Flodesk vs. Mailchimp — A Guide for Creative Marketers in 2024

flodesk vs mailchimp cover image with two giraffes

A beautifully designed marketing email can either win you a sale or cost you a customer. If you’re a creative professional, the stakes are even higher. You need an email marketing platform that lets your talents shine and doesn’t eat up your time.

You’re choosing between two platforms: a popular one with a wide range of features and a newer one with fewer options but a heavier focus on design — Flodesk vs Mailchimp.

Mailchimp is a comprehensive marketing tool that helps you manage and connect with your customers across various channels. Although it offers many email templates, design, and visual appeal aren’t its main strengths. It works best for small businesses and e-commerce brands looking to engage their customers and boost their revenue. 

Flodesk is a newer email marketing platform designed for creative professionals and small business owners. It helps users send beautiful, design-focused emails. The platform also includes extra features like creating sales pages, handling online payments, and delivering products instantly.

In this guide, we’ll explain the details of both platforms to help you make a smart choice. We’ll also introduce a surprising third option that might outshine the other two.

Flodesk vs. Mailchimp — Which Option is Better? 

Flodesk homepage
Flodesk homepage

Flodesk and Mailchimp are both strong choices for email marketing. Mailchimp has been a key player since 2001, while Flodesk is newer — foundedstarting in 2019.

Both platforms cover the essentials of email marketing. They allow you to send marketing emails, manage your email lists, automate campaigns, and track your email performance.

But the big difference between them is who they’re designed for and the special features they offer for those groups.

The takeaways are:  

  • Flodesk’s interface is cleaner and less overwhelming.
  • While both platforms let you customize your emails, Flodesk gives you more control over email fonts and layouts.
  • Flodesk is designed with creative professionals in mind, whereas Mailchimp is a better fit for e-commerce businesses.
  • Mailchimp supports email, SMS, and social media, but Flodesk only supports email. 
  • Mailchimp has stronger automation features that can handle a wider variety of scenarios.
  • Mailchimp includes additional features like an AI email marketing assistant, transactional emails, and a website builder.
  • Flodesk uses Zapier for integrations, but Mailchimp has over 300 native integrations.
  • Both platforms sometimes struggle with email deliverability, but Flodesk tends to have more extreme outcomes—users are either very satisfied or very dissatisfied. 

Now, let’s get into the specifics.

Mailchimp Homepage
Mailchimp Homepage

Creating and Sending Emails 

Winner: Flodesk 

An email with a stunning design grabs attention and makes a strong first impression. When your emails look good, they reflect well on your brand and encourage recipients to engage with your content. 

The table below compares Flodesk and Mailchimp features for crafting emails: 

Email builder ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Templates ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Personalization ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Flodesk and Mailchimp features for creating and sending emails

Email Builder

Both platforms offer an easy-to-use builder for creating emails. Flodesk’s editor looks more modern and includes elegant animations. It also lets you add blocks directly into your design from the editing area, which is more efficient than selecting from a sidebar toolbox like Mailchimp.

Flodesk organizes its editor settings into clear sections and separates them into different tabs. This makes it less overwhelming than Mailchimp, which tends to show font settings, layouts, alignments, and colors all on one screen.

Take a look at these screenshots of Mailchimp and Flodesk’s email builders to see the difference for yourself.

flodesk email editor
Screenshot of Flodesk’s email editor 
Screenshot of Mailchimp’s email editor
Screenshot of Mailchimp’s email editor

Email Customization 

Both platforms let you fully customize your emails. You can start with a blank slate, write simple plain-text emails, or upload HTML designs. You also have the option to choose from a library of ready-made templates.

With both, you can adjust your logo, images, colors, fonts, and styles to suit your taste. Flodesk sometimes gives you a little extra control over the finer details that can make your emails pop. For example, you can shape your images into circles, arcs, and various other frames.

Email Templates 

Mailchimp offers a wide variety of email templates, from basic layouts to fully-designed themes   for different industries and marketing goals. You can find templates by filtering them according to your purpose or industry.

Until 2021, everyone could use Mailchimp’s templates for free, but now only paid users can access these pre-designed themes.

On the other hand, Flodesk users have unlimited access to all templates. These templates are designed with specific goals in mind, so you’re not just picking based on looks but also on what you want to achieve with your email. There are templates for welcome emails, newsletters, monetization emails, announcements, and more.

Check out the screenshot below to see some of Flodesk’s templates.

flodesk templates
Some of Flodesk’s templates 


Both platforms let you enhance your messages with dynamic content that changes based on subscriber preferences and interactions. 

This could be anything from adding the recipient’s name to offering email coupons and product suggestions. However, Mailchimp offers more sophisticated email personalization options.

You can also tailor when you send your emails. Both Mailchimp and Flodesk let you choose the optimal sending times based on your recipients’ time zones and past interactions.

At Campaign Refinery, you can create straightforward text emails or go fancy with HTML designs using our email editor. But we believe in keeping things simple. A clean design that works well on any device, combined with a catchy subject line and engaging content, is your best bet for grabbing your audience’s attention.

Managing and Segmenting Your Email List 

Winner: Mailchimp 

To succeed in email marketing, you need a strong email list that only includes valid addresses. Then, you should organize your subscribers into different interest groups. This way, you can send them highly relevant, personalized content.

Let’s see how Mailchimp and Flodesk stack up in helping you achieve that:

List segmentation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Automatic list cleaning⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duplicate contacts⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Flodesk and Mailchimp list management features

List Segmentation

Mailchimp’s list segmentation can be a bit tricky. You have to navigate through tags, groups, segments, and audiences, and the segmentation builder is cluttered with many conditions and criteria. You can choose up to five conditions for each segment and chain them using the AND or OR operators. 

On the other hand, Flodesk’s segmentation is much simpler — almost too simple. 

You can create segments by:

  • Manually uploading CSV files with the contacts you want in each segment.
  • Assigning leads from each lead magnet or sign-up form to a specific segment.
  • Automatically tagging users based on their actions, like moving those who don’t open a re-engagement email to a new segment.

The list of conditions you can apply to create a segment is pretty limited, but Flodesk says they’ll add more soon

Automatic List Cleaning

Both platforms have tools to help you spot subscribers who aren’t active anymore. You can try to win them back with targeted campaigns, and if they still don’t engage, you have the option to remove them from your list. 

Neither platform has a specific tool for cleaning up your email list. So, you’ll need to manually get rid of harmful addresses. However, you can expect Flodesk to exclude addresses that return a hard bounce before sending your campaign. This way, your sender reputation stays partially protected. 

Duplicate Contacts

Mailchimp lets you handle many “audiences” in one account, but there’s a tricky part: if you put the same contact in different audiences, Mailchimp counts them multiple times. This means you might pay extra for duplicates.

This isn’t an issue with Flodesk since you’re paying a flat fee—more on Flodesk’s pricing later. With Flodesk, a subscriber can belong to several segments without being counted more than once in your total audience.

Mailchimp’s segmentation is complex and strong, while Flodesk’s is simple but limited. At Campaign Refinery, we give you the best of both. You can segment your audiences using the most impactful criteria. Plus, our tag-based system lets you customize your interactions with each subscriber, depending on how they engage with you.

Landing in the Primary Inbox — Deliverability 

Winner: Mailchimp  

Independent research shows that Mailchimp’s email deliverability rates have ranged from 82% to 95% over the past four years. This means that on average, about 1 in every 10 emails might not make it to the inbox.

Flodesk hasn’t shared any deliverability stats. They face a challenge because emails with lots of images often suffer from low deliverability. Also, Flodesk’s templates sometimes look like they’re from big brands, which can lead email filters sending them to the promotions tab.

You’d think Flodesk would be more open about their deliverability rates to overcome these challenges. Instead, they decide to eliminate the problem with a broad definition of deliverability:

flodesk definition of deliverability
Definition of deliverability according to Flodesk’s blog

In short, if an email reaches the recipient’s ISP, Flodesk counts it toward their deliverability, even if it goes to the spam folder instead of the primary inbox!

Check out the comparison table below to see how Mailchimp and Flodesk’s practices measure up against each other:

Domain authentication⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
IP reputation management ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Monitoring sender behavior ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Flodesk and Mailchimp’s deliverability features and practices 

Domain Authentication

Starting in February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo changed their rules. So, if you send mass emails, you’ll need to make sure your domain is authenticated.

Flodesk and Mailchimp automatically authenticate marketing emails sent from their domains.

But if you want to send emails from your own domain, Flodesk makes you set up DMARC but also suggests you use SPF and DKIM. They offer a feature that lets you easily add these protocols through a few clicks in your email DNS record management interface.

Meanwhile, Mailchimp suggests using these protocols but doesn’t require them.

IP Reputation

Both platforms are careful about the IP addresses they use to send emails. But because these IPs are shared among various users who aren’t always vetted, you can’t expect the highest deliverability rates.

If you’re a Mailchimp user, you can buy a dedicated email IP address. However, we don’t recommend making this move unless you send at least 1 million emails per month. Otherwise, you won’t have enough volume to build the IP’s reputation by consistently sending messages. 

Monitoring Sender Behavior

To avoid a surge in spam complaints, Flodesk manually checks uploaded lists to make sure that everyone on the list has clearly opted-in to receive marketing emails. This careful approach helps senders follow privacy laws like the CAN-SPAM Act in the US.

Mailchimp also monitors its user activities. They have strict rules to prevent spam and ensure emails only go to people who have signed up. 

At Campaign Refinery, we only work with carefully selected senders to keep our IP reputation top-notch. Joining us means you benefit from the good practices of our entire community. We also act quickly against anyone not following our rules to keep our reputation clean.

Flodesk vs. Mailchimp Pricing — Crunching the Numbers 

Mailchimp charges you based on your list size. It offers four pricing levels, including a free plan for those with up to 500 contacts. Once your list grows beyond 50,000 subscribers, you have two pricing options to choose from.

Flodesk is more budget-friendly. It costs $35 for everyone, no matter how many contacts you have. So, if your list is larger than 1500 contacts, Flodesk will be cheaper than all of Mailchmp’s pricing tiers. 

Here’s what you’re looking at for a list with 50k contacts with Mailchimp: 

TierMonthly commitment Annual commitment 
Essentials $385Not available
Standard — extra features for content optimization, personalization, and A/B testing $630Not available
Premium — Better support, personal onboarding, and larger utilization caps. $90Not available
Overview of Mailchimp’s pricing for 50k contacts
mailchimp pricing 50k users
Mailchimp’s pricing page for 50k contacts

In an industry filled with complicated subscriptions and extra charges, Flodesk’s pricing is wonderfully straightforward: $35 per month, flat. 

Flodesk doesn’t have all the fancy features you might find on a comprehensive platform like Mailchimp. But it’s an affordable option with pretty good features for the price. There’s no free option, but you can try Flodesk for a month without a credit card. If you like it, you can move on to the paid plan.

flodesk pricing
Flodesk pricing page

Flodesk vs. Mailchimp — The Verdict  

If you run a small business and need a marketing platform that works well with e-commerce, Mailchimp could be a good fit.

But if you’re a freelancer, content creator, or creative professional with a small audience, Flodesk might be the way to go. It lets you send out attractive emails quickly without breaking the bank. The only downside might be lower deliverability rates.

We’ve put together a detailed comparison table to help you see how Mailchimp and Flodesk compare:

Email marketing automation SimpleAdvanced
DeliverabilityUnclear — probably lowerFluctuates
Email editor User-friendly and simple Versatile and advanced 
Customer journey builder SimpleAdvanced
List segmentation SimpleCumbersome
Dynamic content Limited Complex
Analytics and reportingComprehensive and advancedComprehensive and advanced
IntegrationsExtensive; through Zapier Extensive; native
Supported marketing channels EmailEmail, SMS, Social 
Pricing$35 per month, flatBased on contacts, starts at $26 per month
Comparing Flodesk and Mailchimp’s features

If you’re searching for an email marketing platform with five-star deliverability and the right balance between features and pricing, it’s time to meet Campaign Refinery!

Campaign Refinery: The Perfect Balance Between Flodesk vs Mailchimp

Imagine this: you’re caught between two extremes. One option is pricey but packed with features; the other is budget-friendly but pretty basic beyond its good looks. Plus, there’s a chance your emails might end up as spam with either choice.

Like most people, you’d probably start looking for a third option that strikes the right balance between features, cost, and reliable inboxing.

That’s exactly what we offer at Campaign Refinery — top-notch deliverability and effective features at a price that won’t make you wince.

Why Choose Campaign Refinery Over Flodesk or Mailchimp 

Want to know why we’re a better choice than Flodesk and Mailchimp for email marketing? 

Here are four big reasons:

  • We focus on your sender reputation and security right from the start. We help you set up the DNS email records for domain authentication to keep your emails safe.
  • Our community is unbeatable. We don’t allow questionable senders on our platform.
  • Your list stays clean automatically. You won’t have to worry about spam traps, bounced emails, or invalid addresses.
  • You’ll turn your campaigns into consistent money-makers. Set them up once and watch the revenue roll in continuously.

Is Campaign Refinery Affordable?

Our pricing is completely clear and based on the emails you send, not how many contacts you have. We don’t charge you extra for your contact list or limit its size. Your costs depend only on the number of emails you send and how often you clean your list.

If you’re a high-volume sender, Campaign Refinery can slash your costs by up to 60% every month!

Skeptical? Take a look and see the difference for yourself:

Number of sendsCampaign RefineryMailchimp — Standard 
50,000 emails$99$230
200,000 emails$299$450
1,000,000 emails $1000$1600
Comparing Campaign Refinery’s pricing to Mailchimp (assuming you send weekly)

Is Moving to Campaign Refinery Complicated?

Getting started with Campaign Refinery is easy. Just fill out our application form and have a chat with one of our experts. We’ll take a close look at your specific situation and figure out the best way to move your data over to our system.

The complexity of the transition can vary depending on the size of your list and which email marketing service you’re switching from, among other things.

But don’t worry. Our team will be with you every step of the way, helping you as you join our community of trusted senders.

Ready to take your email marketing to the next level? Apply now to begin your journey with us!

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