When it comes to email marketing and automation platforms, two big names stand out: Klaviyo and Convertkit. Both tools allow business owners to build email lists, create broadcasts and automation, understand subscriber behavior, and ultimately drive more sales.
In this comprehensive Klaviyo vs Convertkit comparison guide, we evaluate Klaviyo and Convertkit across several key criteria: market position and popularity, ease of use, customization, features and integrations, analytics, performance, customer support, pricing, and reviews.
By looking at these factors, any business owner can determine which of the two email marketing tools best fits their needs and budget while powering effective marketing.
1. Understanding the Basics
Klaviyo was founded in 2012 by Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen. It quickly became one of the most well-funded SaaS companies focused solely on owned marketing channels. As of 2022, Klaviyo serves over 50,000 businesses and has raised over $675 million at a $9.5 billion valuation. Though younger than competitors, Klaviyo leads in market share for standalone owned-channel marketing platforms.
Convertkit was launched in 2013, and founded by Nathan Barry. While startups originally drove growth, Convertkit now powers email marketing for over 1 million users across 100,000 paid customers. Convertkit raised over $38 million in funding and maintains a strong market position despite Klaviyo’s meteoric rise.
Klaviyo boasts high popularity with extremely active community engagement. Its public Facebook community, Klaviyo Users Group, has over 36,000 members discussing tactics and best practices.
Convertkit’s community is smaller at 16,000 members but still provides valuable discussions. When it comes to market ubiquity and peer recommendations, both platforms enjoy loyalty yet Klaviyo pulls ahead in current growth and excitement.
2. Features and Functionality
Klaviyo offers a robust automation builder to create workflows triggered by time or customer actions. The drag-and-drop workflow editor makes building complex multi-path automations simple and intuitive. Users can leverage triggers like email opens, form submissions, purchased products, and more to deploy highly targeted messages.
Advanced segmentation options allow further personalization of workflows so you can run targeted email campaigns. You can send customers down specific paths based on traits like location, lifetime value, order frequency, and other properties. Workflows support multiple email series, SMS messages, backend API calls, and task assignments.
With This email service provider, you get the flexibility to build granular multi-level automation using “if/then” conditional logic for super-personalized email campaigns. Real-time data syncs mean workflows react instantaneously. Detailed analytics show automation performance down to each forked path to optimize campaigns.
Convertkit takes a rules-based approach to automation building. The platform centers workflows around tags rather than complex conditional logic jumps. Users place subscribers on certain sequences by applying tags either manually or based on criteria like email actions, purchase activity, sign-up forms, etc.
While simpler to build initially, Convertkit automations do not offer the advanced multi-path branching Klaviyo provides. You are limited to triggering one sequence per subscriber tag. However, you can place contacts on multiple streams simultaneously.
Convertkit automation focuses on email with support for RSS, Facebook Live, and hosted webinars. Sync speed lags slightly behind Klaviyo as well. However, Convertkit plans to expand automation functionality making it more competitive.
Klaviyo wins for best automation features due to superior workflow-building features, flexibility, conditional logic, audience insights, customer behavior analytics, and real-time sync with sites. The ability to create highly advanced, personalized multi-path automations gives Klaviyo the advantage. Convertkit automations work well for simpler email sequences but cannot match the robust power of Klaviyo.
Klaviyo offers hundreds of professionally designed, mobile-optimized email templates to choose from. Templates span categories like welcome series, product announcements, cart abandonment, win-back campaigns, seasonal promos, and more.
The template editor makes customizing templates simple with a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG builder. You can easily resize/reorganize content blocks, adjust colors/fonts, import images, and add/style text elements. For further customization, Klaviyo offers code access to HTML templates.
Klaviyo’s templates score highly for aesthetics and ease of editing. You can save customized templates to simplify future email creation. However, some users feel Convertkit offers more visually impressive designs.
Convertkit provides professional email template design as a core platform feature. Their gallery offers 400+ responsive email templates spanning key categories like welcome series, promotions, announcements, newsletters, and more.
Like Klaviyo, Convertkit email templates use a drag-and-drop editor to customize layouts, edit content, tweak colors, import media, and manage columns/sections. The WYSIWYG builder is highly intuitive yet also allows HTML access.
Template coding adheres to industry standards for major email clients. Images rescale responsively across mobile devices. You can create and save custom templates for quick access later. Convertkit’s beautiful pre-designed templates make crafting emails even easier.
Both Klaviyo and Convertkit offer excellent collections of professionally designed email templates that can be easily customized via drag-and-drop. Their WYSIWYG editors simplify creation while still providing code access.
Klaviyo offers marginally more options while Convertkit edges ahead on the design aesthetic. Ultimately quality and customization reach parity making this category a tie between the two platforms. You cannot go wrong choosing email templates from either solution.
Klaviyo enables powerful email list segmentation with customizable criteria and real-time syncing. Users can leverage data points like email metrics, declared profiles/properties, behavioral events, order data, traffic sources, formulas, and more to define segments.
Segment building offers extreme flexibility, allowing both basic and highly advanced configurations. You can target users matching all or any criteria thresholds using logical “and/or” operators. Klaviyo intelligently handles overlaps across segments.
Once created, segments dynamically update in real time as users take actions matching the rules. You get to target each segment with customized automation, journeys, metrics, flows, and content. Granular segmentation is where Klaviyo truly shines.
Convertkit takes a simpler tagging approach to segmentation versus complex criteria-based builds. You manually assign tags to subscribers to categorize groups for email targeting. Tags can originate from sign-up forms, email clicks, custom-coded events, webinar registration, and other activations.
The platform automatically tags customers who open emails or click links helping segment engaged subscribers. However, advanced behavioral targeting requires a developer to implement. Compared to Klaviyo, Convertkit lags in robust segmentation and real-time sync. But tags offer enough flexibility for basic subscriber grouping.
Klaviyo emerges as the undisputed leader in customer segmentation, winning this category hands down. The ability to build highly advanced, real-time segmenting of subscriber lists blows Convertkit’s simpler tagging out of the water when it comes to robust email targeting and personalization.
Klaviyo stands out for its powerful email analytics and insights delivered through an intuitive interface. Dashboards offer visual charts plotting opens, clicks, conversions, revenue, and more across campaigns and customer segments. You can filter graphs by date ranges, metrics, and other parameters for deep analysis.
The platform tracks comprehensive email stats like deliverability, open locations, click heatmaps, browse abandonment, conversion value, ROI, LTV, and other KPIs. Klaviyo calculates these figures automatically through advanced analytics algorithms and data processing.
Users also get access to A/B testing tools, allowing optimization of email content, designs, subject lines, send times, and other variables to boost performance. Robust analytics inform impactful experiments.
Convertkit focuses more on email creation but still delivers solid analytics tracking campaign metrics. The platform shows opens, clicks, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and subscriber engagement through clear charts and graphs.
You can segment analytics by various parameters like email type, user demographics, date range, and tags. Convertkit also calculates conversion and revenue metrics but the figures depend greatly on user accuracy in setting up tracking. A/B testing exists natively but through a simpler split tool.
Overall, Convertkit analytics cover email essentials well but lack the depth and sophistication of Klaviyo’s more advanced processing algorithms and segmentation. However, they provide enough visibility to gauge campaign impact.
Klaviyo wins the analytics category for providing superior transparency into the performance of email campaigns. Automatically generated visualizations coupled with ridiculously flexible segmentation give marketers the insights needed to micro-optimize every send. Convertkit analytics are capable of general email stats but cannot match Klaviyo’s robust functionality.
One of Klaviyo’s biggest differentiators is its native integration with owned marketing channels beyond email. The platform offers specific tools for SMS/MMS messaging, web push notifications, Facebook ads, and more.
Klaviyo enables easy customer onboarding, automation workflows, and analytics for SMS. You can track opens, responses, send times, and optimize just like email. The web push notifications feature allows sending browser alerts even to non-subscribers to recapture traffic.
Dynamic forms and landing pages make gathering customer data simple, while integration with Facebook helps match website visitors to existing ad profiles for better targeting. These owned channel options provide breadth unique to Klaviyo.
Convertkit positions itself as an email marketing specialist, forgoing some of the wider owned channel features Klaviyo contains. However, the platform does integrate natively with webinars through its Sequence product.
Users can host live or automated webinars, gate content behind forms, craft elegant landing pages, and manage cohorts. Tight email integration enables sending follow-up broadcast or automation messages after webinar signups.
For some users, Sequence’s webinar abilities will provide tremendous value as a built-in Convertkit bonus not offered by competitors. But overall Klaviyo still maintains a wider breadth of owned channels.
Klaviyo wins for best unique features due to its expansive owned channel suite extending beyond email into SMS, web push, and social ads. Convertkit develops great tools for webinars and lead generation. But Klaviyo’s wider scope of built-in owned channel marketing gives it the advantage of additional capabilities.
3. Ease of Use
Klaviyo earns high marks for intuitive use and rapid mastery, especially for email marketers. The platform follows a simple but flexible framework for building flows, automation, and campaigns. Clean, uncluttered interfaces allow easy access to powerful tools.
The automated data collection and sync remove much manual setup work. Drag-and-drop builders like email editors and automation workflows enable fast creation without coding skills. Solid documentation covers both overviews and granular use cases.
Beginners appreciate Klaviyo’s shallow learning curve compared to other ESPs. While reaching advanced personalization and custom flows takes time to master, new users generally find the platform approachable overall even with minimal marketing experience.
Convertkit focuses heavily on ease of adoption, providing a gentle onboarding path especially suited for creators, influencers, and bloggers. The core email abilities center around a simple sequence builder.
While some advanced functionality requires developer skills, Convertkit elegantly guides beginners into essential tactics like welcome emails, lead magnets, landing pages, and webinars. A shallow learning curve makes it friendly for novices despite limitations in scaling.
The structured approach gives Convertkit its user-friendly appeal. However, highly technical marketers may find it too restrictive compared to Klaviyo’s greater (but more complex) capabilities. Less experienced customers will appreciate the hand-holding.
For the easiest user experience tailored to email marketing beginners, Convertkit pulls slightly ahead of Klaviyo. The structured frameworks and guardrails benefit novice creators getting started without much technical sophistication.
Klaviyo offers greater scalability but comes with a steeper learning curve. Convertkit’s focus on simplifying core email functionality gives it the win for being most beginner-friendly.
4. Email Deliverability
Klaviyo invests tremendous resources ensuring consistently high email deliverability across all campaigns. The platform employs proprietary algorithms that protect the domain sender’s reputation on the major ESPs while optimizing future delivery. You benefit from large-scale feedback loops that continuously improve overall email deliverability.
Users get access to automated list-cleaning features that remove risky email addresses. Klaviyo also allows granular blocking of problem domains at the platform level. For those who need extra help, Klaviyo offers deliverability consulting services to assist with inbox placement issues. More advanced users can utilize custom handles in Klaviyo to isolate risky campaigns from impacting primary domains.
By centralizing customer email under a single domain with a strong existing reputation, Klaviyo achieves excellent inbox placement and lowers spam complaints immediately out of the box. Customers can feel confident relying on Klaviyo for reliable email delivery.
As an email-first solution, deliverability is also a focal point for Convertkit as a platform. Convertkit emphasizes building proper subscriber lists, personalizing broadcast content, using email authentication, and monitoring analytics in order to encourage stronger inbox delivery.
You get access to automated tools for managing bounces, spam complaints, inactive subscribers, and more to actively maintain overall list health. For those needing extra guidance, Convertkit’s deliverability team is available to consult on best practices for timing sends, content formatting, personalization strategies, and other optimization areas to further boost deliverability.
By consolidating customer email under Convertkit’s primary IP, most users enjoy strong deliverability immediately with further tuning guidance available as needed. This allows Convertkit to compete closely with Klaviyo in email placement rates.
Both Klaviyo and Convertkit offer excellent email deliverability through automated list management, analytics improvements, and optimization best practices. Their centralized domains with invested resources in monitoring and maintaining a strong sender reputation achieve high inbox placement across all major ESPs. For users needing consultative deliverability expertise, either platform has proven capabilities in this area making this a tie.
5. Customer Support and Community
Klaviyo provides email, chat, and phone customer support with additional priority services for Enterprise-tier users. Support agents typically respond very quickly, usually within an hour or less for most inquiries. They have deep platform expertise from firsthand experience which allows them to resolve more complex issues faster.
The company also offers a wide range of self-help options including robust documentation of features, weekly live workshop webinars going over platform skills, on-demand video courses through Klaviyo Academy to learn email strategies, and an extremely active online community. Additionally, the Klaviyo blog shares frequent new articles and email examples showcasing best practices using the platform.
For peer community support, the Klaviyo group on Facebook now has over 44K members discussing creative strategies, troubleshooting issues, and sharing success around email marketing automation tactics using Klaviyo. The high levels of engagement provide further assistance beyond official channels.
Convertkit believes quality customer support drives long-term success on their platform. Support options include email ticketing, live chat conversations, phone calls, and more advanced priority Premium Support packages. While slightly slower to initially respond compared to Klaviyo, customer issues ultimately do get resolved by the Convertkit team.
Self-service help resources include robust documentation of platform features, email marketing video courses, webinars going over tactics and strategies, and a multi-week deliverability boot camp course. Similar to Klaviyo, Convertkit also shares frequent blog content and email creation guides created internally by their own team members.
The Convertkit User Group on Facebook provides community wisdom exchange and discussions albeit at a smaller scale than Klaviyo currently with ~15K members. Still, user posts offer insights and advice for troubleshooting from peer experiences.
Klaviyo is the clear winner for best customer support and community resources due to faster response times to issues, more available support channels like phone and chat, additional Enterprise-level amenities, and a generally wider breadth of helpful self-service documentation and video content. Finally, Klaviyo’s much larger and highly engaged user community on Facebook facilitates more peer learning and connections.
Klaviyo integrates natively with all major e-commerce platforms including Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and many others, making it an ideal solution for ecommerce businesses.
You also get out-of-the-box connectivity with CMS tools like WordPress, HubSpot, Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, and more. Additionally, Klaviyo offers integrations with top CRMs such as Salesforce, Dynamics, HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, and others.
The platform includes a pre-built integration marketplace allowing users to easily connect over 250 common martech stacks and SaaS apps. Klaviyo also supports custom API connections and advanced workflow automation via Zapier for even broader extensibility if needed down the line. A key benefit is the bi-directional syncing of data across channels instead of the manual duplication of efforts.
For online stores specifically, native Klaviyo integrations automatically pull in key e-commerce data points like customer profiles, product catalogs, inventory quantities, order values, and other critical information that enable personalized email and marketing automation campaigns.
CMS tool integration allows simplifying the embedding of various site elements like signup forms, popups, and UI modules. CRM data syncs then help drive smarter customer segmentation strategies.
Given Convertkit’s focus as an email marketing suite first and foremost, it smartly connects with all widely-used email service providers including Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, and others by default. This helps streamline transitioning subscriber lists and campaign history data between ESPs.
Convertkit also has native integration support for over 30+ CMS platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Ghost, Wix, and various specialized blog engines. Tight CMS alignment allows easily embedding opt-in forms, popups, landing pages, and the platform’s webinar capabilities across sites.
For wider connections beyond core email functionality, basic Zapier workflow automation exists to pass subscriber data to and from other martech tools like ActiveCampaign, Zoho CRM, Salesforce CRM, and more. But Convertkit overall is optimized primarily for email.
Klaviyo emerges as the winner for best platform integrations by offering wider e-commerce sync support natively, having broader CRM pipe connections, and aligning deeper across CMS tools compared to Convertkit’s lighter-weight yet more email-centric default links. The ability of Klaviyo to automatically connect data flows bidirectionally across channels gives it superior extensibility.
Klaviyo offers a free forever plan and 2 paid plans:
- Free – Up to 500 monthly email sends, basic features
- Email – $45/month for up to 1,500 contacts and 15K email sends
- Email and SMS Marketing – $60/month to add advanced features like behavioral messaging
Klaviyo also charges based on emails sent once you exceed account thresholds. Overall pricing is competitive for the robust feature set but can get expensive at high volumes when sending emails for a website or e-commerce store.
ConvertKit has a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers, and three paid plans which are as follows:
- Creator Plan – $9/month with unlimited forms, landing pages, and broadcasts for up to 300 subscribers.
- Creator Pro Plan – $25/month for up to 300 subscribers. It comes with additional features to sell digital products and subscriptions, as well as audience tagging and segmentation tools.
Additional subscribers can be added for a per-subscriber rate. Features like landing pages, automation, and integrations are included at all plan levels.
ConvertKit pricing offers a generous free trial and transparent pricing without surprise fees. The platform is affordably priced for creators and small businesses, which simplifies the work of choosing email marketing software for your business.
Klaviyo wins for the pricing model with scaled transparent rates based on usage across email plus multiple owned channels. Convertkit costs reflect mainly email list size rather than overall customer engagement. For high-volume users, Klaviyo pricing becomes more affordable long term.
8. Reviews and Reputation
Klaviyo earns glowing reviews from individual users, professional experts, and industry analysts alike for its powerful owned channel features that extend beyond basic email. The automation workflows are intuitive with flexible segmentation capabilities.
Comprehensive platform integrations, strong email analytics, and proven ability to directly drive revenue growth by leveraging owned media also receive praise.
The platform averages around 4.7 out of 5 stars on various peer-review sites like G2. Positive user feedback commonly focuses on Klaviyo’s ease of building workflows, advanced subscriber grouping options, deep connections across valuable business tools, transparency into campaign performance, and the overall ability to boost sales through owned channels not just third-party ads.
As a purposefully more focused email marketing platform aimed at creators, professional bloggers, coaches, and information publishers, and e-commerce businesses, Convertkit garners very positive reviews particularly for its ease of use by those persona types. The tool earns an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars on various peer-review sites like G2 as well.
Much user praise centers around Convertkit’s intuitive email editor, straightforward automation builder, landing page creation capabilities, and integrated webinar functionality proving simple yet effective for the target customer base.
Some criticisms touch on the lack of deeper e-commerce store support, complex segmentation that requires tags instead of custom criteria, deliverability tracking and optimization limitations, and occasional dependence on development resources.
Given its wider owned channel marketing features, superior advanced functionality, and excellent scalability far beyond basic email, Klaviyo emerges as the winner over Convertkit when comparing aggregated user ratings and expert opinions that highlight exceptional flexibility paired with strong results.
However, Convertkit still shines brilliantly for simpler email marketing use cases centered around engaging sequences.
- What types of email campaigns can you create in Klaviyo?
Klaviyo offers comprehensive email campaign creation including welcome flows, automated campaigns, broadcast emails, abandoned cart recovery, win-back series, surveys, post-purchase nurturing, event triggers, seamless workflows between email and SMS, and more.
- Does Klaviyo offer A/B testing for emails?
Yes, Klaviyo has a robust A/B testing tool called Experiments allowing easy split testing of subject lines, content blocks, and send times, for precise email and automation optimization.
- What level of segmentation is possible in Klaviyo?
Klaviyo offers incredibly advanced segmentation with virtually limitless combinations of filters across categories like demographics, behaviors, order data, activity metrics, integrations, and custom attributes. Dynamic real-time calculated properties are supported too.
- Is Klaviyo GDPR compliant?
Klaviyo helps users follow required GDPR rules around permission marketing, access/deletion rights, data processing transparency, subscriber consent tracking, and acceptable use policies to achieve full compliance.
- Does Convertkit offer webinars alongside email marketing?
Yes, Convertkit’s integrated Sequence product provides full webinar hosting capabilities, landing pages, and tight email marketing alignments allowing easy automation based on webinar performance.
- What e-commerce platforms can integrate with Convertkit?
Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and other webhook platforms can pass key data into Convertkit for triggers and custom email flows. But support lags more advanced ESPs.
- How are emails created in Convertkit?
Convertkit focuses heavily on ease of use, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder with support for sections, dynamic content, images, and templates alongside automation workflows.
- Is Convertkit rating-focused for email deliverability?
Yes, Convertkit tools emphasize list hygiene using rating signals like opens, clicks, and complaints to optimize ongoing reputation, similar to other dedicated ESPs.
Choose Klaviyo If…
You sell products online and want deep e-commerce integrations, advanced personalization, and comprehensive email/SMS automation tied to your store. Klaviyo’s owned-channel marketing focus makes it ideal for DTC e-commerce brands needing custom flows.
Flexible segmentation, granular tracking, and custom metrics also allow full customization for high-volume B2B enterprises. The scalability and power of Klaviyo make it a platform able to serve both mainstream and more complex niche use cases well.
It’s also worth noting that Klaviyo isn’t for everyone; this platform is fairly specific in what it does, so if you’ve realized you might need something different, check out my Klaviyo alternatives article.
Choose Convertkit If…
You are a creator, influencer, blogger, or info publisher who wants an easy-to-use ESP focused on growing your audience. Convertkit provides excellent templates, automation, and webinars perfect for lead gen and nurture email campaigns.
The gentle learning curve also suits those without more technical skills. However, large enterprises may require added functionality available in other tools. Ultimately Convertkit squares the circle between simplicity and customization.
Choosing the right email and marketing automation platform tailored to your business needs is critical to growth. Still, if you have questions about whether Klaviyo or Convertkit better fits your use case, ask in the comments below! Our team would be happy to offer personalized platform recommendations.