Shopify vs MailChimp: Email Marketing Comparison

Woman sipping coffee while reading from her laptop. Shopify vs MailChimp: Email Marketing Comparison.

Email marketing should be an important part of your business’s marketing strategy. Creating a solid list of email subscribers comes with so many benefits for your brand. With a growing list of subscribers you are creating a new way to directly connect with your shoppers (or visitors).

Yes, social media strategies are just as important to attract potential customers, but having a list of email addresses from people that have signed up because they WANT to hear from you is just as important. Social media algorithms change all the time — and just as easily as you sign up for your account, it can easily be flagged or deleted — meaning you lost the only way you had to reach your audience.

Shopify vs. MailChimp

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With Shopify, you can connect different email marketing platforms such as Shopify Email, MailChimp, or Klaviyo. These platforms allow you to connect your opt-in forms, create pop-ups, and gather email subscribers.

In this article we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons between Shopify Email and MailChimp.

About Shopify Email

The Shopify Email feature is still on the newer side so it lacks a few things but we love how easy it is to manage. We feel that Shopify will be rolling out new features as time goes by, so keep that in mind.

Shopify created an easy-to-use feature directly within your shop’s dashboard where you can design branded email campaigns for subscribers, see the analytics from your recent emails, and much more — all within one place.

About MailChimp

MailChimp has been around for quite a while. Personally, some of their latest changes have bothered us a bit (changes in pricing structure and their email builder) but overall it’s usually the main email marketing platform that we recommend for anyone who is getting started in developing their email marketing.

They offer plenty of features that are beneficial for any shop and it can be integrated with Shopify using the ShopSycn app.

Connecting with Shopify

Both Shopify Email and MailChimp require an easy to install app to install so that you can connect your opt-in form.

With the Shopify Email app, it’s just a one-click install and you will then have access to start creating your email campaigns with the Marketing tab in your Shopify dashboard.

To connect MailChimp to your Shopify account you would need to install the ShopSync app and then connect your MailChimp account.

The initial setup requires a few steps so it is considered a downside compared to how easy Shopify Email is setup. Once it’s connected your list of subscribers will automatically be sent to MailChimp.

Check out Our Favorite Shopify Apps post where we mention both apps.

Cost

We love how easy Shopify has made their pricing structure. Each month Shopify allows you to send up to 2,500 free emails. When you pass that amount, they charge $1 per every 1,000 additional emails. Easy to understand and very affordable.

MailChimp has their Free plan which allows you to have up to 2,000 contacts and up to 10,000 email sends. This free plan comes with very limited features and no customer support. When either total goes over, you will be billed for the additional email sends.

Many times we have heard stories from clients about how quickly the cost of MailChimp can add on once you grow out of their free plan.

The cost comparison really depends on the size of your email list, how often you send out email campaigns, and what features you are looking for. Shopify does have a much easier pricing structure with no surprises, unlike MailChimp.

Unfortunately most of the features that make MailChimp stand out are only included in the paid plans which start at $9.99 and vary depending on your contact list.

Ease of Use

Both Shopify Email and MailChimp are relatively easy to use and understand — but feel the winner for this category would be Shopify Email as it’s all in one place.

Within your Shopify dashboard you can select from some beautiful email templates and easily create an email campaign to send to your subscribers. Products can easily be added to your emails which is an added bonus when sending out a promotional email to your subscribers.

MailChimp offers some email templates as well, but with their Free account you are very limited to the layouts available. One of our biggest issues with MailChimp has to be their lack of scheduling feature with the Free plan. You have to hit send manually instead of scheduling email campaigns out in advance. 

They also include other integrations such as an easy to setup pop-up for your shop and forms that can be shared via social media or other platforms.

Email Analytics

We got a tie! Both Shopify Email and MailChimp offer detailed reporting regarding your email campaigns. From data such as delivery rate to the amount of click throughs within an email — you can find valuable insight within these reports.

Make sure to analyze each email campaign to follow the trends of what works versus what isn’t working. It’s definitely a bit of a process at first and some trial and error — but worth the work so that you can fine tune your email campaigns to get the most out of every email that is sent.

Email Campaigns & Automations

Email automations is definitely where MailChimp stands out. With a free account you can use their “Class Automation” setup that allows you to create simple email automations. This includes emails such as welcoming subscribers, abandoned cart emails, and follow up emails. Definitely something to take advantage of.

While MailChimp offers these features, Shopify Email is still lacking in the automation department. To set up email automations you can use other apps, such as Segundo, but there may be additional fees involved.

If automation is an important part of your email strategy, then it might be best to take advantage of MailChimp.

Should I use Shopify Email?

This is always a loaded question because it does depend a lot on your email marketing strategy and budget. Before deciding we would suggest having an idea of what features are important to you. Is email automation the main part of your strategy? Do you need something simple (and quick) to use for promotion emails? Is budget a priority? Etc. This way you can really understand what features are important for your shop.

Shopify Email has a lot of great features such as easy to use email templates, including your shop and email platform all in one dashboard, low costs, and easy integration. It’s also important to remember that Shopify Email is relatively new (especially compared to MailChimp) so they are still growing and rolling out new features.

MailChimp has some other great features such as easy to set up automations and extra features such as creating a pop-up for your shop. Pricing can creep up a bit with MailChimp once your email list starts to grow (speaking based on experiences with clients we’ve worked with) but with a paid account you can also take advantage of their Customer Journey automations, A/B testing, and email scheduling.


Looking to get started with your very own online store or ready to give your current website a makeover? Check out our latest Shopify projects here or contact us to learn more.

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Hello! I'm Melissa!

Website Designer & Developer
Melissa has a decade of experience in web design and development for small businesses, creative companies and boutiques. During any design project, she focuses on creating a collaborative experience so that her clients feel heard throughout the entire creative process. She specializes in WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace and focuses on creating an online presence and website her clients will love.