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I started and stopped my email list-building journey more times than I can count, both as a retailer and virtual assistant.
My biggest hurdle was deciding on an Email Service Provider (ESP). The options were overwhelming. Instead of choosing one, I stayed stuck in decision paralysis and put all my effort into social media. However, I soon realized I loved social media more than it loved me, and I needed to Breakup with the Algorithm. So I got serious again about finding an ESP and landed on FloDesk in the Fall of 2021.
Sometimes as creative entrepreneurs, we get bored quickly and change our software or strategy. Over a year later, the things that initially drew me into FloDesk are still why I am an avid subscriber today.
FloDesk, a woman-owned business, was founded in 2018 by Martha Bitar and Rebecca Shostak. As I learned about their founders' story, the more I found myself relating to my own founder's story. See an interview excerpt from Forbes below:
"What inspired you to start Flodesk?
Bitar: Rebecca Shostak, my cofounder, and I were talking about how painful it was to see so many brilliant creators and business owners miss out on email marketing, which is by far the highest converting channel. The tools currently on the market have failed to provide this rising industry of innovative entrepreneurs and content creators with the ability to market as beautifully and successfully as the big brands. Single person businesses do not have a massive marketing team behind them to design visual assets, write copy, or craft high converting emails—so we set out to build a platform that gave our members that power."
The founders' vision is to reduce the hassle of crafting emails. It shouldn't be complicated, and it shouldn't take hours. Instead, the time spent trying to craft emails is time lost spent fulfilling orders or spending time with family.
Their mission statement alone allowed me to grow an instant connection with them. They couldn't find an existing solution to a problem they saw for entrepreneurs, so they decided to solve it themselves. Similarly, I started SKVA when I realized creative entrepreneurs were stuck, not posting on social media, throwing tee parties, or building a website simply because they just needed a step-by-step plan. I had more clients than daylight, so in 2022 I shifted all my knowledge to courses and quickly distributable posting plans to empower the entrepreneur without requiring a VA for those tasks.
Martha and Rebecca share similar values and ideals. Simplify and automate your admin so you can spend time fulfilling orders & connecting with your audience.
My major mental block was why I would have to pay more money the larger my email list grew. It felt very counter-intuitive; try to grow your list, but only a little. When starting my email list, I envisioned having thousands on my list. After a quick look at other ESPs, I realized my dream would cost me at least $60 per month (including an email send limit). Since starting my email list journey with FloDesk, I have grown my list to 3,000+ and a consistent 35-50% open rate.
During their beta launch, I locked in a lifetime rate of $19/month. It feels good to know I am growing my business with a platform that supports my growth without additional fees. In addition, FloDesk offers 30 days free and 50% OFF an entire year. Even without the 50% OFF discount, the features you receive with FloDesk are still worth it.
To help with open rates, it is a good idea to scrub your email list every quarter. First, remove those who haven’t opened one email in 90 days - 6 months. Fortunately, with FloDesk, I do not have to obsess about keeping only active subscribers on my list since my plan is unlimited. However, if I used another ESP, I might need to remove members more often since I may be charged more to have them sit.
Ease of use
FloDesk prides its platform on intuitive functions and email builders. If you look up reviews on various ESPs, much of the feedback received is that users were overwhelmed and confused. :( As mentioned in Martha's interview above, FloDesk was designed for those who don’t have a full-fledged marketing team. As entrepreneurs, it would be incredible to grow so big that we have to hire a team, but we shouldn't wait until we have a team to build our email list. FloDesk is packed full of templates to get you started as well.
Reflect on your small business journey. Think about the things you have figured out to create a business from scratch. Pretty incredible, right?
What if 2023 was the year you added email marketing as another notch on your belt?
You don't have to do it alone; you will learn it from your fellow creative entrepreneurs and me in my new course, "Breakup with the Algorithm: Pivot your sales strategy with a step-by-step email framework," launching again in Summer 2023.
Join the waitlist here to be the first to join & receive a special offer.