When it comes to email marketing software, Flodesk and MailerLite are two platforms that offer similar core functionality but have some key differences in features and usability. For small business owners and marketers, choosing the right email service provider is crucial for connecting with leads and customers in an effective yet affordable way.
In this comprehensive Flodesk vs MailerLite comparison guide, we evaluate the two platforms across several criteria that matter most to entrepreneurs and digital marketers, including market popularity, ease of use, customization and design flexibility, built-in features, third-party integrations, analytics capabilities, pricing models, and overall platform reviews and ratings.
By looking at these key areas side-by-side, our goal is to provide actionable insights into which solution best fits your business needs and budget as you evaluate new email marketing platforms for your organization.
1. Understanding the Basics
Flodesk was founded in 2019 by Martha Bitar and Rebecca Shostak. Mailerlite launched nearly a decade earlier in 2010 and was created by Gediminas Andrijaitis.
Both Flodesk and Mailerlite have been around for years and have solid market positions as email service providers. However, Mailerlite reaches a much broader customer base with over 1 million users as of 2022, compared to Flodesk which supports tens of thousands.
In terms of market popularity, Mailerlite has an extremely active community on Facebook focused on email marketing tips and support. They also have a useful YouTube channel with tutorials. Flodesk has an engaged community forum which can be helpful.
So while Mailerlite certainly has the larger user base and following, both platforms have cultivated online spaces for customers and fans to connect. The helpful content from other users can provide guidance no matter which platform you choose.
2. Features and Functionality
Flodesk lets you create basic autoresponder workflows with triggers and delays. You can create signup forms and send welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and follow-up sequences for your email marketing campaigns. Complex multi-step funnels are harder to build in Flodesk.
The visual workflow builder has drag-and-drop functionality to set up email sequences, though there are some limits in flexibility compared to other ESPs. You’ll need to use their pre-made templates to get started.
Overall, Flodesk automation works well for simpler customer journeys. However, marketers may find it less customizable for advanced, multi-conditional logic.
Mailerlite shines when it comes to creating customized sequences and complex automation in the workflow builder. You get complete flexibility – no need for templates – with unlimited conditions and user-friendly branch management.
The automation workflows map out each subscriber journey and let you set up sequences like browse abandonment, lead nurturing, post-purchase follow-ups, and more. You can easily customize based on actions, inaction, dates, interests, and attributes.
Mailerlite stands out with its robust automation. You can handle complex multi-step campaigns with custom field tagging and superior branching capabilities. The workflow builder is far more advanced than Flodesk.
Mailerlite is the clear winner when it comes to creating customized automation. Their workflow builder enables multi-level sequences with unlimited conditional branching – critical for advanced email marketers. While Flodesk works for basic journeys, Mailerlite is superior for automation flexibility.
Flodesk’s template library includes around 100 responsive email templates covering common marketing campaigns like welcome emails, promotions, newsletters, etc. The designs are modern and visually appealing, though rather basic in layout options.
Within the drag-and-drop email builder, you can customize Flodesk templates by modifying colors, fonts, images, and content blocks. However, the extent of editing flexibility is limited. For example, there is no option to directly edit HTML or CSS code to create deeply customized templates.
Overall, Flodesk’s templates and editor are better suited to beginners who want pre-designed options to quickly build emails. However, more advanced users may run into restrictive barriers for extensive branding or layout modifications.
With over 700 mobile-friendly templates, Mailerlite makes it easy to find relevant, industry-specific designs to represent your brand across the subscriber journey. Templates for professional emails include everything from opt-in and signup form options, lead nurturing, product launches, events, signup confirmation, and more.
In Mailerlite’s drag-and-drop editor, you can easily customize any template by changing colors, fonts, images, blocks, and layouts, and adding your own HTML/CSS code for maximum flexibility. Advanced users have full access under the hood for deep-level customization.
The combination of abundant stylish templates and extensive editing capabilities makes this email marketing service a preferred platform for both beginners who want great designs out-of-the-box as well as experts who demand creative freedom and HTML control.
With a vast library of templates tailored to diverse email creation needs and superior modification capabilities suitable for beginners and experts alike, Mailerlite wins for the best email templates and customization compared to Flodesk’s more limiting options.
Flodesk provides basic segmentation, letting you group contacts by attributes like email engagement, clicked links, location data, consent status, and a handful of other factors. Building segments requires using the workflow builder to define filtering rules and conditions.
While the interface tries to make this process fairly intuitive with drag-and-drop modules, you quickly run into inflexibility issues when attempting more complex, multi-conditional segmentation scenarios.
For example, if you wanted to target engaged subscribers from a specific city who clicked on a link from campaign A but not campaign B – that level of elaborate branching is difficult to achieve in Flodesk. Overall, essential segmentation is possible but moderately limited.
In contrast, Mailerlite offers advanced features for subscriber segmentation for both basic needs and highly advanced, customized filtering. You can tap into all user behaviors and attributes to define granular audiences.
Easy pre-built segments are available, while the powerful automation builder provides immense flexibility to visualize and construct complex segments using conditions, operators, and unlimited branches. Enterprise-grade tools allow you to handle large subscriber volumes while optimizing engagement at scale.
In the end, Mailerlite removes all limits on segment complexity. This superior audience targeting and segmentation enables hyper-personalization and behavioral messaging that truly resonates.
With advanced tools to match enterprise needs yet an intuitive builder for anyone, Mailerlite is the clear winner for flexible subscriber segmentation. Flodesk trails significantly when it comes to complex list division and behavioral targeting by user attributes.
Flodesk offers fairly basic email analytics, giving you top-level reporting on metrics like open rates, clicks, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and clicked links for your campaigns. The dashboard displays this performance data clearly through graphs and charts.
However, there is little opportunity in Flodesk to dig deeper into subscriber behaviors or integrate insights across other marketing channels. Lack of segmentation hinders analyzing how content resonates with different audience groups.
While the reporting covers expected email metrics, high-volume senders may desire more customizable analytics with deeper segmentation, sharing abilities, and integration with web traffic analytics platforms.
Mailerlite provides exceptional analytics capabilities, combining comprehensive email data and trends with integrated Google Analytics to connect subscriber behaviors with website engagement.
Dashboards offer hundreds of ways to cut the performance data – by campaign, segment, geo, device, and more. You get full visibility ranging from macro trends to micro-conversions on each message. Custom reports and CSV exports provide further analysis potential.
Robust segmentation unlocks hyper-targeted analysis based on user behaviors and attributes, informing personalized content strategies proven to drive engagement. The toolset adapts to any analytical need.
The analytics and reporting Mailerlite offers are vastly superior to its competitor. The platform offers analytics flexibility, segmentation for granular insights and integrated web reporting, Mailerlite easily wins over Flodesk when it comes to providing the deepest level of actionable data to boost email ROI and overall business growth.
A standout capability offered by Flodesk is SMS marketing and text message functionality. This allows you to reach subscribers directly on their mobile devices via SMS/MMS messages in addition to email. It expands touchpoints.
You also get access to basic landing pages and popup builders to help convert website visitors. However, these on-page tools are fairly simplistic drag-and-drop editors that may fail to provide sufficient advanced design flexibility suited for all use cases.
Finally, Flodesk integrates with essential third-party platforms like Stripe, Zapier, and PayPal to expand core features. But its ecosystem and availability of advanced integrations significantly trails industry leaders.
One Mailerlite exclusivity is the immense power and customizability unlocked for all users in the workflow automation builder, enabling virtually limitless complex journeys with minimal effort required. This flexibility drives hyper-targeted cross-channel campaigns.
With over 800 native integrations, Mailerlite also dominates when it comes to expanding platform capabilities by connecting specialized tools for needs from e-commerce to email marketing automation and more. The maturation of its ecosystem is unmatched.
Other advantages include sophisticated A/B testing abilities, deliverability monitoring, and industry benchmark reporting that together provide a robust infrastructure for sending expertise and optimization.
This MailerLite Flodesk comparison shows that MailerLite is the clear winner. With the most flexible journey builder that empowers all users in addition to by far the largest native integration library spanning nearly any app need, Mailerlite simply cannot be matched when it comes to unique platform capabilities tailored to diverse use cases across industries.
3. Ease of Use
Flodesk is designed first and foremost with beginners in mind by emphasizing simplistic email building focused on pre-made templates and drag-and-drop editing. Their pared-down interface guides new users into creating professional-looking emails without needing design expertise.
Onboarding also facilitates getting started quickly through step-by-step guidance on importing contacts, selecting templates to customize, setting up sign-up forms, and launching your first campaign using their straightforward email builder. Support options like live chat assist newcomers.
However, intermediate or advanced users seeking more sophisticated customization capabilities and segmentation options may need extra time to become accustomed to Flodesk’s interface limitations or inconsistencies that emerge given restricted design flexibility compared to other platforms.
Mailerlite expertly balances power and simplicity by offering easy-to-navigate menus that guide beginners into essential email activities while revealing more advanced configuration options deeper within the platform without overwhelming any users.
Intuitive wizards make starting painless and fast by automating setup steps like list import, template selection and send checklist while still allowing complete customization as desired over time. Easy visual builders for complex workflows, landing pages, and other tools enable users at any skill level to benefit.
With these layered learning opportunities and flexibility, Mailerlite continues accelerating user growth as both one of the easiest email solutions for first-time entrepreneurs yet also the most powerful for one-to-one marketing experts.
By blending simplicity for beginners with underlying advanced capabilities flexible enough for any expert user needs, Mailerlite offers the best overall usability experience – welcoming those brand new to email marketing while retaining the power demanded by seasoned professionals.
4. Email Deliverability
Flodesk provides adequate email deliverability tools to cover the basic needs of small-to-medium-sized senders. You get access to inbox placement monitoring, spam testing on emails, some sender reputation metrics, and guidance articles focused on improving email security and reaching the intended inbox.
However, larger and more sophisticated senders may find Flodesk lacking in more advanced controls needed to optimize deliverability amid rising volumes and complexity. For example, there is no option for dedicated IP addresses to protect domain identity, limited analytics into granular send performance trends, and an absence of enterprise-grade routing management to direct flows around problems.
With the foundations of sender score monitoring and spam filter avoidance, Flodesk can reliably deliver simple newsletters. However, rapidly scaling advertisers may desire more customization and active optimization.
In contrast, Mailerlite offers an industry-leading email deliverability infrastructure suited even for exponentially complex sending needs. Enterprise-grade tools provide immense customization for reliable inbox placement regardless of fluctuations in volume, segmentation variety, or other dynamics impacting sender reputation over time.
Robust analytics empower real-time tracking into the performance metrics like sender score that dictate domain trust and email security, while preventively identifying potential weaknesses at global and regional ISP levels that could obstruct future delivery if unaddressed. Dedicated IPs, advanced routing methodology, and other premium capabilities further strengthen assurance.
Combined with guidance and optimization best practices, Mailerlite provides unmatched deliverability infrastructure and expertise capable of scaling with any ambitious email program while avoiding detrimental impacts from evolving speed or size.
With an analytics-driven approach to optimizing sender parameters supplemented by an array of premium tools dedicated to bolstering IP and domain reputation during fluctuating conditions, Mailerlite offers the best overall email deliverability capabilities suited to reaching inboxes reliably despite exponential changes in scale or segmentation needs over time.
5. Customer Support and Community
Flodesk offers customer support via email and live chat channels, with relatively fast response times during US business hours. Phone assistance is not provided as an option, however.
The company has developed a fledgling community forum with a few thousand registered members. In this user forum, subscribers can post questions that may be answered by Flodesk staff or other customers for peer advice on best practices. However, the community site remains fairly small and inactive compared to leaders in the space.
Between email/chat support and their knowledge base, Flodesk meets basic assistance needs for functionality issues or how-to questions when getting started. But larger accounts with complex global needs may desire more enterprise-grade support across broader channels, as well as a wider self-help network.
In contrast, Mailerlite provides email, live chat, and phone support with 24/7 assistance for critical issues via their fastest response channels. The company staffs teams across regions to handle global users.
Additionally, Mailerlite offers an extensive searchable knowledge base spanning hundreds of articles, along with an extremely active Facebook community group. This vibrant user forum acts as a massive self-help network where customers share advice and best practices for using Mailerlite features in real-life scenarios.
Supplementing internal teams with both structured knowledge resources and immense peer community access sets Mailerlite apart as a leader in customer support – with users of all experience levels able to find assistance promptly.
With 24/7 global multi-channel internal support teams plus a 150,000+ member strong customer community for real-world advice, Mailerlite dominates when it comes to providing exceptional blended assistance capabilities at scale across diverse customer needs.
Flodesk provides some of the most popular critical integrations for email marketing including CRM platforms like Salesforce, email enrichment tools, webinar software, and e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
However, their app ecosystem trails far behind many competitor solutions. So while core systems have connectors, accessing more niche marketing, sales, or data extensions may be impossible within Flodesk unless using workarounds like Zapier. Those with complex stacks may face gaps.
The existing integrations cover expected capabilities, but the total app selection lags focus on essentials.
Mailerlite stands out with over 800 native integrations enabling direct connections to an incredibly diverse array of marketing, sales, analytics, e-commerce, and CRM systems spanning virtually every major app brand name and niche need imaginable.
Customers can easily expand platform capabilities using installed integrations without any coding skills – while developers also have access to open APIs. This frictionless access to the wider tech ecosystem allows the platform to flexibly adapt over time.
Mailerlite’s sheer integration abundance and variety make any use case supported out-of-box. No competitor can match this critical advantage in ecosystem access that saves users huge time and effort trying to string together patchwork connections on their own.
With over 800 native integrations to globally leading systems across every category, compared to Flodesk’s focus on covering just core platforms, Mailerlite dominates as offering superior app ecosystem access critical for easily expanding marketing capabilities to new use cases over time.
Flodesk bases pricing on total emails sent per month plus contacts, with mandated annual contract terms for discounted rates. Lower tiers on the email marketing platform accommodate up to 15,000 emails monthly or 5,000 contacts for $24/month. Volume options for more emails and contacts exist but may require quotes or negotiations.
Non-email activity metrics can still impact overall pricing somewhat despite not being directly included. The model also makes costs less predictable compared to Klaviyo’s simpler actively engaged contact approach.
MailerLite has three pricing plans for users of different levels. The pricing structure is as follows:
- Free Account – MailerLite’s free plan allows 1 user and up to 12,000 emails sent per month.
- Growing Business – $9/mo for 3 users, unlimited subscribers, and advanced automation tools.
- Advanced – $18/mo for unlimited users and monthly emails.
The features are relatively consistent across paid plans. Core capabilities like email design, automation, and basic analytics are included.
With activity-focused unlimited pricing and enterprise options, Mailerlite offers more cost transparency and flexibility suited for sends of any size. Flodesk’s inactive contacts and lack of custom plans comparison fall short here.
8. Reviews and Reputation
Flodesk earns positive marks across software review sites for ease of use catering to email marketing newcomers who want simple editors, templates, and automation setups. Users compliment the platform as easy to navigate.
However, some reviewers seeking deeper customization and automation complain that options feel limited at scale. Integration and segmentation depth receive mixed reactions.
Overall Flodesk satisfies well for beginners specifically but can frustrate power users wanting more from core platform features or ecosystem tie-ins.
See Flodesk Reviews on Capterra.
Across analysis from expert review sites, individual shared opinions, and general customer sentiment, Mailerlite consistently garners outstanding feedback for offering the capabilities expected of an industry leader – with both intuitive onboarding for novices plus underlying advanced functionality for one-to-one experts.
Users repeatedly emphasize power, flexibility and far-reaching integrations bundled into a cohesive ecosystem meeting virtually any email, automation, or analytics need imaginable at incredible overall value. Reviewers enthusiastically endorse Mailerlite.
Hugely positive user reviews praising Mailerlite’s balance of usability and customization defeating competitors mark it as best-in-class for both email newcomers and expert senders alike seeking a solution to grow into rather than outgrow over time.
- Does Flodesk offer free trials or money-back guarantees?
Flodesk does not currently offer free trials or money-back guarantees. They allow users to sign up for free and use basic features with up to 1,000 contacts.
- Is Flodesk GDPR compliant?
Yes, Flodesk is GDPR compliant and offers tools within the platform to help users comply with consent requirements and regulations.
- Does Flodesk integrate with CRMs and other software?
Flodesk offers some integrations with top CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, as well as other platforms. However, its app ecosystem is limited compared to competitors.
- Can Flodesk handle email deliverability and compliance monitoring?
Flodesk provides basic inbox placement and spam testing tools. But lacks more advanced infrastructure for large enterprise deliverability needs.
- Does Mailerlite have a free trial or guarantee?
Yes, Mailerlite offers a 14-day free trial to test drive Pro and Premium plans risk-free. They also guarantee deliverability.
- Is Mailerlite GDPR compliant?
Yes, Mailterlite is GDPR compliant and offers a range of preferences management tools to support user consent needs for legal compliance.
- What types of integrations does Mailerlite support?
Mailerlite enables over 800 native direct integrations with leading apps across virtually every category including CRM, e-commerce, analytics, marketing, and more.
- Can Mailerlite handle advanced deliverability needs?
Yes, Mailerlite has enterprise-grade infrastructure for optimized inbox placement and compliance monitoring suited even for exponentially complex sender profiles.
Choose Flodesk if…
Flodesk is best suited for small business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creators who are brand new to email marketing and want an easy service to help them design basic campaigns.
With its simplicity and focus on essential features like templates, drag-and-drop editing, and workflows for beginners, Flodesk allows first-timers to start sending professionally designed emails at an affordable price. It’s a pick meant for launching email marketing quickly.
Choose Mailerlite if…
Mailerlite is the premier choice for rapidly scaling companies, e-commerce brands, digital agencies, and high-volume email marketers who need advanced deliverability, powerful automation, deep analytics, and abundant app integrations.
This incredibly robust platform smoothly supports growing from 1 subscriber to millions with enterprise-grade infrastructure while still maintaining ease of use anyone can start with. If you envision aggressive email marketing in your future, Mailerlite is best suited for that growth path long term.
Ultimately choosing the right email marketing platform depends entirely on your specific business needs and goals now plus where you want to take your strategy over time. Don’t hesitate to drop any questions in the comments and I’m happy to provide personal advice to help you make the best choice!