Mastering Klaviyo Flows: 12 Email Automations That Every Ecommerce Brand Needs

From core flows that welcome new customers and follow up on abandoned checkouts, to more advanced automations that nurture customer relationships and increase lifetime value, this article delves into 12 powerful Klaviyo flows that brands can create to supercharge their email automation.

Email automation is designed to enhance customer experiences, increase key ecommerce metrics, and drive repeat business – without the manual workload.

By implementing automated email flows, you can ensure that your ecommerce brand stays top-of-mind, delivers personalised content, and responds to customer behaviours in real-time.

What are Klaviyo automations?

Klaviyo, a leading email marketing automation platform, offers ecommerce brands the tools to create sophisticated automated email flows that not only save time but also significantly boost performance. As a Klaviyo agency partner, Swanky helps brands to build and manage their marketing automations on Klaviyo, to ensure they see the best ROI from this channel.

Klaviyo automated workflows are a series of emails that are sent automatically to your customers when they complete certain actions on your store. These automated emails can be sent out at any time, and personalised according to the customer’s behaviour, whether it’s to remind them they have left an item in their cart, or to wish them a happy birthday, for example.

When designing your flows, you’ll want to make sure they reflect your branding, in terms of tone of voice, colour scheme, typography and imagery. It’s a good idea to have a standard template to all your emails, so that customers can easily recognise your style and know they can trust the email.

In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  • Core Klaviyo flows – the essential automations for every ecommerce business.
  • Advanced Klaviyo flows – for those brands who want to go above and beyond.
  • Bespoke Klaviyo flows – featuring an example of a highly bespoke flow for one of our Klaviyo clients.
  • Internationalising your Klaviyo flows – leveraging Shopify Markets to automatically tailor your flows to customers around the globe.

Core Klaviyo flows

1. Welcome series

A welcome flow is triggered when a customer first creates an account on your ecommerce store or signs up for a newsletter. This flow is aimed at building brand affinity with the customer, making sure they feel valued, and encouraging them to start buying your products.

Best practices for welcome flows include:

  • Focusing on storytelling, sharing your brand vision as well as your USPs.
  • Including personalised product suggestions, by leveraging your customer data.
  • Offering exclusive welcome discounts to encourage recipients to start purchasing.
  • Encouraging recipients to interact and engage with your brand on other channels too, for example, social media.
  • Using each email within the welcome series to build upon the last, painting a fuller picture of your brand and drawing focus progressively towards purchase.

2. Abandoned checkout (also called abandoned cart)

As one of the most profitable email flows, your abandoned checkout flow – or abandoned cart flow – is one to prioritise. It’s your chance to recuperate lost sales by reminding your customer that they didn’t complete their purchase, and giving them a second – or third – chance to complete it.

Here, understanding your customer is key. The more you understand about why they might have abandoned checkout, the more tailored your messaging can be.

You’ll see the best results if you:

  • Send your email 2-4 hours after the checkout was abandoned.
  • Tailor your email according to customer details and purchase history, including personalising the subject line.
  • Add a clear, convincing call to action (CTA), such as “buy now”, “complete your order”, or “finish checking out”.
  • Send multiple emails as part of the flow.
  • A/B test different email variations to continually optimise your flows.
  • Align the content of your email to your brand guidelines.
  • Include social proof (like customer reviews and user generated content), as well as good quality images of the product.
  • Offer one-off discount codes.

You can find more detail on Klaviyo best practice for abandoned checkout in this dedicated article on abandoned cart emails.

3. Browse abandonment

Browse abandonment is a middle of the funnel flow that targets site visitors who have not made a purchase. It is a flow that often generates a high conversion rate so it is worthwhile including in your core flows.

For optimal browse abandonment emails, you should:

  • Use a clear, straight-to-the-point hero image and copy.
  • Avoid unnecessary distractions – keep the lime-light on the products the customer was viewing before they left your store.
  • Include links back to your popular products to make it easy for the customer to resume browsing.

Advanced Klaviyo flows

Beyond the initial core automations, there are a wide range of effective email flows that can elevate your Klaviyo results. Once again, having a consistent, well-thought-through email template design for all your Klaviyo flows will help maintain consistency and boost the impact of your email automations.

Below are some of our recommendations of additional Klaviyo flows that you could set up, to elevate your interaction with your customers.

4. Abandoned cart

Although Klaviyo refers to abandoned checkout as “abandoned cart”, there is a small but very significant difference between the two. An abandoned checkout flow will target anyone who has reached checkout but not completed the purchase, whereas an abandoned cart flow will catch users who drop off before reaching checkout.

Unlike abandoned checkout, abandoned cart automations are not out-of-the-box on Klaviyo. Their aim is to catch customers who have added items to their cart but never made it to checkout, and they are therefore higher up the funnel than the abandoned checkout.

You will still have the advantage of knowing which items the customer was interested in, so use the email to remind the customer of these items, and why they might want to continue to checkout. As with abandoned checkout emails, highlight social proof and USPs to gain the customer’s trust, and use discount codes to entice them back to your store.

5. Back in stock

Back in stock flows are triggered for any customer who has subscribed to a restock alert for an item that was out of stock, as soon as it becomes available again.

Keep the emails short and simple, and consider including a time-sensitive offer. Encourage customers to make the purchase by creating a sense of FOMO. You can do this by including reviews of the product.

As there is a good chance the customer may have since purchased the product elsewhere, you could also use this email as an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell with alternative product recommendations.

6. Product review requests

Email is a great way to automatically request product reviews from customers after a purchase, helping you gather that all important social proof to use on your store. As well as helping you capture reviews for use in your marketing strategy, listening to your customers and asking for their feedback is a great way to make them feel valued, thereby developing brand loyalty.

Make leaving a review as easy as possible by embedding the star rating and comment box into the email, so they can leave their feedback in just a couple of clicks.

Popular review tools such as Yotpo or Okendo can be integrated with your Klaviyo account, to ensure the positive review automatically appears where you want it on your store.

You’ll want to time this email to arrive once the customer has had a chance to unbox their delivery and discover the product. Don’t delay too long though – you want the product to still be fresh in the customer’s mind when you prompt them for feedback.

7. Post-purchase thank you

It’s nice to feel appreciated, and a simple thank you email is a small gesture to your customers to show you are grateful for their support. This can go a long way in increasing customer retention and encouraging brand advocacy.

For best practice in post-purchase automations, we recommend segmenting your audience.

We would then suggest varying the content and number of emails in a flow depending on whether you’re communicating with a brand new customer, returning customer or a VIP customer.

After an initial thank you email, you can incorporate some upsell or cross-sell ideas below.

8. Post-purchase upsell/cross-sell

The aim of this flow is to increase customer lifetime value (CLV) as well as average order value. This email automation is highly dependent on your product range and whether it lends itself to cross-selling or upselling.

For food and drink brands, for example, you can recommend products that complement or enhance a customer’s previous purchases. This is exactly what we did for artisan cheese brand Quickes Cheese, with upsell emails that encouraged customers to purchase biscuits and wine to accompany their favourite cheese.

It’s again a good idea to segment your customers based on their past purchases and personalise the product recommendations accordingly.

9. Birthday and anniversary

Birthday emails enjoy high click and transaction rates because of their surprise and delight nature. Klaviyo offers out-of-the box birthday email functionality, which will enable you to easily schedule and send emails on key dates. You can collect these key dates from customers when they subscribe to your email list by adding a field in your sign-up form to collect date properties.

Offer a celebratory treat or an exclusive discount code in your emails to get customers browsing your store. You can include personalised product recommendations based on your customer data, past purchases and predictive analytics. Putting products you know they’ll like in front of them can improve email engagement and conversion rate, not to mention help build stronger relationships with shoppers.

Why not go a step further than birthday emails and consider other dates you can celebrate with your customers? This may be the anniversary of their first purchase, or, if you offer a wedding or baby gift-list service, it could be a wedding anniversary or birth of a child. This sort of attention to detail strengthens the bond between customers and your brand, building customer loyalty.

10. Subscription reminders

If your products are sold on subscription, you’ll want to set up automated emails to remind customers when their next shipment is due.

It’s a good idea to give customers a sense of control over their subscriptions by making it easy for them to amend or postpone upcoming shipments. This flexibility is key in reducing subscriber churn. With this in mind, include a link directly to a customer’s subscription management page in your reminder emails, to allow them to manage their orders with ease.

11. Winback

The winback series has a retention focus, aiming to win back a customer who has stopped purchasing recently. For example, this series may be triggered by a customer who typically purchases every 30 days, when there has been no purchase for 60 days.

We advise varying your approach by segmenting customers according to their CLV. For highly valuable customers, you will have greater margins to work with and can offer a more attractive discount to entice them back

12. Sunset

The aim of the sunset flow is to protect deliverability and reduce costs by moving unengaged customers off your list. If they haven’t purchased or engaged with your emails in X number of days, the sunset email represents one final attempt to re-engage this customer, before they are filtered from your send list and future emails are suppressed.

Limit your sunset flow to between one and three emails, and make it clear that you’ll be saying goodbye to these subscribers if they choose not to engage. Subject lines such as “Is this the end?”, “It’s time to say goodbye” and “One last chance, before we go” will help to make it clear that the subscriber will need to act if they don’t want to have emails suppressed.

It’s a good idea to give them an option within the email to change their marketing preferences, or to re-engage with your store if they want communication to continue.

As always, personalise the email as much as possible, using their name, and suggesting products that you know they have liked in the past. You could also offer a discount to entice them to return.

Bespoke flow example: Increasing CLV with scheduled reorder reminders

Some of our Klaviyo clients have very unique offerings, which opens up potential for bespoke email flows.

As part of an extensive digital transformation project, Swanky migrated UK disposable contact lens brand daysoft® onto Shopify Plus and delivered a full rebrand, as well as introducing subscription functionality and overhauling the company’s email marketing strategy.

Our Klaviyo experts transformed daysoft®’s previously manual post-purchase email process into a slick, automated replenishment campaign by getting creative with Klaviyo’s out-of-the-box functionality.

The team repackaged Klaviyo’s birthday functionality, using it instead to enable the brand to schedule and send repeat order reminder emails.

Whenever a customer places a one-off purchase, they receive an email that allows them to select a date to be sent a reordering reminder email for when their current purchase runs out. We incorporated a custom HTML form within order confirmation emails, with a button for users to click in order to schedule the reminder.

This takes the customer to a form on a hosted page within Klaviyo, which generates a populated custom property with the customer’s chosen reminder date.

Within Klaviyo, we were then able to repurpose the birthday flow to create a set of automated emails that send on the date specified in each customer’s reminder date property.

Check out the case study to find out more about daysoft®’s full digital transformation.

Internationalising your Klaviyo flows

Do you have customers across multiple international markets? If your customers are used to interacting with your ecommerce store in their local language and currency, receiving email automations in a different format may limit their engagement with you. Shopify Plus brands can now integrate Shopify Markets with their Klaviyo accounts, enabling them to personalise their emails according to the language and currency of their customers.

With a Shopify Markets integration, you’ll be able to segment customers according to their active storefront, and run granular reports and revenue attribution by geographical location. And vitally, you’ll be able to communicate with each customer in their preferred language, making a seamless connection between their interaction on your store and via email.

To do this, we create a flow within your Shopify admin to track customer events according to their locale, allowing us to segment customers accordingly. We then import your internationalised product catalogue to Klaviyo, enabling your product recommendations within your emails to be personalised according to the customer’s location. 

Need help setting up your Klaviyo flows?

Mastering Klaviyo flows can transform your email marketing strategy, driving engagement and boosting your ecommerce success. However, creating and optimising email automations can be complex and time-consuming, especially when aiming for highly personalised and internationalised content.

With extensive experience in designing and implementing Klaviyo flows for ecommerce brands around the globe, Swanky’s Klaviyo experts can help you navigate the intricacies of email automation. We start by understanding your brand’s unique needs and goals, then tailor each email flow to reflect your branding and resonate with your audience. We leverage data to personalise content, segment your audience, and continuously optimise for the best performance.

Get in touch with Swanky’s Klaviyo team to get started on building your Klaviyo flows.

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