Klaviyo vs Mailchimp for Ecommerce – Which is Best for You?

Ryan Turner // September 4 // 0 Comments

When it comes to ROI, email marketing has no competition for an Ecommerce brand. On average, email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent. To give you a comparison, media buying on Google averages only a $2 ROI for each $1 spent.

Even though nurturing your leads and customers can bring lucrative results, it’d take lots of effort to do it all manually. Luckily, there are tools such as Klaviyo and Mailchimp that let you automate email marketing sequences, and create email templates with simple drag and drop builders.

Currently, there are dozens of solid email marketing tools available for you to use, and each of them has their own advantages. For example, Mailchimp is cost effective, easy to learn, and has hundreds of thousands of happy customers. On the other hand Klaviyo is much more complex with it’s advanced feature set. On average Klaviyo costs are also more expensive, but it was specifically designed from the ground up for Ecommerce brands. It is one of the most powerful Ecommerce ESPs available on the market today – the choice of many large D2C brands.

Picking the best platform for you can seem far from easy. Making the right decision is important as email is so deeply ingrained in any successfull Ecommerce marketing strategy. Changing platforms in the future can be a big task If you’ve been trying to decide between Mailchimp vs Klaviyo for your Ecommerce brand then this article is for you.

Comparison of Main Features

Klaviyo is an advanced email marketing platform with lots of features built specifically for online retailers using platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.

Here are the main Klaviyo features:

  • Advanced Email automation and segmentation
  • A/B Testing
  • Pre-built email automation templates
  • SMS marketing
  • Predictive analytics
  • Churn reduction strategies
  • Fully customizable real-time reporting dashboards

Their pre-built email templates can be customized accordingly to your needs. If you don’t find any designs you like in their email templates collection, you can create your own to use for your email campaigns and automations.

When you set up your email marketing campaigns you’ll be able to monitor all the statistics easily from an activity dashboard which can be custom built to show you the exact datapoints you want to see each day.

Mailchimp’s main features

  • Landing page builder
  • A/B Testing
  • Social media management
  • Ads management
  • Suggestions for improvement
  • In-depth data reports
  • Drag&drop email editor
  • Pre-built email templates

As for email templates, you choose from over 100 customizable templates or create your own from scratch with their drag and drop builder and dynamic content.

Mailchimp has grown to be more than just an email marketing platform They also offer content management services, and you can create landing pages or manage ads directly through the platform.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Pricing

Pricing plans for email marketing platforms can start from as low as $20/month and go up to over $2000/month for larger email lists.

With Klaviyo, you can start with a free plan – it’ll let you manage an email list with 250 contacts and send up to 500 emails, which can be suitable for you if you’re just starting out.

Upgrading to a pricing plan with 15,000 monthly email sends and an email list of up to 1500 contacts will cost you $45/month for instance.

Each of the paid Klaviyo pricing tiers offer the same features – automated flows, analytics, data reports, email templates, simple integrations etc. The price changes only based on your usage and the amount of emails or SMS you want to send.

If you’re a larger Ecommerce store on a high-tier pricing plan, you can also get an individual customer support representative.

Klaviyo isn’t cheap, but their pricing plans are easy to understand and you can upgrade/downgrade anytime.

Now, let’s head over to Mailchimp.

Mailchimp, just like Klaviyo, comes with a free plan that includes all the basic features, but without a/b testing, data reports, analytics or customer support.

You can have an email list with up to 2000 subscribers on a basic free account.

Then, you can pick the “Essentials” plan that comes with all email templates, A/B testing, custom branding and customer support.

Price: $9.99/month

After that, there’s the “Standard” plan that adds automation series, retargeting adds, the ability to create custom templates and advanced audience analytics.

Price: $14.99/month

Finally, if you want everything Mailchimp has to offer, on the “Premium” plan you can access advanced segmentation, up to 8 variations on A/B testing, unlimited seats and role-based access, phone support.

Price: $299/month

While Klaviyo offers the same features on all plans, Mailchimp requires you to upgrade to the highest tier if you want to use the platform to its fullest.

On the other side, Mailchimp comes with a pay-as-you-go plan that can let you pay for credits whenever you want and whenever you need them, instead of having to buy the whole package each month.

Our choice based on pricing: Klaviyo, as their pricing plans are easier to understand for new users, and you get access to all features despite the tier (email sends and list size are the only limits). A brand new startup with 20 subscribers has access to exactly the same feature set as an 8-figure Ecommerce company using Klaviyo.

If you are however just looking for the basics such as abandoned cart emails and a welcome sequence, then Mailchimp will be cheaper. The get the most from Klaviyo’s higher price, you need to be prepared to use the full functionality.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Deliverability

Mailchimp’s overall delivery rate is 98.9%.

68.5% of all the emails sent are most likely to hit the primary tab if they’re being sent out to a gmail inbox, while the spam rate is 13%.

There is currently no publicly available data for Klaviyo across all accounts. However, a specialist Klaviyo agency who have been using the platform for the last 5 years, we’ve never experienced deliverability issues with any client – at least the ones who didn’t implement bad/spammy practices before working with us.

Winner: It’s a tie. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp have great deliverability if you follow best practices.

Tip: Whichever email platform you use for high volume marketing sendings, deliverability can be improved by going through domain authentication processes including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. You can learn more about this in our Klaviyo training course.

Email Templates Functionality

Depending on how design-heavy your brand is, you probably want to add nice looking graphics to accompany your email’s copy.

Klaviyo currently offers over 70 templates available for you to use & customize.

To access their email templates, simply:

  • Open up your Klaviyo dashboard
  • Go to “Email Templates”
  • Click “Create Template”

And there, you should be able to choose a template that fits your needs. You can customize the chosen email template easily with a simple drag&drop builder.

Klaviyo’s pre-built template library

Mailchimp offers 100+ fully customizable email templates ready for you to use – and if somehow you end up not liking any of them, you can code your own with their HTML editor.

Some of Mailchimp’s pre-built templates

Winner: This is a tie. Both platforms have a great selection of pre-built templates which are easy to customize for your brand,

Email List Management

With Mailchimp you can create & manage multiple lists for different clients at the same time if working on multiple brands. Although, if the same contact is present in different list, you’ll need to pay for the contact per each list they’re subscribed to.

However, if you’re only working with one project at a time, it’s better to use just one list and simply tag your contacts to keep them organized.

Other than using tags, you can also put your contacts into segments or groups – this is up to you and your own preferences.

Klaviyo lets you create lists easily with each brand being handled in one account. It is easy to switch between accounts under one email address if your business has multiple stores, or you’re an agency working on different brands.

Winner: Draw as they both offer similar functions and the list functionality is fairly similar across platforms. We’ll discuss segmentation later.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp’s Easy of Use

Mailchimp is a beginner-friendly email marketing platform but it’s also loaded with features that are loved by more advanced users. It’s easy to get around their software, and even if you get stuck you can follow their tutorials which are plain and straight to the point.

Their email templates are easy to customize thanks to the drag&drop builder, and there is no need for coding your own one with HTML (unless you really want to).

With Mailchimp, you can get started quickly – but if you’re looking for more in-depth analytics and data reports, Klaviyo will be a better fit for you.

On the other hand, Klaviyo is one of the most advanced email marketing automation tools, and they can generate in-depth data and analytics allowing you to personalize your campaigns as much as possible.

Klaviyo can be easily integrated with almost any eCommerce platform. They also use a simple drag&drop editor to help you customize your email template.

This email marketing tool definitely has a learning curve, but if you’re a large eCommerce store looking for advanced data reports or list segmentation, you’ll appreciate the features Klaviyo offers.

Winner: Mailchimp as it’s is easier to use for starters. However, if you’re more after in-depth analysis and more advanced list segmentation, Klaviyo is your best choice. For insights into Klaviyo’s more advanced feature sets you can read our full Klaviyo review.

Email List Segmentation

Klaviyo has by far one of the most advanced segmentation tools for email marketing. You’ll be able to segment your list based on the number of products they’ve bought, how many times they’ve opened an email or the last time they visited your page and so on.

Klaviyo also lets you create more advanced segments based on super-specific data – for example, it can find people in your email list that bought a specific product X times or visited your page X times during a certain period.

You can easily integrate the tool with Facebook and get access to even more data that you can use later on for list segmentation. For instance, your segments can consist of “discount buyers” or people searching only for a specific product in your store.

On Klaviyo you’ll also find data science tools that will help you calculate your customers’ lifetime value and estimate which of your email list subscribers will eventually become repeat buyers.

When it comes to Klaviyo, you can create as many list segments as you want and you won’t be charged any additional fees.

On the other hand, Mailchimp’s list segmentation features are limited and less complex than Klaviyo’s.

Mailchimp will let you create segments based on subscribers that opened your email, specific campaign clicks, their social media activities etc.

Mailchimp offers advanced segmentation on their Premium plan – therefore, you’ll have to upgrade if you want to access more options for segmentation.

Winner: Klaviyo as they have one of the most advanced segmentation features currently available on the market and all of the features are available to all users – even if you’re on the free plan.

Klaviyo Customer Support vs Mailchimp Customer Support

Klaviyo has great customer support we use it at least 2-3 times per week here at the Ecommerce Intelligence agency. Before you start using their platform, you can ask for a free demo that will take you step-by-step through the email marketing software. After that, you can get a free trial that will let you learn the platform better in your own time.

To contact their support team, you can head over to their Help Center, and use the search bar to look for articles or answers related to the issue you’re facing. Although, if you’re eCommerce store is big enough, you’ll get an individual customer support representative. Klaviyo offers live chat support which is usually fast and helpful. There is also a friendly community forum that can help you solve your problem even before you get in touch with their support team.

With Mailchimp, you get access to mail and live chat support on the first two pricing plans. When you upgrade, you’ll also be able to access call support. If that’s not enough, you can also access their guides and articles.

Unfortunately, customer support isn’t available on both Mailchimp and Klaviyo free plan.

Winner: Klaviyo. Their support is tope of the line and we routinely see complex queries solved in just 5-10 minutes for the various brands we work on.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Automation

Klaviyo is well-known for having one of the most advanced automation features.

Here’s how to create an automated email sequence:

  • Head over to the “Flows” tab
  • Pick the flow you want to automate (welcome series, abandoned cart etc.)
  • Proceed to the next step and choose your email template

Some of Klaviyo's built in automations
Some of Klaviyo’s built in automations

Klaviyo will let you split-test your body copy, subject lines, send times and automatically optimize it later on.

You can also use their pre-built automation templates, by heading clicking “Browse Ideas” in the template selector.

Klaviyo synchronizes more data than other email platforms for Ecommerce brands. You can create automated flows based on the lifecycle stage of your customer or CLV (Customer’s Lifetime Value).

Apart from that, you can also use personal data like their age or gender to personalize your messages even more.

With Klaviyo you’ll be also able to track what your subscribers are doing in real-time and trigger your automated sequences based on their behavioral data (e.g. opening/clicking on your emails, purchasing a product or simply browsing your page).

Mailchimp will also help you automate your email marketing sequences. It’s a perfect email marketing software for sending out well-timed email campaigns

Mailchimp can track what your subscribers are doing in real-time (opens/clicks, purchases), thus giving you the ability to personalize your message.

If you’re looking for pre-built automated email sequences, you’ll find templates for welcome series, abandoned cart sequences, post-purchase and more. Although, this is available only for Mailchimp users with a paid account.

Winner: Klaviyo – there is simply no competition for this tool when it comes to eCommerce email marketing automation. To learn more about advanced automations check out our post on 50 Ecommerce Email Marketing Strategies & Tips.

Analytics and Data Reporting

With Klaviyo you can track your open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates and bounce rates, along with countless other stats.

To view your data, open Klaviyo’s main menu and head over to the “Metrics” section. The dashboard will show all the basic analytics with different viewing styles (numbers/graphs). You can also modify the cards and place them accordingly to your needs.

Klaviyo also offers various A/B testing options that you can find in the “Flow” section. There, you’ll be able to see real-time statistics from your emails.

Furthermore, you can use predictive analytics and estimate how many/which of your visitors will turn into customers by predicting customer’s lifetime value.

Mailchimp instead uses basic, simple-to-understand data reports. You can track open rates, click rates, and compare your results to the averages within your niche.

Unfortunately, you won’t find predictive analytics on Mailchimp, but it’s not that much of a loss if you’re just a beginner.

Winner: Klaviyo as it has more advanced and in-depth analytics/data reports.

User Interface and User Experience

Both tools come with great features and both are beginner-friendly.

Although, Klaviyo is unquestionably one of the most complex and advanced email marketing automation tools. They have pre-built email templates and a simple drag&drop builder to help you customize or create new emails from scratch.

Klaviyo can also help you add some personalization to your email – the application can pull your store’s theme color and logo to implement it into your email.

Mailchimp comes with a basic, beginner-friendly interface. Creating emails is simplified thanks to their step-by-step email creation process.

Their drag&drop editor works pretty much the same as Klaviyo’s.

Winner: It’s a tie. They’re both great in this area.

Signup Forms, Popups and Lead Generation

Mailchimp integrates signup forms with your website via embedded codes, thus making it a little complicated for beginners.

To get the embedded signup form code on Mailchimp, you can simply head over to the “Embedded form” tab and copy/paste the code.

On the other hand, Klaviyo offers pre-built customizable signup forms. You can create fly-outs or pop-ups and get an embedded code.

If you don’t find anything useful in Klaviyo’s template, you can code your own popup with their HTML editor.

Klaviyo signup form templates
Klaviyo signup form templates

Winner: Klaviyo thanks to their pre-built & customizable signup forms for both email and SMS.

Third Party Integrations

With Klaviyo you can integrate over 200 applications – what’s interesting is that Mailchimp can be integrated as well. This is useful for migrating from Mailchimp to Klaviyo which is something we help a lot of brands with.

The email marketing software can integrate with WooCommerce, Salesforce, Zoho, Shopify, Constant Contact, Facebook, Amazon, 3DCart, BigCommerce, and more.

Mailchimp integrates with over 800 possible integrations. This number is so high because it is not just designed for Ecommerce, so there are many non-Ecommerce tools which it makes sense for them to work with. This doesn’t apply to Klaviyo.

You can integrate Mailchimp with all of the major CRMs, eCommerce platforms and social media tools (e.g. Magneto, EventBrite, WoooCommerce, Zapier, Square, Typeform)

Winner: The amount of integrations Mailchimp offers is impressive, so they edge this one. However, Klaviyo does integrate with most of the leading Ecommerce tools brands use.

A/B Testing

On Klaviyo you can test both flows and single campaign emails. Your tests can have different subject lines, body copy, preview text and basically anything you’d like to modify.

Here’s how to perform an A/B test on Klaviyo:

  • Head over to Klaviyo’s dashboard and create a new campaign
  • Edit the email
  • When you’re finished, click “Add Variation”
  • Edit the second variation to your needs

To get the best results, stick to only one change per variation (e.g. change only one subject line at a time and don’t touch anything else in the same email).

When the test is finished, you’ll be able to see the winner – if you wish to, you can select the winner manually while the test is running.

Mailchimp has great A/B testing but not on their basic paid plans. On the basic paid plans you can only split test subject lines, body copy, send time and the from name. Although, their premium plan lets you split test eight different variables in a single run.

The winner will be selected based on the click rates, open rates and amount of revenue generated.

Winner: Klaviyo.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp Conclusion – Which One is Right for You?

Both Mailchimp and Klaviyo are some of the best Ecommerce email marketing platforms available on the market.

Klaviyo has in-depth analytics and data reports, easy integrations, precise predictive analytics, and advanced features for list segmentation.

Mailchimp is a more beginner-friendly options with just the fundamental features.

Klaviyo is harder to master, and requires a bigger budget for a sizeable Ecommerce store. Although, there’s nothing better when it comes to in-depth analytics, list segmentation or automation.

Mailchimp will simply let you start quicker if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-to-use email marketing platform.

Klaviyo is better for:

  • Advanced list segmentation to help you craft personalized email messages
  • Predictive analysis and in-depth data reports
  • Simple integrations
  • Large eCommerce stores with a budget that can afford them the higher pricing plans
  • A wide variety of email marketing tools
  • Advanced SMS marketing

While Mailchimp is better for:

  • Creating emails from scratch
  • Businesses with a limited budget
  • Basic analytics
  • Simple navigation
  • Brands outside of Ecommerce

Here in our email agency we focus on helping successful Ecommerce brands scale, so we almost always recommend Klaviyo as the platform of choice for email and SMS marketing. Get in touch and learn about the consulting services we offer for Klaviyo if you’d like our team’s experience and expertise to help grow your revenue.

About the Author Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner is the lead strategist here at Ecommerce Intelligence with over 6 years experience growing Ecommerce brands using proven Klaviyo email marketing strategies.

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