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Klaviyo email marketing – features, costs, pros and cons explained

Last checked and updated on 10 November 2022

Communication is critical to any business hoping to turn paying customers into loyal brand ambassadors, especially in ecommerce. A surefire way to maintain consistent interaction is through email and SMS marketing. This is where Klaviyo email marketing can come in.

But a range of SaaS options are now on the market to aid this aim, including Klaviyo. Let’s investigate whether Klaviyo is a worthwhile investment for your SME.  

What is Klaviyo email marketing?

Klaviyo is an email and SMS marketing platform based in Boston, designed to help ecommerce website owners enjoy the highest possible conversion rate from their campaigns. Klaviyo seeks to achieve this aim by building personalised email marketing campaigns tailored to the user, convincing them to spend money with a business.

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The greatest thing about Klaviyo email marketing is how this tool gathers detailed data about visitors to your ecommerce site. Building a customer profile is arguably the most important – and complex – element of doing business online. Klaviyo will do this for you, using the information gathered to tailor and personalise email and SMS campaigns to the recipient in question.

Are people still using email marketing?

Email marketing may seem like a quaint – even outdated – concept in 2022. Surely in the modern world, social media is where the action is? You’d be forgiven for thinking so, but rumours of the death of email marketing have been greatly exaggerated

For a start, think about the first rule of marketing – make sure you get noticed. When battling competitors for consumer attention in the SEO and social media landscapes, you’re at the mercy of a range of factors. With email marketing, if you can make it past the dreaded junk or promo folders and get straight to a user’s inbox, you have a great chance of reaching the eyes of your intended audience. 

What happens next really depends upon the quality of your marketing approach. You could sign up with an email marketing agency and ask them to handle this or utilise a service like Klaviyo and tackle your email communications in-house.

How would I use Klaviyo for my business?

Depending on your business offering and the relationship you have cultivated with your target audience, you can choose how you’d like to build email and SMS campaigns using Klaviyo. Here are three examples of campaigns that Klaviyo specialises in, all of which can be hugely beneficial to an eCommerce business.

Greetings and gratitude

A business only gets one chance to make a first impression, so you must get off on the right foot with a new customer. When a consumer creates an account with your business, they’re giving up personal data – and, in most cases, they know it.

Even before they have made a conversion, acknowledge your customer by sending a welcome email or SMS. Use this as an opportunity to explain how you look forward to meeting any needs going forward and encourage interaction to get your email address whitelisted. Using the templates created by Klaviyo, personalised and adapted to the recipient’s unique needs, is a great way to bolster your chances of success.

Of course, it’s equally important to express gratitude when a consumer does complete a conversion. A similar campaign promising to keep the user updated on their order’s journey (tracking postage is a huge plus for an ecommerce business selling tangible products) will always be welcome.

Abandoned cart reminders

You can calculate your cart abandonment rate by dividing your conversions by the number of shopping carts opened. If your ecommerce site is littered with abandoned carts, you should probably review your sales funnel – at least one step in the buyer journey is likely deterring conversions. 

While you’re investigating the deeper reasons for this issue, you can rely on Klaviyo to craft a compelling campaign of reminder emails and text messages, gently informing the user that the products they were interested in remain available. 

This feature is where the personalisation and data-gathering of Klaviyo comes to the fore. Armed with information gathered about the user in question, Klaviyo makes it clear that you understand consumer wants and needs – something that is increasingly vital in 2022.

Aftercare and upselling after conversion

Achieving a conversion from a user is great, but any successful business will only view this as the first step on a longer journey. With the right communication to accompany a high-quality product, you can ensure that consumers return for more, becoming long-term brand ambassadors for your business.

Keeping in touch after a sale is vital to this. First and foremost, focus on aftercare. Was everything OK with the product? How was the delivery – is there any feedback the user would like to share about your courier service? How can you improve your offering going forward? 

Remember, all of this will encourage interaction, enhancing your email reputation, and a Klaviyo email template will help you find the balance between helpfulness and grovelling. Of course, a happy customer will also be more receptive to upselling – again, something that Klaviyo email campaigns can help with. 

Maybe that means immediately offering a pair of shoes that make the perfect accompaniment to a dress that has been delivered. Alternatively, it could involve checking in six to twelve months after investing in an electrical appliance to see how it’s holding up and whether any upgrades are required – or even just reminding the customer they will soon need new batteries. Either way, aftercare and upselling should be part of your email marketing strategy.

What are the pros and cons of Klaviyo email marketing?

If you’re considering signing up for Klaviyo, you’ll need to make an informed decision. Let’s take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of this service.

Benefits of using Klaviyo

As we have touched upon previously, the most significant advantage of using Klaviyo’s templates for your marketing is accessibility. 99% of people check their email every day, especially now that we can do so on our smartphones. Combine efforts with email and SMS, and you’re almost certain to reach eyeballs. As we’ll discuss in a moment, that’s not a guarantee that users will react the way you want them to, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

Assuming that you are successful in your email marketing attempts, the rewards will be significant. Email marketing has long been considered to offer the ultimate ROI of any campaign. That will, naturally, be at least partly due to in-house email marketing involving no financial outlay beyond the time taken to craft copy. That means any conversion is pure profit. 

You’ll need to pay a nominal fee for access to Klaviyo – but access to effective templates will mean time saved on writing copy. At the same time, the personalised nature of Klaviyo-created communication dramatically enhances the chances of conversions. Check out the case studies attributed to the company for insights into how Klaviyo could potentially grow your mailing list.

The personalisation that we just mentioned is critical to many consumers. These days, it’s easy to sniff out a generic form email. Just addressing the recipient by name using mail merge is far from enough – you may as well simply write “Dear Valued Customer” for all the impact your missive will have. 

Of course, you could write a personalised message to each recipient, but that takes a great deal of time.  A service like Klaviyo will use consumer data held on file to do all this heavy lifting for you.

Finally, we have the additional services provided by Klaviyo. The software has a gentle learning curve, covered by introductory videos and a range of blogs and podcasts that continue to shine a light on email and SMS marketing, alongside regular reports and insights into the latest developments surrounding the marketing world.

Drawbacks of using Klaviyo

There are only really two potential issues with relying upon Klaviyo – or any other email marketing service – for your business. 

As we have intimated, the first is that it’s easy to ignore email marketing. You’ll need a stellar email reputation to reach a user’s inbox. Spam and marketing filters are growing increasingly strict, in both business and personal accounts. A business email account may block any communication deemed unrelated to company affairs, while the likes of Gmail value user experience and try to keep unsolicited emails out of inboxes. 

You can get around this by delighting users with your content, ensuring they interact and add you to an email whitelist. That’s easier said than done, though, and is irrelevant if you cannot reach an inbox in the first place. 

Of course, you may be thinking this is where SMS marketing comes into play. While modern smartphones warn users of potential spam messages, they rarely block marketing communications. Tread carefully with this approach, though, as it could quickly feel intrusive to consumers. 

Receiving an email is one thing, but a text message is another. Younger users may not be as bothered. They have grown up with mobile phones and are used to receiving all manner of messages. If you’re marketing to an older audience, email is preferred – SMS messages are typically reserved for personal communique and urgent updates. 

SMS marketing also becomes more challenging if you have an international customer base. Maybe you have studied your audience and feel that they will be most receptive to receiving marketing communications at midday – but what about anybody outside the UK? 

Users in the USA could be roused from sleep in the early hours by your text message, and if you have customers in Australia, you’ll be disturbing them at 9pm when they’re trying to relax. Spare a thought for anybody in New Zealand who will likely wonder what terrible event has occurred to merit a midnight SMS message. None of this will endear you to potential consumers, instead earning you a reputation as a marketing pest.

How much does Klaviyo email marketing cost?

Price points for Klaviyo vary, depending upon a range of factors. Location, your preferred method of communication, and the number of contacts on your list will all play a role in how much you’ll need to pay for Klaviyo services.

First thing’s first – Klaviyo does offer a free tier that allows you to try before you buy. You can import up to 250 email addresses and send 500 emails, or 50 SMS contacts and send 150 text messages (or 50 MMS messages – one MMS is worth three SMS messages). 

In using this free trial, you’ll also access most of the critical features offered by Klaviyo, including customisable message templates. Once you reach and breach the limit of free communications, your Klaviyo account will be frozen, and you’ll need to sign up before continuing. Average price points here are:

  • 251 – 500 email or SMS contacts – $20 per month (around £15)
  • 501 – 1,000 email or SMS contacts – $30 per month (around £23)
  • 1,001 – 1,500 email or SMS contacts – $45 per month (around £35)
  • 1,500 – 2,000 email or SMS contacts – $60 per month (around £45)

You get the picture from here – every time you boost the number of contacts by 500, the price point increases accordingly. There is no discount available for pairing an SMS and email package. If you wish to use Klaviyo to contact 1,250 email addresses and 750 telephone numbers, you’ll simply pay for each package individually. 

Overall summary of Klaviyo

Utilising the services provided by Klaviyo is probably best considered the equivalent of having an in-house email marketing agency on your books. Using Klaviyo is a little more work than hiring an agency, and you will not get quite as much industry-specific insight, but it’s going to be cheaper. As always, it’s a case of assessing what matters most to your business.

Be aware that Klaviyo is not the only game in town if you’re new to the ecommerce market. Competitors include Mailchimp, Shopify Email, Seguno, and more. The great advantage Klaviyo has over these rivals is a wide and varied range of integrations – alongside a hugely user-friendly experience overall.

Give Klaviyo a try using the initial 250 free emails – ideal for A/B testing a small campaign – or sign up for a personalised demonstration of the service. We are impressed with what Klaviyo has to offer an eCommerce site, and we think you will be too.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. You should always speak to a qualified professional to get tailored advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.