Is Klaviyo Better Than Mailchimp?

Feb 12, 2024

For most e-commerce businesses, when they think of email marketing, Mailchimp might be the first thing that comes to mind, and for a good reason. It has dominated the email marketing world since its founding in 2001. However, in recent years, a new opponent has risen in popularity, boasting it can do what Mailchimp does and more. This platform is known as Klaviyo. Both platforms promise to amplify the reach and impact of e-commerce businesses, but which one reigns supreme?

In this blog, we will go over both Klaviyo and Mailchimp, what they bring to the table, and some drawbacks, and evaluate the two to determine if Klaviyo is better for e-commerce brands than Mailchimp.

Understanding Klaviyo and Mailchimp

Klaviyo, a relative newcomer founded in 2012, quickly established itself with its deep integration capabilities for e-commerce platforms. Mailchimp, the more recognized name since 2001, has evolved from a simple email service to an all-in-one marketing platform. At their core, Klaviyo focuses on leveraging customer data to drive sales, while Mailchimp provides a broad suite of tools for businesses to manage their marketing campaigns.

Why Mailchimp?

Mailchimp, an all-in-one marketing platform, has come a long way since its inception in 2001. It was originally launched as a side project by co-founders Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius, who sought to provide an easy and affordable email marketing solution for small businesses. The service, which derived its playful name from its most successful e-design service featuring a Mailman and Chimp mascot, has since transformed the ways in which small to medium-sized enterprises engage in email marketing.

Known for its user-friendly design, Mailchimp made a mark with its drag-and-drop email editor and creative content studio, which streamlines the creation and management of campaigns without the need for advanced technical skills. This democratization of design and marketing tools is epitomized in its generous free-tier offering, making it accessible for startups and small businesses at the outset of their growth journeys.

What truly sets Mailchimp apart is its suite of features that cater to a diverse range of marketing needs. It’s not just an email marketing tool; it’s a comprehensive platform where users can automate their marketing workflows, creating personalized customer journeys based on individual behaviors and interactions. The integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify further enhances its utility, allowing businesses to craft targeted campaigns based on customer purchase history.

Mailchimp’s evolution into an all-in-one marketing platform includes capabilities for social media advertising,  landing pages, and digital ads, all the while offering insightful analytics and reporting to track campaign performance. The segmentation and personalization features enable businesses to send customized content to specific groups, improving engagement and conversion rates.

Mailchimp also supports its users with Mailchimp Academy – a treasure trove of educational resources and a robust support network to help users maximize their marketing efforts. With a plethora of integrations and an extensive API, Mailchimp fits seamlessly into business workflows, affirming its commitment to grow alongside its users. Its distinct blend of ease, power, and expansion capabilities continues to sustain its reputation as an indispensable tool in the digital marketing space.

Why Klaviyo?

Klaviyo is a specialized email marketing platform that emerged in 2012, born from the vision of founders Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen. They set out to change the email marketing landscape by providing a tool that could drive significant growth for businesses through personalized communication. With a clear focus on e-commerce, Klaviyo was crafted to do more than just send emails; it was designed to create meaningful interactions by leveraging customer data to its fullest extent.

What truly distinguishes Klaviyo is its robust integration with e-commerce systems such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento. This seamless integration unlocks the potential for businesses to harness detailed customer data, enabling highly refined targeting and segmentation. The platform’s sophisticated analytics capabilities allow for segmentation not just by demographics but by behaviors, purchasing habits, and even predictive modeling to forecast customer actions.

Klaviyo’s approach to personalization sets a high standard in the industry. Utilizing data and predictive analytics, it allows for dynamic campaigns that speak directly to the individual’s interests and potential value. Automated workflows within Klaviyo can trigger personalized email sequences based on real-time customer behaviors, ensuring that each message is as timely as it is relevant.

The platform doesn’t stop at email – it has branched into SMS marketing, recognizing the increasing importance of multi-channel strategies in reaching customers where they are most responsive. Combined with its sophisticated email tools, Klaviyo’s SMS capabilities provide a comprehensive toolkit for customer engagement.

In the realm of analytics, Klaviyo shines with in-depth reporting tools that give businesses a granular view of their marketing campaigns’ performance. This emphasis on real-time data and actionable insights enables companies to optimize their strategies continuously.

Supporting this data-driven marketing platform is a community of users and a wealth of resources, including webinars, guides, and a comprehensive knowledge base, all designed to help users capitalize on Klaviyo’s advanced features.

For e-commerce businesses looking to scale up their marketing efforts with a data-centric approach, Klaviyo offers an unparalleled suite of tools. Its commitment to growth through personalized, data-driven marketing makes it an invaluable resource for companies keen on leveraging their data to forge deeper connections with customers and drive substantial business growth.

Klaviyo’s Pricing Model:

Klaviyo’s pricing operates on a tiered structure, in which prices increase as you add more contacts to your email list and the number of SMS messages sent. This can be advantageous for smaller e-commerce businesses with a modest number of contacts but can become quite expensive as the business scales.

Businesses with 0-250 contacts can start with Klaviyos free tier, which provides 500 monthly email sends, 150 free monthly SMS/MMS credits, and email support for the first 60s days. After 60 days, they are encouraged to move onto either their email tier or email and SMS tier. If your business is above 250,00 contacts, you’ll have to reach out to their sales team to find the right plan. 

The biggest advantage to Klaviyo’s pricing model is that no matter how big your business is- you get access to automated A/B testing, personalized benchmarks, detailed customer profiles, built-in templates, 300+ pre-built integrations, and more. Klaviyo is perfect to try out for free and still be able to use all its features without having to cough up extra money. 

Mailchimp’s Pricing Model:

Mailchimp’s pricing is more complex and comes in multiple tiers, including a free option for new businesses just starting out with up to 500 contacts and who send fewer than 1,000 emails per month. 

As businesses grow, Mailchimp’s paid plans come into play, which offers more advanced features. These plans include the “Essentials”, “Standard”, and “Premium” plans, each with different levels of features, and the price adjusts based on the number of contacts.

Mailchimp also includes add-ons and pay-as-you-go options, which can be beneficial for businesses looking for some flexibility. 

Pricing Conclusion:

While Klaviyo’s pricing model seems more expensive, unlike Mailchimp, users get access to all features, and their plans feature no add-ons- which means there’s no additional hoops you have to jump through; it’s a streamlined process, and you get all the resources from the very beginning. 

Advantages and Drawbacks:

When considering either Klaviyo or Mailchimp, you want to make sure that any drawbacks are outweighed by the advantages. Let’s look at a quick summary of Klaviyo’s and Mailchimp’s pros and cons to help you make the best choice possible for your brand. 

Klaviyo Advantages:

Advanced Segmentation: Klaviyo allows users to segment their audience based on a wide array of behaviors and properties, such as purchase history and website activity, providing highly targeted marketing opportunities.

Automation: It offers powerful automation capabilities that enable users to create sophisticated, triggered email sequences based on user behavior.

Ecommerce Integration: Klaviyo integrates seamlessly with ecommerce platforms, particularly Shopify, making it a favorite for ecommerce businesses looking to personalize their customer interactions and track their purchasing behavior.

Data-Driven Analytics: The platform provides detailed reporting on various metrics, allowing businesses to track the effectiveness of their email campaigns in real-time and make data-driven decisions.

Personalization: Utilizing customer data, Klaviyo allows for deep personalization of emails, which can significantly improve engagement rates and revenue per recipient.

Klaviyo Limitations:

Pricing: Klaviyo’s scaled pricing system can be more expensive than some other email marketing tools; the bigger your subscriber list, the more you pay. 

Complexity: The depth of features and detailed segmentation can be overwhelming for beginners or small businesses without the resources to dive into complex campaign strategies.

Limited Free Plan: Klaviyo’s free plan is limited in terms of the number of contacts and the features available, which may prompt a sooner-than-expected upgrade to a paid plan for growing businesses.

Resource Intensity: Because of its comprehensive data tracking, Klaviyo can be resource-intensive, potentially leading to slower loading times for larger databases.

Mailchimp Advantages:

User-Friendly Interface: Mailchimp is known for its easy use and friendly interface that is very welcoming for beginners and small businesses.

Free Tier Offering: It offers a substantial free tier, which is ideal for small businesses or startups looking to initiate email marketing without an immediate investment.

Template Variety: Mailchimp provides a wide range of pre-designed templates and a built-in design editor, making it simple to create attractive emails without needing design expertise.

All-in-One Marketing Platform: Beyond email, Mailchimp has expanded to offer additional marketing services, including social media, postcards, and more, making it a versatile marketing tool.

Integration Options: It integrates with a multitude of services and applications, allowing businesses to connect various aspects of their marketing ecosystem.

Mailchimp Limitations:

Limited Automation in Lower Tiers: Some of the automation features are not as advanced as Klaviyo’s, and the best automation options are locked behind higher-tier plans.

Segmentation Capabilities: While Mailchimp offers segmentation, it’s not as refined as Klaviyo’s. Users may find the segmentation options limiting compared to more advanced platforms.

Support: The level of customer support can vary, and users on the free plan have limited access to help when they encounter issues.

eCommerce Integration: Although improving, Mailchimp’s e-commerce integration isn’t as robust as Klaviyo’s, which could be a deciding factor for e-commerce businesses.

Pricing Transparency: As your mailing list grows, Mailchimp can become costly, and its pricing 

In summary, We recommend Klaviyo as it’s often the preferred platform by e-commerce businesses looking for advanced segmentation and automation to drive sales. While Mailchimp is favored by those seeking an easy-to-use platform with a strong free plan for basic email marketing needs, Klaviyo offers a wider range of tools, resources, and email marketing tactics to help get the most traffic and sales for your brand.

When deciding which platform to go with, consider not just your brand’s current needs but also future growth. Mailchimp could be the ideal solution for a smaller business that prioritizes ease of use and versatility, but Klaviyo is overall a better investment for a rapidly growing e-commerce business focused on customer data and retention.

Ready to work with an email marketing business that has intimate knowledge of Klaviyo? Come check us out at Spark Bridge Digital and schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We will help you make the most out of all Klaviyos features, from beautiful designs to copywriting, automation, and segmentation. We’ve got you covered!



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