Over the past year, eCommerce has boomed. According to Shopify, the eCommerce industry grew the equivalent of 10 years in just 3 months. While that’s huge growth, the question is ‘Can it continue?’.

The answer is yes, but only if you use a ‘brain’.

For us, the brain of an eCommerce business is not about the IQ of the owner – its actually about email. Yes, Email. Over the past few years, email marketing has had a resurgence in popularity, with rising cost of paid advertising and the ever-changing landscape and ‘ethical issues’ over some of the major companies that provide platforms for us as businesses. During this time, companies like Klaviyo have pushed email beyond just being a way to deliver an automated message – email can now be treated like a ‘nucleus’ for all eCommerce brand marketing. Here’s how.

1. Start with email

While there are a number of Email Service Providers (ESP) available to eCommerce merchants, Klaviyo has grown significantly in this space over the past few years. Klaviyo are ESP that allows you to collect, use and segment data obtained from your email list sign-ups, but importantly from other apps you use on your Shopify store too. While we’ll look at this later, the key first step is to make sure you have your core email flows setup. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to use the ‘Email Marketing Nucleus’ approach to marketing:

Welcome Flow

This flow has the objective to:

  • Welcome your new subscriber
  • Get subscribers to complete a quiz or lead generation activity
  • Get subscribers to purchase after completing the quiz or lead generation activity

This Flow is important when sent promptly after your subscriber signs up. Subscribing to a mailing list indicates high interest and sending at this peak time helps build a relationship with the Subscriber as well as creating the opportunity to guide them towards a purchase.

Post Purchase Followup (Thank you Flow)

This flow has the objectives to:

  • Build a relationship with the customer
  • Create user-generated content by gathering reviews
  • Guide them to a repeat purchase

This Flow is important because the Subscriber is now your customer, therefore the messaging used changes. This Flow can be segmented by how many orders have been placed so that you can focus on gaining a repeat purchase from your one time customer and reviews from your other customers.

Browse Abandonment

This flow has the objectives to:

  • Guide Subscribers to purchase at their peak interest point
  • Educate the subscriber of the benefits of your product
  • Create a personalised online shopping experience

This Flow is important as it helps create a personalised experience for the Subscriber. Just like a sales assistant would approach you if you were browsing in a store, the Browse Abandonment Flow gives you the opportunity to approach your potential customers at the decision-making point of their customer journey.

Cart Abandonment

This flow has the objectives to:

  • Recover an abandoned cart
  • Guide them to purchase at a peak interest point
  • Increase revenue

This Flow is important as it’s a main retargeting channel in Klaviyo. Recovering abandoned carts can have high conversion rates as Subscribers have already shown interest. Segmenting Flows but behaviour allows incentives and messaging to be changed for a personalised experience.

Customer Winback

This flow has the objectives to:

  • To re-engage subscribers
  • To segment subscribers based on their behaviour
  • To find out additional information

This Flow is important as it creates a final opportunity to re-engage subscribers. By using a highly targeted segment, subscribers are guided to either making a purchase or to select a marketing preference. Winback Flows also improve deliverability as you can reduce Unsubscribe and Spam Rate through manual suppressions.

Prospect Conversions

This Flow is designed to engage with new subscribers who haven’t purchased and any subscriber who hasn’t purchased, with the goal of building trust that will encourage them to shop with you.

Sunset Unengaged Subscribers

This Flow helps automated the list cleansing process and is triggered if the Customer Winback Flow isn’t effective.

Once you’ve got these baseline flows created, it’s now time to evaluate your tech stack.

2. Evaluate your tech stack

If you’re a Shopify merchant, it’s likely you’re using a number of apps from the Shopify app store on your site. If you head over to the ‘Apps’ section of your Shopify Admin, you’ll be able to check out each of the apps you’re using right now. With your list in front of you, evaluate each app using these questions:

  1. What direct revenue has been attributed to this app in the past 6 months? Each app may show you the attribution or you may have to make a call on this.
  2. How much time or money has that app saved you in the past 6 months?
  3. Which of your apps integrate with Klaviyo? You should be able to find that out here.

In order to adopt the ‘Klaviyo Nucleus’ approach to marketing, you’ll need to ensure that

  1. Each of your apps that result in communication with your customer integrates with Klaviyo
  2. The net return of each app is positive to you.

At this point, you may have removed a number of apps – which is going to be great for your site speed – and bank balance. Most importantly, its now time to again assess you tech stack and see where the gaps might be in your stack.

3. Plug the gaps in the tech stack

Ultimately, the goal for any Shopify brand is to develop long-lasting relationships with customers to maximise long-term revenue. But how do we do that? By making sure that the ‘relationship’ your customer has with you is a smooth and enjoyable as possible. To be able to address this, its now time to map out your customer journey and see where things may not be as smooth as they could be. So, some of the common ‘issues’ you might find are:

  • When a customer subscribes to our email list, the style of email they get is designed and on-brand. When they purchase, they are not.
  • You have a loyalty program that customers sign-up for, but they can’t easily find how many points they have and are not using them.

The aim here is to find out as many ‘bumps’ and ‘issues’ you have and see how you can smooth these out with either new apps or integrations between Klaviyo and your existing apps. So for example, with the issues outlined above

Issue: When a customer subscribes to our email list, the style of email they get is designed and on-brand. When they purchase, they are not.

Fix: Use the Klaviyo integration with Shopify notifications to send them via Klaviyo so that all notifications like ‘Shipping confirmation’ are on-brand.

Issue: You have a loyalty program that customers sign-up for, but they can’t easily find how many points they have and are not using them.

Fix: Use the Klaviyo integration with LoyaltyLion so that each email sent via Klaviyo includes a pre-header bar that displays the current points balance e.g. ‘You currently have 1000 points to spend. Shop Now.’

Now that you’ve plugged the gaps with the right apps, its now time to setup the integrations

4. Setup your app integrations with Klaviyo

While the prospect of integrating you apps with Klaviyo might feel daunting, there is a lot of help out there from Klaviyo and the apps that integrate. The key thing here is to take each integration at a time and ensure that the integrations:

  1. Smooth out the customer issue you were trying to resolve
  2. Are keeping you on-brand with your communication.

How to start your road to having your email as your brain

While there’s a lot of information available about integrations, we’ve found that there isn’t necessarily one place with a structured guide for different types of brands. To help with this, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how best to integrate your tech stack with email. You’ll find a range of different ideas and ways to integrate.