Shopify launches email product to do battle with old partner Mailchimp

Shopify announced on Tuesday that the e-commerce company is expanding into the email marketing space. This new product line puts the Ottawa-based company in direct competition with former partner Mailchimp.

Shopify and Mailchimp faced a public falling out in March, following disagreement over Mailchimp’s integration.

Shopify Email is an email marketing tool designed specifically for Shopify merchants, which recently reached one million. The tool is meant to help create, run, and track email marketing campaigns within Shopify Marketing. The e-commerce giant noted that it built the email tool using its marketing app extension, which was launched in 2018.

“Shopify Email is one of many marketing apps available within Shopify,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve partnered with the largest advertising platforms so that you can now run ads on Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat. By opening up our APIs, third-party marketing apps including Seguno, Omnisend, and SMSBump have also integrated into Shopify so that you can run a variety of marketing campaigns easily.”

One email marketing tool that is notably missing from Shopify’s integrations is marketing automation platform and an email marketing service Mailchimp. Shopify’s decision to create its own email marketing tool follows a public falling out, earlier this year, between Shopify and Mailchimp. In March, Mailchimp reportedly asked Shopify to remove the Mailchimp for Shopify integration from its marketplace, attributing the decision at the time to privacy concerns that had emerged from Shopify’s updated terms of service.

For its part, Shopify argued that it had growing concerns around Mailchimp, claiming that Mailchimp refused to respect Shopify’s Partner Program Agreement and had created a poor merchant experience for users.

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Regarding its announcement of Shopify Email, Shopify added that the tool is part of a broader strategy to make digital marketing easier from within its platform. The company noted that in 2018 it consolidated other services into Shopify Marketing, hoping to make it easier for merchants to run marketing campaigns.

“As we continue to support you on your entrepreneurial journey, we want to provide you with a powerful back-office so that you can focus on building lasting relationships with your customers and growing your business, without any technical or marketing expertise,” Shopify wrote in a statement to its merchants. “For our third-party app developers, we’re excited to extend marketing capabilities with more workflows and deeper customization features for our one million merchants around the world.”

Shopify Email is said to offer highly customizable email templates, brand assets, and product content from merchant’s stores. Marketing emails to customers can be sent using a merchant’s domain name, and the tool also offers marketing campaign analytics measuring clickthrough rates and products added to carts and purchased.

Shopify has also recently been expanding into other verticals, including growing its brick-and-mortar presence, digital ads, and developing fulfillment centres. Shopify Email is currently available to select merchants and is set to roll out more widely early next year.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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