Note: This story is not to bash Mailchimp. I know many people who use it and really love the site. My experience is just my own personal account.
When I first started adding subscribers to my email list, I was overwhelmingly unprepared. I had asked Twitter if anyone wanted to sign up, not expecting anyone to click on the link. Sometimes it just turns out that all you have to do is ask. Subscribers, many friends and family, but also strangers, signed up within minutes. I had to quickly create a “welcome email” and make sure my website’s email management was well-organized.
It did not take me long to realize that I needed a better system for organizing subscribers, sending emails, and tracking the emails I sent. Mailchimp was the obvious selection. It is well known and free (if you have less than 2,000 subscribers). I signed up without delay.
What happened over the next few weeks wasn’t traumatic or catastrophic, but it certainly was stressful and frustrating. In the end, I am (mostly) happy with my decisions and eager to share how it worked out for me.
Spoiler alert: I am no longer using Mailchimp. Instead, I have switched to Flodesk. I have a link for a 50% off code at the bottom of the email if you’re interested.
My problems with Mailchimp
From the start, Mailchimp was not user-friendly for me. It took me hours to do basic tasks like create an email and send a “newsletter” using free Mailchimp templates. I should note that I am not the most tech-savvy person in the room, but I am also not a complete novice. I can learn how to do anything; I would just rather not spend hours doing it.
The biggest challenge I faced with Mailchimp was creating segments that included or excluded certain other segments. Automatic emails were no longer being sent to certain subscribers due to some kind of error on my part. Copying or duplicating messages also became a pain in terms of organizing my different emails.
I know that anyone with more tech skills than me is probably reading this email and rolling their eyes at my mistakes. I don’t blame you. I made the choice to sign up and immediately create things with zero knowledge. Clearly, other users do not have these same problems. But I’ve talked to several other people who also weren’t impressed with Mailchimp. Outdated, not intuitive, and frustrating pricing were all descriptions these people gave me about Mailchimp.
What compounded all of those issues, though, was the lack of helpful resources online. Each time I Googled how to do a certain task in Mailchimp, the websites offered were also from Mailchimp rather than forums and blogs with helpful step-by-step guides. The Mailchimp “help pages” seemed outdated and frustrating to understand.
Then I heard about Flodesk.
Flodesk saves the day. Kind of.
I heard about Flodesk on Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast. The creators of Flodesk are two women, Martha Bitar and Rebecca Shostack, who knew about a hole in the market. A user-friendly and visually appealing mail service was needed. Businesses and solo entrepreneurs are not always skilled in coding, designing, or marketing. Some of us want more appealing email templates and an easier system to organize our subscribers.
Even better, rather than several tiers of pricing, there is one flat price. With a 50% off code, the price is 19 dollars. As it turned out, 19 dollars was exactly how much I made on Medium in my first two weeks in the Medium Partner Program.
I signed up right away and got rid of my Mailchimp account. I jumped the gun a bit too fast and lost all of my Mailchimp data, but I had my subscribers and I had a new email service to make pretty emails and lead pages like the one below.
You know how Medium’s formatting is standard and relatively easy to use? Flodesk works like that.
There have been a few stumbling blocks along the way as I learn another new website. Flodesk is also so new that some features are still being beta tested. I’ll be honest; it is not perfect. But I am much happier. I can create emails and segments for subscribers in mere minutes compared to hours on Mailchimp.
You can sign up for a free trial, too, on the Flodesk webpage. The trial period would give you a chance to play around with the templates and the workflow system to see if it right for your needs.
I’m happy with my choices. Emailing has never been this attractive.
Here’s a link to that discount code I promised. I can’t wait to send it to you so you can step up your email game, too.