The most famous debate in marketing circles after “what came first - the chicken or the egg?” is “what’s better - Klaviyo or Mailchimp?”
So why all the fuss?
Well, statistically, email marketing is still one of the best-performing marketing channels. It has been said to bring in $36 for every $1 spent.
But there’s one caveat - you have to use the right tool and set up the right campaigns to convert your subscribers.
So we decided to finally put the debate to rest. No spoiler alerts, you’ll have to read to the end to find who the winner is.
In this post we compare Klaviyo with Mailchimp, look at their pricing, automation & personalization features, email builder tools, and much more.
Let’s dive in.
Suppose you don't care about advanced features. You only need the basic features and you’re looking for an email builder that will cover the essentials.
If you compare the pricing of these two platforms you will notice:
- Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp have a free plan
- Mailchimp's first pricing tier is about $9 less than Klaviyo's
- Klaviyo's highest pricing tier (for up to 150,000 contacts) is almost two times more expensive than Mailchimp's
Overall, Mailchimp might look like the better, more financially-savvy alternative. And, as long as you're searching for just basics, it could be a great fit.
Mailchimp’s free plan covers you for up to 500 subscribers and 2,500 email sends but it doesn’t include some of the key features. So, if you need to build advanced email workflows, you'll have to pay extra.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/jeff-lawrence1_9a8a49290ef40ffc3a04108a256aad19_2000.jpg][Jeffrey Lawrence][Email and SMS Marketing Expert][Most businesses will hit a brick wall and no longer grow with Mailchimp. That’s really why Shopify has backed and invested in Klaviyo, also they are adding new features quarterly. Oh, and you can do things you would need a developer to do, just with a click of a few buttons in Klaviyo. Almost the same cost, but so much more with Klaviyo.]
Klaviyo gets more expensive as you grow your email list but it includes way more advanced features.
And all the features are included in every plan.
So, between Klaviyo and Mailchimp, who's got the better pricing?
We'd say it's a tie. Mailchimp wins by a landslide when you look at just the basic features and how they tie into their pricing plans. However, if you want to get more for your money, Klaviyo is the better option.
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A powerful email marketing tool goes beyond just the email basis. It should act as a customer relationship management platform that allows you to:
- Create customer segments in your customer base
- Map their customer journey
- And connect your marketing, customer service, and sales teams in the same place
In this respect, Klaviyo is a clear winner here, as it provides advanced segmentation features that enable you to micro-segment your email campaigns down to the smallest detail.
For example, Klaviyo has really useful segmentation templates that you can use to segment your customers based on:
- Behavioral criteria
- Transactional data
- Specific events (great for eCommerce because Klaviyo connects directly to your Shopify)
- Your Facebook targeting lists
You can create almost any segment of customers you can think of 💪.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, is a bit lacking in this area.
Sure, it may be user-friendly for someone who's never used an email marketing tool before but the features are very limited. Mailchimp’s eCommerce tracking doesn’t work at all so if you want to sync segments from Shopify or Hubspot you have to use hooks and it becomes a giant mess.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/jeff-lawrence1_9a8a49290ef40ffc3a04108a256aad19_2000.jpg][Jeffrey Lawrence][Email and SMS Marketing Expert][Klaviyo is much better if your goal is to increase revenue, there is so much more you can do with audience segmentation, about 10x what you can do within flows, the actual experience and ease of use are better in Klaviyo, better customer service, also offers SMS!]
- Mailchimp: Basic ❌
- Klaviyo: Advanced ✔️
Monthly email sends
On the free plan, Mailchimp lets you send 2,500 emails per month (for up to 500 contacts). Klaviyo lets you send 500 emails (for up to 250 contacts.)
On the highest pricing tier (for up to 150,000 contacts), Klaviyo lets you send 1,500,000 emails, while Mailchimp lets you send 2,250,000 emails. The same pattern more or less applies across all pricing plans, so if you need to send a lot of emails, Mailchimp might be your best bet.
- Mailchimp: More sends ✔️
- Klaviyo: Less sends ❌
Mailchimp prides itself on its easy design interface, but it's definitely made for a beginner. Their basic email templates can be quite helpful as a starting point.
On the other hand, Klaviyo's library of drag-and-drop templates is more extensive and each template is more customizable than Mailchimp's. They also have more advanced template customization features like product blocks and the ability to populate products from a feed.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/dana-doron_03ccf2c591d82b3ad2e45e8d73e73403_2000.jpg][Dana Doron][CMO at Towne][For eCommerce, there's no doubt for me that Klaviyo is the better choice. The data you can get through Klaviyo and use to customize your targeting and automations is far deeper than what you can get with Mailchimp. Since all the data privacy hit, I have found Klaviyo data to often be more accurate than Google Analytics data. In addition, Klaviyo allows for much richer creative options.]
If you're looking for a simple drag-and-drop editor then Mailchimp will get the job done. Klaviyo's editor is a level up as it allows you to target your audience with emails that really speak to them (and do it easily too.)
- Mailchimp: Basic ❌
- Klaviyo: Advanced ✔️
When we think of email marketing automation we think of the ability to easily create a whole variety of emails including:
- transactional emails
- Email sequences or flows
- Behavior-based emails
- Sales emails
- Promotional emails
- abandoned cart emails
Mailchimp covers a wide range of automations but they are all very basic.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/limor-gurevich_29bd5ee5eebb1dfe58e375d63cd10acf_2000.jpg][Limor Gurevich][VP of Marketing at Patricia AI][I had problems with Mailchimp's automation. It doesn't add a dynamic cart to the client for example, and that's a big no for me]
On the other hand, Klaviyo goes above and beyond. Not only does it allow you to build an email plan and create any type of flow you can imagine, but it enables you to use detailed audience segmentation to deliver the right message, at the right time.
For example, it has a direct integration with Shopify which makes it super easy to send abandoned cart emails. In fact, it’s one of the most appreciated features among eCommerce business owners.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/david-jaeger-profile-pic_cf6d3f8080f3c5766cafad92e16b0fc3_2000.jpeg][David Jaeger][Founder of Result Kitchen][MailChimp isn’t built for eCommerce. So while it can do cart abandonment campaigns, it can't do browser abandonment the same way klaviyo does.]
MailChimp isn’t built for eCommerce. So while it can do cart abandonment campaigns, it can't do browser abandonment the same way klaviyo does. - David Jaeger, Founder of Result Kitchen.
Additionally, Klaviyo also:
- Has 200+ integrations to various tools
- Provides you with pre-built automations
- Offers advanced flow options
Yep, Klaviyo wins this round too.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/Igor-Zvilinsky-scaled211_1fcaa36f73ed5e98dc298e9c0b688c65_2000.jpg][Igor Zvagelsky][Marketing Strategist & PPC Expert][Mailchimp is more of an entry-level email product. It's built more for "email blasts" rather than automations that are very much needed in eCommerce.]
- Mailchimp: Basic ❌
- Klaviyo: Advanced ✔️
Nobody likes a general email - much less, consumers who are already sick and tired of being targeted and re-targeted every other click.
In this regard, both Mailchimp and Klaviyo offer good personalization options. However, Klaviyo has more advanced features, with flows that can be customized down to the smallest detail.
For example, you can use Klaviyo to personalize a workflow based on the user's interaction with your online store. Ecommerce stores use this to provide their customers with personalized product recommendations and dynamic content suggestions.
This kind of customization is a win-win for everyone: it helps consumers make better buying choices and it helps online businesses drive more CLV and loyalty.
Data analysis and reports
Your ability to segment profiles is based on how smart your platform is, and that’s where Klaviyo really shines.
Klaviyo can help you:
- Create better email campaigns
- Build more accurate user profiles
- Run tests on what works and what doesn't
- Use your database more profitably
Furthermore, Klaviyo also has predictive analytics features, which you can use to calculate
- The customer lifetime value (CLV)
- How many upcoming purchases you can expect
- Which of your customers are likely to spend more in your store
This type of data can be invaluable because it can go beyond basic analytics and provide you with true insight into what to do next to ensure your store's growth. And all of these features are included in Klaviyo’s free plan.
Mailchimp's analytics capabilities are super basic. For example, you’re not able to easily see your metrics for each campaign, and drill down to the individual audience segment. It has the most basic A/B testing and data analysis.
[Quote][https://images.storychief.com/account_11650/jason-hui1_6812a0a15eaa0f38690ca0961a9c502b_2000.jpg][Jason Hui][Founder of Taken Digital][Segmentation and dynamic content are pretty basic in Mailchimp. If you're an eCommerce brand, flow automation capabilities are so much better in Klaviyo - it's harder to do some basic things in Mailchimp. Mailchimp reporting is also nowhere close to Klaviyo's capabilities. I find Mailchimp buggy at times - I've had to sit there and hit refresh to get a segment updated or lost time doing a big export only for the page to crash. Hopefully, they will fix those issues.]
Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp are quite well integrated with hundreds of tools and both of them can be connected to other apps via Zapier (and similar software).
However, where Klaviyo takes the lead is their native integration with Shopify - a true asset for eCommerce business owners of all sizes. It lets you connect your store data automatically and create super powerful automations, sequences, and dynamically insert your products into your email campaigns.
If there's something Klaviyo absolutely excels at is pulling data from the CRM you already use, including (but not limited to):
- And 220+ other tools.
To top it all off, Klaviyo is also very open to new integration suggestions and developers building their own APIs. So even if there's something that you're missing right now, chances are you will find support and solutions.
No matter how advanced you are as an email marketer, you may still find yourself in need of help every now and then. Dedicated customer support, email support, and chat support will then come in handy, no matter how much experience you have in using email automation tools.
Unfortunately, Mailchimp doesn't shine in this aspect. They do have solid documentation, and they do offer 24/7 email and chat support. However, it is worth noting that these will only be available on the paid plans. On the free plan, you will only have access to Customer Service for 30 days.
On the other hand, Klaviyo's email support is available across all pricing tiers. Furthermore, they also offer chat support for paid plan subscriptions (even those starting at $20/ month.)
And the winner is...
Klaviyo, by far.
Klaviyo is a much more robust email marketing tool than Mailchimp.
Klaviyo is built for eCommerce brands so it has all the segmentation and automation features they need to set up email campaigns and flows. It integrates with Shopify stores and lets you send dynamic emails that display the exact products and collections that each user looked at or added to their cart.
That’s probably why there are so many Klaviyo agencies that have built their business around the tool.
Cost-wise, Klaviyo is on the more expensive side, but it also offers quite a lot of features even on its free plan. Mailchimp is cheaper and it also offers you the option to either pay monthly or pay as you go (i.e. buy credits and use them when you need to.)
However, for the lower-tier pricing, Mailchimp offers a lot less than Klaviyo, especially when it comes to automations, native integrations, and advanced analytics.
Mailchimp is a much more basic email tool that’s more suited for non-eCommerce businesses. It has a free plan and is significantly cheaper than Klaviyo. It lets businesses send basic email campaigns and set up basic email automation. Also, Mailchimp's interface can sometimes be quite faulty.
Klaviyo’s top features include:
- The most used eCommerce email tool
- Direct Shopify integration
- Has advanced campaigns + flows (and pre-built templates for them.)
- Advanced segmentation & API
Mailchimp’s top features include:
- Basic email campaigns and automations
- Has a free plan
- Perfect for small businesses and non-eCommerce brands
- Not set up for eCommerce use
So overall, Klaviyo is a much more robust tool that is the preferred email marketing tool for eCommerce, while Mailchimp is a great tool if you just want the basic features for a lower cost.
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