Whatever you are marketing, whether it is an online business or an upcoming event, you definitely need to have an email newsletter. The advantages are numerous, but the main advantage by far is that you need to be able to keep in touch with your customers or potential prospects.
In my case, I am a fiction author, and Amazon does not give me contact information for the people who buy my books. They consider that proprietary information that they have no legal obligation to give out to me. So if Amazon suddenly kicked me off their platform tomorrow, I would have no way of getting in touch with my customers to tell them what’s going on. I will have lost all those people and hard work, and would have to start from scratch.
But having those people in an email newsletter list from day one means I can stay in constant touch with them and cultivate them outside Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and the rest. I look upon it as an insurance policy in case the worst comes to the worst and I accidentally violate some rule that makes me persona non grata on one of the eBook websites.
The number of email newsletter services out there are staggering and cost varies from cheap to “sell the soul of your first-born as collateral” expensive. The most well-known is probably Mailchimp but they have some serious (in my view) drawbacks, which make them difficult to use long-term. You ideally need a service which is both affordable and which enables you to scale your list over time. After trying quite a few services, I have settled upon Mailerlite.
Here are 7 reasons why Mailerlite has won my heart when it comes to keeping in touch and cultivating important business relationships with my readers.
1 – The Cost
The first thing which appealed to me about Mailerlite was the cost. As with all these kinds of email newsletter services, the cost goes up as the number of subscribers goes up. But with Mailerlite, they allow you many more subscribers for less cost.
The free tier allows you up to 1,000 subscribers, which would probably be more than enough for small clubs and organisations. But even when we start getting into the paid plans, the prices are quite simply unbelievable.
From 1,001 subscribers to 2,500, the price is a mere $10 a month (for Mailchimp, you would be looking at double that price). Then from there, it gets progressively cheaper – up to 5,000 subscribers is $20 per month. If you pay annually, you get another 30% off, until it gets to the point where they are practically giving it away.
Now I know what you’re going to say. You get what you pay for. So at these prices, you’re probably figuring there is a catch somewhere and the service is bad somehow. But no. In the year I have been using Mailerlite, it has never let me down once.
2 – The Automation
Now this is the part of Mailerlite I really love. This is what really blows Mailchimp out of the water.
Remember how I said in the previous section that the cost goes up as the number of subscribers goes up? Well, this means that the newsletter owner has a vested interest in only having active interested subscribers on the list. Anyone that is on there and not interested in what you have to say is pretty much deadwood costing needless money.
But how do you distinguish between interested engaged subscribers and those who are not? The answer is to set up an automated flow of emails based on certain outcomes happening (or not happening).
After you have set up your initial email, you can then tell Mailerlite to wait a few days. You need to give the subscriber time to see your email. They may take some time to check their inbox or you may land in their spam mail. So I generally give people three days.
So after the initial email goes out, three days pass, and then I add a new factor to the workflow.
Clicking “Condition”, I can then specify what the subscriber has to do to stay on my list. I can either say the email has to be opened, a link has to be clicked, and more.
After specifying this, I can then set up a further email for people who fulfill the condition (and who therefore stay on the email list). I will also set up a condition for those who do not do what I asked in the previous section and this will automatically delete them from my list.
Using these automations, I am constantly self-cleaning my subscriber list, ensuring that only the people who want to be on the list are there.
3 – The Templates
The templates in Mailerlite are really good but you can also code your own if you have the skills for that. But there are two areas which really stand out.
One, from a time-saving point of view, is the ability to choose a newsletter you previously sent out, copy the template and start a new email with it. This saves you the time and effort trying to copy something you did before and getting stressed out about it.
The other feature is A/B testing. You can set up two versions of a newsletter and have one version sent out to a percentage of your subscribers. This way, you can see which email campaign converts better. All of the big companies do A/B testing so you would be in good company if you did it too.
So many different factors can influence how well a campaign converts, and even the tiniest change can make a big difference. Whether it is a different email subject line, or different graphics, or a different sales slogan. It is impossible to tell unless you have several versions of the same email out there. So it is well worth your while setting up A/B campaigns.
4 – Automatically Resend An Email
There are many reasons why people don’t open an email. Either they are too busy to check their inbox, or you end up in the spam folder, or your email simply just disappears into the black hole of the Internet. Whatever the reason, it represents a potentially golden customer lost forever, due to some vague online quirk.
So the feature to automatically resend an email to anyone who didn’t open the first one is a Godsend. But to try and get past the spam filters (assuming that is what is tripping you up), you should ideally change a small part of your email. Whether that is slightly changing the title, or slightly changing the content.
5 – Interactive Elements
With the huge number of emails coming into the average inbox on a daily basis, you need to do something to make your email stand out. A compelling subject line is just the start. Once you intrigue them enough to open the email, it is then time to keep their attention long enough for you to get your desired message across.
Mailerlite helps you to do this by offering interactive elements for your emails. This can be something simple but effective like a countdown timer (to create urgency over an upcoming sale), or by making it easier for a subscriber to share your newsletter with their friends. This can be in the form of social media buttons or by a unique URL so the newsletter can bookmarked and visited online.
6 – A Click Map Tells You Which Parts Are The Best
When you put your newsletter together, it is helpful to know which buttons and links are compelling enough for someone to click. This way, you can analyze the email afterwards and see at a glance how the next campaign should be structured. You can do away with what isn’t working and improve upon the parts that people are already enjoying.
This is why Mailerlite’s “click map” is so useful. Each link gets a percentage attached to it, depending on how many times it has been clicked. So you can see if text links are better than buttons (or vice versa). Maybe the wording of a particular link converts better than the wording of another one? Looking at the image above, the button is obviously holding a commanding lead over the text link. This is good to know.
This may sound like nitty-gritty pointless stuff, but in actual fact, if you want to make sales emails that are going to make you a profit, it is small details like this you need to pay attention to.
7 – Beautiful Signup Forms & Landing Pages
Finally, you are never going to get any subscribers at all, unless you have the right-looking signup form or landing page. Again, Mailerlite excels at this.
Every part of the signup form is customizable and then you can put them into your website (a WordPress plugin is available as well), or you can share a Mailerlite URL. Landing pages can be made and hosted on your own domain.
What makes Mailerlite so great in my view is that you don’t have to be a fantastic coder to make such great forms, landing pages, and emails. The whole system relies on simply dragging and dropping elements with your mouse or trackpad. All you really need is a good sense of design and a good sense of marketing. If you have those two, Mailerlite does the rest.