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Privy Review: Is it the best tool to start off?

By Stacy Kimbell

Last update: September 18, 2023

Looking for an email marketing tool for your Shopify platform? Maybe you’ve considered Privy.

What is Privy anyway?

Privy is a top email marketing platform that helps ecommerce businesses build their contact lists, create outstanding campaigns, and send shopping reminders. 

As you’ll see in this Privy review, the platform has an intuitive, clear-cut interface that allows users to build powerful email campaigns easily. 

It also has some significant features for ecommerce stores, such as coupon codes, product blocks, and seamless integration to platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. 

With a Shopify rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, you can tell that many online store owners using this platform have good things to say about it.

So, is Privy the best email marketing software solution for you? This Privy review discusses the tool in more detail to help you decide. 

Let’s dive right into it. 

Is the tool right for me?

How can you tell if Privy is the best tool for your business? 

Privy is one of the Shopify ecosystem’s most popular email marketing tools.

One of Privy’s most outstanding features is its list-building popups and displays. Privy does well at helping businesses grow their marketing lists by providing engaging signup forms and landing pages. 

This and its powerful segmentation feature allow businesses to send automated campaigns to targeted audiences. 

That being said, the platform may not be suitable for all types of businesses.

Here are the types of businesses that are more likely to find Privy ideal versus those that may prefer other options.

Best for:
  • Ecommerce beginners focused on growing their contact lists
  • Bloggers
  • Small to mid-sized businesses
Not recommended for:
  • Large enterprises
  • Established ecommerce businesses
  • Companies with large contact lists

Whether Privy is right for you will depend on your business’s needs, structure, and budget. Luckily, we analyze each of Privy’s features in the next section of this Privy review and later compare the platform to a few of its top competitors.

This will give you a holistic look at Privy’s capabilities and pricing. 

Let’s get started.

Privy screenshots

Screenshots from Privy platform

Privy features: An in-depth review

Here’s a quick comparison of Privy’s features against top competitors in the market.

Feature
Ease of signing up
Intuitive email builder
Modern-looking email templates
Unique coupon codes
Email personalization
Pre-built automated workflows
Modern-looking signup forms
Landing page builder
Signup form/landing page analytics
Customer segmentation
Robust email campaign analytics
Customer support 24/7
Seamless integrations with ecommerce platforms
Compatibility with other marketing channels
Feature
Privy
Omnisend
Shopify Email
MailerLite
Ease of signing up
Very easy
Very easy
Extremely easy
Very easy
Intuitive email builder
Modern-looking email templates
Unique coupon codes
Email personalization
Pre-built automated workflows
Yes, only structure, no copy
Modern-looking signup forms
Landing page builder
Signup form/landing page analytics
Customer segmentation
Robust email campaign analytics
Customer support 24/7
Yes, for all customers
Seamless integrations with ecommerce platforms
Yes, Shopify only
Compatibility with other marketing channels
Yes, FB audiences only

Next, we’ll review each of the above features in detail so you can gauge Privy’s capabilities against other industry players.

Ease of getting started ★★★★★

Privy’s user interface is pretty direct, so it’s easy even for beginners to get started. The signup process is also straightforward. No complicated steps are involved, and you won’t need your credit card details for the free trial. 

You can sign up with Shopify and connect your store directly or use your business details and register on their home page. 

Privy’s interface is visually appealing and not too cluttered. Every menu and submenu item is easy to trace. The structure has an intuitive logical flow and there are no unusual titles.

Building an email campaign ★★★★★

Privy has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email campaign builder just like some other email marketing platforms. You can easily add your logo to your email content and change the structure of your layout.

Privy also provides some useful content blocks to help ecommerce marketers make the most of their mailing lists. These include:

  • Product block: This helps you drag product images and descriptions into your email content directly from the product catalog on your online store.
  • Coupon codes: You can add both master and unique coupon codes to your email campaign and offer your customers personalized discounts.
  • Timers: These help you add urgency to your promotions or sales. By including countdowns, you can drive more engagement and, ultimately, more conversion.

There are over 20 customizable templates on the Privy email builder if you need inspiration. They’re modern-looking and occasion-ready. 

However, they appear too similar and cover fewer occasions. 

Privy lets you personalize your preheader, subject lines, and email content. However, other personalization features, such as product recommendations, are missing.

While you can conduct an A/B test for signup forms, you can’t do so for emails on Privy. 

Overall, Privy’s email campaign builder is intuitive, ecommerce-focused, and straightforward. We rate it 8/10.

Marketing automation ★★★☆☆

Marketing automation helps businesses send email campaigns and drive sales on autopilot. The Privy marketing automation feature is rather simple compared to other powerful email marketing tools. 

Privy provides five prebuilt, ready-to-go workflows for businesses. These include both the logical flow and email copy. The ready audiences are especially useful for beginners new at building customer journeys.

Some types of emails you can send with Privy include:

  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Purchase follow-up
  • Customer win-back emails
  • Welcome email series
  • Thank you emails

Privy, however, needs the option to build customized automated workflows besides the ones provided. This may be limiting for more experienced marketers or established businesses.

Privy also provides SMS marketing services. However, this is a separate function from email marketing and you can’t combine the two channels into one automated workflow.

Signup forms and landing pages ★★★★★

Sending email campaigns can be an effective way to boost your revenue. But you’d need to build an email list first, which makes list building one of the most crucial features to look for in an email marketing platform.

This section of the Privy review explores Privy’s signup forms and landing pages.

Privy’s list-building functionality is quite exceptional compared to its competitors. For one, there are lots of designs and templates for signup forms, including:

  • Exit-intent popups
  • Spin-to-Win wheels
  • Static banner signup forms

These are all engaging ways to grow your email lists. 

A Plays editor also offers you a way to create high-performing displays faster. This editor lets you access Privy’s top-performing displays from their customer base. 

These displays are fully responsive and incorporate Privy’s best practices, so you won’t have to worry about display settings.

Regarding landing pages, Privy provides over 14 landing page templates you can customize or use out of the box. 

You can also track your list-building reports. The most important metrics include conversion rates, signups, and views, and compare those with industry benchmarks.

Contact management is pretty easy on Privy, too. You can import contacts manually from a spreadsheet file in CSV format or from other integrated platforms like LinkedIn.

Once you upload new contacts to Privy, it takes one to two days to review them for security reasons. This could cause some inconveniences, but it also makes sure you avoid scammy contacts on your list.

Segmentation ★★★★☆

Segmentation is essential as it helps you send more targeted email campaigns. Once you divide your audience by its interests, you can make sure you only send your contacts relevant email campaigns.

Let’s review Privy’s segmentation feature.

Privy offers a robust segmentation feature with many criteria to help you create targeted audiences. You can segment your audience based on various options, such as:

  • Shopping activity
  • Email engagement
  • Lifetime spend
  • Website behavior
  • Order count and value

The software comes with four ready-to-go segments, including:

  • Engaged customers
  • Current customers
  • Potential customers
  • Unengaged customers  

The segmentation part can be sufficient for the vast majority of business cases.

Analytics ★★★☆☆

Tracking important performance metrics is crucial for businesses to make data-driven decisions and improve email campaigns. So, how great is Privy’s analytics feature?

Let’s find out.

Here are some metrics you can track on Privy:

  • Signup rate
  • Unsubscribers
  • Open and Click rates
  • Link clicks
  • Revenue generated
  • Number of orders

Although Privy’s analytics feature looks sufficient, it’s not as comprehensive as other top email marketing tools. For instance, no geolocation reports or device reports are available to monitor performance on different devices. The ecommerce insights seem pretty simple, too. This makes it more suited to the needs of beginner email marketers.

Customer support ★★★☆☆

There is email and chat support available for users on Privy’s paid plans. You can also get one-on-one support for users with 9000+ contacts. Privy doesn’t offer support for users on the free plan and no phone support is available.

Other DIY resources that Privy provides include:

  • Privy blog
  • Masterclass videos
  • A marketing podcast

However, according to Shopify reviews, some users have indicated that Privy’s customer support services may not be as dependable as those offered by other platforms.

Integrations ★★★☆☆

Privy integrates seamlessly with top ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix. Outside of these three applications, the list of Privy integrations is pretty limited. It includes:

  • Attentive
  • Klaviyo
  • Mailchimp 
  • Postscript 
  • Smile.io

This list of integrations might be enough if you are just starting your business. However, in other cases, this list might not be sufficient if you already have an existing stack of applications.

Compatibility with other marketing channels ★★★☆☆

Besides email, Privy also provides an SMS marketing option. It’s, however, a separate tool that’s not integrated with email. This means that you wouldn’t be able to send email and SMS campaigns in a single workflow like you would with tools like Getresponse or Omnisend.

Another limitation to this feature is that it’s only available on the highest tier plan (Growth plan). To add SMS to the free and Starter plans, you’d need to pay an extra $10/month for up to 100 contacts.

Privy pricing plans ★★★☆☆

Is Privy free? How affordable are the pricing plans? This section of the Privy review discusses its pricing and compares it to a few competitors, so you can decide if it’s within your budget.

Privy has one free plan and two paid plans. Its pricing is relatively high compared to other tools on the same level. 

The Privy free plan has limited features, and you can unlock the rest on paid plans. Here’s what you can get for free.

What can you get for free?

These are Privy’s free features:

  • Up to 100 mailable contacts
  • Access to all popup types
  • Advanced popup targeting
  • Sync with email service providers
  • Sync with Shopify coupons

Some crucial features like email marketing automation are limited on the free plan. 

Paid plans offering

Privy provides two paid plans for users, and each includes a conversion feature for list building. The highest tier plan, the Growth plan, comes with the SMS feature too.

Here’s a Privy plans comparison.

Number of subscribers
Privy Starter Plan
Privy Growth Plan
Up to 500
$30
$45
Up to 1,000
$30
$45
Up to 5,000
-
$105
Up to 10,000
-
$180
Up to 50,000
-
$570
Up to 100,000
-
$870

Here’s how Privy’s lowest-tier plan stacks up against its competitors.

Number of subscribers
Free plan
Up to 500
Up to 1,000
Up to 5,000
Up to 10,000
Up to 50,000
Up to 100,000
Number of subscribers
Privy Starter Plan
Omnisend Standard
MailerLite Growing Business
Shopify Email
Free plan
Up to 500
$30
$16
$10
First 10,000 emails are free
Up to 1,000
$30
$20
$15
Up to 5,000
$105
$65
$39
Up to 10,000
$180
$115
$73
Up to 50,000
$570
$330
$289
$1 per 1000 emails above the free 10,000
Up to 100,000
$870
$720
Exceeds Growing Business plan. Switch to Advanced Plan

The above comparison shows that Privy’s subscriptions are more expensive than any other listed tool. 

However, if you compare Privy’s features with its pricing, it seems like it gives you less value for your money compared to other software solutions. 

MailerLite, for instance, provides a wider range of features like Facebook integration, website builder, and email verifier, making it a more suitable option for solopreneurs and startups. It’s equally easy to use and more affordable.

Privy has more ecommerce features than MailerLite but fewer ecommerce features than Omnisend. Omnisend makes for a better Privy alternative for ecommerce businesses of all sizes.

It’s more affordable than Privy, and it offers more advanced features. Omnisend also has in-depth ecommerce analytics, a generous free plan, and excellent customer support for all users.

Privy competitors

Does Privy sound like the perfect option for your business? Maybe you’re looking for more powerful automation or more in-depth ecommerce features and reports. 

Either way, Privy has some shortcomings that may make it a less ideal tool for your business. If this is the case, we picked out the top three alternatives you may want to consider. 

Here’s a brief overview of each.

1. Shopify Email

3.4
Very basic
Free plan

Yes

Price starts at

$1

Stands out for

Great usability, affordable price, simplicity

Best for

Email marketing beginners, small Shopify merchants

Shopify Email is a simple, easy-to-use email marketing tool for beginner marketers using the Shopify ecommerce platform. The application works like a Shopify add-on, making it extremely beginner-friendly. 

It provides beautiful newsletter templates, a simple email automation feature, segmentation capabilities, and all the essential ecommerce marketing features. It’s also highly affordable and suitable for businesses on a budget. 

Shopify Email is a great Privy alternative for Shopify businesses looking for a basic and affordable email marketing tool to send newsletters and optimize ecommerce sales.

Check out our latest in-depth Shopify Email review
Check out our full Shopify Email vs Privy comparison

2. MailerLite

3.9
Very basic
Free plan

Yes

Pricing starts at

$10

Stands out for

Beautiful templates, ease of use, affordability

Best for

Bloggers, solopreneurs, non-profit organizations, startups

MailerLite is another Privy alternative worth considering. It’s known for its ease of use, affordability, and beautiful email and landing page templates. 

It has a broader range of features than Privy, such as paid newsletter subscriptions, an email verifier, and a website creation feature.

It’s more suited for generic businesses looking for an all-in-one email marketing platform to send newsletters. Most of its features are simple, so it’s an excellent alternative for small to medium-sized businesses that aren’t so ecommerce-focused.

Check out our latest in-depth MailerLite review
Check out our full Mailerlite vs Privy comparison

3. Omnisend

4.8
Life-changing superhero
Free plan

Yes

Pricing starts at

$16

Stands out for

Robust automation, gamification in signup forms, unique coupon codes, and modern email templates

Best for

Ecommerce stores of all sizes

Omnisend is a Privy alternative for businesses looking for a more robust ecommerce marketing software solution. It’s more affordable than Privy and has powerful email automation features and more in-depth ecommerce analytics compared to Privy.

It also offers most of its advanced features to users on the free plan, including segmentation, automation, email, SMS, web-push alerts, and more. 

Unlike Privy, you can combine email, SMS, and web push notifications into a single workflow using Omnisend. Users on the free plan also get 24/7 email and chat support.

Check out our latest in-depth Omnisend review
Check out our full Omnisend vs Privy comparison

Privy review: Wrap-up

From this Privy review, it’s undeniably a powerful platform with exceptional list-building capabilities, ecommerce features, and robust segmentation. 

So if you’re running an ecommerce store and are looking for a tool that integrates natively with Shopify, Privy is amongst your best options.

The platform is especially suitable for businesses looking to grow their lists and beginner ecommerce businesses. 

However, if your business is already established, Omnisend may be a better option. Shopify Email is great for smaller businesses on Shopify looking for a simple, affordable tool. 

MailerLite works best for smaller businesses looking for an all-in-one generic tool for newsletters.

Ultimately, your chosen tool should suit your business’s needs.

FAQs

1. What is Privy?

Privy is an email marketing software built to help ecommerce stores make more sales and scale. 

It has an intuitive email campaign builder, powerful segmentation, and engaging signup forms to help store owners build their mailing lists and send targeted email and SMS campaigns.

2. Is Privy better than Mailchimp?

Whether Privy is better than Mailchimp depends on your business’s functionality. Privy is suitable for beginner ecommerce marketers looking to grow their stores. 

It has a list of banners, pop-ups, spin-to-win signup forms, and landing pages for businesses looking to build their lists. 

Mailchimp, on the other hand, is more generic and has a broader range of features for businesses of all types. 

It has more powerful automation, segmentation, and reporting features. It’s, however, not as ecommerce-focused as Privy is and would be better for sending newsletters for other business types.

3. Is Privy free of charge?

Privy is not a free tool. However, it has a free plan that beginners can use to test out its capabilities. The features are limited; you can only send emails to 100 mailable contacts.

Related picks for you

A complete Klaviyo vs Privy comparison
A complete Drip vs Privy comparison
A complete Mailchimp vs Privy comparison
A complete quide toPrivy alternatives

Our team strives to be accurate and unbiased in reviewing email tools. However, we recognize that mistakes can happen, and it’s essential for us to stay up to date. If you come across any errors or things that need to be reviewed again, please let us know.

Stacy Kimbell
Stacy Kimbell
Co-founder & Chief Editor
Stacy Kimbell has nine years of experience in email marketing. She's worked with different email platforms and created many successful email campaigns for online and offline, well-established as well as family businesses. Stacy is excited to share her expertise with readers.