Flodesk vs Mailchimp: Pick the Right Tool For Your Business
There is a belief from the business world that far outdated the existence of the internet or even electronics: ‘The best way to sell is direct.’ This belief is a postulate of salesmanship, but website selling, social media, or other digital means are anything but direct selling. That is why we have email marketing, the most direct way of reaching your audience.
The statistics don’t lie; Email marketing generates around 40 fold more revenue for every dollar invested. So why isn’t everyone using email marketing? Well, here’s the catch, there are 4 billion people with email addresses; even if you consider 0.1% of those who would be interested in your product, that’s still 4 million users.
Now, mailing every potential customer manually is simply not possible. That is why we have plenty of web-based online tools that help us automate the entire process of email marketing. The most popular player in the segment is Mailchimp.
Started in 2001 as a side project, it took another 8 years for Mailchimp to take center stage. In 2009 it added a freemium option which quadrupled its user base to 450,000 in a year. Over 10 billion emails were being sent, that’s over 300 million emails every day, in 2014.
Forbes ranked Mailchimp at No.7 in its 2016 Cloud 100 list. In 2017, Mailchimp was not only named among the Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company but was also adding 14,000 new users on average every day. There’s some outstanding value that Mailchimp provides through its service, which is evident from its growth.
The email marketing industry is pretty crowded with big names such as Constant Contact, Sendinblue, G2 deals, and MailerLite. Then there are newcomer unicorns such as Flodesk, who have been making big moves recently. In the end, the market shall decide who will prevail.
How has Mailchimp Developed So Far?
Mailchimp has grown over the recent years, and now along with offering email marketing automation services, they even offer website hosting, e-commerce solutions, and transactional email services.
They were recently named among the Best Global Software Companies by G2. This clearly means they’ve been growing well and doing things right in terms of business and product offerings in the market.
Considering its present trajectory, it seems like Mailchimp is aiming at diversifying its offerings to enable it to service more customers and help it achieve greater growth than its competition. This move has put Mailchimp in competition with marketing titans such as Hubspot. Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit last week (Sept 13, 2021) for $12B. So, more surprises can be expected.
The Entry of a Likely Unicorn: Flodesk
You could say Flodesk is the Tesla of the Email Marketing Industry. They offered an email marketing service like none in the market. Their approach to doing email marketing was entirely different from what the industry was doing. Long story short, the users loved Flodesk’s offerings, and they disrupted an entire unsuspecting industry.
To put it simply, Flodesk brought the Apple experience to the world of email marketing, and that too at an astounding price. The value they offered was far too great for users to not jump ships.
Flodesk introduces itself as ‘A new email marketing service by the creators and for the creators.’ This claim of theirs is backed up by a Design First approach to email marketing. Their tagline ‘Design Emails that people love to open.’ is strongly upheld by its performance, with users reporting significantly higher email open rates than that of the other service providers.
Flodesk vs. Mailchimp
Who Are These Tools For?
Both these providers aim at providing service to small and medium scale businesses (SMBs), but they’re targeted at different types of people altogether.
Mailchimp is more suitable for marketing executives who have experience in using such email marketing tools. Mailchimp is not beginner-friendly and requires the user to be well versed with CSS and HTML if they wish to make more customizations to emails and their designs. They even offer advanced analytics, which is more helpful to the pros than beginners.
If you’re an entrepreneur running a small to medium-sized online business, Flodesk is your best option for email marketing. Flodesk is user-friendly, easy to understand and operate. Their designs are easy to customize and do not require you to know CSS. They offer analytics that is easy to understand for beginners.
Both service providers are good at what they do; the decision for opting between the two comes down to what approach you’re comfortable with, your needs and email marketing strategy, and of course, the pricing.
What Features Do They Offer?
Being a veteran in the marketing industry, Mailchimp has simply more to offer in terms of features and add-on services. Their recent diversification drive has only added more to this list of features. Mailchimp started as a simple email marketing software and turned into a CRM as they progressed. This happens with most major players in the market. The more they grow, the more they expand into something like Hubspot. Flodesk, on the other hand, is relatively new to the game and hence only offers features that are necessary for email marketing.
When it comes to basic email marketing functions, both providers offer everything you’ll need. Their operating may differ, but the function remains the same. Flodesk’s offerings end here, while Mailchimp has a wide selection of features available. AB testing is one such important feature we would have liked to see Flodesk offer.
Besides that, Mailchimp offers features that ensure your emails do not land in the spam folders. They have options to run Drip Campaigns to re-engage cold leads. Customer Surveys and Auto Responders are other important features that Mailchimp offers.
One big advantage Mailchimp has over Flodesk is that its service integrates with Shopify and WordPress, which can prove essential in running an online retail business.
Now, both the service providers provide email templates, and that’s where the similarities end.
Mailchimp has thousands of email templates, but you won’t have access to those unless you’re subscribed to their premium tiered plans. The design language of Mailchimp’s templates is more focused on function rather than form.
There are plenty of limitations when it comes to customizing these templates, one being that the user must be well versed with CSS to customize these templates, and even then the scope for customization is limited.
Flodesk has hit a home run in this department; not only do they have a wider selection of templates, but the visuals of their templates are far too appealing. Their design language is a perfect mix of form and function as the users have expressed their templates as being highly effective.
Customization possibilities are near endless, and users can import custom fonts and styles and tweak the designs as they want, and it’s easy as it’s all a drag and drop affair.
Mailchimp’s services are designed considering that the user base is going to consist of professionals who are well versed with the technicalities of email marketing. Thus, Mailchimp provides more complex and advanced features that experts make use of. However, Mailchimp has a notoriously tough learning curve, and even users who love Mailchimp do complain about its operations being too clunky and complicated.
Combined with complex back-end systems requiring thorough knowledge about those and embedded forms needing a lot of work to get right, using Mailchimp will not be a pleasant experience for any average user.
Flodesk, on the other hand, followed Apple’s philosophy and made everything as user-friendly and seamless as possible. Drag and drop editing, high levels of easy customizations, the ability to use web fonts, and an easy and intuitive learning curve have made it a favorite among the non-professional strata.
They offer analytics as well that are easy to understand and follow through with for beginners. However, any advanced features such as A/B testing, drip campaigns, etc., are missing from their offering.
With the slew of features on offer and overall expertise and experience in the field of email marketing, Mailchimp commands premium pricing. Though the pricing isn’t as high as some of its competitors, Mailchimp still is placed in the upper echelons in terms of service plan pricing.
Mailchimp has a tiered pricing scheme for the plan it offers, with every extra feature you opt for costing you more. Also, their pricing is progressive, i.e., the size of your mailing list determines the cost of service. The costs increase the bigger the mailing list grows. So, when you consider its pricing, do also consider your growth trajectory as your pricing will compound with your list.
We have a separate article breaking down Mailchimp’s pricing that we recommend you to check out before you make a decision.
Coming to Flodesk, it wasn’t just their approach of doing email marketing and designs alone that helped them disrupt the entire email marketing industry; it was their pricing that was unheard of until then. They offered one plan, Unlimited Everything, for $38 a month. That is astounding, and considering the value, they provided for that fee, many users switched to Flodesk.
Mailchimp does offer a free plan, but it is restricted to mailing lists up to 2000 contacts; Flodesk has no free plans but offers a 30 day free trial for those willing to take a dip. Unlike others, Flodesk has no progressive pricing based on the size of the mailing list. Everything is, as stated, Unlimited.
Tracking your Email Marketing Leads
Most organizations selling online these days use over 10 SaaS products for their business. So, whatever you choose, you need to ensure that they match your requirements. You can always complement a good email marketing campaign by integrating it with other products the increase the value you generate from it. Salespanel, for example, helps you track leads from any email marketing campaign sent from any software. You will know who clicked your links from emails and also learn what they did on your website. This is key for email marketing revenue attribution.
Leads can then be identified, segmented, scored, and qualified to generate high-value qualified leads. Data can be analyzed to generate various reports that will help you tweak your campaigns to get them to perform better.
Email marketing, though one of the oldest forms of digital direct marketing, still reigns supreme when it comes to effectiveness and ROI. You will need a tool to help you automate and run an email marketing campaign, and choosing the right tool is necessary for your business’s success.
We’ve discussed two such tools in this article, Mailchimp and Flodesk. Each of these caters to a different type of crowd from the same segment. Both offer something the other does not and have different approaches to email marketing.
As someone looking out for an email marketing tool, what you need to understand is your requirements and how you want to do email marketing. If you’re a creator, artist, traveler, or individual entrepreneur looking to grow your business, we recommend Flodesk. If you’re a seasoned email marketer, a business with a marketing team, Mailchimp could be your best choice.
So, what do you prefer, aesthetics or functionality?
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