Flodesk vs Klaviyo: Which One Is Best For eCommerce?


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So you’ve been bouncing between which email marketing platform to choose, Flodesk vs Klaviyo.

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the hype of Flodesk over the last few months. It’s a newer email marketing platform that gives you all the visual goodness, that can make your heart swoon. 

Note: Flodesk is still in beta as of this posting.

Klaviyo has been a leader in its own right and supports thousands of online merchants to help them scale their store profit. 

As an eCommerce strategist, Klaviyo advisor and a long-term Flodesk user. I’m going to be breaking down the comparison between the two so you can make the best decision for your business. 

BUT, first…

Why You Need Email Marketing As An eCommerce Brand

Email marketing is still one of the top marketing channels that helps online store owners maximize sales. 

By getting your customers and potential customers’ email addresses, they are essentially telling you, yes, tell us about your products. 

Giving you permission to send out promotional emails, so they can shop your store.

Not only does this increase your overall sales, but it also builds more brand loyalty into your business. That leads to repeat and long-term customers who consistently make purchases.

Plus, email marketing allows you to own the direct communication you have with your customers. Better than any social media platform or any platform that doesn’t give you direct access to your audience. 

I will always be an advocate for owning essential parts of your business, and that includes direct communication to your customers. 

Now let me get off my soapbox and give you the details of these two platforms. 

Let’s begin with when you first login to either system.

Dashboards 

Dashboards give you an overview of information or access to information in your email account. It’s a quick way to navigate and find the exact information you need.

When you first log into either platform, you are welcome to a dashboard.

Dashboards in Flodesk

The Flodesk dashboard is much more simple. Showing you the last few emails that you sent out, and it has a simple navigation at the top.

Dashboards in Klaviyo

Klaviyo gives you a ton of information to look at. Klaviyo is about giving you all the tools to scale and increase sales to your online store. 

On the left sidebar you have various ways to navigate around your account, which we’ll break down a little later. Then in the center you have really useful information such as objectives, performance, analytics, lists and segments and activity feed. Plus, so much more!

Emails

Emails is where you’ll be spending your time crafting effective email marketing campaigns & messages.

Emails in Flodesk

In Flodesk emails are simply called “emails” once inside you’ll see your previously sent emails. As well as the option to create a new email. You may also search, sort, or filter through your emails. 

In Flodesk, in order to see your analytics on individual emails. You need to click the lower right icon and you will see how many emails were sent, the open rate and click rate. You may also click “View Details” to get a deeper analysis of email. For example, you can see how many emails were opened on desktop versus mobile.

You can also view your deliverability, bounce rate, unsubscribe, or if your email was marked as spam.

Emails in Klaviyo

Klaviyo emails are called “campaigns” instead of a grid of your past emails. You get a list of your past emails. Plus the option to create a new email to send. 

This view is great because you can easily see your analytics on individual emails. Such as your open rate, click rate and active on-site percentage. 

When you dive deeper into the individual email in Klaviyo, you get a chart with open times and more analytics at a single glance.



Emails Templates

Templates are great because they save you so much time from crafting the structure and design of your emails. With email templates you can set the base of your email structure, include your branding, and quickly craft your email message.

Email Templates in Flodesk

In Flodesk the emails are beautiful and more of an editorial style. They offer a variety of layouts and beautiful imagery. Which is what really draws customers to your brand. Flodesk allows their customers’ emails to maintain their brand integrity.

Below you can see the various templates available and you can customize them to match your brand colors. One pleasant bonus about Flodesk is how they have fonts you rarely see inside of an email marketing platform.

It’s been one reason I’ve been able to keep my brand consistent for my emails.

Email Templates in Klaviyo

Email templates in Klaviyo are offered in a few ways.

One, you can go with the themed options that can be slightly customized to match your brand. The font selection is very limited and if you want to

 add in your own fonts. You can, but you have to do it via code and doing customization to your email template. 

Custom Klaviyo email template by The May Creative

Then you have the choice of using the basic templates which are just basic layout blocks. That you can use for structuring your content. But you’ll have to add in the styling to match it to your brand.

If you have an HTML file because your email was custom designed and developed. The other option is to import your email template into Klaviyo. 

Then lastly, you can access any saved templates you created or imported by viewing the “My Templates” tab.

The default templates in Klaviyo give you a good starting point. But if you want to stay on brand and really have brand cohesion. Then having a designer and developer create a custom template for your eCommerce business would be the better choice.

Workflows

Email workflows are a great way to ensure that when people sign up to your email list. They all go through a certain series of emails. Workflows allow you to create an automated sequence of emails that can help customers get to know more about your business. 

Workflows in Flodesk

Flodesk workflows are called “workflows”; this is where you can set up an email sequence to do a variety of things. For example.

  • Send a free download or shopping code to a new subscriber.
  • Create and send a brand awareness campaign.
  • Send information about your events, etc.

You’ll get the standard grid display in Flodesk where you can see how many workflows you have created. You can also organize them into folders so if you wanted to keep certain workflows easily accessible, you could just go to that folder. 

Building Out A Workflow in Flodesk

Creating a workflow in Flodesk is pretty easy. You can start from scratch or duplicate an existing workflow to make the process more efficient. 

Or you can use one of the 4 workflows to get started.

Workflows in Klaviyo

Klaviyo workflows are called “flows” since Klaviyo is more advanced, you’ll get a more thorough workflow process. eCommerce can be very intricate from a simple “Welcome Series” to a more advanced “Abandoned Cart Series” that presents a custom message to your customers to spark interest back into their shopping cart. 

Building Out a Workflow In Klaviyo

You’ll head to the “Flows” section from the left bar. If you have created no flows yet, you’ll see the option to get started with a “Welcome Series” or you’ll be able to browse through some flow ideas. You may also start from scratch, if this is your first time creating a flow I recommend starting with the preset templates. Then customize them to fit your brand & business needs. 

Below you can see what Klaviyo provides you with when starting out. 

Which Workflow is Better for eCommerce? Flodesk or Klaviyo?

I have to go with Klaviyo on this.

Flodesk unfortunately doesn’t have a lot of support for product-based brands. When it comes to email marketing, you’ll want to maximize every interaction you have with your customers. In Flodesk you can do a simple connection that pulls in current and new customers. 

Then you’ll have to connect with Zapier to add in more functionality. Depending on the number of sales you get per day. The extra expense of incorporating Zapier could add up significantly. 

With Klaviyo your workflows will be more advanced and can also integrate with other Shopify apps such as Recharge, etc. 

Analytics

Being able to track performance is important in keeping up with the health of your business. Knowing which subscribers have opened your emails, purchased items etc is important. Let’s look at some analytics offered by either platform.

Analytics in Flodesk

We touched on this briefly in the email section. Flodesk offers analytics inside your account, such as

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Bounce rates

Those are all important in helping you decide if the content you are sending is engaging. Validating that subscribers are opening your emails, etc. 

Flodesk gives you the essential analytic information you need to start. They are planning on adding more advanced analytics in the future.

Analytics in Klaviyo

Klaviyo analytics are robust! Being that the system is backed by data-science, it’s a no brainer that Klaviyo analytics are immersive. I’m going to share with just some type of analytics you can pull with Klaviyo.

Campaign Analytics In Klaviyo

Want to know how well your email campaigns are doing in Klaviyo? Then the Campaigns tab on list view will give you insights, such as open rate, click rate & placed order.

Campaign Performance Overview In Klaviyo

The campaign performance overview gives you a more detailed view of your campaign. Such as unsubscribes, spam complaints, total opens plus more!

List Growth Report In Klaviyo

Understanding how much your list is growing is great to know for your business goals. The report in Klaviyo helps you understand your profile acquisition and attrition for each list on your account. 

You can get very detailed information with analytics reporting in Klaviyo. You can also create your own custom reporting to help you make smarter decisions for your business.

Subscriber Tagging

Tagging your subscribers ensures you are organizing your email list based on different needs. Such as subscriber preferences, purchases, product interest and more. You will have higher open and engagement rates if you are sending the right message at the right time. Organizing your subscribers can help you achieve those goals.

Subscriber Tagging in Flodesk

Tagging in Flodesk is automatic based on users’ actions with your forms. So how do you organize subscribers in Flodesk? You do so by creating audience Segment folders. Segments can be directly attached to your forms from Flodesk. So when someone opts-in to be on your list, they go right into that segment.

Subscriber Tagging in Klaviyo

Tagging in Klaviyo allows you to better streamline your workflows. Adding a tag in Klaviyo is simple, go to “Lists & Segments” and the “Create List/Segment”.

Forms

Forms are how people get into your system. Forms can be sprinkled on various areas of your website for people to easily opt into your email marketing system. 

Forms in Flodesk

Flodesk forms are some best designed forms. You get so many options to really style the forms to match your brand. Flodesk gives you a few options to create various types of forms. 

  • Popup forms
  • Inline forms
  • Full page form (for landing pages)

Here is a quick view of how you can do some customization with a pop up form. Once you’re happy with your form design, you can use the embed code to add it to your website.

Forms in Klaviyo

Klaviyo provides you with a ton of pre-designed options for their forms. Here are some types of forms you can have with Klaviyo.

  • Popup
  • Flyout 
  • Embed

The simple forms help you capture the essential information to get your customers into the flows of your email marketing. 

Deliverability

Email deliverability is important as you want everyone to receive your email. So let’s look at how often emails reach subscribers inboxes from either platform.

Flodesk Deliverability

When I first started using Flodesk well over a year ago, my email deliverability wasn’t so great. I dealt with a lot of emails landing in the Spam folder. Then I learned that when you change email marketing providers, a grace period needs to happen. The grace period considers your new email marketer sender reputation. After sending a few emails from Flodesk my deliverability improved and now I’m at 100% deliverability. 

I bring this up because if you have a comprehensive list and you’re looking to transition to Flodesk. You’re going to need to take distinct steps to warm up the email servers. Such as sending a smaller volume of emails to portions of your list. 

Klaviyo Deliverability

Similar recommendations can be made for Klaviyo. You’ll also want to ensure that you are sending.

  • Emails to an engaged email list
  • That you are providing great content.
  • That you are keeping track of your open & bounce rates.

Like with Flodesk, you’ll want to warm your email list up prior to sending a ton of emails. Especially if this is your first time using Klaviyo. 

Once you’ve taken the steps, you should see good deliverability for your emails.

Integrations

With so many tools that are available to run your business. Integrations are golden to make automation a breeze in your business. Fortunately, integrations are available on both platforms. 

Integrations for Flodesk

Flodesk is still in beta, and so their integrations are very minimal. Currently, there are only 2 integrations, one with Zapier and one with Shopify. 

Both are very limited, for example, for Shopify you can only pull in current and new customers into a Flodesk segment. 

If you wanted to create an abandoned cart sequence that was data driven, that is not currently an option available in Flodesk.

Integrations for Klaviyo

Klaviyo integrations are vast, from Shopify to quiz integrations. You will have a ton of different tools you can access via Klaviyo. Which means you can maximize your email marketing efforts by not worrying about how to pull information from different tools. 

Here are just a few integrations you can have with Klaviyo

  • Facebook (good if your running ads)
  • Recharge 
  • Gatsby
  • Gorgias
  • Plus a ton more!

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, think about what you are investing in and how much of an ROI it’s going to provide for your business. For example, if you recover several abandoned cart sales via email, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Pricing for Flodesk

Flodesk pricing is simple $38 a month (or you can get it for $19/mo with my code) with no price increase if your email list grows. I know! Crazy right! Most email marketing platforms will increase the price you have to pay based on your list size.

Note: you can use my code to get 50% off (making your subscription $19/mo) and as long as you sign up, your price will stay the same. This price is good until 11/2/2021 when Flodesk officially comes out of beta.

Pricing for Klaviyo

Klaviyo allows you to have a free account up to 250 subscribers. After that, the minimum is $20 for up to 500 subscribers and then it goes up per month from there. 

You’ll also pay a bit more if you would like to add on SMS messaging, which is charged per text sent. Klaviyo offers a calculator on their pricing page so you can calculate how much you can expect to pay based on your list size.

Flodesk Vs Klaviyo Comparison Table

FeaturesFlodeskKlaviyo
DashboardsX
EmailsX
Email TemplatesX
WorkflowsX
AnalyticsX
Subscriber TaggingX
FormsX
DeliverabilityX
IntegrationsX
PricingX

Final Thoughts

Even though Flodesk is gorgeous, I recommend Klaviyo for eCommerce businesses. Simply because Klaviyo has taken the time to develop a platform that is designed to help you earn more with your business. 

Yes, the investment of Klaviyo will be higher, but the ROI is greater. Especially when you take into consideration the recovered sales you are going to gain from having the right automations set up. You’re looking at recouping thousands in sales, which will more than make up for the price difference. 

Of course it depends on your business needs and preferences. If you are just starting out, you may be tempted to go with Flodesk so that you can eventually switch later. That could work; it just depends on how fast your email list will grow. Remember, it’s easier to switch email providers when you have fewer subscribers and segmentations to organize.

I hope this comparison helped you with deciding which platform to go with. Check out the links to below to sign up for either account.

karen-founder-tmc 3

Hi, I'm Karen the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help eCommerce brands who sell luxury goods craft an elevated Shopify experience. So they can take their store to the next level. You can learn more about the signature service, called the Elevated Shop Experience. Or stay for a while and check out the other posts below or listen to the podcast.

Karen

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