The globally acclaimed marketing automation platform Klaviyo was founded exactly ten years ago, in 2012, in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past decade, Klaviyo has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to provide personalized marketing services for its customers with a proven success rate.
Online store owners rely on dedicated eCommerce marketing to expand their presence and attract maximum traffic through email marketing. For this reason, a marketing automation platform like Klaviyo is a must-have for anyone who intends to maintain a profitable eCommerce store.
What Exactly Is Klaviyo?
Klaviyo is an international marketing platform and automation tool. Using a marketing automation platform is an easy way for eCommerce businesses to maximize on email and SMS marketing, using email marketing campaigns to attract organic traffic and strengthen customer relationships.
This marketing automation is popular for providing a personalized service; it does not just address the customer by name but can access customer data to provide relevant information of interest to that customer.
What does Klaviyo do?
Klaviyo, or similar Klaviyo alternatives, will send personalized email messages as part of bulk SMS marketing campaigns.
Email marketing automation is a quick and easy way to contact customers through a one-off email blast, a newsletter, or a regular email check-in.
By electing to use an email marketing tool, eCommerce businesses can delegate customer relationship management to dedicated marketing teams like Klaviyo or one of the many alternatives to Klaviyo.
The drawbacks of using Klaviyo
Klaviyo remains one of the more popular eCommerce business automation tools; however, some users have reported concerns regarding the security of customer data. Following perceived information leaks, it is understandable that both existing and prospective users may search for an alternative to this powerful marketing automation.
Similarly, the pricing options at Klaviyo might put off prospective users. Sure, the service does offer a free plan, but for more support, users will need to fork out $45.00 or $60.00 per month, depending on the number of monthly emails and SMS messages they would like sent. Okay, so the price might not break the bank – but there are more budget-friendly options out there.
6 Klaviyo Alternatives
A reliable marketing platform with basic automated email sequences and additional marketing tools is a must-have for any contemporary online store or eCommerce business looking to establish itself or expand to new heights.
However, many Klaviyo alternatives are just as popular – more so, perhaps. Let’s take a look at some of these email marketing tools.
Let’s start with a personal favorite among the Klaviyo alternatives: Bento. Bento uses email and SMS marketing to attract new customers and build existing customer relationships.
Bento is a popular choice for any eCommerce store or business as it will distribute email marketing campaigns on just about any scale; and also devise personalized automations based on user data.
Bento can distribute marketing messages through a variety of social media platforms. Users are encouraged to integrate their Twitter, WhatsApp, LINE, and other accounts and use a consolidated Bento interface for customer engagement.
Small businesses and larger eCommerce stores can connect multiple storefronts and transfer existing customer data, using Bento to monitor activity on Shopify, WooCommerce, and other major shopfronts.
Bento is a popular choice within email marketing because of its Spam API. This automatically crawls new signup forms and immediately unsubscribes users who hit on specific criteria. This is one way to decrease complaints from inadvertent customers and avoid list bombing.
Unlike Klaviyo, Bento does not have different plans offering slightly different services. New users are offered a 30-day free trial, after which a single plan costs $30.00 per month. This plan includes all the tools in the Bento toolbox, full access to all support and services; unlimited email marketing; and unlimited team users.
For existing users, individual prices are available: an obvious attempt by Bento to personalize their service and be more user-friendly.
Another eCommerce marketing platform claiming to increase online sales is Privy. Just like Bento, Privy uses many of the same strategies as Klaviyo, focusing on popups, SMS marketing, and email marketing to attract and retain loyal customers.
Privy is clearly in direct competition with Klaviyo. They claim that eCommerce store owners are choosing them because of their unlimited email campaigns. This means that while Klaviyo has a limit on how many emails they will send per month, Privy has no such limitation.
Privy offers a drag-and-drop editor that takes the effort out of creating and sending multiple emails. They focus on welcome email marketing (e.g., a discount on your first order if you sign up for a newsletter) and ‘abandoned cart strategies’ to reengage with customers with unpurchased items in their online carts.
However, Privy has received a few critical comments regarding simple issues which should have been ironed out early on, including email duplication. This is a big no-no in email marketing and is the sort of faux pas which can cost small businesses loyal customers and even instill complaints.
Ah, the price. This is where Privy gets a little sneaky.
Technically speaking, you can enjoy a free plan that includes unlimited popups and flyouts, advanced targeting, and email support… but you can only contact 100 customers and not via email marketing.
Alternatively, you can pay $15.00 monthly to mix email marketing into that concoction, unlimited newsletters, cart abandonment, and money-making emails – which is great. You can only contact 250 customers, though – not that many, right?
$45.00 monthly will get you up to 3,000 mailable contacts and 500 textable contacts. Okay, so you can send out unlimited emails and newsletters, and you get cart abandonment, too. The only cap is on 3,000 text messages – but email marketing is more lucrative, anyway. So, is it worth paying $45.00 a month… compared to $30.00 at Bento?
Next on the list of Klaviyo alternatives is the creator marketing platform ConvertKit. ConvertKit ranks a little differently among competing eCommerce platforms in that it is designed less for small businesses and more for creators.
Sure, ConvertKit works just the same as Klaviyo, Bento, or Privy; it’s just more focused on the creative professional than online store owners. That means that if you happen to be an author, a musician, a podcaster, or a coach, then ConvertKit could be the best Klaviyo alternative for you.
ConvertKit helps create landing pages and designs email marketing and signup forms to promote upcoming projects and retain customers. Like Bento, ConvertKit encourages integration and can connect with existing accounts on Squarespace, Teachable, and Shopify. Unlike Bento, however, there is not as much obvious integration with social media.
So, what’s wrong with it? ConvertKit is considered a user-friendly email marketing tool with powerful automation features. However, it targets a custom audience interested in content creators instead of online stores, and it can be more confusing for inexperienced users than other Klaviyo alternatives.
This is where ConvertKit has a slight edge over some other Klaviyo competitors. You can enjoy a free plan, including unlimited landing pages, unlimited broadcasts, and unlimited forms. There are no automated email sequences, however, nor integration from other marketing tools.
For $9.00 per month, you can also get access to email sequences and tool integration and add another team member. For just $25.00 per month, you can add unlimited team members and enjoy ContentKit advanced features, such as advanced reporting.
Chicago-based ActiveCampaign is another popular Klaviyo alternative maximizing email campaigns to attract and retain consumer traffic to eCommerce platforms. ActiveCampaign offer B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing automation services.
The real draw to ActiveCampaign, as opposed to other Klaviyo competitors, is more than just an email marketing platform – it also targets other areas of eCommerce marketing, including site and event tracking. They boast over 800 available integrations to boot, which is more than the average marketing automation.
ActiveCampaign also uses real-time website messaging to remain in constant contact with consumers. This enables you to send targeted messages to website visitors, ask customers for feedback, and be available to answer customer questions.
Alright, so ActiveCampaign has made some bold claims. For one thing, they make a conscious effort to send out fewer email blasts than the average email marketing tool but still supposedly achieve better results. Why? Sheer power. So that’s good, right?
Yes. Sometimes. Maybe. My problem with ActiveCampaign is that it might be too powerful for many small businesses and new eCommerce platforms. ActiveCampaign will achieve the best results for a company with a cross-platform presence and a broad consumer base. It is not the one for those looking to send out a few emails or just a newsletter.
The first thing to note about ActiveCampaign is that it does not have a free plan. There is a 14-day free trial, but is a fortnight long enough to make an informed decision?
If you decide to try ActiveCampaign, expect to spend $29.00 per month for the lite plan, $49.00 per month for the plus plan, or $149.00 per month for the professional plan. This payment is made yearly.
The newcomer on the list of Klaviyo alternative options is SendX. The two key features which draw customers to SendX are their focus on responsibility and their easy-to-use interface.
Let’s face it: too many emails can be annoying. Sure, they might be effective from an eCommerce perspective, but as a consumer, I do not need to see my inbox flooded. SendX claims to be a responsible email marketer. This means they blend in forms, popups, and landing pages, to dial back on the influx of marketing emails.
SendX hit the scene back in 2016, which means there are fewer detailed reviews than other Klaviyo competitors. From the few I have been able to check out, it seems that SendX is clambering up the ladder in popularity for its simplistic, strategic approach and a clear focus on morality. That’s right: they claim to be there for the good guys building legitimate businesses.
SendX does offer a free trial without asking for a credit card, so you can check things out yourself before committing or having a charge deducted from your account automatically.
If you decide to stick with them, expect to be charged according to the number of subscribers you have. Up to 1000 subscribers will cost you $7.49 per month, and work upwards in increments from there. Regardless of your subscriber count, you will have unlimited emails per month and all the other features SendX offers.
We’re going to wrap things up with MailChimp, because who wasn’t waiting for this little chimp to pop up? Hmm? MailChimp claims to be the #1 email marketing automation brand, and whether or not they are still the most effective, they are certainly the most well known.
MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing automation that aims to turn emails into revenue. The leading superpower in their arsenal? Familiarity. Since 2001 MailChimp has been integrating with different platforms, which means that users hedging their bets across multiple platforms are likely to benefit from a serious subscriber boost.
MailChimp is, without a doubt, the most experienced marketer on this list. They present a clean, user-friendly interface with a plan for the start-up; the freelancer; or the experienced business. MailChimp is a master of geo-tracking and has figured out how to work with Google Analytics. Pretty impressive, huh?
That said, MailChimp is not without its flaws. The elephant in the room is the public falling out they had with Shopify back in 2019. Direct integration between both platforms is no longer available. While they can be used together, it’s clunky… and frankly, Shopify store owners have plenty of other options to choose from. (Just look back at the list!)
Recently MailChimp has made a few changes, reducing the regularity of their email send-outs for free users. If you are a start-up and looking for support on a budget, these guys are not for you. I believe they also refuse to work with affiliate marketers to keep in mind.
MailChimp pricing has been seriously taking a nosedive recently. MailChimp garnered early popularity for its generous free plan, which is unfortunately no longer so generous.
The free plan will send out up to 2,500 emails per month to a maximum of 500 contacts but includes only one user seat, and support lasts only thirty days. It’s a good starter but not so great for the evolving business.
The essentials, standard, and premium plans are available for those willing to spend. All three options include 24/7 email support, with 3, 5, and unlimited user seats, respectively.
The essentials plan starts at $11.00 per month, including up to 5,000 monthly email sends for up to 50,000 contacts. The standard plan starts at $17.00 per month for 6,000 monthly emails for up to 100,000 contacts. The premium plan starts at $299.00 monthly, offering 150,000 email sends for unlimited contacts.
Klaviyo remains popular among competing email marketing tools, and not without reason. It is powerful and effective, and many users give good reviews. However, it is far from the only eCommerce and email automation platform out there, and frankly, Klaviyo pricing may well put off prospective users.
We have looked at six critical competitors on this list, ranging from those with a free plan to those with a free trial. For start-up eCommerce businesses or small businesses with just a few subscribers, Privy operates a budget-friendly, subscriber-based plan. Alternatively, check out MailChimp, which also offers a free plan and they’re a household name.
If you want to keep things simple, SendX might be a newcomer, but they charge users fairly according to subscriber count. That means, in a way, you pay them more, the more effective they are. See how that works?
You know what, though, Bento has it all. They offer a pretty generous trial period and a flat rate of $30.00 per month thereafter, with equal access to all features. Bento offers a wide range of integration options; cross-platform, personalized automation; and an effective spam API. Klaviyo? Who’s Klaviyo?