MailerLite Review 2021: User Friendly and Affordable

by Ashley Barnett
*Some of the links below may be from our sponsors. My full disclosure statement.*

As a blogger, you absolutely need an email list. There’s simply no debate. Your email list is truly one of the best ways to grow a dedicated readership.

Finding the right email provider can be challenging if you’re new to email marketing because you don’t exactly know what you need. Plus, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s also important to keep things affordable.

Luckily, MailerLite, a leading email service, is one of the most beginner-friendly and affordable email options for bloggers. MailerLite also has a range of features that make creating engaging email campaigns and managing your subscribers incredibly intuitive.

MailerLite Features

Pricing is an important factor for picking an email service. However, your email list is one of the most valuable assets for your blog, so cost isn’t everything.

In reality, you need to choose an email service that has the features you’re looking for. In MailerLite’s case, there are numerous features that make MailerLite one of the top email service providers for bloggers.

Related: What you Need to Know before Starting an Email List

Campaign Builder

An email list is meaningless if you don’t engage them. That’s why having a robust email builder is a must for any email service.

One of MailerLite’s strengths is their email builder tool and campaign options. You have four options for creating an email campaign:

  • Regular campaign
  • A/B campaigns to test different subject lines, content, and sender names to test what gets the most engagement
  • Auto resend campaigns for resending emails to subscribers who don’t open your first email
  • RSS campaigns to send regular blog updates to subscribers

There’s over 50 email templates you can use to kickstart your first email. You can also create your own if you’re feeling adventurous.

Templates are broken into categories like:

  • E-commerce
  • Newsletters
  • Announcements
  • Deals and offers
  • Events
  • Surveys

Templates are ideal if you want to save time and find one that matches your vision. MailerLite also lets you create emails with a drag and drop editor, rich-text editor, and custom HTML.

The drag and drop editor is the most intuitive option. All you have to do is drag pre-built design blocks into your newsletter for easy email customization. You can add blocks for your logo, text boxes, videos, pictures, products, social share icons, and dozens of other boxes to create a captivating email.

If you’re new to email marketing, it’s hard to find a more intuitive design tool than MailerLite. Plus, there’s enough depth for experienced marketers to flex their talents.

Get started with MailerLite.

Subscribers and Segmenting

Regularly engaging your email list is important to keep people interested.

It’s also important to send the right content to the right people. After all, if you subscribed to a multi-niche blog after reading a baking recipe, you probably wouldn’t want an email blast outlining the blogger’s latest hiking adventure.

Thankfully, MailerLite makes it easy to segment subscribers into distinct categories. As you gain subscribers from a signup form or email grab, you can begin organizing them under the “Segments” tab.

Creating a segment is fairly straightforward. You can group subscribers by using filters like:

  • Signup source or date
  • Location
  • Time zone
  • Campaigns subscribers have engaged with
  • Inactivity
  • A specific open or click rate for previous emails

MailerLite also has a “Clean up inactive” tool that deletes inactive subscribers from your list. This is a simple way to clean your list and to keep pricing down, which we’ll tackle later on in this MailerLite review.

Automation

I think this is the standout feature of MailerLite's free plan. Most free email plans do not offer automations. This is typically a paid feature.

Email automation is another cornerstone of effective email marketing. When used correctly, automated email sequences can save you time and deliver highly relevant content to the right subscribers.

Commonly, bloggers use email automation to:

  • Send welcome emails to new subscribers.
  • Begin an email sequence, such as a seven day blogging challenge.
  • Send follow-up emails for website purchases.

With MailerLite, creating new automations is easy. The Automation tab has a “Create workflow” option, and you begin a workflow by entering the trigger that kickstarts automation.

MailerLite triggers include events like when a subscriber:

  • Joins a group or completes a form
  • Clicks a link within an email
  • Updates a field within an email
  • Matches an anniversary, like a birthday
  • Matches an exact date, such as the start of a free trial or promotion

These triggers are all powerful when used correctly. Link click tracking is particularly awesome because you can automatically send emails to subscribers who engage with specific content in your emails!

Once you create your trigger, you begin adding to the workflow. Steps can include sending an email, waiting a certain amount of time, adding a subscriber condition, or choosing an action.

Subscriber conditions include things like their segment membership or previous engagement metrics. Actions, on the other hand, apply when a subscriber reaches that specific step. Examples of actions include moving subscribers to new segments, unsubscribing them, or moving them to the next step in a workflow.

This might sound complicated, but MailerLite is intuitive. Once you start building your workflow, it’s easy to plan an automated sequence that delivers engaging content to the right subscriber segments.

If you’re new to blogging and MailerLite, keep things simple by starting out with a basic subscriber welcome email! You can always mix in more segmenting and automation features as your email list grows.

Start using MailerLite's automations for free here.

Forms

Forms are what you use to capture email address. You can't send engaging emails if you don't have email addresses to send them to!

MailerLite has three types of forms you can use to capture new subscribers: pop-ups, embedded forms, and promotions.

Pop-ups are very common in the blogging world. MailerLite has 16 pop-up templates, including full-screen, half-screen, and sliding box pop-ups. If you want to promote a new ebook or urge readers to join your mailing list to stay up to date, it’s hard to get more effective than a pop-up.

MailerLite gives you enough control to ensure you don’t annoy readers.

You can edit pop-up content, font, color, width, and add new content to the pop-up like images, countdown timers, and more text. This makes it easy to create a pop-up that matches your blog’s style and isn’t too intrusive.

Once you create a pop-up, you edit its behavior. For example, you can choose a second count or scroll percentage for the pop-up to fire. You can also have the pop-up fire before a user leaves your website.

Finally, MailerLite lets you limit pop-up frequency by entering a time limit for when you want to show a reader a pop-up again if they didn’t subscribe the first time.

Overall, MailerLite has everything you need for pop-ups. The only downside is a slight lack of forms at only 16 options.

As for embedded forms and promotions, MailerLite keeps things simple. There are three embedded form styles to choose from. If you want to embed a simple email capture on your blog’s sidebar or footer, MailerLite has you covered.

For promotions, MailerLite has eight pop-up themes. This isn’t vastly different from regular pop-ups, although the themes are geared towards sales, countdowns, webinars, and ecommerce.

Ultimately, forms are fairly basic, which is a slight downside. However, you have enough design control to make them your own.

Get started with MailerLite for free.

Landing Pages

Sometimes, a simple email blast or pop-up isn’t enough. If you’re serious about pushing a new product or event, creating an independent landing page might be a better choice.

MailerLite has over thirty landing page themes you can use to build a landing page. Like the email builder, you use a drag and drop editor to design pages. This makes it easy to collect more signups and feedback. Plus, you can sell products directly through landing pages because MailerLite works with Stripe.

Landing pages aren’t too useful if you aren’t selling anything or seriously promoting an event. However, it’s a nice feature to have and is another positive for MailerLite.

Integrations

The top email services integrate with third-party platforms to give you more control. MailerLite isn’t different, and there’s over 100 integrations you can use to design robust emails.

Some notable integrations include:

  • PayPal.
  • Shopify and WordPress.
  • CRM systems like Zapier and HubSpot.
  • Dozens of signup form enhancements.
  • Email address verification tools to prevent spam.

For beginners, most of these integrations won’t be too impactful. However, syncing your MailerLite account with existing WordPress subscribers is a great way to get started. MailerLite’s ecommerce functionality is also ideal if you sell ebooks, digital downloads, or merchandise.

Pricing

One of MailerLite’s greatest strengths is that it’s one of the more affordable email services on the market. Plus, you can even get started for free if you’re brand new to blogging and email marketing!

MailerLite’s pricing uses a tier system based on how many subscribers you have. Your first 1,000 subscribers are free or $10 per month if you want every MailerLite feature. Afterwards, you’re looking at $15 to $30 per month until you pass 5,000 subscribers.

MailerLite’s free plan is also enough to get started. As a free user, you can send 12,000 emails per month, use the drag and drop editor, and create popups. You can also email automation flows, segment subscribers, and A/B test campaigns.

This level of free functionality is better than platforms like ConvertKit, which doesn’t include automation in their free plan.

Ultimately, if you’re new to email marketing, MailerLite helps keep costs down with a free plan. Plus, as you scale, monthly plans remain incredibly affordable.

Get started with MailerLite.

Reporting

Reporting lets you track how effective your email marketing efforts are. With MailerLite, reporting is simple yet effective.

Every email has a report tab that displays:

  • Total emails sent
  • Open and click rates
  • Unsubscribers and spam complaints
  • Links that got clicks
  • Opens by location

MailerLite’s reporting is very basic. If you want more granular reporting, Mailchimp is probably a better choice.

Getting Started With MailerLite

If you want to try out MailerLite, you need to get approved since MailerLite wants to prevent spammers from joining their platform.

The approval process involves completing a company profile and verifying your website and business email address. You also explain how you collect emails and what kind of content you’ll be sending.

New accounts go through approval. If you upgrade your plan, you also have to get approved. Approval takes up to 24 hours, which is annoying. However, you shouldn’t have issues with approval unless you’re up to something spammy!

Pros and Cons

It wouldn’t be a fair MailerLite review without discussing the pros and cons of this platform.

In terms of pros, most of MailerLite’s advantages stem from cost and simplicity:

  • Free and cheap monthly plans
  • Intuitive email builder and customization
  • Easy automation
  • Straightforward segmentation

As for negatives, MailerLite’s greatest weaknesses include:

  • Lack of form templates
  • Annoying approval process
  • Minimal reporting
  • Not the best option for advanced automation and ecommerce marketing

Related: ConvertKit vs MailerLite vs MailChimp: Which is Best?

Summary

Out of all email providers, MailerLite is one of the most beginner-friendly, affordable options out there. If you’re brand new to blogging and want to keep things cheap and simple, MailerLite is the perfect email service to try.

Plus, the free plan is also great if you haven’t begun building an email list yet.

MailerLite also has enough functionality to let you get creative. While reporting and template depth are somewhat lackluster, there’s enough automation features and segmenting options to create powerful email marketing flows.

Additionally, MailerLite’s drag and drop editor is intuitive, and it’s easy to create unique email campaigns that drive engaged readers back to your blog, ultimately boosting your revenue.

Get started with MailerLite.

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