Making the move: how Popov Leather is generating 30% more monthly revenue after switching from Mailchimp to Klaviyo

Profile photo of author Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
6min read
Success stories
May 6, 2019

On May 12th, Mailchimp and Shopify are breaking up.

This leaves thousands of ecommerce stores in a tough spot. If you run your business with these two platforms, it’s understandable if you’re concerned about finding a replacement for Mailchimp. But the good news is that there’s even more opportunity ahead for your business to grow.

More than 143K merchants have integrated their stores with Klaviyo and grown their business. In fact, more than 6,000 former Mailchimp customers have made the move to Klaviyo over the last two years alone and they’ve seen their businesses grow as a result.

Here’s the story of one company, Popov Leather, who made the simple switch from Mailchimp to Klaviyo and started growing their business quickly after the transition.

The dream: building a business one day at a time

Like a true entrepreneur growth story, Popov Leather started out as a hobby for Ryan Popoff. When he came up with the concept for his business, Ryan had just graduated from art school and was working night shifts so he had a lot of down time and needed a creative outlet to put his art degree to work.

He began watching YouTube videos on how to craft fine leather works and became, as he said, “obsessed with making the perfect wallet.” Ryan’s wife, Jill convinced him to put a piece on Etsy and, before he knew it, sales started to snowball.

“During my spare time away from my job, we spent another eight hours every day fulfilling orders and making products,” Ryan said.

Ryan and Jill reinvested the money they were generating from Etsy into the company so they could buy more raw materials and better tools.

Flash forward to today and Popov Leather has eleven full-time employees. They operate out of a renovated animal kennel in Canada measuring about 1,400 square feet and pride themselves on making premium made-to-order products that come with a lifetime guarantee. Every order that comes through their website is cut from full grain leather, assembled, sewn, finished, and inspected by a Popov Leather team member before it ships.  

strap cutting leather

The switch: deciding to move from Mailchimp to Klaviyo

Ryan dove headfirst into his business and learned the ropes of ecommerce along the way. Running the store allowed him to learn everything from dealing with shipping to learning SEO from the ground-up. But the most important lesson Ryan learned was the value of relationships and, as he said, “treating customers how they want to be treated and that the customer is always right even if they’re wrong.”

After opening their Shopify store, Popov Leather started using Mailchimp and about two years later, Ryan wanted to grow his business even further but found he was running into some roadblocks with Mailchimp.

“Mailchimp never really had a true integration with Shopify,” Ryan said.  This meant getting all of his data into one place was a huge challenge. He wasn’t pleased with Mailchimp’s Abandoned Carts feature because they were unreliable and he was losing sales as a result.

While there wasn’t a specific event that triggered the need to make a move, Ryan knew he was ready to take his business to the next level and didn’t feel Mailchimp was capable of helping him do so. Ryan started talking with his peers (he’s a member of an ecommerce group called eCommerce Fuel) and that’s how he learned about Klaviyo’s Shopify email marketing features. Based on what his peers were saying about it, Ryan made the ultimate decision to move Popov Leather’s business from Mailchimp to Klaviyo.

“It was a little scary at first to make the move because I’d be paying more, but Klaviyo is really paying for itself,” Ryan said.

With anything good that you pay for, it pays for itself and Klaviyo is definitely paying for itself

Ryan Popoff, founder, Popov Leather

The set-up: getting started quickly and effectively

Ryan was pleasantly surprised at how quickly he was able to configure Klaviyo.

“Because Klaviyo syncs so well with Shopify, it only took me about an afternoon to set-up the platform,” Ryan said.

One of the features Ryan was most surprised by: pre-built flows. He said he was “really struggling with Mailchimp’s Abandoned Cart flows because I never had any visibility into whether or not they were firing and if they were generating any money.”

With Klaviyo’s pre-built flows, Ryan could configure them and get them live within a few hours. Based on what he heard from his peers, Ryan knew Klaviyo was good but he realized the value of it himself while setting up the platform and its features for his own business.

“Moving from Mailchimp to Klaviyo is like moving from preschool to University,” Ryan said.  

Moving from Mailchimp to Klaviyo is like moving from preschool to University

Ryan Popov, founder, Popov Leather

The growth: generating 20-30% more revenue and building better customer relationships

Within a week of configuring Klaviyo, Popov Leather started to see the sales pile up just from the flows. Ryan said, “we were surprised at the amount of money we were generating without sending traditional campaign emails.”

All of the sales were coming through automated flows, so Ryan was able to spend less time building and deploying campaigns. This was a big change for him.  

“With Mailchimp, we were just sending emails to our entire email list and we really didn’t get visibility into revenue from email. Being able to make money with Klaviyo without having to do this was a nice change,” Ryan said.

Popov Leather was built on the foundation of building customer relationships and Ryan says that. “building personal relationships at scale was one of Klaviyo’s big selling points.”

With Mailchimp, Ryan couldn’t easily segment customers. Once he made the switch to Klaviyo, Popov Leather was, according to Ryan, “able to reach engaged people rather than just hammer our entire list.”

Since making the switch, Ryan estimates Popov Leather is generating 20-30 percent more revenue each month. That’s something that Ryan says “Mailchimp was incapable of delivering.”

We detail Popov Leather's transition from Mailchimp to Klaviyo and how the transition has helped them see a 30% increase in monthly revenue after the move.

Ryan believes Popov Leather would not be where it is today if he had not made the switch from Mailchimp to Klaviyo. More than 30 percent of Popov Leather’s monthly revenue comes through Klaviyo and Ryan says “Klaviyo had a role in growing our business to make it more mature.”  

With powerful segmentation, the Popov Leather team can build relationships at scale with their customers.

“We have an amazing product we stand behind, and with Klaviyo we can cultivate relationships in a way that makes our customers feel special and lends them to share Popov Leather with friends and family.”

Are You Ready to Make the Move?

Popov Leather’s growth story is similar to the nearly 6,000 companies that have made the switch from Mailchimp in the past two years. On average, former Mailchimp customers have seen a 46 percent increase in total store revenue over the course of the year after they made the switch.

Are you ready to grow your business? Get started with Klaviyo today.

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Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen is the former Segment Marketing Manager for the Entrepreneur Segment at Klaviyo. Dan has worked in a marketing capacity for brands across the consumer landscape for the past eight years. While not marketing to entrepreneurs, he's working on his own side hustle business, running or playing golf.