It is fairly easy to learn how to use Mailerlite, ideal if you are just starting out with email marketing. It is without a doubt a good tool if you want to send email marketing campaigns without it getting too complicated.
If however you are a more advanced user, maybe I would recommend that you try other tools like ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit.
Why should you trust my opinion?
My name is Laurence Gaultier and I have been creating websites for various clients over the past decade - or even longer if you count the templates that I used to make for band profiles on MySpace when I was barely 12 years old!
Some of my websites have appeared in renowned publications such as Smashing Magazine, Buzzfeed or TheNextWeb. Throughout the years I have tried a whole plethora of tools, perhaps more than I would have liked to. I have wasted a fair amount of time with tools that promised the world but in the end were missing features or that stopped me from progressing with my work due to their shortfalls.
With this website I am to get straight to the point, let you know exactly what it is that I liked with each tool, without going off on a tangent.
If I have a negative opinion about a certain tool or there is something which doesn’t convince me, I will make that clear because wasting time on useless tools is losing money.
One of the best features in Mailerlite is the campaign creator. I think that it is useful to point out that although it is similar to other tools on the market, it differs by offering pre- programmed blocks which are ready to use without any major modifications.
While it is true that with any of the tools that we have looked at you can create a top bar with your logo and some links, Mailerlite gives you a ready-made bar, ready for you to change the pre-set image and edit the example links. And you don’t need to do much more than that.
Likewise, there are very similar blocks where you can include product tiles, customer reviews, and so on. These blocks will save you a lot of time when it comes to creating an attractive visual campaign. It has also saved me from more than one headache from demanding clients who want their email templates yesterday.
There are some features which are only available with paid accounts plans. So, if you are working with a freemium account, you will face some limitations.
- you won’t be able to work with HTML templates,
- resend emails
- or configure certain emails to be sent at different times depending on the time zone where your contacts are located.
They aren’t huge impediments, but if for example you want to migrate templates from another tool and you only have it in HTML format…. well you either have to create the template from scratch with the Mailerlite tool or you will need to choose one of the paid plans.
Personally, I have always preferred creating emails from scratch using the email creator feature which comes included with the tool – including when this means investing more time – because that way you guarantee that it is totally compatible between the new code that you want to import and Mailerlite.
At least that is my recommendation, but everyone has their own preferences.
While it is true that you can create A/B testing campaigns with Mailerlite, keep in mind that you are limited to only two variants: one variant A and the other variant B. If you have a small audience, maybe these two variations are enough for you.
If you are looking for a tool that is capable of sending more than two versions of the same email, I would advise you to take a look at ActiveCampaign (which allows for 5 versions per email) or GetResponse (which allows for 3 versions per email).
Another feature that the Mailerlite team have taken great care with are the sign-up forms. There are different styles available such as inline and pop-ups which can be placed in different parts of your website.
The interface used for creating them follows the same style as that which we have been able to see in the campaigns section: an easy to use interface but with a lot fewer option, not being able to customize the forms 100% the way we want. For example, inserting your own HTML code is not accepted.
On the other hand, Mailerlite does make life easier when it comes to complying with the new GPDR law, it provides check boxes where you can inform your visitors of how you are going to use their personal information without the need to create these manually.
A built-in landing page builder
At first glance it might seem that other than sending campaigns and forms, Mailerlite offers little else. But there is still another feature which has delighted my clients. The landing pages creator. Although it cannot be compared to other tools that are specifically designed for the creation of landing pages, such as Instapage, Clickfunnels, and Leadpages, this is more than sufficient if you want to create a landing page where you can display your form.
The landing pages that you can create, although they are quite basic, feature many of the elements that you will need. Rather than including hundreds of add-ons, they have decided to focus on the person who might be using their tool (bloggers, business coaches, marketing teams) and because of this, there are ready made templates that just need a click for common situations such as webinars, pre-signup for a future launch, product pages, and so on.
Automations or workflows
The automation tool on offer from Mailerlite is, for me personally, what really lets down this tool. It is a lot less intuitive and visual that what you will find with other similar tools.
There is not a way to intertwine automations without having to jump through hoops such as assigning tags and using them to trigger other automations. It is also not possible to configure different starting points within the same automation. The triggers or launching points don’t offer a great variety of options either compared to what you will find in other tools.
If I had to give a positive spin on this tool, I would point out for example the fact that every automation offers a clear selection where you can see how many contacts there are at that specific moment of the automation, how many have completed it, unsubscribed, etc. It is helpful having all of the information on the same screen without having to switch to a different screen.
Other features to make your life easier
Native Instagram interactions
One feature I really love is being able to work with photos directly from my customer’s Instagram accounts, without having to go copying and pasting them manually.
If you run an online shop, this function is one of the most useful because you can directly place existing images including the ‘social proof’, which is the likes you have received as well as a handful of the comments.
Automatic synchronization with Shopify products
Creating emails which include the products which you are selling in your online shop is really easy if you decide to work with Mailerlite since it offers automatic synchronization. You don’t need to worry about manually importing your products (descriptions, prices, and all of the additional information that you want to include), because you can choose it directly from the integration.
What is missing?
Abandoned shopping cart automation
It’s 2019, so if you run an online shop and you aren’t trying to recover your customer’s abandoned shopping carts, you are missing out on an opportunity to secure sales. Mailerlite themselves state that they do not offer an option to recover abandoned shopping carts.
If you need to send spontaneous email and you want an easy to use tool, Mailerlite is one of your best options.
It doesn’t include strong features such as being able to create automations, nor does it have features that stand out from the crowd, however they have taken great care with the interface so that you don’t get confused and so that it is really easy to work with this tool.