Earlier this month we had Klaviyo:BOS, our first-ever customer conference, and it was awesome. More than 350 of our customers and partners from around the world came to Boston to meet each other, learn best practices, and hear what we’re planning on building next. It was even more exciting, inspiring, and motivating than I expected.
This year has been incredible for us – we’ve released more than 40 new features and helped our customers make more than $1B in revenue. I’m happy to share what we’re building and why we’re building it. And how it moves us all toward our long term mission: to make it possible for brands to communicate in a truly personal way at scale.
When you and I sit next to each other, it’s easy for us to have engaging, personal conversation; we pick topics and ways to express our ideas that are interesting and clear to each other.
Businesses have a tough time being truly personal. In a perfect world, marketers could sit down with every single one of their customers and have these types of conversations. The problem is, if you never sleep and have no breaks, you can only have 17,520 conversations in a year. If you sleep 8 hours a day, 11,680! Imagine you’re a business that has more than 200,000 customers…it would take you 17 years to talk to everyone just once. That obviously won’t work. In the end, we, as humans alone, just don’t scale. So what can we do to scale ourselves?
We believe that we can use computers to scale ourselves by scaling the way we get to know each other and have conversations. When humans build a relationship, there are three things we instinctively do:
- Listen / Learn – find out what do they like / not like, what are their past experiences, what kind of person are they;
- Analyze / Understand – take in the information and making adjustments to what we do next;
- Communicate – the next thing we do or say to make sure the relationship continues to progress.
As store owners and marketers, you need to do these three things millions (and millions) of times. At Klaviyo, we’re building the tools to help you build the relationships and have these personal, business-driving conversations at scale.
Let’s dig into how we’re doing that.
When you talk to someone, you learn about them in two ways: by asking questions and by subconsciously observing what they do. On the internet, it works the same way:
- Ask questions – like asking for an email address through a form or people’s opinions about things through a survey.
- Observe their activity – by tracking (with consent!) what they click on, what emails they read, what they buy, and what web pages they visit.
We’re building tools to help do both of those things.
Online, the way people like to ask questions is through forms and surveys, so we released a signup form builder that lets you collect someone’s email address, learn more about them if you already have their email, and target very specific people to take a next step or action. We designed it for sophistication – unlocking new use cases and new ways to be personal at scale, and speed – putting your ideas live and in action in minutes. And once it’s live, it loads and serves quickly to improve the customer experience.
Our form builder has the usual features that you’d expect to see: ability to collect an email address, exit intent, ability to control how quickly it displays and on which pages. We also included features that are beyond the standard expectation: the ability to route someone who clicks to a new URL and, most importantly, the ability to target who sees a form to a list or segment in Klaviyo.
This is unique to Klaviyo because nowhere else in the world can you use your sales data, marketing data, customer data – really any data you have – to target very specific groups who do or do not see content on your website, without the need to touch code. We’re making a lot more investments in this area in the coming months and year, so keep your eyes open and let us know if there’s something you’ve been dying to do with forms.
Custom Objects API
In the spirit of making it possible for you to pass through and store all of your relevant business data in a single place, and make it usable to people across your organization (without touching code), we will be releasing the Custom Objects API. This new endpoint allows you to port and keep up-to-date business-specific data in Klaviyo.
A common example of this is gift cards. You can use the Custom Objects API to store gift card data, including how much balance is left, and use that information in your marketing. Say, for example, you wanted to automate a “Giftcard Reminder” series that periodically reminds someone about their outstanding balance leading up to the gift card’s expiration. That’s something you could easily do in Klaviyo leveraging custom objects and automated Flows.
When you’ve collected and stored everything you’ve learned about someone, you have the opportunity to analyze it to inform how you communicate with them next. It really comes down to analyzing two questions: what has someone done in the past, and what will they do in the future? Here too, we’ve built tools that really help our customers.
We hired 3 amazing people to start our Data Science team, with a charter to use the data we have an hold on our customers’ behalf to derive insights we can give back to you. And they’re doing things differently. We’re taking a slower roll with this team and asking them to focus on accuracy and transparency above all else. We believe data science is a huge part of the future, so we want to get it right instead of rushing into something and getting it wrong.
For their first feature, they released Predictive Analytics with a focus on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). It allows you to see:
- What someone has spent in the past and what they’re predicted to spend in the future,
- How frequently they purchase so you can know roughly when they’ll buy next,
- Predictions of future churn and revenue so you can strategically grow your business.
In essence, you can start to predict the future.
They also built tools to help you use this information in your marketing. There is so much you can do with this! My favorite tactic so far is using predictive analytics to target lookalike audiences on Facebook who resemble your customers predicted to spend the most. This feature lets you easily target new potential customers for high quality, high CLV relationships.
What’s wildly exciting about our data science work is that this is just the beginning – we are just getting started!
We invested in tools to help Klaviyo’s customers understand how their activities are resonating with their customers. First, we built and shipped Customizable Analytics. This gives you custom views of any data in Klaviyo – the way you want it, when you want it. People love that they can see their performance in a realtime, on-demand view that makes sense for their business goals. You can see if your revenue is going up or down, and get to the root cause of why. Some customers are even putting these up as permanent dashboards on monitors in their office!
We also announced something really exciting – our Report Builder. It will rival Tableau or any other Business Intelligence tool, allowing customers to build complex queries and get answers quickly. Using this, you can do things like compare engagement or revenue between two different segments, make forecasts by understanding which products sold best by email last year, or benchmark your growth by looking at your flow performance YoY or MoM. And you can do all this without needing a 3rd party database to stash your data, or paying a data migration service to put your data in one place. All that functionality is just one tab away.
Someone in the Klaviyo:BOS audience was so excited hearing about this, she muttered ‘Yessssssss’ in a silent auditorium. People laughed and then started clapping – it was cool to see we’re building something that genuinely helps people.
At this point you’ve learned, you’ve asked questions and observed, you’ve started to analyze using information we’ve crunched for you or that you might crunch yourself. Let’s talk about taking action. We’re making material investments in improving how we help our customers communicate with their customers.
Automations are an incredible email option – making you money while you sleep. So we did a full overhaul of the Flows product area, which is our automated emails.
- Visual Flow Builder – letting you see how a flow will unfold at a glance
- Branching – allowing you to customize the journey someone goes through in a flow by using what you know about them, or their past behaviors
- Inline Analytics – shows how a given email performs within the context of the flow itself
- Back in Stock – capture high value interest and automatically convert it into revenue
- Countdown Flow – enables you to anchor automations against a specific future date
- Flows Library – hundreds of different flows that you can use (eg customer thank you and countdown to birthday), organized by business goal, and offering previews
And email is an amazing tool, but we’re always looking for more ways to help ecommerce businesses and their customers. How else can we use all this data we’re gathering and activating in a new channel? Klaviyo’s moving to the website with Dynamic Web Personalization, making it possible for you to dynamically show different web content to different people.
We’ll help determine if the best next communication step is to put up a form and ask a question to learn more, or offer recommended products to the visitor who’s ready to buy with just a little nudge. Whatever the next right step is for your customers, we’ll help you with the right communication – whether in email or on your website.
Objects are closer than they appear
The incredibly exciting thing for me and for all of us at Klaviyo, is that scaling personal relationships between your business and your customers is not some distant vision. It’s a much nearer-term reality for us and our customers. When you have customers who like your brand, who want to have a relationship with you – like the next time they need a new pair of your brand’s sneakers to replace their pair that wears out every 6 months, or they need to book their annual family vacation – you’re there by their side, letting them know. And as you develop these truly personal relationships, you can scale it millions (and millions) of times. And you can be really, truly personal as you grow with more and more customers.
As with all product posts, we want to hear from you! We spend all of our waking energy and effort thinking about you and building for you. If there’s something you’re particularly excited about, something you don’t see but want to see, or a problem you really want Klaviyo to solve, drop us a line at email@example.com. Make the subject line “I have an idea!” – receiving an email from you is the highlight of our day.Back to Blog Home