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Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which Is Better? (2020)

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, featured image

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a veteran at online selling, you probably know that nurturing and gaining new leads is a tough challenge. Not only do you have to hook new customers to grow your audience, but you also have to maintain each of these relationships. Otherwise, it’s all too easy for a competitor to sweep in and snap up your prospects. 

Sustaining customer relationships are the lifeblood of any profitable business, and as such, it can drain lots of your time.

So, if you’re looking to relieve some of the weight off your shoulders, a marketing automation platform could be the answer. 

Software such as Klaviyo and Mailchimp provide all the tools you need to create email templates, design automated workflows, launch email funnels, and enhance customer interaction. So, instead of hiring a whole marketing team, these tools empower smaller operations and solopreneurs to set up winning marketing strategies.

Although Klaviyo and Mailchimp are similar software, there are distinct differences between the two. These variations may make one of these platforms more suitable for your business over the other. 

So, to help you decide which leading solution is the best, we’re going to compare Klaviyo and Mailchimp against the following factors:

  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Integrations
  • Customer support and documentation
  • Pricing

By the end of this review, you should have a much clearer idea about which of these marketing automation tools comes up trumps.

There’s lots to cover, so without further ado, let’s dive straight in! 

Features

Klaviyo and Mailchimp’s core functionalities overlap somewhat. At heart, both platforms empower you to create, design, and automate email funnels. 

However, to make the most out of any email campaign, features such as segmentation, automation, A/B testing, and reporting and analytics are crucial. So, let’s explore these critical features in more detail and how they compare for both Klaviyo and Mailchimp. 

Segmentation

For the uninitiated, ’email segmentation’ refers to splitting your email list into smaller subscriber groups. This makes targeting specific customers with content tailored to meet their needs so much easier. 

For instance, the emails you send new subscribers may be different from that of your loyal customers. For example, you’re far more likely to want to send a welcome email to someone new to your email list and a discount to a die-hard fan of your brand. It just doesn’t make sense to (always) send the whole of your list the same email!

This is where segmentation comes into its own. 

A tailored approach to email marketing is vital. In fact, over 90% of US shoppers think personalized content is very or at least somewhat appealing. 

With that stat in mind, let’s see how Klaviyo and Mailchimp both approach segmentation.

Klaviyo

When you first sign up with Klaviyo, you’re immediately encouraged to build lists out of your imported contacts. They suggest the following titles for your lists: engaged, unengaged, and new subscribers. 

With Klaviyo’s powerful segmentation tools, you can group subscribers based on their behavioral and/or transactional data. Klaviyo takes information from your Shopify account (or whichever CRM you’re using) so that you can segment your list based on the way the prospect engages with your brand. 

This empowers you to get as specific as you like with your segmentation to take the personalization of your email campaigns to the next level. 

For example, you could create a segment of people that looked at summer dresses more than three times over the last seven days. Impressive, right?

Here are just some of the filters you can use to help segment your email list:

  • People who buy specific types of products
  • People who only buy full price
  • People who purchase only with coupons
  • People who purchase only on certain days

These are just a few examples, but you get the idea. 

Klaviyo segmentation

Mailchimp

In comparison, Mailchimp’s segmentation tools are somewhat lacking. Although you can segment your audience into smaller lists, you can’t get as specific with your segmentation as you can with Klaviyo. Namely, because behavioral tracking isn’t available. 

It’s also worth noting that Mailchimp counts subscribers that appear on several lists as separate contacts. This means you could end up using your contact allowance much faster, which may force you to upgrade (but more on pricing in a second). 

Mailchimp segmentation

Automation

Automation is vital for freeing up your valuable time so that you can focus on other money-making tasks. So, how do Klaviyo and Mailchimp compete on automation?

Klaviyo

Klaviyo excels just as much with its automation features as it does with segmentation. You can choose from a vast list of email workflows and get started with an easy-to-use template. These include anything from abandoned cart reminders to birthday wishes, thank you messages, and order updates. 

Once you click on one of these options, you can edit the template, design a new one from scratch, or add an entirely different flow altogether. You can even create workflows with multiple routes depending on customer behaviors. This ensures you’re covered across more than one eventuality. Awesome, isn’t it?

Klaviyo automation

Mailchimp

Mailchimp makes it easy to set up workflows based on your marketing goals. You can choose a course of action, such as welcoming new subscribers or wishing customers a happy birthday. 

Frankly, for the cost of Mailchimp, its easy-to-use and reliable automation features are impressive. Not only that, but its workflow templates are intuitive to build, so in theory, you can have one set up within minutes.

Mailchimp even integrates with your website so that you can automatically send emails based on the subscriber’s behavior. For instance, if a customer clicks away from their cart, Mailchimp will automatically send an abandoned cart email (after a preset amount of time). Simple, right?

However, note that advanced automation, like the kind just described, is only available with Mailchimp’s paid plans.

Mailchimp automation

Reporting and Analytics

Data is the hinge-pin of any successful marketing campaign. You need to keep an eye on the numbers to see which of your campaigns is the most fruitful. 

Likewise, you’ll want to learn from the campaigns that didn’t generate the ROI you were after. That way, you can identify what went wrong and push for better conversions in the future. 

Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp offer reporting features that provide these insights. But how do they differ?

Klaviyo

With just a few clicks, Klaviyo gives you an overview of several metrics that offer a good idea of how your emails perform. 

Some of these data points include:

  • Your bounce rate
  • Your click-through rate
  • Dropped emails
  • Emails marked as spam
  • Your open rate
  • Emails received
  • Unsubscribed emails

You can also customize your analytics dashboard and add a card to the reports section to track metrics of your own choosing.

Reports can display information as either a line graph chart or as conventional figures. 

Klaviyo also shows what customers are doing in real-time. This means that you can see when people are clicking on emails, which campaigns are driving purchases, and which customers are the most valuable — as it’s happening.

Lastly, Klaviyo also features A/B testing functionalities. This permits you to select campaigns and compare them based on a specified metric to see which performs better.

Klaviyo reporting and analytics

Mailchimp

Compared to Klaviyo, Mailchimp offers a simplified approach to reporting and analytics. 

Mailchimp furnishes you with all the basic analytics you need. You can see these at a glance from your campaign page. However, you can also dive deeper into the data to see how one email sequence performs compared to another.

Mailchimp provides baseline success rates (according to your industry), too, which can help put your experience into perspective. While Mailchimp doesn’t benefit from predictive analytics like Klaviyo, you still have access to all the performance metrics you need to formulate a successful campaign. You can also A/B test your funnels based on your email’s content and subject line. 

On Mailchimp’s more advanced pricing plans, multivariate testing becomes available, where you can explore the performance of different workflows in more depth.

Mailchimp reporting and analytics

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which Offers the Better Features?

Overall, it appears that Klaviyo’s features are more advanced. Its automation, segmentation, and reporting tools are far more in-depth. In the end, while both Mailchimp and Klaviyo get the job done, Klaviyo goes that extra step further where its features are concerned.

Winner: Klaviyo

Ease of Use

Marketing automation tools are often confusing at first. This is especially true if you’re new to email marketing. So, you’ll want a platform that makes it easy for you to get the most out of it. 

With that in mind, let’s see how Klaviyo and Mailchimp compare on this score…

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is one of the most advanced marketing automation tools on the market. This becomes evident when you realize the sheer wealth of data this platform generates for you at every corner. Although this provides much-needed insight into your marketing strategies, it presents a steep learning curve. Still, once mastered, Klaviyo offers a whole host of possibilities.

While we’re on the subject of ease of use, it’s also worth mentioning that Klaviyo integrates seamlessly with your eCommerce platform. So, you don’t have to skip from one tab to the other to find the information you’re after.  

On top of this, Klaviyo also features an intuitive drag and drop editor you can use to compile automated workflows and design email templates for marketing campaigns. Plus, setting up an account is literally as simple as one, two, three. Yes, you guessed it — there are just three steps to getting connected (as shown in the screenshot below): 

Klaviyo ease of use

Mailchimp

In contrast to Klaviyo, Mailchimp’s dashboard is far simpler, restricting itself just to core functionalities. This is great if you want an email marketing tool you can get up and running with quickly. However, if you’re after in-depth data gathering and analytics, it falls short — at least, in comparison to Klaviyo.  

Mailchimp also provides an extensive library of versatile and easily adaptable email templates. You can modify these as you wish using its drag and drop email editor. Some of these templates just provide the ‘barebones’ so that you can design beautiful emails virtually from scratch. 

The editor boasts plenty of design options. Each element slots into place quickly and automatically — so you’ll have professional-looking emails ready to send in no time!

Mailchimp ease of use

Which Is Easier to Use? Mailchimp or Klaviyo?

Overall, Mailchimp has the edge on this one. This platform is incredibly intuitive, making it straightforward to use even for those new to email marketing. Klaviyo, in comparison, risks being a little overwhelming, and as such, comes with a much steeper learning curve.

Winner: Mailchimp

Integrations

If you’re running a full-fledged online business, you’re probably using a few tools to help you. From your eCommerce platform to helpdesk software to inventory management tools, you’ll want to ensure your email marketing platform integrates with the software you’re already using.  

So, let’s look at which integrations Klaviyo and Mailchimp have to offer.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo does a good job of pulling data from other marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) tools. On their integrations page, you’ll find a large variety of tools, including:

  • Eventbrite
  • Facebook
  • HelpScout
  • Magento
  • GetSiteControl
  • LoyaltyLion
  • and many more

Klaviyo also seamlessly collaborates with all the major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

Klaviyo integrations

Mailchimp

Most notably, Mailchimp doesn’t currently offer a Shopify integration. This might make the tool a lot less valuable to many eCommerce merchants. 

However, Mailchimp still integrates with tons of other solutions, including:

  • Accelo
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Stripe
  • Calendly
  • HootSuite
  • and many others
Mailchimp integrations

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which Offers Better Integrations?

Overall, Mailchimp trumps Klaviyo with its sheer number of integrations. However, if you require an in-depth integration with Shopify, you might turn towards Klaviyo because, as I’ve already mentioned, this isn’t something Mailchimp offers.

If you’re after a specific integration, your best bet is contacting the platforms directly to see whether they have one. 

Winner: Mailchimp

Customer Support and Documentation

If you’re signing up for a long-term service, you want to know the provider has your back. So, let’s take a look at how Klaviyo and Mailchimp compare on support.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo doesn’t offer any phone support, but you can count on their help via email and live chat from 9 am to 5 pm ET (Eastern Time), Monday to Friday.

However, note that if you’re using Klaviyo’s free plan, only email support is available.

On their website, you’ll also find a variety of helpful resources. These include the ‘Getting Started’ handbook and on-demand training videos and guides. 

The online help center also covers FAQ and provides more information on making the most out of the platform’s features.

Klaviyo customer support

Mailchimp

Mailchimp offers 24/7 email and live chat support from the Essentials plan onwards. However, if you’re on the Premium plan, you also unlock telephone support.

But, if you’re using their free program, you don’t have much help to count on.

However, Mailchimp offers a large number of resources on its website. They offer an overview of their tool and provide marketing tips and guides, which aren’t just in English but also in Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese.

If you’re in any doubt about the quality of Mailchimp’s customer service, they won four international awards for superb customer service in 2020. That tells you all you need to know!

Mailchimp customer service

Mailchimp vs Klaviyo: Which Offers the Better Customer Support?

Overall, Mailchimp offers a few more customer service channels and maintains longer opening hours for their support lines. While Phone support is only available for higher tiers, Mailchimp’s overall support is highly rated and considered excellent across the web.

Winner: Mailchimp

Pricing

Whichever tool you enlist for has to suit your budget. That’s no secret. Of course, costs are a major factor in deciding whether a marketing automation tool works for you. 

Here’s how Klaviyo and Mailchimp compare on price.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo’s pricing depends on whether you want to enlist its services for email, SMS, or both. The costs are entirely flexible and vary depending on how many contacts you need to keep in touch with. There are no annual contracts or hidden fees to worry about, and you can estimate your costs by heading to their website and entering your number of contacts.

For up to 250 contacts, you can use Klaviyo’s email services for free. This permits you to send a maximum of 500 emails to up to 250 contacts. Once you reach this threshold, you’re prompted to upgrade. With this free account, you can import and sync your data, customize emails and workflow templates, and enjoy many other Klaviyo features.

SMS pricing is calculated based on the number of messages you send. There’s no free version for this service.

Below, I’ve outlined a few estimations on Klaviyo’s website for either its email or SMS service. If you require both, simply add your email and text estimations together.

Email-only:

  • 500 contacts: $20 a month
  • 1000 contacts: $30 a month
  • 2500 contacts: $60 a month
  • 10,000 contacts: $150 a month

You can send unlimited emails to these contacts, and you’ll get access to both email and chat support.

SMS-only:

Each SMS you send with Klaviyo is priced at $0.01.

If you want to send MMS, you can do so for $0.03.

  • 250 text messages: $2.50
  • 500 text messages: $5.00
  • 1000 text messages: $10.00

If you enlist both services, your breakdown might look as follows:

  • 10,000 email contacts per month: $150
  • 10,000 messages sent per month: $100

So, your estimated total for that month would therefore be $250.00. Makes sense?

Klaviyo pricing

Mailchimp

Mailchimp’s pricing at first glance appears similar to traditional SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) subscriptions. There are four plans available, including a free program. 

With the free plan, you can reach up to 2,000 contacts across one audience. You get access to Mailchimp’s marketing CRM, a Mailchimp web domain, forms, landing pages, the website builder, and the creative assistant. 

The Essentials plan starts at $9.99 a month (if your mailing list includes 500 contacts). At a maximum, you can reach up to 50,000 contacts over three audiences. If you require more contacts on this tier, you can calculate the costs on Mailchimp’s website. The Essential plan unlocks features such as multi-step journeys, email templates, custom branding, A/B testing, and access to 24/7 email and live chat support.

More features are added in the Standard Plan, which starts at $14.99 a month (for up to 500 contacts) and can scale up to 100,000 contacts across five audiences. Plus, you gain access to the customer journey builder with branching points. You can also optimize your emails’ send time and use behavioral targeting, custom templates, and dynamic content.

The Premium Plan starts at $299 a month for 10k contacts (with a cap of 200,000 contacts) across unlimited audiences. It comes with advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, comparative reporting, limitless seats, role-based access, and phone support.

Infrequent senders can use Mailchimp’s services on a pay-as-you-go basis. This is intended for targeted senders, email-only marketers, and seasonal businesses. On this plan, you purchase credits. Each email costs one credit, and credits expire after 12 months. The pay-as-you-go program includes all the Essentials plan features, with access to themes, layouts, and basic reporting. Credit blocks start at 5000 credits. 

Emails cost $0.03 each if you purchase 300 credits, or $0.01 each if you spend $250 for 25,000 credits.

Mailchimp pricing

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which is the Better Value for Money?

If you’re looking for a pay-as-you-go service, Klaviyo’s pricing is straightforward and fair.

In the meantime, Mailchimp requires you to upgrade to more expensive tiers to get the most out of its features. It is overall cheaper than Klaviyo, however.

While it can be argued Klaviyo boasts more advanced features, Mailchimp is the right choice if you’re looking for a mid-budget solution that gets the job done.

Winner: It’s a draw (kind of…)

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Final Thoughts

Klaviyo and Mailchimp both offer an impressive set of features for marketing automation, so we can be confident these two tools will remain competitive in the future. 

If you’re new to email marketing, neither Klaviyo nor Mailchimp are the most affordable options on the market. However, they’re certainly amongst the most reliable and advanced ones.

Overall, I think Klaviyo is the right choice if you want access to more advanced features and want to dig deep into data analytics. Its workflow, segmentation, and reporting tools are some of the best in the biz. Klaviyo was designed with eCommerce merchants in mind, and its in-depth integrations prove that this is undoubtedly the case. However, overall, Klaviyo is the more expensive option.

Mailchimp is an excellent solution for anyone who just wants to focus on email marketing. Typically speaking, it’s better suited to content- and information-based businesses rather than eCommerce as it doesn’t function quite as well with online shopping platforms. For the somewhat cheaper pricing, it gets the job done, and it does so intuitively. Anyone looking for a straightforward and reliable solution will be entirely happy with Mailchimp.

Both these tools offer free plans, so you can make an account with either to take a look around their dashboards. This will likely give you a better insight into which of these two platforms is better for your business.

In the meantime, we’re curious, between Klaviyo and Mailchimp, which one do you think is better? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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