How to Sync Shopify Email Subscribers to a Klaviyo List

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You Will Learn

Learn how to sync Shopify email subscribers to a Klaviyo list, how the sync works, and best practices. Additionally, learn who gets added to your list and how the Accepts Marketing property works in Klaviyo. 

Before You Begin

 Knowledge Check

If you have not already, read our guide on How to Integrate with Shopify for step-by-step instructions on integrating, rather than continuing with this article. When you integrate, make sure to check the setting to sync Shopify email subscribers to a Klaviyo list.

How to Sync Subscribers to a List

  1. In Klaviyo, select your account name in the lower left and click Integrations
  2. Select Enabled Integrations and click on Shopify to be brought to your Shopify integration settings page
  3. Check the box next to Collect email subscribers
  4. Choose the list that you’d like to add subscribers to; as a best practice, add them to your main list such as your Newsletter (note that you cannot select a segment; you must add your subscribers to a list).mceclip1.png
  5. If you don't see any lists populate:
    1. Click the Audience dropdown and select Lists & Segments  
    2. Click Create List to create a new list
    3. Navigate back to your Shopify integration settings to see your new list appear in the dropdown  
  6. Click Update Settings at the bottom of the page

Who Will Be Added to My List?

Below is an example of an email subscription checkbox on a Shopify checkout page. As a best practice, we recommend not having this box checked by default.

KlaviyoTees Shopify store checkout page with “Keep me up to date on news and exclusive offers” highlighted

Customers that check this box and then enter their email are added to your Email subscribers group in the Customers tab of your Shopify store.

Shopify customers tab filtered by Subscribed with one subscribed customer showing in list, Add Customer in upper right corner with green background

Once you’ve checked the Collect email subscribers setting on your Shopify settings page in Klaviyo (as described in the previous section), customers from your Shopify subscribers group will only be added to your Klaviyo list if:

  • The customer completed their purchase after checking the box. If a customer does not complete the purchase after starting a checkout, they will not be added to the list in Klaviyo.
  • The customer’s Accepts Marketing property is set to true. Customers who subscribe to email marketing at checkout usually have this property set to true, but not always. For more information, read the section below

Additionally, it is important to note the following:

  • Customers that subscribe via a default Shopify signup form, such as a footer form, will also sync to your list. It is also important to note that if you use a Shopify third party theme, your theme's default signup forms must also apply the Newsletter tag to new subscribers in order for Klaviyo to automatically sync these subscribers to a Klaviyo list. Contact your theme developer, or if you're comfortable editing your theme's source code, add the following hidden input tag to your form's input group: <input type="hidden" name="contact[tags]" value="newsletter">
  • If you add contacts to Shopify's email subscriber list manually, they won’t be added to your Klaviyo list until they place an order.

Shopify syncs customer profiles to Klaviyo in real time.

About the Accepts Marketing Property and Subscribers

When you integrate your Klaviyo account with Shopify, one of the properties synced from your store is whether each customer accepts email marketing or not. The property can be either true or false. Below is an example of how the property appears on a customer's profile in Klaviyo. 

Klaviyo profile information showing First Active, Last Active, Accepts Marketing set to true, Profile Created, and Profile Updated

To find a list of profiles in Klaviyo and view their details, click the Audience dropdown and select the Profiles tab. You can also use the search bar at the top of your dashboard to search for individual profiles.

To learn more about how the Accepts Marketing property is managed in Shopify, view their documentation. This property always syncs to Klaviyo, but is originally set by Shopify, and so it might not always match whether a customer is subscribed to your newsletter.

There are a few situations which can cause someone to have Accepts Marketing set to false, but they're still subscribed to your newsletter:

  • If a customer checks out and decides not to accept email marketing at that time, but later subscribes through a signup form, they'll still be added to your newsletter list.
  • If a customer checks out and does accept email marketing, they'll be added to your newsletter list. If they check out again, they'll probably decide to not subscribe again since they're already subscribed. Depending on your checkout configuration, Shopify might see this as not accepting marketing (Accepts Marketing = false.) You probably don't want to treat this customer as an unsubscribe. Rather, you'll want to keep this customer on your newsletter list. 

Klaviyo will not automatically sync historical subscribers to a list when a customer checks Subscribe new customers to a Klaviyo list. If you need to add historical subscribers to your newsletter list, you can do so with property and flow editing as outlined in How to Add or Combine Lists Without Triggering a Flow. You can export subscribers who have Accepts Marketing set to true as a CSV from Shopify and then add them to a Klaviyo list manually by following How to Add Subscribers to an Existing List

If you want to learn more about the integration setting Update Shopify profiles with Klaviyo data, and under what circumstances the Accepts Marketing property syncs back to Shopify when that setting is checked, read our article on how to sync fields from Klaviyo to Shopify

Lastly, it's important to note that a customer who has Accepts Marketing set to false won't automatically be suppressed. Additionally, a customer accepting email marketing at checkout won't override a preexisting suppression in Klaviyo. To learn more about suppression, check out our article About Suppressed Profiles in Klaviyo

Leave the Subscribe Box Unchecked by Default

We strongly recommend keeping your email subscription box on your Shopify checkout page unchecked by default to avoid damaging your sender reputation by accumulating passive subscribers. This option can be adjusted by navigating to Settings > Checkout in your Shopify store admin.

Marketing consent settings in Shopify, with Show an option to subscribe at checkout checked and Preselect the option unchecked

Leaving this box checked by default is not a recommended practice because it can lead to people who don’t wish to receive marketing communications from you getting added to your list. They are more likely to  unsubscribe, ignore, or mark your emails as spam. If these contacts ignore your emails they will eventually filter to spam.

If a large percentage of your list consists of passive subscribers added in this way and your email engagement is low, you're putting your email deliverability at risk. By growing lists of engaged subscribers and focusing on the quality of your leads over quantity, you're setting yourself up for strong email deliverability and higher conversion rates.

While you should not send campaign emails to customers with the Accepts Marketing value set to false, it is still possible for these customers to trigger flows, like Abandoned Carts and Post-Purchases.

Email Subscribers and Your Welcome Series Flow

If a customer is added to your newsletter list by signing up to a default Shopify signup form, and your email subscriber list set up, this customer will be queued for your welcome series flow.

As of May 25, 2021, if someone is added to your newsletter list by clicking the Subscribe to Newsletter box upon checkout, they will also get queued up for your welcome series flow. You can use flow filters in your welcome series flow to filter out groups of customers that you wish to exclude from this behavior. This is now the default setting for checkouts and can no longer be changed. 

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