How You Can Audit Email Flows

The more advanced your email strategy becomes, the harder it can be to keep track of all the automated emails you’re sending. To make sure all your subscribers — old and new — have a fluid, consistent experience with your brand, it’s important to periodically audit your live email flows. Going through this exercise will help you figure out where you’re at today, and what you can improve or build on.

In fact, this is something that we’ve recently been working on here at Klaviyo as part of our own efforts to make our emails more personalized and targeted. Below, I’ll outline the steps I took to analyze and improve our current email automation strategy.

Step 1: Organize

Auditing your email flows is, in large part, an exercise in organization. To start, you’ll need to get all of your flow details in one place, like a spreadsheet. You should include things like:

  • The name of each flow
  • When they are sent
  • What triggers them
  • Any additional filters
  • How many emails they contain
    • When these are sent
    • Any additional filters
  • A preview link to the email
  • Key messaging points (what is the purpose of the email?)
  • Target CTA (where does this link to?)

Next, you’ll want to export your email flow analytics from Klaviyo. This will allow you to easily compare how your email flows are performing against who they are going to, when, etc.

Step 2: Analyze

Before you can assess how well your email flows are performing, you need to establish your metrics for success.

For B2B companies (like Klaviyo!), success metrics can be a bit more convoluted. For example, we’ve recently been working on revamping our welcome series and have identified a set of steps that customers should take in order to get the most out of Klaviyo — the first of which is integrating a data source. Instead of steering customers straight to a paid plan, the first email we send goes to people who haven’t yet integrated a data source. Our success metric is based on the number of people who successfully take that action after getting our message.

With ecommerce, “success” often translates to number of purchases – but not always. You may have a post-purchase email that is aimed at getting customers to take a different action, like posting a review.

It’s important to establish these success metrics upfront so you can compare them with how each individual is performing. Then, you can identify any gaps or room for improvement.

For example, you may notice that customers aren’t getting any emails from you for months between your post-purchase and win-back flows. In this case, you could add more emails to your post-purchase flow to have it run longer, or start you win-back series earlier.

This will also give you an opportunity to assess what’s working and what isn’t. If one email is performing particularly well, you may want to delve into what differentiates it from the others. Likewise if a particular email is performing poorly.

Step 3: Strategize

Take what’s working and, if possible, apply it to what isn’t. This works well with content, which is a great starting point: tone, subject line, “From” label, visuals, etc. Identify a common thread in your most successful emails and weave it into your others.

You should also examine the timing of your emails and map it against the average customer lifecycle. For example, let’s say you know the average customer makes a second purchase three months after their first. However, you’re sending your first win-back email six months after their first purchase. To increase conversions, you may want to send your first win-back email a little over three months after their first purchase instead.

Something we found when digging into our conversion data is that the average new customer integrates a data source with their Klaviyo account the day they sign up. If they don’t integrate after one day, there’s a higher chance they’ll never do it. We send a reminder email to everyone who hasn’t integrated a day after they sign up.

Planning Ahead

Every few months, it’s good practice to audit the email flows you’re sending to your subscribers. This allows you to identify any areas of weakness and capitalize on your strengths. When doing so, the key points to keep in mind are: the metrics you use to measure success, the timing of your emails, any potential gaps in messaging, and variations content.

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