So, you have a great brand and you’re ready to do some email marketing in order to grow your business. Or maybe you just want to switch email marketing platforms. Which one is best? There are literally hundreds of ESPs out there but let’s start with the two biggest and most well-known. Welcome to the ultimate showdown of Klaviyo vs MailChimp. Here, we’ve done the hard work for you, so you won’t need to spend all day scrolling through Google.

MailChimp vs Klaviyo - What you need to know

On the one hand, you have Klaviyo, the shiny new kid on the tech block. So far, Klaviyo has made the brands that use its services more than $3.7 billion in the past year or so alone. So it’s no wonder that every day, 67 brands move to Klaviyo. On the other hand, there’s MailChimp. Founded in 2001, MailChimp was rated one of the 6 best business tools (email marketing category) by Newsweek last year. It’s a well-established platform with over 12 million customers. Both platforms have great features and some not-so-great features. But in this post, we’ll focus on what’s most important – pricing, segmentation, usability and customer service.

MailChimp vs Klaviyo - The price tag

First off, if you’re looking for a really in-depth review of Klaviyo pricing, check out this post. Now where we? Oh, right. Well, while Klaviyo is slightly pricier than MailChimp, it’s not actually that simple. MailChimp offers an additional pay-as-you-go option and a double authentication discount while Klaviyo gives you slightly more value on every plan. Basically, if you’re on Klaviyo, what you pay is determined by how many subscribers you have. And every tier comes with the same features. The first tier is free, covering you for up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends. Although there’s a catch – every one of your emails will feature the Klaviyo logo at the bottom. Is it a deal-breaker? Maybe not if you’re a small business but for a bigger, more corporate company this can be an issue. Also, on the Free Klaviyo plan, you’ll have to commit to double-opt-in for all subscribers.

So what will you pay for 1,000 contacts? Around $20/$30 per month and this includes unlimited email sends and email and chat support.

MailChimp comes in at slightly less. They offer a free plan too (for up to 2,000 subscribers), and their first pricing tier starts at $9.99. Here’s the difference – the less you pay on MailChimp, the fewer features you have access to. Unlike Klaviyo where all those fantastic tools are available on every single paid plan, you have to fork out around $299.00 on MailChimp for things like segmentation and multivariate testing.

What About Segmentation?

We know that segmenting your email lists is absolutely crucial if you’re going to run successful email marketing campaigns. So if we’re talking MailChimp vs Klaviyo in terms of segmentation, who comes out on top? We say Klaviyo and here’s why. Klaviyo is famous for its hyper-detailed segmentation. They use behavioral and transactional data to help your build your segments AND they seamlessly integrate with your Facebook audience. So essentially, you could, for example, target a segment that only bought a specific pair of jeans or purchased on certain days. That’s pretty awesome. Want to know more about what your Klaviyo project would look like? Read all about it here.

And this is where MailChimp feels like a slightly older platform. Their segmentation tools are pretty broad, only allowing you to create lists like ‘recent purchasers or ‘new subscribers’. They don’t feature any real-time behavior tracking or Facebook audience integration. That means that you’re more limited in terms of making your campaign strategies and content super-personalized. Oh, and another thing – MailChimp charges you double for a single subscriber who appears on two lists which means you’ll use up your allowance faster.


Design and UX

There’s no doubt about it – the interface of MailChimp is much less intimidating at first glance, compared to Klaviyo. It’s really easy to navigate but that’s because the features of MailChimp are slightly less complex.

The first time you use Klaviyo it may be slightly overwhelming but these guys have worked hard to make what is a very intricate system pretty user-friendly. Everything is well-explained and there are lots of small icons to help you decipher what’s what. The other thing to note here is the color. Although it has no impact on the actual features, the color just makes Klaviyo a little more pleasant to work on.

Customer Support

On MailChimp, your customer service options depend on the plan you have. On any of their paid plans, you can contact them via chat or email. If you have the premium plan, you also get the option of phone support which is one of the standout benefits of MailChimp. They also have some self-service guides and tutorials.

Klaviyo’s options include a comprehensive, searchable help center with videos, webinars and written guides and while they don’t offer phone support, like MailChimp, they do provide email and chat support.

MailChimp's Integrations vs Klaviyo's Collaborations

So, both MailChimp and Klaviyo offer loads of different integrations and even though MailChimp has slightly more to choose from, Klaviyo also offers more in-depth partnerships.

However, in 2019 MailChimp and Shopify went through a not-so amicable breakup, and as a result, it’s no longer offered on the MailChimp app. There is a workaround, but it’ll take a little more time and effort.  

Who's the winner - Klaviyo or MailChimp?

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but there isn’t actually a winner. It really just depends on what it is you’re looking for. If you have a really limited budget and a small-to-medium business without real e-commerce requirements, MailChimp could be a great fit. Although, if you’re looking for a more in-depth service that will give you highly detailed data and comprehensive reporting especially designed for more e-commerce businesses, then Klaviyo is going to be your new best friend. Still can't decide? No worries, maybe you'd want to check out the best Klaviyo alternatives, too?

Whichever you think is right for you, there’s a great team of email marketing experts who would love to help you take your email game to the next level. Oh, and we’re ESP-agnostic, so we work on every platform. Ready to start growing?