Klaviyo (opens in new tab) was founded in 2012 by two entrepreneurs, Ed Hallen and Andrew Bialecki, that decided to build a platform to make email marketing (opens in new tab) easier for online retailers. From its start, the company focused on building integrations with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, etc. The extensive integrations enabled Klaviyo to build a big customer base in a relatively short period.
Klaviyo has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from venture capitalists to fuel its growth. In August 2022, Shopify, the world's biggest e-commerce software vendor, named Klaviyo as its recommended email marketing partner and invested $100 million in the company.
Over 100,000 e-commerce brands across the globe use Klaviyo for email and SMS marketing. The company employs over 1,000 people across the UK and the US, where it’s headquartered.
Klaviyo: Plans and pricing
Klaviyo is a freemium tool, meaning it has both free and premium plans. The free plan is pretty limited, supporting a maximum of 500 monthly emails to 250 contracts. You'll need a premium plan to make use of this platform best.
You can purchase a plan that gives you access to only email marketing tools or another that offers access to both email and SMS marketing tools. You'll pay monthly, and the price depends on the number of contacts you're dealing with. Email-only starts at $45 / £45 / AUD$65 monthly for between 1,000 to 1,500 contacts, while Email and SMS costs $60 / £60 / AUD$90 monthly for the same number of contacts.
To provide an example of the price increase according to the number of contacts, 5,000 to 5,500 contacts will cost $110 / £110 / AUD$165 monthly for email-only and $125 / £125 / AUD$195 monthly for both email and SMS. 10,000 to 10,500 contacts would cost $175 / £175 / AUD$265 monthly for email-only and $190 / £190 / AUD$275 monthly for email and SMS. Klaviyo is pretty costly for businesses dealing with a high number of contacts.
Each plan gives a specific number of monthly SMS/MMS credits, and you can buy more if you surpass your limit. According to its terms of service, Klaviyo doesn't offer refunds after purchase.
There are over 4 billion active email users, making it one of the best mediums to reach customers. E-commerce brands use email to reach customers with their marketing campaigns and Klaviyo offers a platform to help them do that. You can deliver emails to all your contacts at the click of a button using the platform.
It can be challenging to create good email marketing copies, so Klaviyo offers a collection of pre-built templates designed by professionals to help users. You can choose any template and customize it to fit your brand. You can save it and reuse it as many times as you want.
You can find over 100 templates for various use cases, e.g., newsletters, cross-selling, welcome messages, etc. You can also find templates for automated transactional emails like cart abandonment, back-in-stock updates, order and shipping updates, etc. This way, e-commerce brands don't need to stress themselves trying to build appealing email layouts from scratch.
Because your online store syncs directly with Klaviyo, the platform offers a unique email marketing feature called a dynamic product feed; you can send personalized product recommendations to each contact based on their previous interaction with your store, e.g., which product categories they browse often or their purchase history. Just drag and drop the dynamic product feed module into your email pane, and you’re good to go. This way, each contact will see different recommended products that they’re more likely to buy, a more effective marketing strategy than sending the same product recommendations to all contacts.
Klaviyo also offers an artificial intelligence-powered tool that helps you create good email subject lines based on your brand, product, and the goals you indicate for your campaign. The subject line is the first thing the email recipient sees, so it has a big impact on your brand’s email open rate.
There are over 5 billion SMS users globally, making it a marketing channel that’s hard to ignore. Klaviyo enables brands to send SMS campaigns to their customers with ease. You can send different types of messages, including product announcements, back-in-stock alerts, welcome offers, coupons, etc. Klaviyo lets you set up automated transactional messages like order and delivery confirmations.
You can also hold two-way SMS conversations through Klaviyo. Hence, customers can contact you and get feedback from the same number you use to send them messages. You may adopt SMS as the customer support option for your e-commerce brand and respond to support inquiries via Klaviyo.
It’s not enough to just run email or SMS marketing campaigns. You must monitor them regularly to ensure that they’re delivering the intended results and make adjustments if they aren’t. Klaviyo offers a dashboard that lets you monitor the performance of your campaigns without difficulty. You can view critical metrics like open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, etc. You can view the total number of orders and corresponding revenue generated from your campaign, so it's easy to measure your return on investment.
Klaviyo gives you all your campaign statistics in one report, so you don't even need to leave the screen you're working on. You can visualize the performance of your campaigns using charts, which makes the metrics easier to understand. You can also set a custom schedule to receive automated reports that you can share with employees or other stakeholders.
This platform offers dozens of pre-built reports that you can generate for your brand. For example, you can generate an average order value report or an abandoned cart rate report at the click of a button. These reports make it easy to monitor every aspect of your brand’s performance without stress.
Before you start sending messages to email addresses and phone numbers, you’ll need to collect them. Sending messages to random addresses and numbers constitute spam, which you should avoid by all means. The good thing is that Klaviyo lets you create signup forms to collect email addresses and phone numbers so you can send marketing messages with consent. You can embed the form on your website, and any address added to it will automatically be added to your contact list on Klaviyo.
Klaviyo lets you customize the look of your forms to a large extent. For instance, you can make it a pop-up form, a fly-out, or a static form on your website. If it's a pop-up form, you can choose when to show it, e.g., 5 seconds after the page load or after scrolling 50% of the page. You can customize the colors of the form to fit your brand and website, making it more attractive to visitors. You can perform A/B testing with different styles of forms to see which one performs best and adopt that one.
Klaviyo: Interface and use
Signing up for Klaviyo is straightforward. You’ll need to provide some key details including your email address and phone number. After signing up, the onboarding process is also straightforward. You’ll need to connect your Klaviyo account with the platform hosting your e-commerce site (e.g., Shopify) and answer some questions such as your marketing goals and how many contacts you have.
Klaviyo has an intuitive interface that felt easy to navigate. Features are neatly arranged on the left side of the dashboard, making it easy to switch between different ones. The slight drawback is that Klaviyo has many features, so you’ll need considerable time to get used to the platform.
We observed a lot of complaints from customers regarding Klaviyo’s support. The platform provides direct support through email and live chat (opens in new tab), and customers complained of long wait times for both of them. With no phone support and reported long wait times for live chat support, it seems that Klaviyo’s customers can hardly get an instant response to their queries.
Klaviyo: The competition
One of Klaviyo’s most notable competitors is Omnisend (opens in new tab), a similar platform designed for e-commerce businesses. You’ll find similar email and SMS marketing features on both platforms, but Omnisend is more affordable than Klaviyo.
Klaviyo: Final verdict
Klaviyo is an excellent marketing tool for e-commerce brands, enabling you to interact with customers seamlessly through email and SMS. With this platform, you don’t have to stress about managing your marketing activities to drive sales. The few disadvantages are that Klaviyo is pretty expensive, especially for small retailers, and the complaints about poor customer support.