Disclosure: We may use affiliate links which means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
Shopify’s recent announcement shocked everybody: the service is phasing out its MailChimp integration support. The app has already disappeared from the Shopify app store, while the final “divorce procedure” between the two is scheduled on May 12, 2019.
This means you can continue using MailChimp for Shopify app, if you already have it until May 12. You won’t be able to sync your Shopify data with MailChimp after the date due.
But why the heck could it happen, if so many merchants enjoyed this couple for so long? Should you cry or laugh at this decision? Those are good questions to be answered.
The Reasons For MailChimp and Shopify Break-Up
Both parties published detailed explanations on the incident, although their theory of what happened varies greatly.
Shopify blames MailChimp for disrespect of their Partner Program Agreement. The eCommerce giant is utterly concerned about MailChimp’s unwillingness to share data back to their clients.
According to their announcement, the email automation service refused to send information like email opt-out preferences and other stats gathered by Shopify merchants. Shopify will continue maintaining their customer-centric standards and will not tolerate any disregard of their values.
Shopify’s desire to protect the interests of their clients deserves credit. But let’s consider the second party’s point of view as well.
MailChimp asserts that they were the ones who asked Shopify to remove their app from the store. Email automation software sees a threat to their business prosperity in the new Shopify policies. Also, they assure customers they don’t share data with Shopify solely for their well-being and quit collaboration due to new unfair terms.
Whoever is right, the fact is this: you are about being left without email marketing automation. So what should be your next step?
Choosing Between 3rd-Party Integration and MailChimp Alternatives
MailChimp published a detailed tutorial on how to integrate their service with Shopify using third-party plugins like ShopSync or Zapier. But is it really a good decision?
The King of Apes slowly but surely forfeits its throne. There are already plenty of reasons for leaving MailChimp, even despite the recent Shopify’s decision. So if you are quite upset with the break-up, just take a look at some major drawbacks of this service:
- MailChimp is NOT an all-in-all marketing solution. Its free version offers only basic email marketing tools and is suitable for 1-month-old startups. If you need more, you need to pay and a lot. And even if you pay, the functionality remains quite basic compared to more advanced CRMs and marketing automation platforms.
- MailChimp has NO decent customer support. Free users have nothing more but endless documentation after the expiry of one month of email support. Paid users have email and chat. Still, MailChimp poor responsiveness is already becoming a meme.
- MailChimp DOESN’T allow affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be another source of income for your business and quite a lucrative one. However, it’s entirely impossible with MailChimp, as the service doesn’t have an affiliate program and will never have.
Of course, we can’t neglect MailChimp’s strong suits. But even its benefits are not enough strong arguments for bothering with all those 3rd-party integrations. And now, let’s consider a more viable solution for our MailChimp and Shopify issue: the best Mailchimp alternatives.
Alternative for MailChimp #1: ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a powerful platform to automate ALL your sales, marketing, and customer support service. Signing up to this service, you get a sophisticated CRM, full automation of your branding & marketing campaigns, and sales management rolled into one. Sounds quite impressive!
Speaking of email marketing, ActiveCampaign offers a handy drag-and-drop editor just as MailChimp does. You can choose between various types of emails including broadcast, targeted, scheduled, autoresponders, email funnels, and more. Create automated workflows, drip campaigns for customer onboarding, and perform A/B testing to define which email template converts better.
The service also has many sales & marketing tools to improve your follow-up process, lead generation, nurturing & scoring, and contact management. The best features for marketers and sales reps are site & event tracking, automation maps, and win probability option.
And the most powerful feature for Shopify users is deep data integration. Once joining ActiveCampaign, you receive an organized pile of all purchases, orders, and customers from your old list. New entries are being added in real time. You are able to receive all data from every software you use, learning all about your customer’s behavior and sales & marketing effectiveness.
Of course, you will need to integrate Shopify and ActiveCampaign with numerous plugins prior to embracing the power of deep data. If you still struggle with this, ask us how to do this properly.
ActiveCampaign seems to be less competitive than MailChimp’s, but that’s only at first glance. ActiveCampaign plans start from $9 for 500 subscribers. And if you have, let’s say, 5,000 subscribers, the lite plan costs $69 per month, while MailChimp offers it for $50 per month.
Unlike MailChimp, ActiveCampaign offers marketing automation as part of their starter pack. So if your foremost need is to handle marketing instead of only emails, that’s great news.
Also, plus version of ActiveCampaign is much more sophisticated than MailChimp’s pro. Pro plan offers 3 more new features and will cost $250 for 5,000 subscribers. ActiveCampaign Plus is worth only $139 but includes a CRM, contact and lead scoring, deep data integration, and some more attractive features.
If this sounds unclear, take a look at our neat infographic of Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign pricing comparison:
The strongest benefit of ActiveCampaign over MailChimp is their impeccable customer support, available for every user. No matter how much you pay — $9 or $1000 — you will receive prompt help via chat or email. Enterprise users may also request phone support.
Alternative for MailChimp #2: Klaviyo
Klaviyo claims to be a platform designed specifically for eCommerce stores. It is sales-oriented and is focused on maximizing revenue from your marketing campaigns, rather than just increasing the number of clicks and views.
For this, they developed superior segmentation tools. These provide your customers with a highly-personalized, smart user buying experience. You can track many metrics including shopping behavior & preferences, purchase frequency, browsing behaviors, acquisition source, etc. Klaviyo relies on deep data integrations almost as much as ActiveCampaign does.
Klaviyo opportunities are much more attractive in terms of email segmentation than MailChimp’s, which offers only basic segmentation for the majority of users aside from PRO. The same applies to advanced reports and integrations, where Klaviyo also comes out winning.
Both platforms have marketing automation tools as well. However, ActiveCampaign offers slightly more marketing automation options then Klaviyo. Still, the last one works very well compared to MailChimp, especially its GROW plan, too.
Klaviyo sticks to an entirely different policy than MailChimp. The only similar feature is that you can try both for free if you have a small number of subscribers. But unlike MailChimp with its 2,000 contacts, Klaviyo offers free trial only to the smallest players with less than 250 subscribers. However, you shouldn’t rush off to skip this option!
The best thing about Klaviyo is that they have no subscription plans or “semi-hidden” tricky fees. It’s quite easy to find out how much exactly you are going to pay using only ONE slider based on the number of your clients. All features are available at a time and for everyone.
Thus, if you have 5,000 subscribers, you pay $100 per month and not one penny more.
Alternative for MailChimp #3: Drip
Drip is a CRM tailored to the needs of eCommerce stores. It was built with extensive marketing automation in mind and is not specialized solely on email marketing.
According to numerous reviews, Drip is the choice of bloggers, SaaS companies, and info businesses. The service supports multi-channel marketing automation, workflow setup, advanced segmentation, and more features for improving customer satisfaction.
Drip’s email marketing features are similar to Mailchimp’s. It comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to create custom email templates, email sequences, and opt-in forms creation tools. However, you have only one subscriber list to handle and no pre-made templates, which could be considered a disadvantage.
Despite this, Drip offers more for automation. You can use 18 automation triggers and 16 specific actions to build workflows. Or, there are standard workflows already present in the app to choose.
For example, it has a cart abandonment & product price drop workflow designed for Shopify, and many more including at-risk customer win back and coupon welcome workflow. On the contrary, the MailChimp app for Shopify doesn’t have anything special to make your life simpler.
Emails sent by Drip look very simple and easy-to-read, although they lack more “corporate” look of MailChimp templates. So if this is something you are going to miss, you might better go with the previous two services. But if you enjoy simplicity and informality, Drip can be your best MailChimp alternative.
One more advantage of Drip is an equal quality of customer support regardless of your plan. All customers have chat & email support behind their back around the clock.
Drip has three subscription plans: basic, pro, and enterprise. What we don’t like about them is an inability to match the price to your number of contacts.
There are only three rough intervals. A basic plan for 2,500 people max at $49 per month, pro — 5,000 people max at $122, and an enterprise plan with uncertain prices for everybody who has more than 5k subscribers. And that’s exactly why Drip is the most suitable for smaller companies.
All three MailChimp alternatives are perfect for Shopify but are meant for different categories of businesses.
ActiveCampaign is a one-stop solution with literally a TON of different tools which come in handy as your company scales. Klaviyo is similar, yet offers more specific tools for eCommerce stores and less comprehensive email marketing options. Drip is explicitly targeted at small businesses, preferably those selling intangible products.
Based on which kind of business you are or you want to be, it’s quite easy to make your choice. Still, we bet that ActiveCampaign gets the most votes, as the majority of you aim to scale.
Along with ActiveCampaign’s ability to expand your business at a speed of light, the “embarrassment of riches” can be quite intimidating for a complete beginner. Yes, ActiveCampaign features an intuitive interface, but it might take some time to master it.
Yet, you want to integrate it with your Shopify website as soon as possible, don’t you? Or, to be more precise, before the date due.
Well, that’s feasible, even if you don’t have time to study each & every ActiveCampaign feature and integration. Do you want a faster solution? Only one little step is left…
Say goodbye to MailChimp for Shopify and take a step to the brighter days of your email marketing! Contact Automate Online experts and integrate your Shopify website with ActiveCampaign.