Email Marketing Platforms: Klaviyo Vs. MailChimp

Posted June 1, 2017 by   in Content Marketing, Email Marketing

As we mentioned in our Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing, email marketing is the most profitable marketing channel for ecommerce stores. With so much revenue being on the line, choosing the right email marketing tool is of utmost importance. There are so many aspects of email marketing that must be taken into consideration so the capabilities of the platform must be able to perform in such a way that will make your campaigns successful. Not all email marketing platforms can be treated as equal.

MailChimp describes themselves as, “the world’s largest marketing automation platform,” boasting about being the right choice for small ecommerce shops as well as big online retailers to help grow their business, while Klaviyo says their motto, “built on a single idea: using data to drive your marketing delivers better results,” is true for any size business. While these tools seemingly do the same types of things, their capabilities do vary slightly.

Automated Data Syncs

This feature is a pretty basic feature that most email marketing platforms have. It simply means that once the user changes their status (signs up, unsubscribes, etc.), that data automatically syncs with the platform. This is obviously important to eliminate manual work of importing users into lists/segments. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp offer this feature.

Automated Email Flows

An automated email flow is a campaign that is set up so that a user will receive an email based on an action; they signed up, purchased a product (separate from order confirmation emails), abandoned a cart, abandoned their browsing session, etc. Once a user does one of these actions, they will be added into a specific flow that may have several different emails that will be sent to the user at different time increments. This is one of the most beneficial features offered both by Klaviyo and Mailchimp (and it’s now free!) to help businesses created more targeted campaigns.

eCommerce Triggers

A trigger is a term used to describe a user behavior that results in them receiving an email within an automated email flow. For instance, a shopper can leave products in their cart and that will trigger a cart abandonment email to go to the user. Ecommerce triggers go hand in hand with automated flows so that it knows when to add the shopper into the automated flow. Since these are necessary to create automated email flows, it goes without saying that Mailchimp and Klaviyo both have this functionality.

Unrestricted Targeting Options

Using web tracking, companies can have a look at what customers are doing while browsing their store, which allows this information to be used to do things such as reach out to people who haven’t been to the store recently, re-engage with frequent visitors, and much more. MailChimp does not offer this, but Klaviyo does. Simply place a snippet of code on the store and the targeting possibilities are endless.

Smart Segmentation

In the email marketing world, segmentation means dividing a particular email list into smaller chunks based on things like subscriber behavior, properties or engagement to allow for a more personalized email experience. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp offer this feature but are done in slightly different ways.

Abandoned Cart Flows

Abandoned cart flows are a type of campaign/flow used to target users that have products in their cart but have not purchased, yet. By using data from the cart, both Klaviyo and MailChimp make it possible to reach out to shoppers who weren’t quite ready to make a purchase and to get a conversion and turn them into a customer.

Browse Abandonment Integration

Also using web tracking, Klaviyo enables the option to gather data on users who browsed the store but did not convert. MailChimp doesn’t offer this feature, which means missing out on possible conversions from this email marketing opportunity.

A/B Testing

A/B Testing is used to measure things like which times of the day leads to more opens, which subject lines are the most effective or even what name in the “from” field resonates with users the most. A/B testing is a must for getting the most out of email marketing and getting the results desired. Both platforms make it super simple to test email campaigns and flows against each other in order to measure the results and select the winner that will grow the business more.

Reports & Analytics

Reporting how well you’re connecting with your users, shoppers, and customers through targeted email campaigns is imperative to show the impact it’s having on the store’s revenue. Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp offer this feature, taking it a step further than just the basic reporting on impressions, clicks and open rates with revenue reporting. Just like A/B testing, this will help improve the campaigns.

Email Designer

There’s no HTML required for either platform’s drag and drop email editor, but Klaviyo’s software user interface makes it slightly easier to use…

Bounce Tracking

A bounce occurs when an email is sent and the address is undeliverable. Tracking this allows this email to either be corrected (if there’s an obvious spelling error; “gmail” is spelled “gmial” or something similar) or deleted from a lit altogether. Mailchimp offers this, while Klaviyo does not.

And if you’re not ready to read all of that, here’s a handy email marketing comparison sheet:


Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp