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Email Marketing for Shopify Stores: Mailchimp vs. Klaviyo

There is no shortage of email marketing tools for small businesses, but it’s no secret that Mailchimp has long reigned supreme. For years, Mailchimp was widely considered to be the go-to marketing automation platform for Shopify stores. But that changed in March of 2019, when Shopify and Mailchimp announced a less-than-amicable split, ostensibly due to privacy policy disagreements.

This left a lot of Shopify store owners wondering what to do. Figure out a workaround? Migrate to a new email marketing platform like Klaviyo?

Well, that depends. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Let’s take a look at what Mailchimp and Klaviyo each have to offer, along with some other alternative products.

Mailchimp vs. Klaviyo Feature Showdown

First, it’s important to note that “email marketing platform” is a bit of a misnomer for these tools. Yes, they do offer email marketing — but they don’t stop there. To give you a complete understanding of both platforms, let’s compare some of the key features they offer, including but not limited to email marketing.

This information comes directly from Mailchimp and Klaviyo’s websites, as well as in-depth feature comparisons from GetApp and Capterra.

Standard pricing for 5,000 contacts$75/mo$100/mo
Standard pricing for 50,000 contacts$299/mo$700/mo
Shopify integration
Mobile responsive email templates
List segmentation
Email A/B testing
Automated email flows
Drag-and-drop email editor
Website popups for list building
Email engagement analytics
ROI reporting
Social media advertising
Google retargeting ads
Contact activity history

Mailchimp Pros and Cons

Easy to use
Relatively inexpensive
Integrates with more ad channels

No native Shopify integration
Less advanced workflow automations
Less granular audience segmentation

Klaviyo Pros and Cons

Advanced ROI reporting
More powerful A/B testing
More features available out-of-the-box

More expensive than Mailchimp
Advanced features mean there’s a learning curve
Less robust engagement metrics

Workarounds for Shopify + Mailchimp Users

If you do choose to use Mailchimp for email marketing, you have two options. Either you can use a third-party tool to integrate Mailchimp and Shopify, or you can manually upload your Shopify data to Mailchimp.

For most small businesses, a third-party integration is the way to go. Mailchimp recommends ShopSyncZapier, and ShopSync is by far the most robust, and it’s free to use.

If you decide to go the manual route, keep in mind that you’ll sacrifice some key Mailchimp features, like product recommendations and reports.

Other Email Marketing & Automation Platforms for Ecommerce

Mailchimp and Klaviyo may be the biggest players in the game, but they aren’t the only options. Here are some other popular email marketing and marketing automation platforms that have native integrations with Shopify.

  • Constant Contact: Offers a standard package with basic email features, as well as an advanced package that includes popups, event marketing, more advanced email features, and more
  • Drip: Billed as an ECRM — an ecommerce customer relationship management platform. That’s a fancy way of saying they help you understand and manage your interactions with customers.
  • Sendinblue: Offers email marketing along with some unique features, like SMS marketing and live chat to connect with customers in real time
  • Omnisend: Offers an omnichannel approach — email marketing, text messaging, web push notifications, and Facebook Messenger in one tool
  • SmartrMail: Makes it easy to set up best practice commerce email automations, as well as manual newsletters, popups and some advanced features like a Facebook Custom Audiences integration. 

And the list goes on. The software review site Capterra is a great resource for finding and comparing different email marketing platforms. I recommend starting with their list of the top 7 Mailchimp alternatives for small business email marketing.

Whether you choose to use Mailchimp, Klaviyo, or another tool to promote your Shopify store, you need a strong email marketing strategy in place.

One of the simplest ways to get started is with an email newsletter that combines your products and interesting content to bring subscribers back to your site. And believe it or not, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time.

Feature image provided by Christian Stahl

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