Should You Upgrade to Mailpoet 3?
Just about anyone who manages a website will agree on the importance of having an email list. Sure, you might think your solid social media presence would be enough, but nothing can replace your loyal subscribers. These are people who are truly interested in your products or what you have to say. They are your bread and butter; the rest is just gravy.
Managing your email list is fairly simple once you know what you're doing; and if you're reading this, then you probably already have an idea of how it's done. You, like me, are a user of Mailpoet - a newsletter plugin available on Wordpress. If this isn't the case and you're simply looking for a suitable solution for your subscription list, then this information could still be helpful to you and you should read on.
When it comes to building a subscription list, Mailpoet is a wonderful option. It integrates with Wordpress seamlessly and everything you need is readily available in the backend of your website. Creating newsletters is quick and easy, and they can be automated, which means less work for you. Not to mention, it's fairly easy to set up drip campaigns, which gives you even more ways to build your list.
Of course, if you currently use Mailpoet, you already know all this. Why am I mentioning it then? Well, it's simple; I want to highlight how helpful and awesome the current version of Mailpoet is. When I first started my site, I would've been lost without it. Therefore, it stands to reason that the new version would be even more helpful and more awesome, right? Wrong.
What's the Deal With Mailpoet 3?
For the past few months, the Mailpoet tab on my Wordpress dashboard has had a notification on it. From a brief glance, I gathered that there was an update coming in the near future and left it at that. Boy, was I wrong. Rather than have a simple update to make their services better, they chose to create an entirely new program. This is the first problem I have with Mailpoet 3.
Creating a new system simply creates more work for those of us who already had everything set up on the original system. To be fair, they did provide a way to import your email lists and forms. However, there's no way to transfer your actual emails; so if you had automatic newsletters or any type of drip campaign, you'd have to start from scratch putting them together again. This is extremely frustrating as it takes time and requires learning how to navigate the new options.
The new system does have one really nice feature - the ability to send email directly through Mailpoet rather than your website host or a third party. The original version required you to go through an outside source (I use SendGrid), which isn't the worst thing in the world, but it requires additional steps when setting everything up. This new version makes it easy to get started quickly by offering its own solution.
There was something I found weird about this, though. The previous version had no problem recommending third party email servers; it even gave you a few suggestions and hooked you up with discounts if you needed them. Now, however, the new version claims third party servers aren't reliable. Weird, huh? It's almost as though Mailpoet is trying to convince people the only way to successfully send email is through their server. Granted, it's free to use for up to 2,000 subscribers, but finding the free version takes a bit of maneuvering.
Speaking of weird, many of the features in the new version require a premium membership. This might not seem strange until you take into account the fact that some of these same features were available to free users in the previous version. The biggest blow comes in the form of no longer being able to set up automatic emails to new subscribers.
Let me try to be clear here because it could get a little confusing. The new version still includes an opt in email that is sent to new subscribers to make sure they genuinely wanted to be on your list. It also still includes the ability to send automatic emails when you have new content and includes the ability to set it up daily, weekly, monthly, etc. What it doesn't include is the ability to set up drip campaigns.
Drip campaigns are important to email marketing and to those who use things such as challenges to gain subscribers. For example, I have a ten-day challenge on my main website that requires sending out one email each day over the course of the challenge. The only way to do this is to set up emails to send "x" amount of days after someone has signed up for the challenge. With the new version, I can only do this if I have a premium account.
At the moment, it doesn't make sense for me to spend money on my subscription list. This might not be the case in the future, but for right now, the free option is by and large the best choice for me. Not being able to set up drip campaigns without paying a monthly fee means I have no incentive to use Mailpoet 3. This is perhaps the biggest downside to upgrading.
It makes one wonder why they made this change, and quite frankly, the only explanation is money. It would seem Mailpoet is simply trying to find a way to squeeze cash out of its current free users by suggesting that the new version is way better than the old one. They've also made it clear that the original version will no longer be updated or supported, so if you have issues, the only solution is to upgrade.
What's Your Opinion?
Yay or nay to Mailpoet 3?
Stick to the Original
Despite the odd and somewhat suspicious nature of the upgraded version, Mailpoet is still an excellent solution for your email list. If you're currently operating on a small scale and with a small budget, I'd recommend sticking with the free option of the original version. However, if you already have the premium option, it may be well worth it to switch to Mailpoet 3. Keep in mind, though, you'll have to take the time to redo any emails you already have set up.
Overall, Mailpoet 3 is probably more advanced than Mailpoet 2, but being advanced isn't always a good thing. The latest version isn't fully set up yet and has a list of features that are "coming soon". This means there will likely be many needed updates and there could be several kinks. You have to make your own choice, but personally, I'm sticking with the original until I'm no longer able to do so.