If you know me, you know I absolutely love both Flodesk and MailerLite. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I can't yet bring myself to say that one is “better” than the other. If you're still on the fence over which Email Service Provider (ESP) to use, I hope this comparison of Flodesk vs MailerLite will be helpful. I'll discuss each platforms pros and cons and give an overview of characteristics for each one.
What is an Email Service Provider?
Before we dive into our comparison, let's first clarify what an ESP is and why they're essential for connecting with your audience.
An Email Service Provider, or ESP, is a specialized platform designed to help you collect email addresses from your subscribers, create engaging email content, and then send and manage email marketing campaigns. They most often offer a host of features tailored to businesses in order to connect with their audience.
Using an ESP like Flodesk or MailerLite, you can create eye-catching newsletters, set up automated email sequences, segment your audience for targeted messaging, and analyze your campaign performance to optimize your email marketing strategies. In short, an ESP is a crucial tool for building and maintaining strong relationships with your audience, driving traffic to your website, and ultimately growing your online presence – which is what we all want, right?
Flodesk vs MailerLite: Comparisons
Ease of Use
I put this one first, because I know people are so often turned off to email marketing because they believe it is too tech involved and complicated – trust me when I say I hear you! I am the least “techy” person you'll ever meet so finding great ESP's that are easy to use that I could teach on and recommend was very important to me.
Flodesk is known for its super easy-to-use interface that makes creating emails and managing campaigns simple, even for complete beginners. The platform is not only designed to be user-friendly, so you can get started quickly but I might even venture to say that it's one of the most user friendly platforms I use in my business on a daily basis.
MailerLite also has an easy-to-use interface, but it might take a little more time to get familiar with due to its wider range of features. That being said, once you get the hang of it, you'll definitely be able to find it quite intuitive! In the world of email marketing providers it's still one of the easiest to use.
Email Design and Templates
This is where Flodesk really shines and what it's known for. Flodesk really stands out with its beautiful email templates and easy customization options. You can create gorgeous emails that truly represent your brand and engage your audience in no time.
That being said, the simplicity of their templates can at times be one of their weaknesses. You are basically restrained to the text boxes and images they give you in their templates – you can't add anything else.
While MailerLite's temlpates may not be as visually appealing as Flodesk's right off the bat, they offer a large selection of templates (depending on your plan) and have plenty of customization options available. You can easily create engaging emails that fit your brand.
BUT (there's always a but…) with SO many options, some might find it a bit overwhelming when first starting out and it's easy to add too many features to say a landing page or make an email too busy. It's important to remember to just keep it simple!
We'll chat about landing pages and forms below.
Automation and Workflows
Flodesk offers basic automation features (called workflows) which allow you to set up simple email sequences without much trouble. Again, these workflows are ridiculously easy to set up!
The only downside I personally have with flodesk workflows is that the “trigger” is limited to when a subscriber is added to a segment, which is not the case with MailerLite.
MailerLite provides more advanced automation capabilities (in addition to basic automations), which can be a huge plus for those looking to create more complex workflows and personalized email sequences.
As I mentioned above, MailerLite also provides more triggers to starting the workflow than Flodesk offers.
Audience Segmentation and Targeting
Flodesk makes it very easy to segment your audience and send targeted emails. The segments are simple to create and you can base them on various criteria such as opt-in forms, demographics, purchase history, etc. to ensure that your emails reach the right people at the right time.
I like to segment my list based on the form they signed up on and then funnel them into my welcome sequence. Because I am extremely niched down, this works well for me.
MailerLite also offers strong audience segmentation features, giving you the tools to create targeted email campaigns. However, they offer more advanced options that Flodesk.
MailerLite has two ways to organize subscribers: segments and groups. Here's a brief breakdown of each:
- Segments: Segments update automatically based on rules you set, like subscribers who opened your last three emails. As people meet or stop meeting these rules, they're added or removed from the segment without you doing anything.
- Groups: Groups are manually managed. You create groups based on things like interests or location and add or remove subscribers yourself. They don't change automatically.
In short, segments update automatically based on rules, while groups are manually managed based on fixed categories. Both help send the right emails to the right people but as you can see the options are a bit more advanced than with Flodesk and depending on your business structure might be exactly what you need!
You can read more about Groups vs Segments right here -> https://www.mailerlite.com/help/what-is-the-difference-between-groups-and-segments
Forms and Landing Pages
Flodesk provides simple, stylish forms and landing pages that are easy to customize. They fit well with the overall aesthetic of the platform, so your sign-up forms and landing pages will look great and work seamlessly with your email designs. They offer inline, pop-up, and full-page forms. Though, again, the design functions are limited to the templates they provide.
MailerLite has A TON of functions for editing forms and landing pages, giving you more control over their appearance and functionality.
The options for templates available for landing pages are also incredible. You can create landing pages for your freebie, events, products, etc. which can be really great to have.
While this can be a good thing, as mentioned above, it might also feel overwhelming for some users and encourage them to create landing pages and forms that are too busy and lead to lower conversions. However, once you learn the ropes, you can create truly personalized forms and landing pages.
Flodesk offers a limited but growing number of third-party integrations. While it might not have as many options as MailerLite, it still covers some of the essential tools that bloggers and online entrepreneurs need and I highly recommend using zapier for anything that doesn't directly integrate.
MailerLite has a more extensive range of third-party integrations, making it easier to connect with other tools that you might already be using for your business. Directly integrating can help streamline your workflows and improve overall efficiency BUT I wouldn't get too hung up on this as zapier is a great workaround.
Analytics and Reporting
Prior to the week of this post (April 2023) analytics – or lack of – were on of Flodesk's biggest downfalls for me. BUT, literally just yesterday they rolled out a new analytics dashboard that provides a lot more analytic and reporting features that give you a great overview of your email campaign performance.
I'm still digging into it and I'll be sure to update this post with my thoughts on how the analytics compare to MailerLite.
One thing they still don't offer however that I would love to see is AB testing, which MailerLite does offer.
MailerLite offers more in-depth analytics and reporting, allowing you to really dive into your email campaign data. This can be a significant advantage for those who want to optimize their email marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions.
Again, I'll be updating this post as I take a look around the new Flodesk analytics to see how they compare now. But one of the features I love that MailerLite offers is the A/B split testing which allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of different emails.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you use them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I only share about companies that I truly love and believe in.
Pricing and Plans
The pricing is another reason many bloggers and online business owners opt for Flodesk as it has a flat-rate pricing model, which is super attractive for businesses with growing email lists.
What does this mean? Well, regardless of the number of subscribers you have, you pay the same price $35/month, making it easy to budget for your email marketing expenses.
If you use this Flodesk link you can get 50% off your first year and pay $19/month.
Note: Flodesk has both an email and checkout option for $35/month. For both of these plans together you'll pay $59/month.
MailerLite is free up to the first 1000 subscribers – making it very appealing to new bloggers and businesses. However, after that it uses a more traditional tiered pricing structure based on the number of subscribers.
At the time of this post 1,000 – 10,000 subscribers is $15/month and 10,000 to 100,000 is $50/month.
It can definitely be more affordable for smaller businesses, but the cost will increase as your email list grows. It's worth considering how your email list might grow in the future when choosing between these two platforms.
Also keep in mind, the free plan is limited in that it does not include all of the functions and templates of the paid plan.
This is another important aspect I looked at when choosing which ESP's to recommend. If something were to go wrong or I needed additional support, I love knowing I can get in touch with a real person to provide some assistance. Both of these platforms offer great customer service.
Flodesk offers email support, and they're known for being responsive and helpful. They also provide a range of resources, such as tutorials and a knowledge base, to help you get the most out of their platform.
Another great resource is their Facebook group, Flodesk Insiders, which is very active and has team members answering questions quickly.
MailerLite has a strong customer support team available through email and live chat (for paid users). Like Flodesk, they also offer a comprehensive knowledge base, video tutorials, and webinars to help you navigate their platform and make the most of your email marketing.
In summary, both Flodesk and MailerLite have their strengths and weaknesses. Flodesk excels in ease of use and beautiful designs, while MailerLite shines with its scalability, analytics, and extensive functions for editing forms and landing pages.
Please keep in mind, that there are other features within each platform that I didn't touch on (such as Flodesk's checkout pages and options). The comprehensive list above compares each provider based on the aspects that I've seen to be the most discussed and contemplated in the blogging community and amongst my clients when looking to choose an ESP!
Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences. I encourage you to try out both platforms and see which one resonates with you the most but don't take too much time worrying about which one to choose! It's better to get started and begin collecting those email addresses than to overthink your decision and take no action. Remember, you can always switch in the future if you find another platform would fit your needs better!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these platforms if you've used them!