You are currently viewing Privy review – marketing automation for merchants

Privy review – marketing automation for merchants

If you look at a customer journey, from when someone becomes aware of your brand until they convert into a paying customer it takes around 22 days. And all along the journey, people lose interest so that at the end, the global conversion rate is 2.35% (that’s according to research by Wordstream) across industries. If you’d turn it around, then it means that along the way, you’re losing almost 98% of visitors.

So, if you want to improve your sales, you’d need to improve your conversion rate, right? And for this, you’d need tools to get in front of your audience where they are with the right content at the right time. That’s what Privy promises to do.

If you head over to its website, you’ll see that Privy promises to grow your sales with email and SMS. It helps build your list, recover abandoned carts, and promote products. Yep, that’s right, it’s a cloud-based email marketing automation tool for ecommerce businesses.

Privy has been around since 2011. As it aims to help you improve your sales, it has developed a suite of tools like on site displays and automated emails. Don’t worry, it’s not only for those using Shopify, it also supports Bigcommerce and Wix.

Pros and cons of Privy

Privy’s offer falls into email automation and on-site displays such as banners and popups. The on-site displays are meant to help you reduce abandoned cart rates and grow your email list. With its email marketing tool, you can send different types of emails like newsletters, customer win-back emails, and subscriber welcome emails. It comes with a template gallery and a drag-and-drop editor so that you can match the emails to your brand.

As a cloud-based service, you just need a browser and an internet connection. You don’t have to install software and worry about updates.


  • Easy to use full stack marketing tool for merchants
  • Segmentation with many criteria


  • Doesn’t work on the browsers Brave and Opera
  • You may need some time to get used to Privy’s lingo
  • Can be slow at times
  • This doesn’t count as a con, but you need to be aware of how many popups you show your visitors – if you show too much, people will just leave

Who is Privy for?

If you’re an online retailer and want to increase your sales, you may have been looking at different services and tools so that you can

  • Encourage your audience to subscribe with a special discount or downloadable content
  • Target users with a timed trigger
  • Segment users according to what pages or products they’ve seen
  • Send notification for an order and other automated messages
  • Show special promotions on the site
  • Send promotions and other communications
  • Send reminders to customers to restock

With Privy, you get to do it all under one roof. It’s best for small and medium ecommerce stores.

Privy user interface

If you’re using Shopify or Wix, it’s super easy to get started with Privy’s one-click signup. You can also use your Google account to sign up with one click or use the traditional way with your email address. It’s good to see that you can test-drive without entering your credit card details and it will also not automatically upgrade to a paid plan when your trial ends after 15 days.

Get an overview of your revenue and conversion on the dashboard

You can find everything you need to create site displays and campaigns in the top navigation. It’s well designed so that you’ll find your way within minutes, although you may need some time to get to grips with its lingo: You’d expect campaigns to mean email newsletter campaigns. But for Privy, any kind of site display (that can be an abandoned cart popup or a countdown timer bar) is a campaign.


For this review, I’m going to stick with how the term campaign is usually used, more precisely as email newsletter campaign.

In just 3 steps you can create and send your email campaign

You can start from scratch or pick a template. No matter what you do, you’ll work with the drag-and-drop editor to add content and to match the email to your brand.

Site displays

You use Privy’s site displays to improve your conversions. A conversion can be anything from an email newsletter signup to a purchase. You can use

  • Banners
  • Popups
  • Bars

To drive your sales and build your email list. Privy has pre-built 7 templates for you to get started with abandoned cart or welcome discount.

Site display templates

This is Privy’s approach to full stack marketing. After collecting an email address, you can create an email or text message and automate the whole thing.

List management, segmentation, and personalisation

Once you’ve collected the email addresses, you want to send the right message to the right audience at the right time. With Privy, you can do it in the usual way with segments according to criteria such as

  • Campaign history
  • Session count
  • Page news
  • Language
  • And more

The other way is with triggers, such as only showing a site display to a visitor after a specific time or if they’ve scrolled 50% down the page.


Automation also helps you to get infant of your audience in a timely and once set up, it does repetitive tasks without wasting additional time. But don’t get me wrong, as useful as it is, it’s more an autoresponder that gets launched by certain triggers such as a welcome email sequence as soon as someone signs up to get a discount. If you expect to create workflows with conditional steps, Privy is not the right tool.

Privy integrations

If you want to create complex multi-step workflows with conditions, you may want to integrate it with email providers such as Constant Contact, Klaviyo, or Mailchimp. If you use it with Constant Contact or Klaviyo, then Privy is more useful for only the conversion side of things – with the site displays. If you use Shopify, then Privy is something like the replacement of Mailchimp since it no longer is part of Shopify’s marketplace.

Other integrations fall into the categories ecommerce platforms and SMS. Of course, the jack-of-all-trades Zapier isn’t missing.

Privy reporting

Regardless of what kind of campaign you’ve launched, you’ll find its performance under the tab Convert. Reporting and analytics are fundamental in digital marketing. Studying the reports can help you discover trends or see what didn’t work.


You can reach support via chat or email, although it’s not clear when office hours are. Privy has an extensive knowledge base and you can also schedule a call with a coach or attend a masterclass.


Privy has 3 plans including the free one. It bases its plans on how many mailable contacts you have.
If you need SMS you need to subscribe to its Growth plan but you can also just add SMS separately for the other two.

All plans include chat and email support

Is Privy right for you?

If you’re a small and medium online merchant and looking to grow your list as well as drive your sales, Privy is a solid tool. It’s well designed and an all-in-one marketing provider – as long as you don’t need complex multistep automation workflows.

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