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Comparing ConvertKit, MailerLite and FloDesk

Today we are going to compare three email service providers and how they stack up against each other based on the perspective of an email marketing beginner.

If you are new to email marketing and looking for the best email service provider (ESP) then you are in the right place.

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I am going to compare Convert Kit, Mailerlite and FloDesk, because I have used all three. I have been recommended to each of these by different courses and classes I’ve taken. Here is my breakdown of the pro’s and con’s of each platform.

We are going to look at cost, ease of use, integrations, and functionality for each one. I have graded each from 1-5 stars.

Read on for the full comparison. 

Let’s get into it….

ConvertKit for Beginners 4.25/5

Cost: 3/5

ConvertKit is the most costly of the three overall. It does have a free plan but its only up to 300 subscribers and doesn’t include automations. 

You can get started with automations with a paid plan, up to 300 subscribers for $9 per month or $108 per year. I recommend starting with this if you are getting started, automations in my opinion are something you really need in a platform.

After you grow past 300 subscribers you will be charged $29 per month up to 1000 subscribers. So the cost increases the more subscribers you get. 

The paid version comes with unlimited broadcasts, and marketing automations.

Ease of Use: 4/5

ConvertKit is an easy platform to use and has extensive tutorials, so you can get up and running easily. Their visual automations make it easy to tag subscribers and add them to sequences based on the tag. 

You can make this as simple or advanced as you like, so it does grow with you very well. 

Starting with a basic freebie delivery and welcome sequence can be done quickly and with ease. You can also direct your subscribers to a thank you page you create, or use the success message Convert Kit provides. 

ConvertKit also has a library of templates you can use, or you can start your emails or landing pages from scratch. 

The reason for the 4 stars is because it can be a bit confusing the more advanced you get with conditions, tags, segments (but this could be user error).

Integrations: 5/5

You can integrate ConvertKit with nearly any platform fairly easily. For WordPress it has plugins that make adding forms to your site very easy. It also connects well with Shopify and Squarespace. 

This was a big selling point for me as I don’t consider myself techy! Having to figure out where to add code in headers, is not something I want to spend my time on.

Functionality 5/5

As discussed before ConvertKit has multiple ways to segment and tag your audience. This is great when you want to market to them specifically, based on their interests.

I have recently joined a membership for email marketing that requires a bit more advance email marketing techniques and ConvertKit had the full functionality I needed to run the sequences. 

If you are interested in learning more about this membership they have an amazing free offer called “Click Tricks” that will show you how to get your audience to take action from your emails, by clicking through on your links. You can grab it here. 

In addition to the ability to segment and tag your subscribers. The creator version also includes checkouts. So if you don’t have a website or just want a simple way to sell your products you can create landing pages through ConvertKit and create the entire checkout right there. 

This is a huge benefit and its and no additional charge. So if you need checkouts this is definitely something to consider. 

MailerLite for Beginners: 4/5

Cost: 5/5

MailerLite has the best free version by far. You can have up to 1000 subscribers with automations, a website and 10 landing pages. There is a limit of 12,000 emails per month, which is usually not an issue for beginners. 

If cost is your main concern this is the platform for you. The paid versions are also pretty affordable, but the cost does increase with the amount of subscribers you have. 

Ease of Use 3/5: 

MailerLite was the first email service platform I used and I was pretty confused at the beginning. Keep in mind this was my first introduction to email marketing. 

I found some videos online and was able to set up my forms and get them integrated into my website.

Mailerlite has an easy drag and drop editor so you can really customize everything fairly easily. 

You can segment your audience by using groups, I found the segmentation on MailerLite to be a bit more difficult to figure out than it was in ConvertKit. 

You can set up full automations in the free version which is a big benefit. For me the automation was slightly harder to figure out and edit as needed, but definitly something that can be figured out with some tutorials. 

Integrations: 4/5

Integrations with MailerLite have been improving. They do have an API and have recently developed a plugin for WordPress. 

When I first used MailerLite the plugin wasn’t available and it was a bit difficult to get the forms to integrate into my website. This seems to have been resolved now though. 

You can connect Mailerlite with the API to Shopify or Squarespace so it can really be used on most platforms (I didn’t research every platform just the most popular).

Functionality: 4/5

You can segment your customers with groups which are similar to tags in ConvertKit. For my brain it is a bit more confusing to get the groups set with MailerLite. 

If you are somewhat techy I think you could make this feature work for you easily. If you are not techy (like me) it’s likely going to be a bit more of a challenge. 

I do love that you can create a website with the free version, along with landing pages. So for free this could be a great all in one option for you. 

MailerLite is increasing its functionality all the time.

FloDesk for Beginners: 3.5/5

Cost: 4/5

FloDesk has a great pricing structure, but doesn’t have a free version. You are able to get a free 30 day trial and 50% off your first year through this link

The price for FloDesk doesn’t increase with subscribers and the cost of the subscription comes with full functionality. The regular monthly cost is $38 per month, but if you want to have checkouts it’s and extra $26 per month. 

The lifetime cost for FloDesk is bar far the lowest cost as you scale, but a bit high to get started for a beginner. I still gave it 4 stars because its a flat fee forever. 

Ease of Use 5/5

FloDesk is very easy to get started with and the templates they provide are beautiful, you can easily customize with your colors and fonts and have the most beautiful emails. 

The segmenting is easy to figure out and pretty straight forward, however the tagging is not as robust as MailerLite or ConvertKit. 

The automations I found to be very easy to set up and are visual similar to ConvertKit. I did use checkouts also and they were very easy to set up and you can customize the url so that was a nice benefit. 

Overall FloDesk is pretty easy to use and figure out. 

Integrations 2/5

This is where FloDesk really needs some improvement. You can integrate with WordPress, but it takes a bit more work. Having to put code in the header and inline in your website. For a newbie it was challenging. 

There isn’t any plugins for WordPress, but you can integrate with Shopify and Squarespace, however as it is with WordPress it takes a bit more code and you may run into more challenges. 

The most difficult of the three to integrate. 

Functionality: 3/5

Flodesk does have some segmentation, but really no ability to do advanced tagging and doesn’t have custom fields or anything of that sort. So segmenting your audience as it grows is going to be more difficult.

If you want to stay with basic segments based on the forms the subscriber signed up with, you are going to be fine with FloDesk. 

If you are looking to get more advanced with marketing based on interests with your subscribers you will quickly outgrow the functionality of FloDesk. 

The checkouts are really functional however. They even offer upsells to different products which is a great perk. You can make beautiful landing pages and upsell your subscribers, it makes it very easy. So that gives it an extra star, but remember checkouts are an additional charge. 

Make your choice based on the features important to you

You may have a different experience with each of these platforms and ultimately it comes down to what features and benefits are most important to you. I loved different things about each email service provider. 

Make your decision based on what is important to you: 

For me ConvertKit had the functionality and ease of use I really needed, and you can create visually pleasing emails – although maybe not quite as beautiful as FloDesk. ConvertKit also has A/B testing which I also appreciate. Because of this I was willing to pay a bit more. 

Mailerlite has by far the best free version so if cost is your main driver in your decision making MailerLite is a solid choice and had really good functionality. 

If you are not going to do advance email segmentation and want something beautiful and easy to use, FloDesk would be for you. 

I’d love to hear what platform you are going to try. Let me know in the comments. 

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