WHY I LEFT MAILCHIMP & HOW I EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
I tend to nerd out a little bit about things like a newsletter platform but I will try my best to remain brief. I get a visual in my head for certain things. When I am able to pull the design off in real life, I get a little giddy. This is a little introduction to the email marketing program that I use now, why I chose it over Mailchimp, my favorite features, and a three resources to help you if you’re thinking about making the switch yourself.
I use emails to update my subscribers on the blog, shop news, and sometimes personal updates. Back in 2017 when the blog started out, there was no one (and I mean, NO one) subscribed to emails. As email subscribers trickled in they only signed up for new blog post notifications. As I found myself sharing more, I also heard from readers more often. This prompted me to start sending out regular emails. The problem was, that I could not bring my email visions to life.
Branding was nonexistent and marketing just couldn’t be executed properly without it.
I signed up for email through Mailchimp because it was free. Compared to it’s competitors it appeared to be the easiest to get up and running, and to understand. Basic emails were easy to type up and send but there were not a lot of “extra” features. The majority of the time I ended up needing other programs or installing multiple plugins to get my email and other forms (pop ups and inline forms) to behave the way I wanted.
Over the last few years this became a jumbled mess. I had subscribers on multiple different lists because they had signed up a certain way. Sadly, some subscribers were getting emails that were irrelevant to them, and some never got my emails at all.
WHAT I AM DOING DIFFERENTLY: FLODESK
Flodesk is a woman-run email marketing service for small businesses. It’s great for those who believe in making good use of their time and creative freedom. It’s a click and drag email builder with aesthetically pleasing templates, and a super simple interface.
Flodesk was able to clean up my email list almost immediately. It scrubbed old email addresses and combined the duplicates. It made me feel good about the people left on my list, and then followed up with statistics. This helped tailor emails even further.
WHY I TRIED A NEW EMAIL BUILDER
Y’all know I am a natural born skeptic, but even more than that, I’m a cheap-o. I do believe in quality over quantity though. When I wrote out the pros and cons of moving to a paid email service I was surprised. My lists wereheavily weighted. Here are the reasons I made the switch to Flodesk speficially:
- The initial feature that lured me in was the idea that your pricing stays the same no matter what. Most email services offer a more tiered approach in which your monthly rate bumps up as you hit different subscriber counts and grow your business.
- No limit on the number of subscribers. This was holding me back more than I think I realized. It was almost like I was limiting myself so that my list would not grow too big. SO counter-intuitive.
- Customer service. Of course in the beginning I had some bumps getting started. The way that I was taken care of each time I reached out for help was a big factor. The timeliness alone was much appreciated. Too often online companies take so long to respond to help tickets that by the time you get an answer, you’ve already gone down a Google rabbit hole and figured out a work-around. It helps that they also have a Facebook group to trade ideas and useful tips.
- Free 30-day trial. It helped a lot to be able to test out all of the features before making a big commitment. Personally, I find it more useful when companies offer this. If I can get a true taste for everything an email service has to offer I build up more faith before taking the leap.
WHY I STAYED: MY FAVORITE FEATURES
I waited until I felt like I had enough free days on my schedule to really dive in and go for a 30-day trial, but it didn’t take me that long to decide to stick with this service. Here’s why I decided to stick with Flodesk.
- Tags! I had always heard about segmenting your lists. To my ongoing frustation, this was one of the things I just could not figure out. Now I am clearly able to see who is interested in planning or journaling or stickers. Tags allow me dictate which emails go out depending on this. I get the hype now, and just wish I had been able to specify aspects like this much sooner.
- Easily branding my emails. I began getting compliments on the very first email I sent out with Flodesk. Readers and friends were able to see the difference right away. The creative freedom I felt shines right through. I am now able to build emails just the way I want them to look. They are all compatible across devices, too. There is also an easy setup for your most used brand colors, so that they are always readily available as you are working.
- It pulls your Instagram posts into emails. This was something I had only seen on websites and blog posts but it’s been a great feature for email. It’s one more way for me to connect with subscribers.
- One of the best things about Flodesk: they set up emails so that they will make it into more inboxes. Formatting and lots of the backend is designed so that when you send an email, it isn’t filled with red flags.
- No coding required, yesss.
- Being able to track statistics and see what parts of my email is working has been a game changer. I am able to better track open and click rates for every single email. This way, I can compare and contrast as I make little adjustments. This is definitely the reason I have had so much email success lately.
In the end, I just had a better time using Flodesk than Mailchimp. I know many people are able to figure out it’s quirks and somehow make good use of the free services. Unfortuantely, I never did. If I wanted to add pop ups or a little sign up section in my sidebar with Mailchimp I had to install plugins or use their standard boring option. What’s worse, when I used these I never got a bite.
After trying a few plug-in combinations I found some success, but nothing like what I’m experiencing with Flodesk. I upgraded to Flodesk just a couple months ago. Even with all of my years with Mailchimp, I already have seen more growth on my list. I was easily able to setup things I had been struggling with for years. Emails are now cohesive with the blog and website, and it all makes much more sense to the eye.This post is not sponsored by Flodesk, I just really enjoy using it and thought some of you might too. This is an affiliate link. It will give you the discounted beta rate as well as a small commission to me. Thank you for your support, and good luck!