Email Marketing / Mailchimp vs Klaviyo: How do they compare for ecommerce?

Mailchimp vs Klaviyo: How do they compare for ecommerce?

Andy Thorne
Mailchimp vs Klaviyo feature image

You know the saying “a good workman never blames his tools”, well, that’s not strictly true when it comes to the tool you use for email marketing.

In this blog, we’ll be comparing leading email marketing tools: Mailchimp vs Klaviyo, from the perspective of an email marketing agency that has used both.

The email marketing tool you use can have a huge impact on the success of your email marketing. For example, if automation is a feature important to your email marketing strategy, there’s no use going for a tool that doesn’t have the capability for email automation.

Essentially, you could be great at what you do and have lots of ideas, but your efforts are restricted by the tools you use.

From $0 to $4 billion: the rise of Mailchimp and Klaviyo

Mailchimp vs Klaviyo

Mailchimp and Klaviyo are two popular email marketing tools for ecommerce sites, but how did they come to be?

Today, Mailchimp and Klaviyo are two popular email marketing tools for ecommerce sites but how did they come to be?

Mailchimp has more than a decade on Klaviyo, since it was founded back in 2001 and Klaviyo popped up in 2012.

Clearly, this means that Mailchimp has had more time to establish its brand, build its client base and capture market share. In fact, in 2019 it was revealed that Mailchimp held roughly 60% industry market share with a valuation of $4.2 billion.

Telling the New York Times, co-founder Ben Chestnut said that Mailchimp’s success was due to,

“A proximity to its customers that its competitors lacked. Mailchimp was itself a small business, it understood what those businesses wanted out of their marketing tools. Its offerings were cheaper, it added features more quickly, and it allowed greater customizations to fit customers’ needs.” Ben Chestnut, source.

However, 2020 saw Klaviyo joining the $4 billion valuation club, as it was valued at a hefty $4.15 billion. When asked what has made Klaviyo so successful, co-founder Andrew Bialecki explained,

 “I think our success is because we are a hybrid customer data and marketing platform. We think about what it takes to create these owned experiences. They’re very contextual and you need all of that customer data, not some of it, all of it, and you need that to be tightly coupled with how you’re building customer experiences,” – Andrew Bialecki, source.

Both Mailchimp and Klaviyo understood the value of creating a tool that centres around the customer, and that’s what’s helped them succeed.

What to look for

When it comes to essential features to look out for in the email marketing tool you use, we recommend looking for the following:

  • Create and send email campaigns – now this is a given, but so is everything else on this list.
  • Set up and use automated emails – essential for ecommerce sites to have set up, to make use of automated emails like targeting subscribers that have abandoned baskets.
  • Create audience segmentations – target your email subscribers based on their behaviours and preferences, such as most engaged, VIPs, recently purchased etc.
  • Set up A/B tests – ensure you are always optimising your email marketing efforts by A/B testing to understand which variation performs the best.

Clearly, the features essential to your ecommerce business may differ from those listed, but it acts as a sort of ‘bare bones’ checklist.

Fortunately, both Mailchimp and Klaviyo offer the essential features listed above. However, they do differ in pricing structure, ecommerce platform integration, and email editors.

Mailchimp vs Klaviyo: Pros and cons

Even though they’re both leading email marketing tools, you may be surprised at just how different they are. In this section, we’ll compare Mailchimp vs Klaviyo for ecommerce sites.

Pricing structure

The price of an email marketing tool is certainly an important factor when deciding which one to use. It’s also where Mailchimp and Klaviyo are very different.

Mailchimp’s pricing structure includes four plans: free, essentials, standard and premium.

The amount you pay depends on the number of subscribers you have, the number of emails you want to send each month, the number of unique logins needed, and the kind of features you want to use.

Klaviyo’s pricing structure is different because it’s purely based on the number of subscribers you have.

There are 3 plans to choose from: free, email, email and SMS. However, all features are included from the get-go on each plan.

Ecommerce integration

Ecommerce integration is something you do not want to overlook when choosing an email marketing tool.

It means you can build revenue-driving automated emails like abandoned baskets and post-purchase cross-sell.

Again, Mailchimp and Klaviyo tackle ecommerce integration in different ways. Where Mailchimp is set up for people just starting their ecommerce business, Klaviyo is geared more towards established ecommerce websites.

Mailchimp wants you to sell products through them, so for the most seamless experience it’s best for people just starting up an ecommerce site.

However, you’ll find that both platforms integrate with the most popular ecommerce sites.

Email editor

Whilst both Mailchimp and Klaviyo offer handy email templates to build from, their email editors are quite different.

I think it’s fair to say that their email editors are suited to different types of users.

Mailchimp’s email editor is best suited for users new to email marketing, or perhaps business owners that aren’t necessarily email marketing experts. This is because Mailchimp’s email editor guides the user through the email designing and writing process.

Whereas, Klaviyo’s email editor appeals to more experienced email marketers. This is due to how customisable Klaviyo can be when it comes to email styles.

Final thoughts on Mailchimp vs Klaviyo

When considering the major differences between Mailchimp and Klaviyo, we’ve reached the conclusion that Mailchimp is best suited for people starting out in their ecommerce journey or who are new to email marketing.

Whilst Klaviyo caters for more experienced email marketers or more established ecommerce businesses with their advanced customisation features.

Ultimately, it depends on you and your business – the features you need, your budget, and the ecommerce platform you use.