How Email Segmentation Helps DTC Brands Intentionally Reach Customers with Klaviyo's Val Geisler

DTC brands haven’t changed their approach to email marketing—even though the technology and tools available are more advanced now than ever before. To get the latest segmentation and email marketing strategies, we chatted with Val Geisler, Klaviyo’s Customer Advocacy Lead.

March 3, 2022
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Yellow background with the Tydo and Klaviyo logos with blue text that says "Email segmentation strategy"

How to Intentionally Reach Customers

DTC brands haven’t changed their approach to email marketing—even though the technology and tools available are more advanced now than ever before. 

So, what should brands do before hitting the “send” button? 

Klaviyo’s Customer Advocacy Lead Val Geisler recommends answering this question first: “What excites you most about the opportunity to be in someone’s inbox?” 

The Klaviyo team helps brands stand out in the inbox, connect with customers, and unlock personalized marketing. Working with brands such as Parade, Brooklinen, and CROSSNET, Klaviyo offers solutions for both SMS and email marketing. Val’s team, in particular, focuses on sharing the stories of Klaviyo customers. 

To learn more about how brands can leverage segmentation and what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their email marketing campaigns, we caught up with Val. 

Best Practices: Using Klaviyo to Zero In on Customer Activity

On a macro level, it’s easy to see why brands are concerned about sending way too many emails.

Most DTC brands aren’t taking that extra step to personalize the email experience. They’re sending every email to every customer. 

That’s where segmentation comes into play.

Using a Klaviyo account, brands can see what’s going on at a micro level. 

Val explains, “You can segment subscribers based on purchase type, purchase history, when they purchase, etc. With all these pieces in mind, you should be sending different messages over a wide range of time frames, not just all at once.” 

Additionally, brands should note where customers are in the buying journey and incorporate those data points into a segmentation plan. Using Klaviyo analytics, brands can see if they only buy around the holidays or every two months. 

“A repeat purchaser does not need the same initial messaging about your brand history, how you produce your products, and who you are as a team,” Val describes, “That’s the kind of messaging that goes to a first-time purchaser.” 

So, what can brands do to stay connected to the customer while also providing value? 

Focus on education. Consider what customers need to know once they have the product in hand. 

New purchasers might need information on how to care for or use specific products, while repeat ones don’t need that type of dialed-in content. Using Klaviyo to access customer data and segment accordingly will help brands figure out those touchpoints along the way. 

In regards to subscription, Val recommends waiting until the third or fourth purchase to start sending emails about monthly subscription plans—unless a customer has made multiple purchases in a short period of time. 

Not sure where someone falls when it’s time to segment? Val says, “Don’t be afraid to ask subscribers.” 

It helps keep unrelated emails out of their inbox and tailors the email experience so that they only receive emails when they’re more likely to buy. So many DTC brands send a discount or promotional code to customers right after they’ve purchased, which isn’t a good look. 

Instead, create segmenting rules that consider all these factors.

“In between purchase and delivery, all email communication should revolve around two things: education and shipment info.”  

Email Marketing Metrics That Actually Matter

Open rates are a vanity metric

Instead, marketers should look at click rates and purchase rates in Klaviyo. 

Ultimately, for any brand, revenue is the answer, so tracking performance—especially sales—is most important. 

Also, brands should track any key actions they want customers to take—whether that’s signing up for a referral program or joining the waitlist for a new product drop. 

Even with recent iOS updates, there are still ways to dive into shopper behavior and harness that data to make smarter decisions. 

“Data should inform your purchases and business decisions—especially how and why you advertise on Facebook and what segments of customers you advertise to—and you can see all that in Klaviyo.” 

The Difference between Email and SMS

As more brands start to integrate SMS into marketing campaigns alongside email, DTC brands are wondering how to do both effectively. 

Val sees brands sending duplicate messaging and content on both platforms. Here, brands run the risk of overwhelming customers who opt in to both channels (even if it was for different reasons or benefits). 

That’s why custom messaging is so important—for both SMS and email. 

With email and SMS campaigns connected in Klaviyo, content teams can create value-driven content for each channel and develop exclusive content and promotions—depending on where customers access key messaging. 

A great example is Klaviyo customer Dagne Dover

When Dagne Dover sends an email to a customer and they don’t respond, sending another email will likely be ineffective. Instead, Dagne Dover’s customers are more likely to respond if the second message is sent as a text. 

Dagne Dover finds that SMS is the perfect channel to notify customers of product launches and sales because of its immediacy. 

“With SMS, find unique moments to remind your customers why they shop with you.” 

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