Email marketing is big. Email marketing is also critical. And choosing the right email marketing tool, one that fits your business like a glove? Tough!
Email marketing and marketing automation have always been a big deal for marketers. I personally feel it is one of the best ways to interact with your customers. It helps you keep them engaged and updated with your business updates and enhancements.
To get a better understand of the various tools that exist in the market today, you can go over my pieces that talk about marketing automation tool alternatives, reviews of other tools like GetResponse, Drip and even MailerLite and ConvertKit.
Being a marketer, you would have come across a number of email marketing tools, big and small, popular and not so well known. Over the years, you would have also realized, like any other domain, a couple of key players also dominate email marketing. These players got big for the right reasons. But there are many other upcoming platforms that are just as great and reliable. With this blog post, I’d like to talk about Mailerlite and Mailchimp. So let’s get started:
Table of Contents
Clearly an underdog, Mailerlite managed to come to the surface pretty quickly. Not only seen as a winning player, MailerLite has in fact led to disrupt the market with its efficiency. So, if you are looking to make a switch for your email marketing tool, you would want to read ahead and understand why MailerLite can make for an excellent choice.
Once you sign up, you will be asked to fill in a list of details covering your name, company name, size of your recipient lists, even the type of content that you would like to send out. Completing your profile is one of the most important steps, after your website verification and filling in your business email address for verification links.
After completing these steps, you will have to wait. The guys at Mailerlite would soon be reviewing your application, verifying your website, to determine whether MailerLite would be able to help your business efficiently.
This is a simple step, all you have to do is click on the Subscribers button, and then Add Subscribers. Next step is to upload your lists- for this, you will get an option to choose from various formats such as CSV, Excel or Manually. That’s it, and you’re all done!
Your subscriber list should always be growing, and MailerLite understands that. The subscriber tray will offer you a range of features such as Designing Impactful Landing Pages, and Pop Up Subscribe Forms, Embedded Forms, and Subscriber Management.
Creating Landing Pages
Impactful Landing pages are one of the most effective hooks to get new subscribers on board real quick. It is seen that landing pages generate more leads by creating custom landing pages that communicate effectively with your reader. MailerLite not only provides a feature to create landing pages but also allows the user to seamlessly create beautifully designed landing pages. The new drag and drop feature on MailerLite is a blessing as it makes page building a lot easier. Also, it’s a free feature! More on this, you don’t have to be a technical coder to create beautiful landing pages anymore. Simply drag and drop blocks that are pre-designed and give off a professional look. You will have a landing page done and complete in just a few minutes.
Custom Domain Addresses: Further, you can go on and add custom domain addresses to the landing page. By doing this, you will be allowed to create a custom URL which makes it easier for your readers to know that the page belongs to you.
Social Media Integration: The feature does not end here, MailerLite gives you an option of social media integration. With this feature, you can create and embed a landing page directly on to your Facebook page. By doing this, you are allowing your Facebook followers to turn into subscribers in almost no time.
The feature also hosts a capability of Search Engine Optimization. This feature will let you drive organic traffic to your landing pages. By going with SEO driven content, you will appear higher up in search results which is overall great for your business!
Landing Page Templates: MailerLite also offers a full range template gallery for your landing page which acts as a good head start for beginners. These templates are also a great tool to save time and keep yourself content ready always.
PopUp Subscription Forms: Or you can even choose Pop up subscription forms. These forms are a great way to get your visitors hooked on to your content! There are a number of form templates that you can choose from and have your audience sign up real quick for a regular dose of your brand. The design method is more like dragging and dropping blocks, so your work looks professional, and you don’t end up spending too much time on it. What’s more? There are different types of popups you can choose from- Featured, Floating, Slidebox, Full Screen and a few more!
Bonus: These forms are responsive and Google Friendly!
MailerLite update: With the advent of new GDPR all companies have revised their privacy policies and MailerLite is one of them. They have hosted a whole set of new features to make GDPR compliance transparent. People using this application in Europe and MailerLite customers handling European data can follow the MailerLite related practices from inside the mailerLite account.
Other than these regular features, MailerLite has included a few new ones that are definitely prepared to set the bar higher for its competitors. Let’s talk about the newbie features a bit:
MailerLite understands that listening to your subscribers is what keeps them subscribed. If you want to grow in a fruitful long-lasting relationship, you need to know and understand what your customer wants, then deliver accordingly. So how do you do that? Through Surveys, of course!
Mailers and Surveys have always been a favorite amongst marketers- you get direct responses from those who matter. With MailerLite, you can create quick surveys with a simple drag and drop of blocks. They offer blocks separately for Designs, Events, Social Media and now Surveys has been added to this list.
You can create these surveys in no time and send them across. Once the responder completes the survey, you will see the results instantly in the newsletter report. All you have to do is click on Survey Report Tab.
All this while email surveys have been a challenge for marketers as they had to shuffle between the survey making software and the email automation tool. But, with this latest feature, the two functions have been beautifully combined to serve a very important purpose that most marketers are grateful for.
So, if you really want to cater to your audience by knowing exactly what the need, start sending them surveys with MailerLite and you will know!
A longtime favorite in the email marketing business, Mailchimp has gone through a makeover. That’s right, as most of you would know, Mailchimp has got itself a brand new shiny logo, which is not so different from the previous one, yet quite different! In their announcement, they mentioned that since the product is always under the evolution process to meet customer’s needs, they wanted to upgrade and enhance their branding as well- which makes sense, but the uplift has not been taken kindly by a lot of people.
Anyway, I think the overall look of the logo and branding is much more refined and in line with what most brands are following. They have the script in Bold now, aligned with the line structure of the logo which makes both the elements appear in harmony with each other.
These are not the only latest updates in the tool. Staying true to its reputation, Mailchimp has introduced new features to stay up to speed with their customer needs. Let’s see what they are:
Mailchimp: What the brand stands for?
Started off as a side project for business partners, nobody knew that email marketing would eventually take off the way it did. At the time, marketing automation was not evolved, and most marketing activities were taken care of manually. In a scenario like that, a tool that could not only automated mailers but also helps build impactful emails was destined to reach the heights it did.
Over the years, Mailchimp succeeded in introducing functionalities that could enhance the overall marketing automation experience for marketers around the world. And today, with a range of features that kind of lead the email marketing world, Mailchimp is still constantly evolving and offering better features that you can bank on with your eyes closed.
I take it that you already understand its traditional features like Creating Email, Building Landing Pages, Tracking and Measuring Email Performance and so on. So, let’s go a step ahead and take on the new features that are now available to Mailchimp users.
Mailchimp: Latest Features
Marketing automation is a boon for marketers. It helps you send out the right messaging to the right people at the exact right time. Once you have a new subscriber, even if it is your first, it is your duty to keep them engaged at all times. Moreover, with regular communication, you create a better brand recall for yourself and help maintain a healthy relationship with potential customers.
Businesses rely on various types of automated emailers. Right from a welcome mail to sending out festive greetings or even suggesting product services, you can do a lot to retain your subscribers and encourage repeat purchase.
What’s new in Mailchimp?
The platform heavily focuses on letting you take your business online, effectively. One of the most challenging bits that an online customer faces is the payment. It is at this last step of the cycle that you tend to lose out on a sale. So, Mailchimp lets you connect Square payments with your account so that people can make direct buys without a hassle. All you need to do is send out your mailer, with the integration and add a CTA to buy from the landing page itself. There is no more navigation to other pages, or a need to take your customer on to your e-commerce site. The customer simply makes a purchase to the landing page!
Add Payments To Your Landing Page
There is a specific payment content block that you can place on your landing page. The Payment block can sync with your Square account and add to your Mailchimp account.
Once you start, you will need to know that only one payment block is allowed on one landing page. And if you don’t have a Square account already, you will need to make one right away; otherwise, the Payment block is a bit useless. You can this a limitation in a way, but then you also get a big benefit here because you don’t have to make your potential customer navigate to different websites for a payment. Personally, I wouldn’t mind making a Square account for a big benefit like that!
However, the only drawback that I see here is that your payment content block will not work if you have a connected Shopify store, which is an option that a lot of e-commerce brands go with.
To kick-start, the process, begin with a product that you want to sell. Remember, the product has to be one only, you do not get the option to add multiple products. In case you want to offer multiple variants of a product, for example, different sizes of a tee-shirt, there is an option for your recipient to move on with checkout on your website. This is where they can choose a different variant and proceed with the payments, the regular way.
But, if you are selling one product only, the recipient can buy it right away, straight from the landing page. The payment form is automatically added when you place your payment block on the landing page. Once the payments are made, Mailchimp sends them a receipt for their purchase.
Over here, Mailchimp recommends that you include your business contact details on the landing page itself so that the recipient can get in touch in case of any issues.
Customize your Landing Page URLS
Custom Domains is one of the paid features offered by Mailchimp. You can go ahead and buy this feature for both types of accounts- free or paid. Once you have created your landing page in Mailchimp, the Owner or the Admin can buy Custom Domains access.
To buy the custom domains access, open the Domains page that you will see in your Account Settings. Once you scroll to the landing pages, you can click on Buy Access to Custom Domain. You will then be prompted to fill in a few details such as the Contact Address, Billing Address, and Payment Method. Additionally, you will have to put in your Credit Card details, including the CVV. Move to Pay Now, and you’re all ready to start using the new feature.
Track Your Audience
Mailchimp has introduced three new cool ways to track your audience and monitor the progress of your marketing campaigns. When you create a Landing Page, make sure it is linked to a list in your accounts or your connected store. You will anyway be prompted to do this when you start building your Landing Page. Another tip, there is a lot of default content created by Mailchimp to help you out in the entire process, and they do not alert you about it when you publish the page. So, make sure you review and preview your newly created Landing Pages twice before you publish them. Also, iFrames and custom HTML can’t be used in landing pages.
As you move on to creating your landing page from scratch, you will also be given an option to choose from pre-existing templates which is a great feature for newbies! You can complete the page, preview it and save and close before moving on to adding a page title and URL.
Now comes the interesting part- Tracking! After all, what is the point of all the effort if you can’t see how it performs for your audience. Marketing is all about making your customer happy and intrigued enough to buy your product. So, let’s see how you can do that while working on Mailchimp.
Mailchimp has introduced three new ways to track- with Mailchimp, Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics! All three ways are equally reliable and should be made use of at all times. In the settings and tracking section, you will be asked to agree to their terms and conditions. On checking that off, you can tick mark on Track with Facebook Pixel, Track With Google Analytics as well as Mailchimp!
After you’ve chosen all the options, go on and Publish the page. Post that, you will be offered to Promote Your Page, View Reports and Manage Landing Pages. Landing Page Reports are a blessing for Marketers. With the analytics, you can track the number of visits, clicks, orders, average order revenue and total revenue earned. Other than the overview page, you can also view these numbers as per product being sold by you, so you would know what all products are bringing how much revenue to your business!
Emails on Instagram
With this new feature, Mailchimp allows you to send out mailers to your subscribers outside of their inbox. That’s correct, and you can now connect with your audiences through Instagram too! By doing this, you have more people looking at your brand; you appear to be more creative and active on social media which is super important for the millennials today. Also, you get to engage with your audience on Social Media as well and get a chance to bring them back on to your website!
The interesting bit here is that you can create your Instagram posts right inside the email builder, which means you can use all the designs and content for other marketing activities. This will help you maintain consistent brand messaging.
To get started, make sure your images are apt for Instagram. Click Instagram worthy images for your products and ensure that they are in the required dimensions. Keep a neutral background and add a caption to it!
Mailchimp has tried to give a completely new face to traditional emails. With so many emails landing up in your recipient’s inbox, how do you make sure the open yours? Or look forward to receiving emails from you? Do something different, of course- send gif emailers! Such a brilliant idea, something that resonates with today’s audience and doesn’t fall behind in the clutter of boring emails.
Things like beautifying your emails and campaigns have become a lot easier, all thanks to the Drag and Drop feature. To have a GIF placed in your email, all you need to do is import one from Giphy. Next, simply place it in the text block or the image block. Further, you also have an option to add a URL, to give you GIf a link, in case you want to take your subscriber to another page.
And just like that, you will no longer be sending a static, regular emailer to your subscriber. This is a great way to keep your subscriber engaged and hooked on to your content. After looking at an email like that, you never know, they might just be looking out for more!
MailChimp GDPR Update: With the introduction of GDPR customers need to take care of how they are using the personal data of the EU citizens. MailChimp allows its users to create GDPR compliant forms that range from hosted, pop-up, embedded to signup forms.
Mailerlite and Mailchimp Comparison
Mailerlite is another email marketing solution that many businesses are using to expand their customer base. Giving a fair competition to leaders like Mailchimp, Mailerlite has come a long way. But, let’s quickly compare a few of their features to decide better.
Landing Page: Did you know? You can integrate Mailchimp with InstaPages, and they also offer a 14-day free trial. So you can go ahead and try it out right away. On a side note, you can know more about landing page builder Instapage right here.
With Mailerlite, you get landing pages once you to take a paid accounts. There are a number of templates you can choose from, and each one of them is created with the same Drag and Drop interface.
Auto Resend: Mailchimp does not have this feature, but you will find it on MailerLite. On sending an email if your recipient does not act on any of the CTAs, Mailerlite will send them another email. Over here, you can also edit the subject line and the message, so the email appears to be more customized and personal in nature.
Integration: Mailchimp integrates seamlessly with PayPal, which is great for instant payments. There is another Paypal alternative Payoneer in the market but MailChimp doesn’t offer integration with the same. On the other hand, Mailerlite offers integration with BookFunnel which I don’t think is too helpful unless you’re just selling ebooks!
Pricing: Both platforms offer free plans, but Mailerlite also offers support for up to 1000 subscribers in its free plan. While Mailchimp’s Pro account can cost up to $200 per month, Mailerlite goes up to $50 a month. This is where Mailchimp might have to take a small hit.
Mailerlite and Convertkit Comparison
While every product claims to be the best tool for ramping up your audience and engagement, leading to higher conversions, it is important to understand which one would actually work for your business. So far, we have analyzed the leading products- Mailerlite and Mailchimp. Now it is time to know what Convertkit offers when compared to MailerLite.
Sign up: Signing up on ConvertKit is probably the fastest, unlike on MailerLite. A step that takes the longest on Mailerlite is their user verifications which is a great thing but tests your patience.
Customer Support: Other than the Chat support, ConvertKit also organizes workshops that you can make use of. Also, they offer the chat option, ever before you sign up so you can clear all your queries before you begin.
On Mailerlite also, you will have enough options to reach out to customer support- email, live chat, and a knowledge base center to keep you updated on the product.
Email Campaigns: This is where Mailerlite takes away the cake. You get a simplified Drag and Drop feature to create beautiful email campaigns on Mailerlite. However, there is no such option on Convert Kit, which means you will have to work with HTML and CSS to create emails. Non-tech users find this extremely tough to start with!
Mailerlite and Aweber Comparison
Like so many, Aweber also sprung up in the online marketing business with email marketing tools and features aimed to help our businesses grow their customer base. While they are a little late to the party, they have also not managed to give a strong competition to their peers. We have already curated an article of Mailchimp vs Aweber and now let’s see where it stand in comparison to Mailerlite.
User Interface: In the branding and marketing business, it is very important how you present yourself, even if it’s a product. Aweber falls behind in this race because of its clunky interface. The product does not appear to have evolved at all. Mailerlite, on the other hand, has a pretty neat UI, which lets its users make the most of the product.
Free Plans: Almost every product today offers free trials or a free plan. Even leading product like MailerLite and Mailchimp do, but Aweber does not. I see this has a huge drawback and would probably not buy from Aweber without trying out the platform.
Auto Response: Mailerlite with its unique Auto Response feature wins the deal here. You have to give it to them for trying to enhance the whole personalized email marketing experience. Aweber does not have any such features on their platform.
MailerLite is one of the best and lightweight tools for complete email marketing automation. On the other hand, MailChimp has more sophisticated marketing automation features which makes it a perfect choice for big businesses.