As you may have already heard the Shopify Mailchimp breakup is now 2 months in. Up until May 12th Mailchimp users who used Shopify had there integrations in tact but are now scrambling for solutions. It all turned into a he-said she-said thing with Shopify claiming that Mailchimp did not respect their Partner Program Agreement, which requires app partners to share all important data back to the merchant using Shopify’s API to help them run their business.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, claimed that they were the ones who pulled the plug on the integration relationship claiming that Shopify’s updated terms put their users at risk and would have a negative effect on their business.
“For months, we’ve been trying to work with Shopify on terms that would be fair and equitable for both of our businesses. Throughout these negotiations, we refused to agree to terms that jeopardize our users’ privacy and require us to hand over customer data acquired outside of Shopify. From our perspective, that’s not our data to share.”
I imagine that, in the eyes of us marketers, this really was just a big finger pointing game. Time to move on!
So how does this impact you and your email marketing? If you are a Shopify MailChimp user and you lost your Shopify integration there are some workarounds available from MailChimp. However, at best these workarounds are tedious and manual – far from an optimal solution. Email Marketing as well as email automation must be automatic – and thus many users are dropping MailChimp in favor of other platforms to suit their e-commerce needs better.
I have had a handful of clients contact me about this issue about what they should do and how they should move forward. In light of the situation you can choose to stay with MailChimp or move onto another email service provider.
OPTION 1: STAY WITH MAILCHIMP AND USE A 3rd PARTY INTEGRATOR
If you choose to stay with MailChimp you must add add an integration app to connect your Shopify store to MailChimp.
Here’s a list of integration apps that are available in the Shopify App Store that you can choose from:
- Mailchimp Connect (Seguno) > Help Documentation
- Mailchimp by OneSaaS > Help Documentation
- ShopSync > Help Documentation
OPTION 2: GET A NEW ESP
On the other hand if you want to move on and don’t want to deal with 3rd party integrations, I have had a handful of clients take the plunge and completely switch to a new email service provider.
The good news is the options in the ESP marketplace have increased considerably in the past years. The possibilities are endless. Although I am not knowledgeable of all these ESP’s these are a handful that I have known others to work with and with and can recommend.
ActiveCampaign is a top-notch email marketing service with a deep data integration to Shopify.
It will keep a track of all your e-commerce transactions that a contact has used as well as your product details – and from there the possibilities are seemingly endless.
They also have the all important abandoned cart option and website tracking.
What I really love about ActiveCampaign is that you can easily have multiple lists without worrying about “doubling up” on subscribers. This means you can have a customer list, a warm leads list and a newsletter list. You can also have segments within these lists based on the products or product categories that contact is interested in.
The automation interface of ActiveCampaign is also top-rated. You can easily see how your subscribers are flowing through automations and you can even set to remove them from a certain list once finished (or even unsubscribe them – which is great for list cleansing).
Another great benefit? They have a free migration service meaning you don’t have to do the work of setting everything up again.
While ActiveCampaign is very powerful with what it can do, the templates aren’t as pretty as what you will have gotten used to with MailChimp. It also doesn’t have an inbuilt landing page builder so you’ll need to design something yourself.
At a minimum you’ll need the “Plus” level to get the deep data integration. This starts at $49/month
Built specifically for e-commerce, Klavyio is another good option, and the one I work with most often. It also includes a direct integration into Shopify.
As it has been designed for e-commerce instead of general email marketing, the primary focus is much more around products and customer behaviors. This means the dashboards and contact lists show this as a priority.
Additionally, they have a Facebook integration to help create your custom audiences. It also does all you need when it comes to setting up your sign up forms (including landing pages).
However, despite how powerful Klaviyo is with e-commerce I still prefer ActiveCampaign for their automation systems – as they have more triggers (that start an automation) and the ability to add tags and the ability to unsubscribe users autmatically from your list once they complete an automation.
Pricing starts at $20/month. There is a free plan but once you reach 500 emails (total not per month) then you’ll need to pay.
Like MailChimp, MailChimp has a free subscription level which may make it appealing to those of you who are not currently paying for MailChimp.
On the free plan you get the majority of features you need. However, you will be limited in the email template & design capabilities, the total number of emails you can send and it will have the MailerLite logo.
As a starter option, MailerLite is ideal, especially for smaller businesses.
Drip is a new ESP on the scene that has many needed features and an integration with Shopify. Templates are limited but if that doesn’t bother you too much then it should suffice and it has all the basic e-commerce features you require like abanonded cart and automations. Additionally there are some great list building features.
Pricing starts at $49/month.
GetREsponse is another email provider with basic level features that are ideal for beginners and more advanced email marketers. What I like most about GetResponse is that it provides webinar hosting, landing pages, automated sales funnels, and some CRM (customer relationship management) functionality. It really is an all-in-one-marketing solution at an ideal price point.
GetResponse has an ideal automation feature – although to access the core best features you’ll need to be on the ‘Professional‘ plan or higher (i.e., scoring, abandoned cart, web event tracking and automation segmentationresends to un-opens for use in flash sales, etc.
On the downside, I find the analytics a bit buried and difficult to find and sometimes the archaic navigation within the system can take a bit of time to get used to. If you are willing though to give it some time though then it is not too difficult.
Also, be careful – contacts on multiple lists will be counted as two so you must have a good handle on your segmentation when using GetResponse.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While frustrating, the announcement of the Shopify MailChimp divorce has provided many organizations the opportunity to sit down and reassess their email marketing needs.
If sticking with MailChimp is simpler and makes sense to you, then you may just want to add the third-party integrator. I would recommend ShopSync for this as it is free and seems to offer the most features.
If you wanted to switch, Klaviyo looks to be the best option for e-commerce features. However, if you also have a wider email list building strategy you may want to consider ActiveCampaign instead as it seems to be the best of both worlds. If you are looking to get set up with any of these ESP’s feel free to reach out.