Many eCommerce businesses today use eCommerce marketing tools to grow their brand, but it can be a tough decision to choose the right tool you want to invest in. When it comes to email marketing platforms, two tools lead the pack: Klaviyo and Mailchimp.
While Mailchimp was designed specifically for email marketing, Klaviyo was built specifically for eCommerce stores and offers more than just email marketing.
So when it comes to email marketing software, which is best? It's likely that both Klaviyo and Mailchimp are great eCommerce marketing tools that will help you get the job done, but both have their pros and cons.
Table of Contents
- Feature Breakdown
- Customer Support
- Which Tool is Right for You?
- Final Thoughts
To compete in today’s market, growing eCommerce businesses need the right tools in place to create a seamless customer experience. Every channel needs to be in sync to provide customers with personalized, relevant content that aligns with their needs and encourages them to make a purchase. In fact, 55% of companies see better visitor engagement, and 51% see increased conversion rates when they personalize content.
But what features are most important for creating that personalized content, and which eCommerce email marketing platforms offer those features? We’re diving into the two most popular email marketing platforms to answer that question and help you decide which platform is best for your business.
Many businesses these days, and especially eCommerce businesses, rely on a tech stack of various digital tools to get things done. Using those tools is exponentially easier when they all work seamlessly together.
Mailchimp has more than 270 integrations and integrates with all the major CRMs and social tools out there—including eCommerce platforms BigCommerce, Magneto, Square, and WooCommerce. Mailchimp also allows users to use Zapier to add Mailchimp to additional platforms, and Automate.io can even connect Google Sheets and Slack. The one major eCommerce platform that Mailchimp doesn't integrate with is Shopify, which might be a deal-breaker if that's your main eCommerce tool.
Klaviyo has more than 140 integrations and integrates with the big names in eCommerce like WooCommerce and BigCommerce as well. While there are fewer integrations than Mailchimp, Klaviyo has the benefit of integrating with Shopify and Amazon Marketplace as well. For those companies that exclusively use these platforms, Klayvio will be the clear standout due to its integration abilities.
When it comes to looking at Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp both softwares offer great features, but which is better in terms of usability and user interface? It’s an important question because even the best tool won’t help if you and your team don’t know how to work it.
When it comes to design and user interface, Mailchimp is minimalist and clean. It's easy to use and navigate, so anyone from a beginner to expert can jump in and use it quickly. Mailchimp also offers flexibility, like the option of its drag-and-drop editor or customizing the HTML. While Mailchimp has traditionally been just an email platform, it's expanding to become a more encompassing marketing platform to include landing pages, surveys, and postcards.
As the newer platform of the two, Klaviyo's user interface is more modern and Klaviyo's features are much more robust as it is a full marketing automation platform. The software's intuitive drag-and-drop email builder makes it easy to create emails, and extra features allow you to add a personal touch, like matching your color themes with your online store or website. Klaviyo has the added benefit of adding SMS marketing to email marketing, so you have an additional channel to reach your customers if needed.
Segmentation can be a great tool for helping you create groups of contacts so you can use automation to target those customers with specific messaging that speaks to them.
Mailchimp offers decent segmentation in their basic account that allows you to create segments based on audience data like email opens, who clicked on campaigns, and who made purchases, along with segments based on subscriber’s website and social media.
Their premium plan comes with advanced segmentation where you can create more complex segments to reach more specific audiences.
Klaviyo’s email segmentation is a powerhouse—right from signup they give you the option to segment your imported contacts into lists including behavioral or transactional data that’s pulled in from Shopify or other eCommerce CRMs. You can also segment based on things like when your customers make their first purchase, what days they purchase, customers who always use coupons, and more. Klaviyo’s “data science” tools can even be set up to figure out which customers are more likely to become frequent shoppers.
On the automation side, Mailchimp offers a handful of options for setting up automated Workflows based on individual marketing goals. On the free version, you get a single-trigger welcome email or order notification. Once you get into the higher tiers, Mailchimp offers more advanced automation features for tracking the real-time activities of subscribers.
Mailchimp integrates with your website so you can set up automation based on how people interact with your content, such as abandoned items or “thank you for purchase” emails. You can also integrate customer history and purchase data to trigger various actions within a workflow. There are some pre-built automation templates available, including a welcome series, abandoned cart email, product recommendation, and more. You can also easily build your own automated emails with the Workflow editor.
A newer feature in Mailchimp is their “Customer Journey Builder", a more sophisticated version of email automation that allows you to draw out points, actions, and rules that determine a contact's path. Not only does it give you a visual view of your customer journey, but you can also set up if/else branch rules along the path depending on actions customers take.
Automation workflows can be found in the Flows tab within Klaviyo, and there are many pre-built templates to choose from to create your own flows quickly and easily. The templates include the typical welcome and anniversary type templates, but you can also integrate your Aftership to customize your post-purchase follow up and make that experience as seamless as possible.
What’s nice about Klaviyo is that you can set up Flows based on your integrations to website and sales platforms to use your customer data to really personalize workflows and send the right message at the right time to customers. Klaviyo's integrations even let you track customer activity in real-time to trigger automation while they are taking actions. Conditional splits mean you can add multiple routes depending on actions people take as well.
Of course, one of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is understanding how it's performing—and fortunately, both Mailchimp and Klaviyo have extensive analytics information to help you track and measure. Here are some specifics:
The Mailchimp platform gives you all the basic analytics you could want for your email campaigns. On the main dashboard, you can see all the latest trends for your audiences—new subscribers, campaigns sent, and the top-level analytics for those campaigns including click-through rates and email opens. Once you move into the Campaigns tab you can see each individual campaign that you sent and more in-depth analytics for each of those campaigns.
Mailchimp allows you to A/B test campaigns, which gives you insights into how your customers like to digest content, but it does not offer any predictive analysis, so you won’t be able to track down your ideal customers using the platform.
Klaviyo’s analytics dashboard gives you a clear view from the get-go of crucial metrics that you may need from your emails like opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and who marked the email as spam. You can also create more customized dashboards to get a better picture of the stats that mean most to you and your business, shown in the best style for you. You can also use Klaviyo to A/B test your content.
A few analytics features that make Klaviyo stand out—first since Klaviyo is integrated with your eCommerce platform, you can track what your customers are doing in real-time. This gives you up-to-the-minute results on your email marketing so you can make changes on the fly. Klaviyo also gives you a predictive analysis of which customers are most valuable for your team based on the expectation of how many purchases they'll make. In fact, Klaviyo's analytics are so sophisticated with so much data to analyze, it can be overwhelming at first to understand what's important or not.
Sometimes the performance of a platform comes down to how much support you can get to use it properly—and how you get treated if there is an issue. Customer support is an absolute priority, you need to make sure your systems are working on point to keep your business running smoothly. Let’s dive into the two platforms and what they offer in terms of customer support.
Across every level, Mailchimp offers 24/7 chat and email support for their customers. Premium plan subscribers have the added benefit of phone support. Mailchimp also has a knowledge base full of articles and tutorials for those who are interested in learning about the platform themselves.
Similar to Mailchimp, Klaviyo offers email support for their product, along with chat support if you're on a paid tier. Klaviyo also has an extensive knowledge base full of guides, webinars, videos, training sessions, step-by-step directions, and more provided by the platform, and a community forum for answers to additional questions if you'd like to dive in without the help of a customer support agent.
Of course, for many businesses, it comes down to the bottom line—how much does it cost? Price is an essential factor when considering what platform is best for your company, so let’s dive into the differences:
Mailchimp offers up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails for free. Included in the free tier is the Marketing CRM, Creative Assistant, Website Builder, and Forms & Landing Pages. As you go up in subscribers, plans go up as well,
- The Essentials Plan: $9.99/month
- The Standard Plan: $14.99/month
- Premium: $299/month and up depending on subscribers
Mailchimp’s feature availability changes based on the tier as well.
Klaviyo also offers a free tier, with up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends included. In every tier of Klaviyo, you get the same basic features including automated emails, reporting, one-click integrations, and email templates - as you move up the tiers what will change is: the number of contacts, how many emails you can send, and how much support you get (higher tier accounts get a dedicated account manager). Similar to Mailchimp, as you increase subscribers, the more you pay:
- 2000 Subscribers: $60/month
- 5000 Subscribers: $100/month
- 10,000 Subscribers: 150/month
The caveat is that, while Klaviyo isn't the cheapest tool out there and is more expensive than Mailchimp, it does give more features and acts as an all-encompassing marking automation platform all in one tool.
Which Tool is Right for You?
While Mailchimp and Klaviyo seem to be very similar email marketing tools, when it comes to functionality, they are very different. Mailchimp has created a general platform for all types of marketers, which Klaviyo is laser-focused on working with eCommerce brands, which means the features are going to help eCommerce brands get ahead.
Mailchimp is a slightly more affordable, user-friendly solution to get your business started in email marketing. If you have a smaller budget, are open to DIY email creation and high-level integrations, and are looking for something simple to get your emails out, Mailchimp might be the right choice for you.
Klaviyo is a more in-depth solution that will be able to scale as your business grows. If you're looking for in-depth integrations with your existing systems that can provide you email marketing, but also robust analytics, state-of-the-art segmentation, and predictive analysis, Klaviyo is the best tool for you.
While it’s an investment, growing eCommerce brands need the best tools in place that are strong enough to provide the tactics needed to reach customers, but also flexible enough to scale as a business grows. In addition to email marketing, your business will need a place to store and organize your digital assets, and manage projects as you grow. If you want to learn more about the essential tools for a growing eCommerce business, check out Sparkfive.