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If you’re a small business (less than $1M in annual revenue) and on Shopify, then we recommend using Shopify email for your email marketing. Once you scale beyond $1M, we think it makes sense to switch to Klaviyo, a more robust email platform.
Why do we recommend Shopify email for small businesses? It’s cheap (free!) and easy. It’s free up to 10,000 email sends per month (Mailchimp is only free up to 1,000). Additionally, since it’s made by Shopify, it will have the tightest integration with Shopify, and you will be able to manage all of your email marketing from a single platform. This will also save time in email creation. Shopify email will automatically bring in your brand assets from Shopify (colors, fonts, logo etc.), so you can save time creating emails. We think it beats Mailchimp for small businesses that are on Shopify.
Is it perfect? No - there are tons of limitations, but it does enough to get your business off the ground and scaled to a point where a more advanced email platform makes sense.
Shopify Email is Shopify’s email marketing tool. It doesn’t come pre-installed on Shopify, but it’s easy to add to your store. Just download it for free in the Shopify app store. It doesn’t have every feature you might want, and its limitations can be frustrating, but we think it gives you everything you need to get your store off the ground and to prove product market fit. We think it's a great solution for smaller stores to use until they scale to a point where a more fully featured tool like Klaviyo makes sense.
The first benefit of Shopify email is its price - free. Yep, free 99. Can’t beat that. It’s free up to 10,000 email sends per month. This is much more generous than Mailchimp’s free plan which only offers 1,000 free sends per month. And if you happen to send more than 10,000 emails, then they only charge you $1 per additional 1,000 emails you send.
It also offers all of the core functionality that your email program needs and will fill in the gaps of the out-of-the-box Shopify email capabilities. Lets zoom out a bit and talk email marketing 101. There are three basic types of eCommerce emails: transactional emails, flows, and campaigns. Shopify out-of-the-box will cover transactional emails (e.g., order confirmation, shipping confirmation etc.) and certain automated emails that are called flows / triggers (e.g., abandoned checkout, cart, and browse). If you don’t have these abandoned flows set up, then do that now. You are leaving money on the table if you don’t. The out of the box functionality is great but wont help with certain flows and doesn’t have campaign functionality (e.g, sending promotional emails, messages from the founder etc.). This is where the Shopify Email app comes in.
When you add the Shopify Email app, you will extend the email capability of Shopify. You will have access to a drag and drop email editor that will allow you to design emails without ever touching a line of code. You will also have access to 33 pre-built templates that cover things like product restocks, sales & promotions, and new product launches. Between the templates and the drag and drop editor you will be able to cover the bases for your campaign emails.
With the Shopify Email app, you will also have access to more email marketing automations. You will be able to set up a welcome email sequence (the automated emails a subscriber gets when they sign up for you email) and customer winback emails (e.g., sending emails with a discount to previous customers who haven’t purchased recently). With the Shopify Email app, you should be able to set up all the basic flows.
In order to collect email addresses on your website, you will need to download another free app from Shopify called Shopify Forms. With this app you can customize an email popup within Shopify. It will let you style the popup and determine when to show the popup to users (e.g., on the first page a user visits after 15 seconds). It's annoying that this isn't included in the email app, but the process to add and use this app is straightforward.
Shopify Email isn’t perfect. There are tons of limitations. To start, there are only 33 pre-built email templates compared to 100s at competitors. It's drag and drop builder can be frustrating at times because it's pretty basic. You'll likely have to forget about any complex email designs. Finally, it doesn’t have advanced triggers / automation or segmentation, and has only basic analytics. This is why we think you should eventually switch to a more fully featured competitor like Klaviyo.
Shopify Email Pricing:
Shopify Email is free for up to 10,000 email sends per month. We love this pricing (you can’t beat free). If you send over 10,000 emails, you will be charged overage fees of 1/10th of a penny ($0.001) per additional email, but we think you should switch to a paid option before you hit that threshold.
Shopify Email Alternatives:
SMB Tools - Small & Medium Size Businesses ($0-$50M+ annual revenue)
Yes, Shopify offers email marketing through its free Shopify Email app available in the Shopify App store.
Is Shopify Email good?
We think it’s “good enough”. It’s free and it’s got enough features to get your store up and running where you can prove out and scale your business before switching to a more advanced email marketing tool.
How does Shopify email work?
Shopify comes with order notification emails built into its platform. In order to send additional marketing emails (welcome emails, promotional emails etc.), you will have to download the free Shopify Email app from the app store.
Does Shopify email have automation?
Yes, Shopify has email automation. It isn’t the most advanced automation, but it will allow you to do core things like send cart abandon emails, welcome emails, and back in stock emails.
Is Shopify email free?
Yes, it’s free up to 10,000 email sends per month. If you send over 10,000 emails in a month, you will be charged $1 per 1,000 additional email sends.
What are the drawbacks of Shopify Email?
Shopify Email isn’t perfect. Its limitations include: limited pre-built templates (33 total), its drag and drop builder is somewhat basic, it doesn’t have advanced triggers / automation or segmentation, and has only basic analytics.
Can you use Shopify to create an email popup to collect email addresses?
In order to use Shopify to create an email popup on your Shopify store, you will need to download a free app made by Shopify called Shopify Forms. With Shopify Forms, you can customize an email popup including the look of the popup and when it pops up.
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