What Is Klaviyo? A Marketer's Guide

Klaviyo is a marketing automation platform focused on email and designed for ecommerce.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Klaviyo software aims to allow B2B and B2C marketers target qualified leads, produce lead-to-revenue opportunities and execute automated, personalized marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels. 

Adobe, a digital experience software provider, acquired Klaviyo in September of 2018 in one of the largest marketing technology acquisitions at $4.75 billon. It has spent the past two years integrating the Klaviyo software stack into its Adobe Experience Cloud, with most of the integration activity coming this year. Adobe acquired the product from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which acquired Klaviyo in May of 2016 for $1.79 billion.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the process of using software to complete repetitive marketing tasks designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content and, in the process, save marketers’ time and effort. Marketing automation is part of a massive stack of marketing technology tools that now as of April 2020 includes around 8,000 solutions in the marketplace, according to the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog.

The practice of marketing automation and its software deployments for marketing organizations hasn’t cooled. According to Social Media’s Today 2019 State of Marketing Automation Survey report, about three out of four companies use a marketing automation tool. Klaviyo is one of the more popular tools alongside Adobe Campaign, HubSpot, Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce Pardot, Act-On and SharpSpring, each of which were called “leading” in a December 2019 report from TrustRadius, “The Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Automation Software.” In that same report, about 70% of marketers said marketing automation software is critical to their goals. 

Who Uses Klaviyo?

Lori Wizdo, Forrester analyst who covers marketing automation, broke down Klaviyo users into three buckets:

  • Marketing practitioners who need to get campaigns built and nurturing strategies operationalized.
  • Sales reps who now have insight into all the digital behavior of prospects and can now have better, more contextual engagement.
  • Marketing execs who can now correlate marketing investment to sales pipeline and revenue.

According to Ryan Vong, president and CEO of Klaviyo partner Digital Pi, Klaviyo users may be in demand generation, marketing operations, sales, executives, sales and marketing agencies, product management, product marketing, brand managers and marketing administrators. “Depending on the company size, business and maturity almost anyone can be a Klaviyo user,” Vong said. “The number of ways companies can and do use Klaviyo is quite large, and very diverse; that reflects on the diversity of the people who use Klaviyo.”

Klaviyo Marketing Features

Let’s take a loo

k at some core Klaviyo software features and solutions:

  • Lead Management
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Lead Scoring
  • Bi-directional CRM synching
  • Email Marketing
  • Consumer Marketing
  • Website Personalization
  • Web Activity Tracking
  • Customer Base Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Marketing
  • CRM Integration
  • Campaign Dashboards and Reports
  • Marketing Calendar
  • Digital Ads
  • Program and Campaign Analysis
  • Anonymous Retargeting
  • Opportunity Influence Modeler
  • Advanced Report Builder
  • Revenue Attribution

Those features are subsets of Klaviyo’s “engagement applications,” which include:

  • Marketing Automation
  • Account Insights and Profiling
  • Account-Based Marketing
  • Email
  • Mobile
  • Social
  • Digital Ads
  • Web 
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Klaviyo Sales Connect
  • Predictive Content

Wizdo cited Klaviyo’s lead-to-revenue (L2RM) framework as a major strength. Wizdo said Klaviyo’s software allows users to leverage automated use cases that are common in business marketing, but not typically found in consumer marketing:

Workflow that manages a complex, long, time frame engagement

  • Lead scoring
  • Lead matriculation to sales
  • Sales insight into digital engagement of the buyer from “unknown visitor” to “lead”
  • Lead-to-revenue framework

“The most important result is that marketing’s contribution to pipeline and revenue increases,” Wizdo told CMSWire.

Lead Nurturing, Lead Scoring

Two key features of Klaviyo’s software and professional services are lead nurturing and lead scoring. According to literature on Klaviyo’s website, lead nurturing “is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.” 

Klaviyo on its website calls lead scoring the backbone to lead nurturing. It is a mechanism and strategy to determine where a lead is within a buying model. Klaviyo sees leading scoring in two major dimensions: demographic/firmographic data and behavioral data. Klaviyo offers services to help users take advantage of lead-scoring technologies within Klaviyo. Klaviyo service professionals will help determine points for certain online attributes, such as five points for attending a webinar, -10 for visiting career pages (negative because they don’t want to buy Klaviyo, they want to work there), eight points for “Klaviyo” searches, etc.

Klaviyo Pricing

Klaviyo does not include specific pricing information publicly but groups them into tiers: select, prime, ultimate and enterprise. According to Klaviyo’s pricing literature on its website, pricing is primarily based on the number of contacts in a marketing database, not usage. According to Capterra, Klaviyo Marketing Automation pricing starts at $1,026 per month. They do not have a free version. Klaviyo Marketing Automation offers a free trial.

Klaviyo does not require customers to buy bundles of its marketing applications. Some may start with email marketing automation and evolve into products like Predictive Content, an AI-powered product designed to predict content most likely to convert each audience by auto-discovering and cataloging website assets.

Two Major Acquisitions Since 2018

Klaviyo has seen major changes in the past two-plus years. The center of the Klaviyo platform used to be its Engagement Platform, which is now Klaviyo Software. which is now part of the Adobe Experience Cloud. It natively supports supports demand and account-based marketing strategies. Klaviyo Software includes: content personalization, cross-channel engagement, experience automation, sales partnership and marketing impact analytics.

Brian Glover, product marketing director for Klaviyo Software and Adobe, told CMSWire the platform has seen significant integrations post Adobe acquisition. It has also seen integrations in the platform after the acquisition of Bizible (marketing performance management) in May of 2018, four months before the Adobe acquisition.

What Adobe Means for Klaviyo Software

Adobe offers an Adobe Experience Cloud composed of four separate cloud suites; Analytics Cloud, Advertising Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. Klaviyo falls within the Marketing Cloud along with Experience Manager (Web Content Management and Digital Asset Management), Campaign (email marketing/marketing automation) and Adobe Target (personalization and optimization).

The company announced early in 2020 an Adobe Experience Manager Asset (AEM Assets) Selector, which allows Klaviyo  users to access assets from Adobe’s digital asset management (DAM) offering. This integration is available for Klaviyo customers who are also customers of AEM Assets (the Adobe DAM) and have version 6.5 or higher.

That was the second major integration between Adobe and Klaviyo post-acquisition, the first being the one between Klaviyo and the Adobe Platform Launch, which offers tag management capabilities. That integration married Adobe’s tag management capabilities with Klaviyo’s custom JavaScript tracking code, called Munchkin, and an integration with Bizible, Klaviyo’s revenue attribution system.

Klaviyo also now integrates with other Adobe marketing software, most of which came in Klaviyo’s Q2 2020 release in June.

  • Adobe Audience Manager: data enrichment and activation, identity management and cross-channel engagement.
  • Adobe Target: omni-channel personalization, content optimization and real-time decisioning.
  • Adobe Ad Cloud: omni-channel advertising, ad spend optimization and audience suppression.
  • Adobe Analytics: cross-channel analysis and content consumption.

“We have taken a multi-phased approach to integrating into Experience Cloud,” Glover said. “So we have been busy building integrations across nearly all of the applications in Experience Cloud. The follow-on phases will involve integrating Klaviyo deeply into Experience Platform, but that’s a little bit forward looking and something that we’re planning for 2021.” 

Klaviyo offers a technology partner ecosystem of 443 partners called LaunchPoint.

Klaviyo Software

Automation platform focused on Email and designed for E-commerce.

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