Email marketing is big. Figures show that it’s the most lucrative marketing channel for eCommerce brands, and whatever your industry, a great email strategy can take you places. But with so many email marketing providers out there, it’s hard to know which to pick. Luckily, we’ve road-tested some of the big guns, allowing us to give you a clear look at the pros and cons. In this article, we’re specifically focused on Klaviyo and Mailchimp – two of the most popular email marketing solutions.
We’ll take a full look from top to bottom, running through the benefits and features of each email solution. Let’s get going.
Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Background
Mailchimp has been around the block way longer than new kid Klaviyo. 11 years longer in fact. Mailchimp burst onto the scene back in 2001, whereas Klaviyo launched fairly recently, in 2012. Klaviyo was also built as a dedicated solution for eCommerce retailers (Klaviyo helps businesses own their marketing), while Mailchimp was designed for straight up email marketing (Mailchimp was designed as an alternative to the oversized, expensive email software of the early 2000s).
Whether your goal is to grow your business, improve your customer relations or automate your marketing efforts, both Klaviyo and Mailchimp are great eCommerce marketing tools that will help get the job done.
Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Costs
Money isn’t everything, but it’s a key decision when building out your marketing strategy, so let’s start there. Both platforms offer a free solution, which is a very basic starting point for those wanting to give email marketing a trial.
Starting from: Free, $20.00/month
Pricing model: Free, Subscription
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Klaviyo prides itself on its flexible, contract-less pricing tiers, with no hidden fees. The packages are tiered based on the number of contacts.
With Klaviyo’s free package, you can create an account, import and sync your data, customise templates and emails, and use many other features. You can send 500 emails maximum to up to 250 contacts, and you’ll be prompted to upgrade once you exceed that limit. On the free plan though, you do need to commit to double opt-in for all your subscribers, and you’re going to get the Klaviyo logo proudly displayed on the bottom of all your content.
The pricing increases as the size of your contact list increases, and you get unlimited email sends from the lowest paid package ($20 per month for up to 500 contacts) upwards.
It’s all very transparent, and you’re able to upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. It’s also easy to cancel altogether, should you wish to do so, as long as you give at least two days notice prior to your renewal date.
In a nutshell, with every pricing option, you get the same basic features, including automated emails, reporting, one-click integrations, and email templates. The only things that change according to price are:
Number of contacts
How many emails you can send
How much support you get
The monthly costs range all the way up to $1700 for 150k contacts, beyond that point (check you out), you need to contact Klaviyo for bespoke pricing. You’ll get your own dedicated account manager on the higher tiers, too.
All in all, Klaviyo pricing seems fair and matches the quality of service and features, which we’ll move onto shortly.
Starting from: Free, $9.99 per month
Pricing model: Free, Subscription
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Mailchimp offer four pricing options – Free, Essentials, Standard and Premium. Interestingly enough, they offer these in reverse order, trying to lure people into the higher packages.
The main difference between Klaviyo and Mailchimp – besides Klaviyo carrying a higher price tag, is that you don’t get the same tools on every tier with Mailchimp. With Mailchimp, it’s not all based on the size of your contact list. You can pick from the package you like, and your pricing will depend on which package you pick, plus the size of your email list.
Unlike Klaviyo, who will alert you and offer you an upgrade if you go over your contact list, Mailchimp will charge you if you go over your limits, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Interestingly, Mailchimp also comes with a two-factor authentication discount, which is definitely worth doing.
Klaviyo Vs Mailchimp: Segmentation
Let’s dive into the real stuff. Both marketing platforms are packed with features, but which comes out top for eCommerce brands?
We’d go as far as to say that Klaviyo is the king of email segmentation, which is a real plus for eCommerce marketers.
On sign up, you’ll automatically have access to a number of pre-build lists, based on your imported contacts.
When you start building out your own segments, you can go deep. Behavioural and transactional data can be used, pulling info from Shopify and other CRMs. By blending segmentation and personalisation, you can serve emails that are hyper-relevant to your audience, giving you the best chance of generating opens, clicks and purchases.
Web tracking allows you to segment based on website activity, which is really key for eCommerce stores, and you can also integrate with Facebook Ads Manager, which is a huge perk.
Klaviyo also comes packed with clever data science features, designed to help eCommerce businesses grow faster. This AI can:
Predict a customer’s next purchase date
Determine the total amount of future spending
See the number of upcoming purchases
Determine the probability of customer churn
Calculate customer lifetime value
See average time between orders
Whew. It’s smart stuff.
Over to Mailchimp. It may leave you a little… deflated, if you’ve played around with Klaviyo.
Mailchimps segmentation options are pretty basic, split up into Groups and Segments. Segments are your fundamental lists, like ‘New Subscribers,’ or ‘Recent purchases.”’Groups are the smaller chunks of users you create, based on stuff like ‘purchased in the last week’.
It doesn’t really go deep, there’s no specific behaviour tracking, and no sign of Facebook Ads Manager integration.
Frustratingly, Mailchimp will also count any of the subscribers that appear on multiple lists as two separate contacts. That means you end up using your contact allowance much faster, and seems pretty damn unfair.
Klaviyo Vs Mailchimp: Automation
Let’s move onto automation tools – one of the most powerful features.
Klaviyo is all about flows, which are their automated email services. Clicking on the Flows tap will give you the initial option of building a welcome series flow and the option to browse ideas, export analytics, and create new flows.
If you’re new to all this, fear not! Clicking on browse ideas will lead you to a catalogue of pre-built templates, including abandoned cart emails (cash moneyyy) and customer thank-yous. This is a real big win for marketers who are short on time (aren’t we all?).
Once you’ve integrated Klaviyo with Shopify, Magento or your CRM of choice, your data will be pulled through, so you can map out your automation based on what you already know about your customers, rather than starting from scratch.
Onto Mailchimp. It’s not too shabby. You receive a handful of options for automation, and setting up workflows based on your marketing goals is fairly simple. For the price tag, Mailchimp probably offers the most reliable automation features on the market.
Mailchimp also integrates with your eCommerce site, so you can set up automated workflows based on user activity when they’re browsing your store.
In terms of getting started, it’s probably quicker with Mailchimp, not only for ease of use, but due to the sheer number of options available on Klaviyo.
One thing to mention – none of the automation features are available on Mailchimp’s free plan, but you can play around with automation on Klaviyo’s free package.
Klaviyo Vs Mailchimp: Analytics
It’s no good taking over the world with your email marketing strategy unless you can track the impact it’s having. Analytics and reporting help you understand the ROI of any marketing campaign, and email is no different.
On Klaviyo, it’s dead easy to jump into key metrics such as clicks, bounces and open rates. You can also customise your analytics dashboard based on which performance metrics are more relevant to you, choosing from a selection of metrics and visualisations.
You can also view customer activity in real time, which is pretty great. Due to Klaviyo’s integration with your Shopify site (or other CRM), you’re able to see when people are clicking, which emails are driving purchases, and even which customers are the most valuable to you.
If you’re a beginner, this might all seem overwhelming, which is where outsourcing to an email marketing agency or freelancer comes in handy. Once you’ve got your segmentation, flows and reports set up in the right way, it’s plain sailing from thereon in.
Over on Mailchimp, it’s easier to use. When you visit the campaign page, all the basic analytics are right there in front you, making it easy to track your metrics at a glance. Mailchimp also offers industry baselines, so you can see how you’re performing compared to other businesses.
If you want to go deeper, you can. It’s easy to dive into each separate campaign to monitor performance, and you can take a look at the success of any A/B testing you may have set up.
Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: User Experience
It ain’t about the size of your automation tool, it’s how you use it 😏. A clunky user experience can make a marketing platform damn well unusable (we’re looking at you, Zoho). Let’s take a look at how the experience of Klaviyo and Mailchimp matches up.
Klaviyo’s UX is pretty decent. It’s easy to navigate, and cause it integrates natively with the likes of Shopify, there’s no need to have both tools open and click between tabs.
When it comes to designing the emails themselves, it’s an intuitive drag and drop builder, and probably the most easy-to-use email builder we’ve come across. Easy-to-use content blocks give you complete control over your email layout, without fumbling around.
You don’t need to know how to code to design a slick, responsive email, and there’s even a template library to choose from if you’re really low on inspiration. As Klaviyo integrates with your site, you can even pull your brand colours and logo direct from your website, which is pretty handy.
However, Mailchimp offers a fantastic UX too. There’s a reason Mailchimp has been up there with the big boys for 20 years now – it’s impressively adaptable and easy to use for all levels of experience.
A great place to start is with a template that takes care of the formatting, which you can then use to build eye-catching branded emails.
You might say it’s so easy, a chimp can use it.
Klaviyo Vs Mailchimp: Integrations
It’s all about integrations in this day and age. Finding a solution that plugs directly into your most-loved marketing tool is an absolute must, so matching up your marketing automation with your digital toolkit is crucial before picking a side.
Klaviyo integrates with a huge array of tools, and works seamlessly with eCommerce platforms Shopify, Magneto, Shopify Plus, and Big Commerce.
Mailchimp lost its Shopify integration – this in itself is a bit of a dealbreaker if you’re committed to taking your digital marketing strategy seriously. It does connect with Big Commerce and WooCommerce, but if you’re a Shopify user, we’d probably advise you to go with Klaviyo.
Klaviyo Vs Mailchimp: Customer Support
Klaviyo’s state of the art Help Centre really is second to none. From guides, webinars, videos, step-by-step instruction blogs – you name it, Klaviyo’s got it. Whatever your preferred choice of support, you’re bound to find a solution to your problem in this fantastic self-serve resource.
If you’d prefer to contact Klaviyo directly, you do require a paid account to try out their chat support, which is available between 9 am and 5 pm ET, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can contact the team via email from 6 am to 10 pm on weekdays, or between 10 am and 4 pm on weekends. Their live chat is pretty responsive, generally offering all you need.
Mailchimp also offer a self-serve help centre, full of guides and tutorials, but it’s all text-based and not as exciting as Klaviyo’s learning offerings. You can also contact live chat and email support, even on the free package.
Of course, if you’re working with an email marketing agency, they’re likely to take on most of the heavy lifting here, anyway.
Which Tool is Right For Your Brand?
We don’t like to beat around the bush. If you’re an eCommerce brand dedicated to taking your marketing to the next level, you have to pick Klaviyo. Its forward thinking automation and data-centric granularity will help you understand your customer base in ways you could only previously dream of. When added in to an omni-channel marketing strategy that includes paid social and PPC, email is the perfect addition to really bring cohesion to your digital set up.
Mailchimp offers affordability and a place to start, but it really is just that. To get the full functionality of a powerful marketing automation tool, you need to think bigger and go with Klaviyo.
Once you’ve got it all set up, Klaviyo makes your marketing incredibly intelligent, exciting and most of all, lucrative.
- Fairly affordable
- Great for DIY email building
- Simple and easy to use
- Decent analytics
- State of the art segmentation and automation
- Ability to go deeper with predictive analysis and advanced reporting
- Integrates with basically everything
- Immersive and intelligent
- Crazy amount of features
- Plugs into Facebook Ads Manager and Shopify
What DMT Think
“Mailchimp offers businesses an easy to use, inexpensive email marketing platform, ideal for smaller clients with smaller lists, as they don’t need to segment as much as the bigger lists.
“Our case studies have found that Klaviyo is making our clients up to 20% additional revenue to their Shopify site over a 90 day period.
“It isn’t as simple as Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, it’s more a case of the intelligence of Klaviyo’s platform paired with the richness of DMT’s in-house resources such as design, content and strategic planning, and a dedicated Klaviyo manager versus a cheaper simplified approach of Mailchimp managed in house.
“The bottom line is, if you have a Shopify platform, you’re likely to be missing out on a tonne of revenue and data if you’re not using Klaviyo, as the two platforms go hand-in-hand.” – Jamie, Email Marketing Manager.
Want to find out more about email marketing? We’d love to chat. Contact us.