviewed a couple of other email marketing services when I decided to move from my original provider. It was this combination of intuitive usability and powerful features that made me pick MailerLite.
And I’ve been very happy with that decision.
Intuitive Interface – Some Screenshots
One of the things I really appreciated in MailerLite’s user interface was the graphical representation of automated workflows.
Here’s an image, which I’ve had to cut down to make it sensibly visible. It’s the flow chart that represents what happens when a new subscriber joins the ‘Fashion Shop Newsletter’:
The last step in a chart is followed by a plus sign (+).
Clicking that plus sign enables you to add another step, and you can then choose what that step should be by answering questions from drop-down menus. Those appear on the right, but I cut them out of this screenshot so it would be legible on a hand-held device.
Those next steps can include links to different content, a survey, an option to take a quiz, an option to view a video – pretty much anything you can imagine.
And if you want subscribers to receive different treatment depending on what they click, then you just need to create some rules. These are done by selecting drop-down options in the Rules Creation screen that appears on the right.
That’s what I’ve done for my welcome email – as I cover in the next section. . .
I include a survey in my welcome email. This does two things:
- It helps to get my new subscribers to recognise that this will be a conversation, rather than just a series of emails
- When the reader clicks one of the answers MailerLite will automatically re-categorise them into the group that matches their specific interest
Being in the group that matches their interests means I can send them emails that are focused on them and what they’re looking for.
As I said earlier, that reduces churn and greatly increases return on investment because the subscribers are more engaged.
Here’s a screenshot of my welcome email with the survey that I include. All new subscribers receive this welcome email.
Depending on the answer they click, they will be automatically moved to the appropriate group (‘Starting a business’ or ‘Already running a business’), from where I can send them emails that are focused specifically on them:
Quite apart from enabling me to send focused emails to each group, looking at the overall balance of all subscribers – i.e. between those starting a business and those already running a business – helps me to word my promotions more accurately.
Comparison of features
A look at the comparison table I’ve linked to below will show you how MailerLite compares to the other current top email service providers.
There are two tables on this page:
- Price comparison
- Features comparison
. . . so scroll down to see all the comparisons:
On pricing, I’m currently on the US$10/month plan which gives me up to 1,000 subscribers. This is exactly 50% of what I was paying with my original email marketing service provider.
When I signed up, I was given a 14-day free trial of their premium features. Premium means any of the subscription levels, which vary only by the number of subscribers you have.
Had I not chosen to join the US$10/month plan I would have lost some functionality after the 14-day trial:
- 24/7 live chat support
- Free newsletter templates
- Auto re-send
- Custom HTML editor
- Email delivery by time zone
- Click maps
- A/B split testing
After the price I was paying and the features I got from my original provider, US$10/month was a no-brainer!
Email delivery by time zone
One feature I particularly like is the ability to get my emails delivered by timezone.
This means that I can set my emails to be delivered at 11:00AM on a Monday, and they will be delivered at 11:00AM in each recipient’s timezone.
As a friend of mine said: that should be standard on all email marketing service providers!
Training and support
MailerLite has an extensive knowledge base.
There’s a large icon at the bottom right of most screens. If you get stuck with anything, clicking that icon will take you to Q and A’s that are relevant to the screen you are working on.
If those Q and A’s don’t give you the information you need then you can click the ‘Contact us’ link at the top and give the details of your question in the screen that comes up.
I’ve done that a couple of times and the response has been quick and complete on both occasions.
Outside of that they have extensive resources on:
- Email marketing guides that include training on writing subject lines, creating effective calls-to-action, etc
- Best email practices by industry
- A series of webinars
My overall feeling about MailerLite – a word of caution
As I’ve said above, I’ve been very happy with my move to MailerLite.
One thing I would caution you, though, is to spend more time than I did going through the training and orientation videos.
Despite producing a clean and intuitive user interface, they are still running a very sophisticated system. There are a lot of options and things that you can do with it.
That means that it’s actually still quite easy to get something wrong in your initial set up – especially if, like me, you just dive in!
So, watch the videos and tutorials!
Again, why not join for free and get a taste of the premium features?
Let me know if you have any questions – I’ll be happy to answer them!