The Complete Guide to Flodesk for 2021

Heard about Flodesk?

Source: Flodesk

This is a complete Flodesk review to help you evaluate if Flodesk is the right email marketing provider for your business. 

In our Flodesk overview, we will cover pricing and billing options, features, and automations. 

We’ll take a close look at every feature of Flodesk, helping you understand how it stacks up against other email marketing services. 

Finally, this complete Flodesk guide is perfect for anyone considering switching to Flodesk or interested in using Flodesk for the first time.

What’s in This Guide?


Flodesk Overall Review 

Flodesk is a great email service provider for creatives that want to build versatile newsletters with ease.

The platform supports text, image, and animation to build email campaigns that stand out. It also is a great option for those with minimal coding experience that want to build one-of-a-kind emails with easy to use drag and drop features.


Company History

Flodesk was founded by Martha Bitar and Rebecca Shostak, two women with a variety of experiences in the tech sector.

They decided to build the company for small to mid-size businesses who want to create beautiful emails. They felt there was a gap in the marketplace for an email marketing provider that could help small businesses have the same look and appeal as large businesses without needing full design teams. 


Flodesk Pricing

Flodesk is currently still in a private beta offering and pricing will likely increase when it moves out of beta. The company offers a 30-day free trial and $38 a month for the full range of services. The big difference between Flodesk and other companies is that the pricing isn’t dependent on the number of subscribers. Whether you have 10 or 100,000 subscribers the price is the same. 

  • Monthly option – $38 per month or $19 a month when using this link.
  • Annual plan – $418 year (one free month)

Flodesk Billing Options

To pay for services you have the option to use a credit card or PayPal to finalize your payments. Do note that it will set up recurring payments until you cancel services. 


Flodesk Features

There are a variety of features that set Flodesk apart from other email service providers. Below we will go through what some of those features are.

Source: Flodesk

Full Creative Control of Email Designs (images)

  • Drag and drop editors make designing from scratch easy
  • Animation is included as an option.
  • Fonts, colors, and added elements can all be easily added  
  • No coding required to bring design ideas to life.
Source: Flodesk

Ready Made Layouts

  • For those that want to create a beautiful layout but don’t have design experience (or time) there are dozens of layouts you can use.
  • Layouts include both text and image options
  • There are different categories of templates to make filtering and finding the perfect option easier.
Source: Flodesk

Unlimited Pricing Structure 

  • At present the pricing is all-inclusive. 
  • You get access to all of the features and unlimited subscribers for a flat fee.
Source: Flodesk

Workflows

  • Visual workflow for email series
  • Several templates that you can customize to create sequences
  • Ability to set triggers and adjust time frame that emails send

Flodesk Landing Pages

There is the ability to create standalone landing pages for subscribers using the full page form option. However, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to create a highly customized option for this yet. There is one option when you select the full page layout.

Source: Flodesk

You can change the background color, fonts (color and size), and adjust the buttons for subscribers to fill in their information. There is a single image that can be included. Once you’ve completed the design of the form you can elect to get notifications as well as direct subscribers to a thank you page.  

There is no limit to the number of these that you can create and for each of the forms you are given a stand alone email address that can be shared for direct sign ups. 


Flodesk Email Templates

There are dozens of email templates that come ready to use with a Flodesk subscription. They are broken into categories such as “Inspire” or “Make Money”. 

The templates are very simple to customize and add features. If you decide to use a template and want to make changes to the appearance once it’s open, this is also easy to do by just selecting the elements and making changes. 

How do the Flodesk Templates Work?

To activate and use a template for your email:

  • Select the create new button from the emails tab.
  • Choose the type of email you’d like to create from the template menu on the left-hand side or scroll through all of the templates in the main window pane.
  • Next, preview the email template you’ve chosen and either select customize or use the back arrow to choose a different style. 
Source: Flodesk

The email will open and provide you with all of the options to adjust the email for your campaign. 

Source: Flodesk

While with some programs there are templates that can be purchased from business or individuals outside of the platform, Flodesk is set up in such a way that you really don’t need to buy templates elsewhere. They have a full library of stock templates that you can use and customize based on the images, colors, and fonts that work for your brand.

If you really feel uncomfortable with your skills designing templates you can find additional templates for sale on sites like Creative Market. 

How to Customize a Flodesk Email Template

Instead of using one of the ready-made templates you can decide to generate your own template. Start by choosing “Start from Scratch” at the template menu.

Source: Flodesk
  • Choose a name for your email template
  • There will be some placeholder text and images in the email. You can choose to delete or replace this material.
  • To add material roll the cursor over the fields and choose the + sign in the location you want to add material.
  • A block of options will open up with buttons for the different types of additional content you can add. 
Source: Flodesk

The Layouts Button

This feature is one of the easiest ways to customize the look of your email templates in Flodesk. When adding a layout to an email you are provided with several options in the right panel. Image & Text, Image Collages, and Graphics are the three main choices. Each of these has additional options.

Source: Flodesk

Select the layout that you want to insert by clicking it. It will then be inserted to your email. Change the text, images and colors by clicking them. Further customizations can be made by clicking the gear icon on the right side of the layout block. 


Flodesk Segmentation

This is one of the areas that subscribers would like to see strengthened.

If you want to create highly segmented lists, Flodesk might not be the option for you, at least not right now. You do have the ability to create multiple segments based on sign-ups to your forms. However, you can not easily add people to segments based on the links they click within your email. 

You can combine segments in your workflows to build sequences that have specific purposes like a welcome sequence or a nurture sequence. Within the workflow you can set condition and action triggers that lead to which emails or actions you want the subscriber to then walkthrough.

Source: Flodesk

Flodesk Deliverability

This is one of the big questions many people have and rightly so. Will the emails you send actually end up in someone’s inbox? Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut answer on this when it comes to Flodesk. There isn’t a firm consensus on whether image-heavy emails lead to a decrease in deliverability though some people argue this is the case. 

Another argument that Flodesk deliverability suffers because the emails appear similar to big brands and email filters send them to spam.

That being said, other users have reported very high deliverability rates in comparison to other email providers they have used. 

Flodesk itself has spoken on this issue and provided guidance to anyone concerned with deliverability. They suggest reviewing and checking the following things:

  • Do your emails have a low engagement rate? The more engagement you get from your emails with things like subscribers opening, clicking links, or responding to them all will increase your “score” and lead to higher deliverability rates.
  • Are you sending emails to “bad” addresses? This can happen if you don’t clear out subscribers that aren’t engaging with your messages or that are bouncing.
  • Are your subject lines misleading or just not very good? This can be one of the triggers that send your messages to spam. 
  • Have you used spam trigger words in your titles?

Flodesk Pop-ups

Flodesk has several types of forms available including popups. These can be accessed from the forms tab.

These are two main types available: pop-ups with an image and pop-ups without an image. Subscribers to popups are added to segments that you determine when building your popup.

Source: Flodesk

Inside the pop-up, you can make some basic changes to the look of the form such as colors, fonts, and spacing. However, there are only small changes you can make based on the main layouts.

Source: Flodesk

After laying out how you’d like your pop up to look you’re then walked through a series of prompts to customize the actions that are taken with the pop-up. This includes:

  • Enabling a double opt-in
  • When the form is displayed
  • Showing the form to return visitors
  • Notifications of new subscribers
  • What action to take after the form is submitted. 

Pop-ups can be customized to appear by either choosing for it to happen immediately, after 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or when the user has scrolled 30% down the page. However, there is not an option to trigger exit intent pop-ups. 

Inline Forms

Source: Flodesk

If a pop-up form isn’t for you or you’re just looking for another way to get your signups integrated into your website an inline form might be the option you’re looking for. There are three options for inline forms offered by Flodesk right now: a text-only option, and two formats with an image. Once you’ve completed the design of your form, you’ll be supplied with a code you can insert where you’d like it to appear.

While you don’t need to know code to design your forms, you will need to be able to insert some code into your website to get your forms to appear. The Flodesk team does provide a good tutorial to help you through the process. 


Flodesk Free Offer

Flodesk offers a free 30-day trial if you want to test drive it. When you sign up the price that you sign up at is locked in for the length of your time with Flodesk even if prices rise. 


Flodesk Reports, Stats & Analytics

When it comes to reports and statistics they are available for subscribers, emails, and forms. Clicking on each gives at a glance statistics but clicking on the bar graph found on the bottom right corner gives a much more detailed breakdown of information. 

Sent Email Reports

After an email has been sent you can view the statistics by visiting the Email tab and clicking the bar chart symbol. You also have the option to click more details where you’ll be delivered more comprehensive results. The statistics included are:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Where most emails are viewed (desktop vs mobile)
  • Unique opens
  • Unique clicks
  • Deliverability percentage
  •  Bounced emails
  • Unsubscribes

Subscriber Statistics

In the Subscribers tab, you have a complete snapshot of all the subscribers to your lists. On this list, you can see their status, when they last engaged with an email you’ve sent, and any segments they are subscribed to.

Source: Flodesk

You can also bulk filter and select subscribers based on:

  • Their signup status (active, unsubscribed, bounced, spam)
  • When they were last active
  • Their lifetime click rate
  • Their lifetime open rate
  • How they became a part of your list (opt-in form, manual, CSV import)
  • Segments they are a part of
  • Other custom fields you’ve established

Each subscriber also has even more advanced information available when you click on their email address. A complete picture of that person’s lifetime engagement with emails you’ve sent is shown including things like how many emails they’ve opened, their lifetime click rate, and more.  


How Do You Log Into Flodesk

Logging into Flodesk is done easily from the main website via the login button on the upper right corner.  


Using Flodesk for Business

Flodesk has a lot of interesting features that other platforms don’t have. It is important to remember that it is still in beta however and there are, and likely will continue to be kinks that need to be ironed out as it goes through the development process. 

If you’re looking for a tried, true, and tested service that won’t have hiccups (at least not many) this might not be the best option for you. But, if you’re open-minded and willing to grow with the service you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised. 

Who is Flodesk Right For?

Flodesk is a great option for small businesses that want the look and appearance of having a graphic designer or custom email designer on staff but don’t have the budget or technical abilities to do it. 

It’s also a great option for anyone in a creative field who wants to inject their style or work into their email campaigns. With the layout functionality, ease of adjusting images and texts, and other simple tweaks creatives can take full control and build a seamless brand experience. 

Who is it NOT Right For?

Those businesses that are wanting to build a lot of landing pages, multiple automations, segments, and especially a tagging system, Flodesk might not be the best option just yet. There are sure to be many more updates and changes to the platform before it is out of beta stage but right now it isn’t as easy as with other providers. 

If you are a person, or a business that really likes the simplistic look of text-based emails or you want A/B testing capabilities, Flodesk may also not be the right option for you. 

How Bloggers & Content Creators Could Use Flodesk

Just like with other creatives bloggers and content creators have lots of opportunities to embed their images and build emails that simply look different from others. The Instagram integration to emails is a nice feature for anyone that is also looking to grow their accounts. Jenna Kutcher is perhaps one of the most famous bloggers using Flodesk (and helping with templates inspired by her aesthetic).

Source: Flodesk

How to Use Flodesk With Ecommerce

One of the most interesting layouts is the ecommerce options that Flodesk has. One of the layout categories is “Make Money” and it’s where you can find many of the layouts that are perfect for those in ecommerce. You can create emails around the themes of sales, new releases, product round-ups and thank you emails.

How to Use Flodesk For a Service Business

Many of the layouts and options for an ecommerce business would work equally as well for a service-based business. There also are many options with Flodesk to build a stronger sense of rapport with your readers than a text-only, or minimal image service can provide.


Flodesk Alternatives

There are many other email service providers that have the same or similar functionality as Flodesk. They include services like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or Mailerlite that match features and have much more advanced options. What sets Flodesk apart is the ability to use images and graphic design elements without coding or extensive experience.  


Flodesk and Zapier

Flodesk does integrate with Zapier making it even more robust. Instead of needing to manually make your online properties like course platforms, quizzes, Shopify, or social media channels talk to each other Zapier + Flodesk brings it all together. 

Full List of Flodesk Integrations

At present the only native integration with Flodesk is Shopify. However, using Zapier you can integrate with dozens of other websites and apps. 

Migration to Flodesk – How Easy / Hard is it? What’s the Process?

Source: Flodesk

Migrating to Flodesk is fairly simple, requiring only a few clicks and an upload via CSV file. The import function walks you through each step of the process so that all of your contact information is fully imported. 

The caveat to this is that you have to upload each of your different segments individually and assign them to new segments in Flodesk. This can be a little tedious especially if you have a lot of segments. 

The same is true for your forms and landing pages. You will need to rebuild many of these features when you move over. Making a plan in advance of all the pieces that you need to move and then working through that list as you move through them can help make sure you don’t miss anything.

You also can manually add subscribers one at a time should this function be needed.

Overall Flodesk provides a unique service that isn’t available on other platforms without having extensive knowledge of code. For businesses and individuals that want to create beautiful emails without spending the time, energy, and money to craft them from scratch this is a good option. It is worth keeping in mind this product is still in the beta stage and there likely will be changes and improvements as it goes through the development stages. 


25 Flodesk Tips / Secrets / Hacks / Tricks

  • Includes animations in some email templates 
  • Build polls to create more engagement with readers
  • Integrate Instagram posts into your messages
  • Flodesk has a visual automation system so you can make a flowchart of the steps you want to take subscribers through.
  • Create a landing page for your newsletter that stands alone – no website needed.
  • Delay sending your emails until a certain time of day, not just a specific day.
  • Schedule emails for specific dates like holidays 
  • You can choose to send more than one segment into your workflows and if someone is subscribed to both, they’ll only get the email once.
  • There’s a support group for Flodesk users and subscribers on Facebook where you can get answers not only from the Flodesk team but other users.
  • You can duplicate your workflows if you want to reuse certain emails, timing or swap out bits and pieces saving you time.
  • Save an email as a favorite and then you’re able to duplicate it. This is great if you love the layout and styling and want to use it again.
  • You can send emails from multiple sending addresses in your Flodesk account so you can manage different businesses from the same account. 
  • Sign your emails with a “signature” font to give it a more personalized look.
  • When you upload your existing CSV of subscribers Flodesk checks for bounces and duplicates and won’t import any of the addresses that do.
  • Hyperlink text and connect with files that can be downloaded directly from emails.
  • Choose from dozens of different fonts to use in your emails. 
  • Change the background color of any block in your email

Conclusion

Like any other service provider, Flodesk has the basic functions to send broadcast emails and perform simple automations.

I hope you’ve found this comprehensive guide of Flodesk’s features, uses and pricing useful.

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