Pro’s and Con’s of Using Klaviyo For Your eCommerce Business

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Email marketing is an extremely powerful tool and one that can drive a huge ROI when executed properly. When it comes to eCommerce, email can be used to engage with current customers or capture revenue from those who landed on your site but never made a purchase. There’s so much potential when it comes to email marketing for eCommerce, and without the right email marketing platform, that potential can go untapped. 

Learn More: eCommerce Email Marketing Statistics

When we launched our in-house eCommerce brand, DermWarehouse back in 2016, we signed up for a MailChimp account and utilized their email marketing platform for several years. As we were starting out and growing our business, MailChimp was a perfect platform for us. It was inexpensive, allowed us to send out campaigns whenever we wanted to our entire email list, and was very easy and intuitive to use. 

At a certain point, we realized that we were outgrowing MailChimp and needed to move to a more robust platform. As we began our research, we kept hearing about Klaviyo.  As soon as we scheduled a demo and saw first-hand what the platform could offer, making the switch was a no-brainer. Now, we’re a certified Klaviyo partner and recommend this email marketing platform to all of our eCommerce clients. We’ll go as far as to say that if you run an eCommerce business and you’re not using Klaviyo, you’re sorely missing out.

Need help getting started with Klaviyo? Contact our Klaviyo email marketing experts!

Our Move to Klaviyo

One of the biggest initial draws to Klaviyo for us was the ability to set up flows, which are a series of automated emails that are sent based on certain customer actions (triggers). In particular, we were interested in setting up abandoned cart flows to capture lost revenue from customers who added products to their carts but never checked out. Now, many email platforms offer simple flows such as abandoned carts, however, nothing as robust as what you’ll find in Klaviyo.

Not only that, but through Klaviyo, we have the ability to create website popups, add SMS messages to our email strategy, and more. Over 40% of our monthly revenue is generated from email marketing, so to say that this is an important platform for us is an understatement. We’ve captured hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue, collected thousands of emails and phone numbers, and have learned this platform like the back of our hands.

Overall Thoughts on Klaviyo

Klaviyo calls itself “the ultimate marketing platform for eCommerce.” They tout that Klaviyo connects with your eCommerce store and other tools in just a few clicks. You’ll have all your customers’ historical and real-time data—for everything from purchases to reviews—right at your fingertips. Creating ultra-personalized messaging has simply never been easier.

I’d have to say that when it comes to email marketing, Klaviyo certainly delivers. From an ROI perspective, you honestly can’t beat it and I will continue to stress to our clients that for any eCommerce business, Klaviyo is a must-have. It’s been a game-changer for us and for so many of our clients. While the price is higher than other email platforms, it’s worth every penny and it pays for itself time and time again.

There are, however, a few drawbacks to Klaviyo (everything has pros and cons, right?). When I was initially looking into the platform, it was difficult for me to find a list of both pros and cons before signing up, so that’s what I’m hoping to offer here. This list takes into account my 5+ years of working with Klaviyo for my own business and countless clients. So, let’s dig into it! 

Need help with your email marketing or getting set up with Klaviyo? Contact The Media Captain!

Pros of Using Klaviyo


When we first launched with Klaviyo, we went through an intensive onboarding process that allowed us the chance to get set up with many of our initial flows. We worked with an onboarding specialist who was able to help us create all of the flows we’d been dreaming up. This was not a typical demo-type onboarding, we worked within our account to set everything up just the way we wanted it over a 30-day timespan.

We had a month to complete a certain number of sessions and we really barreled through them, as we were anxious to get started ASAP. One caveat to this was that we did a lot of homework on our end to prepare everything possible to take advantage of our time. Unfortunately, this is really the only chance you’ll get to work with the Klaviyo experts in this capacity, so make sure you really take advantage of it. 

There’s a lot to learn within Klaviyo so make sure you do your homework, ask any questions that you can, and really try to stump their team so that you can push the envelope in what you’re creating for your business. This onboarding process was crucial for us and really allowed us to hit the ground running.

You may be thinking that you don’t have the time for an extensive onboarding process. If you’re working with an agency like ours, you can forego the onboarding process, since we’ll get everything set up for you. 

Easy to Use Flow Templates

Klaviyo has an entire library where you can browse ideas for your flows. This is a great resource, as it not only provides you with templates but also helps give you great ideas as to the types of flows you can set up and how they’ll work. 


The ability to set up flows within Klaviyo is the reason many people considering switching over to Klaviyo in the first place. According to Klaviyo, “flows help you send timely communications to recipients via email or SMS and can simply apply certain actions, like updating a specific field on a profile.”

We use a multitude of flows for our clients. From shopping cart abandonment to browse abandonment to out-of-stock updates to birthday & anniversary emails and more, the possibilities really seem endless. The most common flows are welcome flows, post-purchase flows, abandoned cart flows, and win-back flows, however from there, you can use your imagination and really get creative with the types of emails that are going out. Below is what our abandoned cart flow looks like.

Before switching to Klaviyo, we communicated with our customers via email whenever we sent out a campaign email. Utilizing the flows within Klaviyo, we have emails going out all day every day, based on our customers’ actions. This means that while we still do have large order surges when we send out a campaign, we always have our email marketing working for us. As I mentioned earlier, our Klaviyo flows have helped us capture hundreds of thousands of dollars that we may have never seen otherwise. 

Signup Forms

A signup form is a website popup when visitors first land on your site (and/or right before they leave, depending on how you have this setup). Signup forms are extremely important in helping to grow your email and SMS list. When you’re spending money to drive traffic to your website, you want to make sure you have a way to capture customer information so you can remarket to them. Enter the signup form! 

You can ask users to join your mailing list for product updates or special promotions, offer a discount, provide educational material, offer a gift upon signup, or run a contest to get users to enter their email address or phone number into your form. You can definitely get creative here, but the goal is to create an enticing message so that you can capture customer information on your site. You’ll later use this information to target your customers via email! 

With the Klaviyo forms, there’s a lot of room for customization. You can completely customize the form and capture any information that’s important for your business. You can add photos, links, or text, plus you have the option to decide exactly when and where you want the form to show up. Not only that, you can add multiple steps to your form if you want to collect phone numbers or other information separately from email addresses.

Klaviyo also has an option for a teaser to show on your site, which displays a message at the bottom of your screen either before the user sees the form or after they X out of it. Since so many people automatically click out of a popup as soon as they see it without really reading it or thinking about it, adding the teaser can be a game-changer. 

Ability to Create Lists & Segments Based on Data Captured

Klaviyo captures a ton of data about each customer. From the products and product types that they’ve purchased to the number of orders they’ve placed and how much they’ve spent, all of this amazing data is stored within each customer’s profile. 

According to Klaviyo, “Lists are static, meaning they grow as people subscribe or are manually added. Segments, on the other hand, are dynamic, meaning they grow as people meet the segments’ conditions and shrink as people no longer meet them. Moreover, segments update in real-time.” 

You can use Klaviyo’s lists and segments to send emails to different groups of people based on their behavior on your site or profile properties. For example, for DermWarehouse, we send emails to segments of different brand purchasers. If we have a sale going on for SkinMedica, or we’re offering a gift with purchase for Sente, we can send emails to anyone who has purchased that particular brand or added the brand to their cart. This makes our emails extremely targeted and ensures our emails are going out to those who are interested in what we’re offering at the time.

Below is how we would build a segment of Sente purchasers. This segment includes customers who have placed an order for that brand or added that brand to their cart.

The possibilities for segmented campaigns are endless. We send emails to people who have made a purchase in the past, but not in the last 90 days to try to get them to come back and shop with us. We send emails to customers who have purchased a specific product to let them know if that product goes on sale. We send emails to people who have spent a certain dollar amount in a specified time range, offering them special promotions or discounts. You can get really creative with the segments you make, ensuring you always have many campaigns and flows running at once. The ability to segment within Klaviyo is second to none!

ROI & Capturing Lost Revenue

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 [source]. The ROI of email marketing cannot be beat and using a platform like Klaviyo will only help you reach your full email marketing potential. 

While Klaviyo is more expensive than other email marketing platforms, the return you get out of it and the amount of lost revenue you can capture will make this platform worth every penny. In the last year, our abandoned cart flow alone has captured over $100,000 in revenue that we probably would have lost without it. We currently pay about $1,500 per month for Klaviyo and with just our abandoned cart flow alone we recovered over $8k of revenue. Just from one single flow!! Need I say more?

Pay for Email Sends vs. People in Account

With a platform like MailChimp, you pay for the number of contacts you have in your account. If my email list contains 50,000 people, even if I only ever email 10,000 of them, I still pay for 50,000. A huge pro of Klaviyo is that you only need to pay for the profiles you’re actually emailing. If my email list contains 50,000 people, but I only email 10,000 of them at most, I will pay for the 10,000 I’m emailing. This makes a big difference in your bottom line.

Cons of Using Klaviyo

Learning Curve

When it comes to using this powerhouse email marketing platform, there is definitely a learning curve. You can take full advantage of the great onboarding but after that, you’re on your own (or you can hire an agency like ours!). 

Klaviyo does a great job of providing templates and help articles, but sometimes building your flows or segments can get a little bit hairy and confusing. We’ve had to enlist the help of our developer for a lot of what we’ve set up within Klaviyo so that we could take full advantage of everything the platform has to offer.

There are resources to help guide you through the setup process, but it’s not as easy or intuitive as a simpler email marketing platform like MailChimp. There have definitely been times after an intense Klaviyo session that I felt like my brain might explode! That being said, there are a ton more options for customization and ways to be creative with your email marketing, so the brain explosion is well worth it in the end. 

Text Messages

We were really excited to start utilizing SMS in all of our flows and campaigns within Klaviyo. While the ROI is still there (meaning every month we do more in revenue from SMS messages than we spend on this part of the package), the performance of our text messages has never blown me out of the water in the way our emails have. 

The onboarding process for SMS was much shorter than our original onboarding for email (and we had to meet a certain price threshold for texts to even get that onboarding in the first place). Overall I’ve been disappointed with the functionality and the performance in this area. 

Learn More: Text Message & SMS Marketing Tips for eCommerce Brands

Post-Onboarding Help

When we first signed up with Klaviyo, their service was amazing. The onboarding was incredible and we were told that there would be a growth specialist reaching out to us every few months to give us new ideas and analyze our account to see what we could be doing better. We’ve never heard from anyone. 

Klaviyo does have a support team that will get back to you and try to help with issues you’re having. They also now have a Live Chat, which makes things a lot easier, however, I know that with a dedicated account rep and someone meeting with us every once in a while, we’d continue to see more growth in the account. 

Once you graduate from the initial Klaviyo onboarding, you’re pretty much on your own to figure everything out.

In closing

While there are certainly a few drawbacks to using Klaviyo, the pros far outweigh the cons. As an email marketing platform, Klaviyo is extremely robust and offers many ways to engage with current customers or capture lost revenue from those who didn’t make a purchase. Using Klaviyo has been a game changer for our eCommerce business and if you’re an eCommerce business who’s well established, or just starting out, Klaviyo can make a huge impact.

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