Are you looking for your first or better email service provider? You should be. Let’s face it, email marketing is probably the most important part of your author business. I’ll admit it took me too long to get on board with the email marketing wave, but now that I am, I’m always looking for solutions that will help me reach people in a genuine and easy way.
That’s, hopefully, where Mailerlite comes in. We’ll take a look at Mailerlite, what features it has, and whether it’s the right marketing solution for you. Just a heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, as I have used MailerLite before and do support the product.
In this article, you will learn:
- What MailerLite is
- What features it offers
- How much you get with the free account
- What kind of automation options you’ll have
- How integrations work with Mailerlite
- Any other important details that might resonate with you
- How much using Mailerlite costs
- Whether Mailerlite is the right email marketing solution for you
So, let’s get into it! And just to let you know, I love Mailerlite. I tested several email marketing services before writing this article, and Mailerlite blew me away. I’m saying that upfront because it will be obvious as you read the review (I even created a free course to show you how to use MailerLite), and I want you to know these are my honest opinions based on the extensive research I’ve done.
By the way, there are affiliate links in this article–they keep the coffee fund topped up–but my opinion is unchanged by them.
What is Mailerlite?
Basically, Mailerlite is an email marketing solution that helps you reach people who want to follow you. In today’s self-publishing world, having an email list is worth more than any advertisement you can put up on Facebook or Amazon (unless of course you’re running lead ads that get people to subscribe to your mailing list).
It’s designed to be simple and easy to use for authors and businesses who want to reach their subscribers with newsletters or marketing emails. You can check out MailerLite’s helpful ‘Getting Started’ page if you’d like to find out more about what MailerLite is.
But, now that we know what it is, let’s find out what features it has to offer authors.
What Features Does it Offer?
To get a better idea of whether MailerLite is the right email marketing solution for you as an author, let’s take a look at the features it offers.
1. Free Account
Most email marketing solutions have a free account option, so you can try before you buy. But not all of these free accounts are made equal. Most of them have restrictions on which features you can take advantage of and which are premium.
MailerLite’s free account has some pretty neat features you can take advantage of:
- You get 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. That means you can have up to 1,000 people on your list and send out 12,000 emails (if you have 1,000 subscribers, that would be 12 newsletters in a month).
- You can stay forever free. That’s handy if you’re not planning on growing your list any time soon, but since you probably will reach over 1,000 subscribers once you start marketing your books, you’ll wind up upgrading eventually. (More about cost later.)
- You get amazing support. That includes MailerLite’s video tutorials, knowledge base, and 24/7 email support.
- Email campaigns. You can send email campaigns using MailerLite’s content editor. You get to use the easy drag & drop editor, a rich text editor, built-in photo editing, a file manager, and the emails are mobile-friendly.
- You can grow your subscriber base. You get to use MailerLite’s landing pages, embedded sign up forms, pop up forms, and the unsubscribe page builder.
- Great email automation system. You get email automation (this is a big one because some marketing solutions don’t provide this with a free account), advanced segmentation (also a big deal for a free account), tagging, RSS campaigns and split testing.
- Tracking results is easy. You get email campaign reports and surveys!
That’s a lot of value in a free account, and it’s amazing to try out.
MailerLite also helps guide you through the whole signup process. Everything is simple and easy to use. Take a look.
Now, let’s take a look at some of these important features and the difference between the free and premium accounts.
Automation is a very important part of my email marketing endeavors (hence why it’s so near the top of the list of features). Let’s find out what automation is like with MailerLite, bearing in mind that ease of use is important.
Right off the bat, MailerLite’s interface is super easy to use. Email automation is right there and I can get into creating a workflow immediately. That’s a big positive for me–I like simple and quick solutions with no frills.
MailerLite takes me through setting up an automation step by step. I’m asked to input a trigger for the email workflow first.
I like the trigger options here–they cover most things I’d want from an automation workflow. Of course, if you want to select a trigger that starts with a sign-up form, you’ll have to create one first before you build an automation. That’s a bit annoying–I’d prefer to create one right on this page rather than navigating away.
It’s easy to set up your automation sequence by clicking the little ‘+’ icons as seen in the image above. You can create your email content in the automation workflow too. There’s no clicking away from the page here–which I like.
You can also add conditions that a reader must fulfill to progress down the chain. It’s pretty simple–though you’ll be dealing with segmenting your audience and that can get complicated if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
So, for instance, if you create the condition that a form subscriber who receives an email must then be part of a particular segment or group to receive the next email of the automation, only those readers who match that condition will progress through the workflow.
Overall, creating the automation is simple and fun and pretty much stress-free. A thumbs-up from me.
Sign up forms allow you to get your email subscribers onto your mailing list so you can send them campaigns in the first place. Let’s take a look at what MailerLite has to offer when it comes to creating forms.
With MailerLite, you can choose three different methods for creating your email sign up forms.
These are forms that literally pop-up as an overlay on the screen. Setting them up is really easy. There are entire companies that only offer this feature, so seeing it included as part of MailerLite is very cool. You simply name your form, select which list you want it to link to, and then select which template you’d like to use for your pop-up.
You can also preview the template before selecting which one you want to use. I love how easy navigation is in MailerLite. One click and I get where I want to go. Neat.
Once you’ve selected your pop-up form template, you’re taken to MailerLite’s super easy drag & drop builder. From here, you can design your pop-up form exactly as you want it to appear on your website. You can choose to have a central pop-up over the page, or you can put one at the bottom of the screen or in the bottom right-hand corner — so it’s out of the way but still noticeable.
You can swap out the picture or text and customize the form fields as well — and it’s all on one screen.
After you’ve selected your template, you’re able to select how often your pop-up appears, whether it has a schedule, and the frequency with which site visitors will see it.
Once you’ve created the pop-up form, you’re able to select whether to have your readers double opt-in and you can edit the emails that will be sent to them, as well as manage the automation workflow attached to that specific form. Awesome.
And the best part is, the whole process took me as little as 15 minutes to set up.
MailerLite also allows you to create embedded forms for your website. The difference is these are forms that don’t pop-up over your content but are embedded in the pages. The process for setting them up is pretty much identical to the pop-up method above.
The main differences I saw were that you didn’t have a template to choose from, and the layout of the embedded form is much simpler–though everything is still done through the drag & drop builder.
This is only available in the premium version of MailerLite. Basically, you can create a pop-up on your website for a specific promotion. MailerLite allows you to:
- Choose from 8 different templates
- Select the type of pop-up you want to use
- Set where you want that pop-up to appear
Overall, MailerLite's form creation tool is easy to use, and the less stress, the better. Everything flows well and is a click away. If you make a mistake, you can navigate back and make a correction. Everything is accessible and editable. Even cooler, you can track everything and you’ll get analytics for your forms–like how many people visited the form and subscribed.
All of these features, bar the promotions type, are available for free in MailerLite.
4. Landing Pages and Sites
With MailerLite, you can create landing pages and sites. If you want those sites hosted on a custom domain, however, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium version. I’d say the site customization tool, while drag & drop, probably isn’t one I’d use to build an actual website for myself. I prefer WordPress for that.
The landing page function is amazing, though. You get to choose a template to work on as you did with the forms.
Once you select an option, you’re taken to another drag & drop editor. I’ve got to say I’m a fan of this. Drag and drop is easy to use and gets the job done fast. You get all the options you need to embed a signup form on your landing page and you can even add a countdown timer for time-sensitive offers.
5. Email Campaigns
Creating an email campaign with MailerLite is as simple as clicking the button and navigating through the options to create an email that you’ll send to your mailing list. Check it out:
You’re taken through a step-by-step setup for your email campaign. And you can split test your campaign by sending emails with different subject lines, email content, or from names to portions of your subscribers — thus testing which performs better. You can also auto-resend (but only in the premium version) to those readers who didn’t open your emails or click on them.
Once you’ve set up your subject line, you can create content in several ways:
- With a drag & drop editor
- Rich-text editor
- Legacy rich-text editor
- Custom HTML editor (only in premium)
There’s a template gallery to select from, and your emails are fully customizable. You can add logos, pictures, and content, as well as drag things around and rearrange as you see fit (in drag & drop obviously).
Once you’ve created your email, you have the option to schedule it for later or even to send by timezone (in paid). The email creation process is pleasant and easy.
6. Extras/Important Details
There are so many features and cool things you can do with the free and paid versions of MailerLite that I couldn’t possibly cover every single one of them here, but I’ve selected those that I think are particularly important for authors or will make their lives easier.
So here are some cool extras and important details authors should know about MailerLite’s features:
- Integrations. MailerLite integrates with so many platforms, including WordPress, Shopify, Zapier, MailerCheck, Prolific Works, Facebook, BookFunnel, OptinMonster, Ninja Popups, LeadPages, PayPal and more… A lot more. This means that you’ll find it super easy to connect your mailing list with these services.
- Premium features. You get a few things with Premium that you don’t get with free, namely: 24/7 live chat support, removing the MailerLite logo from emails, custom HTML editor, newsletter templates, promotion pop-ups, use of custom domains, the ability to deliver emails by time zone, a dedicated IP, auto resend, click maps (cool!), opens by location information, A/B split testing, and a few more features. Overall, I see them more as cool extras that sweeten the deal versus necessities.
- The dashboard. The MailerLite dashboard is just so simple and easily navigable that I couldn’t not include it here. Just take a look for yourself:
- Inactive subscribers. You can easily remove inactive subscribers without having to reach out to support to do it. There’s a handy tab right on your dashboard. Awesome!
- Segmenting and groups. Groups are basically lists of your subscribers and you can have several of them. Segments are when you create certain mini-groups of your subscribers that meet certain conditions — like having opened a certain email or having a certain percentage click rate.
What Does it Cost?
This is the stunning thing about MailerLite: you get so much with the free version. Almost all of the features we discussed above come with the free version–if not, I’ve marked them clearly as included only in the paid version. That’s a load of value for no investment on your part. Here’s a look at MailerLite’s full pricing tier:
They’re cheaper than many of the alternatives out there, and they offer a load of value. If you’re not sure whether MailerLite is the right fit, you can get a free 14 day trial of premium features by signing up.
What I Don’t Like About MailerLite
There’s not much I disliked about MailerLite, I’ve got to be honest. It provides astounding value for money. The minor nitpicks I have are:
- Navigation. If you want to automate with a form, and you haven’t created a form yet, you have to leave your automation behind and go create one. It would be cool if you could create a form in a pop-up over your automation setup.
- I had to request access. A minor complaint but before I could use the service I had to request access and list my website. I wasn’t crazy about that, but I understand why it’s necessary.
You can’t create multiple lists, but you can segment. So your only option for a ‘list’ is to have different groups and segments of subscribers. This isn’t a deal-breaker at all, but it’s a minor irritation for someone who has worked with MailChimp before.
- There’s a lack of newsletter templates with the free version. In order to unlock them, you need to pay, and since there are templates available for everything else, I don’t see why they aren’t included in free as well. But maybe I’m just being greedy.
These drawbacks aren’t enough to put me off the service, though.
FREE Course for Getting Started with MailerLite
If this review has made you want to give MailerLite a try, I've created a free course to make the process super simple for you. MailerLite does have tutorial videos, but many of these go into specialized points that don't serve most authors and can overwhelm you. In my free video course, I'll show you how to start using the tool right away.
Is MailerLite the Right Email Marketing Solution For You?
I have to be honest, I’m seriously impressed by MailerLite, especially after comparing several email marketing services. My final verdict on this is that MailerLite is a pretty much perfect solution for authors who are on a budget but looking for all the functionality they could possibly want from an email marketing service.
I don’t see why you wouldn’t at least give this service a try. It gets my stamp of approval.
Do you have any email services that you swear by? Let me know in the comments and I might just check them out.