GrowthJanuary 06, 2023

Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: How to choose the right email solution for your team

Email Marketing Platforms allow you to turn data into business value by delivering personalized email experiences to your customers. Learn about the differences between Klaviyo and Mailchimp, two leading email platforms, and understand how to choose the right email solution for your needs.

According to HubSpot, 95% of B2B marketers still believe email marketing to be effective for meeting their business goals. Mailchimp and Klaviyo are the two most popular tools used to perform these email marketing campaigns. So, which one should you choose?

The primary difference between Mailchimp and Klaviyo is that the former is built for general-purpose email marketing, which can include all types of businesses, including eCommerce stores. As for Klaviyo, it’s designed especially for eCommerce businesses. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. There are many other differences between these tools in terms of their segmentation, automation, features, and pricing that might make one or the other a better fit for your use case. For example, you might prefer one for its direct integration support for your eCommerce store, or you might like one better because it provides you with a unique feature that aligns with your marketing strategy. 

Let’s dive into these differences one by one, so you can make an educated decision on which email marketing platform to adopt for your company.

Email segmentation

Klaviyo has advanced segmentation functionalities that can group subscribers based on their transactional and behavioral data. Klaviyo can collect information from any CRM (e.g., Shopify) to perform segmentation based on how your prospect interacts with your company. There’s a lot of flexibility in how you can create these segments. 

For instance, you can segment prospects into those who only buy a specific type of product, or those who only make purchases using coupons. In addition, Klaviyo lets you run predictive analytics on your customers so you can target your emails based on insights like churn risk and average time between orders. 

Mailchimp only offers basic segmentation functionalities. While you can create groups based on age, location, email client, and campaign activity, you cannot target your users as specifically as you can with Klaviyo. Mailchimp also doesn’t support real-time behavior tracking and lacks predictive analytics support as well. 

Although both Klaviyo and Mailchimp support A/B testing, the former lets you experiment with seven variations of email, compared to Mailchimp’s three. 

Verdict: Klaviyo just edges into the lead in this category thanks to its advanced segmentation capabilities. 

Automation

HubSpot also found that 78% of media planners use automation to improve business performance and customer experience. Automation helps you to build drip campaigns, which allow you to send pre-customized emails to your customers. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp allow you to send these emails automatically once your customer performs a specific action. 

Klaviyo lets you send behavioral-trigger emails, create customer profiles, create segments in real time, and get attribution. Klaviyo uses a trigger flow to automate emails. This trigger is initiated when your leads or subscribers perform a specific action, like when a customer views one of your products or joins your VIP list by reaching a certain spending threshold. 

Some of the automated emails you can send include:

  • Welcome series emails triggered when users are acquired from a specific source(e.g., blogging, social media)
  • Prompt emails when you restock a product or send discount prices to VIPs (e.g., during Black Friday or Christmas)
  • Real-time order and shipping updates (e.g., when your order is out for delivery)

Mailchimp offers four types of automation: Customer Journey Builder, transactional emails, retargeting ads, and integrations. Mailchimp also lets you send simple automated emails, such as welcome messages or birthday wishes. Like Klaviyo, you can create event-based automations that let you send messages for abandoned carts, product recommendations, and product retargeting. 

When a potential lead is at the start of their buying journey, you can use Mailchimp’s Customer Journey Builder to land a sale. It’s a drag-and-drop functionality that lets you set and automate a workflow for your brand. This includes choosing starting points (e.g., when a customer doesn’t open a campaign) and adding additional points along the user journey. Journey points are conditions and actions that dictate the path your contacts take in your customer journey map. 

Verdict: Tie. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp offer powerful automation support that can improve your conversion rate. 

Pricing

If you are on a budget, then choosing a more cost-effective tool can be the deciding factor.

Klaviyo offers three pricing plans. For 500 contacts, here are the pricing plans.  

  • Free
  • Email ($30 per month)
  • Email + SMS ($45 per month)

Mailchimp offers four pricing plans. For 500 contacts, here are the pricing plans.   

  • Free
  • Essential ($13 per month)
  • Standard ($20 per month)
  • Premium ($350 per month)

Mailchimp and Klaviyo have different pricing models. Klaviyo is subscriber based, meaning you only pay for your active subscribers. In contrast, Mailchimp charges based on email lists. That means if you have one subscriber (e.g., chrisscott123@gmail.com) in three lists, you will have to pay three times for the same contact. Also, Klaviyo offers all features in its pricing plans, whereas Mailchimp requires you to purchase the premium pricing plan to get all the features.

Verdict: Mailchimp is generally cheaper, but it can get expensive. If you want more advanced features like multivariate testing or access to a dedicated onboarding specialist, you will have to pay more. 

Unique features

Both Mailchimp and Klaviyo provide some unique features. This is something that can sway your decision if the above points aren’t enough to make up your mind.  

Here’s what makes Klaviyo stand out: 

  • Klaviyo offers a direct Shopify integration, unlike Mailchimp, where you need a third-party application for integration. Klaviyo’s integration allows you to collect and store customer data directly from your Shopify stores. 
  • Klaviyo offers an SMS marketing tool. You can use it to send personalized text messages to your email subscribers. This is useful for customers who prefer text messaging over email. 

In Mailchimp’s case, the unique features include:

  • Mailchimp has a landing page builder. You can use it to create free product landing pages for increasing and converting leads and personalized content for online ads.
  • Mailchimp comes with a postcard creator, which you can use to print, stamp, and mail customizable postcards throughout and outside the US. 

Verdict: Tie. This depends on your feature preference. Mailchimp is better if you’re selling offline products or targeting more traditional customers who will respond to traditional marketing approaches, whereas Klaviyo is better for reaching online shoppers with high mobile use.

Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Which tool should you choose?

Choosing between Klaviyo and Mailchimp isn’t easy. Both tools have cemented their position as leaders in the email marketing space. However, depending on your use case, you’ll probably find one preferably to the other. If you are on a budget and are a beginner in email marketing, you will find Mailchimp more affordable, and its basic functionalities in segmentation should be enough for you. 

However, if you have a higher budget and some experience with email marketing, Klaviyo’s more advanced features will probably be a better fit. Similarly, if you already use Shopify or are established in the eCommerce space, then Klaviyo is a no-brainer. 

Once you decide whether Mailchimp or Klaviyo is better suited to your needs, you will need to figure out how you’ll power your selected tool with first-party customer data. As an alternative to integrating Mailchimp or Klaviyo’s SDK directly in your app or website, Customer Data Platforms such as mParticle make it possible to forward customer data to your email tool with any development work, accelerating time to value. You’ll also be able to ingest email engagement data into your Customer Data Platform, where it can be unified to your customer data set and connected to other tools to inform campaign targeting and analytics.

To learn more, you can explore the mParticle platform demo for yourself here.

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