Pathfinder vs. Klaviyo — Which one is right for you?

Corin Camenisch
Nov 15, 2019 · 7 min read
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The agony of choice… We’ve all experienced it. Soup or sandwich? Blue or green? Going out or watching Netflix? It’s a tough call sometimes. Unfortunately, we can’t give you the answer, but if you are struggling with choosing between Pathfinder and Klaviyo we might be able to help…

Let’s jump right in. Marketing automation is a wonderful thing and there are many providers out there, but which one is the best match for your business? In this blog post, we are going to focus on Pathfinder and Klaviyo — both available on the Shopify App Store.

You might think the two products are similar, but in fact, they are quite different and here’s how:


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Pathfinder’s Meeting Room — where you chat about your campaigns before they get built.

Klaviyo offers standard automation. Pathfinder automates marketing automation.

Marketing automation as most of us know it means to automate simple and repetitive tasks — think of automated welcome emails when somebody signs up for your newsletter, an order confirmation email or asking customers with a recent purchase to write a review.

Klaviyo offers all the standard automation you would get with a typical email marketing solution. You choose your audience — build your email — send your email — monitor your results on your own.

Pathfinder, on the other hand, takes automation to a whole new level. It does the work for you, providing a fully automated, sophisticated marketing experience — from campaign & email building to automated reporting and implementing suggestions. It offers all that an e-commerce store needs.

You interact with it in the so-called “meeting room” where you have short chats about your campaigns. Pathfinder then combines your input with the data of your store, results of A/B tests, and industry best practices, it even predicts the behavior of specific customer groups. This also means it’s getting smarter with every campaign you run, all while you can focus on all the other things that are on your plate.


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In just minutes, Pathfinder builds multi-channel campaigns like this for you.

Klaviyo lets you hand-build campaigns. Pathfinder hand-builds campaigns for you.

Klaviyo allows you to build your own campaigns, giving you a lot of freedom and flexibility. They call it the visual flow builder, and that’s where you can choose your triggers, segments, etc. to build the campaign you want. You can either build from scratch or choose from their pre-built flows. You have full autonomy on what you’re building and it’s best if you learn about industry best practices before committing time to this.

Pathfinder offers a regular campaign builder as well, however, the magic happens somewhere else: in the meeting room— where you have a quick chat with Pathfinder instructing it on your goals and the type of campaign you want to create. Then — in seconds — based on your requirements Pathfinder builds it for you, ready to check and edit its components or send to market with one click if you’re happy. Ranging from small & simple campaigns to highly sophisticated and personalized ones — all customized for your business needs. Important note: Pathfinder will never send anything to market without your approval.


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Builds emails like this for you…

Klaviyo lets you build your emails yourself. Pathfinder writes emails for you.

With Klaviyo you can choose between several email templates and then build and write them yourself. This works well for people who are good writers, know marketing best practices and how to avoid usual email writing mistakes, plus have some free time on their hands.

Pathfinder, on the other hand, writes the emails for you, based on your choices and your tone of voice. Whether your brand has a more light-hearted approach or likes to keep its communication more practical, Pathfinder will adapt the copy accordingly. It creates promotional codes and personalizes the emails based on shopper data. It knows what subject lines are more likely to convince the receiver to open the email. And if something doesn’t perform as well, it will come up with an alternative. If you want to make some changes or add something extra — not a problem, you can easily adjust what Pathfinder has drafted for you.


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Automatic shopper profiles in Pathfinder.

Klaviyo is a list-based system. Pathfinder is a tag-based system.

When using a list-based system like Klaviyo you need to be aware that it comes with some limitations. Lists are the foundation of old school email marketing, usually describing where the contact is coming from — for example; Newsletter or an email blast.

A tag-based system like 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.


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Campaign dashboard in Pathfinder.

Klaviyo provides you with the results of your campaigns. Pathfinder provides you with results, learns from them and suggests improvements.

Using Klaviyo you will get access to a dashboard where you can track the performance of your store overall and your campaigns. This includes order value, revenue per recipient, checkout started, etc. It gives you a good idea of what’s happening and you are likely to discover some patterns of what works and what doesn’t with your contact list.

Pathfinder takes it a step further. You will get an easy-to-read dashboard and weekly email reports, however, rather than just being convenient summaries, with enough data 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 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.


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You can put Pathfinder to work in just a few clicks.

Klaviyo — your first simple campaign can be ready within a day. Pathfinder — your first sophisticated campaign can be ready in minutes.

Klaviyo has a user-friendly interface that will lead you through the steps of building a campaign. It will take you a little while, but with some practice, you can have an idea for a campaign in the morning and get it out before the end of the day.

Pathfinder takes on a different approach. You hire specific “skills” — for example, Reduce abandoned checkouts or Increase customer value. To activate them, you have a quick chat with Pathfinder in the meeting room, where you state your campaign requirements. Then in as little as 4 clicks, your first campaign could be ready to go. Why is it so fast? Because you don’t have to build it yourself, Pathfinder uses its advanced algorithms and does it for you.


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Summary Overview

Klaviyo can be great if you want to do all the work yourself and have all the time on your hands to focus on building every campaign and email on your own, then monitor results, make sense of them, figure out improvements and implement them yourself.

Pathfinder will allow you to save days of work, taking care of all the email marketing aspects of your store. It will learn about your store, your campaign requirements and then build your campaigns, write your emails, monitor your results, discuss improvements with you and deploy them if you’re happy. You can always edit all the campaigns it builds for you, which means you get massive time savings while having full control of what goes to market. It’s just the smarter way of doing marketing in the twenty-first century :)

In summary, deciding between Klaviyo and Pathfinder is nothing like choosing between a soup and a sandwich. It’s more like choosing between preparing most of your lunch yourself while having full control over every single ingredient, or having it handed to you while being able to take the pickles out if you don’t like them.

You can get Pathfinder for free at:


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