Email marketing is a popular communication technique used by countless businesses across the globe, and it is easy to see why! With the ability to create unique, targeted, and personalized messages for your audience, email marketing is a great way to work toward meeting your business’ ecommerce goals and objectives. With the rise of email marketing in ecommerce, many platforms are available to help your business create and manage campaigns. It can be worth looking at some options to aid your business make the best decision.
To help guide you through this important decision, we have analyzed and compared two of the most well-known players in the ecommerce email marketing space - Klaviyo vs Mailchimp. Today, we will discuss the pricing, features, and other benefits before concluding with our recommendation. If you've been wondering what the right offering for you is, keep reading.
If you have been considering either Klaviyo or Mailchimp as your email marketing platform, the first thing you need to know about each is their pricing model. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned, which is why getting the best deal possible is pertinent for your ecommerce business.
Mailchimp offers a tiered pricing system, meaning you will have plenty of options to choose from to suit your business’s needs. The great benefit of this tier system is that you will get access to the features in the lower tiers, too, if you decide to upgrade. Not sure about which feature you need yet? Well, Mailchimp offers a free tier that allows you to try out the basic features, and from there, you can figure out which paid tier would meet your needs best.
The free package gives you basic templates, automation features, and a cap of 2,000 subscribers to your mailing list.
Beyond the free tier, you get many more features, including A/B testing and custom templates. The most affordable package costs $9.99 a month. On the other hand, the most expensive costs $299 a month. In total, you will pay between $120 - $3,600 per year with Mailchimp.
Mailchimp also offers pay-as-you-go options. These credits expire after 12 months and can cost between $150 and $1,500 for 5,000 and 75,000 emails, respectively.
While this may seem like an excellent deal, Mailchimp comes with several hidden fees that increase the price. Firstly, you have a contact limit with Mailchimp. If you exceed this limit, you will have to pay an extra fee. While the limit is generous (with the Essentials plan, you will only have to pay if you send more than 500,000 emails), this can increase your costs significantly if you have a busy month.
While Mailchimp may appear cheaper on the surface, it may not be the case in practice.
Klaviyo's pricing system is different from Mailchimp's. Rather than offering distinct packages, Klaviyo charges you based on the number of emails you send to your contact list (your first 500 emails are free). Klaviyo is, therefore, more customizable, meaning you won't have to pay for emails and contacts you won't use.
Klaviyo even has a tool that allows you to check how much you will likely pay monthly for a certain number of email contacts.
While this customizability is fantastic, Klaviyo is, on average, more expensive per email than Mailchimp. For example, with Mailchimp, you can send emails to 2,000 email contacts on the free plan. However, with Klaviyo, you would have to pay $60 monthly for the same number of subscribers.
- Klaviyo has a more flexible pricing scheme than Mailchimp
- Mailchimp offers more free features than Klaviyo
- Mailchimp is less expensive per email than Klaviyo, but Mailchimp can be more expensive due to several hidden fees not included in the headline price
The most essential part of any email marketing platform is the features they bring to your business. While great value for money is a priority, paying a little more is always better to get the features that can take your business to the next level. So, is Klaviyo better than Mailchimp in this area, or vice versa? That is what we will discuss now.
Firstly, we will analyze what features Mailchimp and Klaviyo have in common. Both are robust and popular ecommerce email marketing platforms. Both platforms allow you to design personalized emails, schedule when you would like them to be sent, and automatically send them, making your job easy!
Klaviyo and Mailchimp also have many powerful automation and reporting features. While we will get into the details later in this post, Klaviyo has more in-depth reporting tools than Mailchimp. Even so, if you need A/B testing, multivariate testing, or segmentation, both these platforms perform admirably.
One final similarity between these platforms is the integrations. In the past, Mailchimp had significantly more integrations than Klaviyo; however, it lacked many that were essential to ecommerce businesses - most famously, Mailchimp had no Shopify integration.
In recent years, the gap has narrowed between the two companies. Klaviyo's market for pre-built integrations has grown, while Mailchimp now has integrations for many of the largest ecommerce applications, including Shopify. Both also have custom APIs and third-party software available, making them more similar than different.
Even though these platforms have many of the same features, there are still exclusives on both. One of the most impactful is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM tools are essential for ecommerce businesses as they allow you to manage your interactions with particular customers. With these tools, you can also produce interactive reports for internal analysis or marketing. Currently, only Mailchimp offers an extensive CRM suite, giving them a leg up over Klaviyo.
While not an exclusive feature, Mailchimp also has much more developed customer service. This package includes 24/7 chat and email support, social media support, and a library of support documentation. Klaviyo is more limited, with chat-only support available during business hours.
Usability & Automation
If you are new to ecommerce or managing a rapidly growing business, you need a platform that is both easy to use and automize. In this section, we will compare Mailchimp to Klaviyo on these metrics, analyzing how easy it is to manage a campaign on each and their automation features.
Mailchimp vs Klaviyo Usability Comparison
Ease of use is one of the main issues many marketing teams have with Klaviyo. While Klaviyo is powerful, affordable, and has many features, the learning curve is steep. On the plus side, Klaviyo does have thorough documentation and many tutorials, so you learn how the navigate the platform in no time.
However, Mailchimp is the preferred application if you need a simple and effective platform from day one. Mailchimp's design is modern and appealing, with a clear user interface. You can switch between drag-and-drop features to custom HTML code, and this switch makes Mailchimp flexible and approachable.
Mailchimp vs Klaviyo Automation Comparison
While Mailchimp may be easier to use, Klaviyo is home to more robust automation features. In the past, Klaviyo had an even more pronounced advantage. However, Mailchimp has recently started investing in this area, narrowing the gap.
Even so, Mailchimp is still behind Klaviyo. The main advantages Klaviyo has over Mailchimp are:
- Extensive premade automation flows
- Klaviyo can use real-time data to activate automation flows
- Mailchimp users must purchase the Premium plan to use many advanced automation features
Given these facts, it is clear that Klaviyo provides many more automation tools than Mailchimp.
For modern ecommerce businesses, integrations are essential. These apps will help turn your ecommerce platform into something uniquely suited to your business's needs.
One of the significant advantages Mailchimp has over Klaviyo is the sheer number of integrations available. With Mailchimp, you can access over 300 integrations, with more available monthly. You can even build your own using Mailchimp's API.
Just some of the most popular integrations available include integrations for Shopify, Squarespace, and QuickBooks. However, these are just the most popular - many more specialized applications, such as for building forms or interacting with customers, are also available.
As mentioned above, Mailchimp beats Klaviyo in the number of integrations on the platform. Today, there are around 220 integrations available on Klaviyo. Many of these allow you to connect your Klaviyo account with other major ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify or Magento.
Outside of integrations included with the platform, you can also build your integrations or license third-party software. Regardless of what you need, all pre-built integrations are seamless. You won't have to fiddle with code when adding them to your site, giving you more time to sell and interact with your customers.
- Mailchimp has more integrations than Klaviyo (300 vs. 220)
- Both allow you to build your own integrations using the platform's respective APIs
Reporting & Analytics
Analytics are some of the most powerful tools for ecommerce platforms. With good analytics, you can focus on what specific types of customers need and discover pain points that may reduce sales. Mailchimp and Klaviyo both have extensive reporting and analytics features, which we will now analyze to see which one better suits your business.
While Mailchimp does have many excellent reporting features, they are only available as part of more expensive packages. For example, you will only get basic A/B testing with the Essentials package ($9.99 monthly). If you want more extensive features, you may need to invest in some of the more expensive packages, which can get costly for your business.
If you purchase these packages, you will get a lot of value. With the Premium package, you can discover when the best time of day to send an email is and segment your customers into data categories any way you want. These are just some of Mailchimp's features that would benefit your ecommerce business.
While Mailchimp's analytics are effective, they are nowhere near as extensive as Klaviyo. If your business needs in-depth analytics to optimize performance, Klaviyo is the better option.
Why? Firstly, Klaviyo offers many of Mailchimp's analytic features at a lower price. Klaviyo does not lock advanced segmentation behind a premium package - it comes with your subscription.
Secondly, Klaviyo's predictive analytics are significantly more robust than Mailchimp's. With these, you can explore information such as a customer segment's click-through rate and open rate. With this depth of analysis, you can easily target specific demographics, notice areas that need improvement, and generally improve your email marketing performance.
The only issue with Klaviyo's reporting tools is that they can be overwhelming for new users. We recommend you have an expert on hand when analyzing Klaviyo data for the first time.
- Mailchimp's analytics package, while robust, is only available with an expensive Premium subscription
- Klaviyo's analytics are affordable and extensive. However, they are slightly more complicated to use than Mailchimp's
Who is our Winner?
This is a lot of information to take in, so we will give you a summary before revealing our conclusion. So, which is the better ecommerce platform for your business? Klaviyo or Mailchimp?
The most important factors you should consider are price, features, usability, automation, integrations, and analytics. Based on our research, the results are as follows:
- Price: Klaviyo appears more expensive initially, but you are likely to spend more if you use Mailchimp due to fees not being included in the headline price
- Features: While both share many similarities, Klaviyo has better analytics tools, while Mailchimp has better CRM features
- Usability: Mailchimp is significantly easier to start using as Klaviyo has a steep learning curve
- Automation: Klaviyo's automation features are famous for their robustness and depth
- Integration: Mailchimp has access to a few more integrations than Klaviyo
- Analytics: Klaviyo's analytics are significantly more in-depth and track more data than Mailchimp's
With all this in mind, we think Klaviyo is the better choice for growing ecommerce businesses. While the platform is more complex than Mailchimp, Klaviyo is markedly more effective for analytics and automation. It is also less expensive on average when all costs are counted.
While Mailchimp is an excellent place to start, if you want to grow your business, Klaviyo is the clear winner.