ESP review: MailerLite
Updated: Mar 24
When I first started to review email service provicers (ESPs), I heard from quite a few people that they were using MailerLite.
I decided to check it out to see how they measures up.
On first registration it seems very professional. I get up to 1000 subscribers for the free package, they ask me lots of questions about my work and want to verify I'm a real person.
So far so good. Then I give them my website address and they want to verify and email with the same domain. I wanted to use my Gmail, so that answer was a bust.
So I changed my answer and said I don't have a website and gave them my LinkedIn profile instead.
They've lost points, but I am adamant to check them out, so I continue.
Now I clicked Verify. They write that it will take up to 24 hours to verify and that I could check out their features in the meantime.
I try. But alas, I am stuck on this page. No access to anything.
They've lost me!
I do not want to wait 24 hours to try to use any app, especially one that discredits me just for not using a domain email.
I'm all for verifying users and making sure I'm a real person and company. But let me play with the features, even if you lock the sending of the actual emails until you verify me.
Just a bad user experience.
And so the wait continues. The 24 hour countdown begins.
After just a few hours, my account wasn't approved at first because I did not give a full description. (I did, btw. They just didn't read it.)
I got an email asking for more info.
Great. I sent them my website URL. I also explained that I don't have an email associated to that domain and that I couldn't upload the URL before. I even updated my profile with *more* info.
Again, I was rejected.
By this point it was personal.
I was getting an account, no matter what. Just for the sake of getting one. Though I knew there was no way I was going to work with a company that made it so difficult to open an account. Nor would I recommend them to a client.
I sent them another email with my website URL and LinkedIn profile. I explained what I do and that I really wanted to use their product.
Then I waited...
I waited for 2 hours before I got a response.
Finally, they enabled me to have a limited free account (500 users, not 1000).
Now I needed to decide what I liked about the product, since I knew a lot of things I didn't.
Using the app
First thing I wanted to check out was the UX/UI.
If I'm going to recommend an ESP to my customers, I want to be sure that it really is easy to use.
And so, I started to build a list, create email campaigns, landing pages and automations.
Most of the time I didn't know where I was. There simply wasn't any navigation to speak of.
The header bar isn't stuck to the top. The breadcrumb of my process wasn't user friendly and wasn't always clearly available.
Navigation between the different sections of the app required multiple steps.
When creating an email or form, there was no easily found option of 'save as draft' or 'continue later'. It autosaved, but how would I know that? No microcopy, no indication.
I used the design tool & really (!!) didn’t like how it worked. I mean really.
It's similar to Mailchimp, but worse (and that says a lot).
Moving from one block to the next and adding blocks is not intuitive.
The entire experience is clunky.
On the positive side, their automations are much clearer than on Mailchimp, but alas, not as amazing as on ActiveCampaign. They have very limited options and are missing some fundamental ones, such as split conditions and wait.
I could keep on writing why I don't like MailerLite, but why waste anyone's time?
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