Klaviyo is powerful in the right hands, potentially damaging in the wrong ones.
Despite the software consolidating itself as the leader for email in the eCommerce field, I’ve been into some messy accounts in my time that did more damage than good.
Customers being pummelled with messages and generally having horrible experiences over the channel leading to high churn and poor retention rates.
It doesn’t have to be this way though.
The following automated emails (flows) and sending practices are usually responsible for the majority of these poor experiences that lead to skyrocketing unsubscribe and spam rates.
Here’s the kicker: every touchpoint you create has to deliver value to the customer. You can’t get away with bombarding them with crap anymore and expect to be successful.
And with acquisition becoming increasingly difficult, email needs to focus on mitigating churn rather than just milking the audience.
This all starts by focusing on the customer experience.
Here are 5 of the biggest Klaviyo mistakes along with some quick fixes to ensure you’re providing a stellar customer experience and protecting your brand integrity.
1: Browse Abandonment Flow Filters
The out-of-the-box setup on Klaviyo’s Browse Abandonment Flow is structured incorrectly.
Without tweaking the flow filters, you risk causing a negative user experience and significantly increasing your overall unsubscribes with each send.
This can be resolved with a couple of simple tweaks - read our full article on this here or watch the video below for a quick tutorial on how to amplify revenue generation from this flow and lower unsubscribes.
2: Abandoned Cart Flow Conditional Split
Most Abandoned Cart Flows in Klaviyo are set up like this:
There are numerous issues with this standardised setup:
- There are no flow filters to prevent people re-entering the flow every time they start a checkout event (meaning they could, theoretically, re-enter the flow if they start another checkout)
- There is no conditional split to amend the messaging if they’re a returning customer
- There is a loophole which allows - and conditions - all customers to wait for a discount at email 3. This is a problem as it erodes margin for returning customers and conditions them to wait for offers when they shop at your store
To mitigate these technical errors, you’ll want to build an Abandoned Cart flow like the following:
This conditional split will allow you to put customers down a different path if they’ve placed an order before and restrict using discounts to incentivise them.
You’ll also want to amend the Flow Filters with the following settings:
This stops customers from re-entering the flow if they start multiple ‘Checkout Started’ events.
Winback flows with generic discounts
Most winback flows are boring and relatively ineffective. They leverage discount ladders going deeper and deeper if the customer doesn’t purchase from the brand over a period of time.
While this works to some extent, it doesn’t really address the core issues of finding out why somebody has stopped buying.
I like to leverage a conversational approach in winback flows with a good ‘ol plain text email.
Just go in from “Adam at support” and ask the customer in 2 sentences:
- Why have they stopped buying?
- Is there anything you can do to improve their experience?
Go in with this approach before attempting to win back customers with generic discount codes.
As I’ve said repeatedly in the last year, having conversations at scale is critical to scale (and retain customers) an eCommerce company and your customers will be judging you based on your willingness to engage with them.
Not using clicks as a benchmark for basic segmentation
This point is even more prevalent than ever given the recent Apple iOS15 changes and its implications for email marketing.
Most email marketers segment solely based on Open Rates to determine engagement in their campaigns.
This is a mistake for several reasons, but the primary reason is that opens alone are not a reliable enough metric and many browsers have been blocking tracking pixels long before Apple (Brave being a pioneer that has seen increasingly widespread adoption).
To mitigate this shortcoming, you’ll want to always include Clicks in your segmentation strategy when determining which segment to send to.
Here’s an example of a 90 days engagement segment that you can send to in Klaviyo that includes Clicks:
There are many other variables you could include here too, of course, but just don’t forget to include Clicks on a very basic level.
Static coupon codes
Personally, I despise static coupon codes with a passion (especially if they never expire).
They devalue brands and are abused online which erodes the profitability of the company (often needlessly).
Most marketers set them up as they don’t know how to leverage dynamic coupon codes within Klaviyo.
Dynamic coupon codes, on the other hand, aren’t as cumbersome to maintain and are bespoke to the customer journey.
Because rules are set in place around dynamic coupons, they can also be leveraged to use legitimate time-sensitivity and urgency around offers (i.e. for abandoned carts).
As a general rule of thumb, always follow this:
- Campaign promotions (one-off sales events): static codes
- Automated emails (flows): dynamic coupons
Unless you have a rigorous monitoring protocol, it’s not sustainable to constantly monitor your flows and make sure that static coupons aren’t being abused.
Set dynamic coupons up from the beginning correctly and save yourself time later down the line (and save your business money).
To summarise this article, I’d encourage you to question everything inside the default templates and always look critically at the logic and strategy behind the emails you send out.
A lot of the out-of-the-box functionality within Klaviyo needs tweaking significantly, and this article could be added to over time, to create quite an exhaustive list I’m sure.