4 Takeaways from the Klaviyo Workshop in Chicago


Last week, ecommerce pros and the Klaviyo team took the windy city by storm and headed to Chicago for events like IRCE and Klaviyo’s workshop, Klaviyo:CHI. 

I’m relatively new to the Klaviyo team, so Klaviyo:CHI was my first opportunity to mix and mingle with members of our community. It was so fun to meet so many likeminded yet different ecommerce leaders who took time out of their busy schedules to join us for a day to learn how to own their marketing and grow their businesses. During the workshop, they shared ideas, collaborated, and discussed the many challenges they face when it comes to building their businesses. 

The workshop model itself was also pretty different than most I’ve seen. Too many events I’ve attended are heavy on the ideas, light on the action. Not Klaviyo:CHI.

The workshop was an intimate, collaborative experience that left people walking away with real, tangible advice they could take back and put in place immediately. 

Brian Whalley, director of growth, presented a session called “Listening Better Every Day.” To say it spurred some heavy notetaking is an understatement. Here are four notable takeaways from his session:


1 | Gathering email data helps you improve communications with your customers

Developing better relationships with your customers starts by listening to them—and that means tuning into your customer data. 

Brian shared a story about a customer he met earlier this year at a workshop in Miami. He runs a vape shop and his business has a lot of competition in the local market from others who sell similar products. He struggled with what kinds of messages would best resonate with his audience to make his business stand out. So he decided to do an experiment.

He ran a campaign with two different subject lines—an A/B test. One subject line was written to get people to open the email—clickbait as he called it. The other subject line featured a discount code. He found the open rates and clickthrough rates were higher on the first email—the one with the clickbait subject line—but sales were much higher from the email that offered the discount code in the subject line. 

With this test, he learned that price is one of the most important things he should promote to his buyers since his products aren’t strongly differentiated from those of his competitors. Now, he focuses on offering quality products at the best price possible and tailors his messages to best communicate this concept to his audience. 

The takeaway: Insights like these can drive better results. If you don’t regularly run A/B tests, now’s the time to start. To help you do so, look back at the last few campaigns you’ve run. What did you learn? What messages did people respond to? What did they not respond to? Take note of your learnings and do some experimental testing with your next campaign. 


2 | How to use data in your Klaviyo account

Many ecommerce businesses already collect data about customers and that’s information you can tap into to further segment your audience. 

Brian shared a story about a company that makes wood engraved mobile phone cases. What do you think is the most important thing this company wants to learn about its customers? The kind of phones they have—Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. Why? Because the company can use this data to send more relevant product messages to its audience. Say I own an iPhone (which I do). Chances are, I’m not interested in cases for Samsung phones (which I’m not). 

The company uses its welcome series to ask new customers what kind of phones they have. If they don’t respond, they receive a follow-up message that shows images of several phone models that link to the brand’s site. With this message, the company asks recipients to select their phone so they can receive the most appropriate information. 

The company uses its welcome series to learn more about its customers and personalizes later campaigns to include only pictures of products that match that customer’s preferences, which in turn helps to make its marketing more effective. 

The takeaway: Using a welcome series is a great way to learn more about your customers. And collecting profiling data can help you to create specific customer segments that’ll help you send more relevant messages. If you’re just getting started or if you’re taking a fresh look at the data you collect, start by determining what information you’d like to learn about your customers, record it, create a segment, and then send out a campaign with relevant messages. 


3 | How to collect data from other sources

Ecommerce pros have so many ways to collect data about their customers. From loyalty programs to customer service software to live chat apps, there’s no shortage of data you can collect. 

Brian shared an example of a company that’s making the most of the positive customer reviews it receives from its customer service software, which is integrated with the company’s Klaviyo account. 

When customers leave their first five-star reviews, a flow triggers a plain text thank you email from the owner. His message talks about how the positive review made his day and he offers the customer a coupon in exchange for leaving another review on Facebook. For those who leave their second five-star review, the flow triggers a similar personalized thank you message without the coupon. And for those who leave less than a five-star review, the flow triggers another email with a personalized message asking what’s wrong and how he can help. 

Because the company has integrated its customer service data, it’s able to use flows to deepen relationships with its customers and turn positive reviews into impactful marketing assets. 

The takeaway: Integrating the data you gather from different sources will help you market more effectively. Look at the different sources where you’re collecting data, integrate it into your account, and set up varied flows based on your customers’ activity. 


4 | How to proactively collect data

There’s no shortage of ways a business can collect data about its customers. Sometimes out-of-the-box thinking will help you collect some of the most relevant information you can get. 

Brian shared an example of a skincare company that’s using quizzes to learn more about its customers in order to make relevant product recommendations. 

Originally, the company’s quiz contained eight questions like, “What’s your name?” “What brought you to our site?” and “What’s your primary skincare concern?” The company quickly noticed the quiz’s completion rates were incredibly high—over 80 percent—so their team decided to expand the quiz to 15 questions so they could learn more about their customers. They asked more questions like, “What’s your exercise routine?” and “What are some of your hobbies?” They then used this data to find even more customers with similar interests and used the information to further segment their audience. 

The takeaway: Take a look at the completion rates on the forms you’re using. If they’re high, add a question or two and monitor the completion rates. If they stay high, keep adding questions to collect even more information about your customers—for example, “Would you be more interested in X or Y?” If you’re not yet using forms to gather information about your customers, figure out what information you’d like to know about them and build a form with a few short questions. Monitor the form’s completion rates and adjust or expand your questions as you need to over time. 

Community drives what we do here at Klaviyo, so having the opportunity to attend the workshop and meet so many ecommerce professionals was the highlight of my week. And it was great to hear attendees found the workshop valuable, as well. Here are a few thoughts they shared: 

  • “Love the direct, actionable advice for implementing the things we learn. Also, like hearing about how other companies use it [Klaviyo].”
  • “Very informative. Great ideas that can be implemented fairly quickly.”
  • “Awesome content that really showed us the potential to connect with our customers.”
  • “It was super helpful as a potential user to hear about other questions, problems, and pluses from other users.”
  • “Really exciting stuff in the pipeline! Makes Klaviyo even that much more appealing!”

Next up, the team’s heading to London and San Francisco for workshops, and we’d love to see you there. Can’t make it to London or San Francisco? Come to Boston in September for Klaviyo:BOS! This flagship event brings together hundreds of the most innovative, fastest-growing direct to consumer (DTC) brands on the planet, along with industry thought leaders, partners, and expert product specialists who’ll share real-world examples and actionable strategies that’ll help you own the entire customer experience and grow your brand. 

Looking for ways to level up your marketing? Discover seven reasons to come to Klaviyo:BOS in September. 

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