Guide to Optimizing Your Marketing for Your Subscription Brand

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Overview

Subscription services have boomed in recent years, allowing customers to receive the items they need on a cadence that fits their lifestyle. By harnessing the power of Klaviyo, your subscription business can turn your one-time purchasers into brand advocates through data-driven marketing decisions.

This guide will run you through how you can get the most out of Klaviyo so you can own your growth.

Integrate Your Tech Stack

In order to make your marketing feel human, you need to centralize all the information you know about your customers in Klaviyo.

Ecommerce Platform

To start, integrate your ecommerce platform with Klaviyo. We have platform-specific and a general ecommerce integration guide to help you get set up quickly.

Replenishment App

In addition to your ecommerce data, you should integrate any replenishment platforms that assist your subscription services.

The more data that you have in Klaviyo, the more personalized your communication with your customers can be. For more information about the different types of integrations that you can use to own your data in your Klaviyo account, head to our other data integration page.

Segments to Build

After you’ve integrated your tech stack with Klaviyo, you’ll want to build out some segments that will help you give personalized communication that meets the needs of your customers. In this section, we’ll build key segments, and in subsequent sections, we’ll show how you can utilize them in Klaviyo.

New to email marketing? To start, you should have an engaged and unengaged segment. These segments are ones you’ll return to often to ensure you’re hitting the inbox. Head to our article on Creating an Engaged Segment for more information.

Interested, Haven’t Purchased

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These are customers who are actively interested in your brand but have yet to make a purchase. You want to give these browsers as much pertinent information as possible so they can make an informed decision. They have shown you they are interested in your brand, it’s your job to capitalize on the opportunity to turn them from casual browsers to lifelong customers.

A La Carte Customers (If applicable)

If you have an a la carte offering to purchase your products, you’ll want to distinguish between your a la carte and subscription customers. This will enable you to provide different messaging to each group of customers and encourage your a la carte customers to sign up for a subscription service.

One-time a la carte customers

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These customers are ones who have purchased from your a la carte service one time. Your goal with these customers is to get them to come back for a second purchase, whether it be for your subscription service or otherwise.

Purchased a la carte more than once

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These customers have made more than one purchase a la carte. With these customers, you want to inform them about your subscription service and get them to sign up.

Lapsed a la carte purchasers

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These are customers who are a la carte purchasers but have not made a purchase from you for a while. Note that the amount of time before someone is considered lapsed will differ brand to brand, so choose what works well for your brand. When you target them with winback messaging (e.g., flows, signup form, social media ads), you’ll want to personalize the content to their experience rather than having the same messaging for both your a la carte and subscription customers.

Subscription Customers

You’ll also want to distinguish between different types of subscription browsers to better target your marketing.

Subscription customers

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These are customers who have subscribed to your subscription service and have not canceled.

Canceled Subscription, Still Engaged

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These are customers who have canceled their subscription with you in the past but are still engaging with your emails regularly. Because of their continued interest, they may be waiting for a good opportunity to start their subscription again.

Campaigns to Send

With your general newsletter sends, you’ll want to use different messaging with your a la carte customers and subscription customers. Tell your subscription customers the story behind your brand and the items in your box. This will reiterate the value behind signing up for your subscription service. For your a la carte customers, give them the same brand information, but let them know what they are missing out on by not having a subscription.

There are two ways that you can split out the messaging depending on the audience. You can either send different newsletters to the two different groups, or you can show/hide blocks within the same template depending on the type of customer. For more information on how you would use the show/hide feature, head to our guide on Showing or Hiding Template Blocks Based on Dynamic Variables.

Customer Journey

At each step of the customer journey, it’s important to give your customers the information they need to build a relationship with your brand. Next, we’ll dive into how to capitalize on every moment in the customer journey.

Acquisition

At this step of the customer journey, browsers are likely to shop around and gathering all the information they can before moving forward with their purchase. It’s important to make this information as accessible to shoppers as you can while also collecting pertinent information about their lifestyle to recommend the best items for them. You can accomplish these goals by asking their preferences through a form or a quiz and through your welcome series.

Gathering Information

Buying Guides

You can either use a full-page Klaviyo popup form that asks a few questions or use a third-party quiz platform, like Typeform, to gather information about your customer’s needs.

If you decide to use a Klaviyo form, first, create a list that you want these customers to join. Next, build out the popup and ask the questions you’ll need to gather the necessary information to make a good recommendation. Assign each answer to a profile property in Klaviyo.

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If you’re using an integration, make sure to integrate the platform with Klaviyo, build out the quiz, and post it on your site. 

Regardless if you use a Klaviyo form or third-party platform, next create a flow triggered by someone joining your buying guide list or completing a form. Split the guide based on the properties you collect in the form and build out your personalized buying guide emails.

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Buying guides are an easy way for a customer to feel as though they have ownership over their potential purchase.

Welcome Series

Your welcome series is a customer’s first introduction to your brand. This is the perfect moment to capitalize on what makes your brand unique and to highlight all the benefits of your subscription business.

In one of the first emails that you send out, introduce your subscription service and have the accompanying CTA submit a profile property if someone clicks to learn more

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From there, you can split your welcome series by type of interest and nail down your communication and encourage them to convert.

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For more information on optimizing your welcome series, head to our article on Guide to Creating a Welcome Series.

Conversion
The next step in the customer journey is conversion. Sometimes, getting someone to go from a casual browser to a new customer or a la carte to subscription shopper just takes timely communication. Let’s dive into some ideas to capture those customers who you’re having trouble converting.

First Purchase
First, make the segment of customers who have shopped around your site but have not purchased that we discussed above. From there, trigger a flow when someone joins this segment. Oftentimes, customers are looking for more information or something to sweeten the deal. You can send two emails addressing both of those friction points.

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Add a time delay to ensure that this flow will not overlap with your welcome series flow. The first email sends along more information about the subscription program and promises a special gift in the first subscription box. The second email follows up reminding the recipient about the offer if they have not already purchased. Because we have purchasing behavior as a flow filter, Klaviyo will check before moving the recipient to each stage of the flow, meaning that if a customer follows up and purchases, they will not be queued up for an email.

Additionally, the flow has an update profile property action. This will allow you to target them with an on-site popup reminder after the initial offer email.

First, create a segment of people with that profile property. Then, in the Behaviors tab, target the segment with a reminder message.

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Having this touchpoint in both email and on-site ensures that your customers are informed without bombarding them with emails.

A La Carte to Subscription Customer

While a subscription might not be best for all of your customers, if you have a la carte offering, make sure that your customers know what they are missing out on by not subscribing. The best place to do this is in your post-purchase, thank you flow. Add in an additional email or add more context to an existing email around the benefits of subscribing. Additionally, consider giving a discount, free shipping, or a gift if someone subscribes after making a purchase.

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Expanding Lifetime Value (LTV)
In your expanding LTV stage of the marketing funnel, you’ll want to treat your a la carte and subscribers with different communication. A few places you’ll need to personalize your content is:

At every step, you’ll want to let your a la carte customers know about your subscription program and your subscribers know about pausing their subscription or exciting items to come.

Advocacy
Let your long-time customers know how much you appreciate them and how crucial they are to your business. The easiest way to show them you care is to communicate with them directly.

Anniversary Flow
Turn on an anniversary flow to let your customers know how much you appreciate their business. You can have different emails depending on how long they’ve been a customer. If someone made a purchase from you five years ago and never purchased again, they should not receive this communication. Accordingly, exclude customers who have not purchased from you in the last year.

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Feedback
Another great way to make your customers feel appreciated and gain insight into how to improve your product offering is to ask for their feedback. This flow is triggered by someone making more than three purchases and sends a one-time text-only email asking for their feedback on your brand.

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The email is also sent from the founder of the brand, making it feel personal and more important than an everyday marketing email.

Reengagement
There may come a time when a customer is no longer interested in your brand. It’s important to nail the breakup and your winback communication in the hopes you might win them back.

Cancellation Flow

Turn on a flow after someone has canceled their subscription asking them for feedback as to why they canceled.

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Thank them for their time and support and consider giving an offer for their input.

Winback Flow

In your winback flow, be sure to highlight the benefits of your products that a customer may be missing out on.

Consider having two different flows for a la carte and subscription customers, as well as splitting the flow by customer engagement. If someone is still engaged with your emails, they might need an offer to sweeten the deal. However, if a customer has not been engaging with your emails, you can send them information about new items or changes to your subscription service.

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Target on Social Media

If someone has unsubscribed to your emails, you can always follow up with them on social media to remind them about your brand or give them an offer to return. Use the lapsed customer segments from above and target this group with winback messaging on social media.

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Personalize the On-Site Experience

Lastly, to personalize the on-site experience, set a form to appear on any page if one of your lapsed customers comes to your site. Using the lapsed segment created above, create a form with winback messaging.

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Notice that this form does not display on a particular page, but rather all pages so that regardless of where your customer lands on your site, they will see the popup.

By thoughtfully adding targeted communication at each stage of the customer journey, you will retain more customers and continue to own your growth.

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