Over the last few years ecommerce has been booming, with many retails stores embracing ecom in a more significant way which can largely be attributed to the circumstances of the global pandemic changing the way we shop. For a lot of those brands this ecom focus has opened up a whole new space for them to learn and develop new ways to expand their business. This article will look specifically at email marketing and discuss the trends discovered amongst a number of interviews conducted with brands that have chosen to use the email platform Klaviyo. We took the time to talk to as many brands as possible about their journey and experience with email marketing so far; the full list of which we have included at the end of the article which we would encourage you to check out.
For those unaware, Klaivyo is an Email & SMS marketing automation platform that has become very popular in the ecommerce space and allows stores to create a very targeted and tailored email experience for their customers. It is an email marketing tool that complements Shopify in an unrivaled way which is why it is commonly regarded as the best solution for ecommerce brands. It seamlessly collects customer data which can be used to drive sales with crucial campaign features such as abandon cart, post purchase and upsells.
Why are so many brands adopting Klaviyo?
When speaking to the parenting brand Motherly, once they decided to double down on ecommerce they wanted to find partners who stood very tall in that area and they found Klaviyo to be head and shoulders above the other email marketing platforms. A driving force in that decision was with how well Klaviyo plays with shopify, something many others interviewed such as About Vintage and Earned Athletic Apparel considered to be a key reason for choosing the platform. Many are recommended to use Klaviyo for this key selling point alone. Several brands such as Wellnesse and Little Wine Co started with Klaviyo right from the start due to previous experience and recommendations. However the vast majority of brands we have found have moved from other email platforms such as MailChimp.
One of the most prominent things mentioned that brands liked about klaviyo is the advanced analytics. Many found the day to day analytics in Klaviyo to be superior to other platforms and incredibly useful in guiding their campaigns and marketing efforts. Clocks & Colours, a brand offering hand carved silver jewelry for a number of subcultures, value the importance of these analytics highly. They use them to be as targeted as possible with their audience and guide their campaigns and marketing efforts. These analytics give more insights and control to deliver an unparalleled email marketing experience.
Branding & Customisation
The ease of branding for campaigns was also something that those interviewed thought to be extremely valuable. Aligning a brand’s look and feel is something that was very important to the tech store xou xou and having the emails match their identity was considered crucial. Being in full control of how your brand is presented and the ability to create assets to grow a store’s identity is certainly something that most want from their email marketing platform.
Easy to use
The user experience is also something that people have been very favorable about too. Many found Kalviyo very easy to use and the dashboard to be extremely intuitive. Good Games commented that they find Klaviyo a lot more user friendly than mail chimp which they migrated from.
Driving subscriber growth is something that Klaviyo does extremely well too. One great feature of Klaviyo is its integration of popups to encourage email signups. An interesting strategy mentioned by the flower essence brand Lotuswei, is how they created a way to grow their subscriber list by integrating klaviyo with a tool called Try Interact™. This lets their users go through a series of slides where they can choose the flowers that they love. they are then given a reading, but a more detailed version is provided via email and opting into their marketing list. A fantastic initiative to grow that subscriber base.
How are brands using email marketing?
Of those interviewed, when asked if they have always taken email marketing seriously 40% responded that they have not. One of the reasons we wanted to reach out to so many varied brands was to try and get a temperature reading for just how seriously the ecom world is taking email marketing. While more than half do take it very seriously, many have not, which oftentimes is due to a lack of time or resources to make the most of email marketing. However, pretty much every brand we spoke to did recognise that email marketing is an extremely important marketing channel and wanted to be doing more.
Understanding how the tools are being put to use across a broad selection of Ecom brands was a key motivation for conducting these interviews. Klaviyo has many features beyond the campaigns and analytics that are the essential features for every brand who has adopted it. Popups to drive subscriber growth for example are being used by around 40% of interviewees. Another powerful feature of Klaviyo is its ability to send SMS too, and few brands (just 20%) have incorporated this into their campaigns.
Something that was routinely expressed as a feature that the interviewed brands wanted to make more use of was by far the segmentation and targeting. The value of this feature was certainly recognised and the main reason for this not being embraced more is because of the added investment it takes to set up a more highly targeted set of campaigns.
Something else we took an interest in with the interviews was to see the email volume people are comfortable sending to their audience. One thing mentioned by Wonderment is that they know what they appreciate when it comes to email marketing as a customer, so that is what they should aim to replicate as a brand. One of the biggest concerns we hear is not wanting to be overbearing with the audience by sending too many emails. The trend we see is that around 2 emails per week is where most respondents say they feel confident, and some such as Kimberly from Mockett would describe as the “sweet spot”. WIth all of those surveyed the average worked out to be 8 emails a month. The number varied quite a lot as you would expect depending on the brand with the most being 30 emails per month and the least 0. The vast majority see 2-3 emails per week as the limit to what they can reasonably send. Those with the higher send numbers tend not to be sending to everybody on their list either, with segmentation they are sending out higher volume to more targeted audiences.
The volume of campaigns can start to really climb if targeting and segmentation is taken more seriously. More tailored emails can be sent to smaller segments of an audience which can see brands approving much higher numbers of emails per week. Something that the store Unimart have taken advantage of to send what we would say is the upper range for total number of campaigns with 28 per month being sent out to their audience.
What’s Their Biggest Challenge
One of the biggest challenges faced is having the time and manpower to stay on top of a highly effective email marketing campaign. Scale Trains who we spoke to stated it perfectly that they feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all they would like, even with a content writer and graphic designer. Whatsmore many of the features of Klaviyo are not fully utilized with many of those interviewed suggesting that there is more that they can do such as making use of A/B testing or adding on SMS. As commented by Esther they would love to be more targeted and diverse with segments if they had the bandwidth internally to do so.
How Ecom brands manage their campaigns
The amount brands are committing to email marketing varies a lot. Some campaigns are managed by the brand owner alone. Others have built internal team or marketing departments who are responsible for running and managing campaigns, and some have sought external help from a marketing agency or from a specialised email marketing service. Those who invested the most, whether that is through larger teams or external help, saw email marketing contribute more to overall revenue than any other channel.
The majority of those interviewed had one to three people involved in the email marketing process. Our research revealed that 85% managed the process internally and 15% had the help of an agency. Some had the luxury of a dedicated marketing team whereas others had just one person elected to run campaigns. Several of those brands were fortunate enough to have team members or brand owners who are highly familiar with Klaviyo and have been able to put that knowledge to good use.
One investment that brands could consider to potentially move things to a new level is to employ a highly specialized email marketing agency. Underground Ecom is an end-to-end email marketing solution who do just that. With their experience and highly functional teams they are able to deliver metric increases across the board. For their clients the target percentage of revenue delivered from email marketing is around 35%. With the experience that comes with working with over 115 active brands the knowledge of running successful campaigns can be more efficiently put into practice compared to an individual brand investing the resources to discover what may work best.
As an agency, Underground Ecom is selective with their clients and will only take on a store where a positive impact on ROI can be achieved. This is usually determined with a quick look into a brand’s klaviyo analytics where a usable audit can demonstrate what value there may be in growing an email strategy. An ROI calculation is part of the process which can give a clear idea of the results the agency is able to deliver. These forecasts are based on significant experience and the results are rarely over promised, a testament of this is how many brands choose to remain clients. This is why Underground Ecom do not feel the need to tie brands into long term contracts and that the work done is all within the brands own Klaviyo account so that they are free to leave and take control over everything that had been created while working together.
From all of our research it is clear that Klaviyo is the stand out tool when it comes to email marketing for Ecom brands. Its integration with Shopify, ease of use, advanced analytics, branding and customisation and being packed with features to help you grow both your subscriber list and engagement is why most are selecting this tool for their email outreach. When finely tuned, many have seen this marketing channel deliver a substantial portion of revenue. Almost all of the brands we spoke to wanted to be doing more and valued email marketing as a very high value activity. Whether that is handled inhouse or outsourced to an end-to-end email marketing solution with a Klaviyo Platinum Partner such as Underground Ecom, investing the time and resources into email marketing is likely to have one of the most significant positive impacts on revenue.
We appreciate all of the effort taken by the brands who shared their stories and helped give insight into the current email marketing landscape. We encourage our readers to show some appreciation and visit some of the brands who are working hard to grow their incredible stores!
Clocks & Colours – A Shop Sterling Silver Jewelry
Lotuswei – Flower Essences
Mockett – Fine Architectural Hardware for Your Fine Furniture
Esembly – Organic & Sustainable Cloth Diapering System
A.BCH – A Circular Fashion Label
xou xou – Phone cases and necklaces – Keep your hands free
Groovelife – Groove Silicone Rings – Active, Silicone Wedding Bands that Breathe
Antidotechoco – Quality Dark Chocolate Bars & Chocolate Boxes
Scale Trains – Niche model trains
Mother – A wellbeing brand empowering mothers to thrive.
Wellnesse – All Natural Personal Care Products
Unimart – Superstore
Little Wine Co – Organic, Low Intervention Wine & Winemakers
Colibri – CoLibri Cover Systems USA
Third Piece – Bridging the world of sustainable fashion & craft through knitting
About Vintage – Classic watches designed in Denmark
Earned Athletic Apparel – Athletic apparel for CrossFit in Asia.
seed ranch flavor company – Hot sauce & seasonings.
Fly Craft USA – World’s Most Versatile Inflatable Fishing Boat
Meadowlark Jewellery – Skilfully set jewelry with precious stones.
Good Games – International group of dedicated gaming environments
Crossnet Game – Four Square Volleyball Net
Little Ripples Wine – Premium Australian Wine
Esther – Dresses & Women’s Clothing
Grace and Thorn – Florist renowned for off-beat approach to floral and plant styling.
Dame – Award-winning sustainable period products.
Tease Tea – Wellness Tea Blends
Curae Health & Lifestyle – Nutrition Supplements
Swedish Stockings – Premium tights made from recycled materials
Neural DSP – Neural DSP Technologies – Algorithmically Perfect
Kerusso – Christian T-shirts & Apparel
Curvy – Curvy Bras and Lingerie
The Birth Poster – Illustrations that adapt in scale 1:1 to your babys length at birth.
Jungmaven – High Quality Hemp Clothing
Panacea Life – CBD Oil’s and topicals
Ace Rivington – Clothing and jeans
Eat Proper Good – 90-second meals direct to your door!
Aleph Beauty – Pure and natural luxury makeup.
Everest – Outdoor activities – fishing, hunting, archery, snowsports, swimming, hiking
Molly&My – Clothing store
Sandy Feet Australia – SunSafe & Chlorine Resistant Swimwear & Rashies
All Things Real Estate – Real Estate Store
iOgraphe – Phone and iPad Accessories
MyCookieDough – Bake yourself cookie dough
Soundbrenner – Wearable music tech
Linus” – Shoe store
Mami Wata Surf – African Surf Clothing
RNS Meals – Rice n Spice
Jibs – Stylish Footwear
Trestique – Clean, Zero-Waste & Refillable Makeup Essentials
Iconic Cocktails – Handcrafted cocktail mixers
Rise Brewing – Organic nitro cold brew coffee, lattes, tea, cold brew, and oat milk
Madison’s Niche – Online Fashion Boutiques
Goal Kick Soccer – Footwear Apparel Equipment
Sweat & Milk – Running Nursing & Pumping Sports Bras
GP Bikes – Powersports Parts, Gear & Apparel in Canada
Under 5’10 – Clothes for Short Men
Unspun – Custom jeans
BOKU Super Foods – Natural & Organic Superfoods
Pure Stagioni – Lip balm
Agni – Tasty Healing Foods
Grandmother’s Buttons – Antique Button & Vintage Glass Jewelry
Stonz – Kids footwear & clothing for the outdoors
Michael Van Clarke – Award Winning London Salon
The Breeze Brand – CBD Gummies + Pens
1642 – Tonics and mixers
Society Nine – Women’s Boxing Gear and Sportswear
Bee Bee Designs – Camp Trunks, Camp Bedding, Camp Clothes, Stationery
Asher and Rye – Collection of eclectic homewares, furniture and lighting
Grecia Mia – Online travel agent
Agapantha Jewelry – Delicate, modern, stackable jewelry made in the US
True Veda – Organic Ayurveda Herbal Supplements
Cuvee Cofee – Coffee company
Trident Coffee – Coffee company
Adpage.io – Landing page creator
Baby Noomie – Childrens clothing
Walk With – Health technology company for walking aid
Redbudsuds – Soaps and cleaning products
K&K Skin Products – Skin Products
Wild Cosmetics – Sustainable Natural Deodorant
Be time Practice – Meditation experience