Klaviyo? Mailchimp? Drip? If you’re sweating bullets wondering which ecommerce marketing automation platform is right for your online business, it’s time to grab a towel, dry off that brow, and throw on your enlightenment knowledge cap because we’re about to throw down the answers you’re looking for.
We did our nitty-gritty homework research on each of these three platforms and have compiled a straightforward compare-and-contrast that’ll put your busy brain at peace. From the pros and cons of Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and Drip to each platform’s best email marketing examples, this blog is your one-stop shop for answers.
Pros and Cons of Klaviyo
Klaviyo’s marketing automation and email platform caters to newer online business with smaller teams. If your shop is looking to take its first steps into the world of marketing automation, Klaviyo’s platform is user-friendly and stocked with a number of tools to help you reach your audience.
Pros of choosing Klaviyo:
Easy-as-pie automation. Emails can be personalized on anything from customer lifetime value to brand loyalty, and messages can be triggered based on what customers do—like if they make a purchase or engage with a campaign. Flows and rules can be built for any situation, and pre-built email marketing flows are available, which helps save time on your end.
Big-name integrations. From Shopify and Magento to Facebook Lead Ads and Facebook Custom Audiences, Klaviyo has a fat stack of integrations that won’t disappoint.
Simple visual drag-and-drop builder. If you’re looking to design emails for marketing campaigns and flows, Klaviyo’s drag-and-drop editor is a cinch to use. Various fonts and brand colors can be applied to workflows and default templates, and uploading your own templates and designs is also an option.
Cons of choosing Klaviyo:
Lacks Lead Scoring. If you’re shopping for a platform that comes loaded with Lead Scoring, Klaviyo isn’t the answer. Lead Scoring is a must-have if you want to trigger any automations based on how engaged people are with your site and marketing. Sure, you can get a third-party app integration for it, but that’ll be one more bill to add to your expenses.
Higher costs. Klaviyo is free for up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends—great if you’re running a smaller (very small) ecommerce business. However, if you’re looking to expand and grow, be aware that once you go beyond the “freebie” numbers, you’ll face some hefty price tags.
Customer (un)support. For quick tips or basic help, the platform’s help center is great. But if you’re seeking a more personalized support experience, you’ll have to battle with Klaviyo’s hourly schedule.
Pros and Cons of Mailchimp
Even if you’re fairly new to the online marketing world, we’re willing to bet you’ve heard of Mailchimp. The company got its start in 2001 and has a reputation for being a very basic email marketing platform. It features a user-friendly interface and is great for small online businesses looking to maintain their current customers and shoot out barebones communications and email marketing campaigns.
Pros of choosing Mailchimp:
Hefty data reporting. You’ll never second-guess what is and isn’t working for your email marketing. Mailchimp provides all of the data you need to make smart marketing decisions. From growth and engagement reports to sales tracking and revenue reports, campaign stats are easy to monitor, even for the greenest of marketers.
Polite to your bank account. If your online business is extra budget-conscious, you’re gonna be a big fan of Mailchimp pricing. The platform is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. And, to make the deal sweeter, a large chunk of its most valuable features—automations and email campaigns—are included in the freeness.
Hello integrations! Mailchimp makes is easy for most of your tools to play nice together. The platform integrates with more than 200 different apps and web services.
Cons of choosing Mailchimp:
One small problem: Bye-bye to Shopify. Mailchimp’s integration with Shopify is no longer an option. Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the planet, and if you’re using it to sell your goods, you might need to reconsider. If you want to connect the two accounts, you’ll now have to go through a third-party app, and your possibilities could be hindered.
Limited automation options. If you’re looking for a robust automation platform, Mailchimp isn’t going to be your go-to. Sure, there are basic automation tools like abandoned cart emails and product retargeting emails, but if you’re on the prowl for a larger variety of automations like workflows and rules, combined with a variety of triggers and actions, Mailchimp isn’t your prey.
NO DIVING: shallow segmentation capabilities. Mailchimp bases its segmentation on audiences (formerly known as lists)—which is fine and dandy if segmenting isn’t high on your priority list. But if you’re looking to connect with customers on a deeper, more personal level, look for a platform that offers tags and behavioral segmentation capabilities.
Pros and Cons of Drip Ecommerce CRM
Drip is an ecommerce CRM marketing automation platform designed to bring businesses closer to their customers by connecting all their real-life behaviors to your marketing campaigns at scale. If your online shop is looking to reach out to customers and connect on a more personal level, Drip is the platform you’re looking for.
Pros of choosing Drip:
Knock-your-socks-off automation. Drip allows for some pretty sweet automation options. If-this-then-that rules, email campaigns, and workflows can be created to automatically move customers along unique journeys that adapt to what they do. Basic rules let you set automatic reactions that happen when a customer takes a specific action, and rules can even be designed to trigger multiple reactions.
Rules and workflows can be as flexible and detailed as your business needs. Drip also lets you set goals inside of workflows so that you can control the ultimate customer experience. You can rest assured you’ll never have an opportunity to talk with a customer go to waste here.
A visual email builder with options. Drip’s point-and-click visual email builder gives you complete control of how your emails look and feel. Email sections are easy to organize and customize, images can be uploaded in a jiffy, and you can even add GIFs to give a quick demo of what your product does and how it looks. If building a visual email isn’t your jam, there’s also a text/HTML builder on board.
Integrations galore. Magento, Facebook Custom Audiences, Facebook Lead Ads, PayPal, Salesforce, Zapier, even a fully revamped Shopify integration that lets you see what your customers like, how they shop, and who they really are. There’s no shortage of ecommerce resources with Drip. You name the tool and the chances are high that Drip integrates for a true multi-channel marketing platform.
Cons of choosing Drip:
Too much personalization. Drip understands that each customer is different from the next, so marketing with heart is at the very core of the platform. If you’re looking to send cold and tinny generic messages that don’t leave an impression on your customers, you definitely won’t find Drip’s on-point personalization features appealing.
Built by humans, for humans. If you speak robot, this is not the droid you’re looking for. Drip focuses on the human side of ecommerce, so you won’t find confusing language and you won’t need artificial intelligence to navigate the platform.
Not stressful enough. An intuitive user interface, easy navigation, pre-made workflows, zero coding, best-in-class API documentation, and 24/7 customer support? While it is true that Drip has a slightly bigger learning curve than Mailchimp, the resources to help you master this ECRM are plentiful.
Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp vs. Drip Marketing Emails
Although all three of these platforms can help you out with your email marketing, some come out ahead of others for different types of emails.
What are the best marketing email examples from each platform?
If your online business is looking to send standard and basic communications—like blog updates or weekly newsletter emails—your Patronus might be the fuzzy monkey at Mailchimp. With one-time broadcast email campaigns, a healthy dose of pre-built templates (customizable layouts, too) and options for previewing and testing your campaigns, Mailchimp keeps email marketing sweet and simple.
But if your business is eyeing to escalate further up the marketing email ladder toward more personalized and automated communications, check out Klaviyo or Drip. Both platforms are well equipped to send emails that are fit for ecommerce—emails that contain more personalized information, dynamic content, and messaging that’s more relevant to what each email recipient is up to.
Oh, and if you’d like to take an additional BIG step up the marketing email ladder, Drip stands apart from Klaviyo by offering more email automation options within workflows for spot-on message timing.
So, if you’re in the market for a platform that can reliably send people newsletters and blog updates, Mailchimp might be your go-to. If you’re seeking more nuanced and personalized messaging that fires automatically, try Klaviyo or Drip on for size.
Is Klaviyo, Mailchimp, or Drip Better for Ecommerce Marketing?
Wondering how Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and Drip compare in terms of ecommerce marketing? If you’ve read through this blog and you’re still wondering which platform will best align with your online business needs, here are two questions to ask yourself:
Question 1: Are you looking for just the basics or beyond basic?
I’d like one order of basics, please. If you’re looking for a standard ecommerce email marketing platform, Mailchimp fits the bill. You can send out one-time broadcast emails to your current lists of customers, and if you really only need one- or two-step basic automations, Mailchimp has your back. It’s intuitive enough for anyone to hop in and start sending emails straight away, which is great if you’re in a crunch for resources.
I’ll take the beyond basic. On the other hand, if you’re after an email marketing platform truly bent on enhancing your ecommerce strategy that includes the basics plus additional perks, then Drip or Klaviyo is the way to turn. Both platforms offer analytics and segmentation capabilities that can help a business target various groups of customers, and each offers stellar automation options to help stick with your customers from first click to checkout.
Question 2: Is your business looking to grow?
Nah, not really. I’m content with business as-is. With basic email tools that get the job done, a clean interface, and language that’s easy to understand, check out Mailchimp. It’s a great solution for shops just getting started, but you could find yourself outgrowing Mailchimp’s automations if your business grows.
Yes, I’d like to start expanding a bit. If your online business is newer and looking to start dabbling in the world of email marketing automation, Klaviyo is a great first step. It has a clean and friendly interface, and building your first automation should be a snap.
Heck yeah! I want my business to take over the world! While we can’t guarantee 100% world domination, Drip’s robust automation platform is a leap in the right direction. With an integration stack that’s double the size of Klaviyo’s, Drip also offers automation capabilities that go beyond email, Lead Scoring, individual customer timelines, and workflows you can set goals in.
Got Goals? You’ve Got Options
At the end of the day, the goals of your ecommerce business are likely to determine which platform—Klaviyo, Mailchimp, or Drip—will best suit your needs. All three platforms have the ability to send timely emails, collect customer data, and integrate with big names in the ecommerce world. Whatever road your business is looking to travel down, there’s an ecommerce email marketing platform waiting to give you a ride.
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