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Ready to take your Shopify store to the next level? Chances are, you’ve probably already thought about using email marketing to do that (if you’re not already!).
Email marketing can offer a great way to improve conversions, boost sales, and get more repeat business to your store.
However, the icing on the cake is that it’s not only affordable but relatively easy to do, too – especially since the vast majority of your store’s emails can be automated based on customers’ actions.
Of course, there are some email marketing services that are better suited to Shopify than others – ones that offer direct integrations, allow you to send triggered emails (e.g. abandoned cart campaigns), and let you access your store data directly from within your email marketing software, for example.
So what are the best tools for Shopify email marketing? We’ve tested out some of the most popular ones to find out which really let you do the most with your Shopify online store.
Here’s our list of the top 13 Shopify email marketing tools, ranked:
1. Omnisend – Built for Ecommerce
2. ActiveCampaign – Sophisticated Workflows + CRM
3. GetResponse – Rich in Features and Automations
4. Klaviyo – Extensive Selection of Pre-built Workflows
5. Drip – Automations for Every Customer Action
6. Sendinblue – Lots of Features at a Low Cost
7. SmartrMail – Smart Technology Does the leg Work for you
8. Mailchimp – Generous Free Plan and Excellent Analytics
9. MailerLite – Easy, Affordable and Effective
10. Privy – Ecommerce Focused
11. Retainful – Made for Ecommerce
12. ConvertKit – Superb Tagging and Subscriber Management
13. Constant Contact – Unique Event Management Features
Before we jump in, let’s quickly review what a good email marketing software should let you do with your ecommerce business, and more specifically, your Shopify store.
Must-have features are:
So which email marketing platforms meet all the criteria above? Check out our list below to find the right one for you.
But first, let’s take a look at Shopify’s own email marketing app.
Shopify launched their own email marketing app in November 2019 and are offering it for free with all plans. It allows you to send a total of 2,500 emails per month for free. If you surpass that number, then you'll be charged $1 USD for every 1,000 emails sent.
You might think that this would be a convenient solution to your email marketing, but remember that Shopify specializes in website creation and not email newsletters. We checked out their email builder and found that it was pretty limited; there are only a few basic templates to choose from and the customization options (font, content blocks and button styles) don’t allow for much creative freedom at all.
It is convenient that you can easily add your products to your email with one click, but you can also do that with tools such as Onmisend, which comes with many more features.
What about automations? Shopify turns on abandoned checkout emails by default. If you want to set up other triggered automations then Shopify prompts you to use Omnisend or SmartrMail.
So, bearing all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing services for Shopify.
With its strong focus on ecommerce, multi-channel provider Omnisend fairly and squarely lands the number one spot on our list. This slick tool offers a range of automated workflows targeted at different stages of the customer journey (browse abandonment, cart abandonment, order confirmations, etc.), plus some very cool email features such as gift boxes, scratch cards and other incentives.
Beyond email, Omnisend also allows you to send SMS, push notifications, and Facebook and WhatsApp messages.
You can store unlimited contacts on all plans. See our detailed pricing guide for more information.
What we liked: The ease of integration with Shopify. You can create a sign-up form that automatically links up with your store in Shopify (as long as you’re not using a third-party template, in which case you just need to insert some code into your site). The email editor also lets you automatically add products from your store straight into your email. And conversion-focused features such as scratch cards, gift boxes and ‘wheel of fortune’ signup forms are quite unique to Omnisend – we haven’t really seen them in any other provider. The fact that the free plan comes with unlimited subscribers is a big plus (though be aware that you can only contact up to 250/month).
Check out our video review:
Where they could improve: While the email editor lets you integrate some features with your store (e.g. Product Picker, Featured Product and Product Listings, letting you add these directly into your email), other features like the Product Recommender and Gift Box didn’t seem to have that same direct integration. And while the 20 or so email templates provided look nice and modern, it would be nice to see a wider range of templates. The free plan used to have a much higher sending allowance.
Who we would recommend Omnisend to: If you need a multi-channel platform that lets you manage your ecommerce business marketing communications out of one place, and would like to be able to add some unique extra features to your emails, which is why Omnisend is listed as the best email marketing app for Shopify. (Read full Omnisend review.)
Like GetResponse, ActiveCampaign has earned itself a solid reputation in marketing automation. It now makes this available to Shopify store owners, thanks to its Deep Data Integration with Shopify.
Store owners can take advantage of features such as Active Campaign’s CRM, dynamic segments and tagging, conditional email content (e.g. different products and offers based on what a contact is interested in), and, of course, advanced automations. Other integration options (Zapier, Revenue Conduit) are also available.
What we liked: The Deep Data integration process was a breeze, and all contacts who make a purchase or abandon a cart in your store will automatically be added as a contact in ActiveCampaign. It’s great that you can see contacts’ orders, abandoned carts and spending totals within their contact profiles too – it gives you the kind of view you’re used to seeing in more purpose-built CRMs. We also love ActiveCampaign’s workflow-based automation editor, which lets you build abandoned cart campaigns, upsell emails, re-purchase reminders and more. Adding products into emails is made simple via the drag and drop editor, and you can add your Shopify products and a “Buy Now” button to your ActiveCampaign landing page. You can also automatically embed a form on your site instead of having to copy and paste it into your store’s code. This form can include a discount code to encourage users to make a purchase.
The ready-made marketing automation templates are excellent, plus there are plenty to choose from:
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: ActiveCampaign is an advanced tool, and its learning curve can be steeper than that of other email marketing services. For example, the personalization and conditional content require a little bit of code to be inserted. It’s not necessarily something that can be improved – the rewards far outweigh the time and effort required – but it’s just something to keep in mind if you really want to take full advantage of the tool. Discover all the excellent ActiveCampaign alternatives here.
Who we would recommend ActiveCampaign to: As with GetResponse, ActiveCampaign works well for larger ecommerce stores that need to be able to send more complex automations and segment their lists finely. Their CRM is pretty powerful, too, which is ideal if you work with a lot of repeat customers.
A powerhouse provider of marketing automation, GetResponse goes that little bit further than your average email marketing service. It does this by offering features like landing pages, webinars and a CRM.
It also happens to be one of the best tools for Shopify email marketing, with its Deep Data integration allowing for synced customers, order and product data, advanced segmentation and tagging, and automated campaigns.
What we liked: GetResponse comes with a wide range of handy, ready-to-go templates for building out automations for your store, including abandoned cart campaigns, post-purchase emails and sales promotions. GetResponse now offers AI product recommendations. This means that the behavior, preferences, needs, and habits of your website visitors are analyzed and used to make tailored recommendations. These can be directly added to your newsletter or automation without leaving the editor.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: Opt-in emails get sent to customers by default, which is a little annoying, although this can be disabled in your campaign settings. Contacts and products get imported every 24 hours, which could mean a delay in triggering automations. Support could be better, too – we couldn’t find a whole lot of information on the Shopify integration in GetResponse’s Help Center.
Who we would recommend GetResponse to: GetResponse is best suited to larger stores – they would benefit the most from advanced marketing automation, segmentation features and CRM. We’d also recommend it if you need extra features such as landing pages and webinars.
Klaviyo is, specifically, marketing software for ecommerce, which makes it a great match for Shopify shop owners. On their website, Klaviyo state that ‘Shopify stores make $85 for every dollar they spend on Klaviyo’. Who knows how this compares to the other tools on this list, but that is a pretty good ROI.
No doubt, this increase in profits is due to their advanced segmentation and marketing automation workflows, which, it turns out, are very easy to set up.
What we liked: The integration with Shopify is quick and easy to set up. They have some very attractive, modern-looking email templates that work with dynamic blocks, so you can determine which customers see what based on their data. A/B testing is also possible.
Their selection of pre-built workflows is extensive, covering everything from welcome and abandoned cart emails to post-purchase follow-up and win-back emails. You can also set them up from scratch.
The ‘Profiles’ section is their CRM, where you can see what your customers have done, how much they’ve spent and when they’ll purchase next gives you a holistic view of your customers and makes personalized marketing simple.
What could be improved: At $100 for 5,000 contacts, it’s one of the more expensive providers on this list, and in light of the cost, the customer support could be better.
Their app has caused frustration among some customers due to issues with sending their campaigns and having their accounts temporarily disabled.
Who we would recommend Klaviyo to: Because of its focus on email marketing for ecommerce, Klaviyo is a great option when it comes to Shopify email marketing apps. The fact that they offer a built-in CRM makes it a great choice for both small and medium-sized businesses with larger client bases and teams.
If you want to be able to create automations around even the smallest actions taken by customers on your store (e.g. viewed a product, created/deleted a checkout, placed/cancelled an order), or around very specific data points (e.g. what brand they bought, or how much they spent), Drip is the tool for you. It’s for this reason that they call themselves the ‘Ecommerce CRM’ – they put a strong emphasis on enabling communications at every point of the individual customer’s journey.
They also offer an integration with Facebook Customer Audiences, meaning you can combine targeted Facebook ads with your Shopify automated campaigns.
What we liked: The integration process is super easy (you don’t even need to insert any tracking code in your store to enable the web tracking). Plus, creating automations in Drip is straightforward (and with their colorful workflow editor, kind of fun, too). You can make automations as simple or as complex as you like, with options to include actions, parallel paths, decisions and more within the workflow. Or you can simply choose from one of their pre-built templates – these include cart abandonment, coupon welcome series and campaigns to win back ‘at-risk’ customers. You can also send SMS to your customers.
Plus, we really liked that the documentation they offer around how the integration works is more detailed than that of other providers – this was super helpful.
What could be improved: Be sure to keep a close eye on your subscriber numbers, as you'll automatically get bumped up to the next plan if you go over the limit, and remember that customers who get synced over from Shopify will go towards your contact limit. Also, there isn’t a huge range of email templates available – there are just 18.
Who we would recommend Drip to: We'd recommend Drip to more established businesses with a significant subscriber count (over 2,500). Their clever segmentation and automation features are very impressive.
Another top tool for budget-conscious Shopify ecommerce owners is Sendinblue. Though there are many email marketing apps, this one stands out as a feature-rich service that offers excellent value for money. Originally a transactional email provider, Sendinblue has expanded into the multichannel space by offering SMS in addition to email. Not to mention, some seriously impressive features including landing pages, automations, Facebook ads, live chat, and lead scoring.
What we liked: Sendinblue have built in some very smart ecommerce features. For example, you can display conditional email content based on certain attributes (e.g. a special offer if someone is an existing customer or not). And thanks to their transactional messaging features, you can also send emails and SMS like payment confirmations, order summaries and shipping notifications (via SMTP). Order data also gets exported from Shopify to Sendinblue, meaning you can view this information on individual contact records, and create segments and automations around this information. you can also integrate store products with email using the drag-and-drop builder.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: To be able to use advanced features like dynamic content and lists (for example, to add items purchased into an order confirmation email), you need to generate a bit of code, which may take a bit of practice to get used to. Not a huge deal, but the interface is a little dull compared to some of the other more modern-looking email tools.
Who we would recommend Sendinblue to: Don’t let its impressive feature set fool you – Sendinblue offers some of the cheapest plans for Shopify store owners and is a decent option if you want to run your email marketing on a budget.
SmartrMail is a solution specifically designed with ecommerce in mind. It exclusively serves customers with an existing online store, and, of course, Shopify is one of the main platforms they work with.
A great thing about SmartrMail is that only active subscribers count towards your monthly allowance, unlike with Mailchimp, which includes inactive subscribers.
SmartrMail claims that its users have collectively generated over $315 million in extra sales by using their services.
Free for up to 1,000 subscribers with a monthly sending allowance of 5,000
These numbers are for their Standard plan, which includes 12 emails per subscriber.
What we liked:
The fact that they offer a free plan for up to 1,000 active subscribers is a big advantage.
As you sign up directly through Shopify, the integration process is super simple. In fact, SmartrMail is a great tool for beginners because it does a lot of the work for you – they even offer free migration.
Upon sign-up, SmartrMail automatically generates an email design for you based on your existing Shopify store design and branding. This is a nice feature and could save you a fair bit of time. Of course, this can be easily edited and saved to use as a template.
It uses machine learning to automatically create product recommendation emails for your subscribers based on their data, and you can set these to go out at a particular frequency, i.e. once a week. All products automatically populate, complete with links and images.
I particularly liked its smart segments, which are also already set up for you. These group subscribers based on certain criteria, for example, if a subscriber spends more than $150, they will be automatically added to the “loyal customer” segment. There are 6 of these set up already and you can edit them as you wish.
We were happy to see that the automation workflow builder was updated, making it much easier to use. It also includes conditional logic, so you can set up split automations.
Another feature you might be interested in is SMS marketing – this isn't always included in ESPs, so it's nice to see that SmartrMail covers this too. SMS sending prices are slightly more affordable than Omnisend's.
Live chat and phone support are available if you get stuck.
What could be improved:
There are a good amount of templates available overall, however, there could be more for specific categories like abandoned cart and thank you messages.
Strangely, there's no dedicated reporting area, though your stats will be featured in the dashboard. Note that SmartrMail is currently developing this feature.
Who we would recommend SmartrMail to:
Due to the fact that SmartrMail does a lot of the leg work for you, this is a great tool for small businesses that are just getting started and looking for an easy to use software. It’s a real time-saver when it comes to design and segmenting, plus their marketing automation workflow builder is really user-friendly.
Thankfully, it seems the two have finally managed to come to an agreement!
These numbers are for their Essentials plan, which includes a sending limit of 10 times your maximum contact count, 3 audiences, single-step automations (e.g. abandoned cart), segmentation, built-in CRM and landing pages.
What we liked:
The fact that Mailchimp offer a very generous free plan is pretty attractive to those with less than 2,000 subscribers, as you’ll be able to send up to 10,000 emails per month.
Mailchimp have some of the best reporting features for ecommerce, including products sold from a particular campaign, total revenue, click map and geolocation tracker. Those on the Standard plan and up can benefit from Mailchimp’s content optimizer, which gives you suggestions to make your emails more engaging.
There are plenty of automation templates available, which include abandoned cart, reorder reminders, lost customer recovery, etc. Transactional email and retargeting ads are also included.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved:
I had some issues trying to insert the products from our Shopify store into the Mailchimp email; though you can select items from a list of your products, for some reason they don’t get added when you hit ‘insert’.
Mailchimp’s email templates are very disappointing; the designs look incredibly outdated and there aren’t that many to choose from.
Mailchimp’s paid plans can get pricey pretty quickly, especially if you manage multiple lists (or audiences, as they’re called) or want to set up multistep automations.
Find out more about Mailchimp's pros and cons in this Mailchimp alternatives guide.
Who we would recommend Mailchimp to:
Mailchimp is a good option for those with fewer than 2,000 subscribers or for those who would benefit from their landing pages, automations and/or advanced analytics.
MailerLite is one of our favorite tools here at EmailToolTester. Why? Because we honestly think it’s one of the best-value email marketing services out there. Apart from being affordable, it’s also easy to use, and loaded with great features such as marketing automation, landing pages, surveys, dynamic content and more. Shopify store owners also benefit from a direct integration, letting you sync customer data and products, and trigger automations.
What we liked: One very cool feature is that, once you have all your Shopify contacts synced to MailerLite, MailerLite automatically creates segments based on customers’ history (e.g. first-time customers, repeat customers, high spend customers). You can also add MailerLite popup forms to your store with just a click of a button, and easily add store products to your emails. Plus, deliverability rates with MailerLite are (almost) unbeatable, and they have a generous free plan, too.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: We’d really love to see some more advanced automations added to the mix. Right now, you can only build automations around the different segments available (first-time customers, repeat customers, etc.) and product purchases. It lacks automations for more advanced triggers such as when they visit a page on your website. The integration process is slightly more involved than with other tools, requiring the use of an API key (rather than just simply entering your store URL), although it’s not overly complicated.
Who we would recommend MailerLite to: If you want to get the most out of a limited budget, MailerLite is the best email marketing app for Shopify we could recommend. With the exception of more sophisticated automations, it has everything you’d need to effortlessly run email marketing campaigns for your Shopify store. Its ease of use makes it ideal for beginners, too.
Considering that Privy is rated pretty highly by customers in the Shopify App Store, with 4.6 stars and over 18 thousand 5-star reviews, we decided to take a closer look at this email marketing app for Shopify.
$10 for up to 100 Contacts. Price scales at $10/month per additional 100 text contacts.
What we liked:
All paid plans come with unlimited email sends, so it’s a good option for those who want to send a number of emails a month to a handful of contacts.
There are some nice-looking email templates on offer and the tool is pretty easy to use.
Because Privy is an ecommerce focused email marketing app, you’ll enjoy features such as pop-ups, coupons, free shipping bars and, of course, automated abandoned cart emails.
Where they could improve:
Privy’s free plan is quite limited, with just 100 marketable contacts per month. You’re also not able to send email newsletters on this plan. Even its paid plans aren’t the most affordable, starting at $15/month for just 250 contacts. Omnisend is a much better deal.
You can set up just a couple of autoresponders (win back, abandoned cart and purchase follow-up emails) and it’s not possible to design more complex, multi-step automation workflows.
Who we would recommend Privy to:
Privy is for those who need a simple, well-designed solution for their ecommerce email marketing needs. It’ll get the job done, but it might be lacking in a couple of features, like workflow automation. Omnisend is still cheaper, and offers more in the way of advanced features.
You can test the Privy paid plan for free and see what you think.
Retainful is an email marketing automation software for ecommerce. It’s fairly young, yet it already boasts a portfolio of 11,000 customers.
It currently integrates with two ecommerce platforms: WooCommerce and, of course, Shopify.
What we liked:
It’s great that the abandoned cart recovery email automation is included on the free plan, as most email automation tools will charge you for this feature. What’s more, you can offer your customers coupons to use on their next order.
Once you move onto a paid plan, you’ll have an unlimited sending allowance, so you’ll never have to worry about running out!
Integrating Retainful with Shopify is easy to do since there is a direct integration on the Shopify App Store.
Where they could improve:
It's very focused on a handful of ecommerce automations, meaning that some other areas aren’t quite as developed as they are in other email marketing tools. For example, it’s not possible to import contacts you’ve previously collected by another means – you’re only able to exclusively market to Shopify contacts.
What’s more, there’s no email newsletter builder, so you won’t be able to run more content-based email marketing campaigns such as welcome series and blog updates.
Who we would recommend Retainful to:
Retainful provides a simple, easy-to-use email marketing solution for Shopify users looking to automate abandoned cart messages and other autoresponders. Those who need a more comprehensive email marketing tool may find it a bit limited.
ConvertKit has proven popular with bloggers and content creators, but it also targets online store owners by offering a simple integration with Shopify (amongst other ecommerce platforms). Other features include a landing page editor and a flexible tag management system.
What we liked: You can create automations around specific products that customers have purchased, or collections of products. Automations can subscribe customers to an automated email series, add/remove a tag, set a custom field, or add them to a form. Their sophisticated tagging system lets you segment users and effortlessly add/remove them from email sequences.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: Unfortunately automations can only be triggered by a purchase, so you can’t create abandoned cart campaigns or similar (at least not with the direct integration – you’d need to use a Zapier integration for this). In fact, beyond the tagging functionality, the tool itself is pretty limited. No visual email editor is available, meaning you’re mostly limited to just text, and reports don’t include any ecommerce stats (and are basic to boot). Plus, it’s not the most affordable tool out there.
Who we would recommend ConvertKit to: It’s not at the top of our list of best email marketing tools for Shopify, but provided you use the direct integration alongside Zapier, you’ll be able to get a decent amount of automations going for your online store. So if you have your heart set on using ConvertKit, it’s worth a go.
One of the better-known names in email marketing, Constant Contact offers a direct integration with Shopify, along with some unique features such as surveys, and social campaigns.
What we liked: Like MailerLite, Constant Contact also create pre-built segments of first-time customers, repeat customers, lapsed customers and so on. Within the email editor, you can use drag-and-drop blocks to easily insert products from your store and coupon codes.
Check out our video review:
What could be improved: Their automations aren’t the most advanced. Sure, you can send abandoned cart campaigns, but not much else, unfortunately. In general, their somewhat limited features don’t really match up to the hefty price tag, especially as you need to opt for their more expensive ‘Plus’ plan to access features such as automations and email product blocks.
Who we would recommend Constant Contact to: Given the price and the fact they recently removed the event management features (e.g. the ability to manage event invitations, registrations, and selling tickets), it's difficult for us to recommend them when compared to the other, better value for money, tools on this list.
One email marketing platform you might be surprised not to find on this list is MailChimp. That’s because MailChimp recently stopped making their integration with Shopify available to users.
Regardless of the reason, the removal of the integration is a shame, considering the popularity of both tools.
However, if you’re dead-set on using MailChimp with your Shopify store, it’s not all bad news – there are a number of third-party integration tools like ShopSync and Zapier that can connect the two platforms and carry out most (if not all) of the tasks that a direct integration would achieve. You can read more about what the different MailChimp-Shopify integration tools can do here.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Shopify email marketing is offered by the website builder. So now that you've seen all that the top email marketing services can do for you and your Shopify store, which option is right for you?
Why Shopify email marketing?
Why use another email marketing service?
It's clear that those who are serious about email marketing will be looking to integrate with a third-party service, and considering the range of options and flexibility these will give you, I'd say that was a wise decision.
As you can see, there is a good range of decent tools to help you run targeted email campaigns to your Shopify customers. Which one you should use depends on what’s most important to you.
If you want to be able to run complex automated campaigns triggered by customer actions (multi-step abandoned cart emails, recommended products, etc), your best bet will be a tool like Omnisend, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, Klaviyo or Drip .
If you're curious to find out how machine learning technology can streamline up your email marketing, then take a look at SmartrMail.
And if you have more niche requirements (e.g. for flexible subscription management), then ConvertKit offer basic Shopify integrations that could very well do the job for you.
One thing’s for sure – there’s a lot to gain with setting up email marketing for your Shopify store, with a lifetime of loyal customers being top of the list. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to start evaluating the best Shopify email marketing solutions to help you do that.
Have any questions about the best Shopify email marketing apps? Let us know in the comments below!
01 Dec 2022 – Added video review of Omnisend
09 Aug 2022 – Added Retainful
12 July 2022 – Drip no longer offers plans to those with fewer than 2,500 subscribers
30 May 2022 – Updated SmartRMail and moved them up
11 Apr 2022 – Moved ActiveCamapign up
08 Nov 2021 – Added Mailchimp
26 Oct 2021 – Moved Sendinblue up
07 Oct 2021 – Video added
20 Sept 2021 – Updated Omnisend profile in light of changes to prices
02 Sept 2021 – Updated prices
22 Jul 2021 – Updated ActiveCampaign section
14 Jul 2021 – Added Privy
4 May 2021 – General update
Dec 3, 2020 – Added ‘Should I use Shopify Email Marketing or Another Service?' section and videos
Jun 16, 2020 – Updated Drip profile based on new pricing model
Jun 3 2020 – Added Shopify Email Marketing App section
Dec 10 2019 – SmartrMail addition
Sept 12 2019 – Klaviyo addition