Klaviyo vs MailChimp – Which is Best for eCommerce Automation?


MailChimp and Klaviyo are among the marketing automation platforms that almost lead the pack.

Since 2001, MailChimp has been a heavyweight champ of email marketing. Klaviyo, on the other hand, has shaken the marketing automation space with its youthful, eCommerce-centric approach.

In today’s marketplace, entrepreneurs are relentlessly struggling to add clients to their potential customer pool.

As if that’s not enough, you’ve got to keep your pool engagement to prevent them from jumping into the competitor’s pond.

It literally takes work to succeed online.

However, Klaviyo and MailChimp were developed to provide a digital environment where users can easily create, automate, and design email workflows. They are similar tools but very far from being identical.

Let’s look at the two to help you make an informed decision on what’s best for you.

Ready for the battle of the century?

Cheeky chimp vs. weird wi-fi diamond sign!

Features Klaviyo MailChimp
Starting price $30/mo $9.99/mo
Free plan available? Yes Yes
Split testing You can test the content, sending times, landing pages You can test the subject line, name, content, send time and automation
but you can’t split test the landing pages
Automation templates Pre-built templates available Pre-built templates available
Landing page builder It comes with a responsive drag and drop builder.
You can integrate LeadPages with Klaviyo to create dynamic landing pages.
MailChimp also has a landing page builder that is responsive and easily customizable
Zapier integration Available Available
Explore more Explore Klaviyo Explore MailChimp

What do I like about Klaviyo vs. MailChimp?

  • Their list management empowers you to build a meaningful relationship with your audience. Klaviyo has in-depth segmentation options based on behavior, transaction, and events.
  • Klaviyo is the go-to choice for eCommerce stores. You get customization and personalization that helps convert. Especially with the in-depth integration with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
  • You can create advanced workflows with pre-built automation templates.
  • It’s got state-of-the-art reporting and analytics giving you everything you need on each contact.
  • They have a handy A/B testing feature that allows you to test automation and any other metric you want to test.
  • It offers an additional predictive analysis feature that helps you know your future customers and send highly-targeted emails.

What do I like about MailChimp vs. Klaviyo?

  • An easy-to-use interface that’s highly responsive.
  • Hundreds of email and newsletter templates that have an easy-to-use in-built drag and drop editor.
  • It has tons of one-click CRM integrations to help you get insights on vital sales drivers.
  • It offers a wide range of pre-built automation with preset triggers ranging from welcome email series to abandoned cart emails.
  • It offers simplified reporting covering all industry baselines including growth and engagement metrics.
  • Their email deliverability rate is high increasing the chances of your audience getting your mail in their inboxes.

Klaviyo vs MailChimp features compared

Overview

Klaviyo is a “marketing automation platform developed for eCommerce – featuring powerful email and SMS marketing automation.”

So their first focus is on giving online businesses memorable experiences by driving sales with highly-targeted and relevant personalized emails.

MailChimp refers to themselves as, “An all-in-one integrated marketing platform for small businesses to grow their businesses on their terms.”

Well, it’s true as you get to manage and communicate with your customers whenever you need to.

Their marketing approach focuses on having healthy contact management practices, on beautifully designed campaigns, backed by powerful data analysis.

Interface

The truth is, even with the best tools at your fingertips, you can’t win if you don’t know how to use them.

Klaviyo is a smart software but it felt like I was being attacked with data science. The dashboard has so much intelligence that all you feel like doing is explore and experiment.

Clearly, it’s got a lot going on but it has more robust features so that’s expected.

Klaviyo dashboard

Yes, the UI loads fast but you’ve got a learning curve to go through before you’re comfortable on the platform. The setup is straightforward so that’s a plus. But that’s where the simplicity ends.

However, regardless of the overwhelming feeling at first, you can wrangle your way around it and have fun with the rich feature platform.

MailChimp, on the other hand, has a pretty simple and clean dashboard. At times I think their design team drew their inspiration from Microsoft Word.

MailChimp dashboard

Don’t get me twisted. Their UI and design are well done. They aren’t big on aesthetic as everything is in black and white apart from the dash of green action buttons.

That said, what they lack in flair, they’ve clearly made up for it in navigation. At a glance, you know where to go for what. It’s that straightforward.

Winner: MailChimp. Got to give it to MailChimp here. The user interface is pretty easy to navigate. No learning curve necessary. If you’ve used Mailerlite, you’ll be at home here.

Listing management

Klaviyo takes list management super seriously.

Immediately you sign up, Klaviyo gives you a wide range of list suggestions that you can build using your imported contacts.

Klaviyo list management

You are empowered to segment your lists based on customer behavior, transactions, or events. It can use data from Shopify or other CRMs to segment your contacts.

Klaviyo segments

Heck, it gives you deeper customization options by integrating with Facebook audience targeting thus enabling you to create more personalized tags for your audience.

You can have people who purchase using coupons, those who buy full price, those buying on specific days, etc.

Damn, it’s fancy. It makes lead scoring easy.

And that’s not enough, you can use the Klaviyo Predictive Analytics to segment the contacts who’ll be your future customers. This ensures you send this specific segment emails that will help them move down your funnel.

Can you think of the differences between your Local Park and Disneyland?

Well, that’s what you get if you compare MailChimp and Klaviyo list management.

MailChimp lists

MailChimp has groups and segments period. No tags to go deeper. The segments are major lists like the new subscriber lists, while the groups are smaller portions based on customer behavior.

You can’t dive deeper into specific contact lead scoring. But, it covers your basic segmentation leads.

You can organize your list into customer behavior, then group them based on demographics. The whole process is pretty easy as everything else on MailChimp so that’s a plus.

But here is the kicker, MailChimp counts the subscribers on your lists as individual contacts.

So, if you have one person on two different lists MailChimp counts them as two subscribers. As a result, you have to pay much more than the actual number of subscribers you have.

Winner: Klaviyo. From beginning to the end, Klaviyo puts MailChimp segmentation to shame. Frankly, there is no competition.

With Klaviyo, you’ll create relevant conversations with your audience and build meaningful relationships with them.

Email broadcasts and templates

Klaviyo’s email builder is much easier than expected. They have a dummy-proof, intuitive, drag, and drop email builder.

They have an extensive email template library for you to pick a design. Simply, pick a design and get to work.

Klaviyo email templates

Otherwise, if you feel inspired, you can create a template from scratch even using Rich HTML.

Klaviyo email editors

The responsive email builder makes it easy to control the different content blocks you need to use. Additionally, you can use one of your past templates as a starting point.

One of the best things about Klaviyo is that it can automatically integrate your website. This allows you to pull your brand colors, logos, etc. and add a personal touch to your email designs.

It’s like you got an in-house graphic designer without dealing with employment contracts.

MailChimp hasn’t been left behind here. It has one of the most pleasant user experiences.

It’s got hundreds of email and newsletter templates that are easy to use and highly responsive. You also have the option to use your previously saved templates.

MailChimp templates

It also integrates with your website allowing you to add a personalized touch of your brand to your emails.

For those who love creating emails from scratch, MailChimp has bare-bones that you’d appreciate fattening. They even have a guide to help you through coding your own template.

Its drag and drop builder is intuitive and easy-to-use. No formatting worries as you have a wide range of options to pick.

The process of creating, customizing, and personalizing emails has never been easier. Also, they have an excellent email deliverability track record.

Winner: MailChimp. Because it’s simple, versatile, and adaptable. Klaviyo needs you to be familiar with advanced email automation so it may take you a while but that shouldn’t stop you. With MailChimp, you dive in, and your broadcasts and templates are ready to go.

Automation builder

Marketing automation is what you’re looking for in an email marketing tool.

Klaviyo has one of the most advanced automation in the market. It can help you manage complex email campaigns and sequences, okay, they call them ‘Flows’ but that’s just semantics.

Click on the ‘Flow’ tab and you’ll be able to see automated workflow templates. You can also browse ideas and create new flows.

automation workflows

I liked that the templates are available to guide you if you’ve got no idea on how to create the flows. You literally get inspired on the browse ideas section.

You can either create your workflows from scratch or edit the pre-built templates to create email automation.

Klaviyo automation

Besides, Klaviyo can integrate with data from other marketing tools like Shopify or WordPress helping you map out an email strategy based on real customer data.

You can set up real-time triggers on the automation based on the actions your contacts take when they get your email.

And the cherry on the cake, you can create numerous routes on your automation based on the different actions you think your clients will take. The data from previous campaigns really comes in handy here.

According to Klaviyo it , “syncs and exposes more data for your email automation than any other marketing platform.”

Over to MailChimp, it’s slightly less comprehensive in comparison.

I like that it’s easy to set up email automation workflows with a handful of options. For the price tag that comes with MailChimp, the automation is a steal.

MailChimp offers several triggers based on campaign activity, workflow activity, eCommerce activity, or date-based activity.

So just like Klaviyo, if someone adds an item to their cart, you can send an email to see what’s up. It also integrates with your website allowing you to create workflows based on your customer actions.

The kicker is it offers fewer integrations so you don’t get in-depth data about your customers. And, all the cool stuff comes at a price. All you get for free is a one-off welcome email and an order notification.

MailChimp welcome emails

With Klaviyo, you can build as many email automation series as you see fit on the free version.

Winner: Klaviyo. The intuitive automation builder and pre-made automation templates win hands down.

Yes, MailChimp isn’t so bad but only premium versions offer these automation series. And even then, not at the same level as Klaviyo. However, ActiveCampaign will give you a lot of automation at a pocket-friendly price.

A/B testing

With Klaviyo, the A/B feature for campaigns will help you refine content, messaging, and even the sending times.

One thing I liked is the ‘flows’ section that allows you to click on the metrics you want to test. It takes automation A/B testing to the next level.

With the automation split testing, Klaviyo gives you two options; A/B testing individual emails in the ‘Flow’ and A/B testing different flow branches thanks to its Conditional Split component.

When you A/B test individual emails, you test multiple subject lines, content, and email sender, discounts, to use rich HTML or not, among others.

On the other hand, A/B testing different flow branches allows you to test the timing, number of emails in a branch, and the sending cadence.

Klaviyo gets a plus for its ability to A/B test landing pages.

Klaviyo split testing

All you need to do is create a new campaign, add variation to the campaign, edit the testing pool, decide on the testing period, and then choose a winner.

There are two ways to do it. Choose a winner using open rates or click rates. You can also opt to manually choose a winner.

It offers multivariate testing as well as you can test up to five different versions of an email.

MailChimp has an equally robust A/B testing feature. However, your plan determines whether you get access to this feature or not. That’s a bummer. Plus, you can’t A/B test landing pages.

With paid plans, you can test your campaign automation. MailChimp gives you up to four variables to test i.e., subject line, name, content, and send time.

It’s different from Klaviyo’s automation A/B testing as here you can only test individual emails in your automation.

Various split test options

The premium plan gives you the ability to carry out multivariate testing. You can test up to 8 variations of the same mail.

Winner: Klaviyo. It has a next-level A/B testing feature. You can also access unlimited A/B testing for free but you have to pay for it on MailChimp.

eCommerce CRM

Klaviyo is a strategic eCommerce focused platform. It specializes in in-depth integrations with Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify Plus.

In fact, it’s been built to integrate with Shopify from the ground up. This deep integration ensures you send the right content, to the right audience, at the right time. Automatically!

Klaviyo eCommerce reports

Klaviyo can tell exactly when the customer visited your site, the viewed products, even the product variant they picked. Giving you an A1 site tracking ability.

They have a ‘Browse Abandonment’ feature that tells you which contacts have just browsed through your products without adding anything to the cart. It’s a highly effective lead scoring tool.

Also, you not only get to send a generic thank you message but a customized one based on whether they are repeat clients or first-time, customers.

Their collaboration with Shopify and Shopify Plus gives it an edge in customization and unique personalization of messages.

Another cool thing is the ability to see your geographic location. As a result, you can send free shipping messages to clients in a certain region or offer them discounts.

Geo location targeting

Today’s customers receive loads of generic emails. You have to stand out and Klaviyo – Shopify integration helps you pinpoint the exact position of your customers.

This empowers you to create highly targeted emails that connect to your audience as you speak directly to their pain point.

If you’re interested in increasing your conversion and revenue, Klaviyo’s insights deliver. ActiveCampaign and Drip can go head-to-head with Klaviyo as an alternative for eCommerce. Of the two, ActiveCampaign is more budget-friendly.

There is no question that MailChimp is a pretty decent eCommerce platform. I like that they have ready-made eCommerce segments that make it easy to start targeting immediately. The segments can be based on buying history or campaign activity.

It integrates with big eCommerce names like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and their own ShopSync.

These integrations help you get your customer behavior data like cart abandonment, customer purchases, orders, etc. it makes it easier to create personalized emails like abandoned cart automation and product retargeting emails.

MailChimp eCommerce

But the data you get isn’t as detailed as in Klaviyo. Also, Shopify dumped MailChimp in 2019 taking the level of eCommerce integrations a notch lower.

Of course, they got over the relationship and created ShopSync that enables you to connect your Shopify data with MailChimp but it’s just not the same.

You’ll get the order notifications, shipping confirmations, refund confirmations, and order cancellations like you get on Klaviyo. But that’s it. No granularity and personalization level like your experience with Klaviyo.

Winner: Klaviyo. Someone said that Klaviyo eCommerce is just like MailChimp’s but on steroids. MailChimp eCommerce will send the emails but Klaviyo will make you money.

Forms and landing pages

Klaviyo forms are equipped with everything you need to grow your list and increase sales. You can create flyouts, pop ups, and embedded forms.

You have 300+ of pre-made form templates to choose from with a responsive drag and drop builder. It’s easy to customize with different fonts, colors, backgrounds, and styles. You can also add custom HTML to your landing pages.

Klaviyo landing pages

Also, you have the ability to target forms to specific audience lists increasing personalization. Whether it’s through exit intent forms, scroll-based, or time-based form triggers, you’re able to capture and grow your list to the max.

Klaviyo also gives a detailed performance of each form. And you can carry out automated A/B testing of landing pages to create optimized designs and content.

However, it has very limited landing page creation capability. And the little it’s got takes a while to know how to go about it. It’s all under ‘Preference Pages’ and they call them ‘subscribe pages.’

Email preferences

The good news is you can integrate LeadPages with Klaviyo to create dynamic landing pages.

All MailChimp users can access landing page templates. They offer a few templates, not more than 10. The landing pages are pretty basic but that doesn’t mean they’re not sleek.

MailChimp form templates

The pre-made templates have a drag and drop landing page builder that is responsive and easily customizable.

You can add text, images, social share buttons, products, promo codes, videos, etc.

It offers the ability to create numerous subdomains for your landing pages that are consistent with your brand. Although at a price. MailerLite offers this feature for free.

Also, you can track your landing pages with Google Analytics or MailChimp’s own tracking. Also, you can trigger automation on the landing pages using the automation editor.

But they should improve on the number of landing page templates. MailerLite has quite a selection for a similar price tag. Plus, you can’t add custom HTML to the pages. Or save previous templates for later use.

The form builder is also very basic compared to Klaviyo. But you can use other integrations to create comprehensive forms.

Various popups

Moosend has a wider option at the same price tag.

Winner: Tie. As you can see, both have amateurish landing pages and need so much improvement. Their forms help them save face.

Reporting and analytics

When it comes to reporting, Klaviyo has so many metrics options for you that it’s overwhelming for any beginner.

Honestly, too much data.

But it’s got one of the best customizable analytics dashboards in the market that helps you dive into every crucial metric you can think of to improve your ROI. You can see your clicked emails, unsubscribes, bounced messages, etc.

Klaviyo report metrics

Also, you have the power to choose what you want to see and what you don’t. Are you okay with a bar graph? Chart? Or just numbers? Klaviyo will show you what you want.

Also, its deep integration with eCommerce platforms enables you to get real-time customer report data.

Thanks to the Klaviyo email, performance dashboard, you’ll know the emails driving conversions, what customers are clicking, even who are your best people.

It’s a handy-dandy reporting tool that allows you to get all the data you need on everyone on your contact list.

On MailChimp things are simpler.

You can get all industry basic analytics under the campaign tab. The open rate, CTR, unsubscribes, etc. can be viewed at a glance.

If you want to dive deeper, check out the results of your email sequence and you’ll be able to get a better insight into the performance.

MailChimp reports

If all you need are industry baselines, MailChimp has all you need. It’s not as advanced as Klaviyo and it’s easier to use.

I actually liked the ‘Time warp’ feature that allows you to see what time you should send an email in your time-zone for your audience to receive in their time. It’s a great next-level feature.

Winner: Klaviyo. You get a state-of-the-art report that shows you even your customer lifetime value calculations.

How cool is that? It’s an advanced analytics platform with complete integration with your existing marketing tools to give you solid analysis. However, if you need it simpler, MailChimp is a pretty decent solution.

Integrations

People have never relied on digital apps like they do in this day and age.

Life is a lot easier for any entrepreneur when the tools seamlessly work together to help them make informed decisions that increase their revenue.

Klaviyo has plenty of integration options. But the in-depth integrations with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce wins any day for eCommerce stores.

Klaviyo integrations

You’re also invited to use an API or CSV upload for integrations you need but you can’t find on their platform.

MailChimp, on the other hand, has a lot more integrations to choose from. The list is never-ending.

The only kicker is their breakup with Shopify so you won’t get the same level of data with your CRM even with their introduction of ShopSync.

Its collaboration with Zapier allows you to add almost any tool in the marketplace including team management apps like Slack and Trello.

Winner: MailChimp. They have more integrations than you’ll ever need. The caveat is only if you’re an eCommerce platform in need of in-depth integration with apps like Shopify. Otherwise, MailChimp is handy-dandy.

Support

When it comes to using apps, we all need some assistance here and there.

On Klaviyo’s free account, you can contact support by email. From 6 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 10 am and 4 pm for the weekends. It’s not 24/7 but they are so responsive.

Also, you have access to loads of training, webinars, how-to-guides, videos, etc. You need it, they’ve got it. The help center is packed with resources to Timbuktu and back.

If you need them on live chat, you have to pay up. I found live chat to be hidden as it’s under the ‘Accounts’ section, which is beneath your username.

They have no phone support regardless of the amount of money you’re churning.

MailChimp on the other hand has several DIY how-to-guides and tutorials for free users. No videos or webinars making it such a bummer for visual learners.

No phone, email, or live support for the free account. But at least there a snail mail. No kidding!

However, it’s not all dull and gloom. Once you’ve paid up, you get 24/7 chat and email support. Phone support comes with the premium version.

Winner: MailChimp. Offering 24/7 support and phone support seals the deal. Even though Klaviyo has numerous resources, they need to work on their 24/7 live rep.

Pricing

Money makes the world go round. So you know how much you have to spare on an email marketing tool.

Klaviyo pricing

The first thing you’ll like about Klaviyo is their free version. It comes with automated emails, templates, reporting, A/B testing, and one-click integration. But it’s for up to 250 contacts and you can send 500 emails max.

You get their logo splashed at the bottom. Well, it’s not a deal-breaker for beginners but big shot entrepreneurs won’t like it on their branding.

The more contacts you have, the more you pay. And the prices can really go up. Up to 1000 contacts, you churn $30 each month.

Plus, I don’t like that they don’t have a pricing tier and you have to calculate the estimates yourself.

MailChimp is among the most affordable email marketing platforms in the market.

They have four pricing tiers.

MailChimp pricing

The freebie comes first. It comes with basic templates, one-click automation, but no A/B testing, analytics, and dedicated support. The plus, it’s free for up to 2000 subscribers. Making it a big deal.

Also, they have a pay as you go plan where you can pay credits when you need them instead of buying the entire suite.

Winner: MailChimp. It’s less expensive compared to Klaviyo. But if you want something cheaper you can also check out MailerLite.

Conclusion

As we’ve seen, two platforms are worlds apart when it comes to functionality.

Klaviyo is a serious analytical tool with high-powered integrations, automation, and segmentation. And it’s got the price that matches it.

MailChimp is a user friendly, and affordable solution with impressive email automation.

If you love something straightforward and simple, go for MailChimp. If you have no need for in-depth eCommerce integrations and advanced analytics, it’s also the tool for you. Besides, it protects your pocket.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for advanced automation and reporting, Klaviyo is the place to go. It will give you immerse integrations with your eCommerce along with state-of-the-art integrations.

Plus, if you’ve got a hell lots of money to spare, Klaviyo will be superb.

Now over to you.

What will it be?





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