Klaviyo Review: Detailed Guide to Email/SMS Features in 2022

Ryan Turner // June 5 // 0 Comments

We’ve created this article as one of the most comprehensive Klaviyo reviews anywhere online. We hope it gives you all of the information you need to know if this platform is the right choice for your brand.

If you own an Ecommerce business, you’re undoubtedly aware of how vital email marketing and potentially SMS marketing is to the health and growth of your company. 

There are a bevy of statistics that back this up, from the fact that customers who buy products through email spend spend 138% more1 than those who don’t receive email offers, to the acknowledgment by 80% of retail professionals2 that email marketing remains the single best driver of customer retention.1 2

Email is the biggest revenue driving channel for many of the biggest online brands, and a huge number of them choose Klaviyo. Today we’ll take an in-depth look at why, and determine if this email tool could be the best fit for your online store. After four years working only with this platform here at Ecommerce Intelligence email marketing agency we’ve finally created a super in-depth Klaviyo review. Enjoy!

There are a lot of ESP options out there for online stores – MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Drip et al. All of these can be setup quickly and easily using a simple Shopify app or WooCommerce app. Shopify even have their own basic email solution now.

So how do you choose one software over another? It’s a big decision for sure.

Today we’re walking you through a full review of Klaviyo, a suite of marketing automation tools built specifically for Ecommerce from the ground up that is seeing rapid growth, and being used by thousands of seven and eight figure online retailers.

We’ve used it every day at our email marketing agency for over 4 years now an have undertaken Klaviyo consulting projects of all sizes. If you’d like to see exactly how we get industry leading results for clients using the software, we actually teach everything in our Klaviyo email training course.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover in this detailed Klaviyo review:

Review of Klaviyo’s Template Builder – Email Design Made Simple

One of our favorite basic features Klaviyo’s email marketing platform is the intuitive drag-and-drop email templates builder. It is easy to use with a small learning curve.

When done poorly, these drag-and-drop or WYSIWYG tools can be a huge nightmare – sometimes costing more time than they save. However, Klaviyo have done an excellent job building theirs, making is easy to create beautiful emails that perfectly match your brand colors and overall look and feel.

Using content blocks, Klaviyo empowers its users to create gorgeous, responsive emails with a few mouse clicks. Just drag the required blocks into your email template, fill them with content, and send away.

Blocks can contain dynamic content for highly personalized customer experiences at any scale.

This is email design for dummies, and with Klaviyo’s extensive library of email templates to use as a starting point or simple inspiration, it really does not get any easier.

Klaviyo email template designs

If you’re not a designer, simply pick a template that best serves your purpose, add your colors and company logo, and you’ll be able to create emails that look professional.

Of course, for a truly customized on-brand feel you’ll want to graphic designer familiar with your brand guidelines to put together designs inside Klaviyo.

Pro Tip: While most major ESPs are designed to be mobile-friendly, some do not allow you to easily change an email design based on the device that opens it. Klaviyo does.

Compare the two email previews below. The first shows how the email will appear on desktop, while the second shows how it will appear on mobile.

This is one of our favorite Klaviyo features.

Mobile vs desktop design in Klaviyo

While the email is mobile responsive as is, you might find fault with the mobile version. The text takes up a much larger percentage of the mobile screen, which isn’t ideal in an age of shortened attention spans.

This is where the genius of Klaviyo’s email builder shines through. You can make certain blocks only appear on given devices, effectively enabling you to create multiple variations of the same email for different devices within a single template.

To illustrate this point, we’ll make the text block in question appear on desktop only.

Mobile vs desktop templates

We’ll then duplicate it and make the copy appear on mobile only.

Mobile vs desktop templates

With a little tweaking, the text now takes up a much smaller percentage of the screen, leaving more real estate for the products we want to promote. 

Klaviyo mobile vs desktop previews

It’s a seemingly small tweak, but its implications are incredibly important.

Thanks to Klaviyo, you’re able to easily create responsive emails that are fully optimized for every screen, every time, and show different content on each device.

Klaviyo Flows: Reviewing The Incredible Email Automation Capabilities 

An intuitive design interface alone doesn’t necessarily make a great ESP. Robust email automation gets you a lot closer though.

This Klaviyo review would not be complete without taking a deep-dive into the platform’s email automation capabilities. Klaviyo is famous for these.

E commerce stores of all sizes – from startups to multinationals like Nike and Under Armour – depend on automated emails to constantly bring in new leads and encourage repeat purchases.

While one-off newsletters and promotional emails will always be part of a winning email marketing strategy, automated campaigns are a marketer’s best friend because they enable you to effortlessly make money and nurture leads on autopilot. Once these automated templates are set up, you’re free to sit back and watch them go to work.

Automated Klaviyo flows for both email and SMS are not a Klaviyo-exclusive feature – nearly every ESP software will allow you to build a basic newsletter signup sequence or implement an abandoned cart recovery campaign.

What sets Klaviyo’s automated email functionality apart is both the number of pre-built automations it offers (for both email marketing and SMS campaigns) and the incredible amount of customer data it gives you to use in designing your own automated flows.

Here is just a small fraction of the pre-built automations available inside the platform:

The Klaviyo flow library

A quick review of Klaviyo’s flow library (Klaviyo refers to automated email campaigns as “flows”) will give you an idea of what is capable through smart email automation. There are pre-built automated email campaigns for nearly every user action, which makes your job as a marketer or a business owner that much easier.

Simply click the flow you would like to build, and you’ll be able to easily customize the Klaviyo software’s default campaigns to best suit your business and send highly personalized emails based on customer data and behavior.

Here is what one of Klaviyo’s basic welcome email sequence templates looks like out of the box:

A pre-built email welcome flow in Klaviyo

You’ll notice a couple things here:

    1. The flow is complete with preconfigured ideas for emails, subject lines, and even time delays to help you deliver the right message at the right time .

    1. Recipients receive different emails based on the “Conditional Split” that is built into the email flow

    1. The hard work of figuring out all of this logic is already done for you.

While the first point is helpful, especially if you’re new to email marketing, the second is one of the things that really makes Klaviyo special.

In this example, Klaviyo splits its welcome series into two different legs based on historical customer data. If the new subscriber has already made a purchase, they receive a basic “Thanks for subscribing!” welcome email. If they haven’t already made a purchase, they receive a 20% discount code.

It’s easy to understand why this is desirable – if someone has already purchased from you, they probably don’t need to be incentivized by a discount code to do so again. If they haven’t yet purchased, though, this discount code might be just what it takes to win over their business.

Being able to configure automated campaigns based on information like purchase history in a drag and drop interface enables you to send the most targeted, relevant emails possible. The possibilities with Klaviyo are endless because of the sheer amount and variety of data you can use to configure your automated email campaigns.

Reviewing Klaviyo Flow Triggers, Filters, and Conditional Splits

To fully take advantage of the Klaviyo software’s automation capabilities, you need to understand the various mechanisms it employs to filter flows and send subscribers down various paths based on their behaviors.

If you’ve ever set up a welcome email sequence for your business, you’re likely familiar with email triggers. In a welcome series, the first email is “triggered” by a customer joining your newsletter list, usually by signing up for email alerts on your website on through a Klaviyo pop up form.

While this is a great jumping off point, if you only triggered campaigns when someone subscribed to a certain customer list or segment, you wouldn’t be sending out many automated emails at all.

You want to have a wide range of automated campaigns working 24/7 behind the scenes, which requires multiple campaigns and trigger types.

Klaviyo has four, and together they account for just about every user behavior you can imagine.

Automated triggered email setup

Let’s build a cross-sell email campaign for a consumer goods fashion brand targeting customers who have purchased an item.

For this example, let’s imagine that you sell track pants and track jackets, and would like to up-sell pants purchasers on jackets of the same color or another certain product you know someone is likely to buy.

We’ll start by using the “Metric” trigger as our starting point, targeting individuals who have placed an order on your website.

Klaviyo flow trigger setup

We don’t want to target just any purchase though. If someone buys a hat from you and then gets an email suggesting they purchase a pair of pants, it might not be too relevant of a product recommendation.

Instead, we’ll use a trigger filter to restrict this automated cross-sell email to only send to customers who have purchased red track pants.

Product specific upsell triggers

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Our filtering work isn’t quite done yet, though. What if the recipient in question purchased both the red track pants and the red track jacket? They would be receiving a promotional email that isn’t relevant to them.

We want to avoid this at all costs, so we’ll filter further, this time using a “Flow Filter”.

Product specific upsell filters

Now we’re in business.

By adding this filter, we’ve cordoned off our track jacket cross-sell campaign to only target individuals who have ordered red track pants in the past but have not yet ordered a red track jacket.

We can now start adding emails to our sequence – but we’ll need to be smart about it. We’ll implement a time delay to give recipients some time to enjoy their new track pants before attempting to sell them on the jacket.

Product specific upsell flow in Klaviyo

Perfect. We’ve given our recipients some time to enjoy their purchase, and we’ve also given them the opportunity to purchase the red track jacket on their own. Klaviyo’s flow filters are rechecked at every step of the email sequence, which means that if a recipient were to purchase the jacket 7 days after entering the flow, they would fail the filter check before the first email, and thus would not receive any email in the sequence.

In a perfect world, your recipients would get the first email and be so enamored with the track pants that they would immediately purchase the track jacket. This, unfortunately, is unlikely to happen. Maybe they aren’t ready to make another purchase just yet – or maybe they didn’t receive your first cross-sell email.

In this instance, we can use Klaviyo’s conditional split function to further target recipients who didn’t open the first email in your sequence. This is extremely simple to do inside the software.

Using Klaviyo conditional split flows

Another time delay and a final email later and we’ve built out an intricate email flow that will ensure these emails are as timely and relevant as possible to our recipients.

This is just one example of the power that is Klaviyo’s drag and drop builder for automated email flows. You can build highly customized email sequences using data gleaned from both Klaviyo and from your ecommerce site.

Want to send a coupon code to VIP customers who have spent $5,000 over their lifetime on your website? Easy as pie. Target customers who haven’t purchased from you in the last six months? Create a win-back campaign and watch the dollars roll in.

This is all incredibly easy to do for a consumer goods brand or B2B store in almost any market.

Klaviyo Integrates With The Ecommerce Tools You Love

It doesn’t matter what Ecommerce platform you’re utilizing: Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, or something else – Klaviyo is almost guaranteed to have a plug-in available to make integrating with your store a breeze.

This makes a world of difference when you start to build your email marketing strategy and want to sync it to other softwares you use in your Shopify store, or site on another Ecommerce platform.

While lesser platforms will limit the amount of information you have at your fingertips, Klaviyo essentially functions as an extension of your online business.

Klaviyo integrations aren’t just with Ecommerce platforms. The platform also integrates with a variety of third-party applications and services that make it easier than ever to take your marketing to the next level.

Here is just a small selection of the apps, tools and platforms Klaviyo has integrate with:

Some tools Klaviyo integrates with

You can also sync your Facebook advertising account with Klaviyo to build highly-targeted email and ad campaigns that fit perfectly with your social media marketing strategy, or integrate with a pop-up service like Privy to fuel your email marketing efforts with new subscribers if you’re not using the Klaviyo form builder to collect email contacts.

Reviewing Klaviyo’s Reporting & Analytics Capabilities

Seeing your high level email performance at a glance is incredibly simple. Top line performance for all flows and campaigns are arranged nicely in the standard performance dashboard.

Your analytics tab can be completely customized and built up from various different ‘cards’ showing all kinds of performance data and key insights. There are thousands of possible reporting layouts you can build, depending on which combination of stats and data you’d like to keep track of daily.

You can even drill down to see every action your customers and contacts are taking in real time, from opening emails to placing orders. This is a snapshot of a single customer’s history with a brand.

This data is incredibly useful when you’re constructing automated emails and grouping your customer base into various email segments. 

Dynamic Content and Email Personalization Review in Klaviyo

Another excellent advantage Klaviyo grants its customers is the ability to personalize emails and alter email content based on a variety of factors stored in customer profiles.

If you’ve ever received a shipping confirmation, abandoned cart or browse abandonment email, you’ve seen dynamic email content in action. Information from your order (or potential order) is pulled into the email, populating it with text and images that corresponds exactly with what you purchased or were planning to purchase. These emails are filled with dynamic information that varies from user to user, order to order.

Since Klaviyo works so well with most major online store platforms, it’s incredibly easy to use these dynamic blocks, even if you’re not the most tech savvy business owner or budding marketer.

Dynamic email content

Above is an example of a dynamic block found in Klaviyo’s default Shopify abandoned cart email. It looks like a string of random words and numbers, but when it’s sent to customers, it will populate with an image of the abandoned product(s) in question, along with their names and prices – no coding necessary.

You can include trending product feeds, recommend products based on a customer’s purchase history, and even add RSS feeds that will include your most recent Instagram posts in your emails with dynamic content. The only limit to what you accomplish with dynamic content is your imagination.

Email Personalization in Klaviyo

Ever wonder why so many email newsletter signups will ask for not only your email address, but your name, birthday, gender, and interests as well?

The answer is simple: to continuously serve you relevant emails and make them as personal as possible. Personalized experiences are key for higher customer engagement and make it much easier to build relationships with subscribers.

You can collect and store all of this information about your contacts, and much more, within Klaviyo and use it to trigger automated emails or further personalize them.

If you know a subscriber’s birthday, you could create an automated happy birthday campaign that serves them with a special offer or thank you gift on their birthday.

Want to increase the likelihood of your email landing in your recipient’s inbox? Make it clear to Google, AOL, or Yahoo! that you know your recipient by using their first name in your marketing emails.

basic email personalization

This is a simple thing you can do by using Klaviyo’s personalization variables on the email builder page. By typing {{ first_name }} , you’re instructing Klaviyo to pull whatever name it has on file into your email to provide a personal touch.

The “ default:’there’ “ serves as a safeguard to insure that, in the event the recipient’s first name isn’t known, there won’t be an awkward blank space. Klaviyo will instead use whatever greeting you specify within the apostrophes (“there” in this case).

You can use this same logic to “call” any information you have stored about your customers into your marketing emails. And there is a huge amount of info you can use from your Ecommerce customers and subscribers to dynamically personalize the content they receive from you via the email channel.

You can also use it to determine who receives certain emails. If your online store sells men’s and women’s clothing, you can see why it would be valuable to know your subscriber’s gender.

Klaviyo SMS Review – How Good Is The SMS Marketing Platform?

The ability to run Klaviyo SMS campaigns from within the same email marketing dashboard launched a few years ago and quickly became one of the leading solutions for Ecommerce brands wanting to capitalize on the trend of growing sales via targeted SMS messages.

Similarly to email, brands can run both automated flows sending SMS messages for evergreen content, or one-off campaigns for regular sales, promotions, product launches and weekly newsletters.

Every SMS enabled account comes with a library of pre-build automated SMS message flows which brands can customize for their own needs.

Overall the Klaviyo SMS marketing automation tools are comparable with other leading solutions such as PostScript and the pricing is competitive too.

Deliverability seems to be excellent and high throughput can be achieved with short codes, vanity numbers, and toll free numbers for brands who want to send a high volume of text messages.

One unique feature of Klaviyo is the ability to build combined email and SMS flows. These have built in rules where customer can a marketing message across both channels at once, or on a second channel if they don’t respond to the initial campaign.

An example of this would be an automated abandoned cart campaign that sends a message first via email, then again via an SMS message if the customer doesn’t open the email or make a purchase within a given time window.

This is highly advanced automated Ecommerce marketing and Klaviyo makes it simple within a single platform, without different channels interfering with each other.

Reviews of Klaviyo’s Customer Support Team

There is nothing more frustrating than having a time-sensitive question and not being able to contact a customer support representative.

Luckily, Klaviyo apparently feels the same way. Their customer support team is truly top notch which is becoming increasingly rare in the online marketing software world.

While a lot of email marketing tools view any kind of reasonable level of customer service as an add-on to be paid for, there is a team of Klaviyo product experts available that typically responds to email/ticket inquiries in a few hours max during regular business hours – often much quicker than that during peak business times. 

And that’s only if you need to make a customer support request one in the first place. You probably won’t, though, because you’ll have access to live chat support, which you can contact Monday through Friday – something we don’t often seen mentioned in other Klaviyo reviews.

In our experience of actively working on 10-20 Klaviyo accounts at any one time, the live chat team can solve the vast majority of queries very quickly. This saves a lot of headaches.

The one downside is that sometimes we find there are a number of people ahead of us waiting in the chat queue so during the busiest periods a 15-20 minute wait for live chat support may happen.

Overview of Klaviyo Pricing Tiers for Email & SMS Marketing Automation

The Klaviyo pricing tiers make it very cost-effective to use, and our clients feel the same.

Klaviyo offers its pricing on a sliding scale based on the number of subscribers and emails sent. Klaviyo’s features aren’t limited on lower paid plans so small businesses get access to the same advanced email marketing software that seven and eight figure brands have been leveraging for years. Absolutely everything in terms of functionality is included on the cheapest paid plan.

There is a free plan up to 250 subscribers and options to scale up to tens of millions of subscribers. So yes, you can use one of the most advanced email marketing platform tools built specifically for Ecommerce businesses, completely free to begin with.

We created a full in-depth breakdown of the Klaviyo pricing tiers for email and SMS here. But to give you a quick idea of costs, up to 500 subscribers is the lowest paid plan at $20 per month. Set pricing scales through to 150,000 subscribers at $1700 per month. Plans with more than 150,000 active subscribers require a custom pricing quote from Klaviyo.3

They can deal with millions of subscribers though as mentioned and we’ve seen great results on accounts with lists in the hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Klaviyo’s Customer Success, Training, and Education Efforts

Klaviyo wants your marketing efforts to succeed. If you’re happy with your results, you’re going to keep paying for its service. That’s why they’ve put together an entire academy devoted to helping you make the most of Klaviyo. They boast a help center full of valuable resources, and keep their blog filled with all the latest tips and news from around the email marketing world. Our overall rating of their training and education is very good.

Even if you don’t end up selecting Klaviyo as your ESP (and really, you should absolutely try it out), you’ll be doing your business a favor by familiarizing yourself with their blog. It’s a goldmine of email marketing tips and tricks.

Klaviyo Reviews from Customers on Third Party Platforms

The feedback and ratings from Ecommerce brand owners on various marketplaces such as Shopify and Capterra is very positive. These are helpful as they’re always written by verifited users of the software and cannot be edited by anyone but the original poster.

The Capterra Klaviyo reviews give the platform an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars at the time of writing. That score is comprised from over 200 individual customer ratings.

Similarly, the Shopify Klaviyo reviews are also overwhelmingly positive. The score after over 1550 individual pieces of feedback from Shopify store owners was an average of 4.4 stars out of 5.

For software in such a competitive industry that’s so important to the overall performance of an Ecommerce brand, those ratings are excellent and some of the best you’ll see among competitors.

It’s worth noting that many of the negative ratings are from customers who feel the platform is too expensive because there are a few cheaper alternatives. However, these other platforms don’t offer the same level of functionality, deliverability, or customer service.

Summary – Our Overall Klaviyo Rating

There’s a reason we decided to make the switch to a Klaviyo-only email agency a few years ago. For us Klaviyo offers the best balance of highly advanced functionality, excellent support, high deliverability, and very competitive pricing for both email and SMS for almost any Ecommerce brand. We hope you found this piece helpful, we’ve tried to make it one of the most comprehensive Klaviyo reviews you’ll find anywhere online.

Contact us today to speak about getting setup with your Klaviyo project. Whether you’d like a fully done for you agency service, or just to speak with a Klaviyo expert, we’re sure we can help.

About the Author Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner is the lead strategist here at Ecommerce Intelligence with over 6 years experience growing Ecommerce brands using proven Klaviyo email marketing strategies.

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