Sending Emails with Klaviyo: A Simple Guide to Using Flows

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Malomo Staff


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Automation is one of the most beneficial technological advancements to hit the modern business world. Brands can grow without being overwhelmed by support requests or the high labor costs associated with hiring a large workforce, thanks to these newfound processes.

While specialized tasks may always require a human mind, you can automate menial, time-exhausting, or repetitive processes like mass email correspondence with the help of platforms like Klaviyo.

Klaviyo is a marketing platform designed to help ecommerce store owners grow their brands sustainably. With Klaviyo's 'flows,' you can create automated sequences to drive user engagement and build customer relationships.

Setting up flows is easy, but there are a few factors to consider. So let's go over the ropes.

Critical Flows to Set-Up From the Get-Go

Automated flows let you activate a message or a chain of messages in response to a pre-selected action, such as a new addition to a list or a segment. The flow may trigger a specialized email to thank the customer for placing their first order or offering a discount code or a price drop.

While Klaviyo offers multiple flows steps, there are some high-priority ones that you should set up right away to make sure you aren't missing out on some easy wins. These flows include:

  1. A Welcome Series Flow triggers a series of messages to respond to a new subscriber signing up to learn more about your brand. This flow is crucial because it helps you leave a good first impression on your customers. At this early stage of the customer lifecycle, you introduce customers to riveting offers and products that may spark their interest.

  2. An Abandoned Cart Flow sends a sequence of messages to a customer who added items in their shopping cart but failed to purchase. With almost 70% of shopping carts abandoned on average, setting up an abandonment flow is crucial to profitability. Reviewing such a critical metric helps companies pinpoint any problems in user experience design, so they can proceed to resolve them.

  3. A Post Purchase Flow is a message sent as a token of appreciation for a purchase made by the buyer. This flow further educates the customer about any useful but less obvious features of the products that customers may find helpful. With a post-purchase message, it's easier to obtain a customer's feedback regarding their overall shopping experience, so this flow can be a great time to solicit feedback. Moreover, you can upsell buyers post-purchase by sending product recommendations for related items.

  4. A Winback Flow is a sequence of messages generated to contact the repeat customers who have made a purchase before but haven't come back to make another. With a customer win-back flow, you can easily customize the message to create a personalized experience based on individual user experience.

Flow Trigger Types

After setting up the initial flows, you need to set a trigger to put the automated messages in motion. Here are the flow trigger types and definitions, per Klaviyo documentation:

  • List-Triggered – A list-triggered flow requires adding a particular list, such as the welcome series.

  • Segment-Triggered – A segment-triggered flow requires the addition of a particularly dynamic segment.

  • Metric-Triggered – A metric-triggered flow requires, at minimum, the person to take a specific action, such as placing an order.

  • Price Drop-Triggered – A price drop-triggered flow requires a pre-set drop to an item viewed or selected for checkout.

  • Date Property-Triggered – A date property requires a specific date-based profile property set, such as a birthday.

Klaviyo Built-in Flows

After integrating your ecommerce store or non-profit platform with Klaviyo, you will gain access to default templates containing built-in flows best suited to your business. In addition, the templates are further customizable so that you can personalize them after integration.

Before adding a flow to your account, you can click on the preview modal to see:

• A live preview of the flow

• A concise description of the flow's goal

• The trigger

• How the flow is tagged

• Any preconditions essential for using the flow

• Name of the flow

• The tag that you will add

Creating Your First Flow

Klaviyo doesn't limit your options to the pre-built flows provided by the platform. Instead, you can create your own custom flow too, which is incredibly simple.

To do so, click on the 'Create Flow' button under the Flows tab in the main navigation sidebar. From there, you can access the 'Flow library' to get inspired by different automation ideas throughout the customer lifecycle. If you already precisely know what you want, you can right-click on the 'Create from Scratch' button to create your custom flow.

Setting up Trigger and Flow Filters

No flow is complete without a trigger to set off a response after the right conditions are met. However, to better control the trigger, you also need to use trigger filters to narrow its scope and limit its application to a specific subset of contacts. Additionally, you might need to set up flow filters to target particular attributes or variables.

When a customer meets the qualification to enter a trigger-based flow, Klaviyo checks whether they meet all the qualifications of the trigger and flow filters. At the initial stage, anyone failing the trigger and flow filters is immediately removed from the series. Those who pass the filters will enter the flow and receive messages based on the pre-set delay period.

However, Klaviyo rechecks the flow filters before sending a message to ensure the contact meets the required criteria. At this stage, the platform does not test the trigger filter again.

Don't Forget: Back-Populate Flow Recipients

Klaviyo's back-populate feature puts contacts through retroactive flow actions.

Whether a contact meets the criteria for back-population depends on the flow's timeline and if the flow trigger is a metric, list, or segment. Moreover, you can only include a contact retroactively if its status is manual or live.

Back-populating a metric-triggered flow will schedule the recipient's movement based on the next time that recipient hits that metric target. Contrastingly, when back-populating a filtered list or a segment-triggered flow, the recipient will move through the flow after being added to the specific segment or list.

How to Add Steps to a Flow

There are some basic steps to a flow series that you need to complete before adding a new element. After creating the flow, select a trigger to set off the sequence of responses. If necessary, you might need to include trigger and flow filters to further narrow or specify the scope of your search. After finishing these steps, you can go ahead and include any additional components in your flow sequence.

To include additional messages into the flow, drag the 'message' component to the visual canvas in the sidebar. The message will automatically be configured to the left-hand sidebar once the message drops on the canvas.

How to Schedule a Step in a Flow

Scheduling messages or any other elements requires a time delay component before the specific step in the flow series is carried out. Time delays help ease correspondence with customers and prevent you from overwhelming recipients.

You can also add the time delay component between different steps to carry out a more precise sequence of events. If there is no time delay between the two steps, the flow steps will trigger simultaneously.

For example, if you added a flow trigger based on order placement, you would likely not want to schedule a time delay since customers expect an order confirmation email delivered immediately in real-time.

Conversely, before sending a follow-up message to ask customers to review their product, you would likely want to schedule a time delay of a few days to a week, depending on the average estimated shipping. In this example, if you were to forego a time delay, the flow would send the message soliciting customer feedback before they had even received the product.

With Klaviyo, you can change the configurations of the time delay at any specific time by clicking on the component. However, any changes to the time delay will not apply to events scheduled before the amendment.

What is the Flow Action Status?

Each flow action in the series is allocated a draft, manual or live status. You can individually change the status of an element from the left-hand panel, or you can do mass status updates through the bulk updating feature.

Here's an explanation of the different statuses:

Draft status – Draft status is the default status when a new message is incorporated and maintained while an action is still in the configuration stage. With a draft status, no contacts line up to receive the message until the status is changed to live. You can even change the setting of a live status to a draft status if you want to skip over a specific message and stop it from being sent out in the series.

Manual status – The manual status is oft chosen during the testing stage of an action, after configuration. During this stage, the message appears to be active only in your flow but remains inactive in sending the customers. So if a message has the 'manual' status, you need to send it out manually. And for a contact labeled 'needs review,' the series will directly move to the next active step.

Live status – Live status is the status assigned to a message when it is ready to be an active part of the flow series.

Understanding Klaviyo Flow Analytics

You can understand a flow's performance by viewing message performance across the entire series. By simply selecting 'Show Analytics' from the top header menu, the Visual Flow Builder will lay out the analytics upon the visual canvas. You can also view key performance metrics filtered by adjustable timeframes. A 30-day analytics snapshot is also available out-of-the-box for each message card.


Building meaningful relationships with your customers is vital to driving customer loyalty and creating a continuous revenue stream. Businesses that strategically keep customers engaged have the potential to scale sustainably. Email marketing is a cornerstone of this ecommerce growth, enabled by Klaviyo flow automation.

With automated sequences, you can encourage repeat purchasing through follow-up emails and recommendations and reconnect with unengaged subscribers to increase their customer lifetime value.

Flow sequences are easy to set up with Klaviyo - make sure you start with the easy win flows before introducing more complicated sequences. And don't forget to use thoughtful triggers and time delays to optimize the customer experience.

Get More From Klaviyo With Malomo

Malomo extends Klaviyo's rich analytics data, so you can use it to develop and optimize your post-purchase marketing strategy. Finally, bring visibility to your transactional shipping emails. With Klaviyo and Malomo, know precisely how many of your shipping emails are being delivered and opened so you understand when and where to focus post-purchase conversion campaigns. Schedule a demo today.

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