Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Which is Right For You?

Email
Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp
Published:
Jul 3, 2023
🕒 8 Min Read
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99%.

That’s the percentage of email users who check their inbox every single day. 

Email marketing is alive and well, my friend. More than one in three brands recently increased their email budget. But to find success with email, you can’t just type a few thoughts into your Gmail account and blast it to your list. At least not anymore. 

People are a bit like crows– most of us love bright and shiny things. So to really connect with your audience (and convince them that they need your products) you need emails that will catch their eye and their attention. Choosing the right email service provider is the first step in making that happen. 

Two of the most popular email marketing platforms right now are Mailchimp and Klaviyo. Both of them have a long list of benefits, so it really comes down to what you need most from your ESP. Let’s talk about some of the ways you can compare the two.

Pricing Breakdown

Have you ever walked into a new store only to look at a price tag and realize everything in there costs five times more than you would ever spend so you spend 10 minutes pretending to browse before casually walking out of the store?

Yeah, me too.

For most of us, pricing is one of the first things we consider. So let’s break down each platform.

Klaviyo has a free plan that covers 250 contacts and 500 email sends a month. After 250 subscribers, pricing goes up incrementally based on the number of contacts you have, and the cost for email + SMS is a bit more than email alone. But one thing I love about Klaviyo is that every plan, even the free one, includes the same super helpful tools. 

Mailchimp also has a free plan—  and it covers up to 2,000 contacts, almost 10 times more than Klaviyo’s free tier. However, the free plan has quite a few limitations and doesn’t include features like A/B testing or email scheduling. There are three paid tiers that increase in price with your number of subscribers, but the number of subscribers isn’t the only difference in pricing. Each Mailchimp tier also comes with additional tools, so if you want full access to everything the platform can do, get ready to fork over some cash.

Marketing Channels

It’s a given that both Klaviyo and Mailchimp are email marketing platforms. That’s perfect because I love email– it’s my jam. But Klaviyo takes it a step further and allows you to add SMS to your account. Swoon. Since SMS marketing has an open rate of 98%, it’s definitely worth adding to your marketing plan.

Email Editor

Both platforms have email editors that offer suggested templates so you’re not building every email from scratch. 

Klaviyo has templates available, but the platform leans toward encouraging you to create your own custom emails. Not only can you drag and drop blocks, but you can customize factors such as your brand colors and fonts.

Mailchimp offers more than a hundred email templates. You can choose from premium templates designed by experts, or utilize drag and drop templates to create an email that’s completely your own.

In my experience, Klaviyo's drag & drop email builder far surpasses any other I have used so far. You can create eye-catching designs effortlessly within the editor without having to add custom css to make certain elements look the way you'd like it to.

Segmentation

Hyper-specific segmentation is how you get your audience to go from ‘meh’ to ‘more!’ when one of your emails lands in their inbox. So, how do Klaviyo and Mailchimp stack up against each other?

Honestly, it’s not even close. 

When it comes to segmentation, Klaviyo is like that guy at work who bought a new pick-up truck and won’t stop talking about it. The platform is obsessed, and it wants you to have all the deets. Klaviyo lets you utilize unlimited, super-specific segments based on just about any behavior, so you can target people who always buy with coupons or love to online window shop by adding items to their cart but never actually making a purchase. The segmentation tool helps you precisely define which audiences you want to target based on almost any factor. 

Mailchimp also offers segmentation, but theirs doesn’t carry the same oomph. You can create groups based on location, age, email client, and campaign activity, as well as a few other demographics. However, you don’t have the ability to dive deep into data to segment subscribers like you can with Klaviyo.

Automation

Life is way too short to manually send out emails when you want them to be sent. 

Which makes automation your business BFF.

Thankfully, both email platforms offer automation, just with their own individual twist.

Klaviyo gives you dozens of automated flows to use, so even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can still send automated emails like happy birthday emails with a discount, abandoned cart emails, and shipping updates. If you want to create your own automated flows, you just drag and drop filters and actions into the flow builder to create the automation you want.

Mailchimp also offers automation, just without the extensive library to choose from. It’s a downside if you want almost endless flows you can jump right into, but it’s a perk if you want to build a new automated flow in a short span of time. (PS, if you want flows, remember that you’ll have to pay a premium– not all tiers of Mailchimp include flows.)

Analytics

Like it or not, the marketing world thrives on data. You need analytics to determine what’s working and what needs to change in every campaign. Thankfully, both Klaviyo and Mailchimp have you covered there.

Klaviyo uses a predictive analytics tool that places customers on a spectrum so you can determine the likelihood of certain behaviors. Klaviyo also uses AI to make predictions including customer lifetime value, predicted buying cycles, probability of churn, and the best time to send your emails. 

Mailchimp also uses analytics to make predictions like a customer’s likelihood to make a purchase. It also offers a lookalike audience finder, which is incredibly helpful if you’re looking to expand your audience by targeting people in the same demographic as your current audience. 

Unique Features

Both platforms have a few unique features that set them apart from one another.

Klaviyo offers:

  • seamless integration with Shopify.
  • the ability to A/B test up to 7 versions of an email with any plan.
  • free email support for all tiers.
  • SMS marketing.

Mailchimp offers:

  • a landing page builder. 
  • native Canva integration.
  • telephone support.
  • 300 integrations, with the list growing every month.

Ease Of Use

Even the best email service provider in the world quickly becomes the worst if it’s too hard for you to use.  Klaviyo’s features are almost endless. Integration is seamless. Building an email is crazy intuitive. But all the amazing features can make it a little tricky to master. The Mailchimp email editor is also extremely easy to use, especially because it’s more simplistic in nature. There are fewer options and features to slow you down if you’re just getting the hang of email marketing and trying to do everything on your own. 

Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Let's Sum it Up


Klaviyo - The E-commerce Focused Email Marketing Powerhouse:

Klaviyo is known for its laser-focused approach on e-commerce businesses. Built with a robust integration to popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, Klaviyo empowers businesses with advanced automation and personalization options.

👍 Pros of Klaviyo:

  1. E-commerce Integration: Klaviyo seamlessly integrates with popular e-commerce platforms, providing deep customer insights, behavior-based segmentation, and personalized recommendations.
  2. Advanced Automation: Klaviyo's automation capabilities go above and beyond, enabling businesses to create sophisticated, behavior-based customer journeys for maximum engagement.
  3. Personalization: Klaviyo enables you to create personalized content, such as product recommendations and personalized offers, to enhance customer experience and drive conversions.
  4. In-depth Analytics: The platform offers detailed metrics and insights to help you measure the performance of your campaigns accurately.
  5. Top-notch Email Editor: One of the best drag & drop email editors I have used — and I have tried many.


👎 Cons of Klaviyo:

  1. Steeper Learning Curve: Klaviyo's extensive features and functionalities may require a learning curve for beginners or smaller businesses.
  2. Higher Pricing: Klaviyo's pricing may be more expensive compared to some other email marketing platforms, particularly for larger lists.

Mailchimp - The All-in-One Email Marketing Solution:

Mailchimp is one of the oldest and most recognizable names in the email marketing industry. It boasts an impressive user-friendly interface that makes it an excellent choice for beginners. With Mailchimp, you can easily create and send email campaigns, design landing pages, manage contacts, and track the performance of your campaigns using comprehensive analytics.

👍 Pros of Mailchimp:

  1. All-in-one Marketing Platform: Mailchimp has everything you need to grow and market your business. You can create websites, landing pages, digital ads, emails, and more under one roof.
  2. Affordable Pricing: Mailchimp offers a free plan for basic users and affordable pricing tiers for businesses of all sizes, making it a budget-friendly option.
  3. Automation: The platform allows you to create simple automation workflows based on triggers, such as user actions or specific dates.
  4. Extensive Integrations: Mailchimp integrates with various third-party applications and platforms, enabling seamless connections to your existing tech stack.

👎 Cons of Mailchimp:

  1. Limited Automation: While Mailchimp offers automation features, it may fall short for businesses requiring advanced automation and segmentation capabilities.
  2. E-commerce Functionality: Though Mailchimp has improved its e-commerce features, it may not be as powerful as some other specialized platforms like Klaviyo.
  3. Email Editor is Lacking: Not as robust as Klaviyo's template builder and may require custom css to make your email templates look how you envisioned it.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between Mailchimp and Klaviyo ultimately depends on your business's specific needs and goals. If you're a small business looking for a user-friendly platform with basic automation features and an affordable price point, Mailchimp may be the ideal choice for you. However, if you run an e-commerce business that requires advanced automation, deep customer insights, and personalized marketing, Klaviyo's powerful features are likely to deliver the best results.

In the end, both platforms will allow you to send beautifully customized emails to specific groups of people. But personally, I’ll choose Klaviyo every time. It’s much more suited for e-commerce and its suite of features will help your business grow exponentially. Before making your choice, consider trying out their free plans or taking advantage of any trial periods they may offer. Whichever platform you choose, investing in a robust email marketing solution will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and success of your business.

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