What’s the difference between Klaviyo CDP and an ESP?

You may have of heard of a Klaviyo CDP or an ESP but what are they? Klaviyo CDP vs. ESP – In this blog we discuss CDP (Customer Data Platforms) and ESPs (Email Service Providers) and their differences. The decision to implement a CDP or an ESP depends...

Phill Manson - PAASE email marketing agency

You may have of heard of a Klaviyo CDP or an ESP but what are they? 

Klaviyo CDP vs. ESP – In this blog we discuss CDP (Customer Data Platforms) and ESPs (Email Service Providers) and their differences. 


The decision to implement a CDP or an ESP depends on your specific business needs and goals. Let’s first understand what each of these solutions offers:

  1. Customer Data Platform (CDP): A CDP is a centralised system that collects, integrates, and manages customer data from various sources, such as websites, mobile apps, CRM systems, and more. It creates unified customer profiles and provides a comprehensive view of individual customers across multiple channels. CDPs help organisations personalise customer experiences, deliver targeted marketing campaigns, and gain insights into customer behaviour.
  1. Email Service Provider (ESP): An ESP specialises in managing and sending email campaigns. It typically includes features like contact management, email template creation, scheduling, delivery optimisation, and analytics. ESPs are focused on email marketing and may integrate with other systems to leverage customer data for segmentation and personalisation.

To determine whether you need a CDP or an ESP, consider the following factors:

  1. Scope of Data and Channels: If you require a unified view of customer data from multiple sources (beyond just email) and want to personalise experiences across various channels like websites, mobile apps, social media, and more, a CDP would be more suitable for your requirements.
  1. Personalisation needs: If your primary goal is to deliver highly personalised experiences and targeted campaigns across multiple channels (Omni-channel) based on customer data, a CDP’s capabilities are likely to align better with your requirements.
  1. Email marketing focus: If your primary focus is on email marketing and you primarily need robust email campaign management features, an ESP may be a more cost-effective and streamlined solution.
  1. Existing Systems: Assess your current technology stack. If you already have systems in place for customer data management and integration but lack email marketing capabilities, adding an ESP could be a more targeted solution. Conversely, if you have a solid email marketing setup but struggle with customer data unification and personalisation, a CDP could complement your existing infrastructure.

In some cases, you might even consider integrating both solutions, leveraging the strengths of each to create a comprehensive customer engagement strategy. Ultimately, the choice between a CDP and an ESP depends on your specific business requirements, objectives, and available resources.


Platforms such as Klaviyo can bridge this gap, fundamentally you are looking for a solution where you can access and execute cross (or omni) channel marketing campaigns from your data. 

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