13 January 2021 Comparisons

Pathfinder vs. Mailchimp — Which one is right for your Shopify store?

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You’ve asked for it and here it is! An extensive comparison between Pathfinder and Mailchimp, not to tell you which one is ‘better’, but to help you choose the email tool that is right for your Shopify store.

This comparison features 10 crucial criteria that should be considered when choosing the best email software for Shopify. See how both products compare, then make the best decision.

Let’s jump right in. Here's an overview of all the criteria on which we'll elaborate in detail below:

Remember, the best way to figure out which product suits you best is to try them both. Start your 7-day free Pathfinder trial below - no card, no risk, no commitment.

Launch your first campaign in minutes and watch your profits grow - with Pathfinder, the smarter way to market your Shopify store.

Try it for free for 7 days. No card required. Cancel any time.

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Speed to market

Pathfinder is different from other email marketing solutions on the market as it does the work for you. You have a quick chat and then Pathfinder builds the campaigns, writes the emails, creates the discount codes, etc. This unique functionality makes it possible to create a campaign and go live in just minutes of your time.

Pathfinder creates campaigns & writes the emails for you. You can always edit them however you like, but you'll never have to start from scratch.

Mailchimp lets you choose between several pre-built campaigns, or to build your own from scratch.

Summary: This one is clear as day, it’s simply impossible to beat Pathfinder’s speed to market, even if you type 120 words per minute.

Implementation

Pathfinder is doing most of the work for you. Think of it as an extra employee for your team. The setup is easy and doesn’t require any technical skills. Once you’ve connected to your Shopify store and uploaded your brand assets, Pathfinder has the information it needs to build all kinds of email campaigns for you.

Pathfinder builds the campaigns for you, so you won’t have to worry about a complicated editor, trigger settings, segmentation, etc. Even the emails are built and written for you. If you want, you can edit images & copy in the email editor - easy as pie.

And if you need help, Pathfinder’s customer service team is available around the clock conveniently via chat or phone call (we’re talking humans here, not bots). Give it a try for free, here.

Mailchimp is a very user-friendly tool and with a bit of practice, you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Their help documents and videos are a great resource to educate yourself and move beyond the pre-built campaigns to more complex ones that suit your store's unique needs.

If you are on a paid plan you also get access to their 24/7 email and chat support.

Summary: Both tools are relatively easy to use. The difference is that Pathfinder does the work for you, whereas with Mailchimp you build it yourself.

Email Design

Pathfinder creates the emails for you in the style of your brand (fonts, colors, logo, taglines etc.). You can make all the edits you want, but you won't build it from a clean slate. If you were using a different platform and want emails to be rebuilt in the same style, you can simply send them to our support, and they will create them for you.

Mailchimp is a highly design-driven brand and their templates look fantastic. You can find something that suits your brand in the template library. Or, if you are a good designer yourself, you can use their email editor and build it from scratch exactly how you want it.

Summary: If you want your emails designed for you, choose Pathfinder. If you like to design them yourself, Mailchimp is your choice.

Marketing Automation Features

Pathfinder was built to end the dilemma many small eCommerce merchants face: really clever marketing automation requires too much time & expertise and is simply too expensive for many small online businesses - but without it, it’s almost impossible to compete.

The campaigns Pathfinder builds include tested and proven automation features that will increase your revenue while improving the relationship with your customers.

The campaigns Pathfinder builds for you in just seconds include world-class logic and smart timings, so you never leave money on the table nor spam your contacts with irrelevant messages.

You can be sure to never miss an opportunity. For example, re-send an email if it wasn’t opened with a new subject line, or to send out an extra offer to people who were close to buying. Pathfinder is built specifically for eCommerce and will increase your ROI in no time. Ready to boost your ROI? Create a free account here.

Mailchimp also knows of the importance of automation in eCommerce even though it's a product not specifically built for online merchants. It offers automations that can be triggered by a variety of behaviors.
The actions that trigger an automation, however, are limited. You can choose from about 25 triggers and most of them are very simple ones for example “if Person X opens Email 1, then send Person X Email 2.”

You can choose between pre-set automations or to build them from scratch - there is no option to get them built specifically for your store. This means you’ll have to choose between a one-size-fits-all solution or building it yourself. The latter can be challenging for people who aren’t email marketing experts as you’ll probably leave money on the table.

Summary: If you’re looking for basic automation only, Mailchimp is a solid choice. If you’re looking for advanced automation that will give you an edge over your competitors and increase your ROI, go with Pathfinder.

Shopify Integration

Pathfinder was built specifically for eCommerce and is an official Shopify app on their app store. It syncs automatically and is always up to date - no matter what changes you make in your shop. Because of that sync, it’s possible to go live with your first campaign in just minutes as Pathfinder can just grab all the customer & product info and make use of it. Shopify users love it - with a 4.9/5 stars Pathfinder has one of the highest ratings on the Shopify app store.

Mailchimp left Shopify and is not officially on the app store anymore. However, it’s still possible to sync up via a third-party integration or custom website code. Be aware that the sync via a third-party can take up to 24 hours.

Summary: Both products sync with your Shopify store, but only Pathfinder does it directly. If you want to avoid the hassle of using custom code or third-party integration, Pathfinder is the way to go.

Marketing Assistant Features

Pathfinder builds and sends out marketing campaigns for you, but it also acts as your marketing consultant. It studies the data of your store & campaigns (and the data of over 2000 merchants in the network) and makes sure you can make your best decisions. It will ask you things that you might not have considered and also provide suggestions specifically for your store. Follow Pathfinder’s advice and watch your ROI increase.

Pathfinder gathers all the info it needs to create a profit-boosting campaign via an easy-to-navigate chat.

Mailchimp doesn’t give you advice on how to run your marketing campaigns. You can hire a Mailchimp expert to help you get the most out of the product or go through their blog and find answers there, but it won’t tell you automatically what should be considered for your store.

Summary: Pathfinder grows with your store, the more data it gathers, the more it will help you to increase your ROI. If you already know all the tricks, Mailchimp is your choice.

Segmentation

Pathfinder lets you tag customers which is an important form of dynamic customer segmentation. People’s behavior changes, a tag-based system helps to keep up with the constantly shifting environment. Pathfinder makes sure to push personalized and relevant content to your customers, placing them in the right campaigns at the right time. For example, it allows you to treat returning customers differently to first-time shoppers. This is the level of customer data and personalization that the big guys like Amazon utilize - and just because you're a small business doesn't mean you have to miss out on this! Start a free trial, here.

Mailchimp is a list-based product, which means you create an audience for each segment you want. Segmentation in Mailchimp works similarly to the automation features - you can choose between pre-built segments or you can build your own. Be careful though, you run the risk of getting charged twice for each person if you happen to send an email to people who are in 2 audiences.

Summary: Pathfinder’s segmentation is highly dynamic and will make sure the right people enter (and leave!) a campaign at the right time. Mailchimp also gives you lots of segmentation options but they are much more static and don’t allow for the same level of personalization.

Analytics

Pathfinder takes analytics to a new level. You will get an easy-to-read dashboard and weekly email reports - sweet. But here it comes: with enough data, those reports are more than just convenient summaries. They’ll include suggestions from Pathfinder, telling you how you can improve your campaigns. This is possible because Pathfinder doesn’t just gather data for you, it studies it, compares against best practices, and comes up with improvements. It will suggest (and set up!) A/B tests on various aspects of your emails and campaigns — if you want to try them, with one click Pathfinder will make amends and allow you to edit or send to market. The more data comes in the smarter Pathfinder gets — and the more successful your marketing.

Besides the dashboard, Pathfinder also provides reports & specific improvement suggestions conveniently sent to your inbox.

Mailchimp focuses on standard metrics like opening-rates (not for plain text emails), click rates, etc. If you want more, there is a  “goals” plugin you can download, to customize specific goals for example if a subscriber went to a specific product page. You can also set up A/B tests in Mailchimp to figure out what setup or subject line works best.  

Summary: Both tools offer you the opportunity to track performance, with Mailchimp you set it up and analyze the data yourself. Pathfinder does the work for you and sends you specific suggestions for improvement.

Reputation

Pathfinder is and up and coming brand, challenging the way email marketing is done in eCommerce. It's one of the fastest-growing and highest-rated apps on the Shopify app store.

Mailchimp is one of the leading brands in email marketing and trusted by thousands of businesses.

Summary: Up and coming vs. established brand - choose what fits you best.

Pricing

Pathfinder offers you a 7-day free trial, many merchants already see results in this short period of time. After the free trial pricing starts at $45 per month. Since 92% of merchants see positive ROI in the first month, Pathfinder basically pays for itself. Give it a try for free, here.

Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2000 contacts and 1 audience. For smart segmentation, which is key in eCommerce, you'll need more than 1 audience though. The recommended plan starts at $14.99 per month.

Summary: Simply comparing the prices, Mailchimp is the cheaper option of the two, but Pathfinder makes sure you'll get your money's worth in no time.

Conclusion

By now you should have a good idea of what these two products offer. If you want your email marketing done for you sign-up for Pathfinder. A marketing expert built into an app, that was developed specifically to increase your Shopify store's revenue. Join 2000+ merchants who are already doing email marketing the smart way 👇

Start your free trial

Launch your first campaign in minutes and watch your profits grow - with Pathfinder, the smarter way to market your Shopify store.

Try it for free for 7 days. No card required. Cancel any time.

Corin Camenisch

Marketing Manager at Pathfinder

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