Klaviyo vs. Shopify Email – Which one is right for your business

Shopify’s big news this year is the augmentation of Shopify Email with the addition of powerful customer segmentation tools and an offer of 10,000 free emails per month.

For Shopify merchants, it’s a tempting offer. Some may be swayed by the opportunity to simplify email marketing and cut out an “unnecessary middleman” such as Klaviyo. But Shopify’s solution is new and relatively untested in the marketplace. Is it wise to change systems?

The answer depends on the size of your business and the maturity of your email marketing campaigns. We break it down for you below and offer our sage advice on whether Shopify Email or Klaviyo will suit your business best.

Pricing is still a little murky

Along with the new features offered by Shopify Email, the company has also stretched its free email limit from 2,500 per month to 10,000. That’s a blatant bid to entice merchants away from other email systems. After all, who wouldn’t want to send all those free emails, right?

But it’s unclear how long that offer will last and how much it will cost for e-commerce businesses to send more than 10,000 emails per month. For a small to medium-sized enterprise, 10,000 emails may seem like a bottomless resource, but for larger companies who have established email flows for every step of the purchasing journey, that number may not suffice.

However, Shopify Email’s prices are still lower than Klaviyo’s. Klaviyo’s price is based on the number of contacts you have in their system, and within that price, you are allowed a certain number of email sends. So, if you have 1,000 contacts in Klaviyo, the price is $30 per month, and you’re permitted 10,000 email sends. Shopify Email gives you 10,000 email sends and unlimited contacts as part of your Shopify website monthly fee.


Automatic segmentation – is that a good thing?

By adding segmentation and timing features, Shopify Email has undoubtedly stepped up its game. Before, the email marketing software was hampered by the inability to drill down into deep segmentation, so its latest feature additions make it far more helpful, especially to business owners new to e-commerce email marketing.

What’s more, Shopify Email has made segmentation automatic. Any new customer is automatically added to segments like:

  • New customers – Customers completing their first purchase
  • Repeat customers – Customers who have returned to purchase X number of times
  • VIP customers – Customers who have purchased over a certain dollar amount
  • Local customers (customers who live within an X-mile radius

Customers are automatically added to any segment whose criteria they fit and automatically dropped from segments if they fall out of sync with the defining criteria. Shopify Email promises next-to-infallible segmentation, so you can send very personalized emails with confidence, knowing that everyone on that list belongs on that list.

Klaviyo has segmentation, too, of course. Shopify Email’s counterpoint is that its solution is automatic, whereas Klaviyo requires approval before customers are added to segments. For some business owners, the automatic answer will be the most attractive, but plenty of users will prefer to watch their list closely and keep tight control of which customers are added to which segments.

Plus, Klaviyo’s segmentation offers almost boundless scope for tailored, personalized email campaigns based on ultra-refined customer traits and behaviors like their interactions with previous campaigns and their behavior on Facebook. We don’t yet know whether Shopify Email will offer the same level of fine detail in their segmentation feature.

Data-driven campaigns from both platforms

Both Klaviyo and Shopify Email promise data-driven campaigns. Klaviyo uses a snippet of code added to your website to track customer behavior. In contrast, Shopify Email, by virtue of actually being your website, will automatically have access to all actions a customer takes while visiting your site. Both solutions are undoubtedly fit-for-purpose.

Klaviyo’s analytics are standard: email performance, opens, click-throughs, flow, and performance metrics. But Shopify Email may offer more in-depth analytics as they will have access to more information about your website traffic and be able to link those behaviors and actions to specific email addresses or as a result of particular campaigns.

Personalization and content creation are simple with both

Shopify Email and Klaviyo both allow users to create emails using friendly drag-and-drop content blocks based on customer attributes like order details, cart contents, product recommendations, etc. However, it’s not clear whether Shopify Email will allow you to manipulate those blocks to personalize them for more specific customer criteria. Klaviyo does allow this, making it possibly a more robust option for building emails and campaigns.

Both email marketing platforms make branding a cinch with customizable templates that suit your brand and incorporate your logo. But Shopify Email promises to do this automatically. Again, it’s hard to say whether this is an advantage. Some business owners will appreciate the simplicity of the automatic solution, while others will prefer to trust their branding efforts to their marketing team and not to a one-size-fits-all software.

Timing and Lead Gen

Klaviyo has lead generation features such as sign-up forms and pop-ups that pull information on new visitors straight to their platforms. It’s unclear whether Shopify Email will offer similar forms or whether you’ll still use third-party software that integrates with Shopify to nab those leads.

Klaviyo also helps you get the timing of your campaigns right, allowing you to set up campaigns that gently nudge customers along the path to purchase with well-timed emails based on their latest action. Klaviyo email templates are also fully customizable, as are their campaign workflows. Shopify Email promises to deliver similar features, but it’s unclear whether their solution will offer the same level of detailed customization.

Friendly and accessible interface

Shopify Email seems accessible to all levels of business owners, even those relatively unfamiliar with email marketing strategy. The builder is intuitive and straightforward, and the data already lives in Shopify, so there’s no data exchange required.

Still, there’s power in Klaviyo’s hefty customization opportunities. Klaviyo possibly offers more for the business with a marketing department dedicated to inspecting, analyzing, and fine-tuning their email campaigns to resonate with every individual customer. They’re a tried-and-true email marketing platform, and they are the industry leader for a reason.

Shopify Email will allow everyone to dip their toes into email marketing with informed segmentation and timing, even those without the resources to do a deep dive into their customer data.

So, the best email marketing software for your business?

If you’re already using Klaviyo, we’d recommend remaining with them. Their system is more mature and seemingly more robust, and you won’t see any benefit in spending hours re-establishing and rebuilding your email marketing templates and campaigns in Shopify Email.

If you’re new to e-commerce email marketing and have just launched a Shopify website, their solution looks like a great fit. It seems to make email marketing accessible to business owners new to email marketing strategy with automatic features like list segmentation and branded email content. Their analytics may be simpler to use, too. The only fear for the entry-level marketer is that their analytics may be a little too powerful, offering loads of information without context or strategy suggestions.

No matter which you choose, SKU Agency knows how to make it work hard for your e-commerce business. Get in touch with the email and SMS marketing agency that can kick-start leads and expand your revenue from any email platform.

Ready to grow your email and SMS revenue?