If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, hanging out in my Facebook group or reading my newsletter, you probably know that I’m using MailerLite to grow my email list.
MailerLite is one of my favorite tools. It has helped me build an email list of thousands of subscribers in a short time. Which in turn, helped me take my blogging biz to the next level.
UPDATE: Starting January 1st, 2019, Mailerlite’s pricing will change. However, if you become a paying customer now, you will lock in the current prices FOREVER. This means you could be saving tons of money in the future. Upgrade here >>
Thanks to MailerLite, I can automate a lot of my email marketing tasks, send personalized welcome messages to new subscribers, offer freebies, content upgrades, and a free 6-day email course. I also love that I can have a neatly organized email list and send each subscriber only emails they are interested in.
So if you want to grow your email list lightning fast without spending a fortune MailerLite is probably all you’ll ever need and I’m not exaggerating.
A few reasons I love and recommend MailerLite
- Completely FREE until you reach 1,000 subscribers
- Extremely affordable afterward (plus you can save 30% extra if you pay annually)
- Most features are already included in the forever free plan, including beautiful landing page templates and automation
- Incredibly intuitive drag-and-drop interface
- Newsletter delivery by time zone (paid plans only), which means your subscribers will never again receive emails from you in the middle of the night
- The possibility to filter your subscribers by groups, fields, segments, signup date, signup source, timezone, campaigns, automation workflows, and time inactive
- Mobile friendly forms and newsletters
- A cool photo editor and unlimited image hosting
- Easy to understand reports
- Killer 24/7 customer support
Why is growing an email list so darn important?
In case you haven’t started a list yet and are wondering why you should bother anyway, here are some of the main reasons you should stop wasting any more precious time and sign up for an email marketing provider right away.
- Your list is yours. Google can (and will) change their algorithm anytime. Social networks come and go. Remember MySpace and hi5? Facebook and Instagram constantly change their algorithm as the companies grow and move into paid content. But when someone gives you access to their inbox, you have a way to stay in touch that doesn’t depend on any third parties.
- It’s the easiest way to build trust. A gazillion page views per month and a million followers on Instagram are nothing but numbers. And you can’t build a relationship with a number.
- Email is the most affordable marketing option. Selling to your email subscribers has a learning curve of its own, but it comes at a fraction of the cost of running a Facebook ad or AdSense campaign.
- The money is in the list. Email is the best way to promote your own products and affiliate products. Because let’s be honest, whom would you rather buy a product, service or course from, a stranger or somebody you know, trust, and admire? Trust almost always leads to more income and sales.
How to set up MailerLite like a pro
Getting started with MailerLite is absolutely FREE. In fact, they won’t even ask for your credit card until you’ve reached 1,000 subscribers.
If you don’t have an account yet, you can set up your MailerLite account here.
Type in your name or company name, your email address, and password and click the Create my account button.
You can sign up with a Gmail, Yahoo or any other kind of email address.
However, in order to send email newsletters to your peeps, you’ll need a custom email address with your own domain name (like [email protected]).
If you host your blog with Bluehost, I explain how to get such a personalized email address for free in my how to start a blog tutorial.
Getting your account approved
You will immediately be taken to the welcome page. Before you do anything else, make sure you get your account approved.
Complete your profile
First of all, click on the Complete your profile link and fill in your details. Don’t worry, they don’t ask for anything too personal.
Actually, all they want to know is your name, address and time zone plus some info MailerLite collects for statistical purposes (like the industry you are in, how many subscribers you already have, how did you find out about MailerLite, etc.)
Once you’ve filled in all the fields, agree to their anti-spam policy and click Save.
Verify your website
Click on the Verify your website link, type in your domain name and click Next.
This is where you’ll need to add a valid custom email address (like [email protected]).
MailerLite does this for your own good, to maximize the deliverability rates of your emails. The majority of email providers will mark your newsletters as spam if you send them from a Gmail, Yahoo or similar email address. To avoid this, MailerLite will only send emails from a custom email address.
Click Next. You’ll receive an email with a confirmation link.
That’s pretty much it in terms of setting up your MailerLite account! Congrats!
How to import your existing subscribers into MailerLite
If you’ve previously collected emails with another email marketing provider, first you have to export those subscribers into a CSV or TXT file and save it on your computer.
Next, click on the Add Subscribers button on the MailerLite welcome screen or on the Subscribers tab at the top of the page and then click on the orange Add Subscribers button.
On the next screen, you will see four options.
The first one is to import the previously downloaded CSV or TXT file.
If necessary, make sure you rename each column to match the information you’ve previously collected. If you can’t find a matching field name in the drop-down menu, you can create it by selecting A new text/numeric/date field and giving it the appropriate name.
If 1 subscriber wasn’t added, don’t worry. It’s probably the table header.
Alternatively, you can import subscribers from an Excel list, add them manually one by one or if you’ve been with MailChimp before, simply connect your accounts for a super easy transition.
You should see the number of subscribers updating. That’s all!
Understanding the MailerLite tabs
MailerLite is super easy to use and that starts with the straightforward menu at the top of the page.
This is where you’ll find an overview of your account. At the very top, you’ll see the last sent email newsletter (in MailerLite this is called a campaign), info about your subscribers, your plan, and some account stats.
As mentioned before, a MailerLite campaign is a simple email newsletter you can send to your whole list or just a specific group of people.
To create a newsletter, click on the orange Create your first email button and choose between:
- Regular campaign (a regular newsletter)
- A/B split campaign (create two versions of the same newsletter for the purpose of testing which one performs best)
- Auto resend (if a subscriber doesn’t open a newsletter in a certain amount of time MailerLite will automatically resend the email at a later date)
- RSS Campaign (sends out a newsletter every time you publish new content on your blog)
Create your newsletter, choose which subscribers should receive it and schedule it for delivery next.
In the campaigns tab, you will also see a list of your previously sent email newsletters with stats (clicking on the View report will shed a light on which links your subscribers clicked on, the countries your newsletter was opened from, etc).
MailerLite organizes your email subscribers into groups (old way) and segments (new way).
Segments are super dynamic lists based on past subscriber behavior that can be easily filtered by groups, fields, segments, signup date, signup source, timezone, campaigns, automation workflows, and time inactive.
To create a new segment, click the orange Create Segment button and give it a name.
If you prefer using groups instead, then the way you organize your list will depend on how focused your blog is and your list building goals.
If you blog about different subjects (say, exotic destinations and finances), you’ll most likely need to divide your subscribers in two. Then you can send travel related newsletters to the people who expressed an interest in exotic destinations and budgeting tips to the people interested in frugal living.
By doing so you won’t bother your subscribers with emails they are not interested in and avoid high unsubscribe rates.
To create a new group, click the orange Create new group button and give it a name.
MailerLite has 4 types of forms:
- Popups (4 highly-customizable templates available, including a full screen one – also known as a welcome mat) -> image below
- Landing pages (10 gorgeous templates to choose from. You can customize the URL of each landing page to look like www.yourblogname.com/landingpage)
- Embedded forms (2 versions – a normal form that you can embed anywhere in your blog posts and pages and a subscribe button that when clicked, will display a popup form)
- Promotions (8 different pop-up templates like surveys, countdown timer, mystery sale, and product popup – paid plans only)
Every time you create a form, you have to give it a name (for internal use only) and connect it to one (or more) group(s). When a reader subscribes to your newsletter via a particular form, they will be automatically added to that group.
MailerLite forms have an incredibly flexible and intuitive design. I encourage you to play a bit with the different possibilities to get familiar with all you can achieve.
Each form comes with its own stats, the possibility to choose between double or single opt-in and its own custom confirmation email and thank you page.
The behavior settings come in very handy, and I love that I have full control over when and where a popup should be displayed.
The fact that MailerLite has full automation capabilities even with the forever free plan is quite amazing.
I absolutely love this option. It’s the only strategy I’ve used to grow my email list to hundreds of subscribers in a little over two months.
In case you’re wondering what automation is… Well, it’s basically a smart way of sending an email or a sequence of emails when a subscriber performs a specific action or a certain amount of time has passed.
I use automation to send all my welcome emails as well as drip my free email course over a period of 6 days after a subscriber signed up.
To start with automation, click on the Create a new workflow. Assign it a name, choose a trigger and a subscriber group.
MailerLite has lots of trigger options. You can send an email when a subscriber joins a group (that’s usually when they sign up), or when the subscriber clicks a specific link in a previously sent email, among others.
Once you’ve chosen the first trigger, you will be presented with 4 options:
- Create an email
- Set a delay period before any other action is taken (ie. wait 10 minutes before you send an email)
- Define a condition (if subscriber does this, do X, otherwise do Y)
- Choose an action (ie. copy subscriber to a new group or remove subscriber from a certain group)
To design an email you can use:
- The drag & drop editor (I use this always because it has SO many options, like countdowns, buttons, and the possibility to showcase products)
- The rich text editor (you can still add text and images, but you’ll be missing out on so many other features)
- Or create an HTML email
How I use MailerLite to add hundreds of new subscribers to my list every month
I’ve been adding 150 subscribers per month on average. Here’s how I do it.
I use the free MailerLite plugin
Creating a form with MailerLite is tons of fun. But copy+pasting ugly lines of code into your content isn’t.
I’m a fun loving girl and try to stay away from code as often as I possibly can. And luckily MailerLite has a free and super easy to use WordPress plugin that works wonders right out of the box.
Once installed, you’ll see the green MailerLite icon in your post editor. Click on it whenever you want to embed a form into your content. Choose the name of the form you want to insert and click Add shortcode.
A shortcode will be added to your post or page. If later on, you decide to update a form in your MailerLite account, it will be instantly updated throughout your blog.
I use lead magnets
So far I’ve only created two lead magnets. I know, I could and should have created more content upgrades. Unfortunately, I never seem to find the time.
Nevertheless, I’m thrilled with my conversion rates.
- The landing page for my 3-page blog planner converts at a crazy 70% rate (Update: I no longer offer this since I converted the free planner into the 40+ page Smart Blog Planner)
- The landing page for ‘From Fog to Profitable Blog’ FREE email course converts at 21%.
I have to say that I don’t use the MailerLite landing page templates. That’s simply because by the time I signed up with MailerLite I already had them set up and I’m too lazy to make the necessary changes.
But I love that I can offer my readers a freebie and a free course and that it’s all taken care of and delivered by MailerLite in a timely manner.
If you want more tips on creating content upgrades people want and love, check out my post on how to build your email list fast.
I ask for help
MailerLite has 24/7 chat support and they usually reply within a couple of minutes.
And yes, I use it anytime I have a question. Even if it’s not all that important. Because it has really helped me understand and use their platform in a more efficient manner.
If something is not quite the way I see it, I ask if there’s another way to do it. If I get stuck, I ask for help instead of running around in circles like a headless chicken for hours.
Having this kind of unconditional customer support, even when using the free plan, is absolutely AMAZING.
I hate it when I have to wait for days until my support question gets answered. With MailerLite this is never the case. Most questions are answered right away in the chat. And if the developers need to get involved, they typically reply within a few hours as well.
If you want to give MailerLite a try, you can sign up here. It’s FREE up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
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Hey there dream chaser! I’m a writer, designer and the creator of The Smart Blog Planner and Perfectly Productive Planner. I’m on a mission to inspire and empower you to create a highly profitable minimalist online business and show up for your dreams in a sustainable way.