Email Marketing Tools

Flodesk vs Mailchimp 2024 Review: The Rising Star or Old is Gold?

Inka WibowoPaula Medeiros

By Inka & Paula

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flodesk vs mailchimp

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If you’re looking for an email marketing platform, Mailchimp might seem like a safe choice. After all, it’s been around for more than two decades(!). And during this period, many businesses have gotten a head-start with their email marketing on Mailchimp’s free plan.

But sometimes, the tried-and-tested option isn’t necessarily the best one. Especially as newer email platforms like Flodesk (founded in 2018) spring up, boasting more modern-looking interfaces and features to meet modern needs — including selling digital products. Flodesk has also gotten rave reviews for its form and email designs, which are simply stunning.

In this Flodesk vs Mailchimp comparison post, I’ll evaluate how both platforms stack up in terms of their ease of use, signup forms, automation capabilities, and other common email marketing considerations.

Which email platform is our winner? And more importantly, which one is right for you? Keep reading to find out!

Flodesk vs Mailchimp: The Main Differences

The main differences between Flodesk and Mailchimp are that Flodesk is easier to use, offers beautiful form and email templates, a built-in Checkout feature for selling digital products, and flat pricing no matter how many subscribers you have. In contrast, Mailchimp has stronger segmentation, automation, and reporting features.

Round 1: Ease of Use

Flodesk is a breeze to use, with a minimal learning curve. Its user interface is clean and uncluttered, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Flodesk user interface

Perhaps my only gripe is that the platform can be laggy at times, but this isn’t a major issue.

Mailchimp is also fairly easy to use, but not to the same extent as Flodesk.

There are a ton of navigation options in the right sidebar, which tends to be the case for established email platforms that have added features over time:

Mailchimp sidebar

But this means the average user may find Mailchimp’s interface intimidating at first.

Some navigation options also aren’t the most intuitive. For example, if you want to manage your signup forms, you’ll have to click the “Signup forms” option under the “Audience” sidebar tab.

Mailchimp "Signup forms" option

But if you’re looking for your landing pages, you’ll have to click “All campaigns” under “Campaigns” instead.

Mailchimp "All campaigns" option

This isn’t great for the user experience, because:

  • Signup forms and landing pages both help you collect email addresses for building an email list, so I find it puzzling they’re in separate sidebar categories, and
  • There is no “Landing pages” option in the sidebar. So, unless you knew to click “All campaigns,” you could hunt for your landing pages all day and still not find them.

Winner: Flodesk, for sure. Let’s hope its user interface remains this easy to use as the platform adds more features!

Flodesk 1 – Mailchimp 0

Round 2: Signup Forms and Landing Pages

Flodesk currently offers four types of signup forms: pop-up, inline, link in bio, and full page. There is a good number of templates for each form type.

“Full page” forms are equivalent to landing pages. Meanwhile, “link in bio” forms are Linktree-style pages for collating links to your website, social media accounts, digital products, and so on in one place.

This is pretty unique — I don’t commonly see email platforms offering “link in bio” form templates.

Flodesk form editor

Flodesk’s forms are also beautiful, and I’ll cover more about this in the next section!

Mailchimp also provides a variety of forms, including signup form blocks, pop-up forms, embedded forms, and landing pages. Strangely, though, there are different form builders for different types of forms.

For example, here is Mailchimp’s form builder for designing an embedded form:

Mailchimp embedded form builder

And here’s the form builder you’ll use to design a signup form block.

Mailchimp signup form block

It also seems you can have only one of each form type for each audience in your Mailchimp account. (“Audience” is Mailchimp’s term for a list of contacts. Paid Mailchimp users can set up multiple audiences in one account.)

In other words, you can’t create, say, different embedded forms for one audience, and then embed these in different parts of your website. Likewise for popup forms. Landing pages are an exception, though.

Winner: Flodesk wins for its easily customizable forms! Mailchimp’s forms are just too confusing.

Flodesk 2 – Mailchimp 0

Round 3: Design and Flexibility

Doesn’t matter whether it’s a template for an email campaign, form, or landing page. As long as it’s created by Flodesk, it is gorgeous. 🤩

Just check out these beautiful Flodesk email templates, for example. Due to space constraints I can show only four of them, but there are more than 50 to choose from in total!

Flodesk email templates

And here are examples of Flodesk’s form and landing page templates respectively.

Flodesk popup form template

Flodesk landing page template

The range of template customization options is decent. For example, you can change the template’s images, text, colors, and fonts. Just click the relevant part of the template to edit it.

And if you’re customizing an email, you can add content blocks, too. More on this shortly.

Mailchimp’s templates are nowhere as good-looking. In fact, the email marketing service’s forms seem a bit outdated.

Here’s Mailchimp’s embedded form template, for example:

Mailchimp embedded form template

Mailchimp’s 80+ email templates do look better, but they can’t beat Flodesk’s.

Mailchimp email templates

Same story for Mailchimp’s landing page templates:

Mailchimp landing page templates

The flexibility of Mailchimp’s templates varies depending on whether you’re customizing an email campaign, form, or landing page. For instance, you can add content blocks to Mailchimp’s landing pages and emails, but not the platform’s popup forms.

Mailchimp landing page content blocks

Winner: Flodesk’s stunning designs make it the overall winner of this round!

Flodesk 3 – Mailchimp 0

Round 4: Email Editor

Flodesk and Mailchimp’s email editors both work in a similar (and straightforward) way. You’ll add your email content in the form of content blocks, and you can click any block to adjust its settings.

The platforms’ editors include the standard content blocks for text, buttons, videos, and more. But each one also offers some useful content blocks not available on the other platform.

For example, Flodesk’s email builder comes with a countdown content block. It’s useful for counting down to the end of your limited-offer deal (and nudging customers to place orders ASAP!).

Flodesk countdown block

Meanwhile, Mailchimp’s email editor lets you embed a survey block that links to a survey form for gathering your contacts’ feedback.

Mailchimp survey block

Other cool features of Flodesk’s and Mailchimp’s email editors include:

  • In Flodesk — Frames for changing the shape of your product images
  • In Mailchimp — Having separate customization settings for the desktop and mobile versions of your marketing emails

Winner: Both platforms’ email editors are similarly easy to use and they have unique features not found in the other, so it’s a tie for this round.

If you know you’re going to heavily rely on content blocks found on only one platform, then you may want to prioritize choosing this platform over the other.

Flodesk 4 – Mailchimp 1

Round 5: Subscriber Segmentation

Segmentation refers to the process of grouping your subscribers into different categories based on shared characteristics. For example, you can have:

  • One segment of subscribers who live in the same city, and
  • Another segment of subscribers who downloaded a particular lead magnet.

Segments help you organize your email list. They also help you tailor relevant email content for different groups of subscribers so they engage with your emails more.

Many email marketing platforms, including Mailchimp, will automatically add (and remove) subscribers from segments as and when they fulfill (or no longer fulfill) that segment’s characteristics.

For instance, if you’ve set up a segment of subscribers who signed up for your emails within the last 180 days, the segment will automatically remove subscribers from itself if it has been more than 180 days since they signed up.

Mailchimp segment

This way, your segments will always be up to date whenever you want to email the subscribers in them.

Flodesk’s segments are more primitive, however. The platform can automatically add subscribers to a segment when they sign up to your email list:

Flodesk - add to segment

You can also manually add subscribers by importing a CSV file or selecting certain subscribers in your email list.

After that, though, these subscribers will permanently stay in your segment unless you take steps to remove them by:

  • Manually selecting subscribers to remove from the segment, or
  • Setting up an automation that removes subscribers from the segment. This option is also weird because Flodesk automations are generally triggered by the adding of a subscriber to a segment (more on this below). So, you’d need to add a subscriber to a segment before you can remove them from another.

As a result, managing the subscribers in your Flodesk segments can be more troublesome.

Winner: Mailchimp’s the winner for its more advanced — and convenient — segmentation features!

Flodesk 4 – Mailchimp 2

Round 6: Automations

Automations are major time-savers, being able to automatically execute certain tasks when a trigger event happens. For example, you can set up an automation that immediately sends subscribers a welcome email when they join your email list.

Unfortunately, Flodesk’s automations (called “workflows”) are quite simplistic. They support only one trigger event at a time, which is typically the adding of a subscriber to a segment when the subscriber submits your signup form. (You can have multiple different segments trigger the same workflow, though.)

Other email platforms I’ve tested — including Mailchimp — offer a greater variety of automation trigger events. These include the clicking of email links and the occurrence of a subscriber’s birthday.

Neither does Flodesk support many automation actions. Apart from sending automated emails, its workflows can help you add or remove subscribers from a segment, but that’s about it. They can’t update a subscriber’s information, for example.

Flodesk workflow

On the other hand, Mailchimp’s automations (called “customer journeys”) have more advanced features.

Unlike in Flodesk, you can set up your Mailchimp automations to:

  • Avoid processing contacts who meet certain conditions
  • Take different actions for different percentages of contacts for A/B testing purposes (Flodesk’s workflows can take different actions only when subscribers meet — or don’t meet — certain conditions)

Mailchimp’s customer journey builder also provides a wider range of automation actions. For example, you can set up your customer journeys to SMS your contacts, update a contact’s information, unsubscribe a contact, and more.

Mailchimp customer journey

Winner: Mailchimp’s more advanced automation features make it the clear winner here. Looks like the platform is slowly catching up 👀

Flodesk 4 – Mailchimp 3

Round 7: Ecommerce

If you plan on selling products (with or without a separate standalone ecommerce store), let’s check out which email platform can best support your efforts to convert subscribers to customers.

Flodesk can integrate directly with Shopify stores, making it convenient to sync your Shopify customers to Flodesk for your email marketing efforts. But the platform currently doesn’t have a native integration with the WooCommerce or BigCommerce ecommerce store platforms.

So, you’ll need to integrate them to Flodesk — and set up your ecommerce automations, including abandoned cart automations — using the middleman Zapier app.

Apart from integrating with third-party store platforms, Flodesk offers a native Checkout feature as a paid add-on to its standard email marketing plan (more on pricing later).

This feature helps you build sales pages, checkout pages, and delivery pages for promoting your digital products and services, taking payment for them, and finally delivering the product to the customer. You can even set up upsells and discounts.

Flodesk Checkout

However, Flodesk Checkout has certain limitations, including:

  • The feature is only good for selling digital products, or services — the platform can’t help fulfill physical product orders at this time.
  • You currently can’t set up ecommerce automations for the products you sell via Flodesk Checkout.
  • Flodesk Checkout is available to only users in certain countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Meanwhile, Mailchimp supports direct integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. After integrating your store with the platform, you can go on to set up automated ecommerce emails or segment your customers.

Mailchimp used to offer a built-in online store builder for selling physical products, but the feature was discontinued in November 2023.

Winner: This round goes to Flodesk! Its Checkout feature is fantastic for selling digital products or services without setting up an entire online store. (Just double-check that the feature is available in your region.) But if you already have an online store, integrating it with Flodesk is also possible.

Ecommerce-wise, Mailchimp may be more suitable only if you run a WooCommerce or BigCommerce store and prefer a hassle-free method of integrating your store with your email marketing service.

Flodesk 5 – Mailchimp 3

(Find more email marketing tools for ecommerce here.)

Round 8: Reporting

Flodesk has the standard range of reports for evaluating the success of your email marketing strategy. For example, you can get reports on:

  • Subscriber growth
  • New subscribers by source
  • Subscriber engagement
  • Email sends, delivery, opens, and clicks for each email
  • Email deliverability
  • Subscriber activity in your automations
  • Form activity

Flodesk reports

But these reports pale in comparison to Mailchimp’s. The platform offers way more reports, including:

  • The number of times an email has been forwarded
  • The number of times a forwarded email has been opened
  • The last time an email was opened or clicked
  • The average order revenue an automation has generated
  • The top locations your subscribers are from
  • The top email clients your subscribers use

You can even create custom reports to track the exact email marketing metrics you’re interested in.

Winner: It’s Mailchimp, for its more extensive reporting features!

Flodesk 5 – Mailchimp 4

Round 9: Pricing

The more subscribers you have in your account, the higher your email bill will generally be. This is the case for most email platforms I’ve researched, but not Flodesk.

Flodesk charges a fixed price for its plans regardless of the number of subscribers you have. Its email marketing plan is $35/month on annual billing, and you’ll pay more (+ $24/month on annual billing, to be exact) if you want to use Flodesk Checkout.

Oh, and Flodesk doesn’t take a cut of the sales you make via Flodesk Checkout either. For each sale, you’ll pay only a 3% + $0.30 fee that Flodesk’s partner, Stripe, charges for providing its payment processing service.

Flodesk doesn’t have a free plan, but you can try it for free in a 30-day trial.

On the other hand, Mailchimp’s prices follow the conventional route of scaling to match your email list size.

There’s a free plan that can accommodate 500 contacts and up to 1,000 monthly email sends. But its features are very limited — you won’t be able to schedule your emails or set up customer journeys, for example.

After that, Mailchimp pricing starts at $13/month for its Essentials plan for a list of up to 500 contacts. More details in our Mailchimp pricing guide.

Winner: Flodesk is the clear winner of the Flodesk vs Mailchimp pricing round. Its simple pricing structure is a breath of fresh air.

Flodesk 6 – Mailchimp 4

User Stories: Paula Medeiros

 paula user story

EmailTooltester's Paula Medeiros shares why she made the switch from Mailchimp to Flodesk for sending her book club's newsletter, Chicas & dicas.

“When I first got started with email marketing, I immediately signed up with Mailchimp. Their free plan, which covered up to 2,000 contacts (unfortunately, no longer a reality!) seemed like a smart and safe choice, especially given their popularity.

But as my subscriber list grew, so did Mailchimp's prices – and they were going up fast! Since the main focus of my newsletter was delivering valuable content, rather than pushing sales, paying for features I barely understood or used didn't make any sense to me.

Then a friend recommended Flodesk, this new platform made by women, with gorgeous designs and a clear interface. I was curious, and playing around with the editor was fun – something I really needed at that time. Plus, getting a discount through my friend's referral link was a great bonus.

Mailchimp definitely helped me get started with email marketing, and I’m sure it remains popular for a reason. But the decision should always be based on individual preferences and particular business needs.

I personally don’t need any more than what Flodesk has to offer. For me, it has been a great fit for years now – offering simplicity, beautiful design and peace of mind with stable pricing. That keeps me focused on my content, which is what’s most important for me.”

Flodesk vs Mailchimp: The Verdict

As a whole, Flodesk has six points, and Mailchimp has four. This makes the rising star, Flodesk, the overall winner!

Compared to Mailchimp, Flodesk comes out tops for its:

  • Easy-to-use interface, including its email editor
  • Easily customizable — and gorgeous — forms and landing pages
  • Convenient Checkout feature for ecommerce
  • Super-simple pricing

You can try Flodesk for free for 30 days here (and even get 50% off in your first year!)

That said, Mailchimp may still be worth a look if you:

  • Need more extensive segmentation, automation, and reporting features, or
  • Want to integrate an email platform with a WooCommerce or BigCommerce store.

You can try Mailchimp for free (with no time limit) here.

But if neither Flodesk nor Mailchimp strikes your fancy, you’ll find more email marketing platform options in our guide to Mailchimp alternatives.

We’re also happy to help if you have questions — just drop them in the comments below!

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Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Paula Medeiros

Content Manager

Olá! I'm Paula, the person responsible for our Portuguese website. I'm passionate about books and technology, setting up my own online book club and newsletter. After tirelessly searching the web for the best tools for my own projects, I am glad I can now help other people through my work at EmailTooltester.

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22 Feb 2024: Added User Story

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This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

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