Migrating from Another Email Service Provider to Klaviyo



If you are moving from an email service provider (ESP) like MailChimp or Constant Contact, Klaviyo should fully replace any other email platform you might use. While we do offer integrations with other ESPs, these are meant for one-time use to migrate your contacts into your new Klaviyo account.

Key Guidelines

  1. Swap out embedded simple sign up forms
    Make sure to switch all existing newsletter sign up forms on your site to Klaviyo forms to ensure these individuals now get added to your newsletter list in Klaviyo
  2. Redirect integrated subscriber forms
    If you're using any third-party form tools (e.g. Wufoo, forms on Facebook, etc.) to send people to your ESP, make sure to adjust these so they point to Klaviyo
  3. Sync subscribers at checkout
    If you're automatically collecting newsletter subscribers through your shopping cart checkout process, make sure these subscribers get synced to Klaviyo; for platforms like Shopify and Magento, this feature is available via the standard integration
  4. Import current bounces and unsubscribes
    If you are using a built-in Klaviyo integration to migrate over from your former ESP, you're all set here; if not, you will need to ensure any lists of bounces/unsubscribes are uploaded directly to your suppression list in Klaviyo
  5. Migrate current autoresponders
    Migrate any existing autoresponders to flows and turn them live
  6. Migrate saved email templates
    If you are interested in transferring existing newsletter email templates from your former ESP to Klaviyo, you can follow our guide
  7. Ensure all existing subscribers are added to Klaviyo:
    1. If you are using MailChimp / Campaign Monitor / Constant Contact / MadMimi, you'll use a built-in integration with Klaviyo to sync over existing subscriber lists, as well as your unsubscribes and bounces. To do this, you will want to configure the relevant integration -- if you navigate to your Integrations tab, click All Integrations, and filter Category = Email, you will see all of our current built-in ESP integrations.
    2. If you are using an ESP that we don't integrate with or have an existing subscriber list in a CSV or Excel file, you can easily import or copy/paste your subscribers into Klaviyo.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you will no longer need to be affiliated with your previous ESP.

Important Considerations and Best Practices

After switching all your signup forms to point to Klaviyo, wait a few days and watch your lists in your former ESP. If you notice subscribers are still being added to these lists, there's probably at least one form that still needs to be swapped out.

Another important thing to consider before importing any existing email lists is list cleaning. We highly recommend that you import clean lists into Klaviyo and send to an engaged list from your first send -- if you intend to sync over existing email lists, or manually import existing lists into Klaviyo, your email deliverability may be at risk if you skip this step.

Your former ESP most likely provides a way to analyze the engagement level of your main list, using data points such as open rates, bounce rates, etc. Before you migrate any existing subscriber lists into Klaviyo, we recommend using all data available to isolate and remove any invalid or inactive emails that will only bloat your sending and drag down your deliverability. This should all be done in advance of your first send with Klaviyo.

If Klaviyo doesn't provide a built-in integration with your ESP, there are two ways you can make sure you're sending to an engaged list:
  1. Upload a master list with engagement data as custom properties
  2. Upload separate master, engaged, and inactive lists

Once you've done either of these options, you should send exclusively to your engaged list or segment for your first few campaigns. If you send daily, send to this group for the first week. If you send more than once a week, send your first 2-3 campaigns to this list or segment.

Upload a Master List with Engagement Data

When importing your list, you can add engagement metrics as custom properties. We recommend uploading datetime properties to track when recipients last clicked or opened an email.

When adding this information to your list import file, be sure to correctly label the additional columns -- for example, "Date Added - Old ESP," "Last Open - Old ESP," and "Last Click - Old ESP." Remember, there must also be an "Email" column.

Once this information is added as a custom property, you can use it to segment your list.



Upload Separate Lists Based on Engagement

Use your previous ESP to segment your existing contacts based on engagement. Then, export these segments separately and upload them as lists into Klaviyo. The three lists you should upload are:

  1. Master List, which contains all contacts
  2. Engaged List, which contains anyone who has opened or clicked an email at least once in the last four months, or was recently added to your master list in the last four months
  3. Inactive List, which contains anyone who has been on a list for more than four months, or has not opened or clicked an email in the last four months

Once you've uploaded these lists, you'll want to upload any contact addresses that have unsubscribed, hard bounced, or marked your emails as spam to your account's suppression list. This will ensure that you don't accidentally email them and harm your deliverability.

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