Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which Is BEST For Ecommerce Businesses?

If you’ve trying to decide between Klaviyo vs Mailchimp to grow your shopify store, then this might just be the most important review you read today. 

Here’s why…

Most reviews, whether they’re Klaviyo reviews or Mailchimp reviews, are useless. They’re written by people just trying to get as many affiliate sales as possible. However, if you really want a trustworthy review that will help you make the right decision the first time around, you need to get it from someone who spends all day using ecommerce email service providers to make a living for both themselves and their clients. 

Considering I run an ecommerce marketing agency, that person is me.

Now, I can tell you right now there is a clear winner between the two. It’s not even close. In fact, I’m so confident about that claim that I’ll put my entire agency’s reputation behind my pick. But, you need to understand why so you can feel just as confident and excited about it as I do.

So let’s get started.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Pricing

Like most things in business, you need to spend money to make money.

This includes investing in an email service provider that works with Shopify. 

You also have to consider what level you are as both Klaviyo and Mailchimp get more expensive the bigger your business becomes. With that said, let’s assume you run a brand new online store and then work our way up to see how costs look like over time.

To do this, let’s look at Klaviyo pricing first.

If you’re just getting started building your email list, you’re going to be pumped to learn that Klaviyo comes with a free pricing tier. 

This free pricing tier comes with up to 250 contacts, 500 email sends, and email support. However, keep in mind that “email sends” means how many individual emails go out. So if you have 250 subscribers exactly, that means you can only send 2 emails for free. If you have 100 subscribers, then you can only send 5 emails for free per month. So on and so forth.

It’s not super generous, but good enough for a new store owner.

What if you grow your email newsletter to 1,000 subscribers though?

At that point, you can have unlimited email sends and you get both email and chat support. This pricing is right in line with most email service providers regardless of industry. However, there is a big jump past the 1,000 subscriber mark.

For example, at 10,000 subscribers you’re paying $150/month.

That is generally more than most email service providers. It’s also important to note that there are no other extra variables as costs increase. In all cases, your subscriber count will dictate the cost and the cost will dictate your email sends and email or chat support.

Long story short, Klaviyo is not cheap.

Now, let’s look at Mailchimp

Just like Klaviyo, they also have a free pricing tier. However, Mailchimp’s free pricing tier is a bit more generous. In this tier, you’re allowed to have up to 2,000 subscribers with up to 10,000 email sends. So if you have 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 5 emails per month.

Mailchimp’s more advanced plans are also deals as well.

Essential: $9.99/month
Standard: $14.99/month
Premium: $299/month

In addition, as you go up to the next level, you get more than just additional sends and subscribers. You get extra features like multivariate testing and behavioral targeting automation series. Of course, most people will never use these features, so it’s debatable whether that’s really noteworthy. But if you want to use them, they’re there.

Probably the most innovative thing about Mailchimp’s pricing is their Pay As You Go plan.

Primarily useful to people who will only send an email every few months, it’s a perfect fit for small seasonal businesses, like some niche streetwear brands.

Their 10% off discount deal is also a nice deal.

Winner

If price is your only concern and you’re willing to do whatever you need to keep your costs low, you might want to take a look at Mailchimp. It has the cheapest and most flexible pricing plans between the two even though Klaviyo does also have a free pricing tier.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Segmentation

Money is far from the only thing you need to consider.

That’s why now we’re going to go into features, starting with segmentation. Which, by the way, is even more critical for businesses that have a hard time selling through ads like supplement companies or beverage brands.

Klaviyo is a segmentation powerhouse. It comes with a bunch of pre-made list segments the moment you sign up, plus they make it really easy to create new, hyper-specific segments. This includes both behavior and transactional data.

So if you wanted a segment just for customers who’ve spent more than $100 worth in cookies over the past 30 days and have a purchase frequency of at least 3 purchases within the same timeframe, you can set that up in seconds.

Basically, Klaviyo is the king when it comes to segmentation.

Unfortunately, this means Mailchimp is anything but the king.

While it might be a tad better than cheaper email service providers, it’s still far from impressive when standing next to Klaviyo. The segmentation process is more complicated, less natural, and doesn’t go nearly as deep or nearly as specific.

Winner

This was an easy one, Klaviyo. In fact, Klaviyo won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place. With Klaviyo, you have the opportunity to make tons of wildly profitable segments even if you’ve never used it before. Everything about it is hyper-specific, easy to use, and powerful. Mailchimp never stood a chance.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Automation

Half of all your ecommerce revenue should come from your automated flows.

Suffice to say, you need really good automation capabilities to make this happen.

Starting with Klaviyo, you’ve got a company that seems to really care about automation. This makes sense as it’s the only email service provider that was specifically made for ecommerce businesses. So if you decided to start a makeup line or maybe even a candle business, Klaviyo was built for you.

In Klaviyo, automated emails are called “flows”. Like their segmentation, this section also comes with very important flows that are already set up. This includes your welcome flow, cart abandonment flow, and post purchase flows. And if you’re completely new to email marketing, Klaviyo even comes with pre-created emails that go into these flows.

As an email marketer, I can tell you they’re not perfect, but they’re an amazing start. 

And because Klaviyo integrates with Shopify and other popular ecommerce platforms, you get to make flows based on the data from your platform. That’s a massive advantage you don’t get from most other email service providers.

Now, Mailchimp.

As you can probably guess, it’s just not as good.

Mailchimp automations match up a bit better with Klaviyo this time around, but the differences between each are really overwhelming. The silver lining here is that since there is less to play with on Mailchimp, it’s possible you might find it easier to use. So this is something to consider if you’re literally doing email marketing for the first time in your career.

With that said, Mailchimp’s power is stunted. Especially when you consider that there is no longer a direct integration between Mailchimp and Shopify anymore. So if you’ve been wanting to start that luxury brand, don’t do it with mailchimp.

Winner

Klaviyo is a runaway winner here again. 

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Reporting And Analytics

Data is everything in email marketing.

You want to know the exact campaigns, flows, and segments that are performing so you can do more of what works and continually improve what doesn’t. That’s why I consider the quality of reporting and analytics as the #1 indicator of whether an email service provider is going to make you money or lose it.

Again, let’s start with Klaviyo.

Klaviyo was built with data-driven ecommerce marketers in mind.

Right from the start, Klaviyo has an amazing dashboard that tells everything you need to know about the overall health of your email marketing operation. Everything from the revenue per email to the exact percentage of revenue earned from email compared to your other marketing channels is covered.

Then, as you go deeper, you can look for more specific metrics.

Clickthrough rates, bounced messages, unsubscribe rates, spam, and more. Then if you go to customer data, you’re flooded with highly valuable information that can literally change a business overnight. This includes how recent someone has purchased something, how frequently they purchase, and how much money they’ve spent.

In other words, you can pinpoint your most profitable customers with ease on Klaviyo.

Mailchimp is the ugly duckling yet again, sort of.

Again, because Mailchimp just has less options available, it’s a bit easier to learn. With Mailchimp, you get all of the basic analytics and more. Plus, you also get advanced email marketing features like A/B testing and multivariate testing depending on the package your currently paying for.

So while some might consider Mailchimp to be “good enough” in terms of data, when compared to Klaviyo, it still plays second fiddle.

Winner

Klaviyo is the obvious winner. It has some of the most powerful reporting and analytics on the market for ecommerce. In fact, I would say THE most powerful. So if you’re running a Shopify store and data is important to you, it’s the clear choice.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Usability And UI

It’s one thing to have an email service provide, it’s another to actually be able to use it.

That’s why usability and UI is so important even if you’re an advanced email marketer.

Now, both Mailchimp and Klaviyo perform well here, but for different reasons.

Klaviyo was designed to be a data powerhouse. There is no other tool that will give you a better idea of how healthy your email marketing operation is. However, this also means there can be a slight learning curve with Klaviyo.

With that said, it’s not as bad as you might imagine.

It’s like Photoshop. When you’re new to it, all you notice is all of the bells and whistles. However, you’ll quickly realize that 80% of all your results will come knowing just a few of things really well. Plus, Klaviyo’s UI is generally really clean. Particularly they’re dashboard.

In addition, creating emails is a breeze.

With Klaviyo’s drag-and-drop editor, there is virtually no learning curve. You won’t have to be worrying about coding or working with any clunky formatting buttons. Once you get familiar with Klaviyo, going from logging into your account to sending a campaign will take minutes.

Next is Mailchimp.

The great thing about Mailchimp is that it was virtually created for beginners.

Even if you’ve never done email marketing before in your life, you’re going to pick up Mailchimp really quickly. That’s because Mailchimp’s layout is simple, the email templates are actually useful, and the drag-and-drop editor is absolutely perfect.

The only downside to Mailchimp is their naming scheme. It can get a little confusing at times.

Winner

Klaviyo. The reason why is because the data is a lot easier to identify and measure. Of course, this is an issue of personal preference. But in my opinion, while Mailchimp is ultra simple, it still looks like it was made back in 2005. Klaviyo has a more useful UI and looks more modern.

Klaviyo vs Integrations: Integrations

The tool with the best and complete list of integrations is the one that’s going to make your life easier, especially if you use multiple other pieces of software to run your ecommerce business.

And in this category, there is one clear winner.

Klaviyo has tons of integrations with all sorts of tools. In addition, it also has seamless integrations with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento, as well as subscription apps so you can sell subscription boxes. This is what fuels Klaviyo’s dominance when it comes to data collection.

Mailchimp?

They don’t integrate with Shopify anymore. That’s a deal breaker.

Sure, there’s a workaround, but it’s not the same thing anymore. 

Now, if you’re running an ecommerce business through some other platform like Bigcommerce or Woocommerce, then this isn’t a very big deal. But considering Shopify is one of the biggest and also the most popular platform for new ecommerce businesses, it’s a huge deal.

Winner

Klaviyo because it’s designed to work hand-in-hand with Shopify and anything else an ecommerce business owner needs. Mailchimp doesn’t.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Customer Support

I consider customer support to be the most important feature in an email service provider.

It’s 100% guaranteed you will face problems or need things that aren’t obvious at first glance, so you’ll need a fast and helpful customer support team to get you through these roadblocks. It’s so important, I would pick a better customer support team over better data.

When it comes to help centers, Klaviyo is solid.

Of course, because Klaviyo can be complicated at times, it’s not always going to be a walk in the park. That’s where the actual support team comes into play.

Once you’re a paying customer, you have access to both email support and chat support. Generally, Klaviyo’s support team is top notch. They’re fast and always seem to know what to say. Considering that most customer support teams in other email service providers are just OK at best, it’s safe to say Klaviyo’s team stands out.

Mailchimp doesn’t do as well here as I would hope.

Their help center isn’t as in-depth, especially if you need videos to really help you get stuff done rather than reading through walls of text. This is a real shame because if you end up needing help from their team, there’s virtually no way to get access to them.

This error alone should be bad enough to keep you away from Mailchimp.

Winner

Klaviyo. Their customer support is in-depth, helpful, and useful. Mailchimp’s is virtually nonexistent. Easy choice.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Outsourcing

Most reviews will stick to pricing and features when talking about Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, however there is an additional hidden reason to pick one over the other that you’ll never read about. And I know about this particular reason because I’m an agency owner myself.

Here it is…

Ecommerce agencies who offer email marketing will only deal with Klaviyo users. Heck, even if they offer Facebook ads and all sorts of other services, which assumes they know how to use all sorts of software, they still will just stick to Klaviyo for their entire offering.

And if you don’t already use Klaviyo, most will try to convince you to switch to Klaviyo. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a beverage brand or really any type of brand.

That’s because Klaviyo is the unofficial “industry standard” in ecommerce. It’s what every ecommerce agency uses. Yes, some will work with you anyway if you use something else, but only when they have no choice. Ecommerce marketers prefer Klaviyo literally 100% of the time.

So if you ever plan on outsourcing your email marketing to agency or freelancer, Klaviyo is your only choice. And if you’re a freelancer or agency just looking to get their first email copy client, then Klaviyo is also your answer.

No ecommerce email marketing agency uses Mailchimp.

The Final Verdict: Klaviyo

The only downside Klaviyo has is that it can be expensive.

However, Klaviyo wins by a landslide in every other category. It’s easy to use, the data collection and presentation is absolutely perfect, the integrations are exactly what every ecommerce business needs, the automation is powerful, and their segmentation feature is amazing.

So while Klaviyo is more expensive, its features will directly lead to a higher ROI.

And that’s the main difference between Klaviyo vs Mailchimp or any other tool. Klaviyo is the only email service provider literally built for ecommerce email marketing funnels. That’s why it’s the industry standard for both ecommerce business owners and ecommerce marketing agencies.

The only time I would recommend Mailchimp is for Etsy store sellers, maybe.