3 Steps to Follow As You’re Onboarding With Klaviyo


Imagine running a marathon. Now imagine running it with a brand new pair of running shoes. You could do it, but it probably wouldn’t be the best choice. You’d likely end up with lots of painful blisters since breaking in a new pair of running shoes can take a few weeks. But once they’re broken in, you’re ready to run full-steam ahead—and your feet will feel much better.

What does breaking in a pair of running shoes have to do with onboarding onto Klaviyo? You’ll have a break-in or warm-up period with a new email service provider, too.

Just like it may be tempting to run as far as you can with a new pair of running shoes, it’s tempting to start taking full advantage of the power a platform like Klaviyo can provide.

You may want to start sending emails to your subscribers immediately after you sign-up, but if you’re making the switch from Mailchimp or any other email service provider, it’s smart to break-in (or warm-up) your IP before you start sending out campaigns to all of your subscribers. This will help you make sure your emails get delivered to your customers’ inboxes instead of their spam filters.

Mail services like Gmail are skeptical about bulk messages coming from a new IP address, so it’s important to make sure your initial messages are well-received. One surefire way to make sure your messages make it past spam filters is to target them toward your engaged customers.

Here are the 3 steps to follow as you’re warming up your account with Klaviyo. These steps are put into place to help you reach your most-engaged customers and make sure the mail systems know you’re a legitimate sender.

Step 1: Turn on High Engagement Flow Emails

Messages that are part of a welcome series or an Abandoned Cart Flow typically get high engagement because they are being sent to your interested and engaged consumers. By using a welcome series, you’ll typically see a 63 percent higher open rate than a traditional email campaign. And you know those people who receive your abandoned cart emails are engaged since they were just shopping on your site.

Once you’ve made the move to Klaviyo, for the first week or so, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re sending your emails to highly engaged consumers. This will help you preserve your sender reputation and avoid the spam folder.

Alongside these engaging automated flows, another good idea is to turn off any re-engagement flows you may have (emails to customers who haven’t engaged with your email marketing messages). During your warm-up period, sending an email to non-engaged customers increases the risk that it will get marked as spam and damage your reputation. While you’re building your reputation as a sender, start cautiously and communicate with just the people who’ve said they want to hear from you.

Step 2: Start Sending Campaigns to Engaged Segments

Once you’ve configured these flows and they’re firing, you can start sending campaigns periodically to engaged segments. For your first campaign send, aim for an open rate above 30 percent. Does that seem like a high open rate? That’s because it is.

With Klaviyo, you can build out a segment of those customers who are engaged with your brand (which will help you get a higher open rate) like anyone who’s opened and clicked an email within the past 30 days, for example. To build this segment, follow these simple steps:

  • Log in to your Klaviyo account
  • Click Lists & Segments on the left-hand side of the navigation

Lists & Segments

  • Click “Create List / Segment” in the right corner of the screen

Create list / segment

  • Choose to create a segment. (Learn more about segments here.) One great thing about segments: they’re dynamic so people will be automatically added to a segment once they meet the criteria you’ve set.


  • Name your segment something that’ll help you clearly identify this group of customers (such as “Highly Engaged Users for Warmup”).

Select the following conditions to build the segment:

  • If someone is or is not a member of a list > is > select your email list
  • Next click “and”
  • What someone has or has not done > has > opened an email (from Mailchimp or previous email service provider) > at least once > in the last > 30 days (Note that if you are coming from Mailchimp or another email service provider and this is your first send, you will not yet have Klaviyo engagement metrics so you will want to pull in your previous email service providers open metrics. To do this just type in the name of your previous email service provider under the “has” field and click on “Opened Email, Mailchimp” for example if your previous provider was Mailchimp). 
  • Create the segment by clicking the blue bottom in the bottom right corner.

Engaged User Segment

After this initial campaign send, aim to achieve open rates above 20 percent for the next 2-3 weeks. While you probably want to hold off on sending emails to this particular segment, you can still send campaigns to other groups of engaged customers.

Here are some other ideas of engaged customer segments you could create:

  • Subscribers who have clicked on an email in the past 60 days.
  • Subscribers who have bought an item from you in the past 60 days.
  • Subscribers who have signed up for your list and opened an email in the past 90 days.

After the initial warm-up period, you can relax your engagement criteria. But for the first few months, it’s smart to be cautious about sending emails to subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked on an email before. Even after you’ve established your sender reputation, you still need to maintain it. If you have a low overall engagement rate, Gmail and other providers will notice and you risk being relegated to the spam folder, even for recipients who might otherwise have engaged.

Step 3: Monitor Your Performance

As you warm-up your domain for the first few months, analyzing the performance of your flows and campaigns is vital so you can make adjustments if needed. Here are two key things to monitor:

  • Review your flow analytics. When monitoring your flows, pay careful attention to open rates, click rates, and your number of unsubscribers so you can tweak your flows and deliver smart growth for your brand.
  • Monitor campaigns. Use the reporting dashboard to get insights into how your email engagement metrics have changed over time. As you’re warming up your account, pay close attention to open rates, the graph showing “marked as spam,” and “hard bounces.” If you see a low open rate during your first few sends, find a more engaged group of customers and adjust your target segment.

Our number one goal at Klaviyo is to help you grow, and the best way we can do that as you’re getting warmed-up is to help you ensure your messages are delivered to your subscribers.

For a complete guide to your first send, check out this Klaviyo guide.

Ready to grow your business? Get started with Klaviyo today.

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