** Jargon Alert** I’m sorry but I’ve used some terms in this post that are a bit jargony. I’ve also written a glossary that will help you understand them. If you are new to email marketing you might want to start by reading the glossary which you can find here *****
This was meant to be an objective overview of the 4 email marketing platforms I’ve used in the last 5 years as a small business owner.
It was meant to help you decide which of the tools would be most suitable for you. But it can’t be. I can’t write something objective because I’m in love with MailerLite and for most small business owners I really don’t think you can beat it.
Before we get too far, let me outline the few businesses who I don’t think it’s good for and if you fit one of these three categories you can be on your way. If you don’t fall into one of these three then stick around to find out why MailerLite makes me so happy.
1. If you are all set up on Mailchimp with automations and multiple audiences that are ‘grandfathered’ in. If you had your systems set up before the big price change of May 15th 2019, they work well and you don’t want to add more then stick with what you have got. You’re likely on a good deal!
2. You are running a large ecommerce website. For a simple ecommerce site then MailerLite does a good job but if you are wanting to set up sophisticated interactions between your website, your customers’ behaviour and your email marketing system then you might need something more punchy. Take a look at Klavyio or Ominsend.
3. You are planning to be the next Amy Porterfield. If you are wanting a heavily automated, online only business you might find MailerLite doesn’t quite have all the whistles and bells you need. Be honest with yourself though, are you really going to be managing 10,000s of subscribers through multiple complex funnels anytime soon? If the answer is yes then Active Campaign could be a better fit.
Still with me? Great then let’s take a look at what MailerLite is going to let you do so that you can grow your email list easily and without banging your head on the table too much!
Reasons why I love MailerLite no 1 – They are a great company
MailerLite is based in Vilinius, Lithuania which makes me happy as they are awake at similar times to me so I don’t have to wait when I need support (though they do have remote teams all around the world, see more on this later) and also helps with GDPR as all the data is held with the EU. They also have free food in their offices for staff which I think makes them an excellent place to work!
Reasons why I love MailerLite No 2 - They let you have nearly everything for free!
Lots of companies offer a ‘freemium’ level where you can do some of the stuff they offer but if you want to try it out properly then you have to pay. For example, Convertkit and Mailchimp let you get started but you can’t use any of their automation features without paying. MailerLite let you do pretty much everything you need to do for free for 1000 subscribers. The things they don’t let you do that you might care about are:
- Live chat support (you get email support on the free plan though)
- Resend to unopens – automatically resend your email to anyone who didn’t open
- Schedule emails based on your subscribers’ local timezone
- Split testing of emails
- Remove their branding from your emails
- Access their pool of newsletter templates (but you get this for free for the first 2 weeks so if you copy and save one quick smart and you’re sorted!)
Reasons I love MailerLite No 3 – Even if you pay they are great value
If you decide that you want any of the features on the above list and you have a list of under 1000 subscribers then you will have to fork out $10/month. As your list size grows you still don’t have to pay a fortune as this nifty little table shows you:
|Number of Subscribers||
Cost per month
(discounts for annual payments)
|0-1000 Free Plan||Free!|
|0-1000 Premium Plan||$10|
It’s really hard to directly compare the different email platforms directly as they all split their pricing at different points and some have multiple levels so you can’t directly compare functionality. This table shows the cost of some of MailerLite’s competitors, on a plan that allows automations and multiple groups for 1000 and 2500 subscribers. They are very good value and spending less money on email marketing means more cash for cake which also makes me happy.
|Number of Subscribers||MailerLite||Mailchimp Essentials||Active Campaign Lite||ConvertKit|
Reasons I love MailerLite No 4 – They let you add cool things to your emails really easily
I have slightly mixed feelings about this one because on the one hand I love it when tech is made simple but on the other, it used to make me look really cool when I added a countdown to an email or a survey embedded directly into it. Now anyone can do it with a few clicks, I don’t look like the tech genius I once did.
The inbuilt features of the drag and drop email builder are super easy to use. Getting readers to respond to your email is a sure-fire way to increase your deliverability rates so all the clever widgets aren’t just for show, they actually help you get more sales.
Reasons I love MailerLite No 5 – Lovely landing pages, fabulous forms and perfect popups
When people sign up for your freebies or email list they can either use a form on your website, a pop up box on your site or you can create a lovely landing page from the premade templates they offer.
I design websites so creating a landing page isn’t a big deal but it’s honestly so fast using MailerLite’s templates that sometimes it’s just easier than having to switch to my website. You can also create a customised thank you page so you look all matchy-matchy with your branding. Nice.
Reasons I love MailerLite No 6 – Automations made easy
Automations are where email marketing can help to build a relationship with potential clients while you are sleeping. Or eating cake. Whatever floats your boat. An example of this is sending different follow up emails to people who opened your last email to those who didn’t. Or allowing subscribers to opt out of emails about a particular event they are not interested in while remaining on your newsletter list.
The way that automations are visually represented in MailerLite is nice and straightforward to follow. The automations might not be quite as sophisticated as Active Campaign but they are easier to understand and cover everything I’ve wanted to do without blowing my mind.
Reasons I love MailerLite No 7 – They have a rubbish affiliate scheme
I know this seems a bit backwards but I’m a bit fed up with companies giving high value, lifetime payments (around 30% of every payment you make) for affiliate recommendations. Setting up or switching email provider is a significant task so once you’ve moved you are quite unlikely to switch again even if the service isn’t quite what you hoped.
MailerLite offer a $20 sign up fee but only if you go on to a paid plan. Most people I recommend MailerLite to use the free plan as it’s so good so I end up with lots of people signing up via my link and no cash. This makes me happy because I can honestly say I’m not recommending them for the money I get!
Reasons I love MailerLite No 8 – Kick Ass support
I pay for MailerLite so I get support via the live chat. This alone makes it worth the cash for me. All the other email systems I’ve used have had slow, unhelpful support but MailerLite just blows them out the water with quick response times (10 minutes or so typically) and friendly, knowledgeable support.
Some of the work I do for clients on the totally free plan have required me to contact support via email (no live chat support on the free plan) and even though the account is free the support has been excellent. Faster than paid competitors as just a few hours turnaround. When things aren’t working how you need them to is the time that you really see what a company is made of and this makes me say “I love you MailerLite.”
Reasons why I love MailerLite No 9 – No website no problem
If I could go back in time and talk to myself when was just starting my business I would say “Start an email list woman!” It’s really the best investment you can make in your time early on. Plus depending on which report you read each subscriber is worth between $10 and $25 per year so there really is ‘money in the list’ as the marketing experts like to say. But before you get set up surely you need a website? And probably some branding photos? The tasks are adding up.
Well no actually. MailerLite will let you have a simple website using the same pages designer that they’ve used to offer lovely landing pages. So even before you know quite what you want to say you can start collecting names of people who are interested in your work. You will be so thankful that you did this when the lightbulb moment arrives (it will!) and you get clear on what you are going to offer. You’ll have a list of people that you can tell your idea to, refine the offer and make the sales. Boom!
Reasons I love MailerLite No 10 – They gave me a badge!
Who doesn’t love a badge? I got a badge from MailerLite as they have decided I’m an ‘expert’. It’s only virtual so I can’t wear it on my lapel but I’m still proud. And so’s my mum!
So what do you reckon? What’s not to love eh?
If you are ready to take the next step you might want to check out my free email marketing success map. This is a one page document that runs through all the things that you need to think about to get started with setting up an email marketing tool.
I could just give it to you for free here but what I’d love to do is show you how I can use MailerLite to deliver the free document and then send you a few follow up emails showing you how the automation works (don’t worry, just a couple!) If you’d like to be taken on a magical MailerLite Journey just pop your details in below and I’ll get the cogs turning.
There are 3 ways to sign up so you can see the different offers from MailerLite. (You would usually just pick one of these rather than have all of them!)