Klaviyo vs Mailchimp? 5 reasons why we choose Klaviyo by Linda Bleijenberg

Shopify and Mailchimp are friends again. That means Shopify merchants who want to start with email marketing face a dilemma: should you go with Klaviyo or with Mailchimp? At Code we might be able to give you some advice, because we worked with both. In this blog we’ll explain why, if you’re an ambitious online brand, we think Klaviyo is your best bet. Without a doubt!


Mailchimp relaunches Shopify integration

In October 2021 Mailchimp launched a new integration with Shopify, two years after the companies quit their collaboration and Mailchimp disappeared from the Shopify App Store. In those two years, a lot of Shopify merchants and agencies moved to different email automation software. As did Code: we made the switch to Klaviyo, and haven’t regretted it for a second.

What is the biggest advantage of Klaviyo, according to us? In a nutshell: where Mailchimp offers a limited email marketing automation toolbox to small- and medium-sized businesses who prefer to do a lot themselves, Klaviyo gives its users every opportunity to customize, test and personalize their emails to their heart’s content. In other words: Mailchimp is for starters, Klaviyo for pro’s.


Midge working with Klaviyo | Code

Why you could prefer Mailchimp

If you want to do a lot by yourself, if you haven’t done a lot of email marketing yet and want to see if it might work for you without having to invest much, and if you currently don’t have big ambitions for your webshop, Mailchimp is worth your consideration. Mailchimp offers a neat starters’ package: low investment, not too difficult to learn, with a lot of pre-programmed templates and email flows so you can get started quickly.

As soon as you want to get a bit more result with your email marketing – which you want if you have an online store, because email marketing can generate a lot of revenue – Mailchimp will be a size too small. It doesn’t move very far beyond the standard emails everybody is familiar with already, because there’s little room to customize those pre-programmed templates and email flows. Quite inconvenient, because the more you personalize your emails, the better they convert. One-size-fits-all doesn’t quite cut it.

5 reasons to choose Klaviyo

At Klaviyo they don’t believe in one-size-fits-all. At Klaviyo they believe in extreme personalization, and their software is full of neat functions to make that happen. We give you five reasons why we think Klaviyo is the best choice for your webshop.

1. Klaviyo is made for e-commerce

Mailchimp was once developed to make sending emails in bulk to mailing lists as easy as possible for everyone. That was a long time ago, when e-commerce was still in its infancy. Mailchimp is basically a generalist: the local sports club should also be able to use it.

Klaviyo isn’t interested in the local sports club. Right from the start in 2012 their focus has been on e-commerce. Hence, their email editor integrates seamlessly with Shopify (and many popular Shopify apps such as LoyaltyLion, Recharge and Octane), gathers all the relevant data from your store, and uses it to personalize your emails to the max. What’s more: Klaviyo is constantly working on new features and improvements (check out a few recent ones here) that are completely tailored to the ever evolving needs of e-commerce brands.

Caroline Smedts - e-commerce manager at Osaka: “We hardly have to pay any attention to our Klaviyo email flows and campaigns, when about 20 to 30% of our revenue comes form Klaviyo. Definitely a big plus!”

Every e-commerce brand should have a strong welcome series, abandoned cart and back in stock reminder. What else? Learn about the 5 must-have Email Marketing flows for E-Commerce.

2. Personalization, personalization, personalization

Did we mention that personalization is the key to conversion? Klaviyo has understood that very well. Their software tracks your subscribers’ behaviour in detail (what products and pages they look at, what products they put in their cart, when they open your emails, and a LOT more) and presents you with all the data you need to tailor your email marketing to that behaviour. At a level that Mailchimp just does not reach.

Wait, we’ll show you. Below you see how Midge, our head Klaviyo, behaves in a webshop – and how Klaviyo and Mailchimp track his behaviour. What did Mailchimp register? That Midge placed an order for two items, and what the price of those items was.

What did Klaviyo pick up from the same visit? That Midge looked around the website a bit, opened a product page and added the product to his cart, then viewed another product page and added that product as well, subsequently moved to the checkout with his two items and placed his order, but then (quite an important piece of information, but Mailchimp doesn’t mention it) cancelled the order.

If they want to know more about Midge’s behaviour, a merchant can click on ‘details’ for every registered activity in this list. But more importantly: if they want to send Midge personalized emails, then this list offers them plenty of leads to do that. Almost every action in this list is a prompt for an email.

An added benefit of all the data Klaviyo collects is that you can segment your mailing list in any way you want. Would you like to send an email to all customers called ‘John’ who bought a pair of socks in the past three months? Klaviyo has got you covered. Mailchimp is a lot more limited in this respect, because it collects a lot less data.

Mailchimp example | Code
Klaviyo example | Code

3. Klaviyo makes complex split testing possible

A/B testing is superimportant in email marketing. Knowing what works best means more revenue, so it pays off to test literally every aspect of your emails. Here too, Klaviyo is a lot more flexible than Mailchimp. Mailchimp allows you to split-test basic stuff like subject line and body text of your email, at campaign level. If you want to go a bit more meta, for example by testing what timing works best for a particular segment of your subscribers, you need Klaviyo.

In our recent e-book about email marketing we talk a lot about Klaviyo’s extensive test-options. Curious? Get the 2021 Email Marketing Inspiration book here.

4. Klaviyo offers you relevant analytics and reports

Data-analysis is essential to optimize your marketing and conversion. What works in emails and what doesn’t? Apart from that, as a merchant you also want to know the effect of your email marketing on your revenue. Both Mailchimp and Klaviyo offer you analytics and reports, but their focus is slightly different. Not only does Klaviyo gather more relevant data to analyze, Klaviyo also presents this data to you in a relevant way. Hence the most important piece of data is available at a glance: what percentage of your total revenue comes from email marketing.

Ylmar Haring - Senior brand manager at Le Nouveau Chef: “We started with four basic Klaviyo flows that immediately took off. Our revenue from email marketing is now ten times higher than it was!”

5. Klaviyo gives you access to all its features – from the start

Klaviyo’s pricing policy is superclear: their product is the same for everyone, and your monthly fee is based on the number of active contacts in your mailing list. Hence you always have access to all the features Klaviyo has to offer, regardless of the size of your mailing list. So when you have figured out the basics a bit and you want to try something new with your email marketing, you can go right ahead.

Mailchimp makes it all a little more complicated. They offer various subscriptions with increasing functionality (of which the most basic one is free) and you can add extra modules as you go. The number of subscribers also influences your monthly fee, and subscribers count twice if they are on two mailing lists. To get the same functionality as Klaviyo, you pay the maximum price.

In short, Mailchimp has a friendly price tag for starters, but it is a bit less friendly for businesses with large or fast-growing mailing lists and/or a need for extended functionality. In terms of total cost of ownership, those companies are better off with Klaviyo. Moreover, Klaviyo pays for itself: every euro invested in Klaviyo gets you 85 euros in return.

Code as your Klaviyo agency

In short, at Code we think Mailchimp is fine, but Klaviyo is just the most powerful tool for Email Marketing. It does come with a bit of a learning curve before you can make optimal use of it, though. Klaviyo hands you a big toolbox with lots of specialist tools, and you will need some time to figure out what all these tools can do.

Or you hire Code of course. We're not just a Shopify agency, since 2019 we have been a Klaviyo agency as well. Midge and his Klaviyo team know the tool inside and out. They will get your business 20% revenue from email marketing in no time, and in some cases, it might soon grow to 50%.

Interested? You’re welcome to discuss your email strategy with us sometime, and to see what Klaviyo can do for your business!

Download our Email Marketing Inspiration Book!

Linda Bleijenberg
Written by

Linda Bleijenberg

Code easily writes 100 lines of code every day, but a blog is a different story! So we leave that to Linda Bleijenberg, our copywriter. She lives around the corner in Delft and wants to be an IT wizard when she grows up. Until then, she interviews our experts and shares our most interesting insights about Shopify and E-Commerce on our blog.

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