7 Best Klaviyo Flows to Increase Email Marketing ROI in Ecommerce
7 Best Klaviyo Flows to Increase Email Marketing ROI in Ecommerce
Building out a set of well designed Klaviyo flows is one of the highest ROI marketing strategies an Ecommerce store can implement.
But where do you start? There are so many different email and SMS flow setups which can be created with all kinds of triggers and filters, that it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts.
Today we're cutting through all the noise and giving you the 7 best Klaviyo flows which almost any Ecommerce brand can benefit from. You'll see that 6 of these are foundational essentials which can be setup out of the box with the Klaviyo email flow builder - get these in place before you build any others.
The 7th is something a little different which can be highly effective in many markets. Not many brands are doing this yet so be sure to take a look and see if you think it could work for you.
These flow recommendations are based on our 5 years of experience working exclusively with Klaviyo here at our Ecommerce email agency, Ecommerce Intelligence, so we know how well they they work. We also teach them in detail along with a handful of more advanced flows, segmentation, and campaign strategies in our industry leading Klaviyo email marketing course so be sure to check that out after.
Now let's get into it. You can either read on or watch the video version below.
Our 7 Top Klaviyo Flows for More Ecommerce Sales
Here's what we'll be covering in case you want to jump to specific sections:
Non Buyer Welcome Flow
For most Ecommerce brands with a complete set of automated email flows built out, the Non Buyer Welcome sequence will often be the single highest revenue driver.
You'll want to spend a good amount of time building and optimizing this flow because it is truly the lowest handing fruit when it comes to Klaviyo revenue - even more so than abandonment flows - purely because of the volume.
It is also likely that email #1 in your welcome flow will drive more sales than any other flow email in your Klaviyo account, so this message should be optimized and split tested over time using Klaviyo's flow analytics.
You want the open rate and click through rate of this first message to be as high as possible, as this engagement will increase the chance of users getting your future emails delivered to their primary inbox. Get people engaging with your emails from day one.
The Klaviyo Welcome Flow Explained
The welcome flow is triggered by someone signing up to your email list for the first time, usually before they've made a purchase. Most of the time this happens through an on-site lead generation campaign using pop ups. The email footer is another place where people can subscribe to trigger this flow.
You've likely seen online stores of all sizes using a pop up or other on-site messaging to build their email lists. Pop ups with offers such as "10% off your first purchase" continue to work extremely well and are a key part of a wider Ecommerce marketing strategy for most brands even though they've been used for years.
These email capture tactics are what feeds a brand's welcome flow. After opting in for the coupon - or some other new customer offer - the subscriber is sent an automated sequence of emails over the following few days. This automated sequence is usually somewhere in the range of 3-6 emails in length.
Here is a basic structure we recommend for your welcome flow emails in Klaviyo:
- Email #1 - Give people what they signed up for, immediately with no time delay. This is usually a coupon code which is sometimes unique for each user.
- Email #2 - Recommend some popular products and share social proof.
- Email #3 - Tell your brand story or talk about something else which could set you apart from the competition, such as your USPs, social good initiatives, or just why your product line is better than others on the market.
- Email #4 - Address any common questions or objections which could be causing making people hesitant to purchase. Use more social proof.
- Email #5 - Remind people their first-time customer coupon is expiring (assuming this is actually true) and use a little urgency to encourage that purchase. Use more social proof.
For the flow timing you'll want to space your emails out with at least 24 hours between each one. For sequences of 5 emails we'd usually configure the flow to send over the course of 7 or 8 days. This does of course vary a lot by market.
Keep in mind that the above recommendations are just a guide. You can change up the order and add/remove content as you see fit for your brand. The most important thing to keep in mind while building your welcome emails is to try and address all of the different reasons a new user may not buy.
So overcome those objections, answer FAQs, share social proof and highly the unique selling points of your most popular products. If you have a good brand or founder story then be sure to tell it here. The welcome flow is usually the first impression a prospective customer gets of your brand in the email channel, so make it count.
Welcome Flow Tip:
You'll notice we recommend including a lot of social proof - in every welcome series email if possible. Customer reviews and quotes are great for this. These help conversion rates with new users who are not yet familiar with your brand and products.
Checkout Abandonment Flow
This is another one of the key automated flows every brand should aim to build in Klaviyo. The ROI on setting this up and getting it right is truly huge.
Most Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify have some kind of built-in checkout or cart abandonment flow functionality, however you'll want to use Klaviyo for this instead as the branding, personalization, and conversion rates will all be better. Our Shopify email agency team never use any of the email marketing tools built in to the platform, or any Ecommerce platform for that matter. There are always better dedicated third party options availabe.
The Checkout Abandonment Flow Explained
The goal of this flow is to identify users who were close to making a purchase, but dropped out for some reason before actually buying. This happens a lot, even for stores with strong brands, high levels of trust, and good overall conversion rates.
Many studies have been done highlighting the huge cart and checkout abandonment rates in Ecommerce¹, so you absolutely need a strategy to combat this and recover as many lost sales as possible.
We advise brands to trigger this flow between 1 and 4 hours after a user abandons the checkout process. You'll use flow filters to ensure someone has not returned to purchase before you send them the sequence of automated emails.
Note: The terms checkout abandonment flow and abandoned cart flow are often used interchangeably, however abandoned cart emails vs checkout are not actually the same. We'll cover the differences in another article but for the purpose of this Klaviyo flow guide we'll focus on checkout abandonment.
Here is a basic three email structure we recommend for your checkout abandonment flow emails in Klaviyo:
- Email #1 - Send this 1-4 hours after the checkout abandonment event. Include a dynamic section in Klaviyo with the user's cart contents showing. Add some cute copy to encourage people to come back, as well as social proof/reviews. No coupon!
- Email #2 - Send this a day later and introduce a coupon here if you'd like. Usually 5-10% will be sufficient. If possible use a unique code which actually expires within a few days. Use more social proof and overcome any common objections or answer FAQs.
- Email #3 - Send this a further day later and let people know their coupon is expiring. You may also choose to delay offering the coupon until this email. Use more social proof as always.
- Email #4 - Optional if you'd like to focus on the fact the coupon is expiring today/tomorrow. You can also use this email as an invitation to get customers to reply to your customer service team with any unresolved questions they have which are stopping them from buying - text only works great for this.
Again, the above structure is just a recommendation for you to use as a starting point. You'll notice we mention not using a coupon immediately. There is no need to give a discount in the first email to get results with this flow. You could even hold it back until email #3 or test not using one at all depending on your brand's positioning in the market.
Ideally all of your abandonment emails will include dynamic content showing the customer's cart contents.
Abandonment Flow Tip:
Consider building multiple flows - one for each of your bestselling products. For example if you have a hero product which contributes a large percentage of your overall revenue it usually makes sense to create a dedicated flow for anyone who abandons their cart without buying this item.
This allows you to include customer reviews for this specific product, focus on it's unique benefits, and answer product-specific questions. All of this is harder to do when using generic abandonment flows which are sent to everyone, especially if your product line is varied.
Browse Abandonment Flow
The Klaviyo browse abandonment flow compliments any cart abandonment and checkout abandonment initiatives you have in place. You can think of browse abandonment campaigns as a higher funnel version of cart abandonment.
You could also imagine it as the email marketing version of re-targeting ads which show users the products they've been browsing online recently.
Browse abandonment is often overlooked. For some stores it can be a high volume flow which generates significant revenue. It's also easy to setup and requires only one or two emails in the sequence, and no discounts!
The Browse Abandonment Flow Explained
This flow works by tracking users who are already in your Klaviyo account - meaning you at least have their email address - and looking at their activity browsing your Ecommerce store. If a user views a particular product page then leaves without adding to cart or buying, they could be eligible for your browse abandonment emails.
The email Klaviyo sends will be dynamic for each user, and show them the product/s they most recently viewed as a reminder to come back and purchase.
It is important to get the trigger and flow filters set up correctly for this flow to ensure people do not get too many emails. For example, if a user comes to your website twice in a day or four to five times in a week, you do not want to send them an email promoting the products they looked at in every session.
For this reason we want to limit this flow so that it only triggers for any individual user once in every 7 days at the most. Sometimes we'll further increase this window to 10 or 14 days, depending on the number of emails a brand is sending overall. This is done with flow filters as in the image below.
The basic structure we recommend for your browse abandon flow in Klaviyo contains just one dynamic email, sent 1 to 4 hours after someone last viewed a product without buying:
- Email #1 - Simply use a dynamic email template showing the products someone looked at, with copy encouraging them to come back and buy. Add social proof if you can.
This is a simple email flow but often the high volume of trigger events means it drives a lot of clicks and sales. We do not usually add a second email to this flow.
Note: We don't recommend using discount codes in browse abandonment emails. This can be a high volume flow and could result in a wide distribution of coupon codes around the web which will eat in to margins.
Also, from our experience working on Klaviyo accounts for the last 5 years we can confidently say that you absolutely do not need to use discounts for a successful browse abandonment campaign.
Browse Abandonment Tip:
As with checkout abandonment, it can be worthwhile to create specific browse abandon flows for your top selling products so you're able to include the most relevant customer reviews and highlight the product benefits. Try to do this for 1-3 of your bestsellers if possible. You can also targeted these emails on a category level as well, allowing you to create copy that's more relevant to what each individual user was looking at.
Post Purchase Flow for New and Existing Customers
The Klaviyo post purchase flow is something every brand should implement. We also recommend creating multiple flows for new customers and returning buyers who are purchasing for the second or third time.
Post purchase emails are sent shortly after an order is placed, making sure the customer has received their email receipt/order confirmation and any tracking and shipping information.
This phase is the start of the customer journey so it is important to get things right and reassure customers they've just made a good decision by buying from you - especially if it is their first order. These emails have high open rates because buyers want to check their order is correct, and see shipping info. So made them look and sound good!
The Klaviyo Post Purchase Flow Explained
The main goals of the post purchase flow emails are to thank the customer, let them know what to expect, and reinforce their buying decision. This automated flow is also a good way to 'fill the gap' that occurs between someone buying online and then actually receiving their order in the mail. This time window could be 3-7 days for many stores, and in some cases even longer.
The longer it takes for customers to receive their items in the mail, the more effort and content you'll want to add to your post purchase sequence.
A standard post purchase email sequence in Klaviyo might look like this:
- Email #1 - Send this using a short time delay within an hour and thank customers for their purchase. Include a summary of their order and expected shipping times, and info around how to contact you if they need to. Create a version for new and existing customers with different copy using conditional splits.
- Emails #2 and #3 - Space these out according to your shipping times. Tell your brand story, show some social proof to reinforce the buying decision, and ask people to join any customer communities you have on social or in private groups such as Facebook or Discord. Loyalty program information can be included here too.
These post purchase emails are usually timed to arrive before a customer receives their product. That's why there is no cross selling or upselling happening yet. We usually recommend waiting until someone has received their products before going for the next purchase. You can however include a coupon for a future purchase in this initial post purchase sequence if you'd like.
Post Purchase Tip:
Depending on your brand and the market you're in, you might want to experiment with adding an exclusive one-time offer in your post purchase sequence, something that's only valid for a day or two. Klaviyo calls this the Bounceback Flow, which can be setup as a separate sequence or included in your post purchase emails. This is great for brands who spend a lot on paid ads for acquisition and want to increase their Day 1 ROI and average order values.
Cross Sell Flows
Cross-sell flows are excellent revenue drivers and one of the best strategies for any brand that wants to increase repeat purchase rates and turn more one time buyers into loyal customers.
However, here at our Ecommerce email marketing agency we're alway surprised at how many 7 and 8 figure Ecommerce stores do not have a well designed cross sell flow setup in place. Some don't have anything at all. If you're in this category then you're certainly leaving money on the table.
Klaviyo Cross Sell Flows Explained
The goal is of course to encourage customers to come back and buy again, preferably by making intelligent product recommendations based on their purchase history. This is the strategy which requires the most customization out of all the Klaviyo flow ideas in this guide, because each brand's product range differs so much.
Generally though, you want to aim for each customer to get a few different product recommendations which make sense to them during the 2-4 weeks following their order. We like to build out multiple cross sell flows targeting the following:
- Flow with specific product recommendations for your top 3 sellers. Each product has its own flow, with the most relevant products presented as cross sells.
- Collection level cross sells where it makes sense. For example, if a customer bought from Collection A then recommend products from Collection C or D if these product types go together.
- A catch all flow recommending bestsellers to anyone who did not yet purchase them.
Setting these up can be complex and requires a good understand of Klaviyo triggers and flow filters. You need to consider the timing of each flow, and prioritize them so customers don't receive too many post purchase cross sell emails if they buy multiple items. This can be done with filters, smart sending, flow timing, or a combination of these tools.
Each store is going to have a different strategy when it comes to cross selling, but as long as each customer is receiving multiple recommendations for their next purchase which make sense to them, you'll be well on your way to increasing repeat purchase rates and turning more one-time buyers into loyal customers who keep coming back.
Cross Sell Tip:
Remember to include replenishment emails for products where people need to re-purchase. If someone buys a supplement today that's expected to last 45 days, then a week or so before they're due to run out you'll want to be sending re-order reminders. And push subscriptions if you have them, too. You can do this via dedicated replenishment/re-order flows, or work them into your other post purchase sequences.
VIP Customer Flow
The VIP flow plays an important role in any effective Ecommerce email marketing strategy. It's great for letting your best customers know you recognize and appreciate their loyalty. In today's ultra competitive marketplace keeping your customers is more important than ever.
There is always an enticing deal or discount to be had with competing brands, so you'll want to do everything possible to ensure customers keep buying from you.
The Klaviyo VIP Customer Flow Explained
The most important thing to do in this flow is give people recognition. Let them know they're now a VIP, and can expect to be treated as such in the future. This could be via early access to new product launches or promotional sales (consider bigger discounts for them), or maybe even VIP only offers once per quarter.
You do not have to immediately give someone a coupon of discount the moment they hit VIP status, whatever that is for your brand. It is the customer appreciation and anticipation of priority treatment and access in the future which matters the most.
A single email letting someone know they've reached VIP status works great. Consider using a mostly text based email, with a more personalized feel. Address the message from the founder or a head of customer service.
VIP Customer Tip:
Don't be afraid to roll out the red carpet for your VIP customers. This means early sale access, invitation to private communities, and even customer interviews or surveys to get their unique insights. Running a VIP-only quarterly customer survey using a tool like Typeform can be an excellent way to gain invaluable insights about your buyers and how they view you as a brand. Remember them something for their time taking the survey as a token of appreciation.
Zero Party Data Flow
The zero party data flow is something a little different - over and above what most brands are doing even in the most competitive markets. We like to encourage brands we consult at our Klaviyo email marketing agency with to try this if it makes sense for them in their market as the results can be impressive.
What is zero party data, or a zero party data flow in Klaviyo?
Zero party data refers to data you as a brand collect directly from customers. The basic examples would of course be a name and email address. However, what we're doing with this strategy is collecting much more granular data from prospects and customers in order to give them a highly personalized marketing experience.
So what does this mean in practice?
The Zero Party Data Flow Explained
The strategy we're talking about here is using quizzes and surveys - often in the pre-purchase phase as an email list growth tool - then building out various different flows which are highly relevant to what each individual told us about themselves and their wants/needs during the quiz or survey.
Here is an example of a pre-purchase quiz below from JONES ROAD Beauty. They use this as a lead generation tool:
Beauty brand JONES ROAD is using a quiz to ask potential customers about their needs, preferences, and problems related to skin health. Users click through a series of questions, enter an email to see their results, then are presented with personalized product recommendations.
What you don't see here is all of the segmentation which can happen behind the scenes. If a user does not make a purchase they can be marketed to via highly targeted emails based on their answers to the quiz questions. Ideally a brand will build several different welcome sequence automations to follow up with quiz non-purchasers, each one targeted to a specific set users with common problems or needs identified by the quiz.
You may of seen some brands using quizzes like this one. These are often given prominent placements on the Ecommerce store homepage, which is extremely valuable real estate. Why do you think that is? They're doing this because quizzes are an excellent lead generation tool with high conversion rates that also collect much more information on each person than an email address. This is valuable data.
Building a quiz with 6-12 questions is fairly simple using a tool such as Octane AI, TypeForm, or LeadQuizzes. After a user has answered the various questions and given an email address to get their results they can be segmented based on their answers in Klaviyo.
Your zero party data flows, or quiz flows, will then trigger a series of Welcome emails which are highly relevant to each person. You'll likely have 3-4 different pre-built flow sequences, depending on which segment a user ends up in after the quiz. These can address different pain points, provide education on various topics, and recommend products based on what you know about each person.
If you're a skincare brand for example and you divide your products up internally by the skin type/condition they're most suited for, you might design a quiz with questions that lead people to let you know whether they have dry, oily, acne prone, or normal skin as the primary outcome of the questions. Y
You can then build 4 different automated email flows each based around that skin type with appropriate product recommendations and customer testimonials.
The value of collecting zero party data
Building a lead-generation quiz with 5-10 questions gives prospects a fun and engaging way to tell you exactly what they're interested in, while signing up to your email list in order to see their results. This strategy gives you multiple data points which can be used to send potential customers through highly relevant email sequences, based on their answers. It also captures people who are not ready to buy right now, and who would not have otherwise opted in for a coupon code. We talk more about collecting ZPD in this advanced email tips post for Ecommerce brands.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Klaviyo Email Flows
If you're still getting familiar with Klaviyo for the first time, or transitioning from another email marketing platform, here some basic questions you might want answers to:
What are Klaviyo Flows?
Klaviyo flows are automated sequences of emails or SMS campaigns which are sent to a user over a predetermined period of time. Some ESPs call these auto responders. A flow is activated by a 'trigger' which is an action taken by a specific user that qualifies them to receive an email or SMS flow.
A basic example would be the abandoned cart or abandoned checkout trigger. In this case a user started checkout but didn't complete their order within a specific time window, usually 1-4 hours.
This action is the flow trigger. The user is now eligible to receive your abandonment flow which could be 2 -4 emails delivered automatically over the next 24-48 hours.
How Do You Make a Flow in Klaviyo? What Are Flow Triggers?
The easiest way to make a flow in Klaviyo is to use one of the pre-built templates in their Flow Library. You'll see that the basic recommended flow triggers and filters for each sequence is already configured for you. Simply adjust these as needed if you like.
After getting started with the pre-configured templates you'll get a good idea of how to set up a Klaviyo flow and how everything works. You'll then be able to build your own custom flows from scratch. However, our team of Klaviyo experts still use pre-built flows from the library every day here at our agency, even though we've been doing this for over 5 years. They provide a great starting point and usually only require a little customization for each brand.
Which Flows are Not in the Klaviyo Flow Library?
Some of the more complex and advanced flows will not be found in the Klaviyo flow library. For example the zero party data flow we described above would be something you need to build from scratch. Other flows which are highly specific to your brand such as product-based cross sell and upsell flows also need a lot of configuration, even if you start with one of the flow templates.
Where Can I Find New Advanced Klaviyo Flow Ideas?
The flow library is actually a great starting point. It has a lot of more advanced flows included, as well as the basics which can be created instantly with the flow builder. See our detailed Klaviyo review to learn more about what's included with the platform. Our training program is another great resource if you'd like something super in-depth, it contains all of our best Klaviyo flow ideas.
You can also talk to our Klaviyo consultants so we could discuss specific recommendations for your brand. Lastly, the Klaviyo blog and forum is a fantastic resource as well.
Which Klaviyo Automations Should Wholesale and B2B Brands Use?
Many of the email strategies we recommend - both flows and campaigns - apply to both D2C brands and also B2B or wholesale brands. There are however some differences and we find that in the wholesale space our recommendations tend to differ a little more between various businesses, depending on their situation. We wrote a short post on wholesale email marketing here so give that a quick read and be sure to reach out to our team to discuss an intelligent Klaviyo flow strategy for your B2B or wholesale online business.
By Ryan Turner
founder of ecommerce intelligence
Ryan is a 10+ year Ecommerce growth expert and the founder of Ecommerce Intelligence. He currently leads the strategy here and helps our team get the most out of the email and SMS marketing channels for the brands we help.