How I Use MailerLite Send a Newsletter (For Free)

cli tool

Matt Roumaya


March 22, 2024

Even though the last post I published (almost a year ago!) was about node, I haven’t been using it too much lately. However, every week when I send out the phillymetal newsletter that contains all recently added shows to the site, a little cli tool written in node does all of the hard work.

I’m Cheap Frugal

Enter MailerLite. After attempting to bring back a version of the OG, I posted about it on Reddit to spread the word, and a few people were interested in a newsletter to stay on top of new heavy shows happening in the area.

So far, I only have great things to say about MailerLite and have paid exactly $0 to use it since April 2023.

  • Sent ~ 2,000 emails - one email per week X ~ 75 subscribers as of today.

  • Custom templates on the free tier!?*

  • Easy custom-ish HTML/CSS to embed a sign-up URL. Ever used dangerouslySetInnerHTML?

  • Fairly robust tracking metrics - at least compared to Netlify where this page is hosted. $9/month for simple analytics?! Come on.

*Maybe: I think I might have gotten accidentally grandfathered in. Or there’s a bug - in either case, please don’t tell them. This is what I see when I try to make or modify a template, but I can use a previous template if I create a campaign.

Picture showing that MailerLite email templates should not be available on a free plan.

I Hate Newsletters

No I don’t, but I do hate when any person, place, or thing emails relentlessly. There is only so much content I’m interested in, and J.Crew Factory deserves to be banned from ever sending emails again.

My goal for the phillymetal newsletter is simple - once a week, a simple listing/index of all new content added in the past week. Newsletter subscribers could just check one email per week and see all new content - they don’t even have to go to the website.

After getting more familiar with supabase, I knew that I could write a basic query and have all of the data that has been added to the site in the past week, so it’s just a matter of getting in into shape to send out via MailerLite.


(Almost) every Monday, I’ll open my laptop, usually while making coffee in the morning, and type phillymetal which does the following:

  • Queries supabase for all recently added shows (added in the past 8 days, excluding the current day).

  • Uses a template to construct raw HTML that I can paste into the MailerLite email template.

  • Opens a web browser and navigates to the MailerLite login.

From there, I just create a new campaign, copy/paste the raw HTML, and send the newsletter. It usually takes about one minute tops.

If I was less cheap, I could pay for a better tier of MailerLite and fully automate this, but I kind of enjoy having a Monday activity. Also, sometimes there isn’t much to add throughout the week and it’s best not to send a newsletter with 2 new additions. I know that this part could also be automated, but idk, it kind of keeps me more on top of searching for shows and finding new music.

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I’m pretty sure I followed Rushan’s Medium post to learn how to make a CLI in node - I just quickly skimmed it and it looks very familiar, so many thanks to Rushan.

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