Bearpaw grows their email list 48.4% YoY with Klaviyo
Bearpaw started on a Lake Tahoe vacation. The founder, Tom Romeo, spotted a bear on a nature retreat, and saw it as a sign he was ready to start his business. He named his footwear brand Bearpaw after the chance encounter.
Romeo started operations in 2001 with one shoe style: the EVA (now the ELLE), a suede, sheepskin-and-wool lined women’s boot. In the decades since, the DTC retailer has grown quickly, expanding into men’s and women’s shoes for all seasons—and by 2021, it needed a tech stack that can grow with it.
Learn why Bearpaw left “clunky” Dotdigital for Klaviyo
Bearpaw used Dotdigital to run email marketing, and “the whole interface was a bit clunky,” says Bearpaw’s VP of ecommerce, Kristi Guanco.
Building campaigns: clunky. List management: clunky. Pulling performance reports: clunky. Doable, sure, but not intuitive.
Onboarding didn’t help much. It only started after the Bearpaw team was already using the platform, and the instruction was confusing.
Plus, Dotdigital’s BigCommerce integration wasn’t as robust as the team needed.
Was the steep learning curve worth the climb?
The Bearpaw team started researching alternative marketing automation platforms, and Klaviyo stood out for its ease of use and robust BigCommerce integration.
They decided to migrate a month before BFCM—short notice!—and were still able to finish warming in time for the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
“We killed Black Friday that year,” Guanco recalls. “We had better communication with Klaviyo, and it was super successful.”
Since then, Bearpaw has augmented its core email strategy with SMS, pop-ups, and sophisticated segmentation, says ecommerce marketing coordinator Elizabeth Kremer. Klaviyo has empowered her to:
- Capture emails just in time with pop-ups: With Klaviyo’s powerful BigCommerce integration, Bearpaw launched an exit pop-up offering an even bigger incentive to subscribe than the welcome pop-up. The submit rate is 2.7x the median for Bearpaw’s 100 closest peers, according to Klaviyo benchmarks—and it’s helped them grow their subscriber list.
- Create a hybrid welcome flow with SMS: Bearpaw added a single text for SMS subscribers to the beginning of their email welcome flow, and saw strong engagement. “We did some A/B testing and surprisingly just a very simple text with no picture, nothing fancy, was doing the best,” Kremer says.
- Manage seasonality with segmentation: Best known for boots, Bearpaw sees peak sales in winter. But with Klaviyo, Kremer can focus summer sends on window shoppers and higher-intent customers, maintaining steady open and click rates through the off-season.
“I feel spoiled using Klaviyo,” says Kremer. “There are just so many opportunities—it’s exciting to try to get Klaviyo to work the best it can.”