Mailrelay is one of the lesser known autoresponder services, however it’s worth taking a look because of its high value and low budget.
Mailrelay’s free tier (3,000 subscribers/15,000 emails) is so high, that it’s likely that you won’t pay for the service until your blog really grows up – and even then, its pricing is really cheap. Also, it has a ton of learning material and their support service is helpful.
The software is very affordable on any budget, and can be worked into any system.
Even the free accounts do not have advertisements included, not even a logo or a link in the footer, nothing. Your newsletters will be send exactly as you design the messages, without adding any advertising.
Even the free accounts have specialized and personalized support. Available by email, chat and phone, ensuring that you can use your Mailrelay account at all times, answering any questions that may arise.
After you enter your details, your account gets created:
In order to send emails successfully, you will need to add the provided SPF and DKIM records to your domain DNS.
You also need to define a tracking domain.
You need to do the above before you can send any emails.
After verifying your sending email address, you can add senders. To create a new sender, click the Campaigns menu and on Senders:
You can add as many senders as you need.
These senders can be from the same domain you used to create the account or from other domains, however the From Email you want to use must exist. The system will send a confirmation email and in order to be used in your Mailrelay account, the sender email needs to be confirmed.
You can also add another sender name from the same email address, e. g. in the above example I wanted my email to be sent from “FunnelXpert” and not “Peter Nyiri”.
Add Custom Fields
Mailrelay offers an option to customize the content of our newsletter for each user through custom fields.
Some examples of custom fields are “Name”, FirstName”, etc. These are personalized information you may want to add to your emails as merge fields.
On the control panel click on “Subscribers” and then on “Custom Fields”:
To use the custom fields, we simply need to write the name of the field, for example [Name]. We can use these in fields in the content of the message as well as in the subject.
In addition to personalization, we also need to keep these custom fields in mind when importing user accounts in CSV files.
Creating Your Lists
Your lists are called “Groups”, just click “Add” to create one. You need to do this before you create a campaign.
Then fill out the name and the description.
Your group (list) is now created and you can edit it if you need to.
A campaign is basically an email.
I used the editor to create my campaign, however you also have options to paste HTML code, upload a zip file or import from a URL.
You will then add your email subject line and preview text:
To make things organized, it is recommended to create folders for your different email sequences and move the emails you created as appropriate.
Designing Your Email
I picked a simple template. For some reason it was in Spanish, but that didn’t cause any problems.
I uploaded my logo…
Then I created the main portion of the email:
I added a social block and footer info (unsubscribe and address) to the end:
Finally I sent a test email that arrived to my in-box without problems.
Besides sending your newsletters immediately, you can also schedule the campaigns to send the messages on the day and time you prefer.
Setting Up Your Automation
Since you will need to select which email to send as part of your automation, you can only set up your automation sequences once you have created a campaign. This feature is available even on free accounts. It allows you to send multiple emails in sequence for your new subscribers.
You can choose between Birthday (or a predefined date) and Custom.
- Name> This is an internal field, we can use it to organize our automations
- Send only once> If we check this option, the system will send only one message, even if the action is repeated (e.g. if someone signs up for your list multiple times, you can specify if the welcome email gets sent only once).
- Which subscribers would you like to include? Here we can choose all contacts or a specific group or segment.
- Groups> If we choose to send to groups, we will have to choose the groups that we will use for this automation.
You fill out the details, then add a trigger.
In this screen we will see several automation options divided into two blocks:
- Campaign received
- Campaign opened
- Campaign clicked
- Campaign not opened
- Campaign not clicked
- Subscriber added to a group
- Subscriber removed from a group
I set up my webinar welcome welcome email sequence by selecting the trigger “Subscriber added to a group”.
After you add a couple of emails, you will have an automation sequence:
A disadvantage of the platform is that it doesn’t have a function to automatically add or remove subscribers to/from groups based on activity, e.g. upon completing your welcome sequence.
- Your Mailrelay account automatically manages bounced emails, incorrect emails and opt-outs. So you do not need to do anything to keep clean your database, Mailrelay handles everything, saving you time
- After sending your email marketing campaigns, you can analyze the result thanks to advanced statistics. With information of open rates, clicks, which subscriber opened your emails, in which links they clicked, their city, browser, email client, operating system etc.
- Each Mailrelay account includes a dedicated virtual SMTP server. This makes it very easy to continue using your current system, sending your emails with Mailrelay.
- You can also send your emails from an RSS feed, which means whenever you update your blog (or any other feed RSS), the software will send a newsletter automatically at the time you set.
- You can automate the inclusion of Google Analytics tags on all links of your newsletter.
- If you have a website in WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, Prestashop etc., Mailrelay has synchronization plugins allowing you to export all the contacts available of your website or online store to your Mailrelay account.
Per my experience, it took 5-10 minutes to receive the confirmation email after signup, and also the welcome email. which is a point where we can lose subscribers.
See other Free-Tier Email Automation Tools