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Klaviyo vs Mailchimp for Shopify

by Stacey Trock

May 7, 2020 / Updated: September 7, 2022

Your email list is one of the most powerful marketing channels in your toolbox. The average ROI for email is above 30:1! And in businesses implementing a comprehensive strategy with optimized automated flows, email marketing often accounts for 25-35% of overall revenue. Business owners often feel paralyzed about developing an email strategy. A good first step is considering Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, and where to get started.

A great email strategy yields higher open and conversion rates, a higher average lifetime customer value and increases brand loyalty through personalized messages throughout the customer path. To generate these kinds of results, you need to do two things: send regular, engaging communication to your list and utilize advanced email features that allow you to connect with the customer at specific touchpoints on their journey.

Comparing Klaviyo vs Mailchimp

Klaviyo and Mailchimp are the two leading ecommerce focused email platforms and we use both with our clients to implement email strategies that increase revenue and deliver results. Mailchimp is a great option for people who send out regular newsletters. It has some automation capabilities, such as sending a welcome series and an abandoned cart email, allowing you to implement a basic automated strategy that will increase your conversion rates and revenue. Klaviyo is a strategic ecommerce email marketing platform based on customer behavior and has been built from the ground up to integrate with Shopify. Klaviyo’s strengths are its deep integration with Shopify and its incredibly flexible automated flows, allowing you to utilize data from your ecommerce site to connect with your customer along their journey in a uniquely deep way.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp? We recommend Klaviyo to support the most powerful and comprehensive email strategies.

When you’re ready to take your email marketing strategy to the next level, you’ll want to check out our Klaviyo Setup and Strategy Service. We’ll make sure your email marketing connects your customers at every touchpoint on the customer journey, utilizing the expertise of our web analyst, email copywriter, and designer to create a strategy that feels unique to your creative business.

Below is an overview of the advanced features of Klaviyo that allow you to maximize your email marketing strategy.

Deep Shopify Integration

The detailed Shopify integration of Klaviyo means that all of your ecommerce data can be used to make sure you send the right content to the right person at the right time – automatically! Klaviyo knows when contacts visit your site, what products they view, and even which variants of a product they purchase.

This means that you can not only send a heartfelt thank you email after a customer makes a purchase, but you can send an email with different messaging depending on whether they’re a first-time customer, a repeat customer (2nd purchase) or a repeating customer (3+ purchases). This level of granularity and customization of messaging allows you to connect with the customer in a uniquely personalized way.

This deep integration with your Shopify analytics means that you can send a targeted email message when a visitor spent time browsing for an item, but left your site before adding it to their cart. This is called Browse Abandonment, and is a highly effective (and very cool!) feature of Klaviyo.

You may already be sending an Abandoned Cart email to remind users of what they’ve put in their cart but did not purchase. With Shopify integration, you can distinguish between a first-time purchaser or a repeat customer, or even a customer’s geographic location. How might your messaging differentiate between these customers? Perhaps you’d like to send a free shipping offer to customers in a certain geographic zone. Or a link to an FAQ page to a first-time customer. Or extend a special coupon to customers with a certain dollar value in their cart. These insights allow you to pinpoint your messaging, increasing conversion rates and overall revenue.

The combination of data and sophisticated flow logic allows you to have more personal conversations with your contacts. Today’s consumer has an overflowing inbox of generic emails. By crafting yours to stand out, you’re creating opportunities to connect and develop an ongoing relationship.

When you’re considering Klaviyo vs Mailchimp, know that Shopify “broke up” with Mailchimp in 2019.

Klaviyo vs Mailchimp for Shopify. Here's Sugar + Spruce's Klaviyo newsletter template design for a bath and body apothecary
Sugar & Spruce Newsletter template design by Ann Parker

Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp: Using Browsing Behavior to Drive Segmentation

Segmenting means dividing up your email list so that you can target a sub-segment of your list with emails that are directly relevant to them. Targeted emails receive higher engagement, with 2x higher open rates, 3x higher revenue and lower unsubscribe rates. You’ll want to head over to our blog post and webinar on Email Marketing for more details on segmentation strategy.

Both Klaviyo and Mailchimp allow you to create segments in your list. However, of the two, only Klaviyo integrates with your Shopify data to create segments based on a user’s behavior on your site.

A few examples of segments we’ve seen great success with are:

  • Big spenders
  • Repeat customers
  • Customers who purchased _____ (could be something like: product, category of product, certain product options, etc.)
  • Gift givers
  • Subscribers who have never purchased

For example, if you create artwork, you might segment your customer list into those who have purchased original paintings and those that have purchased prints, as these are two different types of customers and the messaging to these two segments would be quite different. The end result is a customer who is receiving messages directly relevant to their browsing and purchasing behavior.

Tagging and Collections to Improve Recommendations

It is a well-known motto in marketing that it is easier to market to a customer that you already have than to go out and find a new one. This is the foundation behind why cultivating your email list is so important!

Klaviyo’s integrations with Shopify allow you to utilize a customer’s purchasing history to make recommendations about future purchases.

As an example, you may have customers who have purchased products tagged with ‘amethyst’ but have not (yet) purchased your showpiece amethyst necklace. You could send only these customers a targeted upsell email showcasing the necklace because they have already expressed an interest in that specific stone.

It is this level of detail that shifts email marketing from ‘generic and sales-y’ into ‘curated and desirable’. A customer has already purchased something from you. Yes! They want to hear more about items they’d be interested in. Harness a platform that allows you to do so.

Implementing a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

There is no question that email is the most important marketing channel to invest your time and money into. Not only is it one of the only channels you actually own, but it is one with a healthy return on your investment.

At a minimum, we recommend that every ecommerce site implement the following automated emails:

  • A welcome email is delivered immediately upon signup, welcoming the subscriber to your brand. This is the email with the highest open rate, so make it count!
  • A welcome series that introduces a new subscriber to your brand, featuring engaging, educational content.
  • An Abandoned Cart email, to reconnect with a shopper who may have become distracted before completing the checkout process.

These two emails are the starting point for sending effective emails, but they are only the tip of the iceberg of a revenue-building, comprehensive email marketing strategy. Business owners who switch to Klaviyo and implement a deep integration strategy see a 46% increase in revenue. It’s a strategy that yields results. Sign up for Klaviyo here! And if you’re in need of some expertise and technical skills to implement emails that grow your business, we’re here to help: learn more and sign up for our advanced email marketing strategy service here.

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