Klaviyo Review 2019: Is It Worth The Cost?

Email graphic with icons
by Aaron Burton

by Aaron Burton

Are you tired of researching the different email platforms? Looking for more information on Klaviyo? Your in luck. In this article I’ll be going over Klaviyos main features & if it’s worth the price premium tag for smaller businesses.

I give Klaviyo a 4.8/5 review because of the fact that it comes with all the bells & whistles one would need to generate the most amount of money from their email list such as the ability to segment your list & send automated emails that convert.

What is klaviyo?

Klaviyo home page

Klaviyo is an email marketing company based in Boston, MA developed for ecommerce business owners. It includes advanced segmentation capabilities to help marketers send highly personalized content to their audience with just a few clicks of a button.

Pricing Plans

You’re probably thinking “yet another pricing table”. Since I already went over pricing in another post here is a screenshot of Klaviyo’s pricing slider that shows you how much your expected to pay based on how many contacts you have.

Klaviyo pricing slider

Every account is free up until you reach 250+ contacts. After that you have to pay up. Once on a paid plan you get the option to enable single optin which is crucial that you do asap. There are also no feature tiers. Once your a paid member you get everything.

Klaviyo’s theoretical limit is 150,000 contacts @ $1,700/mo before you have to request a higher threshold. I always found it interesting how some companies require you to contact them once you go over “civilian limits”. Like getting invited into a super secret society.

Klaviyo pricing slider 150,000 contacts

Who Is Klaviyo for?

Klaviyo is mainly for people who have a profitable ecommerce business. You will have to be driving traffic & collecting leads on a regular basis to justify the cost of the software. If you haven’t found a product market fit you may not see the cost of the service as being worth it. In addition if you have a big list & don’t plan to send out emails this is not the platform for you. On the other hand if your crushing sales Klaviyo is perfect for you. Hiring an email marketing agency also will help you reach your goals a lot faster as well. We offer klaviyo setup + flow & campaign management. Our clients see 20-30% of their revenue attributed to email when working with us.

Core Features

Klaviyo’s core features are automated flows & advanced segmentation. You also have the ability to capture leads with their signup form without having to buy a seperate software. This way you can start building your email list from day one of signing up to klaviyo.

Core Features: Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: Klaviyo main features easily stand on their own two feet. The platform prides itself in having the best automations out there. They don’t try and be everything to by adding tons of random tools everybody which sets the company apart.

Integrations

The most commonly used integration is shopify however Klaviyo has a total of 47+ integrations. Whatever your looking to integrate is most likely included in the their list. Lining your shopify account is as simple as provinging the store url. You can then chose to sync additional things like people who “accept marketing” if you click on view settings.

Klaviyo integrations

Integrations: Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: They have every integration known to man so that’s an automatic 5 stars

What Are Flows?

A Flow is an automated email campaign that doesn’t run unless certain requirements are met. These requirements are classified as triggers & flow triggers. In a nutshell flows are used to filter how your emails go out. For instance if someone purchased a product you probably wouldn’t want to send them reminder emails about completing their order. Below is an example of the default abandoned cart flow.

Klaviyo abandoned cart example

When you create a new flow these are your options.

Actions

Email: The email field allows you to place your email content inside the timeline.

Update Profile Property:

Timing

Time Delay: If you want your emails to trigger after a certain time you can add a delay. By default it will send in your time zone. So if your shipping internationally you may want to change it to ship at the sender’s time zone.

Logic

Conditional Split: Conditional splits are where you tell klaviyo to check to see if a certain condition was met. For example if people you don’t want someone receiving an email when they finally make a purchase you can exclude them.

Trigger Split: Similar to conditional splits, trigger splits allow klaviyo to check and see if your initial trigger was fired based on a certain attribute. You could have a trigger split that checks to see if someone has made a purchase from a specific email you sent out. That’s how deep you can get with Klaviyo.

Personalized variables

Klaviyo also has personalized variables which is how you are able to add someone’s name to your email subject lines & email content. Below are a few that you can use in your flows & campaigns. Bookmark this page for quick access.

First Name{{ first_name }}ex. Cynthia
Last Name{{ last_name }}ex. Brown
Email{{ email }}ex. cynthya.brown@gmail.com
Phone Number{{ person.phone_number }}ex. 555-5555
Organization{{ person.organization }}ex. 20XMedia
Customer Title{{ person.title }}ex. Email Marketing Lead

Bookmark page

Split Testing

Another thing klaviyo is great at is split testing. You will want to initiate a split test if your looking to test a subject line or contents of an email. Split tests can be done both at the flow & campaign level. You can give your variations a certain weight that will divide on how klaviyo will divide up the traffic. IF your sending a lot of traffic to your store you can have as many as 4 variations running at a time. Typically for flows. For campaigns its best practice to only split test 2 variations at a time.

Klaviyo split test

Manual , Live, & Draft

Draff: When your flow is in draft it will not send out any emails. You can change this by clicking where it says draft. Draft mode is shown in grey.

Manual: Manual means your flows must be approved by you before emails are sent out. Manual mode is shown in yellow.

Live: When your campaign is live emails will be sent out based on your flow specifications. Live mode is shown in green.

Klaviyo draft manual & live flow settings

Flows: Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: It goes without saying Klaviyo is the best in the industry right now at email automation. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. The amount of money that has come from flows has been pretty substantial.

What Is Segmentation?

Klaviyo segmentation example

Segmentation is the ability to separate & target portions of your email list based on specific properties & actions of your subscribers. For instance pretend I owned an ice cream shop & had 300 people give me their email address in exchange for a discount. Imagine that out of the 300 people 150 people liked vanilla ice cream, 50 people liked rocky road & 100 people liked cookies & cream. I could then send an email to the vanilla ice cream list for a discount on the new double cup ice cream special. This would convert better than sending a generic email with all of the flavors included. Actually don’t know why I chose ice cream as an example, maybe because I just got done watching a tasty video on how to roll ice cream.

ice cream shop email template

So in this case the 300 ice cream buyers are the list & the 150 vanilla flavor buyers are a segment within that list. Klaviyo has many different properties you can segment by that will allow you to send highly relevant offers to the right people. Without segmentation your watering down your email marketing efforts & potentially hurting the relevance of your brand.

One issue I see with big brands like Target.com is that they don’t segment people by browse abandonment. This is something Klaviyo allows you to do that’s insanely powerful. For instance if i’m looking at new TV’s & have already given Target my email address klaviyo would allow them to send me reminders on TV offers. Sort of like an abandoned cart but better.

⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Segmentation: Rating: 5/5
Reason: Segmentation gets a 5/5 instantly. The team has really developed a robust set of tools to allow you to send congruent emails to highly targeted sections of your list. In the past this just wasn’t possible. Now things have changed and you can really set your brand apart with campaigns that are personalized for every subscribers.

Pros & Cons

These are my honest pros & cons for Klaviyo.

Pros:

  • Amazing visual email builder
  • Flows convert extremely well
  • Segmentation was really thought out. So many ways to segment!
  • Clutch split testing ability
  • Advanced analytics for data nerds
  • Fast & Friendly customer support
  • Built in lead forms

Cons:

  • Can be expensive if you don’t have a validated business model
  • Non descriptive naming conventions
  • Email themes clearly not optimized for conversion
  • Occasionally exports get stuck loading at 1% even with smaller data
  • Have to manually request single opt in once you upgrade
  • Yes/No option not available for lead forms

I had to try my hardest to find the cons of klaviyo which shows you how good the platform is. By the time this page ranks they may have even fixed most of the issues listed here. I’ll be sure to keep it updated. I’m also usually hard on software companies that I like because I know things can always be improved. Sending support tickets is almost a habit for me now. However with Klaviyo I haven’t had to send them many tickets other than to enable single opt in. This company has very little technical issues unlike other platforms.

Email Types

You have a lot of options as to how you can have your email be created and displayed. I mainly use the use template options however its worth noting what other options are available to you. Also fair warning if you chose a new template your contents will be deleted.

Klaviyo email types

Rich HTML

Such a strange name for an email type. Rich HTML simply allows you to build your own template essentially. Don’t ask why they didn’t name it that.

Text Based

Just no. Text based emails do not come with any fancy styling. Sending out plain looking emails is not a good look if your trying to stay out of the spam folder.

HTML Editor: Hidden Feature

If your a coding rockstar and are too good to use an email editor then this is option is for you. It’s actually kind of hidden. Right under the Text Based option you should see a blue link. Clicking that allows you to jump right in to coding. You can straight up code out emails directly in Klaviyo with no problem. This may be helpful if you wanted to buy a template on something like fiverr or ipwork. However I would advise against it. If you don’t know how to code do not give someone else control over

Templates

Similar to Rich HTML templates allow you to use that you created instead of having to start from scratch

Email Types: Rating: 4/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐
Reason: This gets a 4/5 star rating for the simple fact that their naming conventions are a bit weird at this step especially if your new to the platform. The features themselves are perfectly fine, I just think they made it complicated for no reason. From a UX perspective it could be improved for sure. I would rename it to something like
Use Template | Drag & Drop | Text Only | Code It! |

Email Templates

In order to create campaigns faster use the Email Template feature. You can use pre loaded templates, saved templates, or create your own. Klaviyo also has something called blocks which allows you to save elements such as text, images, products.

Klaviyo email templates
Klaviyo create template button

Themes Templates

Klaviyo theme templates

The preloaded templates also come with funny names. Cute however I think it goes unnoticed by 99% of people. If more time was spent building high converting template examples instead it would be more endearing.

Its best practice to have your call to action above the fold or at least one mouse scroll away from a buy button. So if I had to chose these would be the templates I would start off with.

Flying Colors
Cher-ish The Moment
Plum Crazy
Winter PUNderland
Lilac You Mean It
The Places Yule Go
Blue My Mind
Pink Slip
Out of the blue
Days of flower lives
On cloud wine
Mellow yellow
Shopify Back in stock

Theme Template Rating: 3/5
⭐⭐⭐
Reason: A lot of them seem thrown together & not optimized for conversions. It can be a helpful to get inspiration as a beginner I just would never use it for any of our campaigns. Even for inspiration you can get far better ideas on sites like pinterest, behance, dribble, & graphicriver.

Basic Templates

I use the basic templates more than anything because it allows you to edit with just the basic elements without having to delete tons of content like you would have to do with using a theme. You simple plug & play.

Klaviyo basic template

Basic Template Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Reason: Gets the job done when looking for a specific layout. Starting from scratch sucks so this option is always nice. Very easy to edit the placeholder info.

My Templates

Once you’ve found your core template you can save it and use it for later. You won’t have to use the basic templates since you will just be editing your own. Saved template are what will save you the most time. If you have a ecommerce store you can reuse the same blocks and only change a few things around when needed.

Klaviyo my templates

My Template Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: Using custom templates is hands done one of the best features klaviyo has. Anything that saves me time has my vote.

Import Templates

The import template area is for those who want to upload custom html code. You will also need to upload images or else klaviyo won’t load the content.

Klaviyo import template

Import Template Rating: -/5
Reason: I don’t have a rating for this feature yet

Email Editor

The drag & drop email editor allows you to create beautiful emails quickly. Blocks are what you will be using to build out your content. You can place them above or under other blocks.

Klaviyo drag & drop email editor

Blocks

Blocks are elements that you place in your email to make it look nice. Since the advent of drag and drop builders visual editors have been industry standard. Klaviyo does not disaport with theirs. You can add text, images, columns, buttons, headers, social links, tables, products, horizontal separators, spacers, & drop shadows.

Styles

Styles is where you can edit the formatting of the contents inside your block, mainly used for text blocks.

Klaviyo styles settings

Preview

If you want to see how your email looks before you send it off click on the preview button. You can choose to either preview it inside of klaviyo or send it to yourself via email. Its best practice to send it out to your email when your first building your templates. After that you won’t have to do that since you will already know how the formatting looks. Also note that if you send multiple emails to yourself your email client will treat it as a thread instead of a separate email. So if you can’t find it its most likely in the original message.

Klaviyo preview email

Block Styles

You can also add styles to your block. This is the CSS backend of Klaviyo without the code. You can change things like font color, background, border radius, margins, padding, etc. I won’t list all the features of styles just know anything you can do in css can most likely be done in this section.

Klaviyo block style editor

Saved blocks

If you made a kickass block you can save it for later as mentioned earlier. When you use saved blocks you also won’t have to worry about overwriting the data. Similar to custom templates blocks save you a ton of time.

Klaviyo saved blocks list

Email Editor Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: The drag & drop email editor is simply amazing. Any kind of layout or style your looking to create can be easily done. Not only that but saving blocks adds a cherry on top. The ability to drill manipulate css without coding is a life saver. I don’t know about you but having to manually code in custom padding & margins is not fun.

Image Hosting

Klaviyo automatically uploads all of the images you use in your email marketing. You can upload, delete, preview, or rename an images. Pretty basic stuff however it can come in handy if you want to use the same image.

Hosting Rating: 5/5
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Reason: No complaints with how klaviyo hosts its images.

How To Use Tags

Tags are simply an extra way for you to label your campaigns & flows for easy access. You can also use tags in your automation for some creative segmentation.

Klaviyo Tags

Hosting Rating: -/5
Reason: I do not have a rating for this feature yet.

Is It Worth The Cost?

In short yes. It comes with everything you need to get the most out of your email marketing. Klaviyo is not the type of company that short changes you on features & support. Your getting the very best. There is also a huge ecommerce community around Klaviyo which makes the platform even better over time. Read our Klaviyo vs Mailchimp review to compare features.

Related Questions

Klaviyo Vs Omnisend

The main difference is that omnisend offers many additional services than just email . For instance they have sms marketing, push notifications, whatsapp, & facebook messenger. This is great and all however It’s just hard for me to believe that they are the leader in each of these additional sales channels. One interesting things that I did see was the click mapping reporting. You can see data based on certain elements of your emails such as images, headlines, buttons etc. I see this being super helpful to optimize the content of your email faster than looking at a generic A/B test. Pricing wise omnisend does not have a free plan however they do have a 14 day free trial. Prices start at $16/mo.

Is Klaviyo A Good Place To Work?

According to glassdoor Klaviyo has a rating of 4.6 with 33 reviews as of writing this Article. There doesn’t seem to be many bad reviews overall. I would say it’s a good place to work if your a good person to work with. Life is what you make it.

Klaviyo glassdoor profile

Can Email Help The Valuation Of My Business?

Absolutely! When selling your brand a buyer is looking for the sustainability of the business. If you tell them that your bringing in 20-30% in revenue just from email they will be extremely excited. Buyers usually use things like SBA loans to fund the business. In order for them to get funding they will have to prove the business can last long enough for the loan to be paid off. When you have a rock solid email strategy your business will inevitably increase in valuation due to the sheer fact that more buyers will flock.
https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/marketing-sales

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