Email marketing platforms like Klaviyo and SendGrid allow business owners to easily create, send, and track email campaigns to engage customers and drive sales. Choosing the right one is crucial since email is still the top channel for lead generation and customer retention. This article will compare these two industry leaders to help you determine which solution best fits your needs.
In this Klaviyo vs SendGrid comparison, we’ll evaluate the two platforms across several categories that are most important when selecting an email service provider: market position and popularity, ease of use, design customization, features and functionality, performance, customer support, pricing, and reviews/reputation.
Comparing criteria in this way means you can better align platform capabilities with your email marketing objectives — saving time and leading to better results. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to confidently choose whether Klaviyo or SendGrid is the best email marketing platform for growing your small business.
1. Understanding the Basics
Klaviyo was founded in 2012 by Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen. It quickly became one of the most popular email marketing platforms, especially among ecommerce businesses. Klaviyo currently has over 90,000 customers.
SendGrid was launched in 2009, and founded by Isaac Saldana, Tim Jenkins, and Jose Lopez. As of 2022, SendGrid delivers emails to over 90,000 paying customers.
Both Klaviyo and SendGrid hold strong market positions, but Klaviyo seems geared more specifically toward e-commerce stores while SendGrid serves a wider variety of business types.
2. Features and Functionality
Marketing Automation Platform
Klaviyo has powerful automation features that allow you to create customized workflows to segment contacts, trigger emails, and customize experiences.
You can create multi-step automation flows based on behaviors like email opens, clicks, website visits, cart abandons, and more. For example, you can send a browsing abandonment email to re-engage visitors or a customized coupon to those who left items in their cart.
Klaviyo offers drag-and-drop builders to create automation without coding. You can also leverage APIs and webhooks to connect Klaviyo to other platforms. Their open-and-click activity tracking allows for dynamic follow-ups based on user engagement.
Overall, Klaviyo shines with e-commerce-focused automation that revolves around the shopping experience and email personalization. Their automation tool is easy to use for marketers without more advanced technical skills.
The Marketing Campaigns tool within SendGrid provides visual automation workflows. You can create segments, set triggers based on behaviors, schedule emails, and leverage drag-and-drop editing.
SendGrid offers less complexity compared to Klaviyo with simpler workflows, scheduling, and basic email editing capability. Developers can tap into the SendGrid API to add deeper integration and logic into campaigns.
The automation functionality covers the basics like welcome emails, browsing abandons, and shipping notifications but doesn’t have the depth tailored to e-commerce stores that Klaviyo contains out of the box.
In summary, Klaviyo provides more advanced email marketing automation tuned specifically to convert and retain online shoppers. SendGrid focuses more broadly across use cases.
This Sendgrid Klaviyo comparison shows that the latter wins for its extremely robust e-commerce-focused automation. The combination of an easy drag-and-drop interface along with intricate workflows for shopping behavior creates a powerful tool that helps businesses to boost sales.
Klaviyo offers hundreds of professionally designed email templates for welcome series, promotions, announcements, holidays, and more. You can customize templates with your branding, import images, and add your content to the software using the drag-and-drop editor.
There are tailored templates for e-commerce categories like apparel, food and beverage, health, beauty, home goods, and specialty stores that make creating emails easy. Klaviyo also includes templates for checkout, order updates, browse abandonment, re-engagement flows, and more.
You have a high level of customization options on your account – from colors to fonts to layouts when editing any template. This flexibility helps ensure on-brand consistency across your email campaigns.
SendGrid provides professionally designed responsive email templates you can customize for your brand. There are general templates for promotions, newsletters, alerts, and more.
The template variety focuses more broadly rather than deep ecommerce-specific options. You can edit colors, text, images, and layouts with a simple click-to-edit interface when customizing SendGrid templates.
While editable, the level of customization and provided assets is not as robust compared to Klaviyo. SendGrid offers enough flexibility for basic branding needs but creative agencies may require heavier editing capabilities.
Klaviyo wins for its expansive template library focused specifically on high-converting emails for e-commerce stores. The combination of volume, customization options, and out-of-the-box designs tuned for online retail gives Klaviyo the edge.
Klaviyo enables you to create highly advanced segments and groups based on detailed criteria. You can segment by email engagement metrics, on-site behaviors like product/page views, custom events via API, order data, user profiles, and more.
For example, you could target customers who haven’t purchased in 60 days, viewed a certain product category, read your latest blog post, attended a past event, and more. Dynamic lists auto-update as customers meet defined criteria so you don’t have to manage group membership manually.
Granular data from Klaviyo combined with customizable segmentation logic lets you easily define niche audiences for targeted messaging all from an intuitive drag-and-drop workflow builder.
SendGrid offers contact segmentation with Marketing Campaigns. You can group contacts by engagement with emails and newsletters, profile info, and basic purchase behaviors.
Segmentation relies more on static lists that would need regular updates versus Klaviyo’s real-time dynamic approach. SendGrid can integrate with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms to access more data points for segmentation as well.
Overall Klaviyo has more advanced, flexible ways to segment your audience while easily tapping into rich customer data from your store. SendGrid focuses more on email engagement and general CRM data.
Klaviyo wins for its dynamically updating, customizable contact segments powered by deep e-commerce data. This level of easy, intelligent list building enables targeted email campaigns that drive results.
Klaviyo offers robust email analytics that track opens, clicks, bounce rates, spam complaints, unsubscribes, and more. You get real-time reporting on email campaign performance.
Metrics are segmented by groups and individual contacts so you can measure engagement for each customer lifecycle stage. Dashboard charts visualize trends over time. For more analysis, you can export raw data or integrate Klaviyo analytics into business intelligence tools like Google Data Studio.
Klaviyo also tracks attributed revenue per email to accurately measure campaign ROI along with deeper web analytics for traffic sources, top pages, conversion events, and abandoned carts.
SendGrid provides email activity analytics for opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes. You can view delivery metrics for emails sent along with high-level engagement tracking.
Reporting covers email-specific factors but lacks deeper website analytics for traffic and conversions. There are export options available for additional analysis as well. Compared to Klaviyo, the scope of analytics is more limited, especially for e-commerce use cases.
Klaviyo wins for having superior analytics that goes beyond basic email engagement data to provide a unified view of both marketing campaign performance and granular website interactions. This complete visibility enables informed optimization to drive more sales.
Klaviyo offers SMS/text message marketing in addition to email. You can capture mobile numbers when visitors join email lists to send both SMS and email together in campaigns.
The platform also provides free access to their own Klaviyo Email Experience Grader. This tool can audit and score the deliverability of your existing emails to uncover areas for optimization.
Additionally, Klaviyo Integrates with other channels like web push notifications, Facebook ad custom audiences, and chatbots for cross-channel engagement beyond email.
SendGrid offers unique services through its library of Email API integrations. Developers can tap into open-source plugins and SMTP relays for more customization and control.
There is also Marketing Campaigns University which is a free training platform focused specifically on optimizing SendGrid email best practices from deliverability to analytics and more.
Both Klaviyo and SendGrid provide unique extra capabilities that set them apart. Klaviyo excels at cross-channel execution while SendGrid offers more technical customization. Calling it a tie based on differing platform strengths.
3. Ease of Use
Klaviyo provides an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes email creation and automation accessible for beginners. The dashboard uses clean, colorful visual icons that are well-organized.
Getting started only takes a few minutes to connect your email list and start sending. Detailed tooltips appear for guidance as you build campaigns with no coding needed. The platform is purpose-built for ecommerce marketers so the terminology and workflows align to retail needs.
The learning curve is minimal even for those with no prior email marketing experience. Klaviyo offers constant tiny tips and recommendations based on best practices to guide your strategy.
SendGrid focuses more on developers, requiring a bit higher technical skill to get started. The menu navigation and layout deliver a lot of technical functionality but aren’t as visually guided for beginners compared to Klaviyo.
You’ll need to be comfortable with some basic coding concepts around API and integrations to fully leverage SendGrid’s capabilities. Support content caters more to a technical audience. SendGrid can still work for non-developers but presents a more initial learning curve.
Klaviyo wins for having the most intuitive user interface that enables both technical and non-technical users to create effective email campaigns. The visually guided, drag-and-drop workflow builder accelerates time-to-value with a minimal learning curve required to drive results.
4. Email Deliverability
Klaviyo was built for high-volume email sending with dedicated deliverability tools to maximize inbox placement. Features like list cleaning, spam testing, inbox monitoring, and ISP relationship management come standard.
Klaviyo Send ensures proper authentication like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for deliverability. Each customer gets a dedicated IP and automatic warming to maintain the sender’s reputation. You can enable an additional PCI-compliant dedicated IP specifically for checkout and transactional emails.
Granular analytics provide visibility into email engagement, spam complaints, and blocks by major ISPs. This helps quickly identify and address areas impacting email deliverability when sending high-volume campaigns.
SendGrid prioritizes deliverability across its global email infrastructure that drives billions of emails per day. All standard accounts include automatic authentication, domain white-labeling, and statistics for major ISPs.
You can schedule dedicated IP purchases as needed to scale email volume while maintaining the sender’s reputation. SendGrid handles list importing, data hygiene, inbox placement monitoring, and ISP outreach on your behalf behind the scenes.
Robust email activity feeds provide visibility into blocks, bounces, and other factors impacting email delivery. Enterprise-grade tools are available to safeguard inbox delivery at scale.
Both Klaviyo and SendGrid offer enterprise-grade email deliverability capabilities out of the box, including dedicated IPs, automatic authentication protocols, inbox monitoring, and deep analytics into ISP engagement. The two are evenly matched when it comes to protecting the sender’s reputation for those planning high-volume email campaigns.
5. Customer Support and Community
Klaviyo offers 24/7 email and live chat support to all pricing plans. When you ask a question, you can get your answer quickly and you also get access to a dedicated Customer Success Manager for more complex issues or strategic guidance as you scale your email marketing initiatives with Klaviyo.
There are thousands of On-Demand Learning resources from videos to step-by-step articles that provide self-serve assistance across the platform. Klaviyo also monitors all support tickets to rapidly develop new help documentation for common questions.
Active community forum discussions and an exclusive Facebook group for Klaviyo customers create opportunities to connect with over 100,000 peers.
SendGrid provides 24/7 ticketed email support and live chat for all accounts. Higher-tier plans include 1:1 phone assistance. There is also a public support community to search for help articles or ask questions to other users.
Self-serve support resources cover platform tutorials, onboarding checklists, and developing with SendGrid. You can access webinars and developer docs for coding help. SendGrid does not offer the same breadth of community engagement channels compared to Klaviyo.
Klaviyo wins for providing an industry-leading combination of robust self-serve help resources, 24/7 live support, and a large peer community to accelerate email marketing success. The breadth and depth across learning channels make onboarding smooth plus ongoing education ensures users continuously optimize performance.
Klaviyo integrates with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. There are also 200+ native apps and Zapier integrations to connect other marketing, CRM, CMS, and analytics tools like Google Analytics and Salesforce.
Out-of-the-box integrations make it easy to centralize your customer data into Klaviyo and then activate linked services across other channels, giving you the ability for unified messaging. Easy steps and screenshots are available to get started fast. You can also leverage Klaviyo’s APIs and webhooks to build custom integrations as needed.
SendGrid offers a range of integrations for all the most popular email marketing, analytics, e-commerce, and CRM platforms through Apps and API integrations.
You can connect web and mobile apps to easily send email-like notifications, alerts, and receipts directly from your systems by integrating the SendGrid API. Integrations enable linking customer and transaction data from other business platforms into your email campaigns.
Klaviyo and SendGrid both have extensive integration options to unify customer data across other marketing and business systems into your email campaigns through pre-built connectors, APIs, and webhooks. Ultimately, the two platforms match each other when it comes to flexibility and ecosystem connectivity.
Klaviyo offers a free plan covering up to 500 contacts and 12,000 emails per month. Paid plans scale up to allow 500,000 contacts and 50 million emails per month.
Pricing is primarily based on number of contacts and email volume sent. Added features include unlimited workflows, SMS credits, and Facebook audience creation/targeting. Custom enterprise quotes are available but expect around $1,500+/month for 1 million contacts.
Overall Klaviyo is very affordable for small businesses but costs scale dramatically with higher email volume at the enterprise tier.
SendGrid offers a forever free plan for up to 100 emails/day and 2,000 contacts that you can simply sign in to access. Their paid plans start at $15/month for 40k emails/month and 5k contacts.
Volume-based pricing gives you discounts as your email usage scales into the millions. Data and analytics are limited on lower tiers. Deliverability features like dedicated IPs cost extra.
Overall, SendGrid is affordably priced for small to mid-market email volume needs. Enterprise-level emailers will appreciate the volume discounts but may find the à la carte fees for certain features pricey.
SendGrid emerges as the price leader due to an extremely generous, yet fully-featured free tier for early-stage companies coupled with cost-efficient scaling capabilities to support the highest email volumes demanded by mature enterprises. The pricing model enables aligning robust email infrastructure to organizations at any business lifecycle stage.
8. Email Marketing Platform Reviews and Reputation
Klaviyo earns outstanding reviews from industry experts and business users alike. G2 scores them 4.7/5 stars based on 1,700+ user reviews praising the platform’s ease of use, great automation, and excellent customer support.
Positive feedback calls out Klaviyo’s intuitive interface, detailed analytics, and top-notch email deliverability specifically for e-commerce stores. Users mention the platform is easy to set up yet powerful underneath for advanced marketers.
Most negative critiques focus on Klaviyo’s high pricing at enterprise-tier volumes. But the functionality and quality of the product itself garner near-universal praise.
SendGrid earns positive reviews as a developer-friendly email service built to send at an enormous scale. The G2 user score averages 4.4/5 stars from 700+ reviews.
Users highlight excellent deliverability along with reliability to send high-volume emails without infrastructure headaches. Developers call out SendGrid’s technical focus plus breadth of API integrations as key strengths.
Less positive feedback centers around complexity for beginners and a lack of deep segmentation or automation compared to other email marketing competitors. But SendGrid wins on power and customization.
With a sterling reputation built on nearly universal praise from industry experts and business users for its intuitive but powerful email marketing platform purpose-built to drive online sales, Klaviyo emerges as the market leader based on customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth. SendGrid also earns positive reviews as a more technical, developer-centric email-sending infrastructure.
9. Klaviyo vs Sendgrid: FAQ’s
- What types of email campaigns can you create in Klaviyo?
Klaviyo enables welcome emails, promotional blasts, transactional messages, automated flows, and more. Robust segmentation and email editing capabilities allow completely custom campaigns.
- Is Klaviyo easy to use for beginners?
Yes, Klaviyo offers an intuitive drag-and-drop editor and interface allowing both technical and non-technical users to create email campaigns with no coding required. Detailed tooltips guide as you build workflows.
- How does Klaviyo handle email deliverability?
Klaviyo was built to send high-volume emails reliably. Deliverability features like dedicated IPs, automatic warming, spam testing, and granular ISP analytics ensure your emails reach the inbox.
- Does SendGrid integrate with CRMs and other marketing platforms?
Yes, SendGrid offers hundreds of integrations to sync data from CRMs, email marketing tools, e-commerce platforms, and more to fuel email campaigns. API options also enable custom connections.
- Can SendGrid handle large email volumes?
Absolutely – SendGrid’s infrastructure delivers billions of emails daily. Load balancing and scale as you grow prevent volume limitations or degraded performance even at enterprise capacity.
- Is SendGrid easy to use for non-technical people?
SendGrid caters more to developers compared to other email platforms. While usable for anyone, expect some initial learning curve around APIs and coding for full platform capability.
Choose Klaviyo If…
You want a purpose-built email + SMS marketing automation platform for e-commerce. Klaviyo’s unmatched features and UX focused 100% on online retail needs make it the obvious choice for any DTC brand looking to drive sales through automated campaigns personalized to how visitors browse and buy.
I also recommend reading my Klaviyo alternatives article if you don’t think Klaviyo is such a good option for your email marketing needs.
Choose SendGrid If…
You need to send extremely high email volumes or want deep customization via code. SendGrid’s developer-friendly APIs and robust delivery infrastructure can scale from lean startups to enterprise teams. It’s an ideal backbone for transactional emails or developers wanting maximum control.
Choosing the right email marketing platform is critical for forming lasting customer relationships that drive business growth. Consider your unique needs – if you have any other questions about Klaviyo, SendGrid, or looking to get started with email campaigns do not hesitate to ask in the comments! Our team is happy to offer tailored guidance so you can pick the best solution with confidence.