Email Marketing Tools

Flodesk vs. MailerLite: Fresh and Stylish or the Steady Favorite?

Paula MedeirosInka Wibowo

By Paula & Inka

flodesk vs mailerlite

EmailTooltester is supported by readers like yourself. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Of course, this won't increase the cost for you.

If you're familiar with the world of email marketing, Flodesk and MailerLite are two names you've likely come across.

But what does each service have to offer, and which one is right for you?

Flodesk, the new kid on the block since 2019, has been causing quite a stir with its chic designs, unique, user-friendly features, plus an appealing flat-rate pricing model. Meanwhile, MailerLite, with its longer history, 1 million+ users, and a ‘lite' approach, offers super easy-to-use yet powerful tools to help businesses flourish.

In this full comparison, we'll look at what makes each platform shine.

We’ll cover prices, standout features, design and usability, examining how these newsletter tools can make email marketing easier and more effective overall. I'll also share which tool I use for my own personal newsletter and why – so keep reading!

Now let's find out who will take the crown in this MailerLite vs Flodesk head-to-head — and more importantly, which one will suit your specific needs best.

Flodesk vs MailerLite: Summary

Both Flodesk and MailerLite are solid options for email marketing.

Flodesk shines with:

  • a minimalist, user-friendly interface
  • beautiful, unique templates for emails and forms
  • an optional paid add-on checkout feature for digital sales
  • a flat monthly rate forever (no matter how much your list grows)

MailerLite, on the other hand, comes with:

  • easy-to-use tools
  • great design options
  • affordable advanced features (such as stronger automation capabilities)
  • and a website builder

While Flodesk is great for solo entrepreneurs, MailerLite offers a more business-focused package.

Ease of Use and Editor

Flodesk and MailerLite both bet on simplicity and ease of use, making sure users can navigate their interfaces without feeling overwhelmed by too many options or complex menus.

Getting started with Flodesk is quick and straightforward.

Flodesk's editor is minimalist and intuitive, featuring beautiful, premade layouts that are easily customizable, although not structurally alterable. More on that later.

flodesk email editor

Flodesk’s email editor

One thing I have to say, is the editor lacks some useful content blocks, such as carousels and surveys. It also doesn’t allow you to embed custom HTML code. On the bright side, with a bit of playing around, you can achieve some beautiful results.

With MailerLite, getting started takes a lot longer. Honestly, it surprised me how many account settings you have to set up before you can actually create a campaign in the editor.

That being said, once you are in, MailerLite’s email editor does not disappoint.

Though not as fancy-looking as Flodesk’s, MailerLite offers some great design options and interactive content blocks, like surveys and image carousels. It also tracks all the changes, which makes it easy to try things out and undo actions.

mailerlite email editor

MailerLite email editor

The learning curve for both tools is minimal, making them a joy to use – plus you can achieve great results! Flodesk and MailerLite also both support you in mastering their platforms. There are plenty of informative, educational videos available in Flodesk University and MailerLite Academy to help you improve your email marketing strategies. The best part? It’s all completely free.

Winner: While MailerLite’s broader feature set makes it a truly great choice, it is much easier to access Flodesk’s tools and editor as a new user (which are also intuitive to use). So I will give this one to Flodesk. Flodesk: 1 – MailerLite: 0

Design and Flexibility

MailerLite is packed with good-looking, mobile-friendly email templates. Users have the convenience of filtering templates by industry, and it’s super easy to adapt them with its diverse content blocks and customization tools.

Honestly, their designs and flexibility options are one of the reasons why we rate them so highly!

While MailerLite's premium templates are not included in their free plan, basic templates can still be easily tailored to fit any brand identity using the built-in text editor.

For those with HTML/CSS knowledge, deeper customization is an option too. But it's worth noting that the platform's drag-and-drop editor already makes designing emails an easy and accessible task for anyone.

mailerlite email templates

MailerLite email templates

Flodesk, on the other hand, truly is the hidden gem of email design – I personally think their designs are really something else.

With Flodesk, you explore templates by themes — such as Welcome, Say Thanks, and some unique ones like Make Money and Share News. Their designs are original and gorgeous, and can all be customized with specialty fonts, graphics, and colors to suit your brand's needs, making your newsletters stand out in your subscribers’ inbox.

flodesk templates

Flodesk email templates

Here’s an example of a newsletter I’ve created using Flodesk’s cool layouts:flodesk email newsletter example

Newsletter example created with Flodesk

Yep, it is now revealed: I use Flodesk and in general I’m pretty happy with it. But more details on that in a little bit.

While Flodesk claims you have absolute freedom to personalize emails, this is not completely true. The platform prioritizes aesthetics, so they definitely control the extent of creative freedom you have and, like mentioned before, it doesn’t allow for custom HTML code embedding (as it could affect their very clean layouts).

That being said, it’s a pleasure to use Flodesk’s unique designs, and the level of freedom offered should be enough for most users!

Winner: Flodesk really wows us right away with its gorgeous designs, and while MailerLite offers greater flexibility, I’m giving this point to Flodesk. Flodesk: 2 – MailerLite: 0

Forms and Landing Pages

Creating forms with MailerLite is a breeze. They offer a wide range of options, including pop-ups, embedded forms, a free landing page builder and more. While free users have access to just one template for landing pages, upgrading to a paid plan unlocks over 200 stylish options, so you’ll be covered.

You can even build a website and integrate forms, a rare feature in email marketing tools. The setup process for pages is really simple, mirroring newsletter creation. What’s more, with MailerLite's Stripe integration, you can also easily sell digital products through them.

Another standout feature is their unsubscribe page builder, which includes a survey that helps understand why users opt out from your mailing list.

mailerlite landing page

Setting up a landing page or a website with MailerLite

flodesk forms

Flodesk’s forms

Flodesk also offers a variety of forms, including pop-ups, inline forms, landing pages, and their unique Link in Bio forms, which are all easily customizable. Once you’re done, you can copy the HTML code and embed it on your website. If your website is built on WordPress, note that MailerLite offers a direct integration to simplify adding forms – with no code required – while Flodesk takes a different approach.

Flodesk’s Link in Bio form is a great, recent addition designed to capture your social media followers' emails. What’s cool is it takes customization to another level with great designs offering options like logo and bio blocks, unlimited links, a personal signature, an easy way to automatically segment subscribers and nice analytics to track the page’s success. This allows you to craft a page that truly showcases what makes your brand special.

Winner: Both perform really well in this area, but I’m giving MailerLite the point here, for including a website builder! Flodesk: 2 – MailerLite: 1

List Management

Your list of subscribers is your golden ticket to email marketing success, so managing your lists in the right way is crucial.

MailerLite lets you build two types of lists: dynamic segments and static groups. Segments automatically add subscribers who meet specific criteria, perfect for targeted messages. Groups, on the other hand, are manually managed interest groups and subscribers can join as many as they wish.

This allows for great segmentation with many variables. MailerLite’s automation features also let you manage your contact lists, for example, by removing a subscriber from one group when they join another or by adding them to a segment when they perform a particular action like making a purchase. On the downside, MailerLite lacks a proper tagging feature, confusingly referring to groups as ‘tags'.

subscribers groups mailerlite

Mailerlite's list management: segments and groups

With Flodesk Segments, you can manually segment your subscribers by uploading their information or selecting them from your “All Subscribers” list. You can also segment automatically when subscribers join via website forms.

To remove a subscriber from a segment, you have to add them to another segment first. I find this a bit too complicated – it’s definitely not Flodesk's strongest feature.

Regardless of how many groups or segments a subscriber belongs to in either Flodesk or MailerLite, it’ll only ever be counted as one subscriber, which is a much fairer way of charging for contacts (compared to other tools like Mailchimp).

Winner: MailerLite takes the point here, with its more complete list management options. Flodesk: 2 – MailerLite: 2

Email Automations

If you have a solid marketing automation strategy, you are all set to nail your email marketing game. So let’s see how Flodesk and MailerLite can help you deliver on that.

With MailerLite, you can set up various automated emails based on campaign actions, such as email opens and clicks, or based on specific segments and custom fields. You are also able to run A/B tests on your email campaigns, testing different subject lines and content.

MailerLite makes automation available to all users, including those on the free plan. However, some users may find the automation features a bit basic, especially when it comes to more sophisticated triggers needed for e-commerce.

Flodesk's automations are not their strongest feature, to be honest.

flodesk workflow automation

Flodesk’s workflows and their one and only trigger (‘A subscriber is added to segment')

Though they offer a few options to get you started, such as Welcome Email and Sales Sequences, its “workflows” are really simplistic, and limited to only one trigger, which is when a subscriber is added to a segment. This is not their smartest move, since many other email marketing tools offer a more extensive selection of trigger events for automations.

Flodesk also falls short in offering advanced automation actions, like updating subscriber details.

Winner: Although MailerLite is not the strongest when compared to other marketing automation tools, it still wins this round compared to Flodesk. Flodesk: 2-MailerLite: 3

Ecommerce

Flodesk’s e-commerce feature is called Flodesk Checkout, and it’s their one and only paid add-on to its standard email marketing plan. You can consider it their next flat rate plan, designed for those looking to effortlessly sell digital goods and services (and yes, digital only!). It’s a good choice whether you already have a website or need a complete package: sales, checkout, and delivery pages.

Creating beautiful, user-friendly checkout pages with Flodesk is as smooth as using their email template editor – simply customize their gorgeous designs to fit your brand, and you're all set. You can also create special discount codes, and of course, it is all connected to your Flodesk email marketing account. This means you can choose which customer segment to add your buyers to after their purchase, helping you maintain strong connections.

Flodesk offers special email templates for ecommerce, such as gift guide roundups, countdown offers, and ecommerce showcases, which help engage customers and boost sales.

Payments are processed through Stripe, so you only pay Stripe’s standard fees (there are no extra charges from Flodesk). Note that Flodesk Checkout is limited to certain countries only.

In terms of automation, the truth is you don’t gain much when you upgrade to the E-commerce plan. While it allows you to automatically add new customers to a segment for personalized workflows, it certainly won't meet the needs of users looking for a powerful ecommerce email marketing strategy.

flodesk email plan ecommerce plan

Flodesk Email + E-commerce: the next flat rate plan that includes sales pages

If you have a Shopify store, integrating your customers into your email marketing via Flodesk is a breeze. However, if your store operates on a different platform, you'll need to go through Zapier, which can be a bit cumbersome.

Meanwhile, MailerLite integrates seamlessly with popular platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop and BigCommerce.

Once integrated, you can set up automated buyer journeys, including cart abandonment reminders and personalized product promotions based on what your customers have previously bought. If you use WooCommerce, Shopify, you can also sync your ecommerce data with MailerLite to keep a closer eye on those important metrics.

MailerLite also offers a variety of ecommerce newsletter templates, and provides enough features for small business owners. If you're just starting out and don’t have a website yet, you can also build an ecommerce site directly from their platform, which is helpful for getting up and running quickly.

Last but not least, selling digital products and subscriptions is also made simple with MailerLite landing pages, which works with a Stripe integration too.

If this is important to you, we’ve put together a guide about the best email marketing for ecommerce.

Winner: Flodesk Checkout is awesome for selling digital products, but MailerLite takes the point for having more complete e-commerce features! Flodesk: 2-MailerLite: 4

Reports

Both Flodesk and MailerLite offer user-friendly reporting tools that should meet the needs of most users.

MailerLite's dashboard provides a good look at your performance, showing everything from unsubscribe counts and spam complaints to bounces and link activity. You can compare data across different periods with its comparative reporting tool, which helps you track everything you build, send, and publish — like email open rates, top-performing automations, page conversions, and form signups.

It also shows some advanced stats such as click-mapping and geolocation. Its ecommerce tracking is only available for WooCommerce and Shopify, though.

mailerlite reports stats

MailerLite reports: stats overview

Flodesk offers a visually engaging and interactive approach with charts, graphs, and tables. It is easy to get detailed insights into subscriber growth, engagement, and the effectiveness of your emails, forms, workflows, and checkouts.

It covers the basic metrics such as email sends, delivery rates, opens, clicks, etc.and also gives you insights on important stuff, such as your average conversion rate.

flodesk analytics email reports

Flodesk’s Analytics

They both lack social media metrics.

Winner: Neither has the most complex features here, but they both do a good job, so I will give a point to each. Flodesk: 3 -MailerLite: 5

Pricing

Flodesk keeps things simple with just two flat rate plans to choose from, making it super easy to find the right fit for you. Their ‘Email' plan comes in at $38/month, giving you unlimited emails and subscribers – perfect if you're growing your list and don't want to break the bank. If you need e-commerce features, their ‘Email + E-commerce' plan is $64/month. There are annual discounts.

MailerLite takes the traditional route with pricing, which means prices scale as your list size grows. They currently offer 4 plans: Free, Growing Business, Advanced, and Enterprise.

  • The Free plan is great for those with under 1,000 subscribers, offering 12,000 emails per month with a few limitations.
  • The Growing Business plan starts at $15/month for 500 contacts, giving you unlimited emails and additional features.
  • The Advanced plan starts at $30/month and includes cool stuff like promotion pop-ups and custom HTML editing.
  • For larger enterprises with over 100,000 subscribers, there's also the Enterprise plan, and pricing is available upon consultation.

Both Flodesk and MailerLite offer discounts on yearly plans, with Flodesk providing a 10% discount and MailerLite offering a 15% discount.

Winner: Flodesk's straightforward pricing structure stands out as a game-changer for big senders,so Flodesk takes the lead here. Flodesk: 4 – MailerLite: 5

Conclusion

We have a winner! The final score is 4-5 to MailerLite.

It was a close call, but MailerLite snagged the top spot for good reason. After testing over 15 email marketing tools, it's become a standout favorite here at EmailTooltester. MailerLite is not only budget-friendly but also better at managing lists and e-commerce, perfect for users who want a user-friendly yet feature-rich email marketing solution.

Want all the details?

>> Read our full MailerLite review here.

>> And here’s a complete MailerLite tutorial (with a video!) to help you set up an account and send your first campaign!

Still on the fence? Well, it’s worth giving them both a shot.

MailerLite has a free plan with unlimited use, and Flodesk offers a 30-day free trial — plenty of time to see which one fits your needs best.

I've personally been happy with Flodesk for years, but it’s important to note that I only use their email marketing plan, and I run a very small business. My focus is mostly on sending conversational newsletters – so I really appreciate their unique designs! I also don’t need any kind of complex automations, which makes their workflows more than enough for my needs. While it works great for me, it does come with limitations, so it won’t be the perfect fit for everyone..

> Try MailerLite for free

> Try Flodesk for free (or use this link to get 50% off in the first year)

For more insights, check out other detailed comparisons:

Oh, and remember, these aren't your only options —there are lots of other great tools out there!

So don’t forget to check out our selection of the best email marketing services available and other MailerLite alternatives!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, let us know in the comments – we’re here to help.

Ebook cover iPad EmailTooltester

Email Marketing: Beginners Guide

Ideal for small & medium-sized businesses, online stores and bloggers. Avoid common mistakes with this complete guide.

Sign up to receive your free copy!

The authors

Learn more about us

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.

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.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

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

Our Methodology