In this article we’re going to be comparing Klaviyo vs Mailchimp head-to-head, to see how these two popular email marketing tools compare against each other and find out which is best overall.
Email marketing is a vital part of any online business, whether you’re a content creator selling online courses or you’ve created a physical product. Email subscribers are known to have a higher click-through rate than on social media platforms.
They’re also often more likely to buy if they’ve clicked through from an email, and you’re able to reach a much higher percentage of your audience than you would on traditional social media platforms.
All of this adds up to an email list being an absolutely vital tool for the success of your business. However, it can feel really overwhelming when you’re trying to decide which email marketing software you should use. Today we’re looking at old-time favorite, Mailchimp, and the new kid on the block, Klaviyo, to help you decide which is the best choice for your business needs.
The Main Differences Between Klaviyo vs Mailchimp
In a rush? These are the main differences when comparing Klaviyo vs Mailchimp:
- Klaviyo is specifically designed to work with e-commerce businesses, whereas Mailchimp is suitable for a wide variety of business types from bloggers to online stores.
- Klaviyo offers SMS marketing in addition to its email marketing features. Mailchimp, on the other hand, doesn’t offer SMS marketing.
- Mailchimp offers additional features such as postcards, digital ads, and social media management, which Klaviyo doesn’t offer.
Some of these may be deal-breakers for you. Because of this, it’s important to think carefully about how you want to market your business to your customers before making a decision. Keep reading for a deep-dive into Klaviyo vs Mailchimp to see how their features compare.
In comparison to Mailchimp, Klaviyo is one of the newer kids on the block (although it’s still nearly a decade old). In this time they’ve already gained the trust of well-known brands like Colourpop and Huckberry using them as their sole email marketing platform and to plan multi-channel marketing campaigns.
While Klaviyo offers email marketing, they actually describe themselves as a growth marketing platform. As such, they offer personalized experiences across owned channels (which means no social media, sadly) like email, SMS, in-app notifications, and on your website.
This allows you to connect with your customer in whichever place they use the most. On top of this, personalized recommendations for each customer allow you to increase your click-through rate with minimal effort.
Although Klaviyo can be used for various different types of online business, they mainly focus on supporting the growth of e-commerce stores. They offer integrations with big e-commerce names like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce with features that amplify the usability of each plugin through their native software.
For a newcomer, Klaviyo is a very well-developed platform. There aren’t a huge number of features but what is included is done well.
The main features of Klaviyo include:
- Email marketing
- Flexible pre-built templates
- Pre-built automations (or build your own using the automation tools)
- Advanced analytics dashboard
- A/B testing
- SMS marketing
- Next order prediction
- Abandoned cart email automation
The interface offers a number of email templates that can be customized to suit your branding. Alternatively, you can start from scratch and create your own email style using their drag-and-drop email and website builder.
Klaviyo offers a template management function that allows you to create your own templates for multiple different campaigns so you can be set up for success in the long term.
Klaviyo is set up to give you the best experience when trying to grow your business. You’re able to create multi-channel marketing campaigns and monitor each of the campaigns from an integrated activity dashboard.
The dashboard offers real-time analytics and reporting, and if there’s anything that you need that Klaviyo doesn’t offer, then there are plenty of options for integrating third-party apps.
Ease of Use
In terms of being easy to use, Klaviyo gets mixed reviews. It really depends on your skill level and the amount of experience that you’ve had with other email marketing platforms.
The app itself isn’t the most user-friendly, with some features being hidden behind extensive menus. This can make it difficult to locate what you need. That being said, once you find the feature that you’re looking for, the layout is intuitive and the tools are easy to use.
The drag-and-drop builder makes it very quick and easy to build a new email template or landing page. Content blocks also allow you to add mixed media to your email campaign without the risk of making formatting errors.
The email marketing tool does lack some of the features that you would expect it to have such as advanced image editing features, making it a little frustrating to use. Despite this, it’s still one of the strongest and simplest email marketing platforms available.
Klaviyo has put a lot of work into offering a good level of customer support, and it shows.
First, the support team gets potential customers started by scheduling a free demo which helps you to see exactly what the platform offers. After that, they offer a free trial for you to get to know the platform in your own time.
The primary method of contacting customer support is through the help section on their website. You can search for a topic or keyword and see plenty of articles, videos, or courses to help. If this doesn’t work then you can contact them through a live chat or email address.
If your business is large enough you will also get a dedicated customer support representative.
Overall, their customer support is excellent.
Klaviyo has a great selection of integrations, and the software uses its own features to enhance what the plugins offer. An example of this is the segmentation tool that integrates with many e-commerce plugins like Salesforce, Shopify Plus, or Stripe to create dedicated customer lists. You can also integrate with social media platforms like Facebook to create a multi-channel marketing strategy linking back to your Shopify store.
You can view Klaviyo’s full list of native integrations here.
Customer reviews are generally really good. This isn’t surprising though, considering that so many well-known brands trust Klaviyo with their marketing plan.
There is some mixed feedback regarding the usability of the platform. Some users say that they really struggled and others say that it was a breeze. This likely depends on how much experience the individual reviewers had with email marketing platforms.
More positive reviews mentioned the excellent integration with Facebook, access to marketing automation, and the ability to create stunning emails using professional-looking templates.
Another huge bonus that multiple reviewers mentioned is the ability to create personalized product recommendations for each customer. This is thanks to the many native e-commerce platform integrations.
Pros and Cons
- Stunning templates that create professional-looking emails in seconds
- Integration with Facebook for multi-channel marketing
- Personalized product recommendations for each customer
- Segment audience based on behavior
- Drag-and-drop builder
- A/B testing
- SMS marketing
- Free for up to 250 contacts
- Could get expensive, particularly for start-ups
- Can be difficult to use for less experienced people
- Analytics are confusing
- No phone support
The price of plans is based on the number of email contacts. It starts from $20 per month for up to 500 contacts.
Be warned though, this price very quickly increases if your business starts to grow. For 6,000 contacts you’ll be looking at a bill of $130 per month.
What’s surprising for such premium software is that they offer a free forever plan in addition to the free trial. The free version allows you to have up to 250 contacts and send 500 emails before you need to upgrade. You get most of Klaviyo’s standard features on the free plan, although you will be required to have double opt-in enabled and Klaviyo branding will be included in every email.
Mailchimp has long been hailed as THE email marketing platform. Founded in 2001, Mailchimp is the old hat of email marketing. That doesn’t mean that they’re not good anymore though! In 2019 the company announced that it had around 11 million active customers with a total audience of 4 billion.
While there are several similar products on the market today, Mailchimp remains widely supported by both brands and customers. This makes it easy to seek support or discuss the product with other users.
Mailchimp is a powerful email marketing platform that’s highly flexible and works for both beginners and experts alike.
Its main features include:
- Customizable templates
- Flexible email designer
- Landing page builder
- Read receipts and link click reports
- Detailed analytics
- A/B testing
- Add color codes for a complete branding match
- Utilize multiple email lists and campaigns at once
- Improvement suggestions
- Great customer support and help section
- Social Media management
- Digital ads management
- Website builder
There are a variety of customizable templates, or you can create your own design using their easy-to-use drag and drop interface. The platform allows you to insert multiple types of content into your emails to make them more dynamic.
In recent years Mailchimp has progressed into being much more than an email marketing platform and has branched out into being a full content creation and management platform. From within the software you’re able to create landing pages, full websites, online shops, digital ads for both social media and websites as well as email marketing.
This powerful tool has pushed to become the platform that does it all, and they really do. You even get a content creation tool included that will allow you to apply your brand colors to pre-made designs and adjust to your needs.
Ease of Use
Mailchimp is known for its beginner-friendly approach to email marketing that doesn’t exclude more experienced users. As such, the platform is laid out in a way that makes it very easy to navigate, even if it’s the first time you’ve used an email marketing platform.
The menus are logical, and straightforward terminology is used so as not to confuse anyone. Despite this, it still feels professional and could be used by more experienced marketers without it being a frustrating experience.
The website and email builders themselves are also incredibly easy to use. Both are based around a traditional drag-and-drop style that most content creators and small businesses will already be used to from builder a website on sites like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.
If you do get stuck, then you have the benefit that Mailchimp is one of the most widely used email marketing softwares on the market. This means that on top of the company’s own support system, you’ll also be likely to find the answer from speaking to other users or by reading blog posts.
Although Mailchimp is a relatively user-friendly platform, you still may need to contact support once in a while.
Mailchimp offers a variety of support options, including:
- Email support
- 24/7 chat support
- Mailchimp assistant
- Weekday phone support
The downside is, some of these support options are only available on paid plans. Free plans give you access to the Mailchimp assistant and email support.
All paid plans give you access to 24/7 chat support, but phone support is only available on the Marketing Premium plan.
While the lack of phone support might be a dealbreaker for you, Mailchimp is such a widely used platform that you will be able to find quick answers to the most common problems with a simple Google search.
Mailchimp offers over 300 different integration options that allow you to build websites, take payments, import designs and create interactive designs for both your emails and landing pages.
Being one of the oldest and most well-known email marketing platforms, the software has garnered support from huge names in the creative space like Adobe. If you want to be able to link well-known brands into an email marketing platform then you should seriously consider Mailchimp.
Integrations are easy to set up too. There’s a search page where you can find what you’re looking for and get simple instructions on how to install it.
Customer comments are very much mixed across all of the major review websites. Overall, reviews were very positive about the design and usability of the Mailchimp platform.
Customers frequently mentioned the ease of designing emails, both with templates and from scratch using the drag-and-drop building tool. The integrations were mentioned as being easy to use and they were praised for including well-known products.
Sadly, where Mailchimp falls down is their terrible reputation for customer service. Every single one-star review that we could find only spoke about the lack of customer support. There were mentions of accounts being suspended with no warning and bugs that stopped them from using the platform with no help from Mailchimp.
The reviews really are a mixed bag for Mailchimp. If their customer service had a better reputation it’s likely that most of their reviews would be four or five stars.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Offers a free plan
- Lots of templates
- Personalization features
- Poor customer support
- Tagging options are limited
- Higher tier pricing is expensive
Mailchimp is one of the only email marketing platforms to offer a free plan. The free plan allows you to have up to 500 contacts (which is one of the more generous free plans). You can send unlimited emails, personalize your messages and use some of their basic content creation features for free. You even get access to analytics which a lot of free versions don’t offer.
Once you’ve accrued more than 500 contacts, or you need more extensive features, pricing starts at $10 per month.
While Mailchimp is quite affordable, if you have a larger contact list it can start to get expensive in comparison to other email marketing platforms. The highest plan is $300 per month for 10,000 contacts, which is actually a lot more expensive than Klaviyo. At least with Mailchimp, the increments in the upgrades are much smaller and more flexible.
Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: The Verdict
When it comes to the battle between Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, which is better overall?
Both email marketing platforms offer a wide variety of features, great integrations, and stunning templates. Past this point, the best option for you will depend on the needs and priorities of your business.
If you’re a small business on a tight budget or a blogger with an email list then Mailchimp is definitely going to be the best option for you. The software is incredibly easy to use, is free for longer, and helps you to improve your skills as you develop your brand. Mailchimp offers a wide range of email templates as well as landing page options. The number of integrations available is unparalleled with over 300 big name brands that integrate seamlessly with Mailchimp allowing you to take advantage of powerful additional features.
For e-commerce businesses, Klaviyo is without a doubt the best option. The growth marketing platform is focused on emails but provides you with multiple ways to get in touch with your customer. The integration with Facebook allows you to create multi-channel campaigns, and the ability to personalize your communication and product recommendations to each customer in order to increase revenue is an incredibly unique feature. The customer support is great too!
Whether you choose Klaviyo or Mailchimp, both email marketing platforms are great options. They both offer powerful analytics, stunning email templates, and plenty of features to help you grow your business beyond email newsletters. Ultimately, the choice will depend on what’s right for your business at the moment.
Still undecided? ConvertKit is one of the most popular email marketing tools around. Check out our in-depth ConvertKit review, or test their free plan here!