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Shopify Email vs Mailchimp: which tool should you choose?

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Email marketing is a cost-effective marketing tactic, one that’s useful for all types of businesses. 

As a small business, you just need an affordable solution and Shopify Email and Mailchimp are popular options.

Shopify Email vs Mailchimp: which one is better for you?

Both tools have their pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on various factors. Read on for a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

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The right email service provider can save you money, improve deliverability, and help you build better relationships with your customers. Here's everything you need to know to choose the best platform for you.

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Shopify Email vs Mailchimp: overview

Let’s start this Shopify Email vs Mailchimp comparison with a quick side-by-side comparison of features. Later, we’ll delve into a more in-depth comparison.

FeaturesMailchimpShopify Email
Email builderEasy and intuitiveEasy and intuitive
Email list buildingLanding page builder and a form builderNo built-in tools, but it has a free Shopify Forms app
Segmentation and targeting featuresBasic audience segmentationBasic contact segmentation
Marketing automation70+ prebuilt templates and an advanced customer journey builderEssential automation templates and option to create manual, custom workflows
Analytics and reportingCampaign performance tracking, audience, insights, and comparative reportingCampaign performance tracking, order tracking, and marketing funnel behavior
Customer support24/7 email and chat support for paid plan users; only 30-day email support for free plan users24/7 email and live chat support with its paid plans. Priority support available with Shopify Plus plan
PricingOne free plan and 3 paid plans:

Essentials: Starts at $13
Standard: Starts at $20
Premium: Starts at $350
Free for the first 10,000 emails per month. Each additional email costs $0.001.

Now let’s compare Mailchimp and Shopify Email in depth on various key aspects.

Email builders 

Both Shopify Email and Mailchimp have clear and intuitive email builders with easy navigation. However, as Shopify Email is a plugin, it doesn’t offer as robust a set of features as Mailchimp does.

That’s why you will easily find everything that Shopify Email offers without hassle. Shopify Email setup process is also quick and straightforward.

With Mailchimp, however, it may take you some time to learn where all the features and tools are located until you become more familiar with the platform.

Let’s compare the email builders of both tools by the features offered.

Content blocks

Shopify Email offers all the essential content blocks along with some ecommerce-specific ones. These include content blocks to add gift cards, products, and discount codes. Here’s a screenshot showing the interface to add products to your emails:

Email builder example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

Mailchimp offers a wide variety of content blocks including promo codes, product recommendations, and product content blocks. It has two builders, new and classic, and both are easy to use.

Here’s a screenshot of the various content blocks it offers:

Email builder example from Mailchimp
Image via Mailchimp

You can also add dynamic content blocks to show personalized content to your subscribers.

Both tools allow you to drag and drop content blocks and create emails with ease.

However, the ecommerce features offered by both tools are somewhat limited compared to that of Omnisend, which is specifically designed for ecommerce businesses. Its product picker, for example, allows you to pick products from your store and directly add them to your emails with price, description, and photos included.

Email templates

Both Shopify Email and Mailchimp offer customizable email templates that you can use to create engaging emails.

Shopify Email offers branded templates, where you can add your brand logos and colors, for various occasions and use cases. You can access these templates for free.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, has a library of 100+ customizable templates, but only a few are available with the free plan, the rest are accessible only to paid plan users. Adding your branding to these templates and tailoring them to your needs is quite easy.

List building features 

No Shopify Email vs Mailchimp comparison would be complete without considering their options for building lists. 

Shopify Email does not natively offer any list-building tools, but it has a Shopify Forms plugin as well as third-party integrations to create forms, landing pages, and popups.

The Shopify Forms app allows you to quickly design and launch in-line forms and popups to build email lists. You can even set customized triggers and decide where and when you want your forms to be displayed.

List of building features example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

According to customer reviews, though, you can only create basic email signup forms and not other types of engaging forms. For more sophisticated forms and landing pages, you will need to integrate your store with third-party apps, which is not the most convenient option.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, offers a built-in landing page builder and a dedicated form builder. There are basic and themed templates to create different types of landing pages.

Here are some examples of the themed landing page templates that Mailchimp offers:

List of building features example from
Mailchimp
Image via Mailchimp

There’s also a convenient option to create one-click landing pages using Mailchimp’s mobile app. 

Want to know the best part?

It also offers performance analytics to help you assess how your landing pages are performing. This helps you identify low-performing pages and optimize them for better conversions.

Creating and embedding forms on your website is easy with Mailchimp’s form builder. Apart from the form builder, you can also create forms using the “Grow your list” landing page template that uses the “Signup form” content block.

Overall, both tools lack advanced list-building capabilities, such as those offered by Omnisend. Omnisend offers various types of forms, such as popups, flyouts, and the gamified Wheel of Fortune. It has 100+ ready-to-use templates for landing pages and forms that can be quickly customized and used.

Segmentation and targeting 

Both Mailchimp and Shopify Email offer great segmentation options. Shopify Email has one distinct advantage, though: you can use your Shopify customer segments, which makes things much easier for you.

Shopify offers various segmentation options using filters, such as:

  • Amount spent
  • Location
  • Customer account status
  • Customer added date
  • Customer email domain
  • Language
  • Customer tags
  • Email events
  • Email or SMS subscription status
  • Last order date
  • Number of orders
  • Predicted spend tier
  • Products purchased

You can find the segmentation feature under the “customers” tab on your Shopify dashboard, as shown in the image below:

Segmentation and targeting example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

Mailchimp offers comprehensive segmentation options. You can segment users based on:

  • Contacts’ demographic details
  • How contacts were acquired
  • Email and SMS activity
  • Ecommerce activity
  • Likelihood of repeat purchase
  • Online behavior and engagement

The best part is that you can create in-depth segments by adding up to five conditions for each segment. You can use “AND” or ‘OR” operators for setting up these conditions, as shown in the image below:

Segmentation and targeting example from Mailchimp
Image via Mailchimp

Though both tools offer great segmentation options, they lack the advanced segmentation capabilities of other tools like Omnisend or Klaviyo. Omnisend, for instance, allows you to create unlimited audience segments from over 500 data points.

What’s more, it assigns a customer lifecycle stage to each customer, to further improve segmentation and targeting. It also has ecommerce-specific ready-to-use segments to target for special occasions like Black Friday.

Marketing automation 

The next aspect for comparing Mailchimp vs Shopify Emails is marketing automation. We’ll focus on the kind of automation options offered by each tool and the complexity of workflows you can create.

Shopify Email offers essential email automation templates. Here are a few examples.

Marketing automation example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

To create manual automation workflows, you will need to use Shopify Flow, which is available with all of Shopify’s paid plans. You can use various triggers, conditions, and filters to create highly customized workflows. Here’s an example:

Marketing automation example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

Mailchimp, on the other hand, has robust built-in marketing automation features. Its customer journey builder offers 70+ pre-built templates that you can customize and use. In this regard, it has an advantage over Shopify Email.

The journey builder is easy to use. You can set triggers and conditions and send automated emails with ease. Here’s an example of a basic automated workflow:

Marketing automation example from Mailchimp
Image via Mailchimp

However, you don’t get unlimited access to all of Mailchimp’s marketing automation features. For instance, you get only four journey points with the Essentials plan and 200 journey points with the Standard plan. Shopify doesn’t place such usage limitations and marketing automation is available with all its plans.

Neither tool integrates other channels, such as SMS or push notifications, into their automated workflows. This is unlike Omnisend, which seamlessly integrates all three channels into sophisticated automated workflows.

Analytics and reporting

Next in this Shopify Email vs Mailchimp comparison we’ll assess each tool’s analytics.

Let’s divide this into three aspects for better comparison.

Analytics

Both tools offer essential insights into your email campaign’s performance and track metrics like open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, etc.

Analytics and reporting example from Shopify
Image via Shopify

Shopify Email also provides insights into the orders placed as a result of email marketing by tracking metrics like:

  • Total sales
  • Average order value
  • Average products sold
  • First-time customers

It also provides insights into your customers’ marketing funnel behavior and tracks metrics like:

  • Unique visitors that visited your site after reading your email
  • Number of sessions where a user added a product to cart or placed an order
  • The number of times a user viewed a product page
  • The number of clicks on each email link to your online store

As Shopify is an ecommerce platform, it’s no wonder it helps you track metrics related to email performance and online shopping behavior of your customers. But if you want more advanced analytics, you might want to consider other Shopify Email alternatives.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, goes wider with its analytics and also provides deeper insights into your customers and their likelihood to purchase again. You can also track social media and landing page engagement, and find out which activities are generating more leads.

Marketing automation example from Mailchimp
Image via Mailchimp

Its ecommerce insights are comparatively basic, but cover all the essentials.

Mailchimp has one distinct advantage over Shopify Email: it offers 300+ integrations to help you collect more data and analytics to enrich your email campaigns. This includes integration with web analytics tools like Google Analytics.

Omnisend provides more in-depth and advanced analytics than both. You can see sales trends, audience activity data, deliverability insights, and even some real-time analytics. Its analytics and reporting tools are perfect for ecommerce businesses.

Reporting

While Shopify Email provides in-depth reports into your email campaigns, it doesn’t provide comparative benchmarking reports. 

This is where Mailchimp takes the lead as it provides comparative reports to see which segments are performing better than others. This is similar to what Omnisned does with its “performance by segments” report.

A/B testing

Another win for Mailchimp in this Mailchimp vs Shopify Email comparison is that it offers A/B testing for emails. 

You can send different variations of emails to different customers and see which elements perform better. This allows you to optimize and perfect your emails to drive the most conversions.

What’s more, it also provides send-time optimization to ensure your emails are sent at times when subscribers are most likely to engage with them.

Pricing 

One of the most important criteria for choosing an email marketing tool is price. In this section of this Shopify Email vs Mailchimp comparison, we’ll compare their free and paid plans.

Shopify Email pricing works on a simple model:

  • It’s free for the first 10,000 emails, every month
  • After that, it charges $1 per 1000 emails every month

If you have basic monthly email requirements, you can practically keep using Shopify Email for free.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, offers a free plan with limited features and three paid plans with different features. Here are the details:

  • Free: For up to 1000 emails per month
  • Essentials: Starts at $13 for 5,000 monthly emails and 500 subscribers
  • Standard: Starts at $20 for 6,000 monthly emails and 500 subscribers 
  • Premium: Starts at $350 for 150,000 monthly emails and 10,000 subscribers 

Clearly, Mailchimp is more expensive than Shopify Email, but is also more accessible and offers more features. While Shopify Email can be a good option for ecommerce businesses on the Shopify platform, it’s not the best option for other clients.

Mailchimp is a comparatively affordable email marketing tool suitable for all types of small businesses. However, it’s not the best option for large businesses as the price increase is steep beyond a certain number of subscribers.

For more details, use our email pricing calculator below to quickly compare price rates and features with other top platforms. Input your desired number of contacts, choose up to two other email marketing providers from the list, and see how Omnisend stacks up against them.

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    Wrap up

    That brings us to the end of the Shopify Email vs Mailchimp comparison. Here are our key takeaways:

    • Shopify Email is great for existing Shopify users who need a free tool for their basic email marketing needs, but it’s not suitable for others.
    • Mailchimp can be used by all types of businesses but is better suited for small businesses as the pricing structure is not great after a certain subscriber count.
    • Neither tool is suitable for large businesses or ecommerce businesses as they both lack advanced features specific to ecommerce.

    If you’re looking for an email marketing tool designed for ecommerce businesses and that can grow with your business, then Omnisend is your best choice. It offers advanced ecommerce-specific features and analytics to help you supercharge your email marketing.

    Combine the power of email marketing with SMS and push notifications using Omnisend.
    Richard White
    Article by
    Richard White

    Richard is a Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. An avid writer, he's said to have been born holding a pencil. Fascinated by all things handmade, if he's not reading or writing he can often be found practicing leathercraft.


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