Why I Flipping Love Mailerlite 💖
Last year one of my clients wanted support setting up a mailing list so they could communicate directly with subscribers via monthly newsletters, offers and updates. However there were a few caveats. As a new business money was tight and there really wasn’t any budget left for an email marketing system, so it needed to be free, easy to use and if possible, send an email sequence when people initially sign up.
My first thought was the obvious choice Mailchimp which has of course been around for years and is one of the most popular email marketing platforms on offer. And up until this point it was the newsletter system that I recommended. But Mailchimp has gone though a lot of changes recently with many of the features now only available on the paid plans, including the signup email sequence that was requested.
Not to be beaten in my quest for a free, user-friendly and automated email platform, my search began and led me to Mailerlite.
What can I say about this awesome piece of software? I LOVE IT. What you can do with this software on the free plan is amazing and I am a complete convert. Keep reading to find out why I thoroughly recommend it and why I became Mailerlite Certified.
I’ve mentioned it earlier, but Mailerlite does an awesome job with email automation even on
the free plan.
If you’re not sure what I mean by email automation let me quickly explain. This is the process of sending a subscriber a series of emails automatically. These emails have been pre-written by you and are generated when a user clicks a trigger ( such as signing up as a new subscriber by completing a form, joining a new email group or clicking a link in an email). The pic below shows an automation workflow in the setup stage.
I’ve used automation features in other email software, and they can be complicated to set up, especially if you are new to the process. With Mailerlite the automation is intuitive, easy to set up and edit, and you can set up automation based on a number of triggers, as per the pic on the right. The options for automation are much simpler than Mailchimp (paid plan) but as I’ve said before if you’re new to email and run a small business, it’s more than adequate.
Both platforms offer an easy to use drag and drop system which is fully customizable with your own colours and logo. Mailchimp does offer a few free basic templates (which are paid-for upgrades with Mailerlite), but Mailerlite's interface is easier to navigate. There’s too much going on with the Mailchimp editor that I don’t use and that somehow gets in the way.
Both offer good basic analytics showing open rates, link clicks, bounce rates, unsubscribes etc. But Mailchimp does offer that little bit more including a click map, 24 hour performance graph and much more info in terms of open rates. However, these features whilst great are not enough to tempt me back.
The free plan with Mailerlite allows you up to 1000 subscribers, sending 12000 emails per month. In contrast Mailchimp offers 2000 subs, sending 10000 emails per month. Once you get past the 2000 subs with Mailchimp the price starts to rise considerably. But if you are thinking of paying for email automation there are many other software options to choose from, including Drip and ConvertKit. Still not enough to tempt me back though, and I hate to say but you're not going to hit 1000 subs overnight.
The big difference here is that is that with Mailerlite you can include one person on multiple lists and they don’t count as multiple subs. Whereas with Mailchimp if you include the same person on different lists they count as separate subs. With Mailerlite you can tag your contacts by interest groups and segments and it's very straightforward. In contrast, Mailchimp is a little more complicated with it's separate lists, including tags, segmentation and groups and this can lead to duplicate emails to the same person if you're not aware of what your doing.
It's important that your email marketing software has excellent deliverability (is that even a word?), otherwise your emails will end up in the spam folder or promotions tab in Gmail. This can be a complicated affair, but this article here that has done the hard work for me. Just in case you haven't read it, it basically lists Mailerlite as one of the top three scorers over a set time frame.
There are of course lots of other features that I haven't gone into such as support, CRM, integration etc but lets be honest we don't have all day. So, if you’re budget conscious, new to email marketing and just setting up your email list then Mailerlite is a great choice. The training that supports the platform is excellent (they have a help section that provides video support to take you through various features step by step if you get stuck). Both offer sign up forms as well as landing pages and embedded/pop-up forms but if you’re looking for an email marketing software that integrates with many more apps, provides more complex automations and delves deeper into analytics, then Mailchimp is a better option. However don’t forget there are many more paid for email marketing platforms out there.
Yes, the subscriber limit is less than Mailchimp, but you aren’t going to hit 1000 subs overnight. For me the automation features, ease of use, online learning and clear interface make it a winner and I won’t be switching back!
Did I mention that I love it so much I became Mailerlite Certified? So, if you’re looking to incorporate email into your marketing and you’re wondering how to get started and which platform to use then get in touch.