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 tool, 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 store.
Here’s our list of the top 9 Shopify email marketing tools, ranked:
1. Omnisend – Built for Ecommerce
2. GetResponse – Rich in Features and Automations
3. ActiveCampaign – Sophisticated Workflows + CRM
4. Klaviyo – Extensive Selection of Pre-built Workflows
5. Drip – Automations for Every Customer Action
6. MailerLite – Easy, Affordable and Effective
7. SendinBlue – Lots of Features at a Low Cost
8. SmartrMail – Smart Technology Does the leg Work for you
9. ConvertKit – Superb Tagging and Subscriber Management
10. Constant Contact – Unique Event Management Features
Before we jump in, let’s quickly review what a good email marketing tool should let you do with 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.
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 automations 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.
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.
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.
Who we would recommend Omnisend to: If you need a multi-channel platform that lets you manage all your store’s marketing communications out of the one place, and would like to be able to add some unique extra features to their emails, we think Omnisend is pretty hard to beat.
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 customer, order and product data, advanced segmentation and tagging, and automated campaigns.
What we liked: GetResponse comes with some handy, ready-to-go templates for building out automations for your store, including abandoned cart campaigns, post-purchase emails and sales promotions. You can also automatically add Recommended Products to your emails, which are personalized based on customers’ historical purchases – a super useful feature.
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. And it’s a shame that the Recommended Products feature is not available on the lowest plan (Email).
Who we would recommend GetResponse to: GetResponse is best suited to larger stores – they would benefit the most from the advanced automations, segmentation features and CRM. We’d also recommend it if you need extra features such as landing pages and webinars.
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.
What could be improved: Email template variety could be better, as could options for automatically adding products into emails (currently there aren’t any). Also, 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.
Who we would recommend ActiveCampaign to: As with GetResponse, ActiveCampaign works well for larger ecommerce stores who 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.
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 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 followup and winback 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 email marketing for Shopify owners. 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.
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: The price (or at least the pricing model). Drip is not cheap, with the lowest plan starting at a steep $49/month for just 2,500 subscribers. If you go over this limit, you’ll automatically be bumped up to the next plan (without warning), which costs $122/month! So, be sure to keep a close eye on your subscriber numbers, and remember that customers who get synced over from Shopify will go towards your contact limit. Also, there aren’t a huge range of email templates available – instead, there’s just a handful of basic layouts that you need to customize in order to create your email design.
Who we would recommend Drip to: Drip charges a premium for their impressively clever segmentation and automation features, so if these are at the very top on your list of priorities (and you have the budget for it), it’s definitely a tool worth evaluating.
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.
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 Shopify email marketing tool 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.
Another top tool for the budget-conscious Shopify store owner, SendinBlue stands out as a feature-reach email marketing service. 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 SMSs 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.
What could be improved: Being able to integrate store products with email using the drag-and-drop builder would be nice. 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.
SmartrMail claims that its users have collectively generated $81,602,159 in extra sales by using their services.
These numbers are for their Basic plan, which includes 12 emails per subscriber and up to 10 automations.
What we liked:
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.
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.
Live chat is available if you get stuck.
What could be improved:
Unlike with a lot of email newsletter tools, the editor doesn’t work with drag and drop technology. In order to move the elements, you have to click on arrows to move them up and down and it feels slightly clunky.
We don’t find the process of setting up automations very user-friendly. Currently, users have to set up each email in an automated workflow series as a subsequent email and there is no visual editor. SmartrMail have told us that they are working on this and a custom workflow editor will be added in early 2020.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 email marketing for Shopify? Let us know in the comments below!
Dec 10 2019 – SmartrMail addition
Sept 12 2019 – Klaviyo addition