3 ways to safely and profitably increase email & SMS frequency: examples from Aura Bora, Proozy, & Linksoul

Profile photo of author Tiffany Regaudie
Email marketing
April 16, 2024
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With email and SMS marketing, it’s easy to worry you’re sending too much.

Owned marketing is about respecting your access to the inbox, so it might seem counterintuitive that increasing frequency is a best practice for customer retention.

But as long as you’re properly segmenting your lists, increasing your campaign volume to existing customers—those who are fans of your brand to begin with—can be a great way to encourage repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime value.

During OWN IT, Klaviyo’s virtual ecommerce summit, Sriya Karumanchi, director of marketing at Catbird, said, “Our loyalty strategy is focused on how many more people we can shift into 3x purchasers within a calendar year.”

Our loyalty strategy is focused on how many more people we can shift into 3x purchasers within a calendar year.
Sriya Karumanchi
Director of Marketing at Catbird

That shift from first-time buyer to 3x purchaser requires a concerted omnichannel marketing strategy that’s supported by experimentation and testing—which, surprisingly, can yield results that support sending more, not less.

To help you formulate your own high-volume strategy, we’re highlighting 3 real-life examples from Klaviyo users who saw great results when they started sending more to their customers.

1. Aura Bora increases brand-focused emails and exceeds forecasts

After BFCM 2022, sparkling water brand Aura Bora cut their spend on top-of-funnel performance marketing by more than 50%. They were headed into their winter off-season and couldn’t justify the expense.

The brand shifted their focus from customer acquisition to email retention strategies, with the goal of keeping customer relationships strong until their peak sales season between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Testing showed that their audience maxed out at 15 campaigns per month, plus ecommerce automations.

Aura Bora began experimentation with one question: How many emails could they send per month without losing subscribers or engagement?

Testing showed that their audience maxed out at 15 campaigns per month, plus ecommerce automations.

They decided to try out a high-frequency approach, sending fewer product emails while doubling their number of brand emails. These evergreen, brand-first campaigns opted for quirky language over product highlights or up-selling, experimenting with self-aware CTAs like “shop… now?” and copy like, “This is what happens when you leave the interns in charge.”

Cameron Faist, VP of growth at Aura Bora, says revenue per user was “incredible,” substantially exceeding forecasts.

How you can experiment with brand content for customer retention

If you want to experiment with brand campaigns but quirky copy doesn’t fit your tone, start with a simple truth: People like to learn new things. Educational content is a foundational strategy for strengthening customer relationships with your brand.

For example, wellness brand Nuun noticed that a certain group of athletes typically bought only their endurance products. When the team began sending that group of customers strictly endurance-related content, it helped drive a 950% increase in website traffic from emails and an 820% increase in revenue generated from email marketing YoY.

Brand-focused educational content doesn’t need to be bland. Here’s what it can look like in practice:

2. Proozy personalizes by customer size and increases SMS click rate 120.4% YoY

Proozy takes a high-volume approach to owned marketing. They typically send up to 7 segmented email campaigns per day, plus 1-2 daily SMS messages generated with help from Klaviyo AI.

One key to their success is strategic customer segmentation. The brand sends daily deal digests tailored to customers’ preferred sizes and brands. Then they go deeper by promoting deals on excess inventory in “odd sizes” to segments of people who have bought similar sizes or brands, using generative AI to save time.

We do the shopping for our audience. Imagine walking into a store and the first clothing rack you see is fit perfectly for you.
Alex Case
Senior Manager of Product Planning, Proozy

The campaigns help them clear their warehouse while helping their customers. “We do the shopping for our audience,” says Alex Case, Proozy’s senior manager of product planning. “Imagine walking into a store and the first clothing rack you see is fit perfectly for you.”

How you can experiment with AI for higher send volume

Higher send volume can mean more writing time. Generative AI is helping brands that may not have the resources to match their desired campaign volume. The Proozy team, for example, uses Klaviyo’s generative AI features to save 5 minutes per email subject line and 10 minutes per text—for a total of 45 minutes in time savings per day.

With Klaviyo’s Email AI, you can input a prompt like, “Create a sale reminder for 20% off with urgency to order before midnight. Make it a two-column layout with an image at the top and a button below.” From there, several options will appear in a few seconds, so you can evaluate what works and choose your favorite.

If you need human writers to match your brand-specific tone, you also have the option of outsourcing only your subject line writing to AI. Subject lines are notoriously difficult to get right, and brands are obsessed with testing them at scale to find language patterns that work. Klaviyo AI can produce subject line options at scale, so you can shorten your time to success.

3. Linksoul boosts SMS frequency and reduces unsubscribes

Apparel brand Linksoul was an early adopter of SMS marketing, and their customers took to it immediately: just weeks after launch, they had 20K subscribers.

But their previous SMS marketing provider made it difficult to segment those subscribers, so they weren’t able to personalize messages as much as they wanted to.

After they consolidated their SMS marketing with their email marketing in Klaviyo, Linksoul wanted to start sending more—but even with new ways to split their list, ecommerce manager Brandi Cantrell worried this would annoy customers.

Now we’ve got a text in almost all of our flows, and our overall flow revenue increased 82% last year. The majority of that flow revenue came from SMS.
Brandi Cantrell
Ecommerce Manager, Linksoul

As it turns out, ramping up to weekly SMS sends actually reduced unsubscribes, in part because they could target sends based on engagement and purchase history

And after consolidating SMS and email, Linksoul was able to insert texts into existing email flows. “Now we’ve got a text in almost all of our flows, and our overall flow revenue increased 82% last year,” Cantrell says. “The majority of that flow revenue came from SMS.”

How you can use SMS and email together to personalize flows

To prevent people from receiving messages in a channel they don’t prefer or haven’t consented to, use “conditional splits” in your flows to send subscribers down channel-specific paths.

To avoid sending too many text messages, reserve SMS in flows for time-sensitive communications. If someone doesn’t act on a text message within the first 24 hours, follow up via email. This is how you can use flows to increase SMS frequency—without annoying your subscribers.

Send more without sacrificing quality

Important reminder: It’s never a sound strategy to send more messages for the sake of it.

High-volume campaigns only work with a granular segmentation strategy that ensures you’re sending more to the right people. This is how you can safely send more email and SMS, because your content is personalized to behavior.

But as your business grows, segmentation becomes more of a challenge. The larger the list, the more ways to slice and dice your audience—and soon you’re missing whole constellations of opportunities for revenue.

Now, AI can help your brand capture those segments.

With Klaviyo’s new Segments AI, you don’t need to spend as much time digging into your lists to find great segments. You can just describe the customers you want to reach, and in seconds, you’ll have a targeted segment based on whatever need you have.

Heads up: All customers now have access to Klaviyo AI.

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Tiffany Regaudie
Tiffany Regaudie
Tiffany is a writer and content consultant who specializes in marketing, health, and the attention economy. Before devoting herself to freelance writing full-time, she led content teams at various startups and nonprofits in Toronto, Canada.