How to Sync Shopify Email Subscribers to a Klaviyo List

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Learn how to sync Shopify email subscribers to a Klaviyo list so that customers who have completed checkout in a Shopify store and accepted marketing can join your newsletter, or other lists.

How Email Subscriber Sync from Shopify to Klaviyo

Below is an example of an email subscription checkbox below the email field on a checkout page.

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 syncs customer profiles to Klaviyo in real time.

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

Klaviyo does two things with customers in the email subscribers group:

  • The custom property "Accepts Marketing" is added as true to the profile of any customer that checks this box. The value is false if the customer leaves the box uncheckedKlaviyo profile information showing First Active, Last Active, Accepts Marketing set to true, Profile Created, and Profile Updated
  • If you check the box in the image below on your Shopify integration page, Collect email subscribers, customers that have "Accepts Marketing" set to true and have completed a purchase can be synced to a specific list when added to Klaviyo.
    Klaviyo’s Shopify settings page showing Connect your Shopify Store, onsite javascript (recommended), Collect Subscribers, and Advanced Options

If a customer does not complete the purchase after starting a checkout, they would not be added to the list in Klaviyo.

We strongly recommend keeping your email subscription box on your 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's admin panel:

Shopify store setting “Ask for permission to send promotional emails to customers from your store” set to “By default, customer doesn’t agree to receive promotional emails”

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

Update the Email Marketing Setting in Klaviyo

Navigate to your account's Integrations tab and click on Shopify. Just below the name of your store, you'll see a checkbox for Collect email subscribers. Check this box in order to have Klaviyo automatically subscribe new customers who are email subscribers to a Klaviyo list. After you check this box, you'll see a drop-down of the lists in Klaviyo that these people can be added to.

Shopify integration setting in Klaviyo “Subscribe new customers to a Klaviyo list” checked, with dropdown showing Newsletter list selected

If you don't see any lists populate, click the Lists & Segments tab, then click Create List, to create a new list. After you've done this, repeat steps above and you'll see your new list appear in the drop-down menu.

Once you complete these steps, we'll automatically sync over everyone who is assigned the Accepts Marketing tag in Shopify after checking the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" box during checkout, as well as customers that signup to any of your default Shopify signup forms.

If you add people to Shopify's email subscriber list manually, they won't appear in Klaviyo until they begin a checkout/place an order and are synced through the integration.

Additionally, Klaviyo will not historically add those with the Accepts Marketing property to a specific list, but we will historically sync the property itself. So, if you wish to retroactively add these people to a list, you can do this one of two ways:

  1. Create a segment of everyone who is on the list the email subscribers are added to OR who have Accepts Marketing = true
    Klaviyo segment builder with Segment Someone is in list Newsletter OR Property Accepts Marketing is True
  2. Manually export subscribers with this property as a CSV from Shopify and upload it to a list in Klaviyo.

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. Welcome series flows can vary depending on the use case of your business and you can check out our guide for creating email welcome flows. 

Email Subscribers as a Dynamic Value

As you look to grow your subscriber list through Shopify's "Subscribe to Newsletter" box at checkout, keep in mind that the Accepts Marketing property exists independent of whether or not someone separately subscribes to receive emails through a sign-up form.

This means that someone could elect not to check the email subscription box upon checkout, but then decide to subscribe to your mailing list separately through a sign-up form. This person would end up on your subscriber list, but still have an Accepts Marketing property value of False.

Furthermore, the Accepts Marketing property value is also subject to change every time a customer begins a checkout. Every time someone begins a checkout, they will be prompted to check (or not check) the email subscription box. If someone begins a checkout and checks the box, this person will be added to your list when they complete checkout. If this person goes back to complete the purchase later and doesn't check the box, this person will remain on your list but the Accepts Marketing property value will change from True to False.

Leaving Email Subscribers Unchecked by Default

It is tempting to consider leaving your email subscription box checked by default, so that users who navigate to your checkout page are automatically opted in. Let's look at an example to understand why this is not always a good idea.

Consider the following situation: a shopper is browsing your site and adds an item to her cart. She then starts to checkout, but second-guesses the purchase and stops. If she made it to the payment page and your "Subscribe to Newsletter" box there was pre-checked, she is now added to your Klaviyo account with an Accepts Marketing value of true. Any segments where you target users with "Accepts Marketing = true" will now include this user, even though she didn't explicitly opt-in to receive communications from you.

Two reasons why this is not a good thing:

  1. It's not a great experience -- the shopper will likely unsubscribe or ignore these emails until they start to filter to spam. Either way, you've lost your chance to cultivate her as a customer with relevant and targeted emails.
  2. 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.

While it may be tempting to keep this box checked by default to watch your list grow quickly, it's important to remember that quality over quantity mattersBy 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.

Learn More About Email Marketing

From Shopify:

During the checkout process, customers have the option of receiving email updates from your store. By selecting Keep me updated -- I want to receive occasional emails about new products, promotions and other news, customers will be added to the Accepts Marketing group and you can email them with store updates, newsletters, and discounts.

To learn more about email marketing from Shopify, see:

Additional Resources

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