We’re lucky enough to live in an age where starting an online business is something literally anybody can do.
The Shopify app store is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms around for making business happen online, so it’s no surprise that plenty of other tools use integration with it as a selling point.
Specifically with email marketing tools and marketing software, there are so many email marketing apps available for marketing campaigns, and all of them sound so similar. It can be a minefield, even if you have experience in marketing campaigns!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Shopify Email Marketing Software Services
Top 12 Email Marketing Services for Shopify
This is our top 12 list of the best Shopify email marketing tools ranked:
- ActiveCampaign: Best Overall Automations & CRM
- Omnisend: Designed for Ecommerce
- Sendinblue: Most Affordable & Scalable Email Marketing Campaign
- Drip: Tight Shopify Integrations
- ConvertKit: Built for Brand Storytelling
- GetResponse: Automations & Webinars
- Campaign Monitor
- Mad Mimi
- Constant Contact
- Easiest to integrate with Shopify – check out the integration page
- Excellent abandoned cart triggers
- Shopify customer timeline journey view
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the top names in email marketing solutions for marketing automation integrating with Shopify.
Best Shopify Email Marketing Software Services
So what are the best email marketing tools and marketing Shopify email apps for Shopify merchants?
The way ActiveCampaign do things is actually very similar to a CRM, but will all of the functionality of an email marketing service with the typical email campaigns you’d expect. ActiveCampaign’s userbase grew by 250% in the past year, so they’re certainly a company on the rise!
Also like Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign have four tiers for their email marketing services, where the lowest price is $9 per month. The key difference is that ActiveCampaign caps the number of subscribers at this price point at 500. But, at the same time, you can send those 500 people and unlimited number of email campaigns.
Outside of that, the pricing is determined on the tier you select, relative to the number of subscribers. As you move up to the tiers, I find the price jumps to be fairly substantial, to the point where I’m not 100% convinced of the value of those jumps (largely depending on if you are fully using the sales and CRM features in your campaigns / online store integration).
You need to be at least on the second tier if you want ActiveCampaign’s branding off your emails, and a wider range of customized campaigns.
In terms of usability, ActiveCampaign is perfectly fine, but I’m not sure it’s the ideal tool for somebody who’s completely new to digital marketing strategy (above and beyond an email marketing strategy). I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it does feel like you would need some existing knowledge. It gives the impression that it really is aimed at professionals who have some experience with automated email, and they don’t have time for babysitting with their campaigns.
ActiveCampaign also features a robust abandoned cart trigger sequence or a welcome email sequence, with 7 different ways to segement your potential customers to return to cart and/or offer additional product recommendations.
If you go as far as ActiveCampaign’s top tier, it starts to feel more like a marketing agency, rather than a SaaS. It’s common practice for email marketing companies to increase the personal interaction (and personalized emails / relevant emails) with the user, but this feels like another level. They include: design services, an account rep, phone support, and an uptime SLA.
That top tier also includes a thing called “social data,” which from what I can make out means they’ll tell you the demographic information that you can get for free from Google Analytics and social media. In short, ActiveCampaign is a full scale ecommerce email service, ideal for Shopify email and Shopify stores looking to SCALE.
I feel like ActiveCampaign is more of a full spectrum marketing automation sales tool, rather than just a marketing platform.
- ActiveCampaign vs MailerLite
- ActiveCampaign vs Hubspot Email Marketing
- ActiveCampaign vs Ontraport
- ActiveCampaign vs Autopilot
- ActiveCampaign vs Zoho
- ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse
- ActiveCampaign vs Campaign Monitor
- ActiveCampaign vs SharpSpring
Omnisend has a very specific use case that makes it perfect for e-commerce sellers (and Shopify email). It’s an omnichannel marketing automation platform, built SPECIFICALLY for merchants selling on multiple channels (most brands).
Not only does Omnisend provide elegant email automations (out of the box), it synchronizes all of your channel marketing management under one roof. No need to log into multiple dashboards and re-create the wheel dozens of times.
The ecommerce specific functionality includes automations and email templates for visitors who view your product, add to cart, abandoned cart, cart recovery, and even SMS text alerts for reminders.
The Standard Plan kicks off at $16 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers (60,000 emails per month), with pricing increases based on subscriber count tier.
The Pro Plan starts qt $199 per month for up to 9,000 subscribers (unlimited monthly emails), with tiered pricing increases based on the number of subscribers.
Finally, the Enterprise Plan is a flat $2,000 per month, including all the features of an advanced automation platform, single sign-on, unlimited emails, and unlimited subscribers.
There are many things to like. The automation workflow is modern and features all of the triggers and logic found in most other modern email service providers. BUT, the best feature is the Shopify plugin and an extensive integration guide.
You can get started for FREE here (up to 300 emails per day free plan) and the basic paid LITE plan starts at $25/month for up to 40,000 emails per month. I really actually like this “volume based” approach to email marketing versus paying for subscribers (many of whom become dormant).
The SendInBlue app platform also features robust SMS plans for a great 1-2 punch if you need to message customers directly as well as send emails.
I love how they separate out the different types of marketing campaigns from high-level educational funnels to more transactional emails with built-in marketing tools (templated follow-up emails, abandoned cart emails, etc…). SendInBlue is quickly becoming one of our favorite new ecommerce email tools!
- Sendinblue vs Klaviyo
- Sendinblue vs ActiveCampaign
- Sendinblue vs Mailchimp
- Sendinblue vs Ontraport
- Sendinblue vs SendGrid
Drip only started in 2013, but I’m surprised the name was available. In case you’re not au fait with the email marketing buzzwords yet, a drip email campaign is essentially email sequences that have been set to be delivered upon certain action undertaken by a prospective customer.
Their first couple of years were so impressive, in 2016, they were bought by Leadpages, one of the top landing page creation tools for marketing campaigns.
Probably the most distinctive aspect of the Drip marketing app compared to others on this list, is its pricing structure. It still has a tiered system, but only two tiers: free plan and premium. In saying that, the price of the premium tier varies depending on how many contacts you have, which I guess makes it similar to ConvertKit. The prices look like this based on email list size:
101 – 2,500 contacts
2,501 – 5,000 contacts
5,001 – 12,500 contacts
In terms of the actual marketing platform functionality difference between the free and premium tiers, well, firstly, the free version app will only let you contact 100 people. That probably makes it OK for doing some initial testing internally, but it’s unlikely that it’s practical for a busy business. The only other difference I can make out is that the free version will include Drip’s app branding.
Drip puts social media integration front and center of their selling points, because that’s ever so sexy. That’s cool – you’re reading this article because you’re looking for a solution that integrates with Shopify (and many other ecomemrce partners), so integrating it with your social media selling with Drip means you’ll be keeping the main digital marketing channels together.
Like Campaign Monitor, Drip offers the time zone delivery feature that I love.
ConvertKit only started in 2015, so it’s still quite a baby as these things go. Don’t underestimate this startup just because it’s young – as an email marketing tool and storytelling app (vs straight marketing app), they absolutely have it together, and know what they’re doing.
So how does a fledgling email marketing company distinguish itself from so many competitors? Well, ConvertKit are very focused on a particular market for their product, and that’s professional bloggers. It’s a good idea.
The top bloggers aren’t making money from advertising revenue alone, and may well need to sell stuff to make a living. An email platform focused on helping them with that is sure to appeal.
This focus on storytelling CAN be remarkably effective for small businesses as a marketing app. So don’t be turned off if you aren’t a traditional blogger. ConvertKit is relevant for e-commerce business use cases as well.
In terms of pricing, an important distinction of ConvertKit compared to other email marketing apps on our listicle is that they offer the exact same features across all four of their tiers – that includes Shopify integration. The only thing that makes the price go up is the number of subscribers you want to contact. I have a feeling that might bother some people, but clearly not enough people to stop them running a great product.
The minor exception to that pricing system is the top tier, and it’s not so much as an additional feature, but more of a service.
If you have more than 7,500 subscribers on your list, they’ll offer you a migration concierge service to help you move from your existing email marketing platform to ConvertKit. I think that’s a nice touch.
While ConvertKit doesn’t have any ongoing free service in their pricing structure, you can try it free for 14 days.
As it’s aimed at bloggers, whose passion is to write and create a blog post regularly, in contrast to other more robust marketing automation tools.
ConvertKit have cleverly kept their service as free from technical stuff as they could (drag-and-drop builders, etc…), meaning you’ll be hard pressed to find something easier to use, down to the point of it having a WordPress plugin to manage the integration and opt-in forms.
Interested in Deeper Guides? We’ve covered a LOT on ConvertKit over the years…
- ConvertKit vs MailerLite
- ConvertKit vs ConstantContact
- ConvertKit vs GetResponse (next recommendation below!)
- ConvertKit vs MailChimp (another recommendation here)
- ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign
- ConvertKit vs Aweber
- Top ConvertKit Alternatives
GetResponse have been around since 1998. They’re not the most prominent email marketing solution, so that implies they’ve just been quietly working away, building the business.
GetResponse are rocking four tiers of pricing. The lowest option is $15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers. I think that’s a very reasonable price. Of course, for that price, it doesn’t let you do very much, but it’ll certainly get you introduced to how to “do” email marketing.
Things certainly kick up a notch on the next tier up, which introduces one of the most curious features we’ll see throughout all the products here, and that’s a webinar function. I find it a very strange thing to include, but I see the benefit for certain niche organizations.
For example, if you’re selling a specific product and need to provide a demonstration, or if you’re offering some kind of a service and you want to offer some training. This second tier will allow you to deliver webinars for up to 100 people, a number that increases with the more expensive tiers.
Apart from that, GetResponse offers pretty much the usual slew of features: segmentation, automation, tracking (click-through rate). I always feel as if GetResponse wishes it was a CRM system, as if it was designed like a CRM, and then stripped of most of the functionality to focus on email marketing campaigns. And that’s perfectly cool.
In terms of usability, GetResponse is super-easy to use. It’s the kind of program where it’s difficult to actually make a mistake. The layout is clear, and it’ll double-check decisions you make.
You can check out the actual Shopify + GetResponse integration page here for more info.
A negative point for myself in particular, is that the analytics GetResponse provides simply aren’t that deep. I’m a nosey marketer, and I like to know as much as possible about my audience. That’s how I know what content to create for them.
- GetResponse vs Sendlane
- GetResponse vs Campaign Monitor
- GetResponse vs Constant Contact
- GetResponse vs iContact
- GetResponse vs Mailchimp
UPDATE: I no longer recommend Mailchimp for Shopify as a marketing service because of THIS major breakup announced in March 2019!! Instead, DRIP has really stepped up their game here to fill the void.
As with all entries on this listicle, MailChimp works with a tiered pricing system, where they offer an increasing amount of features for every extra amount of money you give them. Unlike all the others though, MailChimp’s lowest tier is entirely free. That in itself is one of the main reasons why it’s such a popular platform.
I’m forever preaching that you get what you pay for, in anything at all that you part with money for, so does that mean that an email platform that doesn’t cost anything will be terrible? The answer is no, and for something that’s free, it’s more than enough to get somebody started in the world of email marketing.
Of course a free thing has limitations. With MailChimp, that limitation is that you can only contact up to 2,000 subscribers, with a maximum of 12,000 emails per month. That’s fine if you have less than 2,000 email addresses on your list.
In terms of functionality, it’ll be skin and bones. You’ll have some email template options to create your email, it’ll still carry MailChimp’s branding, and the analytics will be minimal (limited real-time reporting).
Moving up to the next tier, and for as little as $25 per month, you’ll be able to remove MailChimp’s branding from you marketing emails, start some automation, and what we need here: integrate it with Shopify. You’ll also be able to integrate it with Google Analytics and their analysis tool to keep your data analysis sharp.
The top tier of MailChimp is something I’d only recommend if you have a dedicated email marketing, or at least general marketing person. It costs $199 on top of whatever you pay for your second tier. It predominantly gives you even deeper data stuff, but it’s to the depth that will only be of value if you have somebody onboard who can interpret it into business actions.
Like GetResponse, Campaign Monitor are a well-established company, who seem to have been quietly and solidly working on a customer base, whether for new or existing customer lists. Campaign Monitor’s clients include Disney, Coca-Cola and BuzzFeed – those are brands who won’t risk substandard email marketing!
Campaign Monitor have a four-tier pricing system, with incremental features. None of the tiers have any limited on the number of subscribers you can have with them, but their initial tier has a limited of 2,500 emails per month to you to send. If you want to email your subscribers once per week, that means you couldn’t have more than 625 subscribers.
That doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re at the ground floor of a business venture, it only costs $9 per month. Obviously you won’t get anything too fancy for $9 per month, and this really is bare bones email marketing, but, it does have more of a professional feel than other entry-level products.
All tiers include some level of automation, and these increase as you go up. At the second tier, you’ll get access to inbox previews, which is a nice feature. One of my favorite things that I like to see in email marketing though is time zone delivery. It’s actually somewhat of a rarity.
What it means is that your subscribers will receive the email at the same time, regardless of time zone. For example, if you set an email to be delivered at 8pm, it’ll be delivered at 8pm in New York or 8pm in Dublin: it depends where the subscriber is.
Campaign Monitor is incredibly simple and intuitive to use, but if you find yourself struggling, they have plenty of support available, at increasing level as you go through the tiers, starting with basic email support at the first tier, right up to one-on-one support at the top tier.
9. Mad Mimi
Mad Mimi is an email platform that Shopify themselves tout for using with their system as a preferred email marketing app. It’s owned by GoDaddy, and I can’t work out if their mentions by Shopify are from an overlapping business interest somewhere.
Like Drip, it has a free version where you can send to up to 100 subscribers. And, like Drip and ConvertKit, it has a set number of features across the rest of its pricing options, where the price increase is relative only to the number of subscribers. These start at $10 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
The weird thing I found when investigating Mad Mimi, is that it seems so focused on selling itself based on price, the amount of additional features to standard emailing gets hidden away.
And it comes with an astounding number of additional features! It feels like it’s taken some of the main features of the other products on this list and just made them casually available for all their price points.
The main ones are:
- Web forms to get email addresses to send to
- Integration with Facebook and Instagram so you can create a form there that will also sign people up
- Integration with Google Analytics, Etsy, SurveyMonkey, and Salesforce
Those are just the tip of the iceberg.
I find the interface similar to MailChimp, in that it’s cartoonish. I’m not sure I like that. I think it’s fine to start with, but feels condescending after a while. Starting email marketing with the Mad Mimi email marketing platform is OK, but if you were to start integrating all the features, it would get time-consuming, and you would need somebody who’s very clear about what they’re doing.
Other Email Platforms: Honorable Mentions
The following email marketing services aren’t covered in depth, but deserve a shout out for getting on our radar (and may move up this year as we re-evaluate)
- Constant Contact: Recently has improved their visual email campaign builder and stepped up their e-commerce platform automations and campaigns.
- Aweber: Was awful for a while as it only offered a basic email newsletter, but realized they were on the wrong track and have almost completely changed Aweber campaigns and automations (for the better). I definitely LOVE the shear volume of email templates available out of the box for customization.
- SendX: Extremely new, but I love the visual campaign builder and promise of additional Shopify integrations.
Final Send: What’s the Best Email Marketing for Shopify?
Depending on what type of campaigns you are sending, there are a variety of answers for Shopify ecommerce (as this article shows). Most marketing platform apps worth their salt WILL have some sort of integration with your online store, but here’s my bottom line recommendation:
- Rapidly Growing Shopify Stores: As you scale, the importance of end-to-end marketing automation and CRM-style management becomes increasingly important. This is why for most growing stores with multiple SKUs, I recommend trying ActiveCampaign here first. It scales well, has all the cart abandonment sequences you need, and isn’t crazy expensive.
- Just Launched or Pre-Launch Shopify Stores: Where budget is constrained – often in the early stages of an e-commerce store – the ideal VALUE combination of marketing automation with a focus on transactional ecommerce campaigns, all at a fair price, is definitely Sendinblue here.