MailerLite Review 2021 – Is it The Cheapest Email Marketing Service?

Many businesses rely on email as the primary tool in generating leads. After all, it is 40x more effective to acquire customers via email than through Facebook and Twitter. 

Where ROI is concerned, the returns for your effort is 40 times high. Every $1 dollar spent on email marketing produces $44. To maximize returns, however, you need to send out tons of emails that are crafted with all the right elements to ensure a high open-rate. 

This is where automation helps. One of the tools you can use is MailerLite, dubbed as the cheapest email marketing service. But is it really low-cost? How does it deliver in terms of features and quality performance? Who should use MailerLite? 

In this MailerLite review 2021, we’ll look into the service’s features and whether it remains a useful tool for this year and beyond.

If you've already decided to get MailerLite, just click the button below and try it for free.

What is MailerLite?

MailerLite is an online email marketing service that provides businesses of all sizes simple yet effective solutions to send emails and to benefit from the process. It's also a tool that bloggers and freelancers can leverage.

Mailerlite review

It was launched in 2010 when creators fell in love with email marketing and after reading the book Rework by Basecamp. What started out as a web agency now specializes in email marketing services and web design and development.

MailerLite as a marketing solution comes with a variety of tools and features that will allow you to:

  • Easily create campaigns
  • Grow your audience 
  • Deliver the right message via email to the right people and at the right time
  • Track results and generate email newsletter reports

In every process, you'll be equipped with the necessary tools.

Who is MailerLite for?

Every time there is a reason why something is cheap. In quality, Mailerlite is not so great as the more expensive ones.

Therefore, I would recommend it to entry-level entrepreneurs with a tight budget. For established entrepreneurs, I would recommend a more professional email marketing service like Getresponse or ActiveCampaign.

Though, Mailerlite's quality is still acceptable.

who is mailerlite for

For beginners

Because of the way MailerLite is built - intuitive, simple, and easy to use, anyone who's just getting started in email marketing and marketing automation will find this useful and helpful. The learning curve is low.

When creating your first campaign, for example, there are only 7 steps involved. 8 and 9 are for testing and sending your finalized campaign.

For freelancers or solopreneurs

Are you running a campaign on a tight budget? For $0, you can already send 12,000 emails per month to up to 1,000 subscribers. That's a good starting number, right? 

Also, if you want to see what premium features can do for you, you only need to sign up for the 14-day trial for free. Besides, $10/month for a premium plan isn't exactly that expensive. You may be able to stretch it to $15 a month.

For small businesses

If you're like most startups with less than 3,000 subscribers, MailerLite gives you an option to nurture and engage with them without racking your overheads up. You only need $30 to reach 2,501 to 5,000 target recipients, after all. You can send out an unlimited number of emails for this amount too. 

Got even fewer people to send emails to? No problem. You pay even less to automate marketing campaigns to 1,000 or 2,500 subscribers. 

mailerlite target audience

For bloggers or creatives

Because of the additional features that MailerLite offers, such as video market, RSS campaigns, and WordPress integration, bloggers will find the service just as useful.

For affiliate marketers

Want to earn extra money on the side? The MailerLite affiliate program gives you a 30% commission for every sale made following your promotion or referral. The same amount applies for when the customer you referred remains a subscriber. This means you earn recurring income from the program.

If you happen to a MailerLite subscriber yourself, getting started in affiliate marketing is easy since you'll have access to a drag & drop website builder.

MailerLite pros and cons

Like most products and services, MailerLite has its share of advantages and disadvantages.

mailerlite pros and cons


  • Offers a free plan and 14-day free trial where you can test out the premium features
  • Comes with a number of cheap paid plans that let you send unlimited emails from 1,000 to 10,000 subscribers
  • A perfect choice for beginners because of its low budget requirement and user-friendly platform.
  • Offers an easy-to-use solution on a platform with an intuitive user interface and straightforward menu


  • Customer service is not-so-professional
  • Some have complained about glitches in the system. It slows down or freezes when importing lots of contacts, for instance. 
  • Since the email servers’ reputation is not so great, emails might go to spam (might also result in low open rates)
  • Some people complained about the delivery rate
  • Account approval is a two-step process that takes longer to complete if you don’t have a website. If MailerLite thinks something looks suspicious with your site or newsletters, you will be disapproved. 
  • Reporting lacks social tracking, desktop vs. mobile tracking, and other reports and analysis that some alternatives offer

MailerLite review 2021 - what are the best features?

Custom-built campaigns

When building campaigns, you'll have a choice among 3 campaign editors - rich text editor, drag and drop newsletter editor, and HTML editor. Each one offers different capabilities that get better the higher you go. 

mailerlite drag and drop editor

Choose from any of these campaign editors to create newsletters and e-commerce campaigns all on your own. No need to hire a designer to build campaign materials that look beautiful and professional. 

If you'd rather not start anything from scratch, there are tons of templates that you can use. Otherwise, use the drag & drop editor for a faster, more convenient campaign creation.

4 types of campaigns


This type of campaign is often used to keep in touch with customers and update them about what's happening in your store or business or about new products and promotions. 

Creating a regular campaign through MailerLite is easy because of the editors available. For beginners, the drag & drop editor is highly recommended as it comes with templates that can be modified quickly and easily. 

mailerlite campaigns
A/B split campaign

This feature allows you to test which of the campaigns you've created work best or have higher open rates. Is it the one with a shorter email subject? How about the one with the word PROMO in it? 

Under the A/B split campaign, you'll be asked to choose which elements of your campaign you want to test. There are several options available: 

Email subject - Test two different subject lines to determine which one has a better or higher click or open rate. 

Some of the subjects lines to test are: 

  • Poses a question
  • Includes a number
  • Comes with an emoji
  • Capitalization
  • Either ambiguous or specific
  • Written in first person or second person
  • More personalized
  • Longer or shorter
  • Creates a sense of urgency like "today only"
Auto resend

This type of campaign ensures your subscribers don't miss any of your emails. If they did not open what you've previously sent, another email will be automatically sent to them. 

mailerlite auto resend campaign

MailerLite gives you two options to create an auto resend campaign. 

1. Using the quick link from a dropdown menu in Create campaign where the email body is exactly the same but the subject lines are different. 

2. Choosing Auto resend campaign from the Create campaign menu where you add a personal message and a new subject line to the second email. The email will appear as though you've forwarded the second message yourself. 

RSS campaign

This is what you use when you want your subscribers to receive an email every time you publish a new blog. This feature lets you connect MailerLite with the RSS feed of your website.

In creating an RSS campaign, you can do so right from the Create campaign dropdown or click the Campaigns tab and choose RSS Campaign. On the RSS feed URL bar, type in your website's URL and then click Look up. You can then set the RSS settings as you see fit.

Advanced targeting features

MailerLite not only automates your emails but also allows you to target recipients according to their interests or behaviors and a set of characteristics (age, location, etc).

With all the data on hand, you can easily send personalized emails with the right message.

Email segmentation

MailerLite provides you this targeting technique so you can send more personalized emails to a specific group you know are really interested in what you're offering. 

You can use this tool to separate subscribers into different criteria such as age, behavior, location, and other relevant factors. 

mailerlite segmentation

When you can send emails and newsletters that are more relevant to them, you will achieve higher engagement. 

Email segmentation is best done at the start of your email marketing efforts. Aim for behavioral segmentation because it works hand-in-hand with MailerLite's automation feature. Based on a subscriber's action, they can be moved into a different segment automatically.

Campaign optimization

Once you've rolled out a campaign, you need to measure its performance. For optimum reach, you must optimize your emails, something MailerLite can help you with. 

  • Identify which email performs better using A/B split testing. 
  • Boost engagement by delivering emails based on your intended recipients' specific timezones through campaign scheduling. 
  • Increase open rate with the auto resend feature for unopened campaigns. You might get lucky the second time around. 
  • Make sure your target audience receives every new post you publish through the RSS to email feature. 

Combine these tools with other tracking features - surveys, click maps, opens by location, and campaign reports, you’ll know if your campaign is a success, needs improvement, or requires a major overhaul.

Website builder

With a website, you can easily attract prospects and new subscribers to your business. The software makes it easy for you to boost your online presence with its website builder. 

Create your own platform with the layout that you want using the drag & drop website builder that comes free with your account.

mailerlite website builder

Along with this feature are other tools to help grow your audience - promotion pop-ups, embedded forms, and landing pages.

Since the software is an email marketing platform, its main focus is to constantly improve that and not to build complete websites.

So its website builder is a quite basic one. It's essentially a simple landing page builder with a few templates and without advanced features.

As a result, if you want a full-featured website, you need to choose a professional website builder platform for that.

On the other hand, Mailerlite is great for simple capture pages.

Integrate a survey in your landing page

MailerLite not only allows you to embed a survey in your email but also in landing pages. You can add a button or anchor link anywhere on a new or existing landing page.

You can customize the length and settings of your survey and include a signup form to generate leads. 

Mailerlite survey

On top of these, you can use the MailerLite app for iPhone to check out your email campaigns anytime, anywhere. Results are provided in real-time and the app allows for campaign review and account management.

MailerLite reporting

Once your first campaign is out, subscriber data will be collected and put together in a single report. You can then use the data to check your campaign's performance, subscriber engagement, and how you can acquire more subscribers, among others. 

Data is categorized into: 

  • Stats overview
  • View email
  • Link activity
  • Subscriber activity
  • Opens by location

Since the first category is where the most number matters, we'll discuss this further. 

From the Stats overview of a specific campaign, you will see a detailed breakdown of essential information. 

  • Total emails sent refer to all the newsletters sent to your subscriber list.
  • Opened indicates the number of recipients that opened your email campaign.
  • Clicked counts the number of recipients who opened your email and clicked at least one of the links in your newsletter. 
  • Unsubscribed indicates the number of people who unsubscribed from your newsletter. 
  • Spam complaints indicate the number of people in your subscriber list who considered your newsletter as spam and filed a report. 
  • Bounce is when an email is sent back by the mail server because it can't be delivered. A bounce is either hard or soft, depending on the reason it's returned.
  • A soft bounce happens when a mailbox is full, the message is too large, or when the mail server timed out.
  • A hard bounce happens due to one of two things - the email address is non-existent and email has been blocked from a recipient's email server.

MailerLite pricing

MailerLite pricing varies, depending on the number of subscribers you have or want to acquire. It's divided into 5 price brackets.

Mailerlite pricing

The first of which is a free forever plan that lets you test the service's features with 1,000 subscribers. The more subscribers you want, the higher the monthly cost. If you go for the annual subscription, you get to enjoy a 30% discount. 

You have 14 days to try out MailerLite's premium features for free.  This should be enough to help you make an informed decision and decide between premium and free plans.

Like most products, there are limitations if you don't sign up for a paid account. The good news is, you only need to pay a starting cost of $10/month or $84/year to send unlimited emails per month to 1,000 subscribers. The annual fee comes with a 30% discount. 

Premium plan

Access a full suite of features that will help you build, optimize, and measure a campaign with all the necessary tools and support. 

  • Customer support 
  • Email campaigns
  • Tools to grow subscribers
  • Track email delivery
  • Track results
  • Account management
  • Connect/app integration
  • Tools to build landing pages
mailerlite free and premium plan

Free plan

Enjoy almost the same features, with some limitations. 

  • Customer support, except for 24/7 live chat support. 
  • Email campaigns, except for remove MailerLite logo, Custom HTML editor, and newsletter templates.
  • Tools to grow subscribers, except for the use of custom domains and promotion pop-ups. 
  • Track email delivery, except for auto resend and deliver-by-time-zone features. 
  • Track results, except for click maps, and opens by location tools.
  • Account management
  • Connect/app integration
  • Tools to build landing pages, except for the use of unlimited domains, ability to create templates, run A/B split testing, customize favicon, and set up click heatmap, additional analytics that you can use.

Add-ons are also available for an additional fee. 

  • MailerPro gets you priority support via live chat or email. 
  • Dedicated IP is recommended when sending 50,000 emails per week. At least. 
  • SitesPro gives you unlimited access to MailerLite's site-building features so you can publish as many landing pages and websites as you want.

You're not eligible for add-ons when you're on a free subscription, however. 

Want to know if you’re going to need premium features for your campaign? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and find out. Who knows? $10 might be more than worth it.

Clearly, MailerLite is definitely one of the cheapest email marketing services on the market.

MailerLite alternatives

For a lot of people, MailerLite is enough. But if you’re looking for something more professional and more inclusions for a premium plan, there are other email marketing services you should explore.

This email marketing program is used by more than 1 million global customers. It is customizable and comes with several great features, including a landing page builder, mobile apps, advanced automation options, etc.

aweber homepage

In terms of email marketing features, AWeber and MailerLite are similar. Aweber is said to be a more trusted company with better email deliverability and reputation.

It also offers good prices but costs a bit more than MailerLite.

Here's a list of some of the features of AWeber. 

  • A/B testing
  • Autoresponders
  • Event-triggered email
  • Landing pages/web forms
  • Mailing list management

This is a cloud-based email marketing tool designed to help businesses of any kind to connect and engage with their clients. Use it to build newsletters, create personalized messages, and manage contacts, among others.


A free plan is not offered, but for a starting price of $9.00/month, you can sign up for a paid account. There's a free trial available, however.

How does ActiveCampaign compare with MailerLite?

In my opinion, ActiveCampaign is one of the most professional email marketing software with the best support team available and many advanced features.

What it lacks is a tool to create landing pages and customer surveys. However, you can integrate almost any software into it.

Some of its features are:

  • Split automations
  • Built-in CRM
  • Autoresponders
  • In-depth reporting
  • GEO tracking

GetResponse is an online marketing solution, with email marketing as one of the services offered. The platform comes with professional email templates, easy-to-use design tools, and other features that let you send an email and get it delivered at the right time.


How does it stack up against MailerLite? 

For one, GetResponse allows a free sign up and offers a free trial, but not forever free plan. The cost of the basic plan also starts at 15/month. 

Featurewise, GetResponse has an edge in terms of lead scoring, automation segmentation, and cart abandonment follow-up. 

What comes with the basic plan?

  • Email marketing
  • Autoresponders
  • Unlimited landing pages
  • Unlimited automation templates
  • 1 sales funnel

Wrapping it up

MailerLite is a great option if you're looking for affordability and a good set of features combined in one email automation tool.

If you're a beginner, a business owner, or a freelancer with a modest budget, this robust email marketing platform is definitely worth exploring.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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