One of the biggest reasons to create a freebie for your blog is to build your email list. As I am sure you have heard from many bloggers that starting your email list is one of the most important investments you can do for your blog.
It is one platform for connecting with your readers that you have complete control over. All the other platforms (Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram) can change their algorithm and it has the possibility to completely destroy your driving traffic abilities.
But you don’t need to worry about that if you have an email list.
As you build your list you build your trust with them and can develop a strong following. But before you can even start growing your email list you first need to choose an email service provider.
What is an Email Service Provider (ESP) and Why Do You Need It?
The basic idea is that it is a service to help you with your digital marketing with a focus on emails. Most of these services include subscription, broadcast emails, automation, opt-in forms, and potentially more depending on the company.
There is actually multiple reasons that you want to use an ESP but the most important one is that you have a secure way to collect and communicate with your email list.
As a blogger, you need to be conscious of how you collect and send emails. Using a private email can open you to privacy issues.
For example, because when sending an email to all your subscribers in your personal email you might accidentally send it using the To: section instead of the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy).
That means then that everyone you included in the email will be able to see the other subscriber’s email address. And with that, you have given your subscribers access to other people’s emails.
If you want to learn about all the reasons why bloggers need an ESP, check out this blog post here.
Important Decision for New Bloggers
An email service provider is how you build an email list. But there are many different providers to choose from, which can make it difficult to figure out the best one for you. If you are overwhelmed by this decision, I want to tell you right now to not worry.
That’s because until you actually try one out, it is impossible to know what will work best for you.
With that in mind, it is important to understand that until your blog can generate an income, the best choice is to use one of the free options.
Free allows you to invest that money into other avenues for your blog. And as much as everyone wants to tell you it doesn’t cost that much to start a blog, the reality is that there are certain expenses you will have.
It should be stated that a paid service is generally the preferred option in the long run but for a new blogger, it is not an essential need. Especially, not right at the beginning. I am speaking from experience here.
When I first started blogging, everyone talked about how ConvertKit is the best choice and so that is what I went with. Truth be told, I completely understand why they recommend it. I personally love it.
But it was $29 a month and while I know it is not much compared to other ESPs, it was still more than I could afford to spend. Especially, for someone just starting their blog.
As a new blogger, you are learning so much new information. Because you are learning a ton of new skills and knowledge, that means that you might not be able to monetize as quickly. It’s a sucky thing to hear but it is a real possibility.
Growing Your Email List Might Take Longer Than You Want
That means if you are one of the unlucky ones whose blog isn’t generating any income (that’s me with my first blog) then you are paying for a service that is not doing much for you.
Growing an email list doesn’t happen overnight and can take a while. Especially, when you are a new blogger.
Understanding how to connect with our readers doesn’t always happen. It’s time and patience to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Until you can grow an email list to the point that they engage with you, you don’t want to spend too much of your money.
And I know I have been talking about money quite a bit but that is one of the biggest elements that MailerLite has going for it. I am not in the situation (and I am sure many others) where I can spend money however I want.
I am one of the unlucky few that lost their job due to COVID-19. That means I need to consider how I spend my money because I have a house to pay for, a family to feed, and so much more.
And even if you were not affected by COVID-19 the same way, I am sure many of you fall into the same situation where you need to be thoughtful about how you spend your money.
MailerLite is the Best Choice for New Bloggers
I can’t tell you enough about why I love MailerLite but I will limit it to these 10 fantastic reasons.
Now I will state MailerLite is great for any level of blogger. Whether you are brand new to the scene or have been blogging for years, this ESP is a great option that will allow you to create professional-looking emails.
Your digital marketing needs are extremely important for growing your blogging business. So let’s dive into what makes MailerLite so great and why it is the best choice for you!
I am going to start with the big one that is a big concern for many new bloggers. As a new blogger, you can’t afford to spend too much money. Not unless you are lucky enough have a huge stash laying around.
Most of us are not that lucky (I wish I was). That’s why MailerLite is a great option. They have 5 plans to choose from and they are based on how many subscribers you have.
One of those five plans is FREE! Wahoo…don’t you love that word? I know I do! And the word free sounds great when it is connected to a quality product.
You can use MailerLite’s free plan until you get over 1,000 subscribers. This is an opportunity you should not pass up because with MailerLite you are not limited to how many opt-in forms or landing pages you want to use for your blog.
Plus their free plan comes with many of the same features as the paid plans. You can compare the plans right here!
I know investing in your business is important but when you are starting out it is equally important finding good quality services that will save you money.
Once your blog starts making some money then you look into using a paid plan but until then having a valuable and free option is the best place to start.
2. Inexpensive to Upgrade
Eventually, you will reach the point that you will want to upgrade and thankfully MailerLite has your back. The cost of using a paid plan in MailerLite is extremely affordable. Starting at $10 and going up to $50 (for up to 10,000 subscribers) is a great deal.
Let’s compare that to some other notable options. I created a quick table to show the cost difference between the best ESPs for bloggers.
MailChimp, ConvertKit, and ConstantContact are the top providers that I have heard of many bloggers using, while the remaining were ones I found in this blog post.
Two other ESPs from the blog post are Keap and SendGrid. These two providers do their pricing differently than the rest. It is based on how many emails you will send per month.
As you can see from the table above, MailerLite has one of the most competitive prices. It is one of only three providers that offer a free plan.
That makes MailerLite a great choice because now you can try it out for as long as you like until you are ready to upgrade to a paid plan.
3. Easy to Use
One of the biggest reasons I didn’t like MailChimp is because I found their platform difficult to use. My biggest frustration was creating opt-in forms. Compared to MailerLite, MailChimp was exhausting.
I spent so much time looking for how to customize my opt-in forms with MailChimp that I finally gave up. And you don’t want to have to deal with that as a new blogger.
Your time is valuable and you should be able to figure out your ESP easily. Using this service should barely take you any time to figure it out because most of your time needs to go into creating great content and learning how to market it.
MailerLite is easy to use at every step from creating opt-in forms to email automation to your email campaigns. They also have great tutorials to help you figure out any issues you might be having.
4. 24/7 Customer Support
There are two types of support at MailerLite, email and live chat. Both are available 24/7 but the live chat option is only for the paid plans. I promise you though that the email support is still a great option to use.
I have used the email support and they did a great job fixing the problem. It might be a little slower than live chat but it still gets the job done in an efficient amount of time.
5. Email Automation
Here is another fantastic tool that bloggers needs to have to grow their business. You want this no matter which email provider you choose.
The reason being that you want to build a relationship with your subscribers and one of the best ways to do that is by creating a welcome sequence series of emails.
MailerLite’s email automation is simple to use and it is what you use when you are ready to create a sales funnel. In the automation tab, you have four choices (Email, Delay, Condition, and Action) to choose from to build your email sequence.
Here is a quick example of a simple welcome sequence that I use for my other blog. It is nothing fancy but is simple and effective.
By the way…don’t ask me why one of my photos is upside down. When you open the email it is right side up but for some reason, in the preview screen, it does this. Weird I know.
Bonus Tip: The most important step to making the automation feature work for you is to create a template of each email of your welcome series (or any other series you have created). Templates will save you so much time.
Below are some of my templates from MailerLite. From the templates folder, I can easily update a specific template without any issues.
Remember you want to pick a provider that is geared to making you successful. Part of being successful is having tools that don’t make you work harder.
6. Easy to Personalize
Adding your own personality is how you stick out among other bloggers. It’s a step to building your brand. And MailerLite does this beautifully!
I love MailerLite’s drag and drop editor. They make it so easy to create a unique email that fits with your blog.
Another way that you are able to personalize with MailerLite is through templates. Now I talked about templates before with email automation but it goes much further than that.
You can customize your email header, what your signature looks like, the format of your broadcast emails, and countless others. Make your emails so engaging that people look forward to them.
7. Landing Pages
I bet you have heard tons of bloggers talk about using landing pages for their products and how they are an extremely effective tool that they use. Well, MailerLite has a great collection of templates to choose from.
Remember in the last point above where I talked about how easy it is to personalize forms? MailerLite gives you the power to personalize your own.
There are quite a few templates to choose from or at least use as a starting point. One of my biggest issues with ConvertKit is that their landing pages are limiting. There are times I want to make a small change like the font but that is not an option.
And while that is not always a deal-breaker, I personally love that it is not a worry for me with MailerLite.
ConvertKit is great but you can be limited in adding your brand and creativity.
8. Unsubscribe Page Builder
It is an unfortunate reality us bloggers have to face but there will be people who want to opt-out of your newsletter. And it sucks but it is an opportunity to find out why they left. MailerLite offers you the ability to customize your unsubscriber settings.
This is an opportunity to find out why they are leaving. And that information can help you improve your newsletter.
9. Mobile-Friendly Email Newsletter
The reality is that people do pretty much everything on their phones now. That means you want to use an email provider who plans for the difference between a desktop and a phone.
The nifty trick that MailerLite does is they will automatically resize your emails to fit whatever screen your viewer is reading it on. That means it will look the same on your desktop and your phone.
This is a nifty feature that might help you add a little flair to your emails. You can edit your photos for small details like cropping to more extravagant by adding text designs.
The best part is that it is built into MailerLite and you can use the photo you edit in an email, form, or landing page. It is all up to you with how you want to use it.
While I don’t use this feature much, it is a pretty cool one to have on hand for when I do want it. Depending on how you use it, this could be an effective way for a new blogger to stand out to their subscribers!
Check out the picture of an image I edited in MailerLite’s photo editor. It’s not my finest work I know but I wanted you to see what you could do with it. There are more features in the photo editor for you to play around with.
Still Not Sure About MailerLite? Let’s Compare!
There are three other providers that I have used both in business and for my blogs (ConvertKit, MailChimp, and ConstantContact). Each of these is a well known ESP.
ConvertKit is probably the most well-known to be used by bloggers. I heard of this particular provider from within the first week I was researching about becoming a blogger.
Following ConvertKit is MailChimp. This was the one I heard that many bloggers used in the beginning when they started blogging and that is because it was free. I initially thought it was the only free provider.
Constant Contact is one I learned from being a board member of an association (this was a networking tool for my job). This provider is on par with ConvertKit in many ways and is more well known in the business world compared to the blogger world.
MailerLite vs. MailChimp.
Both of these providers offer a free plan but there is one huge difference between them. And that is MailChimp is incredibly difficult.
It took me way too long to figure out how to customize my opt-in forms and that was incredibly frustrating for me. Opt-in forms are one of the biggest features I use and because of that, I should be able to create one easily.
Having created an opt-in form on three other platforms, MailChimp is the only one that I had trouble figuring out. Because of this, I barely spent any time using it.
This is the only ESP that I will not recommend. I understand that it is a free service but it is not worth all the hassle. You want your digital marketing to be a smooth process so that you can connect with your audience.
MailerLite vs. ConvertKit
Now I will state that I love ConvertKit and understand why many bloggers recommend it. The big issue that prevents it from being a great tool for new bloggers is the cost.
At $29 per month, that is a big fee to swallow when you might not have money to spend. Choosing ConvertKit will cost you $300 a year and that is a big chunk of money when your business is not bringing in any money.
Especially with the thought that I won’t bring in money for about year or so.
Now ConvertKit did recently come out with a free plan BUT it is missing an extremely important element…the automation tool. Being able to connect with your subscribers within the first few weeks is critical and you typically do that through a welcome series.
Having an automated welcome series will make your digital marketing life easier.
And ConverKit’s automation tool is the one element that outshines every ESPs I have ever tried. But I will state that while MailerLite’s automation tool is not at the same level, it still is easy to use.
And you can create as many automation as you want. Some only let you do one.
When you look at all that you can do with MailerLite for free and realize you have similar capabilities compared to ConvertKit, it becomes an easy choice.
MailerLite vs. ConstantContact
The issue with ConstantContact is the same one as ConvertKit…price. ConstantContact has two plans to choose from “Email” and Email Plus”. One is considered their basic plan and the other is their premium.
The basic plan costs $20 per month and the premium one is $45 per month. Those numbers add up if you are unable to build your subscribers quickly.
Another reason I would not recommend ConstantContact for new bloggers is that with the basic plan you are limited in your automation.
Automations are essential for welcome and education series. With the basic plan, you are only able to create a welcome series and even that is limited to one singular email.
Typically your welcome series should be about 3-4 emails. If you are able to add more emails, I can tell you that I was unable to figure it out. And ConstantContact was the first email service provider that I have ever used in my life.
That is not the best sign when choosing a provider that will help you grow your blog. ConstantContact is better suited for a business or organization that does not need to use automation.
Final Thoughts on MailerLite for Bloggers
It is free, easy to use, and has a ton of valuable features that you can use to build your email list. I know that while you may like the sound of free, the word can make you nervous.
Free can sometimes mean we are not getting the best of a company. That is not the case with MailerLite.
One of the best parts about MailerLite is that their free plan has most of the exact same features as their paid plans. There are a total of 52 features that are included in all their paid plans and the free plan does not include 17 of those features.
That means you still get access to 35 features and the ones you don’t get are nice extras.
There is much you can do with 35 features. Some of the features include drag & drop editor, landing pages, email automation, advanced segmentation, and customizable templates. If you want to see what is included in the free plan and what’s not, then check out this link to see MailerLite’s pricing page.
Before You Leave, Does MailerLite Sound Like A Great Option To You?
Has this helped you decide on whether to use MailerLite or not? If yes, have you had a chance to try it out? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
Happy Days –
Hi, I’m CaitieJ. I’m a quirky lady married to the love of her life and raising two wonderful little boys. I’m also the nerd who loves everything about creating printables and opt-in freebies. This blog is all about helping fellow bloggers learn how to create unique freebies that will grow an incredible email list. Check out more about me and my blog right here!