Growing an e-commerce business is a never ending task of finding new leads and keeping old ones.
To simplify it all, you’ve probably looked into marketing automation tools. You may have noticed two brands that lead the way: Klaviyo, and MailChimp.
For a newcomer, it can be difficult to find your footing. Both services seem to promise some very complicated sounding things. How well do they deliver?
Our guide covers what Klaviyo and MailChimp have to offer, and how they stack up against each other. That way you can make the best choice to expand your business.
For the unaware, segmentation refers to splitting your email clients into separate groups. This way, you can deliver personalized content to specific sets of people.
With Klaviyo this feature offers a great deal of personalization. You can transfer data from your Shopify account to build these lists based on transactional details. So, if you have customers who buy only sunglasses, nothing but budget items, or only shop on a Wednesday, emails can be tailored to suit them all.
MailChimp offers a similar segmentation tool, but it’s lacking in comparison. For a start, they don’t consider any transactional data. Where Klaviyo offers an audience tailored experience, MailChimp does the basics.
Furthermore, for every list a subscriber appears on, it counts as a different contact. So by building a comprehensive list, you lose allowance.
Automation can do things from sending emails to remind a customer their cart is waiting, to thanking a customer on their first purchase anniversary.
It might take you a few hours to get the hang of Klaviyo’s automation, but then the possibilities are massive. With Klaviyo you can automate emails for personal occasions, and create multiple flows.
In other words, Klaviyo can be programmed to alter strategy depending on which customer clicks where. All the time it continues to collect data, integrated with the data from Shopify, to help you build better future workflows.
The biggest disappointment with MailChimps automation is that it isn’t available on their free price plan. However, if you do have a paid account, MailChimps automation is incredibly easy to use.
Within a couple of minutes you can set up emails that are responsive and feel personal. There are fewer options than there are with Klaviyo, but the basics are covered.
Reporting and Analytics
The insights provided by reporting and analytics show if your marketing strategy is working. The segmentation and automation mean little if you don’t have the data to back it up. Reporting and analytics show what worked, what didn’t, and what you can do next.
Klaviyo provide a customizable analytics toolbar, to give you easy access to your data. You can check out bounce-rate, unsubscribe rate, spam reports, open rates, and click-through rates, among others.
With Klaviyo’s integration you can see real time what worked on your customers, what didn’t, and who clicked where and when. It also provides you with details of where money and purchases are likely to be coming from, allowing you to customize the next campaign pointedly
Of course, so much data can become overwhelming. It’s a lot for a newcomer. Klaviyo allows you to add and remove reports, and shows them as both line graph charts and conventional figures.
Again, MailChimps service is basic in comparison. MailChimp provides the essential analytics, but doesn’t have the same predictive features. However, it does feature industry baselines, which are a handy comparison tool. You can still build a successful campaign with MailChimp.
There’s no point in paying for a service that you can’t use. The User Interface needs to be easy to navigate, or your throwing money at pretty, unreadable, graphics.
Klaviyo is undoubtedly the more advanced tool. To accommodate this there needs to be some sacrifice of ease-of-use. For newcomers, Klaviyo takes time to navigate. However, the UI isn’t difficult because of poor design, but because of the sheer scale.
Klaviyo’s email building tool is an intuitive drag-and-drop system. Even newbies to email marketing will be able to put together compelling automated flows quickly.
Their large range of email design templates allows you to almost immediately create high-quality marketing campaigns. As it integrates so smoothly with your website, company colors and logos are pulled in for a personal touch. And you don’t have to click back and forth between tabs all the time.
MailChimp, on the other hand, is straightforward. The dashboard sticks to the core functions, so you aren’t overwhelmed with data at the first glance. It comes with a large range of email templates that are intuitive to use.
Within minutes of signing up to MailChimp you’ll be able to craft professional, intelligent emails. If you’re interested in design, MailChimp lets you build from scratch.
To run a successful e-commerce business you’ll probably be relying on multiple tools and software. The best software works together to pull data, so you don’t get stuck endlessly searching for it yourself.
The integration tools at Klaviyo are fantastic. Check out their integrations page to see just what’s on offer. It integrates seamlessly with both collaboration software and e-commerce platforms. Shopify, Big Commerce, Magneto, Facebook, Eventbrite, Loyalty Lion, and so much more are all covered.
Although MailChimp previously had a relationship with Shopify, new MailChimp accounts are no longer able to integrate directly. This is a big blow, as Shopify is such a popular platform.
But if you thought Klaviyo had a large list of integrations, it’s nothing compared to MailChimp. In terms of sheer numbers MailChimp wins out. And although you can’t integrate directly with Shopify, it is still possible through a third party.
So, those are the features you can expect from Klaviyo and MailChimp. What else sets them apart?
Running an e-commerce business can be a steep learning curve. With so many features and platforms, it’s good to know a service has your back.
Klaviyo offers email support for customers on any price plan, including free. They also have an extensive help center, including FAQs and video guides. This makes those getting started relatively painless.
If you have a paid account, Klaviyo offers a live-chat function from 9am to 5pm ET (Eastern Time), Monday to Friday. There is no phone support on Klaviyo, regardless of account size.
On MailChimps free plan support is negligible. While they offer guides and FAQs, the service is nowhere near as extensive as Klaviyo.
The upside is that once you’ve paid for an Essentials plan, you have 24/7 access to live chat and email support. If you’re on the expensive premium plan, you also gain access to phone support.
While the features may be the selling points, we can’t ignore the importance of price.
Klaviyo offers a free tier, which is exciting for any new business. With this tier you can have up to 250 contacts and 500 emails. You do have to have Klaviyo branding at the bottom of all your emails, however.
Understanding the Klaviyo price plans is incredibly simple. They offer the same great features at every price point, you only pay for the number of contacts you have. The problem is price plans quickly become very expensive.
While 250 contacts are free, 251 contacts jumps the price to $20. They go all the way to 150,000 contacts, which will set you back $1,700 a month.
The pricing of MailChimp is a little more complicated. Again, they offer a free tier, and this one covers 2000 contacts. However, some features are missing.
While Klaviyo charges solely based on contact number, MailChimp offers three levels of paid plans. The Essentials plan covers 50,000 contacts a month, and costs $9.99. Again, you sacrifice features. While Essentials adds A/B testing capabilities and support, you have to upgrade to Standard to gain access to behavioral targeting and dynamic content.
The Standard plan is $14.99, and covers up to 100,000 contacts. For the extra $5, it’s definitely worth the upgrade.
From there, the price jump is massive. A Premium MailChimp account is $299. This grants access to more features, but the price change is significant.
Klaviyo vs MailChimp
MailChimp is the older of the two platforms, having been founded in 2001, and you can tell.
Where Klaviyo was founded specifically to deal in e-commerce, MailChimp has had to adapt. It’s clear to see where they’ve fallen behind.
Klaviyo is undoubtedly better in terms of features. It does more, and it does more for free. The integration, automation, and reporting and analytics, are all better and more advanced. MailChimp, unfortunately, just can’t keep up.
However, for a new business, or a small business, MailChimp has its advantage. It’s easier to use, covers the basics, and offers a large range of features for more contacts at a lower price.
Both services are reliable, and are sure to grow your business. The choice comes down to two things: how much is your budget, and how much growth are you interested in?