MailerLite review: is it good enough?
Over the years, I mainly heard bad things about MailerLite, especially that it had problems delivering newsletters to users.
But I also knew they were one of the cheaper options in the market, so now comes the time to review it!
And I was not expecting MailerLite to be like this after what I’ve heard…
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MailerLite is surprisingly good, and what I like the most about it is that they have the tools professionals are looking for while keeping things easy for beginners.
As of today, MailerLite is tied as the highest-rated platform for sending newsletters I’ve tested.
Basically, MailerLite doesn’t have any big weaknesses or limitations.
Overall, here’s what I noticed about:
- Their prices are reasonable;
- They allow customizing the newsletter to your style;
- It's an easy and powerful email automation builder;
- Integration with other tools like Shopify and WordPress.
- Allows working as a team without sharing passwords.
MailerLite also makes it easy to create landing pages that you can use for special offers or make a simple creator profile to share online.
However, MailerLite isn’t perfect (no tool is), and their recent introduction of blogging capabilities still needs some polishing and improvements to be viable for professional use.
MailerLite is a great newsletter platform to partner with other good blogging platforms like WordPress or Ghost.
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Now, I'll go into the details that make MailerLite an excellent newsletter platform for creators.
Great for sending newsletters
MailerLite is excellent for sending newsletters, and it even offers 3 different editors to create newsletters that you’ll be proud to send.
The 1st one is the Drag & Drop Editor.
This one allows you to start with one of the templates that you can modify to your liking or from scratch and pick the content block you want.
This is similar to most drag & drop editors from major platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix, which are user-friendly and easy to make.
Another option is the plain Text Editor.
If you get distracted by the Drag & Drop editor, you can also opt for this editor, where you can be left alone with your thoughts.
This option creates a newsletter with only text, which some creators prefer to avoid their emails being sent to the Promotions folder (Gmail is very melodramatic with newsletters and likes to do this as they think it might be newsletters from companies trying to sell stuff).
The last option is the Custom HTML Editor.
You are not limited to the available templates on the platform. You can also create your newsletter from scratch exactly as you want it.
After creating your unique newsletter template, you can also save it for future use! Removing the need to start from scratch when you want to send a newsletter with the same layout.
Generous free plan
The Free Plan of MailerLite is very great!
If you are a beginner content creator or a start-up business, this can help you save costs as you build your audience.
This will save you so much money as you don’t have to spend a penny until you reach 1,000 subscribers, and it allows you to send up to 12,000 emails monthly.
Although they only allow 1 user per account in the Free Plan.
The Free Plan also has the following features available:
- Email automation builder (I will talk more about this later in the article);
- 1 website: you can use it as a website or blog;
- 10 landing pages: use these for different projects or segment visitors;
- Audience segmentation: allowing you to send different emails to users with different interests;
- Signup forms & pop-ups: that you can embed on other websites.
Although the free plan is generous, some important things are only available on the paid plans: email templates, using MailerLite for blogging, a custom domain for the website, and enabling paid newsletters.
On top of having a generous free plan, MailerLite’s paid plans are dirt cheap compared to its close competitors like ConvertKit, MailChimp, or Ghost.
|Number of subs||MailerLite||Ghost||ConvertKit||beehiiv||Substack||MailChimp|
I did the math to give you an idea of how the prices between newsletter platforms differ, and MailerLite proved to be a great deal, in my opinion.
Here’s a quick summary of the table above:
- At 1,000 subscribers, you can save up to 64% versus ConvertKit.
- At 5,000 subscribers, MailerLite is 44% cheaper than Ghost.
- At 20,000 subscribers, MailerLite costs more than beehiiv but is still 40% cheaper than its other competitors.
Creators, especially those with a big following, can save lots of money by moving to MailerLite without having to pick a tool that’s worse than the competition.
Here’s an example of how much cheaper MailerLite can be compared to Substack.
When you charge 5$ per month for a newsletter membership, MailerLite will cost $9 per month (or 19 if you prefer the more expensive plan) for 1,000 subscribers. While Substack will cost you $500 (1,000 x 5$ x 10% in fees).
That’s a ridiculous difference! But it gets worse… In case you have 5,000 paying subscribers, MailerLite costs $29 (or $35), and Substack $2,500 per month. That’s 70 times more expensive!
So, when you look at the prices above, picking MailerLite instead of Substack can save you enough money to hire a developer to create a website that looks great, is fast, and has better SEO features than Substack. All this while saving thousands of dollars per year in fees.
Easy to Use
MailerLite can be summed up as an easy-to-use platform. Beginners will be able to navigate the account creation process with basic computer knowledge, and there’s no need to install anything.
You can’t send newsletters without approval, but this process is easy to complete. While waiting, you can start setting up your landing pages or enabling custom sending domains (this should take around 5 minutes to create DNS records).
Good newsletter customization
MailerLite offers you several customization options. I mean a lot of them.
They have templates you can choose from and edit if you want to customize them further.
Or you can also create your own design and save it for future use, saving time along the way.
The available templates are not only limited to the campaigns but also to the websites and landing pages.
You can make your content on MailerLite look really good with ease, and that’s something I love about them!
Email automation is essential for a great newsletter tool. And MailerLite has automation available on all plans, even the free one!
On top of that, creating automation is really easy, and they have some presets to save you time along the way.
Setting up the email automation is as easy as counting 1, 2, 3 and can be done in 5 to 10 minutes.
Here’s what you need to create email automation:
- Pick a template workflow or start from scratch;
- Edit the workflow (set up the trigger, write the emails to send the subscribers);
- Once done, you can preview the email and click save.
- Activate the workflow.
Another useful automation feature available in the paying plans is the auto-resend campaign.
The auto-resend campaign is useful whenever you send an email and it is left unopened. When this happens, a second email is automatically sent to your subscriber, which can have a significant impact on revenue and open rate.
Solid Monetization Options
MailerLite’s monetization options are solid as they integrate with Stripe, making it super easy to get paid by subscribers.
These monetization options are available to its paid plans and allow the opportunity to sell digital products and subscriptions like paid newsletters.
MailerLite also integrates with other services like Shopify, WordPress, and BigCommerce, giving you the option to make more money if you have an ecommerce store.
Reviews you might be interested
Here I will be breaking down the downsides of MailerLite.
Unpolished for blogging
The blogging feature needs some improvements.
As much as the platform brags about a clean and simple user interface, I find that creating posts isn’t intuitive as they are buried in the interface. To write a post, I needed to think about where to click. You’ll have to go through 4 pages to write a post or access old ones.
MailerLite introduced the blog feature in 2020, and I expected the blogging experience to be better than it currently is.
For example, it would be better if we could have a tab to write a post in the dashboard to save time.
But the worse part of MailerLite for blogging is the incomplete SEO features.
Incomplete SEO features
When it comes to SEO, MailerLite needs to do better.
I am only giving them an average rating in this area because of the following lacking SEO features needed to give their users more options and chances of success from organic traffic.
These are the main things MailerLiter misses regarding SEO:
- Redirects: you might delete pages or change a URL. When this happens, it’s recommended to use a redirect when the page has external links to preserve the link value from existing links;
- Robots.txt: this file tells search engines what pages they can and cannot crawl, which is very important. This is important but not essential;
- Sitemap: this file lists all posts and pages on your site. This helps search engines find pages faster. The larger your blog, the more critical this file usually is;
- Canonical tags: this tag tells search engines to avoid showing duplicate pages on the search results. Having the option to define a canonical tag is essential to control which pages search engines show in the SERP.
I think there is still a possibility to have success while blogging using MailerLite and have people find your site from Google. But your chances of success would be better if MailerLite had those features I mentioned.
To be honest, other similar platforms can do a better job on this, namely Ghost or beehiiv.
Annoying writing experience
When writing an article, I noted two issues that were is super frustrating and annoying.
I like to use shortcuts a lot when writing — like CMD + A to select a line I want to delete.
But when I do it, the editor does weird things like jumping back to the beginning of the line or deleting the lines it’s not supposed to delete. And the bigger problem this creates is that the undo/redo button doesn’t do its job!
In MailerLite, the undo and redo buttons just don't work properly. It causes more frustration and gives me the feeling that it’s not safe to write things there from scratch.
Actually, I don't recommend writing your posts directly on MailerLite because of this.
Alternatively, write it on your favorite tool (Word, Docs, note-taking app, etc.), and only paste the end product on MailerLite. At least this way, you’ll have a way to undo things if you make a mistake or the tool does something weird.
Requires physical address
One annoying thing I encountered while signing up for MailerLite was the need for a physical address. You can’t send out newsletters until you submit one and its approval (which may take up to one day).
This can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have a PO box or business address to go through the process. But it is the law, and it is needed to comply with the CAN-SPAM rules.
Although, some other ESPs don’t require an address before you can send emails, as they allow you to use the ESP’s address as a workaround for this law.
As frustrating as it may be, the platform is better because the physical address deters spammers from using MailerLite.
In the past, I've heard people complain about MailerLite having bad deliverability. But the platform has the tools to make emails reach your subscribers, so these complaints should be analyzed on a case by case.
I think these complaints are from users who don’t use a custom sending domain verified and authenticated using the recommended DNS records.
I listed this under the weaknesses, but this is more of a good annoyance than a problem.
Alternatives to MailerLite
Here, I will be making a quick comparison of MailerLite versus its close alternatives.
MailerLite VS ConvertKit
MailerLite and ConvertKit are 2 of the best email service providers to send a newsletter in the market.
The two are very popular among creators because their newsletters are easy to use and get the job done.
The main difference between them is that MailerLite wins when it comes to pricing because it is much cheaper. In addition, users can also directly use MailerLite to create a website. In contrast, ConvertKit users must build their websites elsewhere to have a website, as CK only allows building landing pages.
Monetization-wise, ConvertKit is better because of its Advertisement Network, which makes it easier to make money through Ads embedded in the newsletter.
MailerLite VS beehiiv
The main similarity between MailerLite and beehiiv is that both platforms' primary focus is on sending newsletters, and both are good for professional and hobby creators starting their journey.
The main difference between the 2 platforms is the pricing structure and how they operate, as beehiiv is intended to work as a hybrid platform.
Beehiiv has a fixed pricing structure that will benefit creators with a very large audience (more than 20,000 subscribers), while MailerLite prices escalate the subscribers you have. But the benefit is that MailerLite will be much cheaper to use when you’re starting out and don’t earn much money from your newsletter.
The other significant difference is that MailerLite is mainly an Email Service Provider to send newsletters that added blogging features over the years. So, most people just use MailerLite to send a newsletter, and it works pretty well.
While on beehiiv, the way things work, it doesn’t make much sense to use beehiiv only to send newsletters and create a blog using another platform. So, beehiiv makes more sense for creators that want to only use 1 tool for the blog and newsletter.
MailerLite VS Substack
Comparing MailerLite to Substack is like comparing apples to oranges. Both have newsletter tools and allow charging memberships, but the similarities stop there.
Substack has its hybrid offering of publishing blogs, newsletters, podcasts, and private chats with its subscribers. The platform aims to be the only tool creators need to publish content and interact with its community.
While MailerLite is one of the best Email Service Providers for newsletters, that is trying to develop into a hybrid platform like Substack, by allowing creators to create newsletters and blogs on one platform.
However, MailerLite still falls short in delivering on the blogging side but is light years ahead in the newsletter capabilities compared to Substack.
MailerLite VS Ghost
MailerLite and Ghost are so different that they are basically complementary (I use both! Ghost for the blog and MailerLite for the newsletter).
Ghost is one of the best options to create a website for creators and by far my favorite tool that I’ve been using since mid-2021. However, Ghost is average when it comes to newsletters.
On the other hand, MailerLite is excellent for sending newsletters with competitive pricing, but their blogging offering is only average.
So, these 2 tools are best used in combination, allowing you as a creator to use the best of each instead of only 1 and settling for their shortcoming.
MailerLite is a fantastic platform that is suited for beginners up to professional creators earning a full-time income online.
MailerLite's overall features are one of the best around. And you’ll get a lot of value if you use it while keeping the costs low.
If you plan to use it for blogging, consider looking into another tool like Ghost because MailerLite is only average at this.
But if you’re looking for a platform that makes sending newsletters a pleasant experience, I 100% recommend MailerLite.
And can sign up for a MailerLite account today using the link below to start your journey with this great tool.