Yep, I gave the boot to MailChimp and am a happy MailerLite customer.
In the past I raved about MailChimp. I wrote blog posts about it. I even recommended it to clients.
But over the years, I liked it less and less. Their customer services degraded as their prices climbed.
A terrible combination.
Then, after reading David Gaughran’s newsletter (be sure to subscribe to it) about how he didn’t like MailChimp either, I decided to leap too. (He did it first.)
MailerLite’s customer service is superb. Whereas before, I would wait four days for an email response from MailChimp’s tech support, with MailerLite, it’s just a few hours.
Learning MailerLite’s system took a bit of time, but their tech support made it a smooth transition.
And it’s cheaper than MailChimp while offering the same services.
I’m paying $30/month for MailerLite (MailChimp was $75/month) because I want extra features. You can use it for free if you’d like to.
Why Email Marketing?
Let’s get this topic over with, shall we?
I like to give new clients this spiel:
Book marketing involves so many aspects:
- great books
- proper editing
- great covers
- perfect Amazon categories and keywords
- doing a pre-order for a month
- website and blog
- social media presence
- having ebooks and even audiobooks
- blog tours
- email marketing
- encouraging bookreviews
Let’s face it; email marketing is more effective than social media marketing.
And consider this fact: if Instagram or Facebook disappeared or changed into a format you couldn’t make sense of, what would you do?
All those people you were connecting with would be gone.
Consider email marketing as an insurance policy and an excellent way to connect with your readers.
Consider these facts from Convince & Convert:
Every year you hear this absurd statement, “Email marketing is dead.” But the reality is email is very much alive and intends to stands the test of time for the foreseeable future. The data doesn’t lie:
In 2018, global email users amounted to 3.8 billion users.
93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.
73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32.
Convinced? Okay, let’s get into how to use MailerLite.
Email Marketing Isn’t for Sales
Social media and email marketing — and every aspect of marketing you can think of — is for building relationships with your readers and prospective readers.
Don’t send a newsletter with a heavy sales spiel every week or however often you send your newsletter.
Share tidbits about your life, your cat, your dog, your writing life, and anything that you feel comfortable revealing.
Also, ask questions. Be informative. Deliver the content your readers want or need to hear.
Be friendly, conversational, and don’t use email marketing just to elicit book sales.
Let your readers know that you care about them.
In short, be authentic.
Open a MailerLite Account
This one’s easy. Just go to https://app.mailerlite.com and do the usual.
First, you need to verify your domain email address. Your email should use the domain of your website and not be a Gmail account email. For example, [email protected]
Next, upload your subscribers. If you were using MailChimp, export them into a CSV, and then upload them to MailerLite.
Create a MailerLite Embedded Form for Sign-Ups
With MailerLite, you can set up four forms:
You’re going to need a form to encourage sign-ups. So, start with this one. (It should go without saying that you need to offer a giveaway to encourage signups.)
First, go to Embedded Forms. Then click the orange button that says Create Embedded Form.
Name your form. I’ll call this one Blog Post Example.
Next, you will have to determine which of your email groups you want to link to this form.
You will automatically arrive at this page:
You can personalize the embedded form. For example, mine looks like this:
These are your design options:
To change the form color or subscribe button, click the options as noted in the above image.
You can also change the look of the form.
For a client, I used the Card option and added an image.
To customize the colors in the form, click each round button in the design section.
All you need to do is go to Canva to select the color you want or do a web search, such as “what is the code for teal?” I use those two methods to find all my colors.
Create Your MailerLite Success Page
If you don’t use a double opt-in, which I encourage you to do, you can provide your giveaway on your Success Page.
This is the default success message. Ugly, isn’t it?
My client’s success page looks like this:
Once you’ve created both pages, MailerLite will provide you with a link you can use on social media and the code to add to your website. I suggest that you give your website developer the login to MailerLite so that she can grab the code she needs.
You will also want to customize the double opt-in thank-page. On the same page where the code is, you’ll find the Double Opt-in Email form and the Double Opt-in Thank You page. They aren’t easy to customize. (I didn’t think they were.)
This is what the default double opt-in email looks like:
I customized to look like this:
I even changed the tiny heading in the upper top-left corner.
Now you need to customize the Double Opt-In Thank You page. This is what the default looks like:
And this is what my personalized email looks like:
To customize it, I simply clicked on the Content and Design settings to change the wording and colors.
I need to stop here. However, you can also use MailerLite to build landing pages, popups, promotions, and automated emails. I use automation for my email-based social media course.
Once you get going, it’s so much fun to create landing pages and popups. Really.
If you have questions, write them in the comments below. Remember, MailerLite has excellent customer service, so don’t hesitate to send them your questions too.
Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences.
Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers