A conference dedicated to a single email service provider?! Yes, it exists and it's nothing to laugh at, I promise.
Last week Klaviyo held their second annual conference in Boston for both merchants and partners. This conference is a testament to Klaviyo's aggressive growth. Their customer base doubled over the year, growing from 10K to 20K users. Conference attendees doubled in size too, from 300 to 600+. Moreover, Klaviyo reports having generated $4.8 billion in owned revenue since the conference last year. 🤯
This was my first year attending, and I'm glad to report they made some pretty exciting announcements for 2020.
In this article I'll dive into what's coming next in the Klaviyo universe. Then I'll highlight a couple of actionable new features for you to implement. This is not a comprehensive recap of the Klaviyo:BOS (for that, you can read this!). It's more of my own personal highlights from the perspective of an agency partner who lives and breathes Klaviyo all day long.
What to expect from Klaviyo in 2020
As you might expect, Klaviyo has many big shiny new features coming our way for 2020, and we are really excited to see them play out.
The overarching theme is that Klaviyo is moving to become a central part of your marketing efforts, as a CRM-type tool.
They are placing the emphasis on what they call Owned Marketing. Their mission is to help merchants rely more heavily on marketing they can control themselves, so that you're not at the mercy of the Facebooks and Amazons of this world. As you're about to see they won't stop at email, they're attacking SMS too!
Klaviyo also aims to become indispensable through cutting-edge data analysis capability. Soon you'll be able to use Klaviyo to dig much deeper into your customer segments, to better understand buyer behavior and make targeted, data-backed decisions about your communication.
Let’s take a look at some of the new features coming our way.
1. SMS is coming to Klaviyo!
Sending automated SMSs is a natural extension to email in the "Owned Marketing" realm, and Klaviyo is going to make the two work side-by-side in your flows.
A few use cases:
- A subscriber didn't open your latest email flow offer? No problem, trigger an automated follow up via SMS to get their attention (all within the same flow!)
- Not sure what your audience prefers to receive? Quickly A/B test an email vs. an SMS. Or ask your subscribers for their preference, tag their Klaviyo profile, and only communicate with them via their favorite medium.
- Share time sensitive updates such as Transactional information via SMS to make sure it's seen in time.
- Visualize SMS and Email reporting side by side to understand how SMS is helping your store grow.
(Sign up for updates here.)
A few housekeeping items:
- It will be a stand alone product (you can pay for just email, only sms, or both)
- First phase roll out is in October 2019 (SMS triggered within Flows along side emails). Second phase is to come out Q4 2019 (SMS campaign) and third phase rolls out in mid-2020 (SMS inbox for 1:1 texting).
- Benefits of collecting emails via Klaviyo rather than a separate tool:
- You'll be able to perfectly fuse your email and SMS strategies.
- Klaviyo will have a simple form building tool to collect subscribers
- Klaviyo will help you take care of compliance (so you don't shoot yourself in the foot)
- Klaviyo will take care of unsubscribes
- SMS profiles will merge with email profiles
2. Customer analytics native on Klaviyo platform
Klaviyo already did a lot of work on their reporting in 2019. They launched their "Analytics" tab on the Dashboard which helps keep track of email results.
We now have far more detailed analysis capabilities to look forward to. You'll be able to dig deep into specific customer segments to detect trends and better understand your audience.
A few use cases:
- You'll be able to create a VIP segment, then find out how much revenue they generated, what products they buy the most, etc.
- You could see who bought with a certain coupon, then analyze what they purchased, their average order value, etc.
- You could compare conversions and behavior for shoppers who receive a discount and those who didn't in order to evaluate your strategy.
- You could ask customers what type of shopper they are (eg. athlete, team, casual, weekend warrior), tag their profile, then use that tag to segment them and analyze what category shops the most.
Recent features worth implementing now
Klaviyo is working hard to automate as much as possible so you don't need to spend hours drowning in spreadsheets. Here are a couple features Klaviyo recently launched that you’ll want to start taking advantage of.
Smart Send Time
Smart Send Time is a new feature that analyzes your business' data to find the optimal email send time. (Don't confuse it with "Smart Sending" which allows you to limit the number of emails you send to a reader within a certain timeframe.)
This is super exciting! Mostly because I will no longer need to explain that the best sending time varies from one audience to another, and therefore, I don't know off the bat at what time to send your emails.
Instead, we'll be able to use this new feature to send a few campaigns and, Bam!, we have a much more satisfactory answer.
How it works:
To start, you build your next campaign as you normally would. Then simply select "Smart Send Time" when you’re ready to schedule (this feature only works when you’re sending to 12,000 people or more).
The first few campaigns you send this way will be on an exploratory mission to carve out a 4-hour block with the most opens. Keep in mind this is all automated; Klaviyo will send campaigns over a 24-hour time frame and analyze results.
After this initial time frame, Klaviyo then moves to phase two and starts only sending campaigns during this 4-hour block of time. Finally, after collecting sufficient data, it pinpoints the optimal send time.
The best part: it keeps improving on itself! When sending campaigns with Smart Send Time, Klaviyo will consistently test it to make sure it hits inboxes when your audience is most active.
2. Predictive Analytics
Klaviyo launched this a few months ago and we should all be using it by now (here’s a general overview).
Klaviyo's predictive analytics calculates Customer Lifetime Value, determines when a customer is most likely to buy again, and can even make gender predictions.
Sending emails on the Expected Date of Next Order: No more guessing when you expect your customer to finish their bottle of shampoo/vitamin/mustache wax.... Klaviyo now finds patterns within each buyer's actions and then aggregates all of the customer behavior. This means you can be in your customer's inbox exactly when they are most likely needing a refill.
Don't think of this as a winback; It's a subtle nudge at the right time. If relevant, you can include their past order, showing products they might want to refill. You could even add an "add to cart" button directly in the email to simplify the reorder.
Klaviyo includes a pre-built flow that you'll find in the "Browse ideas" section under the name "Repeat Purchase Nurture Series." This template separates one time buyers from the rest, so you can customize your message depending on how many orders your customers have placed.
Using Gender Prediction: You can now segment some of your flow emails by gender with the Gender Prediction feature (which works by analyzing customer names). This makes it easy to customize your email content:
- Show a hero image with a women/men
- Show a product feed with products from the relevant category by gender
- Best practice: you might still want to show a secondary product feed with products from other categories, in case the prediction isn't on point (maybe "Katie" is shopping for "Mike"?)
To conclude: a few personal conference highlights
Klaviyo:BOS was packed with interesting presentations, but the real fun happened outside the classroom.
I've been working with Klaviyo for about five years now - constantly pushing the support team to help me figure out unconventional strategies. It's a relief to finally meet them and realize they didn't want to punch me in the face. Shout out to the partner support team for being wonderful to work with!
All of Klaviyo's 300 employees were at the conference mingling, teaching, listening. It's clear Klaviyo wants to create one big happy family and it’s nice that they are making themselves available to hear our feedback.
I was excited to meet a few of Fuel Made’s clients face-to-face for the first time at the conference (Inked Gaming, Supply, …). On top of that, Klaviyo orchestrated a quick Partner video interview between me and the one-and-only beard master, Eric from Beardbrand. Hopefully we'll see how that turned out soon! :)
As an agency, I loved mingling with other partners, sharing industry secrets with agencies, and discovering fun strategies used by other brands like Chubbies, Purelei, Hint, etc.
Overall, Klaviyo did a great job putting together this event. The talks were high-quality and advanced, and now I have a long list of ideas to implement. Networking opportunities were pleasant and there was a positive, excited energy over the course of the conference.
To wrap it up, the illuminated swings at the party were a huge hit, and the psychedelic photo booth will make for some great memorabilia. I’ll be looking forward to Klaviyo:BOS 2020!