Email is the golden child of e-commerce marketing for many reasons.
For one, it allows you to have direct access to your customers. This is unlike doing business on platforms such as Amazon or Instagram, where you have limited access to customer data. If an algorithm changes or the platform bans you, that could spell the end for your business.
That’s why many e-commerce brands are increasingly diversifying their Amazon businesses and relying more on Shopify and email marketing. However, email marketing on Shopify isn’t just about protecting your business, it’s also about maximizing revenues.
How Effective is Email Marketing for E-commerce?
With Facebook or Instagram ads, you’re running an extremely efficient campaign if click-through-rates exceed 4-5% and ROAS reach 4-5x marketing spend. In fact, that’s exceedingly rare, as the average Facebook click through rate across all industries is closer to 0.89% and the average Amazon ROAS across all industries, according to JungleScout, is closer to 4x.
In my last job running email advertising campaigns for brands in Japan, click through rates for email campaigns regularly reached 20% or higher with return on advertising spend (ROAS) regularly hitting 10-15x marketing spend on email campaigns. And if you own the customer email data, that number can be even higher.
Email marketing is also the core revenue generator for many businesses. According to BlueStout, a healthy range for percent of sales generated from email marketing is in the 25-35% range, with holiday periods even hitting the 50-60% range.
Email marketing has a high initial barrier, but once you’ve collected your customer data, it’s yours to keep and interact with however you like. So what is the best email marketing software for your Shopify Business? There’s really no clear winner, as the ideal solution for you depends on your budget, your business needs, and goals.
Below, we’ll go over some of the top e-commerce email marketing tools for your Shopify brand, from simplest to more complex.
5 Ecommerce Email Marketing Software for Shopify
Here we go...
1. Shopify Email
Shopify Email is the basic built-in feature. Shopify has a built-in email marketing solution that’s quite intuitive and easy to use. Shopify Email marketing easily integrates with your Shopify product inventory, has very basic templates, and allows for some bare bones automations such as abandoned cart recovery, basic grouping, and welcome flow emails.
However, for anything beyond the basic features such as more complex customer automations, then we recommend upgrading to the next tier. However, if a simple and affordable solution is what you’re after, then the basic features should be enough. With Shopify, the first 10,000 emails are free and you pay $1 for every additional 1,000 emails.
Seguno is simple but easy, purpose built email marketing for Shopify. Despite being an add-on app, Seguno is perfectly integrated with the Shopify UI, allowing you to build emails the same way you edit Shopify themes. Shopify even recommends you upgrade to Seguno for better automation support and integrations.
For example, with Seguno automations, you can do more complex actions such as send discount reminders, send specific emails for specific products purchased, email new purchasers, ask for reviews, and win back subscribers who have not purchased in recent months – all automatically.
For integrations, Seguno’s integration with Canva for email design is a great feature. It also allows you to automatically import your Facebook leads into Shopify. Seguno also has better newsletter features, allowing you to buy premium templates. Seguno offers a 10-day free trial, allows for 250 subscribers free, and costs about 10 USD per month per 1,000 subscribers, so a lot more expensive than Shopify.
MailChimp is a good all arounder, but limited in advanced features. The next step up is Mailchimp, which offers more templates and better automation workflows. Mailchimp’s email automation is quite sophisticated, and offers easy visual workflow builders. This option, however, is not available to free and lower-tier plan customers, who are only able to create single-step automations before upgrading.
Mailchimp does have the majority market share in the email automation space, but it has a storied history with Shopify, only recently rejoining the partnership in 2021 after much protest. Although possible to integrate with Shopify, Mailchimp is designed for ubiquitous use, meaning it’s lacking advanced e-commerce features. It’s great if you’re running a blog or newsletter from your website. (Related: Mailerlite vs. Mailchimp: Best Lightweight Email Marketing Software)
If you’re looking for more advanced e-commerce features such as personalization and complex automations, the next two apps provide more tailored features. In our experience, Mailchimp is quite user-friendly, albeit clunky, with everything being drag and drop. It is especially good for those who run e-commerce shops and are easily overwhelmed by concepts such as A/B testing.
Mailchimp’s pricing tier is also a bit confusing (see estimator), with three paid plans increasing in price based on the number of monthly emails sent, subscribers, and features desired. A free plan is available for up to 500 contacts and 2,500 emails per month (with Mailchimp’s advertising included in every email you send).
Omnisend has almost everything you’ll need in an email marketing app. Omnisend has features similar to Seguno and Mailchimp, but has better integration for SMS marketing, which has an even higher open rate of 98% than email marketing. Another great feature of Omnisend is that it has more nuanced, custom automation workflow templates for you to choose and customize.
Omnisend also has more advanced analytics features, including live view, retention reports, and other advanced campaign reporting features which track unsubscribe rate, open rate, and revenue per order.
An example of small, but useful features we like is the ability to instantly preview what the email looks like in inboxes. The email editor also allows you to pull products directly from your store into your campaign. It also offers other novel e-commerce features such as scratch cards, wheel of fortune, and surprise gift boxes, allowing for fun gamification in your email campaigns. Users can also create separate custom landing pages for targeted messages for your social media campaigns.
Omnisend also offers a few advanced features such as custom HTML, video integrations, and A/B testing, which helps you determine which versions of your emails get better traction. As for pricing, Omnisend offers a free, standard and pro plan that gets progressively more expensive based on the number of emails you want to send and the number of subscribers.
Klaviyo has everything, including extra bells and whistles. Klaviyo is often regarded as the king when it comes to email marketing sophistication. It offers almost all of the same features as Omnisend, minus the gamification features, but with advanced segmentation features unrivaled by any app. At this level, Klaviyo and Omnisend are competing to attract users with extra features at the margins.
Fundamentally, they both offer great email templates, robust drag and drop email creators, a plethora of automizations, as well as other add-ons. With Klaviyo, you can create as many customer segments as you want, and use as many criteria as you see fit. What makes Klaviyo great is the incredible degree of personalization and customer segmentation.
For example, you can separate customers into those who actually engaged with your emails, their locations, and open rate. Merchants can even separate and target users based on the minute actions taken by customers on their websites.
Klaviyo also offers better integration with social media marketing platforms such as Facebook (e.g. segmenting campaigns based on your Facebook followers or those who interacted with your Facebook advertising campaigns). Another advantage of Klaviyo is that it allows for tracking data for the lifetime of your e-commerce store, while Omnisend is limited to 18 months.
Klaviyo also allows for easier to use form triggers, which show customers forms based on the behavior and exit intent on your website. And while other services also offer A/B testing, Klaviyo allows A/B testing for specific elements such as pictures and text within an email. Another important feature, especially if you manage e-commerce stores on your mobile device, is Klaviyo’s mobile deployment (iOS, Android, and iPad). Omnisend does not have mobile deployment currently.
Klaviyo’s pricing is also based on a progressive chart based on the number of subscribers. However, Klaviyo separates out its Email from its SMS plans. If you want both email and SMS support, Klaviyo is the more expensive option out of all the services.
Whichever email marketing service you choose ultimately depends on the features that are important to you. For most small e-commerce brands with lower volumes, the basic features offered by Shopify and Seguno should be more than sufficient. Mailchimp is recommended for basic users who are adventurous and want to try on more advanced features.
As for Klaviyo and Omnisend, we recommend these services for high-volume large online retailers who need the sophisticated features (and can afford them, as prices increase quickly). They also work best for businesses with a high volume of customer emails collected, and where even minor optimizations can drive greater sales.
Whichever software you choose, be sure to investigate the confusing price tiers and determine which features you simply cannot live without.