The Ultimate Comparison of Email Marketing Platforms: MailerLite, MailChimp, and Flodesk

As a business owner, email marketing is essential for building relationships with your audience and growing your brand. With so many email marketing platforms available, choosing the right one for your business can be challenging. It’s a question I recently navigated when deciding if it was time to move from MailChimp to a different platform. Spoiler Alert: It was time to move from MailChimp.

So I’ve gathered all of my research and created the ultimate comparison of three of the most popular email marketing platforms: MailerLite, MailChimp, and Flodesk. Here are the top four key points we researched before making our final decision.

Table of Contents

Ease of Use

When it comes to email marketing, having an easy-to-use platform is essential. All three platforms offer easy-to-use interfaces that make it easy to create and send emails, as well as manage your contacts. MailerLite’s drag-and-drop editor is very user-friendly, allowing you to create professional-looking emails without coding experience. So let’s jump into each platform.

Designing Emails

Designing visually appealing emails is essential to the success of your email marketing campaigns. All three platforms offer drag-and-drop email builders, making creating branded emails easy without any coding skills.

MailerLite’s email editor is straightforward and user-friendly, allowing users to create custom templates or choose from pre-designed templates. The platform also provides a “rich text” editor for those who prefer to code their emails. Additionally, MailerLite offers a feature called “Photo Editor,” which allows users to edit and resize images within the platform.

Mailchimp’s email builder is similar to MailerLite’s, with a drag-and-drop interface that makes creating custom templates easy. The platform offers a wide range of templates to choose from, including industry-specific options. Like MailerLite, you can also edit your photos using their photo editor, but I’ve noticed that it can sometimes affect the quality of the image.

Flodesk takes email design to the next level with its visually stunning templates and blocks. The platform is known for its aesthetic appeal, and the email builder is incredibly user-friendly. However, its simplicity can also limit customization options. One downside is that their custom fonts turn some design blocks into images, and this isn’t ideal as it doesn’t allow the email to be easily read on mobile devices.

Managing Contacts

Managing your email list is essential to ensure you target the right audience with your email marketing campaigns. MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk offer similar contact management features, including importing contacts from various sources, segmenting your email list, and managing subscriber preferences.

However, there is a significant difference in how the three platforms count your contacts. Mailchimp counts all contacts (including unsubscribed and deleted contacts) towards your final total, which can significantly impact your pricing. In contrast, MailerLite only counts active subscribers, making it a more cost-effective option for businesses. Flodesk has a flat-rate fee, and you can have unlimited contacts.

Creating Email Automations

Automating your email campaigns can save you time and increase efficiency. All three platforms offer automation capabilities, but their features have some differences.

MailerLite’s automation editor is user-friendly, allowing businesses to easily create automated workflows. The platform offers a range of automation triggers, including email opens, clicks, and form submissions. Additionally, MailerLite offers a feature called “Auto Resend,” which automatically resends emails to subscribers who did not open the initial email. The best part? Automations are available for free accounts.

Mailchimp’s automation features are more advanced, offering more complex workflows and integrations. The platform offers a range of triggers, including purchase activity, website behavior, and contact activity. Mailchimp also offers a feature called “Product Retargeting Emails,” which allows businesses to send targeted emails to customers who abandoned their carts. The downside is that this is only available for paid accounts.

Flodesk’s automation editor is intuitive, and the platform offers a range of automation triggers, including email opens, clicks, and signups. The platform’s automation capabilities are less advanced than Mailchimp’s, but it offers a range of features that can help businesses automate their email campaigns.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, it’s important to find an email marketing platform that fits your budget and offers the features you need. Let’s take a closer look at the pricing structures for MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk.

Free Features Available

Both MailerLite and MailChimp offer free plans with limited features. Flodesk only offers a free trial, which allows you to test the platform with up to 50 subscribers and unlimited emails for 30 days.

With MailerLite’s free plan, you can have a subscriber list of up to 1,000 and send up to 12,000 emails per month. On the other hand, Mailchimp’s free plan provides room for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 10,000 emails per month. But this shouldn’t be the deciding factor if you are looking to start with a free account.

MailerLite’s free plan includes email automation, signup forms, and email scheduling. Although the free plan limits the number of subscribers, you can still access some of their more advanced features.

On the other hand, Mailchimp has more limitations in its free plan, with certain features only available in paid plans. For example, scheduling email campaigns in advance is no longer an option in the free plan. It’s important to consider your business needs and the features you require before choosing a plan.

Paid Features

When it comes to paid features, MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk all offer a range of options.

MailerLite’s paid plans start at $10 per month and allow you to have up to 1,000 subscribers. Their pricing structure is based on the number of subscribers you have, with extral features available at higher tiers.

Mailchimp’s paid plans start at $13 per month for up to 500 contacts and go up to $299 per month for up to 200,000 contacts. They also offer a pay-as-you-go option for users who send emails less frequently.

Flodesk’s paid plans start at $38 per month for unlimited subscribers and emails. They offer one flat fee for all features, making it easy to budget for your email marketing needs.

The Better Deal?

When it comes to pricing, MailerLite and Flodesk offer more affordable options for smaller businesses or those just starting out with email marketing. Mailchimp’s pricing structure can become more expensive as your subscriber count grows, making it a better a more expensive option for larger lists.

It’s important to evaluate your business’s priorities and budget when choosing an email marketing platform and consider the features and limitations of each plan before making a decision.

Automated Email Workflows

Automating your email workflows can save you time and increase efficiency. All three platforms offer automation capabilities, but there are some differences in their features.

Building out automations

MailerLite has an easy-to-use automation builder allowing users to easily create complex workflows. The platform offers a variety of automation triggers, such as email opens, clicks, and subscriber behavior, as well as actions, such as sending an email, adding or removing a subscriber from a group, or adding a delay. Users can also add conditions to their workflows to create more targeted and personalized experiences for their subscribers (one of my favorite features).

Mailchimp’s automation builder is also user-friendly and allows users to create custom workflows using a drag-and-drop interface. The platform offers similar triggers and actions as MailerLite in addition to e-commerce activity and custom events. Mailchimp also provides users with pre-built automation templates for common scenarios like welcome series and abandoned cart recovery. 

Flodesk’s automation builder is known for its simplicity. Users can create custom workflows using a drag-and-drop interface. The platform offers a range of automation triggers, including subscriber activity, e-commerce activity, custom events, and actions, such as sending an email, adding or removing a tag, or adding a delay. Similar to MailChimp, they also provides users with pre-built automation templates for common scenarios.

Integrations

Integrating your email marketing platform with other tools can make your life easier and save you time. MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk all offer integrations with popular e-commerce platforms, CRMs, and social media networks. Platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace, WooCommerce, and WordPress.

Additionally, all three platforms offer integrations with popular tools like Zapier, allowing businesses to easily automate their workflows and connect with other business tools.

Overall, it’s important to consider your specific integration needs when choosing an email marketing platform. Whether you need e-commerce integrations, social media integrations, or automation tools, there are many options available to help you streamline your marketing efforts.

Reporting

One of the key benefits of using an email marketing platform is the ability to track your campaigns’ performance and analyze the results. All three platforms – MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk – offer reporting features that allow you to see open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other valuable data that can help you optimize your campaigns.

Specific reporting features

On MailerLite’s reporting dashboard you’ll be able to see your email campaigns’ performance, including open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes. You can also view the performance of individual emails and segments of your list. One unique feature that MailerLite offers is the ability to track the revenue generated by each campaign, which is especially useful for e-commerce businesses.

Mailchimp’s reporting features offer a range of data points, including open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and revenue generated. You can also drill down into specific segments of your list to see how each group is performing. Mailchimp also offers A/B testing, which allows you to test different variations of your campaigns and see which performs better.

Flodesk’s reporting features offer a simple overview of your campaign’s performance. While Flodesk’s reporting features are not as extensive as Mailchimp’s or MailerLite’s, they offer a unique “love rate” feature, which measures how many subscribers marked your email as a favorite.

So which platform is the best?

Having a “one for all” platform is hard as every business has different priorities, budgets, and needs. Overall, all three email marketing platforms – MailerLite, Mailchimp, and Flodesk – have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to consider your specific needs and goals when choosing a platform. For Jelly Design Studio, we migrated from MailChimp to MailerLite because it was important to have an affordable option that allowed us to create email workflows for our subscribers.

Recently some of our clients using MailChimp have also migrated for the same reason. Clients using Flodesk love how easy it is to use, along with having a flat rate, which is perfect for businesses with a larger email list.

We hope this comparison has given you a better understanding of each platform’s strengths and weaknesses.

Enjoyed this topic and want more content like this? Make sure to subscribe to the JDS Coffee Break newsletter. Every month we share valuable tips for website management, content creation, and productivity so you have the resources to make your business shine!

Join the JDS Email List

Receive access to "The Ultimate Homepage Checklist" in addition to our monthly newsletter "Coffee Break". Our goal is to share valuable tips for website management, content creation and productivity so you have the resources you need to make your business shine!

Hello! I'm Melissa!

Website Designer & Developer
Melissa has a decade of experience in web design and development for small businesses, creative companies and boutiques. During any design project, she focuses on creating a collaborative experience so that her clients feel heard throughout the entire creative process. She specializes in WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace and focuses on creating an online presence and website her clients will love.