Send Value, Not Coupons
The most common misconception I encounter with ecom business owners is the belief that constantly sending discounts is the best way to generate sales from their email list, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. My maximum recommendation for running sales is five or six per year for three main reasons.
Constantly sending discounts (a) trains customers to only buy when there’s a sale running leading to dead spots in between sales, (b) devalues the brand and products, and (c) shrinks clients’ profit margins
To provide concrete evidence to both dispel this myth and prove that less discounts work better in the long term, I put together this case study of campaign sends over a 21 days period that begins two weeks after we ran a Labor Day Sale. This is typically a slow time for most business owners, but it doesn’t have to be.
First we’ll go over the data followed by five broad strategies highlighting how we were able to achieve these results shortly after a substantial sales event.
It’s important to note that these numbers are just from campaigns and do not include flows (email automations). During this time frame, email campaigns accounted for 46% of email revenue while flows were responsible for the remaining 54%. Total Klaviyo email revenue accounted for 51% of overall store revenue.
There was not a single discount sent in a campaign during this time frame.
Let’s get to some numbers.
11 Klaviyo campaigns were sent over 21 days from September 13 to October 20.
These campaigns resulted in 630 orders and $29,564.92 in sales.
15,726 profiles clicked through to the website from these campaigns.
The AOV of all orders attributed to the Klaviyo campaigns was $46.92.
Each campaign averaged 57 orders and $2,687.72 in sales.
The average click rate was 2.24%, and each campaign averaged at 1,429 clicks.
Orders per Campaign
Revenue per Campaign
Clicks per Campaign
Highest Number of Orders
Thursday Featured Product | September 29
Number of Orders: 162
This Klaviyo campaign only featured one specific product with a singular call to action to purchase the product with an 80/20 text-to-image ratio and copy that told an emotional story which led to a call to action to purchase the product.
Sunday Promotional | October 11
This campaign featured a collection of items that were related to each other and solved the audience’s needs. One single image was featured at the top with the rest being sales copy and a single button directing to the collection.
Highest Click Rate
Thursday Blog Newsletter | October 8
Click Rate: 5.4% (3,996 clicks)
This campaign featured a single blog post that spoke to the audience’s needs and emotional state with a single call to action to read the blog post, resulting in 41 orders valued at $3,473.59 due to products placed throughout the blog post that were related to the topic.
Lessons from Low Performing Campaigns
Three out of the eleven campaigns had sub-par click rates. Two were low-selling products that the company was trying to move, this was expected. The third low-performing campaign was a blog post centered around a new topic we were testing. The audience showed disinterest in the topic which proved useful for both future blog post planning and product development.
Less Images is More
At most, all Klaviyo campaigns only featured two images. For blog and collection campaigns, there was one single email header. For product centered campaigns, there was one single header image and one additional image of the product beneath the sales copy.
Results Without Discounts
These numbers were achieved without sending out a discount due to a highly engaged audience, high deliverability, and compelling sales copy as well as stellar customer service and product quality on the client’s end.
5 Tactics for Campaign Success
There are many things that go into consistent email campaign success beyond the listed principles below, even beyond what happens in Klaviyo. In regards to this specific case study, the following five tactics were the most impactful.
Quality Blog Posts
We were able to send three Klaviyo campaigns per week to not just this client’s audience, but to all of our other clients’ audiences, due to a careful alternation between promotional campaigns and blog post campaigns.
Although it varies based on each brand’s unique purchase recency, purchase frequency, and product selection, sending three promotional or product centered campaigns per week will result in low engagement and high unsubscribes.
To responsibly message an audience three times per week, we provide value by sending weekly blog posts concerning the audience’s interests around the client’s niche and products. When done correctly, this results in high engagement, which in turn improves/maintains deliverability, increased brand loyalty, and a feeling of community the subscriber base gains through the original, free, valuable information and insight in the blog posts.
The segments we exclude are just as important as the segments we send to; email and SMS is all about sending the right message to the right people at the right time. Doing so not only increases engagement, but also reduces unsubscribes. We sent to a predefined engaged Klaviyo segment and excluded multiple segments based on the goal of the campaign. Below are three examples of such excluded segments.
If a Klaviyo campaign featured a product that was a one-time purchase, we exclude customers who purchased the product.
If customers purchase the featured product multiple times, we determined the average days it takes for customers to order the product again and exclude anyone who has ordered this product within that time frame.
For example, if on average, customers purchase the product every 225 days, the excluded segment would be “Anyone who has ordered x product in the last 224 days”.
Placed Order Last 21 Days
Once a customer makes a purchase, they are queued into various flows such as Customer Thank You, Review Request, Ambassador Program Optin, etc. Gaining reviews and new ambassadors were top goals for this client, so these flows took priority over campaign sends. Doing this also reduces unsubscribes.
Bounced Email 3x+
Reducing bounce rates is critical for deliverability, and emails bounce for various reasons such as automatic away messages or a full inbox. Hard bounces (fake or mistyped email addresses) are automatically removed from the Klaviyo account, so we create and exclude a Klaviyo segment that catches recent soft bounces which in turn reduces the overall bounce rate.
The 80/20 rule refers to the text-to-image ratio in a Klaviyo email. We always limit the amount of images, instead focusing on compelling copy and a clear call to action. This helps inbox delivery and engagement seeing as we focused more on crafting the sales copy to be human-to-human as opposed to business-to-customer.
You can learn more about this strategy in our recent blog post Less Is More: Why Less Images and Links Will Help to Achieve Your Email Marketing Goals
Human to Human
Across the board, subscribers respond much better when the sales copy is written in a conversational tone, adding a human element to the message. Through this approach, we eliminate the perception that subscribers are reading a sales pitch email from a business, which in turn results in more sales and higher engagement.
Constant Focus on Deliverability
Throughout our website, you’ll constantly see the phrase, “You can have a beautiful email, unbeatable offer, and incredible product, but it’s all useless if the email lands in the spam.” We could not have achieved these results without well-established deliverability achieved through a regular sending cadence, careful Klaviyo segmentation, high open & click rates, and low unsubscribe, spam complaint, & bounce rates.
Bonus: Great Customer Support, Product, and Shipping
No matter how carefully planned out and perfectly executed an email strategy may be, it will not work without attentive customer support, remarkable products, and fast shipping times. The success of these Klaviyo campaigns were a result of both our work on the email side and the client’s work building efficient customer support, product development, and logistics systems.
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