So many businesses (both online and brick and mortar businesses) underestimate the importance of building and properly utilizing their email lists. Believe me, I get it. Getting good content into an email with whatever email service you’re using and sending it out on time to your subscribers can be tough. Hell, getting subscribers in the first place can be tough! That’s why getting just the right email service in place can be a total lifesaver.
I used to have Miller Marketing (and the various projects and website I work on) connected to Mailchimp for email, and don’t get me wrong it’s a good service. Then one day, when researching an article for Bright Nonprofit, I came across a newcomer to the industry called MailerLite. After digging around and learning what they offered, I thought I’d give it a try.
I’m really, really glad I did.
Throughout all of my learning about inbound marketing and the power of a well-run email list, I never felt like I found an affordable service that “clicked” for my business and my various projects. Options with free account levels like Constant Contact and Mailchimp seemed to not have the features I needed (most notably a powerful autoresponder system), and I wasn’t really in a place where paying for industry leaders like Convertkit, Aweber, or ActiveCampaign was a realistic or profitable option. MailerLite hits so many of the feature requirements I had, while allowing me to take advantage of a free account to validate a business idea before transitioning to paying.
What’s an Autoresponder and Why You Should Care
Autoresponders have become something I rely on heavily with any project I start, and MailerLite handles them pretty amazingly. A very basic example of an autoresponder would be a welcome email. If you subscribe to Miller Marketing’s email list (which you should definitely d0), you’ll get a lovely welcome email confirming that you’re on board and ready to go. The email system watches for new subscribers and shoots them an email once they sign up. Simple!
But autoresponders can do more, and MailerLite is really great at helping you determine what you’d like to do. For instance, I have an autoresponder that fires three days after someone subscribes to Miller Marketing’s list. This follows up the initial welcome email with one that engages new subscribers, asking them some super basic questions and asking them to respond. MailerLite’s system automatically tracks the date someone subscribes, and three days afterwards shoots them an email.
I can’t underestimate the power emails like this can hold for your business. You instantly make your customers or readers feel like you’re paying real attention to them, and an engaged email list is one that will be more likely to listen to what you ask them to do (whether that’s to make a purchase, visit a blog post, or anything else tied to your target audience).
What MailerLite Doesn’t Do
Currently, MailerLite is still pretty limited in the way of pre-built integrations and plugins. They have a pretty great WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly build custom forms for your WordPress-based website, but it lacks some functionality I’d like it to have. For instance, if you build a webform on their website you can activate “double opt-in” for your email list (asking subscribers to click a link in an email to confirm that they’re a real person), but that option isn’t currently available in their plugin. These integrations that are offered by plugins built for systems like Aweber, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp can come in handy for ecommerce websites too, allowing users to be added to lists and segments or moved between them based on whether they make a purchase, click a link in an email and more.
These are definitely more advanced techniques, though, and if you’re making your first foray into email marketing and automation, or simply want a better time of it than I’ve gotten from Constant Contact or Mailchimp, MailerLite will be a great experience.
How to Get Started
It’s really simple to get started with MailerLite. You can sign up for a free account by clicking here. Once you get your account all set up, if you’re on a WordPress website you should definitely check out the free official MailerLite plugin on the WordPress plugin repository.
What Do You Think?
Do you like what MailerLite has to offer? Do you have another system that you think really knocks email marketing and automation out of the park? Share in the comments below!