Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Which Is Best for eCommerce?

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Email is the most powerful tool on the eCommerce marketing tool belt, so choosing the best platform is a big decision.

If you choose the wrong platform, you'll leave a lot of money on the table and frustrate your team.

Choose the right one, and you'll maximize profits and be well on your way to crushing the competition.

Klaviyo and Mailchimp are names that usually end up on the short-list of eCommerce companies. Mailchimp is one of the biggest email platforms out there with eCommerce features, and Klaviyo is one of the best eCommerce-focused options.

But does that eCommerce focus mean that Klaviyo is the automatic winner? Let's take a deeper look at these platforms to help you find out which is best.

Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Finding Your eCommerce Email Solution

As an eCommerce email marketing team, we're focused on what matters most – delivering real results. Our clients regularly see a 29x ROI on their spend. To get those kinds of numbers, we focus exclusively on behavior-based automated email.

So, the first question we're going to answer is, "Does either Klaviyo or MailChimp make behavior-based email automation easier than the other?"

Behavior-Based Email Automation: Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp

When we talk about behavior-based email, we're talking about automatically sending people highly targeted and personalized emails when they take certain actions. These emails may include:

As you can see in the table below, Klaviyo offers almost all of these capabilities natively as part of their platform, while Mailchimp requires some third-party integrations.


Features Mailchimp Klaviyo
Sign-up Forms/Popups Y Y
Browse Abandonment Integration Y
Welcome Email Y Y
Order Notification Y Y
First-Time Buyer Y Y
Review Request Integration Y
Cross-Sell Integration Y
Replenishment Integration Y
Abandoned Cart Y Y
Product Retargeting Y Integration
Product Recommendations Y Y
Win-Back Y Y


You can clearly see from this perspective that Klaviyo is built for eCommerce. While Mailchimp has made some strides to broaden their platform to include some eCommerce options, they're still a little behind Klaviyo here.

While integrations will do, if necessary, you'll generally get more consistent results and better support with a feature that is part of the platform.

Automation Advantage: Klaviyo

Since we do behavior-based email, you may be asking, "What platform does SmartMail use?" The answer is neither Klaviyo or Mailchimp.

We use our own customized software. The value we deliver our clients is in our ability to use these kinds of tools to deliver amazing results. You can learn more about the kind of returns we get for our clients here.New call-to-action

Platform Cost: Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp

Klaviyo's free option supports up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends. You will be required to display Klaviyo's branding in your emails, and your subscribers will have to go through a double-opt-in process.




Pricing starts at $20/mo for 300 contacts but unlocks email and chat support, as well as unlimited email sends. At 46,000 contacts, however, your sends are capped at 460,000. Klaviyo's pricing increases until 150,000 contacts, at which point you'll reach customized enterprise pricing.

While Klaviyo's free option includes 250 contacts, Mailchimp gives you 2,000 for free, which is almost 10X more contacts. Like Klaviyo, you'll be limited on support and required to use the platform's branding on all emails.




Mailchimp's offers differ slightly. To start, you'll choose which package best fits your needs. Options include Essentials ($9.99/mo), Standard ($14.99/mo), and Premium ($299/mo).

Assuming you'd want Mailchimp's Premium package, since it offers similar features to Klaviyo, here's how some of the rates stack per month:

Contacts Mailchimp Klaviyo
10,000 $299 $150
20,000 $399 $400
50,000 $599 $700

While Klaviyo has a lower cost of entry for robust eCommerce features, Mailchimp is cheaper for larger lists.

Cost Advantage: Tie

Additional Inclusions: Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp

In addition to the behavior-based automations mentioned above, there are some other features you'll want to consider.

Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp have pre-built segments and multivariate testing. Both of these can be extremely handy in getting the most from your campaigns.

Klaviyo offers unique coupon codes you can apply to emails, giving customers personalized discounts. The platform also offers additional segmentation options. Coupling these features can be extremely useful for bringing in return customers. Additionally, with the advanced pop-up tool, Klaviyo makes it easier to capture more leads.

Klaviyo also has "in stock" automations, so your customers always know when their desired products are available for purchase. This saves you the hassle of segmenting your audience for individual products.

Mailchimp has an advantage when it comes to order notifications and shoppable landing pages. Mailchimp makes it intuitive to set up your own, while Klaviyo requires a bit more elbow grease.

Mailchimp also has integrated templates for Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads, saving you from using multiple platforms to create and then deliver your advertisements for your eCommerce store.

Among these additional inclusions, Klaviyo's coupon codes and in-stock automations are more specific and powerful for eCommerce email, though there may be cases where Mailchimp's non-email features come in handy.

Additional Inclusions Advantage: Klaviyo

Design Options: Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp

Email design is critical to getting subscribers to engage with your content. It's one of the main reasons we recommend a "Done For You" approach instead of doing it yourself. But, if you want to choose a platform to take a stab at email marketing on your own, you want to ensure the type of content you're interested in is easy to set up on your platform.

Both platforms include a method for importing custom HTML templates. So if you've already created a template with your current platform and want to switch, you can easily upload your design and edit in each platform's tool.

For email design, though, Klaviyo takes the win. The platform enables dynamic content and offers more templates than Mailchimp. This makes it a better option for those who want to do it themselves, but want a head start in the formatting and designing.

Mailchimp isn't a pushover, though. The platform also has plenty of templates for emails and allows you to create your own. In this case, paying for a designer to create one template could go a long way with the intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

Design Advantage: Klaviyo

Integration Potential: Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp

Integrations are critical to your marketing campaigns. They can do everything from tracking purchases from your eCommerce platform to publishing content on other platforms.

Klaviyo specializes in Shopify but also includes Magento, WOO Commerce, and other eCommerce platform integrations. Emails can also link to Eventbrite or Facebook, as well as Stripe, Chargebee, and Salesforce.

While Klaviyo has all the integration options necessary for a comprehensive email marketing campaign, Mailchimp does far more. With over 200 integrations, Mailchimp can publish to nearly any social media account, as well as content management systems like WordPress, and Squarespace. It also works with Google's suite of applications, making it exceptionally useful for businesses working with their tools.

If your primary requirement is sending emails, then these integrations matter less. But if you want the potential to link with other apps and tools, to streamline your marketing efforts, Mailchimp is the optimal choice.

Integration Advantage: Mailchimp

Providing a Third Option

Klaviyo and Mailchimp are two of the top options in email marketing, but while they duke it out so you can build your own campaigns on their platform, there's a third option. Instead of doing it yourself, you can hire a team that understands the true possibilities of email marketing for eCommerce.

SmartMail offers Done For You campaigns that engage your audience when and where is most successful.

Our services work best for eCommerce companies with an established revenue stream and a decent contact database. If you're ready to turn your email marketing over to an expert team to generate big results and give you time back, we'd love to talk.

Schedule a consultation today.


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